Addison Steele has:
Six drug trial acquittals.
Two trials where the client was only convicted of simple possession for personal use of cocaine base (crack) when charged with possession for sales of cocaine base (crack)
(Health and Safety Code § 11351.5)
(Willie Meadows and Adreian Jamison).
A trial where the was only convicted of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana when charged with possession for sales of Marijuana
(Health and Safety Code § 11359)
An acquittal for conspiracy to operate a meth lab and dumping of meth lab toxic waste
(Penal Code § 182/
Health and Safety Code § 11379.6(a) and Health and Safety Code § 11374.5(a))
An acquittal for possession of drug paraphernalia
(Health and Safety Code § 11364)
A hung jury in an under the influence of an illegal central nervous system stimulant case
(Health and Safety Code § 11550(a))
Drug cases can be particularly challenging. Typically the defenses are that the client wasn't aware of the presence of the drugs, or in possession for sales cases, that it was in fact simple possession for personal use and not possession for sales. That means that the trial is usually a contest between what the drug cop says happened versus what actually happened. Most district attorneys offices have deputy district attorneys that specialize in gang cases. Because of all of those reasons, it is critical to have an attorney that is experienced in handling drug cases and knows that drug statutes well. It of course helps to have an attorney that has experience beating drug charges and drug special allegations. If you need to hire a lawyer for a drug case, you need a lawyer that has experience with drug trials and that has won drug trials that have gone before a jury. I have done twelve drug trials including two meth lab trials. My record of trial wins and attacking gang allegations through solid motion work is unparalleled.
My drug trial successes include:
- Ruben Tinoco
- Charges: Possession of methamphetamine for sales (Health and Safety Code § 11378), felon in possession of ammunition (Penal Code § 12316(b)(1)) and possession of drug paraphernalia (Health and Safety Code § 11364), with two strike priors (Penal Code § 667(c)&(e)(2)(A)/1170.12(c)(2)).
- Exposure: Ruben was facing fifty years to life in prison.
- Outcome: The jury found Ruben not guilty of felon in possession of ammunition and possession of drug paraphernalia, the jury hung eleven to one in favor of acquittal on the possession of methamphetamine charge. The case later settled for Ruben pleading guilty to simple possession of methamphetamine and the district attorney dismissing one of the strikes and Ruben being sentenced to two years, eight months in prison.
The verdict forms and Minute Order where Ruben was saved from a fifty years to life prison sentence and instead was sentenced to two years, eight months.
- Willie Meadows
- Charges: Possession of crack cocaine for sales (Health and Safety Code § 11351.5) with a gang allegation (Penal Code § 186.22(b)) and gang activity (Penal Code § 186.22(a)), with a sales prior (Health and Safety Code § 11370.2(a)) and seven prison term priors (Penal Code § 667.5(b)).
- Exposure: Willie was facing fifteen years, eight months in prison.
- Outcome: Willie was found not guilty of possession for sales and not guilty of gang activity. He was only convicted of the conceded count of simple possession of crack cocaine. Because that was the only charge for which he was convicted, he had to be released from jail, granted probation and given drug treatment pursuant to Proposition 36.
The Verdict Form where Willie was found NOT GUILTY of all the charges that would have prevented him from getting Proposition 36 drug treatment and saved him from fifteen years, eight months in prison.
- 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), assault 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 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).
- Ismael Garcia
- Charges: Operating a meth lab (Health and Safety Code § 11379.6(a)), possession of meth for sales (Health and Safety Code § 11378), conspiracy to operate a meth lab (Penal Code § 182 and Health and Safety Code § 11379.6(a)), dumping waste from meth manufacturing (Health and Safety Code § 11374.5(a)), with three special allegations of being armed while committing a drug crime (Penal Code § 12022(c)), two allegations of possession of twenty-five gallons or ten pounds of meth (Health and Safety Code § 11379.8(a)(3)), an allegation of possession four kilos or 100 liters of meth (Health and Safety Code § 11370.4(b)(2)).
- Exposure: Ismael was facing twenty-eight years in prison.
- Outcome: Ismael was acquitted of conspiracy to manufacture meth, convicted of manufacturing meth, acquitted of dumping waste from meth manufacturing, the allegations of being armed were found true, all of the weight allegations were either found not true or not reached because of not guilty verdicts. Ismael was sentenced to ten years in prison at half time (can be released after five years with good behavior). The district attorney presented the case as Ismael being being leader of the four co-defendants. All the co-defendants were convicted of the weight enhancements and sentenced to more than twenty years.
- Joe Ward
- Charge: Being under the influence of an illegal central nervous system stimulant (Health and Safety Code § 11550(a)).
- Exposure: Joe was facing up to a year in county jail with a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail unless he accepted Proposition 36 drug treatment.
- Outcome: Hung jury (6-6 split), the case was later dismissed by the district attorney.
Questions you should ask an attorney that you are considering hiring for a three strikes case:
- Have you done a drug case trial before?
- This question is important because a drug trial requires some specialized skills to deal with the testimony of the drug cops and to use an effective strategy in the defense for the case.
- I have done seventeen drug case trials.
- What were the results of your drug trials?
- This question is important because if an attorney has won drug trials and saved clients from the long sentences that drug convictions can bring, that attorney has the experience and skills to handle a drug trial.
- I have won two drug trials where the client was only convicted of a conceded simple possession for personal use charge and acquitted of possession for sales. The client in one of these two trials was sentenced to probation with Proposition 36 drug treatment. If you find another attorney that has done the number of drugs trials that I have done and has had more successful outcomes than I have and that has beaten drug cases and saved as many people from long drug prison sentences as I have, hire that person. If you want the best possible chance of not going to prison and potentially going home when facing drug charges, you should contact me.
- Do you train others lawyers in your techniques for winning drug 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, Santa Barbara 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. The winning trials by humanizing clients training teaches techniques that are easily utilized to win drug cases.
- How long were the drug 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. A drug case 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 147 court days in drug case trials. I have a success rate in drug case trials that is really unparalleled.