Salinas, California— Charges of cannabis manufacturing, child endangerment, and a weapons resulted in no jail time for a client of Margolin & Lawrence’s.
United States vs.K.H. (9th Circuit, Nevada 2013)
Our client was charged in both state and federal courts with cultivating over 100 marijuana plants. At the federal level, this carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
Margolin and Lawrence worked with local counsel to dismiss the state case and focus on the federal charges. Through negotiation with federal prosecutors, our client was allowed to plead to Misprision of a Felony and was sentenced to only a few days of community labor.
The police received an anonymous tip that marijuana was being grown illegally in a warehouse. They obtained a search warrant to search the building with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) device and found heat signatures they believed were consistent with a marijuana grow. They then obtained a second warrant to search the interior of the building. There they found almost 700 plants, dried marijuana, and concentrate. They obtained a third warrant to search our client’s home.
Our client is a valid medical marijuana patient with a doctor’s recommendation to grow marijuana. We prepared to present a medical marijuana defense, but we didn’t need to. Before the court reached that argument, we won a motion to suppress the first warrant, bringing with it the later two warrants and all the evidence that was discovered. The case was dismissed after less than an hour at a preliminary hearing.
People v. T.C. (LAX 2014)
Our client was charged with possession of marijuana for sale. However, upon investigating the facts and presenting a defense at a preliminary hearing, Margolin and Lawrence was able to obtain a favorable plea bargain. Our client was charged with disturbing the peace and sentenced to thirty days of community service, no probation.
Our client was being investigated by the federal government on drug manufacturing charges. We headed the charges off before trial and fought the asset forfeiture proceedings underway. The government had seized $29,000 and the client’s luxury sports car. We demonstrated through clear evidence that the money and vehicle were derived from legitimate business, and our client kept his cash and car.
People v. WR (2013, LAX Court):
The police barged into our client’s home and discovered multiple grow rooms and stored weapons, including one identified as an illegal assault weapon. Our client is involved in the security industry and a medical marijuana patient. He couldn’t afford to lose his license to protect other people or his legal supply of medication. However, the DA insisted on on a felony weapons charge (Pen. Code 30605(a)) that would prohibit our client from owning a weapon for 10 years and a felony possession for sale charge that could have wrecked his life.
Allison Margolin put on a vigorous defense before trial, demonstrating that the client was legally growing marijuana for his personal use and believed the weapon was legal when he obtained it. The judge dismissed the marijuana charge after a preliminary hearing, and the DA was negotiated down to a misdemeanor weapons charge.
People v. Armed Meth (2005, Criminal Courts Building):
Our client was on probation for selling meth when he was arrested for armed possession of meth for sale and for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. He faced three years of state prison that had been suspended on the underlying probation case. The district attorney offered him five years — before he retained an attorney.
At trial, Allison Margolin garnered a dismissal of the armed possession for sale of meth charge. Although the jury convicted him of possession of the weapon while being a felon, he received only the time suspended on the probation violation, and nothing more.
People v. MA (2013, Ventura):
Attorney Raza Lawrence assisted by Allison Margolin persuaded a Ventura judge to strike an assault with a deadly weapon charge that occurred less than 5 years after the defendant was convicted on two charges of heroin possession and one of heroin transportation. The client faced 12 years in state prison; the DA offered 7 years. After a strong defense by Raza and Allison, he received only 270 days total at half time (135 days). The attorneys mounted a Romero hearing that included testimony from the probation officer from San Diego County who supervised the client’s assault with a deadly weapon probation.