Murrieta and Temecula Criminal Defense Case Results

Here is a sampling of the types of cases Nic Cocis has handled

Our office is conveniently located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California. We represent individuals charged with Criminal Offenses, including DUI and Juvenile Matters from the Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Corona and Riverside areas.

Off-Duty Police Captain Investigated For Threatening to Shoot Individual - Misdemeanor "Disturbance of the Peace"

An off-duty police Captain (GS-12) who was in charge of approximately 300 Civilian and Military Police Officers, was investigated for pointing a loaded gun at an individual’s chest and threatening to shoot him. The Captain was intoxicated at the time — We were able to resolve the case for a misdemeanor “disturbance of the peace”.

Transportation of 5 Pounds of Meth - 180 days of Caltrans work. Avoided prison.

Our client was arrested for transporting approximately 5 pounds of methamphetamine. As a result, she was facing up to 7 years in state prison. As we began the discovery process, we determined that our client’s telephone calls had been intercepted by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agents, who were operating one of the nation’s largest wiretap operations, secretly intercepting telephone calls and text messages from thousands of people – Initially the prosecutor insisted on sending our client to prison for a lengthy period of time. We were able to demonstrate that the wiretap warrant authorized by the judge to intercept our client’s telephone calls might be illegal. As a result, the prosecutor accepted the offer we presented for our client to serve 180 days of Caltrans work.

(For a background story regarding the DEA’s wiretap operation, click here to read a USA Today news article)

High School Teacher Accused of Sexting With Student - Avoided life-time registration as Sex Offender.

A female high school teacher was accused of exchanging more than 800 sexual text messages with a male student. After the messages were discovered, the teacher was arrested and charged with “contacting a minor with intent to commit a felony” in violation of Penal Code 288.3. Being convicted of that offense, requires life-time registration as a sex offender — With the aid of a Forensic Psychologist, we were able to convince the prosecutor to change the offense to another which does not require registration. We were also able to obtain a sentence of house-arrest instead of jail time.

(Click here to read news article about the case.)

Possession of 640 lbs. of Marijuana with Intent to Sell - Probation and house arrest. Avoided prison.

During the raid of a house, law enforcement arrested 4 individuals. Our client was arrested for possessing approximately 640 lbs. of marijuana with intent to sell. After lengthy negotiations with the District Attorney’s office, our client was sentence to probation and 120 days of house arrest.

4th-time DUI While On Probation for 2nd and 3rd-time DUI - In-custody rehab. Avoided years of prison time.

Individual was arrested for his 4th-time DUI (felony DUI) after crashing his car into a light pole. His blood-alcohol-level was determined to be more than 3-times the legal limit. It was later discovered that he was still on probation for his 2nd and 3rd-time DUI — We were able to convince the judge and the prosecutor to allow the individual to serve his sentence in an in-custody rehab facility, thus avoiding a substantial prison sentence.

Firefighter was Arrested for Child Endangerment and Child Molest - Charges Not Filed By Prosecutor

While off-duty, a firefighter/paramedic was arrested for child endangerment and child molest in violation of Penal Code sections 273a(b) and 647.6(a). The arrest resulted from an incident that took place at the swimming pool in the apartment complex where the firefighter/paramedic was living — Based on the specific details of the case, we were able to convince the District Attorney’s Office to reject filing criminal charges.

Felony Vandalism Involving "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss - Misdemeanors Dismissed. Felony Reduced

After a long term romantic relationship ended, our client was accused of felony vandalism and several misdemeanor offenses by her former lover, “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss — The misdemeanor charges were dismissed and the felony was reduced to misdemeanor vandalism.

( Click here to read news article about the case.)

Trafficking 2000 lbs. (1 ton) of Marijuana and Child Endangerment - Marijuana Charge Dismissed

Our client and her boyfriend were arrested for possessing approximately 2000 lbs. (1 ton) of marijuana with intent to sell and with child endangerment. The marijuana was packaged for transportation & distribution and was located at two different houses in the Temecula and Murrieta areas — After lengthy court proceedings, we were able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the charge of possession with intent to sell leveled against our client. Our client plead guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment and was placed on probation with work release.

Book Author's Akita Dog Bit 3 Year Old Child, Causing Major Injuries - Probation and house arrest. Avoided prison

Book author and former newspaper editor was charged with felony criminal negligence (Penal Code 399) after he took his large Akita dog to Lowe's where it bit a child on the face and neck, causing major injuries. The dog had a history of bitting and aggression towards children. Due to the nature of the injuries and the dog's history, the prosecutor insisted on a prison sentence — We were able to convince the Judge to impose a sentence of probation and house arrest.

( Click here to read news article about the case.)

3rd DUI While on Probation for 2nd DUI - Avoided Lengthy Jail Sentence

Individual was arrested for his 3 rd DUI while still serving his probation for his 2 nd DUI. The BAC was more than twice the legal limit — We were able to obtain a sentence of probation and house arrest, thus avoiding a lengthy jail sentence.

Possession of Cocaine With Intent To Sell by Registered Nurse - Case Dismissed. Other Case Reduced

Registered Nurse was arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to sell in violation of Health and Safety Code 11351. While out of jail and on bail, the Nurse was re-arrested for possessing approximately 2 pounds of marijuana with intent to sell in violation of Health and Safety Code 11359 — The marijuana case and the "out on bail allegation" were dismissed. That alone saved the Nurse from a substantial jail sentence. We then convinced the prosecutor to change the charge of cocaine possession for sell to a charge of transportation of cocaine for personal use. Instead of a prison sentence, the Nurse received probation and work release.

Federal Bank Burglary Worth as Much as $6 Million - Sentenced to 3 years and 1 month

A group of individuals were accused of stealing approximately $6 million from Los Angeles-area banks. Law enforcement officials indicated that the group disabled the banks' alarm systems, sawed through reinforced concrete vaults and once inside, took the cash from the vaults and safe-deposit boxes. According to law enforcement, our client was also implicated in a burglary-ring 10 years ago that stole as much as $10 million in cash and jewelry from jewelry stores — Sentenced to 3 years and 1 month in federal prison. Avoided as much as 25 years of incarceration.

(Click here, here and here to read news articles about the case.)

Church Pastor Arrested for Demonstrating at DMV - Not Guilty

Pastor of a church in Hemet and an Elder were arrested for "gathering" and "demonstrating" without a permit at the Hemet Branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles — We convinced the judge to dismiss the case in the middle of the trial because the D.A.'s Office did not provide sufficient evidence that a crime was committed.

( Click here and here to read news articles about the case.)

Drug Trafficking | 160 lbs. of Marijuana - Dismissed

During a raid of a drug trafficking group, law enforcement searched several houses and arrested 6 individuals. Our client was arrested for being armed with a firearm while possessing approximately 160 lbs. of marijuana with intent to sell. After thoroughly investigating the case, we were able to point-out to the prosecutor major legal improprieties — Case dismissed.

( Click here to read news article about the case.)

High-School Basketball Coach Accused of Sex Offense - Offense Reduced and Avoided Registration

A high-school basketball coach was accused of sending lewd text messages to an underage female student in violation of Penal Code section 647.6. If convicted, the coach would have had to register as a sex-offender for the rest of his life — The offense was reduced to one that does not require him to register.

Off-Duty Sheriff's Deputy Charged with Felony Assault with Deadly Weapon - Reduced to Misdemeanor and Saved Career

An off-duty Sheriff's Deputy and his friends were charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony false imprisonment stemming from a fight at the Colorado River. Any felony conviction would have ended the Deputy's long career in law enforcement — After investigating the incident we were able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss all felony counts. The Deputy plead guilty to misdemeanor offenses thus saving his job and career.

4 Felony Insurance Fraud Charges - Reduced to Infraction and Misdemeanor

Husband and wife were charged with 4 felony counts of insurance fraud after they falsely reported their car stolen and filed a claim with their insurance company. Both were facing substantial jail time. In addition, if convicted of any felony, the husband would have lost his security clearance issued by the TSA and in turn, his job — All felony counts were dismissed. The husband plead guilty to an infraction charge and the wife to a misdemeanor. Both received a small fine and no jail.

Auto Theft Ring - Avoided lengthy prison sentence

Following a 9-month long “sting operation” conducted by the CHP, our client and others were arrested for numerous car thefts and with helping the theft-ring in their operation. The evidence was overwhelming and the entire “sting operation” was captured on audio and video. Our client was facing a substantial prison sentence — Based on the specific circumstance of our clients’ background, we were able to negotiate a sentence that involved probation and house arrest.

Felony Domestic Violence by Member of Armed Forces - Dismissed

Husband who was enlisted in one of the Armed Forces was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence — Case was dismissed after we presented solid evidence that the wife had a history of such false accusations.

Off-Duty Police Officer Lewd Act & Sexual Battery - Jury Trial

While off-duty, a police officer was accused of committing a lewd act and sexual battery on his teenage neighbor — The case was taken to jury trial which resulted in a hung-jury. Eventually the case was dismissed by the prosecutor.

Felony Commercial Bribery at Casino - Reduced to Misdemeanor

Manager at a major California casino was arrested for felony commercial bribery. Felony conviction would have prevented any future employment in the gambling industry — Reduced to misdemeanor accessory to a crime.

( Click here to read news article about the case.)

Lt. Commander - Felony Receipt of Child Pornography - Reduced Sentence

A retired Lieutenant Commander was charged in Federal Court with felony receipt of hundreds of child pornography images. The statutory sentence carried a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 20 years of incarceration — The judge sentenced our client to 2 years despite the Government's objection. The sentence caused the U.S. Attorney's Office to appeal. (Click here to view document.)

Embezzlement of $250,000 by Bookkeeper - Dismissed

Bookkeeper at a medical supply business was arrested and charged with grand-theft and embezzlement of approximately $250,000. As a result, she was facing a substantial jail sentence — The case was dismissed when the accusations turned out to be a cover-up by the company's Directors for their multi-million dollar scam.

(Click here to read a troubling news article about the medical supply business)

Felony Assault Causing Great Bodily Injury - Reduced to Misdemeanor Battery; Avoided Prison

As a result of a bar fight, our client was arrested and charged with felony assault which caused great bodily injury. The injured person spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital— The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor battery and our client was sentenced to probation with several days of house arrest. The prosecutor originally insisted on a sentence that involved several years of state prison, due to the serious nature of the injuries sustained.

DUI with Severe Injuries - $1.6 Million in Damages - Substantial Reduction of Restitution

As a result of DUI and accident which caused severe injuries to 3 individuals, the prosecutor demanded approximately $1,600,000 in victim restitution. The amount demanded would have left the client destitute — After negotiations, we were able to reduce the restitution Court Order to approximately $420,000, thus saving the client a substantial amount of money. (Clik here to view document.)

Teacher Charged with Felony Welfare Fraud & Perjury - Reduced to Misdemeanor

Teacher charged with felony welfare fraud and felony perjury. If convicted of either felony offense, the teacher would have lost teaching credentials — Felony welfare fraud reduced to misdemeanor and perjury dismissed. The teacher was placed on summary probation with no jail time and ordered to pay back the funds to DPSS.

Young Adult Accused of Felony Sex Offenses - Probation and Avoided Registration

An 18 year old was charged with several felony sex-related offenses including sexual intercourse with a 13 year old girl. If convicted of the felony offenses, the individual would have faced jail and registration as a sex offender for life — The individual was placed on probation and did not have to register as a sex-offender.

Felony Hit and Run After Major Accident - Reduced to Misdemeanor and Avoided Prison

The driver of a pick-up truck was accused of fleeing the scene of a major accident after his trailer detached from the truck and hit a car traveling in the opposite direction. The driver was charged with felony hit-and-run — Prosecutor insisted on a felony conviction and prison time. After the jury was selected, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor with probation and community service.

Embezzlement of $212,000 by Treasurer - Probation & House Arrest

Treasurer of a non-profit organization accused of embezzling more than $212,000 — Probation and work release. Saved from lengthy prison sentence.

( Click here to read news article about the case.)

DUI (Marijuana & Alcohol) - Charges Not Filed by Prosecutor

Individual was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana and alcohol (DUI) — Criminal charges not filed by the District Attorney's Office.

Felony DUI Accident That Resulted in Injuries - Probation & House Arrest. Avoided Prison.

A young adult drove her friends home after all had been drinking at a party. While speeding on a winding road, she lost control of her car and crashed. Her passengers suffered serious injuries and she was charged with felony DUI with accident that caused great bodily injury — Probation and work release after minimal custody time. Avoided substantial prison time.

Felony Welfare Fraud & Perjury - Fraud Reduced to Misdemeanor & Perjury Dismissed

Single mother was charged with felony welfare fraud and perjury — Fraud was reduced to misdemeanor and perjury was dismissed. Individual received probation and a fine.

2 lbs. of Marijuana with Intent To Sell - Drug Diversion

Possession of approximately 2 lbs of marijuana with intent to sell — Reduced to possession for personal use and sentenced to drug diversion.

Possession of $500,000 with Intent to Purchase Cocaine - Reduced Prison Time

Our client and others arranged the purchase of approximately $500,000 worth of cocaine from an individual. That individual was an undercover Department of Justice officer. Our client was arrested and the cash was confiscated. (Reverse sting operation) — Saved 8 years of state prison.

Robbery of Fast-Food Restaurant & False Imprisonment - Avoided Substantial Prison Sentence

A patron of a fast-food restaurant and the restaurant manager faked a robbery where several thousand dollars were taken. The other employee did not know that the robbery was staged. The patron was eventually arrested and charged with robbery and false imprisonment — Probation and jail term. Avoided substantial state prison sentence.

100 lbs. of Marijuana with Intent to Sell - Criminal Charges Not Filed

Possession of more than 100 lbs. of marijuana with intent to sell and cultivation of more than 500 marijuana plants — Criminal charges not filed by the District Attorney's Office.

Felony Welfare Fraud - Reduced To Misdemeanor

Individual was charged with 4 felonies relating to welfare fraud — 3 of the felonies were dismissed and the 4th was reduced to a misdemeanor. Individual was placed on probation, had to pay a fine and required to complete several days of work release.

Registered Nurse Accused of 5 Felony Counts - All Felonies Dismissed

Registered Nurse was charged with 5 felony counts including obtaining prescription medication by fraud, burglary and identity theft. The Nurse was married to a Captain in one of the Armed Forces. Any felony conviction would have resulted in the loss of the Nurse's license and the Captain losing his security clearance, thus ending his career — All felony charges were dismissed and plead to one misdemeanor with probation and drug treatment.

Felony DUI and Accident Resulting in Injuries - Avoided Prison Sentence

A 19 year-old drove his truck while under the influence of alcohol and crashed it into a car. The driver of the car was injured and had to have surgery on his shoulder. The 19 year-old was charged with felony DUI causing great bodily injury in violation of VC 23153 and PC 12022.7 — Based on the circumstances of the accident and the 19 year-olds' background, we were able to obtain a sentence of formal probation and the sheriff's labor program, avoiding a substantial prison sentence.

$360,000 in Asset Forfeiture From Burglary - DA's Office Ordered to Return Money to Victims

The District Attorney's Office seized approximately $360,000 in cash, cars and motorcycles from a group of individuals believed to be involved in sophisticated roof-top burglaries of jewelry stores. The property was sought for asset forfeiture. The DA's Office wanted to keep the money for itself – The judge ordered that part of the money be returned for victim restitution.

( Click here to read news article about the case.)

Fireman Arrested for Domestic Violence - No Charges Filed

A veteran fireman was arrested for domestic violence — we convinced the prosecutor to not file charges, thus saving the fireman's career.

Foreign Tourist Arrested for Domestic Violence - No Charges Filed

A foreign national who was vacationing in the US was arrested for domestic violence in Temecula's wine country — before the initial court hearing, we were able to convince the District Attorney's Office to reject filing criminal charges.

Marine Sergeant Arrested for Felony Domestic Violence - Reduced to Misdemeanor and Career was Saved

Sergeant in the Marines arrested for felony domestic violence. Felony conviction would have ended long military career — felony was reduced to misdemeanor "interference with telephone line" in violation of Penal Code 591. As a result, military career was saved.

Arrest for Threats to Police - No Charges Filed

A former civil engineer was arrested for, among other things, calling the police and threatening to blow-up the police station — before the first court hearing, we were able to convince the prosecutor to reject filing criminal charges.

DPSS Revocation of License - Avoided License Suspension

Department of Social Services (DPSS) sought to permanently revoke a day-care provider's license after a child was bitten by a family dog. After evidence was provided and witnesses testified at the hearing, the judge agreed that the provider's license should not be suspended. The judge recommended to DPSS that the provider be placed on probation. DPSS agreed.

( Click here to read the whole case and judge's decision.)

Sentenced to 30 Years-to-Life for Possession With Intent to Sell - Resentenced Under New Law and Released

In 1995 an individual was convicted of possession of meth with intent to sell in violation of HS 11378. He was sentenced to serve 30 years-to-life in prison. In 2013, his family contacted our office to review his case and determine if he qualified for re-sentencing and release from custody under a newly passed Proposition 36. With the use of a Private Investigator and Forensic Psychologist, we were successful in convincing a judge to release him.

( Click here to read the Court's minutes.)

Military Wife Charged with Domestic Violence - Dismissed

Military wife was charged with domestic violence as a misdemeanor. If convicted, she would have been ineligible to relocate out of the country with her husband — the misdemeanor was dismissed and she plead guilty to "disturbance of the peace" as an infraction.

Felony Sex Offense - Charge was Reduced and Avoided Registration

Felony sexual penetration with a foreign object of a person under the age of 18 years — reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The sentence involved probation and work release. Avoided prison sentence and registration as a sex offender.

Felony Possession with Intent to Sell While on Probation - Avoided Several Years of Prison

Felony possession of meth with intent to sell. Individual had a prior felony conviction for the same offense and was on probation at the time of the arrest — probation and county jail. Avoided lengthy prison sentence.

Marine Sergeant charged with DUI - Reduced to Wet-Reckless

Marine Sergeant charged with DUI. Blood alcohol content of 0.18%. DUI conviction would have ended long career. — reduced to wet-reckless and saved career.

Sex Offense With Minor - Reduced to "Disturbance of the Peace"

A boyfriend was charged with oral copulation involving his girlfriend who was a minor — reduced to "disturbance of the peace" and avoided mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Reckless Driving Resulting in Car Rollover - Reduced to Speeding Ticket

Young adult was charged with reckless driving after the car he was allegedly racing crashed and rolled over— the reckless driving charge was reduced to speeding ticket.

Domestic Violence on Military Base - Case Dismissed

Our client was charged in Federal Court for committing domestic violence against her husband on a military base. Her husband was employed as a civilian administrator at a GS-12 grade. If convicted, our client would have been precluded from being employed as a white collar professional. - Case Dismissed.

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