Our firm is proud to report that
Attorney Ian Friedman and
Attorney Eric Nemecek have successfully overturned the convictions of one our recent clients.
Client Stephon Hall was charged with trafficking cocaine and heroin but,
on appeal, the Eighth District Court of Appeals agreed with Attorney Friedman
and Attorney Nemecek's assertions that the state's case against
Mr. Hall was not sufficient enough to warrant a guilty verdict.
Trafficking Cocaine & Heroin Charges
In March of 2014, Mr. Hall was seen visiting the house of his acquaintance,
Rasheed Tutt. Mr. Tutt's house had been under surveillance by police
due to suspected
drug trafficking activity. Roughly 20 minutes after Hall arrived, police stormed the property
and made arrests. Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana were found on the premises.
Even though Mr. Hall was not found with any cocaine or heroin on him, he
was charged with trafficking. The state argued that Mr. Hall had constructive
possession of the narcotics found in the house. However, Attorneys Friedman
and Nemecek (who did not serve as Mr. Hall's counsel in his criminal
trial) argued that this was a "guilty by association"-type charge—just
because Mr. Hall was found in the company of individuals who had broken
that law does not mean that he himself had broken the law, as well.
The Eighth District Court of Appeals agreed. In their decision, they wrote:
"the evidence must show that the defendant supported, assisted, encouraged,
cooperated with, advised, or incited the principal in the commission of
the crime and that the defendant shared the criminal intent of the principal."
They added: "The state's proof, the pictures [found in the house],
depicted images of Hall and the others at social venues, engaging in social
activities. None depicted any criminal behavior, much less evidence supporting
the particular allegations... The state failed to meet its burden to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that Hall aided and abetted in the cocaine or
heroin trafficking crimes."
Marijuana was also found in Mr. Hall's Jeep and those charges against
Mr. Hall were affirmed by the court. However, due to the diligence of
Attorneys Friedman and Nemecek, his two more serious charges were vacated
by the court, allowing Mr. Hall to avoid life-altering criminal penalties.
Initially, he faced seven years in prison. Now, due to the work of our
firm partners, he will only serve one and
gets six years of his life back.
We congratulate Attorneys Friedman and Nemecek on the appellate victory
and know that their work will continue to make our firm one of the most
sought-after criminal defenses resources in Cleveland and beyond.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a criminal act, the
Ian N. Friedman and his team invite you to call us today. Attorney Friedman has built
his reputation as one of the most formidable criminal defense lawyers
in Cleveland. Even in the face of the most serious allegations, he ensures
that his clients receive proper consideration under the law and that every
avenue towards a reduction or acquittal is aggressively explored.
Do not face this uncertain time without a proven advocate by your side.
Contact us today to request a
free case evaluation.