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From a minor in possession of alcohol or driving while intoxicated (DWI) to drug charges or theft, misdemeanor charges can change a person’s life and prospects. Thankfully, with our society’s new emphasis on criminal justice reform, it is more possible than ever to effectively deal with these types of charges. But knowing how to navigate the criminal justice system is critical for obtaining the best results.  

Each case is unique, and a great attorney can help you determine if you should consider a diversion program, a conditional dismissal, a motion to suppress, or a trial to get you to the best result. Figuring out the answer takes expertise and personal attention to the specific case.

Why MC Criminal Law?  


With more than 30 years of criminal experience and 300 trials between us, Messina Madson and Kendall Castello know how to analyze and attack these kinds of criminal prosecutions. We know the issues involved as well as many of the prosecutors and judges. We have handled hundreds of these cases as both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. Understanding the prosecutor’s mindset and the weaknesses of these types of allegations, our firm has achieved great results in many cases—including reductions to lesser charges and dismissals—often keeping the allegations from ever becoming public.

Personal Attention

MC Criminal Law is committed to providing extensive, personalized attention. Unlike law firms that depend upon high volumes of cases, we choose to work with few clients for exceptional results. If that sounds like what you are looking for, we are an ideal firm.



Types and Levels of Alcohol-Related Crimes

Class C Misdemeanor – Up to $500 fine

Assault—Offensive Contact

Theft under $100

Criminal Mischief under $100

Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor

Public Intoxication

Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in a Motor Vehicle

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUI)

Class B Misdemeanor – Up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 fine

Theft $100 to $750

Criminal Mischief $100 to $750

Criminal Trespass of a Building

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Terroristic Threat

Possession of Marijuana – 2 ounces or less

Class A Misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 fine

Resisting Arrest

Theft $750 to $2,500

Criminal Mischief $750 to $2,500

Criminal Trespass of a Habitation

Burglary of a Vehicle

Unlawful Carrying Weapons

Driving While Intoxicated, 2nd Offense (DWI 2nd)

Driving While Intoxicated with Alcohol Concentration above 0.15

Sale of Alcohol to a Minor

Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor


Assault Family Violence

Deadly Conduct

Indecent Assault

Terroristic Threat of Family Member or Public Servant

Violation of a Protective Order

Possession of Marijuana – More than 2 ounces but less than 4 ounces


DWI—Case Rejected

Client pulled over after altercation with another driver. Police investigated and arrested for DWI. Government lacked proof that client was intoxicated. Case was never submitted to the police department.

DWI—Case Reduced to Obstruction of a Highway

Client was arrested for DWI and test results came back showing both alcohol and methamphetamine in client’s system. Based on low alcohol test results and showing that methamphetamine found in system could have been inactive at the time of driving, DA’s office agreed to offer an obstruction of a highway.

DWI—Case Reduced to Obstruction of a Highway

Client was arrested for DWI. Blood test results showed both alcohol and marijuana in his system. Demonstrated that blood results conflicted with the officer’s findings at the scene and showed that the alcohol result would have been very near the legal limit when the defendant was driving. DA’s office offered an obstruction of a highway instead of DWI charge.

DWI—Time Served Despite Scientific Findings Showing a Blood Alcohol Content of Above 0.15

Client was highly intoxicated at the time of driving. Able to negotiate a settlement for time served on the case without a finding that the blood alcohol level was 0.15 or higher when driving. This result prevented our client from having to serve additional jail time or up to two years of probation.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol—Case Dismissed and Expunged

Client was driving a car with multiple teenage occupants. A bottle of alcohol was found in the vehicle that client admitted was one left in the car a few days earlier by his parents. Although technically in possession of the alcohol, we were able to negotiate a dismissal allowing for an immediate expunction for the charge.

Public Intoxication—Case Dismissed and Expunged

Client was found in his car parked in a parking lot. When officers contacted him, he threw up and was charged with public intoxication. We were able to demonstrate that police officers failed to take the necessary steps to show that his sickness was caused by intoxication and not another issue. Case was eventually dismissed and immediately expunged.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol—Case Dismissed

Client was cited with other teenagers at an outdoor party for having alcohol. Officer had photos of client with a bottle in her hands and client admitted to having the alcohol. We were able to negotiate a dismissal of the charge and the case is eligible for expunction.

Possession of Marijuana—Case Not Filed by Police

Teenage client with no record and plans to enter the military in about a month. Negotiated an immediate dismissal to allow for his joining the military.

Possession of a Controlled SubstanceCase Not Filed by Police

Intervened for client with police by giving further explanation of events that led to arrest and proof of clean drug tests. Police did not file case with the DA’s office.

Violation of a Protective Order—Case Dismissed

Business executive with significant addiction issue shows up at his former home while highly inebriated and in violation of a protective order. We were able to negotiate a conditional dismissal based on proven sobriety and an anger management course. Case was dismissed and is eligible for expunction.

Resisting Arrest—Rejected by DA’s Office

Professional female who resisted when police tried to arrest her in the middle of the night based on a traffic offense. We were able to show that police were making an arrest as a pretext to searching her car—which they had no lawful right to search. The DA’s office agreed to reject the case.

Unlawful Carrying of Weapons—Case Dismissed

Client had a gun and marijuana at the same time leading to this charge. We had client complete a gun safety course and got the case dismissed.

Possession of Marijuana—Case Dismissed

Client was a middle-aged man who had no criminal record. We provided negative drug test results and case was dismissed.


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