Wirth Law Office’s Bartlesville criminal defense attorney successfully won dismissal of charges against a Mannford woman who was the victim of a botched drug raid. There was never any real question that police had raided the wrong home when they invaded the home where the woman lived with her husband – a disabled veteran – based on transposed numbers on a search warrant. Nor was there ever any real evidence the couple had methamphetamine in their home, as police alleged based on crumbs found inside an empty plastic bag found in their home. The cops’ drug dog even knew it was not methamphetamine.
Nonetheless, police jailed the couple for three days and seized their cash, boat, truck and camping gear. Prosecutors charged each of the two with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, maintaining a place for the sale of controlled substances and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
The couple refused to tender a false confession even when prosecutors offered to let the woman go in exchange for a her husband’s guilty plea. Wirth Law Office defense attorneys refused to back down. At the final hours before a preliminary hearing, Wirth Law Office finally obtained lab reports that showed the substance police had used as basis for their charade were not illegal drugs.
Even then, prosecutors threatened to file charges for attempting to sell fake drugs – even though nobody had claimed the couple ever tried to sell them any drugs. The only people who had sold the innocuous crumbs as drugs were police and prosecutors, who tried to sell a court on the idea that they had stumbled upon drug users to cover up the fact that police had raided the wrong house.
The case demonstrates why it can be important to retain effective legal counsel. Prosecutors may pressure, cajole or bargain for a plea even when no crime has been committed. In this case, the couple later filed a lawsuit against the county, seeking damages for their trauma and the property they lost.