Case Dismissed for Now

STOCKTON–White-Collar Defense Attorney, Allen Sawyer, calls today’s ruling of dismissal a “home run.”  Mr. Sawyer is representing Stockton Personal Injury Attorney Mark Thiel whose indictment was tossed today as a result of prosecutor error. The judge in the case dismissed a grand jury indictment against the former San Joaquin County Office of Education school board trustee.

Mr. Sawyer added, “There is nothing pending against him. If the D.A. files new charges, we will seek another dismissal.”

According to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau, Thiel’s first indictment was interrupted by a “Griffin error” and that his office “accepts responsibility for this error, which resulted in the dismissal of the indictment.”

What is a Griffin Error?

A Griffin error is an infringement of the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment. While reading the grand jury transcript in an effort to prepare Thiel’s defense, Stockton White-Collar Attorney Allen Sawyer said he found that Maier “commented that Mark Thiel didn’t appear at the grand jury, so the D.A.’s evidence was uncontroverted.”

“You’re entitled to a fair hearing and it can’t be tainted by a prosecutor. If that violation occurs, as a matter of law, any fruits of the poisonous proceeding are thrown out. … I am really disappointed that the District Attorney’s office does not follow the law.” Attorney Sawyer also displayed a sense of vindication, emphasizing more than once that Himelblau previously had said Theil’s legal team had “a fundamental misunderstanding of the law; both in criminal law and criminal procedure.”

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