We had an exciting and successful year here at Appelman Law Firm. We were able to facilitate positive case results for many clients. Below are a few case studies detailing the successes our attorneys have had this year.
Note: client names have been changed or shortened to protect anonymity.
- State vs. J.A.– J.A. was arrested after a police officer observed her vehicle drive from a restaurant parking lot into and out of a ditch and onto a county road. The client failed field sobriety tests on the scene and was arrested. Her Blood Alcohol Concentration was over .20 (the legal limit is .08). With masterful negotiation and client preparation, the charges were amended to a misdemeanor level offense and J.A. did not serve any jail time as is customary for similar offenses in Crow Wing County.
- State vs. S.C. – S.C. was stopped 15 miles after a police officer initiated pursuit of the vehicle. S.C. failed field sobriety tests, was arrested for DWI, and tested well over .08 BAC. He was charged with a gross-misdemeanor 2nd Degree DWI and was facing 90 days in jail and the forfeiture of his vehicle. Avery held a hearing challenging the stop of S.C.’s vehicle. After thorough cross examination employing the squad video of the stop, the court reinstated S.C.’s driver’s license. Ultimately, S.C. plead guilty to misdemeanor Careless Driving, a non-alcohol related offense, and has since had his car returned.
- State vs. T.B. – While entering a local store, T.B. made a comment to a young woman sitting in a car. The woman went home, advised her mother, and returned to the store with the police who detained T.B. Avery sprang into immediate action, sent a lawyer directly to the scene who insulated T.B. from the police investigation and secured his immediate release from police custody. The case was charged and ultimately dismissed.
- State vs. C.P. – C.P. was arrested in a prostitution sting targeting providers from a certain agency. C.P. claimed that prior to her arrest, the undercover officer allowed her to perform a sex act. Using this information, Avery Appelman filed a motion to dismiss for a Due Process Violation. Prior to the hearing the State dismissed the case.
- State v. J.R.– J.P. received a phone call from his relative late one evening asking him to meet up. At the meeting, the relative asked J.P. to go and get his truck parked on the side of a road. J.P. approached the vehicle and was immediately confronted by police who took him into custody for fleeing from the police. Avery Appelman conducted an investigation and shared the information with the prosecution who ultimately dismissed and prosecuted the relative.
- State vs. M.R. – 19-year-old M.R. was charged with DWI after a snow plow driver reported that a vehicle was stuck in a snow bank. When police arrived, M.R. did not have her glasses or shoes, her cell phone was on the ground outside of the vehicle and she was very confused. After a few hours she recalled a horrific scene wherein she was sexually assaulted by her boss while his wife sat in the next room. Geoff took on the case and had her blood sample retested by a private lab to check for any date rape drugs. He also discovered that her boss was on parole for Criminal Sexual Conduct in Hennepin County. Prior to her criminal DWI trial, Geoff presented the prosecutor with pages of evidence proving that she had no other choice but to flee the scene. The prosecutor chose to proceed to trial, and after an hour and a half summit with the judge in chambers, the DWI was ultimately dismissed. The Attorney General’s Office also decided to go forward with the drivers’ license revocation, but after Geoff presented the evidence at the implied consent hearing, the judge rescinded the revocation.
- State vs. D.B. – D.B. was pulled over after leaving a bar in the Mille Lacs area around closing time. He had parked in a patch of grass outside the bar that was known by everyone to be the overflow parking, and drove up through a ditch and on to the road to head home. A State Trooper pulled him over for illegally entering a roadway, citing no other illegal conduct. After a combined evidence suppression and implied consent hearing, the Judge found that the officer lacked the requisite suspicion to make a traffic stop and summarily dismissed the criminal case and rescinded the revocation of his drivers’ license.
- State vs. A.H. – A.H. was arrested after a minor dispute with his girlfriend. When officers arrived, both parties were extremely intoxicated. In fact, United Hospital sent the victim to detox before taking her back to treat her injuries. A number of witnesses stated that A.H. threw a potted plastic plant at the victim and each of them tried unsuccessfully to land punches and kicks on the other. A.H. also admitted to police that he may have had his hand on her neck, which is a felony. Since there was no defense, and the client felt awful about everything, he agreed to go to chemical dependency and mental health treatment, in exchange for 60-days house arrest and a misdemeanor after he completes probation. On the night after he pleaded guilty, the police were called to his house, where he was “playing chess” with the victim of the original case. He was arrested, and Geoff argued successfully to have his conditional release reinstated the next day. The prosecutor was not happy about this, and requested that another warrant be issued. Geoff argued successfully that the warrant was illegal because the issue of his conditional release was already litigated.
- State vs. J.V. – J.V. was charged with DWI. After being retained Stacy moved to suppress all evidence obtained subsequent to the initial stop of his vehicle on the grounds that the officer lacked reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity. The judge agreed, suppressed all evidence, and dismissed the charges.
- State vs. C.K. – C.K. was charged with sale of a large amount of marijuana in close proximity to a gun, which makes it a far more serious charge. Stacy took on the case and litigated the validity of the search warrant that uncovered evidence. She ultimately convinced the state that the gun was not the defendant’s and was not involved in any drug activity. The charge was amended to simple possession and the defendant was granted a statutory stay of adjudication, meaning that he was not convicted of any crime, and guaranteeing that if he successfully completes probation and some community service, all records of his arrest and charges will be expunged from his record.
- State vs. C.M. – C.M. was facing felony charges of fleeing police in a motor vehicle. If convicted of a felony, in addition to the sentence for that charge, the defendant would have had to serve a prison sentence because he was on probation with the Department of Corrections. Stacy moved for a probable cause hearing on the basis that the state lacked evidence of the driver’s identity. Rather than litigate the issue, the state agreed to amend the charge to a misdemeanor fleeing on foot, which allowed the defendant to be released without serving any additional time in jail or on probation.
- State vs. L.S. – L.S. was charged with domestic assault and possession of a handgun without a permit. Stacy challenged the legality of the search of his vehicle where the gun was found and the prosecutor agreed to continue both charges for dismissal, meaning that the defendant did not have to plead guilty to either charge and was not convicted of any offense.
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