In P. v. J.C., the defendant allegedly pointed a firearm at the complaining witness and then fired it in his direction. The district attorney alleged that he had unlawfully discharged that weapon, a felony. At the preliminary hearing, Attorney Dudley discredited the witness so severely on cross examination that, over the prosecution’s strenuous objection, the court DISMISSED the case, specifically finding that the purported victim lacked any credibility whatsoever.
In P. v. J.H., the defendant in a road rage incident was specifically accused of making terrorist threats while brandishing a handgun at the driver of another vehicle, his wife, and his young child. Although he was a young man with no criminal record, he was facing two felony counts that would have counted as strikes under California’s sentencing laws and many years in state prison. Through patient but persistent negotiation, Attorney Dudley finally convinced the district attorney to allow his client to plead no contest to a non-strike felony that would be reduced to a misdemeanor upon the defendant’s successful completion of probation. Under that disposition, his client was sentenced to a time-served sentence of only six months.
In U.S. v. J.P., the defendant was accused of participating in a conspiracy by a street gang to distribute large amounts of crack cocaine. His prior criminal history qualified him for career offender status under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The conviction that ultimately placed him in that status was one for assault with a deadly weapon—a case in which he had fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic weapon at a private security officer in his patrol vehicle. Under the habitual offender provisions of the guidelines, the defendant faced a minimum sentence of 188 months. While emphasizing the extreme seriousness of that conviction for assault with a firearm, the district court accepted Attorney Dudley’s argument that his client had committed that crime, and several other felonies, many years in the past when he was a young, misguided, abused, drug-addicted, and reckless youth. Consequently, he sentenced the defendant to an imprisonment term of 96 months, over 8 years less than that recommended by the guidelines.
In U.S. v. J.S., the defendant was accused of being the principal organizer of a Mexican drug cartel’s conspiracy to import assault rifles from the United States into Mexico. That conspiracy was the focus of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm’s “Fast and Furious” investigation. The defendant was personally involved with the transfer of several hundred assault weapons from Arizona to Mexico. Due to the number of weapons he exported, his leadership role, his extensive criminal history, and his unlawful presence in the United States when he committed the offense, the defendant was facing a potential federal guideline sentence of 360 months to life in prison. Attorney Dudley, however, negotiated a disposition with the government which provided for a maximum sentence of 180 months. After expressing his discomfort with that plea agreement and indicating his desire to sentence the defendant to a prison term far greater than 180 months, as recommended by the United States Probation Office, the district court ultimately accepted the agreement and imposed a sentence of 15 years.
In P v. T.B., the defendant faced a potential life sentence under California’s three-strikes law. Authorities charged the defendant with possessing a large amount of cocaine and multiple firearms, all seized from his residence. Following the arrest, the defendant had admitted possessing both the drugs and the guns. Over the vehement objection of the district attorney’s office, Attorney Dudley persuaded the court to sentence the defendant to a prison term of five years, of which he will actually serve less than 50 percent, upon accepting a guilty plea to all counts.
In P. v. S.J., sheriff’s deputies, while chasing the defendant, observed him throw a handgun from his waistband into somebody’s yard. After his arrest, the defendant made an incriminating statement. Due to a 20-year-old felony conviction for a crime of violence, alleged as a strike, the defendant was facing six years in the state prison, of which he would actually serve 85 percent.
Even though the defendant had received a prison sentence of several years for the strike offense, and even though he had sustained a felony firearms conviction after his release from prison, Attorney Dudley convinced the judge in the present case, over strenuous objection from the prosecutor, to dismiss the strike as remote and then grant his client a term of probation, with a minimal amount of county jail time as a condition of that probation.
In U.S. v. G.S., at his client’s initial appearance in federal court, Attorney Dudley was able to secure the defendant’s immediate release from custody on a no-bail, signature bond. She was a resident of Houston, Texas facing federal criminal prosecution for a firearms offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Three months after her release, the defendant was detained by the United States Marshal’s Service in her rental car near the house at which she resided while marshals searched that residence. Inside the residence, they found her ex-boyfriend, a federal fugitive and a co-defendant in her Iowa gun case. Accused of harboring a fugitive, a federal felony, the defendant was soon thereafter charged with violating her pre-trial release conditions and committed to federal custody.
At a subsequent bail revocation hearing in Cedar Rapids, over vehement government objection, Attorney Dudley was able to convince a federal magistrate judge that sufficient mitigating circumstances existed to justify her release on electronic monitoring, despite overwhelming evidence that she had committed a felony while released on bond, pending the final disposition of her case, which was not to take place for several months later.
Other than the obvious maintenance of liberty which pre-trial release secures, often for months or even years in a given case, such release also allows a defense attorney to have much better communications with a client who is facing serious federal or state criminal charges. That enhanced communication can often mean the difference between winning and losing a case.
Although a defendant should never engage in conduct which violates his or her federal pre-trial release conditions, if an accusation of such violative conduct does take place, he or she needs an attorney who, unlike most defense lawyers, is willing to contest that accusation and ensure his client’s continued release.
To schedule a consultation with criminal defense attorney David M. Dudley, contact us today.
Admitted pro hac vice to represent the defendant in U.S. v. G.S., a federal firearms prosecution in the Northern District of Iowa, Attorney David M. Dudley has now practiced law in 45 United States District Court jurisdictions across the country.
Iowa is the 37th state in which Mr. Dudley has represented defendants charged with serious federal or state crimes. If you are facing major criminal charges, federal or state, Mr. Dudley can provide you with the highest level of criminal defense, no matter what the jurisdiction.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with Mr. Dudley today.
Recently, Attorney David M. Dudley began representing a defendant charged with serious federal firearms offenses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in U.S. v. G.S. The defendant was arrested in her city of residence, Houston, Texas.
Upon arrest, the United States Marshals brought the defendant to court in the Southern District of Texas. Seventeen other defendants appeared in court that day for detention hearings on out-of-state cases. Mr. Dudley’s client was the only one who was granted bail, and she was released immediately.
As Mr. Dudley has emphasized, sometimes the most difficult and most significant battle in federal criminal cases is the first one — the battle to obtain liberty pending trial. And, as demonstrated by his record over 26 years, Mr. Dudley wins most of those battles.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a serious crime, contact criminal defense attorney David M. Dudley for the representation you need.