Significant Criminal Cases
Disclaimer: The cases listed below are cited for the purpose of illustration only. Nothing cited herein should be construed as a representation that a similar result can be achieved in any particular or similar case.
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2018 — Marion County District Court – Defendant arrested after police raided his hotel room, seizing $8,000.00 in cash. Defendant charged with tampering with physical evidence, carrying a pistol without a permit and possession of drug paraphernalia. All charges were dismissed after defense counsel challenged the search as illegal. The seized currency was also returned to the defendant.
2017 — Talladega County District Court – Defendant charged with criminal mischief Second Degree; case dismissed outright.
2017 — Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court – Defendant with multiple prior DUI arrests charged with DUI, Driving While Revoked and No Insurance following a traffic stop. A warrant was obtained to draw blood after defendant refused to provide a breath sample, indicating a BAC of .19. Motion to Suppress blood result granted, as warrant to draw blood not supported by probable cause. State elected to proceed to trial without blood evidence. Defendant convicted and appealed to circuit court. DUI and No Insurance later dismissed. Defendant plead guilty to Driving While Revoked.
2016 — Tuscaloosa County District Court – Defendant charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance; on cross, the toxicologist conceded, when confronted with the state-controlled substance list, that the substance is in fact not controlled, but simply requires a prescription to obtain. Defendant found not guilty.
2016 — Tuscaloosa County District Court – Defendant charged with driving while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above after providing a breath result of .28. At trial, defense counsel proved that defendant had not been read an implied consent warning and that law enforcement did not observe the required 20 minutes deprivation period. Breath result excluded from evidence. Defendant found not guilty.
2016 — Pelham Municipal Court – Domestic violence in the Third Degree; dismissed outright upon payment of court costs.
2016 — St. Clair County Circuit Court – Defendant charged with Unlawful Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance First Degree. State offered seven year prison sentence with leave to apply for probation. Declined. Motion to Suppress filed and denied. Defendant indicated his intention to appeal to the court of criminal appeals. Case later reduced to possession of drug paraphernalia. Two years unsupervised probation.
2016 — Jefferson County Circuit Court – Defendant charged with DUI after a single car accident in which he drove his vehicle into a ditch. Defendant told the arresting officer he had consumed half a pint of whiskey and performed poorly on a field sobriety test. Motion to suppress evidence for failure to give a Miranda warning granted. Evidence suppressed. State then dismissed the case, stating it was unable to proceed without the evidence.
2015 — Birmingham Municipal Court – Defendant charged with DUI after providing breath result of .17. Case dismissed outright.
2015 — Marion County Circuit Court – Client charged with Attempted Murder and Firing a Weapon into an Unoccupied Dwelling. Cases dismissed outright.
2015 — Birmingham Municipal Court – Client charged with driving while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above. Case dismissed outright.
2015 — Vincent Municipal Court – Client charged with Domestic Violence after he admitted to police that he had slapped his wife in the face. Case dismissed after client signed a release stating he would not sue the city or the police officers involved in the case.
2014 — Birmingham Municipal Court – Commercial driver charged with DUI in his private vehicle. Breath result of .10. Commercial license administratively suspended by Department of Public Safety. Suspension appealed and stay obtained, allowing client to maintain his livelihood while the DUI case was pending. DUI case then dismissed outright, prior to trial.
2014 — Jefferson County District Court – Commercial driver involved in an 18-wheeler accident on the interstate. Witnesses stated that the driver was apparently having a seizure and ran off the roadway. A subsequent search of the cab of the vehicle revealed over an ounce of marijuana. Driver charged with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana in the First Degree (felony possession of marijuana). Case dismissed upon payment of court costs.
2014 — Tuscaloosa County District Court – Client charged with Theft of Property in the First Degree and Identity Theft stemming from her employment at a fast food restaurant. Both charges dismissed outright after client paid restitution in full.
2013 — Pickens County Circuit Court – Two clients charged with Harassment of a third party. Both cases dismissed outright prior to trial.
2013 — St. Clair County Circuit Court – Commercial driver charged with Improper Lane Usage and DUI after a traffic stop in his private vehicle. Defendant submitted to a breath test with a result of .11. Defendant convicted at trial and appealed. On appeal, defendant found not guilty of DUI, preserving his commercial driver’s license.
2013 — Bibb County Circuit Court – Defendant alleged to have driven through a DUI check point. A chase ensued. Defendant charged with 15 different offenses, including Eluding with Injury, Attempted Assault First Degree and DUI. Each and every offense unconditionally dismissed.
2013 — Blount County Circuit Court – Defendant charged with Unlawful Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree after a search of her home uncovered a meth lab. Prosecutor offered to amend the charge to Manufacturing in the Second Degree if defendant would plead guilty to a 10-year sentence. Offer rejected. Motion to Suppress Evidence filed. Trial court suppressed all evidence as the fruit of an illegal search and seizure. State appealed. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the suppression order. All evidence suppressed and case dismissed.
2012 — Jefferson County District Court – Defendant charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia after consenting to the search of his vehicle at a roadblock. The defendant was offered admission into the drug court program, which he reluctantly declined on the advice of counsel. Cases were set for trial. Both charges dismissed outright prior to trial.
2012 — Jefferson County Circuit Court – Defendant arrested for DUI by an Alabama State Trooper. At the district court trial, the Trooper testified that defendant was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane on the interstate, that he had a strong smell of alcohol, admitted drinking, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, failed field sobriety tests and refused a breath test. Defendant convicted and appealed to circuit court for trial by jury. First jury trial resulted in a mistrial after the jury could not agree on unanimous verdict. Case tried to a second jury with the same outcome. State elected not to try the case again. Case dismissed.
2012 — Homewood Municipal Court – Defendant, a commercial driver, charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the Second degree, a charge that would have resulted in a six-month suspension of his driving privilege. Defendant was offered deferred prosecution, which he reluctantly declined on the advice of counsel. The charge stemmed from an illegal search and seizure. Case dismissed outright prior to trial.
2012 — Shelby County Circuit Court – Defendant’s vehicle stopped entering a campground after the Widespread Panic show, as a passenger in the vehicle had an open container. Police ordered all occupants out of the vehicle and performed a search, discovering controlled substances. The driver was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. The arresting officer claimed in his report that he was given “consent” to search. Defendant was offered drug court, which was reluctantly declined by client, on advice of counsel. A Motion to Suppress was filed. The four occupants of the vehicle were prepared to testify that no consent was given. The charge was dismissed before the first witness was called.
2011 — Birmingham Municipal Court – Defendant was charged with Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance after he collided with two other vehicles. Defendant admitted that he had just injected heroin prior to the accident. The syringe was recovered by police. Dismissed on technical grounds.
2011 — Blount County Circuit Court – A defendant stopped by police after rolling through a stop sign performed poorly on videotaped field sobriety tests. Blood alcohol concentration of .20. Driving Under the Influence dismissed. Defendant plead guilty to running a stop sign.
2011 — Hoover Municipal Court – Defendant arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Assault in the Third Degree after she stopped her vehicle on I-65. Blood alcohol concentration of .09. Case dismissed.
2011 — Jefferson County Circuit Court – Bessemer Division – A defendant represented by a court appointed lawyer was convicted of Harassing Communications in Lipscomb Municipal Court. She hired Simms & Associates to appeal her conviction to the county. Case was tried to a jury. After the prosecution rested, a Motion for Judgment for acquittal was granted on technical grounds.
2011 — Birmingham Municipal Court – Defendant arrested for Driving Under the Influence after he crossed the center line striking an oncoming vehicle. Defendant had a blood alcohol concentration of .12 Case dismissed due to a defect in the citation.
2011 — US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama – Defendant had previously pleaded guilty as a Career Criminal Offender. He was represented by another law firm and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on drug charges. The sentence meant that defendant would die in a federal prison. The family contacted Simms & Associates after defendant’s prior attorney failed to file an appeal, seeking relief from the sentence or conviction. After two years of effort, sentence was reduced.
2010 — Northport Municipal Court – Defendant with four prior Driving Under the Influence convictions arrested for DUI after running a red light. Admitted drinking “two or three beers” and taking Lortab earlier that evening. DUI dismissed. Client pleaded guilty to running a red light and paid a $20.00 fine plus court costs.
2010 — Jefferson County – Bessemer Division – Defendant with numerous prior Driving Under the Influence convictions charged with felony DUI. A Bessemer police officer stopped the defendant for speeding and observed an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle. Officer wrote in his report that the defendant was very unsteady on his feet, had a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech and was unable to perform field sobriety test. State’s original offer was to recommend a five-year sentence on a plea of guilty. Final resolution: Guilty of Public Intoxication. Defendant to pay $100 fine and court costs.
2009 — Winston County – Defendant with two prior felony convictions charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Meth in the First Degree. Defendant facing a possible life sentence. Motion to Suppress Evidence filed on basis of an unlawful search and seizure. Case dismissed at the hearing.
2008 — Jefferson County – Bessemer Division – Defendant charged with Trafficking in Cocaine after 41 grams of crack cocaine was discovered at her residence during the execution of a search warrant. A Motion to Suppress Evidence on various constitutional grounds was granted. Case dismissed.
2008 — Calhoun County – Defendant charged with Assault in the First Degree after he left a bar, traveling on the wrong side of a divided highway. The defendant collided with an oncoming motorist who was seriously injured. Defendant told the officer at the scene that he had been drinking. Case dismissed.
2008 — Shelby County – Defendant charged with felony Driving Under the Influence. Defendant’s court appointed lawyer advised defendant that case was hopeless and that he should plead guilty and serve eight years in prison. Defendant hired Simms & Associates just hours before he was to appear in court to enter his plea. Case was later settled with a plea of guilty to misdemeanor DUI. Defendant is to serve 60 days in the county jail, consecutive weekends.
2008 — Jefferson County Circuit Court – Bessemer Division – Defendant charged with felony DUI/ Driving Under the Influence (eighth offense), Reckless Driving and Driving While Revoked. According to police records, the defendant side-swiped another vehicle and then fled the scene. The defendant’s vehicle was clocked by police radar traveling at 106 mph. Breath result of .13. All charges dismissed.
2007 — Jefferson County – Bessemer Division – Defendant charged with felony Assault in the First Degree and Driving Under the Influence following an auto accident in which defendant attempted a left turn in front of an oncoming vehicle. A child suffered a serious physical injury in the accident. The arresting officer stated that the defendant failed field sobriety tests. Defendant was taken to a hospital where a blood sample was taken, indicating she had a blood alcohol concentration of .18. Prosecution’s offer was to recommend a sentence of five years in prison upon a plea of guilty to felony Assault in the Second Degree with application for probation. As trial neared, defense counsel raised serious questions about the reliability and admissibility of the blood evidence. The prosecution finally agreed to accept a plea to misdemeanor Assault in the Third Degree with dismissal of the Driving Under the Influence charge and 40 hours of community service.
2007 — Lamar County – Defendant pleaded guilty to Attempting to Elude Police and Reckless Endangerment. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to serve 60 days in jail. After his plea, he hired Simms & Associates to try to postpone, if not eliminate, the custodial portion of his sentence. An appeal was filed with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing that the defendant’s plea was not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily made. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction. The prosecution appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court who affirmed the reversal of the conviction. Upon return to court, the 60-day jail sentence was suspended. The defendant is to serve two years on unsupervised probation.
2007 — Talladega County – Commercial driver charged with speeding and DUI while leaving the 2006 Talladega 500 in his private vehicle. Breath result of .15. Both charges dismissed upon motion of the defense. Approximately 40 other defendants charged with DUI leaving the race that evening pleaded guilty without hiring an attorney.
2007 — Jefferson County – Defendant charged with assaulting an employee at a local landfill. Victim testified that the defendant grabbed him by the throat, making it difficult to breath, and threw victim to the ground, causing neck and back injuries. Defense argued that the victim was malingering to collect workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a lawsuit against the defendant and that the facts amount only to harassment, not assault. Court could not find defendant guilty of harassment as charge is not a lesser included offense of assault. Defendant found not guilty.
2006 — Jefferson County – 18-year-old male charged with two counts of manslaughter and unlawful possession of a controlled substance after his car crossed the median of I-20 and collided with an oncoming motorist. Defendant’s passenger and driver of oncoming vehicle were killed in the crash. Defendant was denied Youthful Offender status. Prosecution offered plea agreement of 20 split into five years to serve upon a plea of guilty to both manslaughter counts. Offer declined on advice of counsel and case tried to a jury. Witnesses for the prosecution testified that defendant was driving approximately 90 mph and weaving through traffic. An accident reconstructionist hired by the defense hypothesized that the defendant lost control of his vehicle after another motorist struck the defendant’s rear quarter panel, causing defendant to lose control. Jury unable to reach a unanimous verdict resulting in a mistrial. As retrial approached, court granted Youthful Offender status. Defendant then accepted plea requiring him to attend boot camp.
2005 — Jefferson County, Bessemer Division – Defendant charged with domestic violence. At trial, a deputy sheriff testified that defendant’s girlfriend told sheriff defendant had assaulted her. The defense objected on the basis that the statement was hearsay and thus inadmissible. The judge initially overruled the objection. The defense then submitted a written brief to the court. On the basis of that brief, the judge dismissed the case.
2005 — Blount County – Defendant charged with DUI after admitting to an officer that she had been drinking. Prior to trial, the defense served the district attorney with a 13-page discovery motion, to which the prosecution failed to respond. The judge granted defense motion to dismiss.
2005 — Shelby County – Defendant charged with Driving a Commercial Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol. At jury trial, prosecution alleged that an 18-wheeler driven by defendant had struck several new vehicles in a car dealership’s parking lot. A breath result of .15 percent was admitted into evidence. The jury returned a verdict of guilty. Defendant’s post-trial Motion for Judgment of Acquittal granted.
2004 — Jefferson County – Defendant charged with Driving Under the Influence and Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance after rear-ending another vehicle. Client admitted drinking alcohol to the investigating officer. Client submitted to breath alcohol testing with a result of .16 percent. Motion for Judgment of Acquittal on both charges granted.
2003 — Jefferson County – Plaintiff charged with two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. At trial, a confidential informant testified that he had purchased narcotics from the defendant on numerous occasions. The defense argued that the informant was lying and had framed the defendant in exchange for leniency in his own drug possession case. Jury found defendant not guilty on both counts.
2003 — Tuscaloosa County – Defendant charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. At trial, a confidential informant testified that he purchased narcotics from the defendant. The transaction was audio taped and played for the jury. The defense argued that the hand-to-hand transaction was actually made with another individual in defendant’s apartment. Jury found defendant not guilty of distribution and guilty of unlawful possession. Defendant placed on probation.
2002 — Jefferson County – Defendant charged with theft of property and receiving stolen property. The defense argued that the property was not stolen, that it had actually been loaned to the defendant by the victim. Jury found the defendant not guilty on both charges.
2002 — Chilton County – Defendant charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. Pretrial offer from district attorney was a 15-year prison sentence upon a plea of guilty. Defendant’s written confession was admitted into evidence at trial. The defense located a witness that said a female matching the description of defendant’s girlfriend was driving the car at the time of the accident. The defense argued that the defendant falsely confessed to the crime to protect his girlfriend. When the jury indicated they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the defendant was offered a plea to a misdemeanor offense and was immediately placed on unsupervised probation.
2002 — Jefferson County – Felony (4th) DUI. Dismissed at preliminary hearing upon motion of the defense.
2001 — Jefferson County – Defendant charged with robbery, theft of property, kidnapping, and menacing. Pretrial offer was a five-year prison sentence. After rigorous cross-examination of the state’s key witness at trial, the prosecution agreed to a plea of guilty to theft, and all other charges were dismissed. Defendant granted probation.
2001 — Jefferson County – Attempted murder. Dismissed before trial upon motion of the defense.