Not Guilty Jury Verdict
2012-- A St. Louis City jury reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty on State vs. Bradley. Bradley had been charged with First Degree Assault with a serious injury (class A felony) and Armed Criminal Action. The defendant faced the possibility of life in prison. Attorney Richard Lozano represented the defendant.
Since 1994, I have helped my clients through many difficult times. If you are facing criminal charges, your legal problem is probably the single most significant event in your life right now.
I understand and appreciate what you are experiencing. I take pride in taking a difficult set of facts and achieving excellent results. I have provided a sampling below.
Choosing the right attorney can be difficult. Some attorneys practice in many areas of law. I limit my practice to criminal defense. I have an excellent track record, extensive experience in serious criminal cases and a long line of very satisfied clients. I bring a deep desire to obtain the best possible outcome to all of my cases.
If you are first and foremost concerned about your future, let's talk.
What you are facing may have life long implications. Let's work this problem together. Call me at 314-456-4567 for a free, immediate consultation.
A "favorable result" is subjective and depends on your particular circumstances. There are, however, optimal results. I frequently see attorneys who dabble in criminal law, putting their clients' lives and future in jeopardy. I am frequently called by people who want a second opinion before they take a deal that their attorney is pushing. I commonly see people who are about to make a big mistake because their attorney doesn't know the difference between a great deal, a good deal and a bad deal.
So why do some attorneys tend to get better results in criminal cases than others? Here is what I think:
Experience The more you do something, the better you get. I limit my law practice to criminal defense. I am before the same judges and prosecutors on a daily basis. As a result, I can quickly assess a case, advise on what to expect and craft a solution.
Working the case
Every criminal case needs to be worked. This means the State's evidence must be scrutinized and evaluated for strengths and weaknesses. Only then can a defense attorney present a solution to the State and/or court that will result in a favorable outcome.
Knowing the tendencies of a particular judge or prosecutor Having a point of reference is a tremendous tool in crafting a solution whether it is related to a bond or a plea. If a judge or prosecutor has agreed to a solution in the past, then it is likely they will agree to it in the future.
An inexperienced attorney without this point of reference may not understand the difference between a good and a bad outcome.
Judges tend to want cases resolved. A creative solution can open the door so they can walk on through. I recently presented a solution to a judge on a felony probation revocation in which the defendant had absconded for several years. The prosecutor wanted a seven year prison sentence. The case concerned child support. I understand that child support cases are simply heavy handed collection actions and they can be completely solved by money. I offered an aggressive payment plan. The judge accepted my solution, reinstated the Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS, no criminal conviction)and soon after terminated probation.
Knowing when to plea and knowing when to go to the mat As a criminal defense attorney, my job is to get the best possible choices before my clients and to educate them thoroughly on the likely outcomes and risks. Sometimes cases need to be tried. This may be due to professional considerations or because the likely sentence is severe. I first get the best possible choices before my clients. I then help assess each path and weigh the risks, costs and benefits.
Keeping focused on the objective Problem solving is an important part of practicing law. One of the first things I do when first analyzing a case is I determine best case, worst case and likely case scenarios. I work with my client in discussing their situation, agree on what an optimal outcome would be and then plan a path to achieving that objective. This is critical. Without careful analysis and planning, results come to you whether good or bad. A good lawyer will work a case until either the objective is met or all avenues have been exhausted.
The art of persuasion People often have the misperception that it is the tough talking, big mouth lawyer who gets the best results. In reality, those attorneys alienate themselves and harm their clients. A good attorney brings decision makers their way. Criminal defense attorneys often do not control the outcome of a criminal case. However, they can have a substantial and dramatic influence. Ultimately, they must have cooperation in order to achieve an excellent result whether it's from the prosecution, the judge or a jury.
Hard work I hustle. I like to win and I put in the work necessary to get there.
First Degree Assault and Armed Criminal Action (Class A felony)My client was charged with shooting a person. At preliminary hearing, I successfully discredited the alleged victim on cross examination. He stated he was attacked, but on the stand testified that my client "had to shoot me because I was getting the best of him" in a fist fight. He was also volatile and threatening on the stand. As a result, the State agreed to reduce the charges which carried a potential of two life sentences to a single count of Second Degree Assault. Because my client was already serving a seven year sentence for a previous conviction, the new charge was run concurrently. As a result, no additional time was added to his already imposed sentence. Moreover, because 2nd degree doesn't qualify as a dangerous felony, the 85% rule does not apply.
Aggravated Assault with Serious Injury and Armed Criminal Action (Class A felony) Not Guilty by Jury. What seemed like a slam dunk case for the State, a St. Louis City jury of 12 returned a verdict of not guilty on May 10, 2012. State vs. Bradley lumbered on for over two years. The State's most recent offer of 15 years in the penitentiary was refused by the Defendant. In this case, the Defendant was accused of shooting his cousin in the abdomen while a third cousin witnessed the event. Both the victim and the cousin testified against the Defendant. Richard Lozano thoroughly impeached the State's two witnesses on cross examination and presented evidence of a plausible alternate theory. He also raised serious questions about the complete lack of police investigation which could have exonerated the Defendant. In the end, the jury was unconvinced of the State's case and returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
First Degree Assault, Armed Criminal Action, Shooting a Firearm Into a Motor Vehicle (Two Class A felonies, one unclassified, three life sentence potential) My client was charged with shooting a gun into a moving car. The State presented three eyewitnesses from inside the car. The victim refused to testify. I was the second attorney in the case. When I took the case, the offer from the State was 12 years in prison. I took depositions of each of the three witnesses and exposed significant weaknesses in the State's case. Subsequently, the State accepted a three year prison sentence concurrent with an existing federal sentence.
2 Counts of Class B Felony Possession with Intent to Distribute, 19 Counts of Class C Forgery, 2 Counts of Class D Fraudulently Obtaining a Prescription My client was facing a total of 23 felony counts in 5 different cases in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. The State initially recommended significant prison time in both counties. The challenge of this case came from dealing with so many counts and two different jurisisdictions. After months of careful planning and negotiating, I worked out a deal with both counties for my client to serve a 120 day drug treatment program pursuant to RS.Mo. 559.115. This program, referred to as the Institutional Treatment Center (ITC), will help my client learn important life skills as well as provide drug treatment. Due to the sheer number of counts and the dollar amount involved in the forgery cases, my client should have expected to serve a significant amount of time in prison.
Possession of a Controlled Substance My client was charged with possessing heroin. Because he had seven prior felonies including a nine year stint with the Missouri Department of Corrections, the class C felony could be charged up as a class A felony for sentencing purposes. This meant he was potentially facing life in prison. The State recommended 15 years. I requested and was granted probation for two years for my client.
Federal Wilful Failure to File a Tax Return My client was charged in federal court with wilfully failing to file a federal tax return. Federal probation and parole recommended a one year prison sentence. I managed the case from the criminal investigative level with the IRS to prosecution with the United States attorney. By agreement with the government, my client was sentenced to probation with no prison time.
Fourth DWI- Felony My client picked up a fourth DWI while already on probation for a third. The State filed a motion to revoke her probation and to sentence her to four years in prison. She also had a second pending case with a seven year prison potential. I explored every possible option for alcohol treatment and alternative sentencing. In the end, the State was unwilling to negotiate less than a four year prison sentence. Making the case even more challenging was that under Missouri law, probation revocation requires little evidence. The judge has wide latitude to make a finding that will revoke a defendant's probation. Because the State would not negotiate, I was left with negotiating a favorable resolution with the judge. Initially, the judge strongly indicated he would revoke probation and execute the four year sentence. I was able to persuade him to instead sentence my client to a 120 day drug and alcohol treatment program and to run both the 3rd and 4th DWI cases concurrent.
Criminal Non-Support Probation Revocation My client was accused of violating his probation by failing to pay child support per the terms of his probation and for absconding for eight months. He was arrested and held without bond. Initially, the State asked that his full sentence be served. After negotiations, the State agreed to 120 days with the Missouri Department of Corrections. Not satisfied, after further negotiations, the State agreed to 120 days with St. Louis County with credit for time served. Still not satisfied, the State finally agreed to reinstate probation upon payment of a portion of arrears. My client's family was able to do so the next day and he was home just in time for Christmas.
DWI DWI reduced to Careless and Imprudent driving. In a rural county where DWIs result in harsh sentences even for first offenders, I negotiated a reduction to a C&I and thus avoided their mandatory sentencing requirements.
Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin), Class C felony My client was charged with possession of heroin, a Class C felony with a seven year potential. The State recommended 3 years probation and five days shock incarceration. I pled my client blind (not pursuant to the State's recommendation). The judge sentenced my client to a one year SIS (non conviction) and 48 hours community service.
DWI Manslaughter The State's recommendation: 3 years Department of Corrections. After considerable discussion with the Court, the defendant pled blind and was sentenced to 120 days' shock and an SIS (non-conviction). This was an exceptional result for the severity of the charge. My client was 18 years old at the time and was returning home from a float trip with friends. She was involved in an accident on Highway 44, although it's not clear who was at fault. The other driver lost control and the vehicle rolled, killing the passenger. My client's BAC was barely over .08, a level that not too long ago was considered legal. Studies have shown that a person her size could reach this level with just a small amount of alcohol. It was imperative to reach a result that would allow her the opportunity to start life anew. This tragedy could easily have been considered an accident and not a crime. Accidents happen daily without drivers being charged. After listening carefully to our position, the judge sentenced my client to a short period of shock incarceration and an SIS, meaning she will not have a conviction on her record.
Sexual Assault of a Minor This was a vendetta case brought by a mother with hard feelings for the defendant. There was no evidence supporting the charges which were ultimately dismissed voluntarily by the State after the defense pressed for trial.
Two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Destruction of Property, Felony Resisting Arrest This was a fifth offense for the Defendant. The State initially recommended three years in the Department of Corrections. Negotiations with the defense resulted in probation with a very short amount of shock incarceration.
Unlawful Use of a Weapon: Dismissed. St. Louis City has started adding UUW charges for legally possessed guns if drugs are found in a vehicle. This is misapplying the law. In order for a UUW charge to stick, the purpose of the trip must be related to the contraband. After ongoing discussions with the State, it agreed to dismiss the charge voluntarily.
DWI trial. Not Guilty. The Defendant and his designated driver were walking from their broken down car when the police pulled up and starting questioning both men. Unfortunately, they never bothered to question the designated driver and charged my client with a DWI. I argued corpus delicti, that the State failed to prove a crime had been committed. The Court agreed.
Domestic Assault: Dismissed. Although the State had no victim, it insisted on moving forward with a 911 tape, the police officer and the police report. I moved to suppress all evidence pursuant to hearsay and lack of foundation objections. The Court granted my motions and the case was dismissed.
Attempted Robbery: Dismissed.
My client used his legally possessed weapon in self defense. Without trial, the State agreed with my assessment that the charge was weak and dismissed it.
Sodomy: Dismissed. My client had sensitive professional considerations that prevented him from accepting a plea. After review, the State agreed that the charges were too weak to proceed.
Felony Stealing: Dismissed.
My client was wrongfully accused of stealing. The case was dismissed voluntarily by the State after negotiations.
I know the difference between a great, good and bad outcome and I don't settle for easy.
|In the News: Lozano represents man accused of threatening St. Charles County judge and prosecuting attorney. Read more...
Three held in attack, with anti-gay overtones, on two teens (St. Louis Post Dispatch) NORTHWOODS • Two teens accused by an attacker of being gay were taped to chairs, beaten, thrown down stairs, burned with cigarettes, forced to wear women's underwear and made to shower and kiss each other at a house in Northwoods last year, prosecutors and police said. Read more>>>
St. Louis, 2011 - Three Charged With Looting Damaged Sunset Hills Homes (St. Louis Post Dispatch) Despite highly inflammatory media coverage, Lozano negotiated an SIS (no criminal conviction) and one year bench probation for three Bosnian nationals who were crucified in the media, preserving their good standing immigration status. "There was much more to this story than what was presented on its face in the paper, " said Lozano. "This was more about cultural and language barriers than criminal conduct." Good lawyering, diligence and persistence led to an excellent result for the accused.
Read the full story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch>>>
St. Louis, 2011 - Suspects Charged after Smash and Grab break-in at Electronics Store (KMOV.com) Lozano represents three of the accused and recently obtained a significant bond reduction for one of the defendants.
Read the full story on kmov.com>>>
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