Aggravated Assault: When Attorney Wallin was asked to represent a client that had been charged with aggravated assault against a minor, the case seemed like an uphill battle. The 50-year-old man had already admitted to pointing a gun at his teenage nephew, so he did not have much of a chance to defend himself in front of a jury. The state was pushing hard for 2 and a half years in prison, but Attorney Wallin knew that such a sentence was too severe for a man that had no prior run-ins with the law. For this reason, he pressed for a plea bargain that would guarantee that his client would stay out of prison. He put together a strong presentation for the prosecution and argued his client's case aggressively. Because of this, the prosecution finally agreed and his client walked away with a minimum sentence of probation.
Aggravated Assault: The Wallin Law Firm represented a 50-year-old man who had pointed a gun at his teenage nephew. The defendant didn't have a real defense due to the fact that he had confessed to what he did. However, their client had no criminal history and he was fifty years old. Still, the state pressed for a 2.5 year prison sentence. Attorney Wallin pressed hard for a plea bargain that would guarantee his client probation and no jail time, and put forth a strong case before the prosecutor. The prosecutor ultimately agreed with attorney Wallin and his client received probation without having to spend any time behind bars. Pursuant to Section 13-1204, Subsection A, paragraph 2, Aggravated Assault– a person commits aggravated assault when they use a deadly weapon or another dangerous instrument. Aggravated assault is a Class 3 felony offense unless the victim was under fifteen years of age, and then which the offense is a Class 2 felony in Arizona. Considering the fact that the defendant was facing 2.5 years in prison, receiving probation with no jail time was an extremely favorable outcome.
Death Penalty: Defendant was charged with
first degree murder for killing his mother. The State filed a notice that it was seeking the death penalty. The defendant was held without bond pursuant to A.R.S. 13-3961(A)(1), which states that persons charged with "a capital offense" are ineligible for bail if "the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty." The defendant had confessed, but stated that he was assisting his terminally ill mother to commit suicide at her request; this is actually manslaughter, a less serious offense. Mr. Wallin determined that the State had insufficient evidence to obtain a first degree murder conviction, much less a death sentence, and filed a motion asking the judge to set bond. The judge agreed with Mr. Wallin, and set bond. The State dropped its request for the death penalty.
Death Penalty: During jury selection, a potential juror admitted to being opposed to the death penalty on religious grounds. The judge dismissed the juror, without inquiring whether the juror could set aside these religious beliefs and decide the case based solely on the law and the facts. Mr. Wallin and his co-counsel objected. The case was reversed on appeal.
First degree murder: Defendant was charged with flying into a rage and beating his girlfriend's baby to death while babysitting. The defendant had confessed. Mr. Wallin realized that the autopsy could not pinpoint the time the injuries were inflicted, leaving open the possibility that the baby was beaten by the mother instead of the defendant. Mr. Wallin also noted earlier wounds, and got the pathologist to admit that an older wound to the baby's head was consistent with being struck by a fist wearing a ring. Further investigation revealed that the girlfriend always wore a ring on her right hand, and that the defendant did not. Investigation also revealed that the mother had previously admitted hitting the baby and not taking the baby to the doctor for fear that the police would be called. Mr. Wallin argued to the jury that the mother had actually murdered the baby, and that the defendant had confessed in order to protect her. The jury agreed, and found the defendant not guilty.
Vehicular homicide: Defendant ran a stop sign and ran over a mother with her baby. The baby was killed. The State charged the defendant with second degree murder, because a blood test showed that the defendant was driving while actually under the influence of marijuana. Mr. Wallin realized that while the lab results clearly showed that the defendant had smoked marijuana some time within the previous month, the portion of the test which showed that the defendant was actually under the influence was flawed; the lab had performed the analysis incorrectly. Mr. Wallin vigorously questioned the lab supervisor until he was forced to agree with Mr. Wallin. As a result, the second degree murder charge was reduced to DUI.
Vehicular assault: Defendant ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle, resulting in serious injuries. The State charged the defendant with aggravated assault, because a blood test showed that the defendant was driving while actually under the influence of methamphetamine. However, the firm which performed the test had closed the laboratory which actually conducted the test, and the people who actually performed it were no longer available to testify. The State wanted to call the regional supervisor to testify about the lab test, even though he had not taken part in the actual testing. In a ground-breaking motion, Mr. Wallin successfully argued that this would be a violation of the Confrontation Clause contained in the Constitution. The judge agreed; the result was upheld on appeal. As a result, this charge was dropped.
Assault on a child: Defendant was charged with beating his girlfriend's child at a public park. The child denied it, but there was an eyewitness. Mr. Wallin, however, realized that the witness wore glasses, and suspected that she had not been wearing them at the time of the incident, which occurred over 100 feet away. In dramatic courtroom testimony, Mr. Wallin got the witness to admit she had not been wearing her glasses; he then asked her to remove her glasses and tell the jury what time it was from the clock on the courtroom wall. The witness admitted she could not see the clock well enough to tell the time. The jury quickly acquitted the defendant.
Stabbing: Defendant was charged in federal district court with stabbing his brother 13 times. Mr. Wallin, however, realized that there were numerous discrepancies between the victim's trial testimony and his prior statement to the FBI agent, and that both contradicted the crime scene evidence. At trial, Mr. Wallin got the FBI agent and the victim to accuse each other of lying. Mr. Wallin then took the bold and unexpected step of arguing to the jury that the victim's wounds were not stab wounds at all, but were the result of an accident the victim had suffered, which the victim was trying to conceal. The jury took five minutes to return a not guilty verdict. Afterwards, the Assistant United States Attorney paid Mr. Wallin the highest compliment a
criminal defense attorney can receive from a prosecutor: "I never saw it coming."
Child Molestation: Defendant was charged with having oral sex with his girlfriend's 13 year old daughter. There was no forensic evidence, which is typical in such cases. At trial, Mr. Wallin got the victim to admit that she didn't tell anyone other than her mother (several days later), that she only intended to tell her mother and never intended to call the police (it was her mother who called the police), and that it had never occurred to her that her allegations would result in the defendant being arrested or facing charges. She also admitted that she had never liked the defendant and had never wanted her mother to date him. Mr. Wallin convinced the jury that the victim had made up the allegations in order to break up the romance between her mother and the defendant; the defendant was acquitted.
Drive-By Shooting: Defendant was charged with a drive-by shooting. Mr. Wallin pointed out to the jury that there were discrepancies between the statements of the State's witnesses and the crime scene evidence. Mr. Wallin's investigation revealed that the State's key witness was biased against the defendant due to earlier dealings, and forced the witness to admit as much during cross-examination. Mr. Wallin also found eyewitnesses who contradicted the State's witnesses. The defendant was acquitted.
Drive-By Shooting: The key issue in this case was whether either of the two investigating officers had entered and searched the building. During pretrial interviews, both officers stated that they had not. By the time of trial, however, the first officer had moved out of state, and the prosecutor did not subpoena him to testify. Instead, the prosecutor called the second officer, who suddenly "remembered" seeing the first officer enter and search the building. Mr. Wallin demanded the jury be told that the first officer had denied this. The judge agreed. The jury deliberated only 15 minutes before acquitting the defendant.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident: Recently, Mr. Wallin has represented several clients accused of leaving the scene of an accident. In each case, Mr. Wallin's investigation revealed that his client was suffering from a medical event. By presenting this evidence to the prosecutor and making clear that he intended to take the matter to trial if necessary, Mr. Wallin was able to obtain a dismissal in each case.
Aggravated DUI: A DUI committed while the defendant's license is suspended (for any reason) is a felony, and carries a mandatory minimum of four months in prison, even if it is the defendant's first DUI. The State, however, must prove not only that the defendant's license was suspended, but that he knew it was suspended. Otherwise, it is a misdemeanor DUI, which is much less serious. Mr. Wallin has successfully defended many such cases.
Miranda: Mr. Wallin has made a number of successful Miranda motions. In one recent murder case, the defendant had not been formally arrested, but had been instructed by the police not to leave the scene; he was then questioned without being read his Miranda rights. Mr. Wallin successfully argued that this was the functional equivalent of arrest, and the judge agreed. The confession was suppressed. In another recent murder case, the defendant confessed only after the detective ignored his request to remain silent. Mr. Wallin filed a successful Miranda motion in that case as well, and the confession was suppressed.
Plea bargaining: Sometimes the client is best served by an aggressive approach to plea bargaining. In a recent federal case, Mr. Wallin's client was arrested along with several others in a sting operation; in fact, Mr. Wallin's client was accused of being the ring leader. The others decided to go to trial using the defense of entrapment. Mr. Wallin realized that this defense would not work. Instead, he entered into aggressive plea negotiations with the prosecutor. As a result, Mr. Wallin's client will spend less than 2 years in prison; the co-defendants who went to trial and argued entrapment received sentences in excess of 10, 15, 16, and 16.5 years.