Choosing the right defender means hiring an experienced defense attorney who wins a jury trial for criminal cases in San Diego County.
Going to trial requires total preparation, including investigations, experts, evidence, meeting with the client and witnesses, organizing trial exhibits, serving subpoenas on witnesses, and getting ready to cross examine police officers and other witnesses.
Attorney Pflaum knows that to win a jury trial, you must know how to pick the right jury, make an outstanding opening statement, present a defense, cross examine witnesses, and make a compelling closing argument that helps convince the jury that the client is not guilty.
Some examples of success in jury trial for our clients.*
1. Burglary–Penal Code section 459
Our client was charged with breaking into a house to steal property. His ex-girlfriend claimed that the client was out to get her and entered her residence to steal property from her.
We were able to show, by cross examining the witnesses during trial, that the accused did not have the criminal intent to commit the burglary. The jury instruction we emphasized stated that the client had to have the specific intent to permanently deprive the complaining witness of her property. We showed that the client did enter her home without consent, but only to get his own property, so he lack criminal intent.
The jury voted not guilty. (People v. R.M.)
2. Domestic Violence–Penal Code section 273.5
The client was arrested while dining with his wife at a local restaurant on Halloween based upon the eye witness testimony of two bouncers who called the police.
We sent an investigator out to interview the two bouncers. We ran their “rap” sheets of the two bouncers, one of which revealed that he had a very bad criminal record. Therefore the prosecution would not be able to use or rely on the bouncer’s testimony.
At trial we extensively cross-examined the lone witness to discredit him. As a result the jury voted 8-4 not guilty, and the case was dismissed. (People v. F.T.)
3. Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance: Methamphetamine–Health and Safety Code section 11550(a)
The client was stopped by the police while walking down the street, ordered to sit down on the curb, questioned, and taken to jail. The police demanded a urine sample, which tested positive for methamphetamine.
Prior to trial, we extensively reviewed the arrest report which revealed some problems with the arrest and detention of the client. We contacted the prosecution’s expert witnesses, questioned them extensively, and determined that the evidence was not clear.
At trial we presented evidence to dispute the officer’s actions and opinions. We disputed the prosecution expert’s analysis. We requested a special jury instruction from the judge. We brought to court our own pupilometer that we used to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the judge and jury that the client’s pupils did not show signs of being under the influence.
The jury voted not guilty. (People v. A.G.)
4. Possession of Gamecocks for Fighting–Penal Code section 597j
The accused owned a ranch with many animals, including gamecocks that could be used to engage in the illegal activity of cockfighting. Animal Control officers seized the client’s 50 or so gamecocks, took them to an animal shelter, and told the client he could not have them back.
We investigated the case thoroughly, took photographs of the scene of the alleged crime, researched the background about gamecock fighting, contacted and interviewed the Animal Control officers who made the arrest, and brought our own evidence to trial.
During trial we cross examined all the prosecution witnesses for the prosecution to disprove their theory of the case and their opinion that the gamecocks were being used for illegal fighting. We presented favorable testimony on behalf of the accused, including his wife and son. We made a compelling closing argument.
As a result, the jury voted 8-4 in favor of not guilty. The case was then resolved in exchange for a plea of guilty to once count of violation of Penal Code section 415(2), Disturbing the Peace. As a result, the client was allowed to get all of his gamecocks returned to him (People v. S.P.)
5. Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury, Terrorist Threats, Hate Crime, Assault–Penal Code sections 245(a)(1), 422, 422.7, 240
Four white marines pulled into a liquor store in Oceanside and claimed that two black defendants hanging out in the parking lot attacked them. All four witnesses testified in the same manner and said they were the victims of an unprovoked attack.
Our client claimed that he was present, but did not attack anybody. In fact, he claimed that one of the marines got out of the car and pulled out a machete and attacked him. The client claimed he disarmed the marine and took the machete away and buried it nearby.
We brought the machete to court and claimed to have fingerprints of the marine, who then changed his story, confessed that he brandished the machete, and did not tell the truth. The jury voted not guilty on all charges, but the violation of Penal Code section 240.
6. Petty Theft in Violation of Penal Code section 484/488
The client was captured on video at a local retail store concealing an item in his pocket and walking out of the store. We demanded a copy of the video, which did in fact show the client putting a bottle of perfume in his pocket and walking out of the store.
We focused on picking a jury that would be fair to the client. We were successful in dismissing several potential jurors who seemed to be ready to vote guilty.
During trial we presented the testimony of the client, his wife, and other witnesses. We also cross examined the loss prevention officer who made the arrest.
At closing argument, we emphasized several key jury instructions, and made a compelling closing argument about the client’s specific state of mind. The jury voted not guilty. (People v. V.I.).
7. Battery in Violation of Penal Code section 242
A complaining witness was a female neighbor of our client who called the police and claimed that our client was harassing her all of the time and then came to her apartment to beat her up.
We sent out an investigator to interview the witnesses and to examine the scene of the alleged crime.
During the trial, we demonstrated to the jury and the judge that the complaining witness was actually the aggressor and started the fight. Just because she called the police first, did not make her the “victim.” The jury voted not guilty. (People v. P.M.).
8. Driving under the Influence of Alcohol–Vehicle Code section 23152(a)/(b)
The client was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The client claimed that she was driving to get away from someone who threatened her safety. We asked the judge for a special jury instruction about a “necessity defense,” which the judge allowed. The jury was unable to make a unanimous decision, and so the judge declared a mistrial. The original charges were dismissed. (People v. L.W.)
9. Exhibition of Speed–Vehicle Code section 23013
The client was a young male driving up a hill in Oceanside and somehow managed to screech his tires. An Oceanside motorcycle police officer stopped him, detained him, and arrested him for exhibition of speed.
During trial, we asked the police officer many questions, including the question of whether it was true that he told the client that he “drove like a women?” The officer said it was true. You should have seen the look on the faces of the jurors, especially the women, when the officer admitted that! Not guilty in 10 minutes. (People v. J.D.)
10. Public Protection from Dogs and Restraint of Dogs–San Diego County Code section 62.669.1, 62.669(a)
The client accidentally let his bulldog off the leash while walking him. The puppy ran up to another man on the street and jumped on him and bit him.
The man called the police and claimed he was viciously attacked, could not go to work for months, and suffered terrible injuries.
We hired an investigator to watch the alleged victim performing normal activities and walking without a problem. We served a subpoena on his medical provider to give us the alleged victim’s medical records which proved he was not injured at all. We researched his profession and found that he worked out of his own home.
The case was dismissed during trial. (People v. F. S.).
11. Driving under the Influence, Hit-and-run–Vehicle Code section 23152(a)(b), 20002(a)
The complaining witness was not credible and had an axe to grind against the client. We got him to admit that in front of the jury. Regarding the allegation of a hit-and-run, we were able to show that there was no evidence consistent with a car accident such as dents, dings, or paint transfer between the alleged victim’s and defendant’s cars.
The investigating officer could not support the alleged victim’s claims or testify with confidence about the symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol.
The jury voted not guilty on the hit-and-run. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the driving under the influence charges, so the judge declared a mistrial. (People v. H.R.).
12. Petty Theft–Penal Code section 484/488
Our client was accused of petty theft. There was a video of the client’s activities in the store showing him taking an item off of a shelf and putting it in his pocket. During trial, we cross examined the store security officer and were able to prove, with a compelling closing argument to the jury, that our client was not guilty. The jury agreed and voted not guilty. The trial judge granted our motion, based on Penal Code section 851.8, and made a factual finding of innocence on our client’s behalf. (People v. V.C.)
13. Driving over 100 Miles per Hour While Under the Influence of Alcohol–Vehicle Code section 23582
The client was observed late at night by the California Highway Patrol to be driving at over 110 miles per hour on the freeway. The CHP officer pulled him over quickly, detained him and investigated him. The CHP officer determined the client was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him.
The prosecution charged the client not only with a DUI, but added a charge of California Vehicle Code section 23582, a sentencing “enhancement” which meant that if the client were convicted of driving 20-30 miles per hour over the speed limit while under the influence, he would go to jail for 60 days.
The prosecution would not budge on the sentencing enhancement, and insisted on sending the client to jail for 60 days. We set the case for trial and did so on a pro bono (free of charge) basis because we felt it was the right thing to do for the client.
We requested records from the CHP and cross examined the CHP officer about the client’s attitude, behavior and ability to drive the car without any problems, how the client responded to the red lights and sirens of the CHP cruiser, and how the client pulled over, and was responsive. The trial lasted 4 days.
The jury retired for deliberations, but could not all agree that the client was guilty of the enhancement. The judge dismissed the enhancement. The client did not have to serve the mandatory 60 days in jail (People v. C.A.)
14. Battery of a Current or Former Significant Other–Penal Code section 243(e)(1)
Client was accused of slapping his girlfriend according to the testimony of someone observing from afar. We interviewed the alleged witnesses and examined their testimonies. Client was found not guilty and accusations were dismissed. (People v. D.T.)
15. Battery of a Current or Former Significant Other–Penal Code section 243(e)(1)
Client was accused of hitting his girlfriend in the back of her head. The alleged victim also accused client of punching her on the side of her face. We hired a private investigator to investigate the witnessess and also requested the alleged victim’s criminal records. During trial, we were able to cross-examine the alleged victim who changed her testimony several times. The alleged victim finally declared our client had not harmed her. Our client was found not guilty. (People v. C.G.)
16. Battery of a Current or Former Significant Other–Penal Code section 243(e)(1)
Client was accused of slapping his girlfriend according to the testimony of someone observing from across the bar area where the client and his wife were sitting. We interviewed the alleged witnesses, and did a background check of them which revealed a criminal record. As a result, during trial only one witness was able to testify. Cross examination of the witness proved he could not accurately recall the facts of the alleged batter.
Client was found not guilty and accusations were dismissed. (People v. D.T.)
Selected Additional Jury Trial Results
17. Embezzlement–not guilty, court granted defense motion for finding of factual innocence
18. Attempted Drunk Driving–not guilty
19. Petty Theft–not guilty
20. DUI/.08%–hung jury, case resolved with plea to dry reckless
21. Battery–hung jury, case dismissed on motion by defense
22. Battery with Great Bodily Injury (GBI)–no proof of GBI, not guilty
23. Hit and Run–not guilty
24. Theft of a Surfboard–not guilty
25. Burglary–case dismissed at preliminary examination hearing
26. Driving on a Suspended License–not guilty
27. Violation of a Restraining Order–not guilty
28. Solicitation of Prostitution–not guilty
Call the Law Offices of David Pflaum for help with your case.
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*Legal Disclaimer about Testimonials and Prior Results
All oral and written testimonials and descriptions of previous results are intended only to provide information about attorney David Pflaum, the opinions of his clients and those who work with him, and the results of many of the legal matters that David Pflaum has handled. Neither the oral or written testimonials nor the previous results are intended to, and should not be construed to, provide an express or implied guarantee or prediction about the outcome of your legal matter. The outcome of all legal matters depend upon on a variety of factors including the specific facts of the case, the background of the client, the laws that apply to the legal matter, the position of the prosecuting agency, other parties, witnesses, evidence, and victims. The same or similar results cannot be obtained in every legal matter undertaken by David Pflaum, though he does his very best in every case to succeed on behalf of his client.
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