I was able to convince the jury that Mr. Gracia’s statements were not his own. That he was coerced and was acting out of fear that the police would arrest his girlfriend unless he told them that he was there to watch the drugs.
Newport Beach, California (PRWEB) October 02, 2013
When Attorney Randy Collins took Mr. Gracia’s case (Case #12HF3594 | West Justice Center), he knew that he was facing an uphill battle. Court documents show that police had seized more than $20,000 in heroin and meth as well as $8500 in cash from the defendant’s residence, but what seemed to be an open and shut case turned into an impressive win for MacGregor & Collins, LLP.
According to court documents, Mr. Gracia had been an auto body mechanic for several years before his arrest. He had developed a stable and productive life for himself in Lake Forest, California, and everything was going great until he received some unfortunate news. His landlord’s property had been foreclosed upon, and Gracia was given three days to leave his home or he would be removed.
According to court documents Gracia spoke with a customer at the auto body shop who graciously offered Gracia a place to stay for $700 a month. Mr. Gracia took a tour of the apartment and was amazed by the opportunity that had been given to him, until he was informed of his extra duties. A condition required of him to live in his new apartment would be that his new friend, the auto body shop customer, was going to be dealing drugs out of the apartment and Gracia would have to “look the other way”. Mr. Gracia reluctantly agreed, assuming that he would soon have another opportunity to obtain his own place and that his new living conditions were temporary.
After living in the apartment for one week, police came, knocked down the front door, knocked down Gracia’s bedroom door, came into his room where he was in bed with his girlfriend, and placed him under arrest. Arresting officers seized $20,000 worth of heroin and methamphetamines, $7,500 in the area where the drugs were located, $1,000 in Mr. Gracia’s pants pocket, lines of methamphetamine in the bathroom, and multiple paraphernalia items, so says court documents.
Upon being arrested for allegedly violating California health and safety codes 11351 and 11378, Mr. Gracia gave a confession to police officers that he was there to watch the drugs in exchange for reduced rent, according to court documents.
Randy Collins, law firm partner at MacGregor & Collins, LLP, was not sure whether or not he was going to be able to obtain a not guilty verdict for Mr. Gracia, but he knew that he had to try. “When Mr. Gracia contacted me for legal representation, it was a challenge to stay optimistic. Not only had a tremendous amount of evidence been acquired by arresting officers to help them convict him, but Mr. Gracia had also confessed to the crimes. After speaking with Mr. Gracia at length and learning everything about his case, life, wants, and needs, I knew that he was not a bad guy. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time and needed someone to somehow convince a jury that what seemed to be an open and shut case was actually a very complex situation that could not be judged at face value.
“I was able to convince the jury that Mr. Gracia’s statements were not his own. That he was coerced and was acting out of fear that the police would arrest his girlfriend unless he told them that he was there to watch the drugs. As a result, the jury found Mr. Gracia not guilty of possessing heroin for the purpose of selling it and not guilty of possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of selling it. Needless to say, it was a result that we are very happy with,” said Attorney Collins.
Mr. Gracia was very happy with it as well. “I do not know the English language very well. When I gave my statement to the police, I said things that I shouldn’t have, and I thought it was over for me. Randy Collins gave me a second chance and I am going to make the most of it,” said Mr. Gracia.
About MacGregor & Collins, LLP
MacGregor & Collins, LLP is a drug crime defense law firm based in Newport Beach, California. Their attorneys represent those facing drug sale, possession, and trafficking offenses for alleged offenders throughout Southern California. Those facing charges for drug crimes are invited to contact their offices to obtain a free case evaluation with one of their skilled legal professionals.
Call 949-250-6097 to reach a MacGregor & Collins, LLP criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation.