Category : Appeal
Wrongly Accused in Sex / Murder Case
Many innocent persons are wrongly charged victims as a result of police suspecting them of a crime based upon a wrong tip or bad evidence. Their lives are affected when their homes, businesses and personal property are searched, their names are put in the newspaper and their reputations are tarnished with being accused of a crime. Even after they are acquitted or charges are dropped, their lives can continue to be disrupted under the cloud of suspicion initially raised against them.
Matthew Hurayt Case
Take for instance the Matthew Hurayt Case. In 2006, Matthew Hurayt and his roommate John McDonough were arrested because a tipster told police that Hurayt had raped and killed De Jesus and buried her body under his new garage. Police searched Hurayt ’s house, dug up his yard and under his garage looking for De Jesus’ remains, which were not found. After spending a weekend in jail for suspicion of aggravated murder of De Jesus, who vanished mysteriously in 2004, Hurayt, a convicted sex offender, and his roommate were ordered released by a Judge on September 25, 2006, who rejected the assistant county prosecutor’s request to increase the bond on an unrelated assault case.
Hurayt subsequently filed a claim for compensation for $20,000 in damages to his property with the city’s Moral Claims Commission, but the claim was rejected. In 2006, he was convicted on an assault case and released in 2010. For the past three years, he has been harassed by people who broke his windows, set fire to his garage and harassed him with telephone calls thinking he was still connected to Gena De Jesus’ case.
Gena De Jesus along with victims Amanda Berry and Michele Knight were found alive on Monday May 6, 2013, after a 911 call led police to a house in Cleveland, Ohio where the three young women had been held in captivity for approximately 10 years. In a press conference, De Jesus’ mother called upon the community not to retaliate against the family of the three suspects arrested in the girls’ kidnapping case, referring to the Castro brothers.
Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Wrongfully Accused
If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, an Ohio criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges and clear your good name and reputation to get the charges acquitted or the case dismissed. Your Ohio criminal defense attorney can also determine if your records can be sealed and help you with the process so that your life is not further disrupted, making it more difficult to find a place to live or a job. In the circumstance above, Hurayt was convicted of another case and had to register as a sex offender regardless of the false accusations surrounding the De Jesus case. Our legal system has a basic footing in which “the law presumes that persons charged with a crime are innocent until they are proven by competent evidence to be guilty.” This quote is found in the comments on Supreme Court case Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895).
A Look at the Prosecutorial Decision Making Process
The Vera Institute of Justice’s study entitled The Anatomy of Discretion: An Analysis of Prosecutorial Decision Making, with the support of the National Institute of Justice, analyzed how prosecutors make decisions in criminal cases. The Vera Institute conducted their study by looking at such factors as initial case screening and charging decision, plea bargains, recommendations for sentencing and case dismissal filings. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the current prosecutorial decision making process lack of public oversight is really serving the goals of the criminal justice system and fairness to defendants and victims.
The study found that while prosecutors said they were “committed to doing the right thing,” prosecutors had differences of opinions on what is considered “fair treatment” of victims and defendants, preferred different plea bargaining strategies and had different constraints placed upon them. However, the study revealed that there were two common questions that prosecutors asked themselves, which influenced the outcomes of their decision making process-Can I prove the case? And should I prove the case?
Results of the study reflect that prosecutors used the strength of evidence as the primary factor in their decision making process balanced by other factors such as the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s prior criminal history, fairness to the victim and defendant as well as contextual factors such as office polices, constraints of lack of resources such as shortage of courtrooms and judges and their relationships with colleagues and other actors in the criminal justice system including law enforcement officers, judges and defense attorneys in making their decisions. The study recommended that future research should focus on the magnitude of these constraints and the pressures they have on influencing prosecutorial decisions.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help?
Since the investigation and prosecution of defendants is a very complicated process of rules and procedures, influenced by the constraints placed upon prosecutors, it is necessary for defendants to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help them fight their charges and make sure they are being fairly represented.
If you are facing criminal charges for a misdemeanor or felony including DUI, vehicular manslaughter, drug crimes, white collar crimes, violent crimes, property crimes, possession of marijuana, domestic violence or sex crimes, having the proper legal representation can influence the outcome of your case. Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys understand how to navigate the criminal justice system. We have earned a reputation for working with prosecutors and law enforcement to make sure that you receive a fair and just defense. Your Imhoff criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly investigate all the evidence against, build a strong defense on your behalf and negotiate with the prosecutor to either get your charges reduced to a lesser offense, negotiate alternative sentencing for you or try to get the case dropped for lack of sufficient evidence.
California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 36 on the November 6th ballot, which revises the controversial California “Three Strikes” law, passed in 1994.
The new law allows persons convicted under the Three Strikes Law to petition the court for relief and significantly reduced sentences if their third strike conviction was based on a non-violent or non-serious minor felony, and providing the judge determines the person is no longer an unreasonable threat to public safety.
There are approximately 3,000 persons currently serving life sentences for non-violent or non-serious crimes that will now have the opportunity to apply for new reduced sentences. The new law will also prevent people who have committed petty offenses from having to serve harsh life in prison sentences for such minor crimes.
Prior to the passage of Proposition 36, anyone convicted of two serious or violent felonies was subject to being sentenced under the Three Strikes law to 25 years to life, even for a minor third crime. A person previously convicted under the Three Strikes Law for a serious or violent third felony or certain non-serious, non-violent sex or drug offenses or for a crime involving firearm possession would not be eligible under the new law for a reduced sentence.
California Criminal Defense Attorney
If you currently serving a life sentence in a California prison because you were convicted under the California Three Strikes Law for a third non-violent or non-serious crime, you should contact a California criminal defense attorney to determine whether you are eligible to apply for a reduction to your sentence. The attorney will prepare and file the petition with the court and represent you at the hearing. It is also important that you hire a California criminal defense attorney to defend you if you are currently facing criminal charges in Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles or the surrounding areas to help you fight the charges and avoid a conviction.
The Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys represent clients in the Sacramento, San Diego Los Angeles and throughout the State of California facing both serious and non-serious felony and misdemeanor charges. We have a high success rate for winning cases at the trial level and upon appeal. At Imhoff, we will use all our resources to vigorously fight for you, raising strong defenses and negotiating with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime, get you probation, community service or get the case closed.
Although data shows that violent crimes are declining in America, this is really nothing new–the real story is that the rate of decline has slowed. In many regions, the numbers of violent events are lower, but by a smaller margin than previous years — and the ultimate violent crime is skyrocketing in some locales. Get the real facts below.
If you know you are a suspect or have been charged with a violent criminal offense, you do need a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Learn about Imhoff & Associates here and more about related DUI/DWI information.
With the help of the Imhoff and Associates Criminal Defense law firm, the potential sex crime case against Luis Galicia, a San Diego resident wrongfully convicted of child molestation, has been officially closed with no charges re-filed. The Prefile case successful outcome presents a tremendous victory for Galicia and his family.
San Diego, CA, March 05, 2012 – Prosecutors in San Diego announced on February 22, 2012 that no charges would be pressed against Imhoff & Associates client Luis Galicia, who had been wrongfully convicted of child molestation (San Diego County case #SCN242198). Defense lawyer Shannon Dorvall of the Imhoff & Associates law firm successfully reversed the conviction, presenting a tremendous victory for the law firm. With the announcement, the Galicia Family can now put the nearly four-year ordeal behind them.
On November 23, 2011 Shannon Dorvall secured Galicia’s release from Corcoran State Prison in California and had the sex crime case conviction overturned by the San Diego County Superior Court. Following a jury trial, which was handled by a different law firm, Galicia was convicted of the sexual molestation of his sister (San Diego County case #SCN242198). Child molestation is a serious sex crime and Galicia was sentenced to serve two “15 to life” sentences and a lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Following the conviction of the sexual molestation case, Imhoff & Associates was approached by the Galicia family for help in filing an appeal. The criminal defense law firm filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (D056214) seeking to have the Galicia’s sex crime case overturned. During the course of waiting for the court to rule and at the criminal law firm’s guidance, the family had the sister examined by two other doctors, who disagreed with the state’s doctor’s testimony and asserted that the sister’s hymen was intact, therefore she had never had sex.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office agreed to review the case and requested assistance from the Children’s Hospital, who reviewed the trial photos and examined the sister. The hospital corroborated the family’s newly acquired evidence, lending further credence to Galicia’s defense.
Criminal attorney Shannon Dorvall filed a writ of habeas corpus with the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (D060586) who then ordered a hearing. At the hearing, the District Attorney confirmed the invalidity of the evidence presented at the original trial. The court granted Dorvall’s motion, the sexual molestation conviction was overturned and the court ordered Galicia released from prison.
Ms. Dorvall commented, “We are grateful that this nightmare is over. It is unfortunate my client was ever charged in the first place, and it was a terrible injustice that he had to spend four long years in prison for a crime he did not commit. We have said all along that the facts showed my client was innocent, that the facts could not be ignored. The facts were presented and the truth has prevailed. We are grateful for the support of so many family and friends who never doubted my client. Now, it is time to begin to heal and time to regain his life. I hope this sends a loud and clear message to prosecutors everywhere that the injustice of a wrongful prosecution should never happen again.”
Imhoff and Associates joins Galicia’s family in celebrating this triumph, and believes that no other family should have to suffer such an ordeal. To learn more about Imhoff & Associates Criminal Defense Law Firm, visit http://www.criminalattorney.com or call 1-888-726-0574.
Univision San Diego’s coverage of the case can be viewed at http://www.univisionsandiego.com/noticia/2012/02/22/341228-luis-galicia-es-hombre-libre.html.
About Imhoff & Associates
Imhoff & Associates is one of the largest criminal defense firms in the country, with outstanding attorneys located in various states across the nation. The firm is dedicated to providing excellent quality legal representation, and is open late nights and on weekends. Visit http://www.criminalattorney.com or call 1-888-726-0574 for more information.
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Imhoff & Associates Criminal Attorneys Secure Reduced Charge and Sentence for Parents Accused of Child Abuse
Through the efforts of Shannon Dorvall and Christopher Parkhurst, criminal attorneys from Imhoff & Associates, a young parent was convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment instead of the initial felony child abuse charge.
Sonora, CA- Lacinda Mathiesen-Dunne, a young parent initially accused of felony child abuse, received a misdemeanor child endangerment charge instead, thanks to the hard work of her criminal attorneys, Shannon Dorvall and Christopher Parkhurst from Imhoff & Associates (Case number CRF32050).
According to court transcripts filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Tuolumne on 9/28/2011, she and her boy-friend (Steven Beenblossom) gave birth to premature twins in May of 2009. Their daughter, whose injuries revolve around this case, weighed less than two pounds and had an Apgar score of 1. Due to the low Apgar score at birth, the baby girl required special medical care and had pre-existing conditions, including chronic anemia, apnea, vitamin D deficiency, rickets, had difficulty tolerating feedings. The court transcripts also show that she also had severe nutritional deficiencies, as her twin took most of her nutrition while in the womb. Their daughter was discharged from the hospital on June 25, 2009.
Early in July of 2009, the couple took their prematurely born twin daughter to the doctor’s office for a swollen and tender right leg. According to court transcripts, the doctor who saw their daughter was not sure what was wrong with the child’s leg. He later testified that he had never seen anything like it but did not think the bone was broken. An x-ray was recommended by the doctor during their initial visit, which the parents did not obtain, the court documents showed.
A few days later, on July 7, 2009, the baby stopped breathing, and the parents resuscitated her by performing CPR. According to court documents, they immediately rushed her to the hospital after she started breathing again. The hospital seemed to immediately assume that some type of abuse had occurred when they found brain injuries and multiple fractures on the child. The state went on to have the couple’s parental rights terminated, and have the twins put up for adoption. The court transcripts showed that the couple was informed that they were no longer allowed to see the child, who was taken away almost immediately. They have not seen the child since that day. After being placed in foster care, the twins were adopted within a few months.
The mother then sought the assistance of criminal attorneys from Imhoff & Associates. Criminal defense attorneys Shannon Dorvall and Christopher Parkhurst had several doctors assess the case, all of whom agreed that the child’s various pre-existing medical problems were what caused the child’s injuries. At the trial, the couple’s criminal attorney, Parkhurst, pointed these out to the jury, and also argued that there were no external signs of abuse.
After five hours of deliberation, the jury found the mother not guilty of felony child abuse, and instead reduced the charge to misdemeanor child endangerment, as the parents were unable to secure the X-ray the first doctor recommended. This reduced charge means the jury did not believe the mother knowingly put her child in danger. Ms. Mathiesen-Dunne was sentenced to parenting classes, probation, and community service, instead of the District Attorney’s request for the maximum sentence of one year in jail.
Thanks to the efforts of Imhoff & Associates Criminal Attorneys, the parents can now try to get their children back.
For more information on the criminal defense attorneys at Imhoff & Associates, visit http://www.criminalattorney.com. Interested parties may also contact a criminal attorney at the firm by calling 1-888-726-0574.
About Imhoff & Associates
As one of the largest criminal defense firms in the country, Imhoff & Associates employs highly skilled criminal attorneys in various locations around the United States. The firm’s criminal defense attorneys handle a variety of cases, and are available 24/7 to assist clients with their legal needs. Visit http://www.criminalattorney.com or call 1-888-726-0574 to contact a criminal attorney from the firm.
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