R. Addison Steele II, Attorney at Law - Criminal defense attorney in Santa Barbara
Assault or Battery
Against a Police Officer
 
Addison Steele has:
 
Two felony assault on a police officer acquittals
(Penal Code §§ 243(c)(2) and 243(b))
(Whiston Kaleimamahu and Richard Secretan).
 
Five battery on a police officer acquittals
(Penal Code § 243(b))
(Derek Holbert, Richard Secretan, Adreian Jamison and David Diaz with two).
 
     Assault or battery cases can be difficult to defend because a lot of jurors have a predisposition to favoring cops.  Another problem is that a lot of defense attorneys are afraid to aggressively attack cops for fear of alienating jurors.  I have approached these cases with the mentality that the jurors expect me to do my job and my job is to vigorously defend my client even if it hurts a cop's feelings.  One of my proudest moments is when I was a young attorney doing one of these trials and the cop testified that a scratch (it really was a scratch, like a person gets when playing with a kitten) was an injury.  My question for him on cross examination was, "Would categorize that 'injury' as more of a 'boo boo' or an 'owie.'"  The jury laughed, the district attorney's objection was sustained, but at that moment I threw out the "jurors don't like it if you're tough on the cop on the witness stand" mentality, not that I ever had that mentality.
     The reality in almost all assault or battery against a cop cases, especially the felony Penal Code § 243(c)(2) cases, is that the cops beat someone up and now they're charging that person with assault on a police officer in order to cover for themselves.  If you need to hire a lawyer for an assault or battery against a police officer case, you need a lawyer that has experience with assault and battery against a police officer trials and that has won assault and battery against a police officer trials that have gone before a jury.  I have not only done many and battery against a police officer trials, I have had a successful outcomes in them.  I have done seven assault or battery on a police officer trials and won six of them, and the one that I lost was an attempted murder of cops with bombs and attempted murder with bombs case where we beat all of those charges and only lost the assault on officers charges.  Because the district attorney decides which cases go to trial, and most of the time only cases with strong prosecution evidence go trial, a defense attorney expects to win maybe one in ten trials.  My record of six out of seven trials wins in assault or battery against police officer trials (and really it's seven out of seven considering that I saved my client from attempted murder of cops with bombs on the third case) far surpasses one out ten.
 
   My assault and battery against a police officer trial successes include:
 
Whiston Kaleimamahu
 
  • Whiston Kaleimamahu
  • Charges: Resisting arrest with force (Penal Code § 69) and assault on a police officer (Penal Code § 243(c)(2).
  • Exposure: Whiston was facing three years, eight months in prison.
  • Outcome: Whiston was acquitted of all felony charges and was sentenced to misdemeanor probation without any actual jail time. He was playing football at the community college level, if he had been convicted of a felony it would have severely impacted his prospects of getting a football scholarship to a four year university. He went on to play at South Dakota State.
 
The verdict forms where the jury acquitted Whiston of all felony charges.
 
Adreian Jamison
 
  • Adreian Jamison
  • Charges: Possession of crack cocaine for sales (Health and Safety Code § 11351.5), transportation of rock cocaine (Health and Safety Code § 11352(a)), possession of a weapon (a billy club) (Penal Code § 12020(a)(1), resisting arrest with force (Penal Code § 69), battery on a police officer (Penal Code § 243(b)) and destroying evidence (Penal Code § 135), special allegations of two prison term priors (Penal Code § 667.5(b) and two dope sales priors (Health and Safety Code § 11370.2(a)).
  • Exposure: Adreian was facing fourteen years, four months in prison.
  • Outcome: Adreian was acquitted of possession for sales, he was convicted of the conceded lesser included offense of simple possession for personal use, convicted of transportation of crack cocaine, he was acquitted of possession of a billy club, he was acquitted of resisting arrest with force, acquitted of battery on a police officer, and only convicted of the misdemeanor lesser included offense of resisting arrest and misdemeanor destroying evidence. He was sentenced to ten years in prison at half time (can get out in five years with good behavior).
 
Derek Holbert
 
  • Derek Holbert
  • Charges: Resisting arrest with force (Penal Code § 69), trespassing (Penal Code § 602.1(a)), and battery on a police officer (Penal Code § 243(b)).
  • Exposure: Derek was facing three years in prison.
  • Outcome: Derek was acquitted of battery on a police officer. He was convicted of trespassing and he was convicted of resisting arrest with force, but the judge reduced the conviction to a misdemeanor after trial, he was sentenced to misdemeanor probation and could not be sent to prison even if he violated his probation because he was only convicted of misdemeanors.
 
Richard Secretan
 
  • Richard Secretan
  • Charges: Assault on a police officer (Penal Code § 243(c)(2)), resisting arrest (Penal Code § 69), domestic violence (Penal Code § 273.5(a) and failure to appear in court (Penal Code § 1320.5).
  • Exposure: Richard was facing five years, four months in prison.
  • Outcome: Despite his girlfriend testifying that Richard had hit her, a highway patrolman testifying that Richard had hit him, and testimony that court records showed that he had not appeared in court, Richard was found not guilty of assault on a police officer and all the lesser included offenses with that charge, not guilty of domestic violence and the lesser included offense, and not guilty of failure to appear in court. He was found guilty of resisting arrest, but the judge immediately reduced that charge to a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to misdemeanor probation and could not be sent to prison even if he violated his probation because he was only convicted of a misdemeanor.
 
This is the Verdict Form where Richard was found NOT GUILTY
of assault on a police officer.
 
David Diaz
 
  • David Diaz
  • Charges: Two counts of assault on a police officer (Penal Code § 243(b)), resisting arrest (Penal Code § 148(a)(1)), domestic violence (Penal Code § 273.5(a)) and vandalism (Penal Code § 594(b)(1)).
  • Exposure: David was facing six years in prison.
  • Outcome: David was acquitted of both counts of assault on a police officer by the judge and acquitted of the lesser included offenses by the jury. He was found not guilty of domestic violence by the jury, the lesser included offense was hung ten to two in favor of acquittal and later dismissed by the judge. David was convicted of vandalism and resisting arrest and sentenced to probation.
 
     Questions you should ask an attorney that you are considering hiring for an assault case:
 
  • Have you done a resisting arrest trial before?
  • This question is important because an assault or battery against a police officer trial typically involves the testimony of the complaining cop witness (alleged cop victim) against what really happened.  It requires an experienced attorney that is skilled in questioning a cop complaining witness.
  • I have done seven assault or battery against a police officer trials, and I won six (and in reality won all seven because the one loss was also a victory against attempted murder of cops with bombs).
 
  • What were the results of your resisting arrest trials?
  • This question is important because in an assault or battery against a police officer trial there are so many ways to fight hard and win and the attorney has to be willing to stand up and fight, even if it's against a cop witness.  If an attorney has won several assault or battery against a police officer trials, that attorney has the experience and skills to handle the level of complexity involved in an assault or battery against a police officer trial.
  • I have won six of the seven assault or battery against a police officer  trials I've done, and in reality it was seven of seven because the one loss was a win against attempted murder of cops with bombs charges. If you find another attorney that has done the number of assault or battery against police officers trials that I have done and has had more successful outcomes than I have, hire that person.  If you want the best possible chance of winning your case, you should contact me.
 
  • Do you train others lawyers in your techniques for winning assault or battery against a police officer trials?
  • This question is important because typically only the leading lawyers in a field are invited to conduct trainings of other lawyers.
  • I was a speaker at the California Public Defenders Association (CPDA) homicide defense training in 2011 to train on my winning trials by humanizing the client method. I have also given that same training at the Riverside County Public Defenders Office, the Riverside County Barristers, the Santa Clara County Public Defenders Office and the San Francisco County Public Defenders Office. I was a speaker at the CPDA homicide defense training in 2012 to train on utilizing a neuropsychologist in a homicide case.  All these skills and techniques that I teach are easily utilized in assault or battery against a police officer trials.
 
  • How long were the assault or battery against a police officer trials you've done and how many days of defense did you present?
  • These questions are important because although some cases just call for a short trial, a short trial can also mean that the prosecution was not sufficiently challenged or that no defense was presented.  An assault or battery against a police officer trial that lasts five or so court days is reason for concern because it's an indicator that the prosecution is not being thoroughly challenged and a complete defense is not being presented.
  • I have spent 58 court days in assault or battery against a police officer  trials.  I have a success rate in resisting arrest trials that is really unparalleled.
 
     If you need to talk to me about an assault or battery against a police officer case, you can send me an e-mail at rasteele@steeledefender.com or call me at (805) 770-1188.
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