The United States v. S.A.V.

S.A.V. was charged in federal court with importing 68.2 pounds of cocaine into the United States, in violation of 21 U.S.C. sections, 952 and 960. The defendant was facing a 10-year mandatory minimum jail sentence. From the beginning of the case, the defendant said he/she did not know the drugs were in the vehicle. The defendant had been used as a “blind mule.” Meaning, he/she unknowingly brought drugs into the United States. A third party had gained access to the defendant’s vehicle, and hid several packages therein without the defendant’s consent. Under federal law, an individual must knowingly or Intentionally import an illegal substance into the United States to be guilty under this code section. Mr. Mardock immediately filed motions, and began negotiating the case. After several months, many in-person-meetings, and substantive motion hearings, the government chose to dismiss the case against the defendant. All charges against S.A.V. were dropped, and he/she was free to go home to their family. These types of dismissals are very rare in federal court. However, with the right set of facts, a reasonable prosecutor, and the right defense attorney…they do happen. This certainly was a great moment for the defendant and this law firm.

The People v. A.C

A.C. was charged with reckless driving and evading law enforcement. The severity of the situation was compounded by the fact that defendant was in the military and any felony convictions would take away his/her right to possess firearms. He/she would then be discharged from the military. After months of litigation, several personal meetings with the prosecutor, and a preliminary hearing, the case had reached the final court date before trial. Defense counsel made one last effort through letters, military employment history reports, and an emotional pitch, to try and resolve this case. Finally, the state offered A.C. a misdemeanor that would allow the defendant to continue forward with his/her military carrier. Defendant was extremely happy with the results, and as of the date this was written, continues to serve this country as a United States Marine.

The People of California v. M.J.

The defendant in this case was charged with vehicular manslaughter via a theory of aiding and abetting. This young man had no prior criminal history, and contrary to several reported facts by news agencies, had absolutely no substances in his system at the time this occurred. This was a very emotional and frankly sad case wherein everyone involved ended up losing. The District Attorneys’ Office was in a difficult position trying to find a balance between representing the individuals who sadly lost their life, and making sure those emotions did not cloud judgment as to what really occurred. This case was litigated for almost year. As they often do on larger cases, Ryan and Russell worked on the case together. Often times, having two attorneys on these larger cases is very helpful. After meeting with a very senior DDA, and being one week from trial, a resolution was reached between the parties. The defendant served 90 actual days, and had to perform community outreach services in order to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. In the end, this was an extremely difficult and sad case. This office has never forgotten about the victims and their families. Another young life did not need to be lost as well. The DA’s Office, the Court, and the grieving family members, made this outcome possible.

The United States of America v. J.C.

J.C. was an elderly person that committed the biggest mistake of his/her life when he/she allowed himself/herself to be convinced to “deliver a package” across the border. The Defendant found him/herself facing 10 years in federal custody. At his/her age, this might be the equivalent to a life sentence. Fortunately, the defendant had lived a very clean and law-abiding life. At sentencing, Ryan laid-out of the factors that had lead this individual to making this horrendous mistake. He offered the court an explanation, not an excuse, as to why this had occurred. It must also be noted that the government was very reasonable in its recommendation to the court. After careful consideration, the court sentenced J.C. to 30 months. With time already served the defendant would be released in less than 18 months. In this instance, the system worked properly and a balance was reached between punishment and the specific characteristics of the defendant.

The People of the State of California v. M.S.

M.S. was charged with robbery and the use of a weapon during the commission of this crime. From the beginning the defendant made it very clear that while guilty of grand theft, he/she did not have a weapon. He was going to assert his constitutional right and take the case to trial if necessary. At trial the defendant was facing a 12 year mandatory minimum. This was based on the two year low term for robbery, and the 10 year gun allegation. The sentences had to run consecutive. Fortunately, after a clean trial wherein both sides respectfully presented their cases, defendant was found not guilty as to all contested counts. He was sentenced to time served and released. What started as potential 12 year state prison case turned into a probation case, and the defendant was released with time served.

The United States v. G.R.

G.R. was charged with alien smuggling for economic gain. He/she was facing a guideline range recommendation of between eight (8) to ten (10) years. This was a fairly complex conspiracy involving several individuals and a border patrol agent. After several months litigating the case, the defendant pled guilty and a sentencing date was set. During the time before sentencing the defense requested medical records, character letters, employment history, and prepared a sentencing memorandum and departure motion. G.R. received the lowest sentence of all those involved. In fact, he received the lowest sentence federal law permitted under the circumstances.

The United States of America v. A.A

The defendant was charged in Federal Court with making misrepresentations on governmental documents. From the very beginning A.A. made it clear that he/she never intended to make any misrepresentation. As such, he/she choose to enter a plea of not guilty, and exercise his/her right to have the government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he/she knew that his/her statement was in fact false. After several weeks working on the case, it became apparent that the Statue of limitations in which the government has to file formal charges against a defendant had passed. Ryan recognized this fact and brought it to the attention of the government. As a result the case against A.A. was dismissed and he/she was allowed to return to his/her family.

The United States v. M.L.

Defendant was charged in Federal Court with importing a large quantity of Marijuana in the back of a commercial semi-truck. He/she was facing several years of imprisonment. During sentencing the court heard defense arguments explaining the situation and the motivation behind the commission of this crime. The court decided to give the defendant time served, and the defendant was released that same day. This outcome was based upon the court’s willingness to listen to the personal characteristics as required under § 3553, coupled with Ryan putting in the time and hard work to truly understand the case.

The People of the State of California v. J.G.

This young defendant was charged with smuggling/laundering over $60,000 of US Currency. The state was convinced this money originated from illegal activity. After several months, multiple court dates, and a preliminary hearing, the case was set for trial. On the day of trial the state approached the defendant and offered him/her a misdemeanor for a lesser crime, and no jail time. The defendant chose to accept the deal and the case was over. This very good result was once again brought about by a combination of factors. One of the most important being the reasonableness of the Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case, and the open communication between the parties. Although this case had been aggressively litigated to the point of trial, both sides were still open to a fair resolution.

The United States v. A.R.

Defendant was caught crossing the US boarder into Mexico with over $600,000 in US currency. Reporting requirements mandate that anyone crossing with $10,000 or more must fill out a reporting form. Therefore, A.R. was arrested and charged with bulk cash smuggling. During the sentencing the Judge stated that this was the single largest amount of cash that he/she had ever seen in a smuggling case. Nevertheless, Ryan was able to convince the court that the defendant had no idea how much currency he/she was carrying and in essence was a simple carrier. As a result, the defendant was sentenced to only 24 months. He/She now resides with his/her family and is doing well.

The United States v. C.A.

C.A. found himself involved in a multi-defendant drug conspiracy. The case had been going on several years before C.A. was indicted. Unfortunately, based upon current federal conspiracy law, C.A. was going to be liable for all of the foreseeable criminal acts that occurred within the conspiracy regardless of his/her direct involvement with these criminal acts. As such, he/she was facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal custody.

The People of the State of California v. D.L.

D.L. is young professional that found him/herself charged in a multi-defendant Medicare Fraud case. He/She had never imagined that something like this might happen. His/her career would be lost if he/she suffered any conviction on his/her record. After months of negotiation Ryan was able to reach an agreement with the government wherein all charges against the defendant were dropped and the case was dismissed. As a result, D.L.’s professional career is intact, and he/she has absolutely nothing on his/her criminal record.

The People of the State of California v. J.H.

The defendant in this case was charged with causing great bodily injury to his spouse. During the arraignment the Deputy District Attorney told the court his office was considering amending the complaint to include an “Aggravated Mayhem” charge. Mayhem is an appropriate charge when an individual intentionally and with extreme indifference, permanently disfigures the person of another. The charge of Mayhem could potentially result in a life sentence. Needless to say, this was a very serious situation. The defendant, who had no prior criminal history, was potentially looking at spending life in prison. Ryan immediately began working on the case. Through diligent investigation, it became clear that this was a onetime incident and did not merit a life sentence. The defense was able to provide the government with ample evidence that indicated this was a-typical of this individual, and other issues had instigated this situation. Fortunately, the Deputy District Attorney (DDA) assigned to the case was reasonable and open to alternative solutions. Ryan had worked with this particular DDA in the past, and had always respected how he handled his cases. After much negotiation, the people agreed not to file the Mayhem charge, and a deal was reached. Although J.H. received a state prison sentence, it was far less time then he/she was initially facing. In the end, the defendant’s life was not thrown away, and the victim is now able to move on.

The United States v. L.A.

The defendant in this case was charged in federal court with illegal entry into the United States. Unfortunately, while previously residing in Georgia the defendant had been convicted of a prior offense. As such, the government was asking the court to sentence L.A. to three (3) years six (6) months custody. What initially started as a fairly simple and routine case turned into one in which the defendant might spend several years incarcerated for a minor offense. Ryan began researching the prior conviction. It seemed odd this conviction would be considered a felony in Georgia. Under federal and California law, this same conviction would carry a lesser consequence. Ryan decided to bring a motion arguing this previous conviction should be not be considered aggravated. Ryan submitted the motion to the court with case law to back up the defense position. During the sentencing the court heard arguments and ultimately agreed with the defense’s motion. The defendant was sentenced to only ten (10) months, actual time, which at that point, was time served. He/she was immediately released and is now back in his/her country with his/her family and is doing well.

The United States v. G.M.

C.A. found himself involved in a multi-defendant drug conspiracy. The case had been going on several years before C.A. was indicted. Unfortunately, based upon current federal conspiracy law, C.A. was going to be liable for all of the foreseeable criminal acts that occurred within the conspiracy regardless of his/her direct involvement with these criminal acts. As such, he/she was facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal custody. Ryan worked on this case for almost two years. Between the 1,000’s of pages of discovery, wire-taps, and surveillance photos and notes, this was a case the demanded time and attention. Finally, after much litigation and several substantive legal motion hearings, the defendant was able to break the mandatory minimum and received less time than any other defendant involved.