Cases & Deals

Client's drug possession charges expunged

Clients Montgomery County criminal defendants

Jones Day Washington has represented defendants, on a volunteer basis, in criminal cases in Montgomery County under the auspices of the Office of the Public Defender. Tashena Moore and Sean Malone represented a client charged with possession and distribution of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The maximum aggregate sentence the court could impose for these offenses was imprisonment for six years and/or a $16,500 fine. Not only did our client-who had no prior criminal record or arrests-adamantly (and convincingly) deny any involvement, but when he was arrested immediately following the alleged transaction, he possessed no drugs, no money, and no drug paraphernalia. The State's principal "evidence" consisted of the accusation of another individual who was arrested with marijuana, who did have a criminal record, who claimed that he bought it from our client (with whom he had just had a heated disagreement concerning an unrelated matter). The State made a plea offer, which Tashena and Sean advised the client to reject. Pushed by Tashena and Sean to produce its witness's written statement--which the State was obligated to preserve but apparently lost--the State then simply gave up. It filed a nolle prosequi--conceding that it lacked sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Tashena and Sean filed for expungement, which was granted by the court.