Major Acquittals

Many criminal defense lawyers have never seen the inside of a courtroom, even fewer have been successful at defending their clients through trial. Mayfield, Gruber & Sanft has secured many outright acquittals. Here are a few...

State of Nevada v. JC


  • Murder w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Att. Robbery

  • Assault W/ Deadly Weapon

During an illegal street car race one night, JC was driving a vehicle with three of his friends. One of the people in the car decided to shoot an innocent tourist from New York. Later than evening all four were arrested and charged with First Degree Murder among other felony charges after police found guns under each seat in the car. JC was represented by this firm during a hard fought trial. After considering the evidence JC was found NOT GUILTY while his three friends were all sentenced to 30 years to life in prison

State of Nevada v. CP


  • Attempted Murder

  • Multiple Counts of Discharging a Firearm

After waking up to his baby crying and two men threatening his girlfriend, CP, a black man, was shortly after beaten down by the same two white men. Later on, one of these men was shot in the back and the other was struck in the throat, both lucky to still be alive. CP was charged with the Attempted Murder of his attackers. This firm was able to exploit holes in the District Attorney's prosecution showing they did not do everything within their power to determine the correct shooter. CP was found NOT GUILTY on all charges. 

After trial, as a compliment to Michael Sanft, he was asked by the detective on CP's case to represent his friend in a separate criminal matter. 

State of Nevada v. AD


  • Trafficking of a Controlled Substance

  • Two Counts of Possession W/ Intent to Sell

AP had been watched by detectives placing two pounds of cocaine, ecstacy, a firearm and ammunition, and a large amount of cash into the trunk of a parked car. He was shortly arrested. APPEARANCE had been set up by one of his customers to perform a controlled transaction sealing his fate. At trial, attorney Michael Sanft attacked the two lead detectives and police officers exposing they lied about important facts in AP's case. After arguments were settled the jury deliberated and found AP NOT GUILTY on all charges.

State of Nevada v. TS


  • Conspiracy to Commit Poss. of Credit or Debit Card w/o Owners Consent

  • 25 Counts of Poss. of Credit or Debit Card w/o Owners Consent

Police officers found a list of names and credit card information in TS's room. The State charged him with 26 counts of possession of credit card information that wasn’t his.

TS faced multiple cases of credit card fraud at the same time. During the trial, Mr. Sanft established that the State could not prove that TS was the only person with access to the credit card information, and urged the jury to find TS not guilty.

During the jury’s deliberations, they sent a note advising the Court that they did not believe that TS was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Sanft was able to negotiate TS's other cases into a very favorable deal, in addition to the jury verdict of NOT GUILTY of all 26 counts in this case.

State of Nevada v. SK


  • Att. Murder w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Assault w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Robbery w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Conspiracy to Commit Robbery w/ Deadly Weapon

A 56 year old victim drove his Prius to a nearby drive up teller kiosk in the middle of night to withdraw $300. A man with a Spider-man mask hid behind the kiosk and robbed him.
Luckily for the victim, the robber was distracted by the ATM. As the robber took off his mask to try to read the message on the ATM screen, the victim sped off. Police were called, and the victim later identified SK in a photo six pack lineup. SK was charged with Robbery with Deadly Weapon, and Attempt Murder, among other crimes.
At trial, the victim stood up and pointed out SK in court, telling the jury he was the person who robbed him that night. Despite the victim being retired military who was a current high school basketball referee, the jury was not convinced SK was the robber. Mr. Sanft brought out discrepancies in SK's physical appearance, even though the ATM footage of the robber’s face was extremely similar to SK's facial features. The jury found SK NOT GUILTY of all charges.

State of Nevada v. AL


  • Child Abuse & Neglect w/ Substantial Bodily Harm

After AL babysat a one and a half year old baby girl for the day, the baby’s mother took her home. Three hours later, the mother discovered her baby suffered a severely fractured arm where the bone was splintered.
The mother immediately accused AL and she was promptly arrested. The injuries to the baby were consistent with someone twisting her arm in such a way that her bone splintered, then the arm was shoved back together. AL was charged with a sole count of Child Abuse and Neglect with Substantial Bodily Harm.
At trial, the State attempted to prove that AL was responsible for the severe injury to the baby. AL would not testify due to a prior conviction for murder. However, the jury could not ignore Mr. Sanft’s cross examination of the State’s witnesses, as well as his closing argument, that a baby with that type of injury, would not cry and express itself from the moment its mother first picked it up.

State of Nevada v. CR


  • Att. Murder w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Battery w/ use of a Deadly Weapon Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm

Surveillance captured a shooting of a young man in the courtyard of an apartment complex. A group of people who surrounded him ran when a man in that group pulled out a gun and shot him. The victim identified CR as the shooter.
CR was in the area of the shooting, visiting a girl he knew. He didn’t know the victim. When the shots rang out, he started running like everyone else. He ran past a neighbor who later identified him as running from the scene. Because of his criminal history and distinctive tattoos on his face, CR was charged with Attempt Murder with Use of Deadly Weapon.
At trial, the jury saw the surveillance video and considered the neighbor’s testimony. But Mr. Sanft pointed out discrepancies with the shooter depicted in the video, the victim’s description of the shooter, and the neighbor’s version of events. As a result, the jury found CR NOT GUILTY.

State of Nevada v. TS (2)


  • Assault w/ Deadly Weapon

  • First Degree Kidnapping w/ Use of a Deadly Weapon

  • Battery Domestic Violence w/ Strangulation

Police responded to a 911 call where the victim alleged that TS was in her house with a gun, and had tried to kill. Soon, a standoff with SWAT ensued.
TS dated the victim previously. However, he still maintained a working relationship with her, mainly for odd repairs around her properties. As TS came over one morning to run errands, he and the victim began to argue. The victim ran upstairs, barricading herself in a bedroom, and called 911, alleging that TS had a gun, and threatened to kill her after choking her in a bathroom.
When SWAT arrived, they surrounded the house. The victim and her house guest was rescued from a second story window. After three hours, TS was found trapped in a gun safe in the garage.
At trial, Mr. Sanft demonstrated how the victim’s version of events were inconsistent with the physical evidence. There were also no bruising consistent with the type of battery she alleged. As a result, the jury found TS NOT GUILTY.

State of Nevada v. BF


  • Burglary

  • Att. to Acquire a Controlled Substance by Fraud

BF walked into a pharmacy to fill a prescription. When he returned to pick it up, he was arrested for burglary and passing a false prescription and left in handcuffs.
At trial, Mr. Sanft did not dispute that BF was the person in the pharmacy surveillance. He also did not dispute that BF handed a prescription to the pharmacist. However, Mr. Sanft’s cross examination of the state investigator revealed that she did not conduct a thorough investigation, and as a result, she could not verify that BF's prescription was false.
The jury learned through Mr. Sanft’s cross examinations that the pharmacist did call and verify the prescription, but that the investigator did not do any further investigation.

 State of Nevada v. EC


  • Att. Burglary

On a quiet residential street, a neighbor calls police alleging that he saw a burglary in progress. EC is arrested in front of the house.
The State alleged at trial that EC kicked in the door at a residence, and that a neighbor down the street was quick enough to summon police before EC could go into the house.
Mr. Sanft demonstrated that the neighbor could not have seen what he said he did from his own kitchen window, and emphasized that the police conducted a poor investigation of the crime, including a failure to look for matching shoe prints to EC's shoes. EC was found NOT GUILTY.

United States v. DT


  • Possession of Firearm by Prohibited Person

All DT wanted one night was to grab fast food with his wife. He ended up in trial over a federal gun case charging him with one count of Ex- felon in Possession of Firearm.
DT did not realize his wife had any problems with anyone. Instead of heading directly to his favorite restaurant, his wife drove to a house in his neighborhood, got out of the car, and pointed a gun at a man. DT immediately jumped out to calm his wife down and grab the gun. He put it in his pocket, and failed to tell police when they arrived on the scene.
When DT was patted down, they discovered the gun in his front pocket, and consequently arrested him for ex-felon in possession.
At trial, Mr. Sanft argued that what DT did was commit a smaller crime to prevent a bigger one from occurring, namely his wife shooting someone. The jury agreed and DT was found NOT GUILTY

State of Nevada v. CM


  • Sexual Assault w/ Deadly Weapon

  • First Degree Kidnapping w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Battery w/ Deadly Weapon

  • Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping

  • Conspiracy to Commit Robbery

Police responded to a shot fired call near Sunrise Hospital. While they were investigating, they discovered a robbery and sexual assault had taken place, and CM, found at the scene, was identified as one of three
men who committed the crime.
CM was charged with multiple counts of First Degree Kidnapping with Use of Deadly Weapon, and Sexual Assault with Use of Deadly Weapon, among others for a total of 21 counts. At trial, both victims identified CM as one of three men who robbed and raped both victims. Further, one of the other two men testified at trial as a snitch, identifying CM as being involved.
Mr. Sanft’s defense focused on the credibility of the victims, the snitch, and the Metro police officers involved. He demonstrated that the victims had motive to lie about the situation, that the snitch wanted less time in exchange for his testimony, and that Metro failed to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.
After the jury deliberated for a little over an hour, they found CM NOT GUILTY of all 21 counts.

Appellate/Motion Practice


In addition to jury trials, Mr. Sanft utilizes other means to defend his clients- motions, appeals, and negotiations.
Sometimes motion practice is necessary to achieve the right result for a client. Filing a motion is a way to ask a judge to do something on behalf of the client, like dismiss a case.
Other ways of obtaining positive results include filing and arguing appeals in appellate courts. The following cases illustrate the type of results and Mr. Sanft’s skill as a litigator:

United States v. LR


  • Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering

LR went to dinner with a man who was from the town his family was from in Mexico. Little did he know he was watched by the DEA and that the man he was with was a member of a drug cartel.
On an early July morning, armed DEA agents in bulletproof vests burst into LR's home, tearing through his residence, and arrested Luis for helping launder millions of dollars for a drug cartel in Monterrey, Mexico. The main DEA office in Los Angeles, California held a news conference the next day, lauding the efforts of law enforcement in their fight against the drug cartels, and holding up LS's arrest as proof.
Mr. Sanft immediately met with LS's and after going over his case, realized that Ls's best defense strategy was to sit down with the government to show that he had nothing to hide. Mr. Sanft and LS met with prosecutors in New York, provided them with evidence of LS's innocence, and waited four more months until they received notice from the government that they were DISMISSING LS's case.

State v. JG


  • Drug Trafficking w/ Intent to Sell

  • Possession of Fire Arm by Prohibited Person

Police filed for a search warrant AFTER searching JG's home looking for drugs. Then they charged him with trafficking.
Police arrived at JG's home responding to a call that Juan was driving with a child unrestrained in his car. JG refused to let them in without a warrant. Officers ignored JG's protests and entered his residence under the guise of a wellness check for children. While they found no evidence of children in the home, they located 50 pounds of marijuana, 35 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 10 grams of LSD, and 6 grams of hashish. They also located $48,000 in cash and a semi-automatic handgun. JG was arrested and charged with various crimes, including trafficking.
Mr. Sanft determined that the search was illegal and filed a motion to suppress. After an evidentiary hearing where the judge heard the testimony of the police officers involved, the judge agreed with Mr. Sanft and suppressed the evidence found in JG's home. Upon DISMISSAL of JG's case, the State returned his money but kept the drugs.

MY v. State of Nevada


  • Child Abuse and Neglect

MY was innocent and went to trial. The jury disagreed and found him guilty. Mr. Sanft sought justice in the Nevada Supreme Court instead.
MY was arguing with his wife one night over something one of her sons had done. He had enough of his wife always defending her children, even if they had done wrong. While they argued, his wife became violent, grabbing MY by his testicles and squeezing them to the point that they bled. His wife’s youngest son called 911. When police responded, they arrested MY and charged him with Child Abuse and Neglect based upon what the child said in his call to police. At trial, the jury agreed and found MY guilty.
Mr. Sanft appealed the conviction to the Nevada Supreme Court, arguing that the State failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and as a result, no reasonable jury should have found for the State.
In an extremely rare move, the Nevada Supreme Court agreed, reversed Marc’s conviction, and vacated the jury verdict, essentially finding him NOT GUILTY.

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