Drug Tax Stamp Felony WIN

When fighting the State to win freedom for my clients, I always play my cards close to the vest.  I never let the State see my hand.  Even when I'm forced to "fold."

A great example of this happened recently in Boone County.  After receiving an unfavorable pretrial suppression ruling on whether the US Postal Inspector trespassed onto my client's property without a warrant, I couldn't have my client admit any responsibitlity by pleading guilty.  Instead, to preserve a really solid issue for appeal, I had to "fold" and have the court find my client guilty of felony charges.  This process is referred to as a "trial on the minutes" where the court reviews the police reports attached to the minutes of testimony prepared by the State to determine whether there is proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, in this case, while the minutes themselves made reference to the fact that no tax stamps were affixed to the seized marijuana, there was nothing in the accompanying police reports to substantiate the State's assertion.

Of course, I knew this from the beginning of our representation, but kept it close to the vest. 

The result?  The court concluded there was not enough evidence in the minutes to convict my client of a class D felony for failing to affix any drug tax stamps.  By not showing my hand, I was able to spare my client a five-year prison sentence and a fine of between $750 and $7500.