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February 2014 Archives

One of My Favorite Clients, On the Anniversary of Winning His Dismissal

I've told on this blog before, the story of my Client who shipped over a kilo of cocaine from Los Angeles to Maine.  He was charged in Federal Court in Maine with Possession with Intent to Distribute and Conspiracy.  Since the time he did those acts, he turned his life around, enlisted in the Army and went into battle.
The more I got to know him, the more I realized how remarkable this man was.  He was a Forward Observer in Afghanistan - very dangerous work.  So, I asked the Federal Prosecutors to give him a diversion.  Diversions are common in State Court, but extremely rare in Federal Court.  In fact, I don't know of one being given since my Client earned his.  He got his diversion and the case was dismissed.  It was such a rare occurrence that it was covered on the front page of the Portland Press Herald and the Boston Globe.
Every year on the anniversary of that dismissal, for the past 4 years, my Client and his family send me a card and a beautiful gift basket for my office.  The gift basket and card are great, but most importantly it reminds me to remind those around me that people can turn their life around.  My Client is a wonderful example of that.
Stay safe Drill Sargent Matt!
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Timothy E. Zerillo has been included in every edition of New England Super Lawyers since 2010, for his Super Lawyers page click here. Timothy E. Zerillo has a 10 out of 10 rating from AVVO.com, for his ratings page, click here.

For more on Tim Zerillo and Zerillo Law, click here.

Tim Zerillo Follows up the Gross Sexual Assault Dismissal with a Violating Conditions of Release Dismissal

I told you a few weeks ago that I was able to get a Gross Sexual Assault, Class A, case in Sagadahoc County dismissed.  This was an extremely serious charge, involving massive potential jail time for our 18 year old Client, who allegedly forcibly raped a 16 year old minor.  This alleged victim actively sought prosecution of our Client, but we were able to expose huge holes in her story.  I was thrilled to get the case completely dismissed - not plea bargained - dismissed entirely after Indictment.
While his charges were pending, my 18 year old client got in trouble (the way 18 year olds will do) and violated bail.  So, then we were dealing with a Violation of Conditions of Release charge.  He was dead bang guilty of that charge.  I was able to convince the prosecutor yesterday that he had been punished enough by being wrongfully charged with a Gross Sexual Assault, and they agreed to dismiss the Violation of Conditions of Release charge too.
Kudos to the prosecutor for being thoughtful.  2 for 2 with dismissals in 1 case - love it!
Best, Tim Zerillo
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Timothy E. Zerillo has been included in every edition of New England Super Lawyers since 2010, for his Super Lawyers page click here. Timothy E. Zerillo has a 10 out of 10 rating from AVVO.com, for his ratings page, click here.

For more on Tim Zerillo and Zerillo Law, click here.

Gross Sexual Assault Case Dismissed in Sagadahoc County

I am extremely pleased to report that I was able to get a Gross Sexual Assault, Class A, case in Sagadahoc County dismissed recently.  This was an extremely serious charge, involving massive potential jail time for our 18 year old Client, who allegedly forcibly raped a 16 year old minor.
Through an extensive investigation, we were able to poke holes in the alleged victim's testimony.  We then set out to convince the prosecutor that he should dismiss a case that he had already charged.
After many months of litigation and attempts at persuasion, the prosecutor ultimately made the right choice and dismissed the Class A Gross Sexual Assault outright.
I can't explain adequately how life-changing this experience is for our Client.  We are thrilled that the right result was reached.
Best, Tim Zerillo
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Timothy E. Zerillo has been included in every edition of New England Super Lawyers since 2010, for his Super Lawyers page click here. Timothy E. Zerillo has a 10 out of 10 rating from AVVO.com, for his ratings page, click here.

For more on Tim Zerillo and Zerillo Law, click here.

Federal Child Pornography Sentencing Update

I recently had a client sentenced in United States District Court in Portland in a child pornography case I have been working on since 2011.  The case involved in excess of 18,000 images and videos containing child pornography.  Our client, a retired executive, faced federal sentencing guidelines between 78 and 97 months in prison.
We spent a lot of time arguing how the guidelines were unfair.  Ultimately, the Court agreed to grant a below the guidelines sentence of 36 months.  We argued that the guidelines we inherently unreasonable and particularly unreasonable as applied to our client.
Remember, this is federal court, not state court.  Federal court is a totally different animal with criminal cases, and especially child pornography cases.  Sentences are very high. This was a very good result for our client, ultimately.