Extraordinary Results


Multiple Offender Felony DUI Case Successfully Plea-Bargained
People v. (Name Confidential)
California Superior Courts (County/Divisions Withheld)


On May 2nd 2005, Defendant was charged in a Criminal Complaint with Driving Under the Influence (California Vehicle Code §23152(a) and Driving With a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or Greater (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b). This case resulted in a negotiated plea to CVC §23103/23103.5 "Wet Reckless" and Health & Safety Code §11550(a). The latter charge was diverted pursuant to Penal Code §1000. Defendant paid a minimum fine, and drug program enrollment fee, but did not serve any jail time. No Work Sentence was imposed.

Defendant was again arrested on March 12th 2014, and charged in a Criminal Complaint with Driving Under the Influence (California Vehicle Code §23152(a)) and Driving With a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or Greater (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b).) We immediately initiated SCRAM Alcohol Monitoring. A plea was negotiated at time of Arraignment whereby Defendant plead guilty to Count 1, Driving Under the Influence (California Vehicle Code §23152(a)), and was placed on five years summary (informal) probation. No custody time (jail) was imposed. The Court ordered Defendant to continue to wear the SCRAM bracelet through May 24th 2014, enroll in and complete the First Offender Conviction Program, complete a M.A.D.D. class, and pay a $2,064.00 fine to Court Collections.

Subsequently, on June 16th 2014, within three months of the second DUI case, Defendant drove while intoxicated, causing a collision in which the driver of the other car was severely injured. Defendant's car was totaled. It had just been repaired from the crash that occurred during the second DUI. Defendant, whose blood alcohol level was determined to be a staggering 0.34% (blood draw), was charged in Count 1 of a Felony Complaint with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Causing Injury; Prior DUI Within 10 Years of CVC Driving Under the Influence of California Vehicle Code §23152 Conviction; in Count 2 with Driving With a Measureable Blood Alcohol Causing Injury; Prior DUI Within 10 Years of CVC Driving Under the Influence of California Vehicle Code §23152 Conviction; and in Count 3 with Driving When Privilege Suspended-Test Refusal/Blood Alcohol, a Misdemeanor. At the time of arrest, Defendant told the arresting officers she/he "blacked out and could not remember many of the things that occurred." Prior to Arraignment, Defendant was again placed on SCRAM Alcohol Monitoring, and was admitted to a court-approved residential alcohol treatment program. At the first Readiness Hearing counsel negotiated a plea-agreement whereby Defendant plead guilty to Counts 2 and 3. Count 1 was dismissed. Defendant was sentenced as follows: 365 days in local custody, STAYED pending successful completion of the residential treatment program; remain on SCRAM; complete twenty-five days of Public Work Service (PWS), and not operate a motor vehicle. The grant of formal probation was for five years. Restitution in an amount to be subsequently determined according to proof was also ordered.

Defense Team:
Alan E. Spears, Esq., and Kathleen Hilz, Paralegal


People v. [Name Withheld]
San Diego Superior Court (Division Withheld)


Client (Defendant) has twelve separate criminal cases, mostly felonies, dating back to 1980! The majority of these cases involve drugs, or theft, but one case involved a serious Vehicle Code violation. Client has been revoked and reinstated on probation numerous times, and served a State Prison term. Following this term of incarceration client incurred numerous parole violations, and was returned to State Prison as a result of new criminal cases. In 2013, Client was sent to Drug Court, but was terminated from the program for being charged in 2014 with a new felony drug case involving multiple counts of possession, and possession for sale. Client was facing a lengthy State Prison sentence for the 2014 case, as well as additional time for the 2013 case involving termination from Drug Court, and for the 2005 case that resulted in probation being revoked and a State Prison sentence being imposed! Our defense team substituted into all of client’s cases just before the 2014 case Readiness Conference. We obtained all relevant discovery from the current and prior cases. We carefully analyzed client’s lengthy criminal history, and lifestyle. A negotiated plea was entered in the 2014 case. There was no agreement as regards sentencing. Preparatory to the sentencing hearing client was psychiatrically evaluated, and assessed for residential treatment. We also placed client on SCRAM. At time of sentencing the Court indicated its intention to sentence client to 4 years on the 2005 case, and 4 years on the Drug Court case, to run concurrent, with client serving one year in County Jail as a term and condition of a grant of probation in the 2014 case. Our preparedness and argument gave the Court a viable alternative to the imposition of a one year County Jail sentence. By presenting these sentencing alternatives, that included 6 months of residential drug treatment and counseling, the Court continued sentencing for a period of 90 days to conduct an appearance review to determine client’s progress. This review will be followed by another 90 day continuance of sentencing if client demonstrates satisfactory progress to the Court.

Defense Team:
Alan Spears, Esq., Lead Counsel
Alan Abrams, Esq., MD, Forensic Psychiatrist
Kathleen Hilz, Senior Paralegal/Case Coordinator
Jeffrey E. Klein, Director of Individualized Treatment Programs
Taya Chase, Director of Court Services, SCRAM of California



People v. [Name Withheld]
San Diego Superior Court (2014)


Defendant, who was initially represented by appointed counsel, discharged his lawyer and proceeded to jury trial representing himself (In Propria Persona) on one count of Aggravated Trespass (Penal Code §602.5(b); and two counts of Disobeying a Court Order (Penal Code §273.6(a)). The jury convicted him and he was placed on supervised probation with stringent terms and conditions. Defendant who, over the course of several years, was represented by several retained and appointed attorneys, continued disobeying the terms and conditions of probation, incurring numerous charges of Disobeying a Court Order (Penal Code §273.6(a)), totaling five (5) years of incarceration in County Jail! We were retained to represent Defendant at his final Probation Hearing. At this hearing we substituted into the case, making a "General Appearance", and requested a continuance in order to properly prepare. At this first appearance we learned the Judge was considering, the City Attorney was arguing for, and Probation was recommending, imposition of the five year sentence. Defendant had been taken into custody by Probation a few days before this hearing. After having Defendant evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist, we proceeded to a Probation Revocation Hearing with our retained expert, who rendered a written Psychiatric Evaluation for the Court’s consideration. At the conclusion of the hearing, during which our expert testified at length, the Judge took the matter under submission, and remanded Defendant to custody for sixty (60) days. Within a couple of weeks we appeared ex-parte, placing the matter back on calendar for yet another hearing. At this hearing we presented the Court with a more definitive treatment plan. The Court accepted the treatment plan, approved by our expert, and ordered Defendant released from jail to the Probation Officer, to be transported to a residential treatment facility. Our defense team saved Defendant from himself, and five years of imprisonment in County Jail!

Defense Team:
Alan Spears, Esq., Lead Counsel
Alan Abrams, Esq., MD, Forensic Psychiatric Expert
Carl M. Hancock, Esq., Advisory Counsel
Kathleen Hilz, Senior Paralegal


Driving on Alcohol Suspended License Successfully Plea-Bargained (December, 2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court (Division Withheld)

Defendant charged in a Criminal Complaint with Driving on an alcohol-suspended license, and charged with California Vehicle Code Sections 14601.1(a) and 14601.2(a), both misdemeanors that carry mandatory jail time. He failed to appear for arriagnment, and a Bench Warrant for his arrest issued. He was surrendered by Counsel, bail was reinstated, and the case was set for a Readiness Conference. The prosecution's offer was plead to CVC Section 14601.1(a), that carries a penalty of up to 6 months county jail, plus stiff fines and penalty assessments. At the readiness conference Counsel negotiated a plea to CVC Section 12500(a), Driving Without a License. Defendant was fined $555.00, and granted summary probation on condition that he not drive unless and until licensed and insured.



Multiple Offender DUI Case Successfully Plea-Bargained (December, 2013)
People v. (Name Confidential)
California Superior Courts (County/Divisions Withheld)

In November 2011, Defendant was charged in a Criminal Complaint with Driving Under the Influence (California Vehicle Code §23152(a) and Driving With a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or Greater (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b). This case resulted in a negotiated plea to CVC §23152(b), with standard first time DUI terms/fines. In August 2013, Defendant was again arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol level of 0.26%! While awaiting arraignment on DUI #2, Defendant was arrested for DUI #3 with a blood alcohol level of 0.16%. Following Defendant’s third DUI arrest, a legal strategy plan was devised and implemented to minimize Defendant’s incarceration exposure. In mid-December, Defendant entered into two separate negotiated pleas whereby he plead guilty to CVC §23152(b) in each of the pending cases, admitting his 2011 prior conviction. He was concurrently sentenced to 365 days of home detention on electronic monitoring, pay fines totaling nearly $5,000.00, attend the multiple offender alcohol program, and attend the M.A.D.D. seminar. Simply put, he avoided straight jail time in a legal predicament that would almost certainly have resulted in at least nine months of county jail time.

Defense Team: Alan E. Spears, Esq., and Kathleen Hilz, Paralegal



Felony Complaint Successfully Plea-Bargained (2013)
United States v. (Name Confidential)
United States District Court, Southern District of California

Defendant was charged with 18 USC Section 2252(a)(2), receipt of more than seventeen thousand (17,000) child porn images, and more than three hundred (300) videos of prepubescent boys engaged in sex with other minors, and adult males! The statute prescribes 20 years maximum imprisonment. Indictment waived. Plea-Agreement pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B). The Government agreed to an Adjusted Offense Level of 33 under the Sentencing Guidelines, exposing our Criminal Category I Defendant to 97 to 121 months imprisonment. Defense counsel requested further downward departures by written motion, with the express understanding the Government would oppose them. The Government filed its opposition. Both sides filed Sentencing Memorandums, and Sentencing Summary Charts. At the contested sentencing that lasted approximately an hour and forty-five minutes, the Government sought a sentence of 97 months. Probation, whose Pre-Plea Report was challenged by the defense with twenty-one (21) written objections, also recommended 97 months. Following motions and argument by both the Government and the defense, the Court granted defense counsel's request for downward departure, and sentenced Defendant to 63 months. Victim restitution is always an issue in this type of case.

CAVEAT: Each case is unique, and every client and her/his case is different. This blog is not an express or implied representation or warranty as to the outcome of other cases; it is merely illustrative of the tenacity with which defense counsel and his highly experienced team represent clients charged with serious crime.

Defense team: Alan E. Spears, Esq.; Kathleen A. Hilz, Paralegal; Alan Abrams, Esq., M.D., Forensic Psychiatrist.



Felony Case Successfully Plea-Bargained on the Morning Set For Jury Trial (November, 2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
Riverside Superior Court – Southwest Division

Defendant charged by Information with Grand Theft (Penal Code Section 487(a), Burglary (Penal Code Section 459), and Embezzlement (Penal Code Section 503). Case plea-bargained the morning jury selection was set to begin. Defendant plead guilty to Grand Theft. The Burglary and Embezzlement felony counts were dismissed. Defendant sentenced to 120 days of house arrest with GPS monitoring, with 17 days combined credit for time served. Bond exonerated. Kathleen Hilz, Paralegal, assisted in the favorable resolution of this case.



Multiple Offender DUI Case Successfully Plea-Bargained (November, 2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court – East County Division


Defendant charged in a Criminal Complaint with Driving Under the Influence (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and Driving With a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or Greater (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b). Two prior DUI convictions within a ten year period were alleged as to each count. The statutory minimum punishment is 120 days county jail. Defendant plead guilty to Driving With a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or Greater, California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), and was sentenced to 180 days of GPS monitoring with no house arrest, and 2 days combined credit for time served. Defendant must complete the M.A.D.D. class, and enroll in and complete the multiple offender alcohol program. Minimum statutory fines/penalty assessments, and court administrative fee for monthly payment plan.



Vehicular Manslaughter Case Successfully Plea-Bargained (November, 2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court – South County Division


Defendant charged in a Criminal Complaint with Vehicular Manslaughter (Penal Code Section 192(c)(2). District Attorney sought one year county jail punishment, and insisted any plea agreement include this punishment. Defendant plead guilty to the Court without the benefit of a plea agreement or indicated sentence from the Court. The Prosecution filed a Sentencing Memorandum setting forth circumstances in aggravation in support of a one year county jail sentence. Defense filed a reply Sentencing Memorandum setting forth circumstances in mitigation in support of no county jail time. After a formal sentencing hearing, the Court sentenced Defendant to 120 days of work furlough, and payment of a $1,000.00 fine payable at the rate of $100.00 per month. Defendant booked and released. Kathleen Hilz, Paralegal, assisted in the favorable resolution of this case.



Felony Case Successfully Plea-Bargained at the Pre-Preliminary Hearing Conference (November, 2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Bernardino Superior Court – Joshua Tree District


Defendant charged by Criminal Complaint with Embezzlement (Penal Code Section 504(a)). The items involved, worth more than $4,000.00, was new merchandise taken from a Military Exchange where Defendant was employed. Case plea-bargained at the Pre-Trial Conference. Defendant plead guilty to Embezzlement. The Defendant sentenced to 90 days of house arrest with GPS monitoring. Defendant will wear the GPS for 45 days as a result of receiving Penal Code Section 4019 credits.



Felony Attempted Murder Complaint Successfully Plea-Bargained (August 2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
Orange County Superior Court – Harbor Division

Defendant shot the victim five times with a .38 Special. Miraculously the victim didn’t die! He was charged with Willful, Deliberate Premeditated Attempted Murder (Penal Code §664(a)/187(a)) with Special Allegations that he committed Great Bodily Injury (Penal Code §12022.7(a)) and Personally Discharging a Firearm Causing Great Bodily Injury (Penal Code §12022.53(d)). Defendant was facing Life in Prison with the possibility of parole. After many months of intense negotiations case resolved by plea-agreement whereby Defendant plead guilty to Assault With a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code §245(b)) with Use of a Firearm (Penal Code §12022.5(a)).




Felony Complaint Successfully Plea-Bargained (2011)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Bernardino Superior Court – Central Division

Defendant with California Vehicle Code §§23152(a), 23153(b), 14601.1(a). This DUI involved a two car collision in which all four vehicle occupants were injured, two severely. Case Plea-Bargained. Defendant pled guilty to two counts of DUI with injuries, CVC §23153(b). Defendant sentenced to 6 months house arrest with GPS monitoring. Defendant Penal Code §17(b) eligible after 24 months.




Felony Complaint Dismissed With Prejudice (2012)
United States v. (Name Confidential)
United States District Court, Southern District of California

Defendant charged with 21 USC §§952 and 960, Importation of 16.36 kilos of Marijuana in to the United States from Baja. Government agreed to deferred prosecution. Case dismissed with prejudice. Court granted Defendant’s request for the return of a valid US Passport.




Felony Complaint Successfully Plea-Bargained (2012)
United States v. (Name Confidential)
United States District Court, Southern District of California

Defendant charged with 21 USC §§952 and 960, Importation of 16.10 kilos of Cocaine in to the United States from Baja. The statute prescribes a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The guideline range for imprisonment was 70 to 87 months. Indictment waived. Plea-Agreement pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B). Government agreed to an Adjusted Offense Level of 32 under the Sentencing Guidelines. Defense requested further downward departures with the express understanding the Government would oppose them. At sentencing the government sought 37 months; Probation recommended 51. Court granted Defense request for downward departure and sentenced Defendant to 24 months with substantial credit for time served.

Sentencing Memorandum written by Carl M. Hancock, Esq. Sentencing negotiations and sentencing argument by Alan E. Spears, ERsq.




Felony Complaint Successfully Plea-Bargained (2012)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Bernardino Superior Court – Fontana Division

Defendant charged with Attempted Murder and use of a semi-automatic pistol. Penal Code §§664, 187, 12022.53(a), 12022.53(b), 12022.5(a), 12022.5(a)(d). Defendant was facing twenty-nine years to life. Case plea-bargained to one count of Assault With a Deadly Weapon, Penal Code §245(b), and Personal Use of a Firearm, Penal Code §12022.5(a)(d). Sentenced to thirteen years State Prison with substantial credit for time served.




Felony Complaint Successfully Plea-Bargained
United States v. (Name Confidential)
United States District Court, Southern District of California

Defendant charged with 18 USC Section 2252(a)(2), receipt of a huge quantity of child porn images, both photos and videos. The statute prescribes 20 years maximum imprisonment. Indictment waived. Plea-Agreement pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B). Government agreed to an Adjusted Offense Level of 34 under the Sentencing Guidelines. Defense requested further downward departures with the express understanding the Government would oppose them. At sentencing the Government sought 12 years; Probation recommended 8. Court granted Defense request for downward departure and sentenced Defendnant to 6 years, 8 months with some credit for time served.

Defense team: Alan E. Spears, Esq.; Carl M. Hancock, Esq.; Alan Abrams, Esq., M.D.




Felony Conviction Reduced People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court, Central Division

Defendant convicted of Assault Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) with Great Bodily Injury (Penal Code Section 12022.7. Victim suffered a fractured skull and other injuries. Motion to reduce Felony to Misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Section 17b at the 18-month probation mark prospectively granted. Great Bodily Injury enhancement stricken in the interest of justice pursuant to Penal Code Section 1385.

Defense team: Alan E. Spears, Esq. and Carl M. Hancock, Esq.




Felony Complaint Dismissed
People v. (Name Confidential)
Riverside Superior Court, Indio Division

Defendant charged with failure to register as a sex offender per Penal Code Section 290.013(a). Defendant was living at a drug rehab facility and had registered using the rehab's principal address instead of the address of the building in which he was residing. Case dismissed!

Defense team: Alan E. Spears, Esq. and Michael E. Turner, Esq.




Misdemeanor Complaint (DUI) Dismissed
People v. (Name Confidential)
Imperial County Superior Court, El Centro Division

Defendant arrested for and charged with DUI per Vehicle Code Section 23152(a). He failed the Field Sobriety Tests, and refused to take a chemical test. Case dismissed!




Misdemeanor Complaint (DUI)
People v. (Name Confidential) Los Angeles Superior Court, Antelope Valley Division

Defendant charged with California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b). Single car crash. Vehicle totaled. Blood-Alcohol level 0.20! Following plea-bargain negotiations, Defendant plead guilty on October 22nd 2009 to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) with no 0.20% enhancement, no jail, no restuition, no public work service, $500.00 fine plus penalty-assessment, first-time alcohol program.




Felony Complaint (Child Endangerment)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court

Chula Vista Police arrested defendant for child endangerment and other felonies for allegedly spraying Chlorox bleach at her adolescent son. Dedendant was charged with three felonies: Penal Code Sections 273(a), 244, and 245(a). Following intense negotiations this case resolved with a plea to Penal Code Section 415, Distrubing the Peace, a Misdemeanor. No jail time!

Defense team: Alan Spears, Esq.; Carl M. Hancock, Esq.; and Alan Abrams, Esq., M.D.




United States Navy v. QMC(SW) [Name Withheld]
Administrative Separation Board, Assault Craft Unit ONE (Coronado, CA)

Charges and Specifications against QMC(SW) of numerous violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92 (Failure to Obey Lawful General Orders), Article 120 (Wrongful Sexual Conduct), Article 128 (Simple Assault), and Article 134 (Disorderly Conduct - Drunkenness). Following a day-long hearing with multiple witnesses called by the defense [respondent] the Administrative Board consisting of a LTCDR, LT, and Chief separated QMC(SW) from the Navy permitting him to retain his rank and pay grade.

Defense team: Alan Spears, CAPT USMM; Andrea Leahy, LT USN (JAG).




In re OTHA BOONE, JR. on Habeas Corpus
San Bernardino Superior Court

Petitioner serving life-top sentence for murder granted Habeas Corpus on July 7th 2009 for the Board of Parole Hearing's violation of his due process rights!




Misdemeanor Complaint (DUI)
People v. (Name Confidential)
Riverside Superior Court

Defendant charged with California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b) with CVC Section 23578 enhancements of 0.15%+. Defendant's blood alcohol level per PAS device was 0.26%! Negotiated plea to CVC Section 23152(b) w/ CVC Sec. 23578 0.15%+ enhancement. Minimum fine/penalty assessments. 20 days Sheriff's Work Furlough to be served weekends. Summary probation. Ehanced First Offender Alcohol Program.




Misdemeanor Complaint (DUI)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court

Defendant charged with California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b) with CVC Section 23578 enhancements of 0.15%+. Defendant's blood alcohol level per PAS was 0.21%! Negotiated plea to CVC Section 23152(b) w/ CVC Sec. 23578 enhancement. Stipulated blood alcohol level of 0.19% permitting Defendant to attend 3-month First Offender Alcohol Program. Minimum fine/penalty assessments. 10 days Community Service to be served weekends. License suspension nunc pro tunc to date of arrest. Summary probation.




Misdemeanor Complaint (DUI)
People v. (Name Confidential)
San Diego Superior Court

Defendant charged with California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b) with CVC Section 23578 enhancements of 0.15%+. Defendant's blood alcohol level was 0.23%! Negotiated plea to CVC Section 23152(b) w/ CVC Sec. 23578 enhancement. Stipulated blood alcohol level of 0.19% permitting Defendant to attend 3-month First Offender Alcohol Program. Minimum fine/penalty assessments. 40 hours Community Service to be served "as able". Summary probation.




Felony Complaint (Conspiracy)
People v. (Name Confidential)
Imperial Superior Court

State Bureau of Narcotics Agents conducted a reverse-sting cocaine drug sale operation during which they seized $250,000.00 cash. Defendant (and others) charged with Sale/Transportation/Offer to Sell Controlled Substance (Health and Safety Code Section 11352(a); Conspiracy to commit the crime of Sale/Transportation/Offer to Sell Controlled Substance (Penal Code Section 182(a)(1)); Possession of Money Over $100,000.00 (Health and Safety Code Section 11370.6(a); and Conspiracy to commit the crime of Possession of Money Over $100,000.00 (Penal Code Section 182(a)(1)). Negotiated plea to Conspiracy to commit the crime of Possession of Money Over $100,000.00 with stipulated mid-term sentence and credit for local time served. Defendant will serve approximately 14 months with good-time credits. All remaining counts dismissed.




Misdemeanor Complaint (DUI)
People v. (Name Confidential)
Santa Barbara Superior Court

Defendant charged with California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b). Following plea-bargain negotiations on December 4th 2008, Defendant plead guilty on January 8th 2009 to California Vehicle Code Section 23102.5, Reckless Driving.




Notice of Proposed Removal from a USNS Shipboard Position
In re Able Seaman James S.
Department of the Navy, Military Sealift Fleet Support Command

By letter dated 23rd October 2008 the Department of the Navy served Able Seaman James S. "Notice of Proposed Removal" for violation of Ship's Orders as regards said Seaman's possession of injectable anabolic steroids and syringes aboard a USNS Ship while on deployment. Following the filing of formal written response dated November 10th 2008, Seaman James S. received a reprimand on January 7th 2009 consisting of a fourteen (14) days suspension without pay on condition he never again possess injectable drugs and/or syringes aboard ship.




Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
In re ALBERTO AVENA RAMIREZ
San Bernardino Superior Court

Following an evidentiary hearing on December 30th 2008, and oral argument on January 2nd 2009, the Court granted Petitioner's Writ of Habeas Corpus, setting aside his conviction of Attempted Murder (California Penal Sode Sections 664/187(A)) and Assault With a Deadly Weapon (California Penal Code Section 245(A)(2)), and vacating his 27-year-to-life state prison sentence.


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