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hoffmang
06-24-2010, 11:12 PM
All,

Sometimes CGF can't get involved fully in cases that have "color." However, we are there to help and that is not a hard and fast rule. We recently received this letter from a member of the Calguns community that had some color in his case but we were still able to help out. He's asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons but I wanted to share his comments with everyone. Please remember that freedom isn't free. Donate today (http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/donate).


Mr. Hoffman,

I wanted to write you a letter regarding thanking you for the assistance that Calguns Foundation, Inc. provided me with regard to criminal charges that were brought against me. Earlier this year I was a passenger in my friends vehicle and we were heading to his home. Because of my growing up in rough neighborhoods, I know and value the importance of being prepared and ready to defend yourself at a moment’s notice. I also try to comply with the law at all times.

Normally, when I travel with my firearm, I carry the firearm in a locked container – unloaded – and usually in the trunk. On this occasion, however, I made some mistakes. First, I left the key in the locked container, which really is insignificant because it was locked– except that it raises the eyebrows of law enforcement. More importantly, I left a loaded magazine in the firearm well. Pursuant to Penal Code section 12031(g), a firearm is loaded “when there is an unexpended cartridge . . . in . . . the firearm . . . including the . . . magazine.”

As luck would have it, local law enforcement pulled my friend over. During the stop, the officer alleged that he smelled marijuana and searched the vehicle. The officer located some marijuana which my friend possessed pursuant to a medical marijuana permit. In the trunk of the vehicle, the officer found my firearm with a loaded magazine in the firearm. My friend and I were both arrested that night for violations of Penal Code section 12031 – carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

While we were in jail, our friend contacted the Calguns Foundation, Inc. and requested assistance. At the time, our friend did not know about the marijuana or that there was ammunition in the firearm. He believed the firearm contained only a loaded magazine in the case with the firearm. Calguns Foundation advised him to contact Mr. Jason Davis at Davis and Associates. Which he did. Mr. Davis responded immediately .

Unfortunately, the facts were slightly worse as the firearm did have a loaded magazine in its well. As such, there was “color” to my case and Calguns Foundation would not cover the fees and cost of my case, which I completely understand. My friend and I decided to go with the public defender. I advised Mr. Davis as much; despite our inability to retain him, he informed us that he would be happy to provide free advice on the case - courtesy of the Calguns Foundation. And that he did. He spent time talking with me on the phone, reviewing the file, and meeting with me in person. He provide me with a list of mitigating factors to the case and alternative arguments to provide to my public defender in coming up with a plea deal.

As one would expect, the public defender fell short and the best offer he could get from the district attorney was three years probation, one month of jail, loss of firearms rights, and loads of civil penalties, fines, and fees. The public defender urged us to take the plea stating that it was the best deal we were going to get given the fact that I was carrying in violation.

At that point, we asked the court to continue the arraignment so that I could seek Mr. Davis’ advice. Mr. Davis came up with a legal argument that made even me believe that I was carrying the firearm lawfully. Though I could not retain Mr. Davis for a full trial, I did retain him to enter into mitigation discussions with the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney handling the case. In the short time between the first appearance and the actual arraignment, Mr. Davis was able to contact and negotiate a settlement with the District Attorney. While I disagree with the intent and actual letter of the law, I did inadvertently carrying in violation of Penal Code section 12031. That being said, Mr. Davis was able to mitigate the case down to a three year probation with early termination after one year and small fine. No jail time. And most importantly, I did not lose my firearm rights. On top of that, Mr. Davis saw to it that my friend, who was also arrested and being charged with a violation of Penal Code section 12031, obtained the same terms – pro bono.

I understand that this case had a little color to it. And, I know that it is not Calguns Foundation’s policy to fund representation in cases where there is” color.” Despite that, I wanted to thank Calguns Foundation for their earlier involvement and their recommendation of Mr. Davis and Davis & Associates– whom I am now using as my corporate counsel. I wanted to also let other people know that they cannot afford to not have knowledgeable firearms attorney represent them – even if they actually did violate the law. There are almost always mitigating factors that, when presented properly, can mean the difference between having the right to bear arms, and losing your rights. Keep up the good work. It is associations like yours that justify and validate my support. And again, thank you!

Sincerely,

Y.G.

-Gene

haveyourmile
06-24-2010, 11:15 PM
Phenomenal. I will be donating more money to you guys tomorrow. Keep up the good work!

Roadrunner
06-24-2010, 11:34 PM
But could that prohibit him and his friend from getting CCWs or carrying legally in the future ?

Shotgun Man
06-24-2010, 11:48 PM
Y.G., a plea on 12031 (carrying loaded firearm in veh) does not result in a forfeiture of your gun rights. So I doubt that that was the deal.

You trash the public defender yet it is not clear to me that you were ill served by him in any way.

You ended up with three years' probation. Wasn't that the same deal the public defender got you? The jail time was always negotiable. As for the fines-- every fine you get is mandtory. There's no discretion excerised there.

Early termination of probation? Anyone can ask for that. It is a promise/tool that the bench and bar use to sell deals to criminal defendants.

hoffmang
06-24-2010, 11:49 PM
Beating up on the guy who admitted his mistakes seems unproductive...

Absent Jason's involvement, this person would have had jail time and lost his 2A rights.

-Gene

nobody_special
06-24-2010, 11:59 PM
Mr. Davis came up with a legal argument that made even me believe that I was carrying the firearm lawfully

I can't be the only one curious about that...

CaliforniaCarry
06-25-2010, 12:03 AM
Simply amazing. I'll be sending in a donation once I get paid tomorrow; you guys rock so awesomely.

Does Jason have a card similar to the ones TM used to give out? If so, I want one.

thayne
06-25-2010, 12:04 AM
Good job! :D

Shotgun Man
06-25-2010, 12:08 AM
Beating up on the guy who admitted his mistakes seems unproductive...

Absent Jason's involvement, this person would have had jail time and lost his 2A rights.

-Gene

I'm not beating up on him. I did take issue with him trashing the public defender.

I question why he would lose his gun rights, being that carrying a loaded gun in vehicle is not a disqualifying offense.

hoffmang
06-25-2010, 12:14 AM
I'm not beating up on him. I did take issue with him trashing the public defender.

I question why he would lose his gun rights, being that carrying a loaded gun in vehicle is not a disqualifying offense.

Without looking, I believe 12031 is a wobbler. As such it sounds like the DA was pressing for a felony.

-Gene

ke6guj
06-25-2010, 12:23 AM
Does Jason have a card similar to the ones TM used to give out? If so, I want one.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=307715

Alaric
06-25-2010, 1:08 AM
It might be an interesting separate topic to explore what kinds of mitigating factors can plead a case like this down. I fully understand and respect the need to keep the identities of the calgunnies in this case confidential, but if anyone in the know would care to post a thread with the pertinent info on what constitutes mitigating factors in a 12031 case it wouldn't be unwelcome. My assumption would be that those factors were procedural search or miranda violations on the part of the LEO's, but I could easily be wrong.

CaliforniaLiberal
06-25-2010, 2:19 AM
All,

Sometimes CGF can't get involved fully in cases that have "color." However, we are there to help and that is not a hard and fast rule. We recently received this letter from a member of the Calguns community that had some color in his case but we were still able to help out. He's asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons but I wanted to share his comments with everyone. Please remember that freedom isn't free. Donate today (http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/donate).

-Gene


Thank God for CalGuns Foundation. Thank God for CalGuns.net.

This sort of endorsement by someone who has just gone through the furnace and emerged intact motivates me to scrape the bottom of my wallet.

Deepest Thanks to all of you who dedicate a huge chunk of your lives that others of us might live in hope of true 2nd Amendment freedom and freedom from fear.

bwiese
06-25-2010, 2:26 AM
Understand that even if CGF doesn't 'back' a case for any of a variety of reasons, some useful level/some form of assistance may in fact be provided.

Many times this involves just talking a non-gun lawyer or PD thru the law, gun technology, the AW flowchart, laying the groundwork out, etc.
Other times it involves helping a PD understand AB2728 settlements which he can then pursue with DA.

Seesm
06-25-2010, 2:34 AM
CGF Rocks SILLY!! Thanks for BEING there like a family!!

Vtec44
06-25-2010, 10:02 AM
Wow, donation is coming on my next pay day!

Thanks to those who helped out Y.G. He made a mistake but it seems like the laws are setup so that even a mistaken can cost you your self defense right.

Maltese Falcon
06-25-2010, 10:08 AM
Good job CGF and Mr.Jason Davis...I am glad I carry your business card.

.

advocatusdiaboli
06-25-2010, 10:09 AM
Great story and ending that expressly proves the value of CGF. It convinced me to donate though I was already planning to.

Havoc70
06-25-2010, 10:16 AM
With the officer claiming to smell MJ, at that point can you still refuse a search?

As a hypothetical:

I'm driving up to my parents house with my handgun locked in a case and unloaded as my dad and I frequently go shooting when I visit. There is NO marijuana in the car (I smoke cigarettes, not pot), CHP says, "I smell Marijuana" I say, "I do not consent to search". Even though nothing illegal is in my car, I still don't want the delay and intrusion of a search, but does the cop saying he smells something that's not even there immediately grant probably cause? Or would he have to get a warrant to search it?

xrMike
06-25-2010, 10:42 AM
but does the cop saying he smells something that's not even there immediately grant probably cause? Or would he have to get a warrant to search it?It doesn't matter if it's there or not. If the cop says he smells it, he can search.

Havoc70
06-25-2010, 10:45 AM
It doesn't matter if it's there or not. If the cop says he smells it, he can search.

That's not too reassuring. I happen to get some gung-ho officer that pulls me over, says he smells something and no recourse. That's awesome.

Mental note: when visiting my folks, don't even go 5 MPH over the limit.

Lone_Gunman
06-25-2010, 10:55 AM
Good job CGF. This is why I have a regular donation set up.

Curious- will the smell of MJ be PC for a search come November if (and I fully expect it to happen) the voters decide to legalize? It may be PC for a sobriety test but I'm thinking the search would be a no go in that case. This makes me wonder how it is PC for a search if the driver had a med MJ card. It was legal for the driver to posess it so why the search?

steadyrock
06-25-2010, 10:57 AM
Simply awesome. Thank you to the CGF and Mr. Davis.

bwiese
06-25-2010, 11:08 AM
Curious- will the smell of MJ be PC for a search come November if (and I fully expect it to happen) the voters decide to legalize? It may be PC for a sobriety test but I'm thinking the search would be a no go in that case. This makes me wonder how it is PC for a search if the driver had a med MJ card. It was legal for the driver to posess it so why the search?

Dunno - it's still illegal Federally so that may not matter unless specific prohibitions were put into CA law for this circumstance.

Shotgun Man
06-25-2010, 11:17 AM
Good job CGF. This is why I have a regular donation set up.

Curious- will the smell of MJ be PC for a search come November if (and I fully expect it to happen) the voters decide to legalize? It may be PC for a sobriety test but I'm thinking the search would be a no go in that case. This makes me wonder how it is PC for a search if the driver had a med MJ card. It was legal for the driver to posess it so why the search?

There are a number of cases saying that doctor's note for MMJ doesn't defeat a cop's PC to search. The MMJ doctor's letter is basically an affirmative defense in court.

IGOTDIRT4U
06-25-2010, 11:42 AM
Without looking, I believe 12031 is a wobbler. As such it sounds like the DA was pressing for a felony.

-Gene

Probably much ado about the 12031 violation with drugs present. Just because LA allows med marijuana doesn't mean it's legal under state or fed law. Hence, most likely, the 'wobbler'.

bwiese
06-25-2010, 11:57 AM
I'll also add that it appears many PD 'deals' with prosecutors w/r/t "gun crimes" include some period of prohibition - whether or not the actual law violated requires it.

The fact that Jason still helped out probably "elevated the pain threshold" such that the DA didn't wanna deal with that. Many of these cases deal with not matters of law but "prosecution politics" and workload.

Vtec44
06-25-2010, 12:09 PM
Many of these cases deal with not matters of law but "prosecution politics" and workload.

Sad but true.

advocatusdiaboli
06-25-2010, 12:18 PM
The fact that Jason still helped out probably "elevated the pain threshold" such that the DA didn't wanna deal with that. Many of these cases deal with not matters of law but "prosecution politics" and workload.

That an important but relatively obscure and undiscussed element in our judicial system. And one more people on this board should consider when they are advocating actions or behavior that 'pushes the envelope' especially in vague aspects of the law--the outcome can vary not just to prosecutor wobble but also your means to mount a defense. Discretion is often the better art of valor.

That all said, it great to hear just how supportive CGF members are and it's inspiring and gratifying.

N6ATF
06-25-2010, 12:22 PM
Prosecution politics, or persecution politics, for daring to exercise the human right of self-defense?

advocatusdiaboli
06-25-2010, 12:28 PM
Prosecution politics, or persecution politics, for daring to exercise the human right of self-defense?

Didn't say it was right, it just is. It's good to wealthy or have good friends with knowledge and or power if you get into trouble.

Lateralus
06-25-2010, 12:30 PM
Excellent news. That is worth an extra 20 bucks from me this month.

Donation inbound.

Brianguy
06-25-2010, 12:34 PM
I'm a cheapskate but I finally donated to CGF. I feel like my money will be used for good here. The free advice on this board alone is worth a donation. Keep up the great work guys!

CP562
06-25-2010, 12:58 PM
Once again, great work being done by CGF and the "Legal Eagles" at D & A...you guys would never get away with paying for a drink in my presence!

:cheers2:

Am I not finding the mechanism for setting up a recurring CC donation to CGF on a monthly basis (similar to some of these guys who have the sig line "I donate $10/month to CGF"), or is it just 1-time gifts that are currently able to be processed?

Lone_Gunman
06-25-2010, 5:51 PM
CP562-
I use my online bill pay program and have a regularly scheduled check sent to CGF that way. I know there was also some talk of a "subscription" option through GPal but I don't know if that has happened.

Purple K
06-25-2010, 8:45 PM
Great news! Thank You Calguns AND Jason Davis.

SteveH
06-26-2010, 12:39 PM
He forget he had a loaded mag in the gun, key in the lock and there was weed in the car. Thats more than a little "color."

I thought CGF defended gun owners who get wrongfully accused. Not crooks who happen to have guns.

cmaynes
06-26-2010, 1:07 PM
Gene, that almost restores my faith in humanity.... you roll with people of extraordinary character.

hoffmang
06-26-2010, 1:57 PM
He forget he had a loaded mag in the gun, key in the lock and there was weed in the car. Thats more than a little "color."

I thought CGF defended gun owners who get wrongfully accused. Not crooks who happen to have guns.

And that's why he got advice and not monetary support.

-Gene

dantodd
06-26-2010, 2:19 PM
He forget he had a loaded mag in the gun, key in the lock and there was weed in the car. Thats more than a little "color."

I thought CGF defended gun owners who get wrongfully accused. Not crooks who happen to have guns.

1) CGF didn't defend this case, they gave firearms related advice.

2) Why do you call this person a crook. There is no evidence he stole anything or participated in any illegal activity outside of the firearms violation discussed. You may not like pot but it is here in CA to stay and the possession mentioned was not illegal.

3) Do you really want case law being made in this case that could make it harder for you to get out of a situation where you insert the wrong magazine in the gun when locking it up or forgetting to grab your key out of the padlock when you close it?

It is often important to think a little more strategically than "I don't like that guy so I'm taking my ball and going home."

Sgt Raven
06-26-2010, 2:41 PM
He forget he had a loaded mag in the gun, key in the lock and there was weed in the car. Thats more than a little "color."

I thought CGF defended gun owners who get wrongfully accused. Not crooks who happen to have guns.

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Since you're perfect, show us how you walk on water, too. :rolleyes:

corrupt
06-26-2010, 9:27 PM
Thanks for posting this. Anything that you post about your organization and what you do is a win-win situation for us firearm owners and CGF. You provide transparency as to all the good work you're doing, and we provide $. Cheers.

bwiese
06-26-2010, 10:46 PM
Thanks for posting this. Anything that you post about your organization and what you do is a win-win situation for us firearm owners and CGF. You provide transparency as to all the good work you're doing, and we provide $. Cheers.

Thanks for the kind words.

We pride ourselves on low overhead; board members are uncompensated, generally pay their own freight (phone bills, gas etc.); CGF expenses - outside actual case legal fees & typical support materials, etc - are largely limited to basics of accounting, insurance and just enough stuff to keep a 501(c)(3) operating.

[When you see a pic of CGF board members dining somewhere, it's out of our own pockets.]

Veggie
06-27-2010, 12:40 AM
I am proud of you guys at CGF.

thayne
06-27-2010, 12:43 AM
Yep CGF is awesome. Imagine where we'd be without you...

CP562
06-27-2010, 2:32 AM
CP562-
I use my online bill pay program and have a regularly scheduled check sent to CGF that way. I know there was also some talk of a "subscription" option through GPal but I don't know if that has happened.

Thanks for this, LG. I'll explore that route.

Thanks for posting this. Anything that you post about your organization and what you do is a win-win situation for us firearm owners and CGF. You provide transparency as to all the good work you're doing, and we provide $. Cheers.

Well said, sir.

imtheomegaman
06-27-2010, 2:42 AM
very glad you guys are on our side

chris
06-27-2010, 10:06 AM
great news and good work on the part of CGF.

Bigtwin
06-27-2010, 12:04 PM
Yep CGF is awesome. Imagine where we'd be without you...

I would rather not, that thought is too scary!:D

Glad to know you guys are around for us all. Don't take offense, but I hope to never have to call you!

Joe
06-27-2010, 12:25 PM
"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Since you're perfect, show us how you walk on water, too. :rolleyes:

Hahaha x2

I'm glad CGF was able to step in and give this guy some advice/guidance. Great work to everyone involved!

Serpentine
06-27-2010, 12:59 PM
I got a little lost in the CGF donations thread and process. Can someone show me the link for auto monthly donation from my checking or Visa account?

Thank You!

Barry