Stephanie Wargo-Wilson represented a man who plead guilty over 15 years ago to felony drug offenses. He was only 20 years old, with a second-grade education. He did not realize or appreciate that 15 years later, this plea would subject him to deportation. California’s new law, Penal Code section 1473.7, allowed him to challenge his prior conviction. Stephanie extensively briefed the factual and legal issues, and argued to the court why relief should be granted. But ultimately, it was her negotiation skills and his extensive family support that finally convinced the District Attorney’s Office that they should agree to vacate his prior convictions, and allow him to enter a plea to an immigration-safe charge. Our firm wishes him and his family the best of luck as he continues his battle in immigration court.
Creativity is a critical element of an excellent defense. Emily Dahm used a novel approach to tackle a difficult sentencing hearing. After her client was convicted of a cell phone robbery and was facing 15 years in prison, she hired Silicon Valley DeBug to shoot a mitigation video of her client’s wife, young son, and church community. She then showed the video at the sentencing hearing, resulting in the judge ordering the lowest possible prison sentence.
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A woman was pulled over, the police smelled alcohol, and wanted to subject her to field sobriety tests and a chemical test. Because the police claimed that she refused all tests, the DMV suspended her license even though the evidence showed that the police did not advise her that her failure to submit to a chemical test would result in a one-year license suspension. In fact, she was sober (her blood test was negative for alcohol) and had merely been questioning the police about what they were doing and why. Nonetheless, DMV ruled against her and suspended her license for one year.
Stephanie Wargo-Wilson filed a writ to the superior court on her behalf. After extensive briefing and all of the evidence was presented, the attorney general’s office agreed to reinstate her license before the Court heard or ruled upon the writ.
Emily Dahm’s client, Tun Sein, a recent immigrant from Burma, was accused of pushing his wife so violently that she fell and hit her head on the sidewalk. After a jury trial, he was found not guilty. The jury was convinced of Sein’s innocence after hearing testimony from emergency room physicians, who could not find a single mark, bump, or scrape on Sein’s wife. Emily also presented the jury with strong evidence that Sein’s wife and sister-in-law had a financial motive for making false claims against him.
Sein had faced a year in county jail if convicted of the misdemeanor charges.
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Stephanie Wargo-Wilson represented a dedicated father who had been in a loving relationship with the mother of his children, until things went south and she falsely accused him of domestic violence. Feeling unable to prove that she was not being truthful, he entered a plea to a misdemeanor domestic violence offense. While he was in custody, she moved to another state with his children. Upon his release, the woman sent a Facebook message to a mutual friend, admitting that she had lied and set him up. Out firm promptly filed a Motion to Withdraw his plea.
As a result of Stephanie’s thorough cross-examination of the woman, and preparation of several witnesses who attested to her other misdeeds and shenanigans, the government ultimately agreed that justice demanded that the plea be withdrawn and the case dismissed. This result also put our client in a much better position to gain full shared custody of his children.