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If you have been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense, turn to Bakersfield's most dedicated criminal defense team. Our proven track record demonstrates our dedication and skill when it comes to defending our clients' rights. For whatever charges you or your loved one are facing, we are prepared to battle against them. Call today for a free consultation!

      Our client was charged with two counts of attempted murder with gang enhancements as well as a gang member in possession of a firearm, and was facing multiple life sentences. He admitted to possessing the gun, but denied any involvement in the shootings that were the basis for the attempted murder charges. Through investigation, talking to additional witnesses, and negotiation, we were able to get both counts of attempted dismissed, and our client will only do one year in custody on the gun charge.


      Campbell Whitten criminal defense attorney Clayton Campbell managed last month to hang a jury in a trial wherein our client was charged with attempted murder, two counts of robbery, five counts of assault with a firearm, and other charges including an enhancement for personal use of a firearm which would have added ten years to the client's sentence. The hung jury resulted in a very favorable settlement for the client.

      Our client was accused of donning a ski mask and participating in an armed robbery of a local jewelry store in which gunfire was exchanged between the robbers and store owner who courageously defended himself, his wife, and his customers. Good detective work resulted in the recovery of the ski masks and some garments that had been worn by the robbers. The only question in the trial was the identity of the robbers, as the crime itself was caught on videotape.

      "The evidence they had was strong, but not strong enough for a unanimous verdict," said Campbell. "This prosecutor's office chose not to conduct DNA testing on the ski masks, and that was what left a doubt. I kept reminding the jury of the prosecutor's burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and I think they took it to heart."

      The hung jury resulted in a mistrial, but instead of pursuing a second trial on the attempted murder charge, the Kern County District Attorney's office settled for two counts of robbery. Prior to the trial there was no offer of settlement from the prosecutor, an indication of how confident the DA's office was in the strength of the evidence.

      How big of a difference does a hung jury make? A co-defendant was convicted of most of the charges he faced and was sentenced to fifty-four years prison. Our client received a six year sentence.

      Regarding our client, Campbell said: "My client still has a life ahead of him. Instead of coming home from prison an old man, he'll be under thirty."


      Attorney Clayton Campbell obtained a dismissal of all charges against a client charged with auto theft and receipt of stolen property. The defendant was detained by police on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 10851 and receiving a stolen vehicle in violation of California Penal Code Section 496(d).

      It was a case of mistaken identity involving a client who has, in the past, used several alternative names. Police detained the defendant and contacted the registered owner of the vehicle. Police gave the owner of the car the legal names of the people in it, including our client, but were told that the owner didn't know any of them and that none of them had permission to possess her vehicle.

      This was perplexing to our client, who told police that she knew the owner and had permission to have the car. As it turns out, she was known to the car's owner by another name. Our firm tracked down the elusive car owner, obtained her statement, and convinced the district attorney to dismiss all charges against our client.


      Client avoids DUI conviction, jail time, alcohol classes, steep fines, and license suspension after our firm attacked legality of law enforcement action and the reliability of the chemical breath test that was administered.

      Our client was charged with a DUI and child endangerment based on the presence of a baby in the car our client was driving while allegedly intoxicated. A chemical breath test indicated our client’s BAC was over .20, nearly three times the legal limit. After our firm acquired a copy of the dash-cam video from the arresting officer’s patrol car, however, it was determined that the officer’s legal justification for pulling our client over was highly questionable. Ultimately, attorney Van Eerden obtained a dismissal of all charges in exchange for a plea to reckless driving that involved probation and no jail.

      In addition to the criminal charges filed by the Kern County District Attorney, our client also faced potential penalties from the DMV (including a mandatory 1-month driver’s license suspension) due to the DUI allegations. After a hearing on the evidence, during which we attacked the reliability of the chemical test and argued it was improperly administered, the DMV hearing officer agreed to set aside the pending suspension. These efforts ensured that our client avoided a conviction for DUI and was able to keep her license without interruption.


      Eyewitness testimony alleged that our client crashed her car into a car driven by someone else and that our client then fled the scene.

      She was followed to her home where officers eventually made contact with her and arrested her for driving under the influence. She had no alcohol in her system, but tested positive for prescription medication. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs mostly mirror those of driving under the influence of alcohol with a major exception: a first time conviction for driving under the influence of drugs carries a much longer driver license suspension - one year. In this case, after getting a comprehensive toxicology panel and attacking the prosecutor's evidence of the drug content and levels Van Eerden was able to obtain a reduction of the case to a "dry reckless" which carries a significantly reduced fine, no jail, and no license suspension.


      Attorney Sam Van Eerden was able to get the standard 3 year summary probation for a first-time DUI client terminated early.


      Attorney Jesse Whitten obtained a deal of no jail time on a misdemeanor for felony assault with a firearm charges. The defendant admitted to firing a shot at the alleged victim after they had been involved in a fistfight.

      The defendant was arrested, charged with assault with a firearm, and was offered 19 years in prison at his arraignment.

      Our firm conducted its own investigation, and found that the alleged victim was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time, had attacked the defendant at his own house, and had threatened harm to the defendant in the past. We presented the results of our investigation to the deputy district attorney and were able to convince them to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and the defendant was not required to spend a single day in jail.

    • FELONY FIRST DEGREE BURGLARY Misdemeanor trespass, no jail time

      Attorney Clayton Campbell obtained a dismissal of all charges in a gang drug sales case on Friday, March 15, 2013.

      Our client, a relative of a well-known Bakersfield gang member, was accused of conspiring with members of a local criminal street gang to sell narcotics. In truth, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      "She was hanging out with her cousins, minding her own business. They were having a few drinks, and some guys came over to talk to them,” said Campbell. “She was just there, talking to them, when the police arrived. Then they accused her of trying to help them with their drug dealing enterprise. Fortunately, we were able to convince the DA to dismiss the charges.”

      Gang participation, a serious felony under California’s three strikes law, was the most serious charge. Two types of narcotics were involved, both cocaine base and methamphetamine. Our client faced up to seven years and four months in prison if convicted.


      Our client was charged with sideswiping another driver's vehicle during rush-hour traffic; a collision which caused severe property damage.

      Despite the fact that the driver of the damaged car provided the license number of our client's vehicle and provided a description of the at-fault driver, this case was dismissed by the prosecution once we established that the witness had made an unreliable visual identification. Obtaining this dismissal prior to trial not only achieved for our client the best possible outcome of her case, it also saved her the money that she would have been forced to spend to take the case to trial.


      Attorney Clayton Campbell obtained a dismissal of drug sales charges in the midst of a trial. Our client, a man with three prison priors and three strike priors, was accused of possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of methamphetamine in a jail facility, and possession of paraphernalia.

      The case was sent out to jury trial and, after three days of selection, we had an excellent jury and expected a fair trial. During a break, however, it was discovered for the first time that the prosecution's primary witness did not have personal knowledge of some of the most important facts pertaining to half of the methamphetamine and the possession in the jail. Our client maintained his innocence from the beginning, and this was a welcome development. The district attorney had to dismiss some of the charges, but our client was still exposed - with his strike priors and his three prison priors, his exposure was still nine years on the sole remaining charge - simple possession of methamphetamine in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11377(A).

      But with an excellent jury waiting in the hallway to hear the case, Campbell persuaded the district attorney to dismiss the prison priors, and convinced the judge to strike all of the strike priors. The client pled no contest to this one count for two years. He already has most of his time in jail.

      The jury, patient with our selection for three days, was stunned with the sudden settlement of the case. Our client will soon go home.


      Our client was charged with operating a commercial vehicle without proper permits, and the law enforcement report alleged that the vehicle was being actively used for an unlawful purpose.

      This misdemeanor case was dismissed in its entirety, however, once Van Eerden provided the district attorney with information that helped to prove that the violations alleged were not committed with the intent to willfully violate the law. There are two sides to every case and it is vital to have an attorney on your side who will speak for you and articulate the facts that justify your conduct.


      Recently we had a case where one of our clients was charged with possession of a loaded firearm by an ex-felon, possession of ammunition by an ex-felon, possession of a firearm by a gang member, gang participation, and gang enhancements. He was facing up to fifteen years in prison. This was somewhat of an unusual case in that the officers did get a search warrant before searching our client’s residence. However, the officers initially went into his home without a warrant and the subsequent warrant relied, at least in part, on evidence the officers observed during the first entry into the residence. We filed a motion to suppress evidence and a motion to quash the warrant. We argued that the initial entry into the residence constituted an illegal search, and that without the “fruit” of this illegal search, there was no probable cause to support the search warrant. Both motions were granted, all the evidence was suppressed, and the case was dismissed. One of the key issues in this case was whether running from the police is grounds to make an arrest. We were able to find California cases that discussed this exact issue, and which held that a person has the same right to avoid police officers as any other individual. Thus, without independent evidence of criminal behavior, simply running from the police does not give the officers the right to enter a residence in order to chase a fleeing suspect.


      A Campbell Whitten client accused of rape, assault with a firearm, and domestic battery is a free man after a thorough defense investigation revealed serious doubts about the credibility of his accuser.

      The alleged victim, an ex-girlfriend of our client, had suffered a minor cut to her forehead. Our client maintained that the cut was the result of her head-butting him during an argument over his interest in ending their relationship and moving on.

      She had admitted the injury was the result of an accident, but later accused the defendant of pointing a gun at her to convince her to do so. The rape accusation was added almost as an afterthought – and was based on an event she claimed to have occurred more than six months prior to their breakup.

      Utilizing the services of private investigator Joe Serrano, Campbell Whitten attorneys were able to uncover substantial evidence that the alleged victim had fabricated the charges in order to achieve legal resident status under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The law permits undocumented persons illegally present in the United States to legitimize their status if they are the victim of domestic violence.

      The frightening thing about this case is that if a person claims domestic violence, some prosecutors are willing to believe the accusations no matter what the other evidence is. The case had to be taken to the brink of trial before it could be settled.


      A Campbell Whitten client with a previously clean record will be able to move on after being falsely accused of robbery.

      Our client, a young college student whose only mistake was his choice of friends, was charged with robbery after two of his acquaintances deprived another student of a computer and telephone at gunpoint. The gun was fake, but the trouble was real in a classic case of guilt-by-association. After grappling with multiple prosecutors, Campbell Whitten criminal defense attorney Clayton D. Campbell convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the charges. As charged, our client faced up to five years in prison. “Being present when a crime is committed does not make you guilty of that crime,” said Campbell, “at least not in the eyes of the law. In the eyes of the police and prosecutors, which view everything with a presumption of guilt, it’s plenty. Fortunately for my client in this case the prosecutor did the right thing and dismissed the charges”.


      Campbell Whitten criminal defense attorney Clayton Campbell won a not guilty verdict last week after a six day trial in a case involving allegations of sales of prescription medication.

      Our client, a disabled diabetic, was accused by Bakersfield police officers of possessing prescription medication with the intent to sell it.

      "This case should have never been filed," said Campbell after the trial. "Once a case is given to a jury, anything could happen. An innocent man with medication prescribed to him by his doctor could have been convicted. I'm grateful that the jury did the right thing."

      The jury deliberated for more than a day before finding our client not guilty of all charges, including a paraphernalia charge for possession of methamphetamine smoking pipes.

      "The DA didn't file meth possession charges against my client," said Campbell. "They were saying all along that the paraphernalia could be either the pipes or my client's insulin syringes, but at the last minute he asked Judge Clark to remove the syringes from the jury instructions."

      The case involved a co-defendant who attempted to flush the medication, along with a bindle of methamphetamine, down a toilet in our client's home.


      Attorneys Jesse Whitten and Clayton Campbell negotiate a settlement of a case involving third strike charges on Friday, April 12, 2013. Our client hired a defense team and it paid off - and avoided a life sentence!

      Our client had been convicted twice before on charges that, pursuant to California's three strikes law, are "serious" felonies; that is, they were strike priors on his criminal record. In his new case he was charged with robbery and attempted robbery involving multiple victims, including one who sustained a bloody head wound in an altercation with our client.

      Facing a twenty-five year to life sentence, our client hired us to save his future. We negotiated a settlement whereby he admitted a less serious crime in exchange for a four year, eight month sentence. He will again see the light of day as a free man.