Three Strikes Cases

People v. Marcia G. Defendant had a very long misdemeanor and felony criminal history dating back 20 years. Included in her rap sheet were two residential burglary convictions, considered “strikes”. Her new offense was stealing merchandise from a retail store. Initial offer from the prosecutor was 25 years to life. The court granted the defense motion to dismiss the “strikes” and defendant was sentenced to 16 months.


People v. Alice S. Defendant, a 40 year old woman, was charged with shoplifting baby clothes from a department store. Her youngest child was 10 years old. She had been convicted of shoplifting three prior times. The prosecutor was seeking one year in jail. Investigation revealed that in each of the previous thefts, baby items were stolen. Further investigation and psychological testing revealed that defendant had suffered a traumatic birth miscarriage several years earlier and at times felt uncontrollably compelled to steal baby items. Defendant agreed to counseling and all theft charges were dismissed.

People v. Courtney K. Defendant, a high school senior, enters department store with tool to remove sensor tags from clothing. She conceals over $800 worth of clothing in large bag after removing the sensors. She was arrested exiting the store and charged with burglary (entering the store with the intent to steal) and grand theft. Background information of defendant presented to the court resulted in all charges dismissed.

People v. Jennifer S. Defendant charged with felony grand theft for unauthorized use of credit card. Loss: $16,000. Prosecutor sought 16 months state prison. Evidence of defendant’s drug addiction and unstable family history presented to court. Result: No jail.

Sex Crimes

People v. Marlon A. Defendant arrested and charged with attempted rape involving a female neighbor. A nine year offer from the prosecutor was rejected. Jury trial cross examination by Mr. Ciulla revealed major inconsistencies with earlier statements given by the victim. Jury verdict: Not guilty.

People v. James B. Limo driver arrested and charged with Lewd Act Upon Child Under 14, Furnishing Narcotics To A Minor, Rape By Use Of Drugs, and Sexual Penetration By Foreign Object. Defense investigation revealed major credibility issues with the victim. All charges dismissed.

People v. Brad N. Male nurse charged with rape of a quadriplegic female patient. Issue of consent presented. Investigation revealed several differing accounts given by the victim. Cross examination at trial exposed the victim’s lack of credibility. Trial verdict: Not guilty.

People v. Ramon G. Physical therapist employed by local high school charged with sexual battery on female student track star. Defendant faced jail time, sex offense registration, and loss of license to practice. Result: All sex charges dismissed. No jail. No loss of license to practice.


People v. Eric D. Defendant was arrested and charged with the robbery of a woman at knifepoint, late at night, in a parking lot. The general description of the robber fit the defendant. The victim picked defendant out of a line-up prior to trial. Cross examination of the victim at trial revealed too many inconsistencies in the description of the robber compared to the defendant. Jury verdict: Not guilty.
People v. Christopher T. Defendant arrested and charged with robbery and theft resulting from shoplifting at a department store. Defendant was confronted by store security outside the store. While being escorted back inside, defendant struggled and fought to flee. Plea negotiations resulted in an admission to the theft charge and the robbery charge dismissed.


People v. Elias S. (2009) Young man arrested in the shooting death of a gang related homicide. Special circumstance murder charges filed, carrying a life without parole sentence. In spite of eyewitness testimony placing him at the scene and as the shooter, defense investigation proved the wrong man had been arrested. Case dismissed.

Hit & Run

People v. Bruce B. Traffic accident resulting in damage to another vehicle. Defendant failed to stop and comply with notification requirements due to fear. Victim driver followed defendant and provided information to police. Defendant arrested at his home. Case dismissed.

DUI & Driving Offenses

People v. Timothy H. Freeway accident where defendant’s vehicle flipped upside down. Five passengers in vehicle. All pulled out by good Samaritan. Police arrive on scene. Defendant admitted to driving and drinking. Arrested for DUI. Trial verdict: Not guilty.
People v. Sylvia S. Defendant drives a block from bar and realizes she’s had too much to drink. She pulls over and has friend get behind the wheel. Officer sees this and arrests defendant for DUI. Blood alcohol level .16. After presenting the “wouldn’t you want your daughter to do the same thing?” defense, case dismissed.
People v. Meaghan G. Officer sees defendant driving away from the scene of a fight. Vehicle has broken tail light. Officer stops defendant, who is under 21 years of age. Blood alcohol level .08. Prosecutor files under 21 years of age DUI infraction and defendant allowed to attend a drug and alcohol awareness program. Case dismissed.

Drug Crimes

People v. Cheryl B. Defendant’s vehicle stopped by police at 3:00 a.m. for minor traffic violation. Police order defendant out of vehicle and search her and her car. Drugs found in her purse. Court finds that the police were on a “fishing expedition,” had no probable cause to initiate the search, and that the search took too long. Drug evidence thrown out and case dismissed.
People v. Lisa Y. Defendant was observed leaving a “stash house”. She was arrested with a large amount of narcotics in her purse, including cocaine and heroin. While out on bail, defendant was arrested again, this time for selling methamphetamine to an undercover officer. She was facing 7 years in state prison. Case resolved for 12 months in the Teen Challenge rehabilitation program. No jail.
People v. Nathan B. Police search of vehicle reveals large quantity of prescription drugs. Defendant admits to possession. Defendant charged with possession for sales. Prior to motion to suppress based on illegal search, case dismissed.
People v. Michelle B. Physician’s assistant charged with fraudulently using patients’ credit cards to purchase prescription medication to support her own habit. Defendant faced jail and loss of her license to practice. Case resolved for drug counseling. No jail time. No loss of license to practice.

Domestic Violence

People v. Kevin H. Attorney charged with felony domestic violence, reckless discharge of a firearm, and child endangerment. In addition to facing a stiff jail sentence and being restrained from seeing his wife and kids, defendant was also in jeopardy of losing his state bar license and his ability to practice law. Plea negotiations with the prosecutor and the court resulted in all felony charges being dismissed. A plea was entered to misdemeanor possession of a firearm. No jail. No restraining order. No state bar repercussions.

DMV Hearings

People v. Timothy H. Freeway accident where defendant’s vehicle flipped upside down. Five passengers in vehicle. All pulled out by a good Samaritan. Police arrive on scene. Defendant admitted to driving and drinking. Arrested for DUI. DMV hearing resulted in license suspension. Trial verdict in court resulted in a not guilty verdict. DMV decision appealed. License suspension reversed and driving privilege restored.
People vs. Jasmine P. Defendant arrested for DUI and chose a breath test. DMV hearing testimony from the arresting officer revealed Title 17 administrative procedures were not followed. Breath test results ruled inadmissible. No suspension.