Examples of Mr. Benice’s criminal trial practice include:
Mr. Benice presently represents a construction company owner charged with Worker’s Compensation fraud in Los Angeles Superior court.
Mr. Benice represents an individual charged with grand theft of over $2,000,000 allegedly stolen during the construction of several homes in Newport Beach, California. The defendant managed the construction.
Mr. Benice presently represents ServiceMaster, a fire damage and flood abatement company, charged in the Superior Court of San Bernardino with in excess of 46 felony counts of insurance and worker’s compensation fraud; ServiceMaster is accused of wrongfully obtaining in excess of $10,000,000 of insurance proceeds.
Mr. Benice presently represents a defendant in proceedings pending in the United States District Court Central District of California charged with receiving in excess of $12,000,000 in fraudulently obtained “Ponzi” proceeds from the operation of a San Luis Obispo private mortgage fund.
In August 2005, Mr. Benice successfully negotiated a plea agreement for his client, Stephen Parker. Mr. Parker was charged with multiple counts of felony receiving stolen property and drug possession arising from his alleged involvement with the Monguls motorcycle gang. Because of a prior stolen property felony conviction, Mr. Parker was subject to a potential twelve-year state prison sentence. However, during pretrial proceedings, Mr. Benice successfully demonstrated that the arresting officers had falsely stated in police reports that Mr. Parker had “confessed” to the crime after being read his Miranda rights. In fact, he had not been so advised and had made no “confession.” As a consequence of Mr. Benice’s efforts, at the trial judge’s recommendation, the prosecution offered Mr. Parker a three-year sentence at a halfway house in Los Angeles, which Mr. Parker accepted.
In December 2003, Mr. Benice successfully represented a defendant charged in Orange County Superior Court, inter alia, with felony assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to cause bodily injury. After a four-day jury trial, Mr. Benice obtained an acquittal of the charge against defendant.
Mr. Benice represented Michael Goodwin, the primary suspect in the 1988 murders of racecar driver Mickey Thompson and his wife Trudy. This case has received media coverage throughout the United States including on 48 Hours. On June 26, 2001, the California Court of Appeal granted Mr. Goodwin’s application for a Writ of Mandate in a published opinion to prevent the prosecution from wrongfully compelling Mr. Goodwin to appear in a lineup.
In an action in the United States District Court, Central District of California, the Government attempted to obtain a five-year sentence and a $450,000 restitution order for income tax fraud against a prominent racetrack gambler, James Greulich. During sentencing hearings, Mr. Benice successfully limited Mr. Greulich’s incarceration period to 15-months without restitution. In November 2001, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the most significant elements of Mr. Greulich’s conviction.
In a California Superior Court action, Mr. Benice successfully represented a defendant charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. The defendant recklessly drove a vehicle while allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine, colliding with another motor vehicle, killing the defendant’s passenger. Mr. Benice succeeded in excluding a blood test taken after the defendant’s arrest on the ground the test was not properly conducted. The blood test’s exclusion eliminated any evidence of the defendant’s alleged methamphetamine usage. Mr. Benice then successfully negotiated a misdemeanor plea to reckless driving.
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