After Spolin Law attorneys filed a petition to vacate a client’s voluntary manslaughter conviction and resentence him in the San Diego Superior Court, the District Attorney was forced to agree that the client deserved to be released.
In 2019, prior to enlisting the help of Spolin Law attorneys, the client filed a resentencing petition under law SB 1437. The Superior Court initially denied the petition, and the client immediately appealed. On appeal, the client was given a court-appointed attorney. However, five months after the appeal began, the court-appointed attorney filed a Wende brief, essentially stating that the client’s case had no arguable issues. (An Anders/Wende brief is a written appellate filing where a lawyer tells the court that he or she cannot find any non-frivolous issues to argue). Shortly after the Wende brief filing, the Court of Appeal denied the appeal.
The client then hired Spolin Law to review his case. Using a recently passed law, Senate Bill 775, the attorneys argued that the expansion of SB 1437 entitled the client to have his voluntary manslaughter conviction vacated.
In May 2022, Spolin Law attorneys filed their petition citing the new law as well as the client’s conduct during the course of the alleged crime. Facing a practically untenable position, the District Attorney conceded that the client was eligible for a hearing to determine whether or not he was entitled to such relief.
Ultimately, after an agreed-upon stipulation negotiated by the firm’s attorneys and the District Attorney, the client was resentenced to “time served” (17 years, down from 28 years originally), in February of this year, and the client was released from custody in March.
“I am so glad that we were able to get this client the justice he deserved,” said Caitlin Dukes, one of Spolin Law’s attorneys who worked on the case. “He had been fighting his case for years, receiving denial after denial, but he never gave up, and his determination paid off.”
“This is yet another example of how you can lose many battles but still win the war eventually,” explained attorney Aaron Spolin, who worked on this case. “After the client’s old lawyer had filed the Wende brief, it had been very disheartening for him. But we benefited tremendously from the new law, and I think that he [the client] was just happy with the final outcome, no matter how zig-zaggy a road it was.”
For more questions about this or other similar cases, contact Spolin Law P.C. at (866) 716-2805. Firm notes that prior success does not guarantee future success.