Wente Cases

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Actual Case Summaries

Be advised that I never promise a client a particular outcome. Details of prior cases should not be taken as an indication that other clients will necessarily see the same results either.


Case summary:

Defendant was charged with a single count of Theft in the first degree. Defendant was an employee of a local house cleaning company. Defendant worked part time with her boss to clean various client's homes. One of the client's called the police to report property they thought had been stolen but weren't sure who had taken it. The police targeted defendant as the alleged thief and a criminal case was filed. The State dismissed the case the day before jury trial was scheduled to begin.

Attorney Comments:

This case is definitely in the top 10 worst police investigations I've ever personally witnessed. Because the police investigation was so poor it made our defense investigation incredibly complex. In short what happened was that when the house cleaning client reported the theft to the police they also complained about the alleged thefts to Defendant's boss. Defendant's boss, having just learned that a client reported suspected stolen property from their homes, immediately began calling several other client's advising them they may have had property stolen from them as well. We contended that it was Defendant's boss that was the real thief as Defendant adamantly denied stealing anything. Defendant's boss has been interfering and directing all of the theft reports. The boss called several house cleaning clients (the client's she knew would have missing property because she herself had stolen it) and reported to them that she had caught Defendant with stolen property. All the client's, believing the boss was telling the truth, called the police to report their missing property and gave the police Defendant's name as the person who had stolen from them. The boss had orchestrated the entire operation and the investigating officer did nothing to stop her because the officer just assumed Defendant was guilty. In the final days of the case we had subpoenaed 15+ witnesses to testify at the trial, including all of the State's witnesses (a tactic I'd never done or seen done before). Our preparation and investigation in this case pushed the State into a corner and after their attempt to delay, the case was denied by the judge and the State dismissed the case.

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Case Summary:

Defendant was charged with reckless driving in one case and given a speeding citation in another case. The incidents were a result of an allegation that Defendant had been driving in excess of 100 mph on a highway with a 55 mph speed limit. The reckless driving charge was dismissed and Defendant was convicted of speeding 99 mph.

Attorney Comments:

My client was in a tough spot in this case. The reckless driving charge would have resulted in some jail time and license suspension. The 100+ mph speeding citation would also result in a license suspension. After several lengthy discussions with various district attorneys the State agreed to dismiss the reckless driving charge and pursue only the speeding ticket portion of the case. When we showed up to the trial for the speeding citation I was able to negotiate with the officer who graciously agreed to reduce the alleged speed to under 100 mph. This saved my client from a license suspension. I contend my client was not likely traveling as fast as the officer alleged but since the officer agreed to reduce the speed my client avoided the license suspension, which was the main problem he sought to avoid.

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Case Summary:

Defendant was charged with a single count of driving under the influence. The allegation was that a citizen had come upon multiple vehicles in a ditch and the citizen observed that Defendant was intoxicated and getting out of the driver's door of one of the vehicles. The police were called and arrived more than an hour after the alleged collision had occurred. Defendant refused to accept DUI diversion and instead exercised his right to a jury trial. The State dismissed the case one week prior to the scheduled trial date.

Attorney comments:

There was no question my client was intoxicated. The video provided of the incident that night showed that my client was heavily intoxicated. The issue in this case was that my client had not been driving. When the officer finally arrived on scene and began interviewing the people there he was given certain information. First, my client denied having driven the vehicle and that someone else had been driving. Second, the citizen witness that had called the police in the first place had not seen who had been driving the vehicle as he had arrived after the vehicle was in the ditch. Third, another witness on scene had just come from the bar down the road and told the officer that a female had just entered the bar and admitted to just having "wrecked" my client's truck. However, because the officer was not there to actually investigate the case the officer ignored this critical information. The officer simply concluded my client was lying and arrested him for DUI without any further investigation. The officer could not be bothered to take 10 - 15 min to walk the 100 feet to the bar to inquire about this mystery woman. In our investigation we interviewed the bar tender of the bar that night who corroborated that my client had been at the bar with a woman, whom she didn't know, and that when my client left the woman had his keys. Shortly before trial was supposed to begin the State claimed they were unable to secure witnesses at trial and moved for a continuance. We objected. The Court denied the request to continue the case and the case was dismissed.

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When you come to me for legal assistance, I'll use my experience as a former deputy district attorney to build your defense. Discuss the details of your criminal charge or concern with me, and I’ll determine the best approach to defending your case. You’ll breathe a little easier knowing that a knowledgeable attorney is by your side.

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Nathan D Wente, Attorney at Law
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