The choice of a lawyer is an important one and should not be based solely on advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case must be judged on its own merits. The only promise that Joe Welch can make to you is that he will try his best to get you the best possible result based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
January 11, 2024 – Felony methamphetamine case dismissed after a hotly contested preliminary hearing.
January 10, 2024 – Endangering the Welfare of a Child case dismissed before trial.
December 15, 2023 – Felony possession of methamphetamine and felony weapons charges dismissed before trial.
December 13, 2023 – Order of protection case dismissed.
December 6, 2023 – Felony stealing and felony resisting arrest charges dismissed in exchange for a plea of guilty to misdemeanor resisting arrest.
November 8, 2023 – Felony possession of MDMA and possession of mushrooms case completely dismissed after the officer forgot the suspected drugs were on top of his car and drove off, leaving them behind on the highway for several hours. Although the state tried to prove the suspected drugs were in a unique bag and undisturbed when the officer found them again it would have been unlikely they could have proven chain of custody at trial.
November 3, 2023 – Felony unlawful use of a weapon case reduced to peace disturbance with 1 year of probation and no conviction.
November 3, 2023 – Possession of fentanyl case completely dismissed. The defense had been asking for a trial for over a year and the prosecution decided to voluntarily drop all charges.
October 26, 2023 – Joe Welch’s client pleaded guilty to 5 separate felony drug offenses and was sentenced to only 1 day time served in jail for the few hours he had spent in jail before posting bond.
September 22, 2023 – felony possession of Oxycontin case reduced to a misdemeanor with community service.
September 15, 2023 – felony manufacturing a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon case completely dismissed.
August 4, 2023 – felony possession of methamphetamine and felony maintaining a public nuisance for having a drug house dismissed just days before trial.
June 22, 2023 – felony possession case dismissed before preliminary hearing.
June 7, 2023 – felony assaulting an officer case dismissed in exchange for a plea to a misdemeanor resisting arrest.
April 20, 2023 – felony domestic assault case reduced to misdemeanor assault with unsupervised probation and no conviction days before trial.
April 4, 2023 – felony possession
of opiates case dismissed upon a plea to a misdemeanor traffic offense.
April 3, 2023 – Felony possession of methamphetamine case completely dismissed.
March 28, 2023 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with 9 separate felony cases (many with multiple felony counts and allegedly involving firearms) ranging from a high-profile vehicle hijacking to burglary in the first degree to auto theft and possession of methamphetamine. After the dismissal of two more separate felonies and two misdemeanor cases Welch’s client entered an Alford plea and was sentenced to no more than 7 years.
March 24, 2023 – Felony possession of fentanyl case dismissed because of an unlawful traffic stop.
January 5, 2023 – Attempted Stealing of a Motor Vehicle dismissed at preliminary hearing.
September 27, 2022 – Felony methamphetamine distribution case dismissed before preliminary hearing.
September 9, 2022 – Felony possession of cannabis case dismissed. While the defendant didn’t have a card at the time of his arrest Joe Welch argued that the processing delay between the application and issuance of a Missouri medical cannabis card meant that they must have had a doctor’s recommendation and had already applied for a card at the time of arrest and therefore the possession was lawful under Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution.
August 19, 2022 – Felony drug case dismissed the Friday before the preliminary hearing.
June 16, 2022 – First degree burglary case completely dismissed.
June 8, 2022 – Robbery in the second degree case reduced to Assault in the third degree with probation.
June 7, 2022 – Burglary in the first degree reduced to misdemeanor Assault in the 4th degree with unsupervised probation.
May 19, 2022 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with trafficking and intent to distribute hundreds of pounds of cannabis but sentenced to unsupervised probation with no criminal conviction.
April 21, 2022 – Felony Driving While Revoked case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.
April 1, 2022 – Mr. Welch’s client was charged with a serious sex crime and the prosecutor was asking for fifteen years in prison. After the defense refused the offer and held out for a trial the prosecution reduced the charges to non-sexual minor felony and his client received probation with no jail time.
March 20, 2022 – First Degree Assault/Armed Criminal Action shooting case completely dismissed.
March 16, 2022 – Stealing case completely dismissed before trial.
February 23, 2022 – Joe Welch’s client was accused of shipping several pounds of cannabis multiple times back to his home in Missouri in order to distribute it. Despite his several previous felony convictions the charges were reduced to misdemeanor possession with a $250 fine.
January 18, 2022 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with flying several pounds of marijuana into Missouri. Case dismissed when the government was unable to produce enough evidence to proceed with the preliminary hearing.
January 12, 2022 – Felony resisting arrest case reduced to a misdemeanor with a sentence of five days in jail with time already served.
November 15, 2021 – Felony child abuse charges against an infant reduced to misdemeanor probation with no criminal conviction.
October 20, 2021 – Robbery in the first degree case completely dismissed.
October 5, 2021 – Joe Welch’s client pleads guilty to Assault in the third degree and is sentenced to seven years in prison concurrent to the time he was already serving on a previous sentence. He was originally charged with murder and facing up to life in prison.
September 29, 2021 – Municipal marijuana and paraphernalia case completely dismissed. Although Joe Welch’s client obtained his medical cannabis card after his arrest for possession Mr. Welch argued that Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution applied retroactively to get the case dismissed.
August 26, 2021 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with Assault in the First degree and facing up to life in prison for allegedly intentionally breaking the leg of an infant, but the charges were completely dismissed.
August 20, 2021 – Client was charged with felony stealing for allegedly cashing stolen checks at multiple banks while passing through Missouri. Charges reduced to a misdemeanor with probation and no conviction as a compromise when the prosecution fails to identify the correct original owner of the checks.
August 16, 2021 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with almost twenty separate felony cases including a robbery in the first degree, a robbery in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child, and several stealing cases. After the dismissal of the robberies and endangering charge and several other charges being reduced to misdemeanors his client received straight probation on remaining cases.
July 22, 2021 – Felony drug case dismissed before the preliminary examination.
June 24, 2021 – Felony drug case dismissed before the preliminary examination.
June 4, 2021 – Charges completely dismissed against Joe Welch’s client. Even though she had been the victim of intimate partner violence and was defending herself she was originally charged with Domestic Assault in the first degree, Armed Criminal Action, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
May 26, 2021 – Felony drug case dismissed before the preliminary examination.
May 24, 2021 – First Degree Assault case for a alleged drive by shooting captured on a Facebook live video reduce to misdemeanor assault for client already on both probation and parole. Joe Welch’s client was continued on probation without revocation.
May 3, 2021 – Felony drug indictment against Joe Welch’s client completely dismissed. They had supposedly been caught smoking methamphetamine at a local high school.
February 16, 2021 – Joe Welch’s client was accused of moving several pounds of cannabis through Missouri with the intent to distribute it in his home state. Despite his lengthy criminal history Mr. Welch argued successfully for the dismissal of all charges because of the legitimate medical need for the cannabis.
January, 2021 – Joe Welch stops the police interrogation of a juvenile accused of a serious property damage case and as a result charges were never filed.
January 6, 2021 – Municipal cannabis case dismissed.
October 29, 2020 – Felony vehicle tampering case dismissed at preliminary examination.
September 16, 2020 – Mr. Welch’s client was facing up to 7 years in prison for felony possession and the prosecutor was asking for a felony conviction and a trip to prison for a drug treatment program only if he first waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Instead of having his client waive the hearing he tried to convince the prosecutor that a class D misdemeanor was ultimately all they would be able to prove. After thinking it over the prosecutor released their witnesses; there would be no preliminary hearing this day as the felony charge was voluntarily reduced to a misdemeanor and Joe Welch’s client walked out of court with only a small fine. In Missouri you are only entitled to a preliminary hearing if you are accused of a felony and once the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor that right went away.
August 14, 2020 – Felony probation terminated early without a conviction.
July 23, 2020 – After Joe Welch challenged the constitutional basis for the traffic stop a felony drug case was dismissed by the prosecutor before the preliminary hearing.
July 9, 2020 – A different felony tampering case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.
June 25, 2020 – Felony tampering case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.
June 4, 2020 – Thirteen felony drug and weapon charges dismissed after a very thorough preliminary hearing.
March 10, 2020 – Class A felony assault case dismissed.
March 3, 2020 – Felony methamphetamine case completed dismissed before trial.
February 19, 2020 – Murder case dismissed when Joe Welch’s client pleads guilty to felony drug possession. Upon completion of a 1 year prison drug treatment program they will be released with 5 years of probation.
February 10, 2020 – Felony assaulting an officer and resisting arrest case dismissed.
January 23, 2020 – Kidnapping, burglary, and assault case dismissed.
September 5, 2019 – An activist charged with 3 felonies and facing up to 34 years in prison for allegedly throwing bricks at police during the Ferguson uprising saw his charges reduced to misdemeanors and was sentenced to probation.
July 18, 2019 – Felony burglary case dismissed.
June 5, 2019 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with 3 felony counts for unlawful possession of more than 35 grams of cannabis, THC, and hydrocodone. After 2 years of fighting all charges completely dismissed.
June 4, 2019 – Felony drug and gun charges completely dismissed the morning of trial.
June 3, 2019 – A civil rights activist was acquitted of cannabis possession at trial but found guilty and fined for another charge related to the protest. The conviction is being appealed.
May 13, 2019 – An activist protesting DHS/ICE’s inhumane policies has their felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor with unsupervised probation and no criminal conviction the morning of trial.
May 9, 2019 – Joe Welch’s client was facing a minimum of 3 years to life in prison for armed robbery but ended up pleading guilty to a minor misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to a few days time served just a few days before trial.
May 2, 2019 – Murder case dismissed.
March 29, 2019 – Felony drug case dismissed.
March 29, 2019 – Rioting and resisting arrest charges against a civil rights activist completely dismissed.
February 28, 2019 – Kidnapping and assault case dismissed before trial.
February 21, 2019 – Felony assault case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.
February 21, 2019 – Two felony counts reduced to 1 misdemeanor with 1 year of probation.
December 19, 2018 – Expecting 5 years of probation and a suspended prison sentence Joe Welch’s client walks out of court with time served on a felony drug case.
December 13, 2018 – After 2 years of fighting Joe Welch’s client is sentenced to 3 years of probation for trafficking 300 pounds of marijuana. He was originally facing from 10 years up to life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole.
November 8, 2018 – Felony protest case from the Stockley protests reduced to a misdemeanor with unsupervised probation and no conviction just a couple days before the trial was scheduled.
September 24, 2018 – Assaulting an officer charge from anti-trump protest completely dismissed.
August 22, 2018 – Assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and interfering with an arrest charges arising from a civil rights protest all dismissed the morning of trial.
August 8, 2018 – Felony bad check case dismissed at preliminary hearing.
April 25, 2018 – Felony drive by shooting case dismissed after an intense preliminary hearing. The prosecutor tried to use the hearsay statements of the other passengers in the car implicating Joe Welch’s client but he successfully argued that the judge shouldn’t consider those statements because they violated the defendant’s right to confront and question the witnesses in open court, witnesses who had a motive to lie and implicate the defendant in order to avoid being suspects in the shooting themselves.
April 24, 2018 – Four separate felony cases completely dismissed.
March 19, 2018 – Felony robbery case from the Ferguson uprising of 2014 completely dismissed the morning of trial. On the fateful evening of the grand jury announcement in November 2014, Joe Welch had successfully argued for his client’s release on bond. But with the prosecutor’s announcement that the murdering cop Darren Wilson would not be charged impending, the courthouse was put on lockdown and the jail refused to release any more prisoners. As riot cops started to fill the building, assistant prosecuting attorneys were slinking out the back door. When Joe Welch refused to leave without his client, a Clayton police department detective was sent in to intimidate him. “You can’t be here, the building is on lockdown,” he said. “Are you ordering me to leave?” Joe Welch asked. The detective knew he couldn’t so he avoided the question. “No one is allowed in here right now. The building is on lockdown.” “No one?” Joe asked. “You’re here, the guards are here, prisoners are here, and about 100 riot cops. Why are they allowed to be here?” “They’re working,” the detective said. “And as long as my client is here in jail so am I. So one more time, are you ordering me to leave? Because I’m either leaving with my client, or I’m leaving in handcuffs.”
Minutes later, Joe Welch and his client were running down Central Ave. The normally busy street was devoid of traffic, but hundreds of cops and journalists from all over the world had filled the area, anticipating more riots. As they vaulted the concrete barricades blocking the street, his client and another released prisoner shouted “we’re free, we’re free.” A group of plainclothes cops looked over and chuckled. “Nice beard, man,” one said. “I’m envious.”
February 16, 2018 – Felony drug case dismissed before preliminary hearing.
February 2, 2018 – Charges against 2 PrideFest protesters that Joe Welch represented are completely dismissed by prosecutors.
January 23, 2018 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with 2 felony and 2 misdemeanor drug cases – the felonies were completely dismissed and his client received probation without a conviction on the misdemeanors.
December 6, 2017 – Felony assault case reduced to misdemeanor with probation.
November 28, 2017 – Not guilty – after preparing a thorough defense to counter the state’s allegations of property damage and trespassing, Joe Welch didn’t bother to present any evidence to the court, and didn’t ask even a SINGLE question of the government’s eyewitness. After hearing the eyewitness testify, it was clear that the prosecution had failed to meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. After hearing Joe Welch’s closing argument the judge agreed and found his client not guilty of all counts.
October 26, 2017 – DWI case completely dismissed.
October 4, 2017 – Leaving the scene of an accident case and other tickets all completely dismissed at trial.
October 3, 2017 – Marijuana possession case completely dismissed before trial because of an unlawful search.
September 22, 2017 – Felony unlawful use of a weapon case reduced to a misdemeanor with probation and no conviction.
September 18, 2017 – Felony marijuana possession case completely dismissed after a tough law-and-order judge in a very conservative county made it clear that the law also applies to the police when he held them accountable for violating Joe Welch’s client’s rights and suppressed the evidence they illegally seized.
September 8, 2017 – After 3 trips to the Court of Appeals Joe Welch’s client was discharged from probation with a clean record after previously being sentenced to a year in the City of St. Louis Medium Security Institution, better known as the Workhouse.
April 25, 2017 – Resisting arrest and assaulting an officer case completely dismissed before trial.
April 12, 2017 – Felony marijuana distribution case reduced to misdemeanor possession with a fine.
April 3, 2017 – Second offense DWI and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle dismissed, driving while suspended and possession of drug paraphernalia charges reduced to illegal parking and littering on the eve of trial. Joe Welch negotiated this plea agreement via cell phone while simultaneously assisting a lost calf that had escaped from his herd.
March 17, 2017 – Several Ferguson protest cases dismissed the day before trial. Joe Welch’s clients were charged with several violations in 3 separate cases for failing to obey the police, resisting arrest, property damage, and a bogus drug charge. All cases were completely dismissed.
February 6, 2017 – Felony burglary charge for an alleged Ferguson looter reduced to trespassing 2nd, an infraction, the morning the case was scheduled for trial. While an infraction is technically not even a criminal offense and only carries a fine and no possible jail time Joe Welch’s client received 1 year of unsupervised probation.
January 25, 2017 – Resisting arrest charges dismissed. Mr. Welch had requested the police report multiple times in this case and still hadn’t received it almost a year later and convinced the court to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute.
January 18, 2017 – Adult and child orders of protection against Joe Welch’s client dismissed.
January 17, 2017 – Felony gun case dismissed for failure to prosecute – however, this case never should have been filed the way it was and this particular charge would likely have been dismissed sooner or later.
December 15, 2016 – Felony bad check case dismissed for failure to prosecute.
November 7, 2016 – Six count felony indictment completely dismissed with prejudice by the trial court for violation of the Sixth Amendment. Mr. Welch’s client was charged with growing marijuana and 5 other felonies in a very conservative county where even first offenses can result in long prison sentences. A dismissal with prejudice means that the charges can never be refiled.
October 5, 2016 – While on probation for assault in the 1st degree and looking at flat 8.5 years in prison before being eligible for parole, Mr. Welch’s client gets arrested and charged 4 separate times, in 3 very conservative jurisdictions, for 8 felonies in less than a year. Joe Welch successfully fought the probation revocation and instead of his client serving 8.5 years, worked out a plea agreement that got 5 of the 8 felonies dropped with a mere 120 days incarceration and 5 years of probation.
August 22, 2016 – After losing at trial in a very conservative jurisdiction and facing from 10 years to life in prison, Joe Welch’s client is sentenced to straight probation with no jail time. The state was asking for 7 years in prison before the trial and 10 years at sentencing.
August 17, 2016 – Felony property damage case dismissed before preliminary hearing.
May 4, 2016 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and child endangerment and was facing a minimum of 10 years in prison without the possibly of probation or parole up to the maximum of life without parole. The manufacturing and child endangerment counts were dismissed and the client pleaded guilty to one county of felony possession with straight probation and no jail time.
May 2, 2016 – Ferguson protester falsely accused of felony burglary for allegedly looting during the August uprising accepts plea bargain for misdemeanor trespassing with probation.
February 16, 2016 – Assault charges against Ferguson protester dismissed.
January 8, 2016 – Ferguson protester falsely accused of burglary and stealing for allegedly looting during the uprising of August, 2014 and facing up to 7 years in prison. Burglary and stealing charges dropped the Friday before trial and he was convicted of misdemeanor trespassing with probation.
November 23, 2015 – DWI reduced to speeding ticket with a small fine.
November 17, 2015 – Stealing and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Device charges both dismissed right before trial.
September 23, 2015 – Joe Welch gets the class B felony of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute reduced to misdemeanor possession with probation.
September 15, 2015 – Joseph Welch’s client was accused of distributing more than 50 kilograms (104 pounds) of marijuana and facing up to 20 years in prison. He ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge that carried only a maximum of 5 years and was sentenced to probation with no jail time.
July 30, 2015 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with felony distribution of marijuana and felony possession of pain pills after allegedly selling to a member of the St. Louis County Drug Task Force. Both felonies dismissed in exchange for a plea to misdemeanor possession of marijuana and a $500 fine.
May 18, 2015 – Mr. Welch’s client, facing 5-15 years in prison for the class B felony of growing marijuana, pleaded guilty to simple misdemeanor marijuana possession with probation and no conviction.
May 18, 2015 – Possession of a defaced firearm charge dismissed.
March 25, 2015 – Illegal dumping case dismissed.
February 24, 2015 – DWI case reduced to speeding ticket after Mr. Welch argues to exclude breath test results based on improper calibration of testing device.
February 20, 2015 – Felony possession of marijuana reduced to misdemeanor with a fine.
January 26, 2015 – Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a class B felony, dismissed at preliminary hearing. Mr. Welch successfully excluded the lab report which resulted in the dismissal, but there was also no evidence to support the intent to distribute other than the officer claimed to have found the defendant in possession of multiple baggies of marijuana.
January 22, 2015 – Felony probation successfully terminated and record sealed with no conviction because the court failed to make every reasonable effort to conduct the hearing before the expiration of the probation.
January 8, 2015 – Felony probation successfully terminated and record sealed with no conviction, even though client had been “on the run” for over a year prior to being caught before probation revocation proceedings.
January 8, 2015 – Felony methamphetamine case reduced to misdemeanor drug paraphernalia with a $300 fine in a plea bargain.
December 9, 2014 – Ten year denial (revocation) of Mr. Welch’s client’s driving privileges thrown out by court.
November 20, 2014 – Night court assault case dismissed before trial.
November 7, 2014 – Felony drug possession case (Adderall without a prescription) reduced to misdemeanor drug paraphernalia with a $500 fine in a plea bargain.
October 1, 2014 – Jury acquits Joe Welch’s client of the class B felony of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. After three years of litigation during which Mr. Welch filed a motion to dismiss under Missouri’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act for the religious use of marijuana, a jury in one of Missouri’s most conservative jurisdictions quickly and decisively found his client not guilty of the felony, instead convicting him of misdemeanor possession. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $500 on the misdemeanor, having originally been facing from 5 to 15 years in prison on the class B felony.
September 8, 2014 – Felony gun case dismissed at preliminary hearing.
August 4, 2014 – After losing a trial in a felony leaving the scene of an accident case where the victim’s house was demolished, Mr. Welch’s client was sentenced to probation. Before trial, the best deal he could have gotten was 2 years in prison – even though he lost the case (the jury found him guilty as charged in less than half an hour) losing at trial resulted in a much better sentence than pleading guilty.
June 5, 2014 – Judge grants a motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of the government’s case. After shooting the defendant’s dog on his own property, the cops falsely accused him of letting the dog run loose to justify their animal cruelty. Of the 15-20 cops who responded to the scene, the 2 animal lovers who actually shot the dog refused to show up for the trial. The dog ended up losing a leg but survived the incident.
April 2, 2014 – Jury acquits final Occupy protester of all charges, 2 felonies and 2 misdemeanors. In May 2012, members of Occupy St. Louis protested the police brutality that occurred days early in Chicago and 2 months earlier here in St. Louis at the Occupy Midwest Conference. The cops accused Joe’s client of vandalizing banks, assaulting the bank’s property manager who happened to be hanging out at the bar across the street from the bank, and then assaulting 2 detectives in an interrogation room.
December 20, 2013 – Joe Welch’s motion to suppress a search was granted and the government’s evidence was excluded from being used at trial. The judge believed that the defendant refused to allow the officer to search his car where they allegedly found methamphetamine, even though the officer testified that the defendant consented to the search. Two months later the case was completely dismissed.
December 6, 2013 – Mr. Welch’s client was charged with felony possession and felony distribution of marijuana. He got both charges dropped down to misdemeanors with probation and no conviction.
September 5, 2013 – Joe’s client was accused of stalking, or harassing, or threatening his ex girlfriend, or something. The girlfriend’s lawyer tried to bully the respondent into agreeing to an order of protection, but he refused to be cowed and Joe tried the case. The judge denied the order of protection and they walked straight out of the courtroom like rock stars.
March 28, 2013 – Another Occupy Midwest protester acquitted at a bench trial. While Mr. Welch had intended to put on a thorough defense, the judge granted his motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of the government’s case and he never needed to tell the defense’s side of the story.
March 6, 2013 – Felony UUW charge for using an assault rifle to fire several shots at a car full of people reduced to a misdemeanor with probation the morning of trial. This case had originally been set for trial just 1 month after the Sandy Hook incident. Mr. Welch prudently got the case postponed for a couple months to let things cool down. You don’t want your jury thinking about Sandy Hook when you’re telling them you were justified in shooting at people, do you?
February 25, 2013 – Domestic Assault, Child Endangerment, Assaulting an Officer charges completely dismissed the morning of trial.
January 24, 2013 – Assaulting a Police Officer and Domestic Assault charges completely dismissed the week before trial.
December 13, 2012 – Judge acquits another Occupy St. Louis protester of a park curfew violation in a bench trial. The day after Joe Welch won the Occupy Midwest cases and was himself convicted of contempt of court, he tried another Occupy St. Louis case in front of a municipal judge and won.
December 12, 2012 – Jury acquits two Occupy Midwest protesters. After a three day jury trial, both of Mr. Welch’s clients were acquitted of assaulting an officer and resisting/ interfering with an arrest. However, Mr. Welch was himself convicted of contempt of court because of his closing argument, where he splashed water on one of the prosecutors and broke the court’s lectern. His closing argument was described as “theatrical” but was really just a re-enactment of the crime scene where the officer was spit on by an unknown assailant and then picked one of the defendants to be an unfortunate victim of police brutality. Mr. Welch learned some of these “theatrical” techniques at the Missouri Bar’s Advanced Trial College in the fall of 2011.
From the St. Louis Post Dispatch, by Jennifer Mann:
ST. LOUIS • Security officers prepared for potential problems but experienced none with Occupy St. Louis protesters who camped out in St. Louis Circuit Court this week — even on Wednesday, as the group celebrated the acquittal of two members on charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police.
The jury announced the not guilty verdicts on misdemeanor charges after six hours of deliberations.
Then defendants…one in a dress shirt and thick dreadlocks, the other in flannel and a five o’clock shadow — joined about three dozen friends who had left a distinct, but respectful, mark on the more formal courthouse downtown during the three-day trial. The two men offered no comment to a reporter.
The judge had put them on warning after one of their lawyers, Joseph Welch, was held in contempt of court for a theatrical display in closing arguments that left his opposing counsel with water on his suit and a podium damaged. Welch, trying to demonstrate the spitting that set off the encounter between the two men and police during a March 15 demonstration at Compton Reservoir Park, sprayed water on his own face and in the process spewed some of it on the nearby prosecutor. He also knocked over a podium.
November 12, 2012 – After 2 years of fighting, the felony marijuana growing and distribution charges against Joe’s client were dropped to two misdemeanor charges and he was sentenced to pay a fine. He had been facing up to 23 years in prison, having been charged with the class B felony of growing marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and then after he announced that he was a medical marijuana user, he was falsely accused of the class C felony of distribution of marijuana to get him to shut up – it didn’t work, he kept fighting.
September 12, 2012 – Not guilty on Assault 1st, but jury convicts Joe Welch’s client of the lesser charge of assault 2nd for stabbing someone in the throat with a knife. He was sentenced to 7 years and will be eligible for parole.
July 13, 2012 – Felony unemployment fraud case completely dismissed by the government.
July 11, 2012 – Felony shoplifting case dismissed. The government was unable to prove their case at the preliminary examination.
July 9, 2012 – Felony gun case dismissed. The government was unable to prove its case.
June 13, 2012 – Theft of Government Document case dismissed. After Mr. Welch examined the witnesses in front of the prosecutor, he agreed to completely dismiss the charges.
June 7, 2012 – Felony DWI dismissed. The government was unable to prove its case at the preliminary examination.
May 17, 2012 – Jury sets fine at $300 for half a pound of marijuana. After hearing evidence that the defendant was growing and had at least a half a pound of marijuana, the jury found him guilty of possession and fined him $300. They had the option of sentencing him to up to 7 years in prison.
March 3, 2012 – Felony distribution dropped to misdemeanor. Second offense felony drug dealing charge dropped down to a misdemeanor possession with a $500 fine.
February 3, 2012 – Judgment for $300,000 for woman injured by drunk driver. Joe Welch successfully argued for both compensatory and punitive damages for a woman hit by a drunk driver.
January 19, 2012 – People’s 10 acquittal. Of the 2 of the People’s 10/Occupy St. Louis defendants to stand trial, one was found not guilty and the other convicted but sentenced to time served.
January 13, 2012 – DWI Dismissed at trial. The government was unable to prove their case at the third and final trial setting.
December 8, 2011 – Felony Assault and Gun Charges Dropped – Moments before Mr. Welch picked a jury the prosecutor completely dismissed all the charges. His client, who had been in jail for months, was released. Before the dismissal the prosecutor offered him a plea bargain reducing all of the charges to misdemeanors and releasing him on probation, but his response was “if I take your deal, then everyone will think I was guilty anyway” – refusing the deal and holding out for the dismissal was a prudent choice, but he would have faced prison had he lost at trial.
November 11, 2011 – On the eve of a 4 day weekend, the City of St. Louis forcibly evicted the residents of Liberty Plaza (aka Keiner Plaza). Shortly before midnight on 11-11-11 Mr. Welch valiantly but unsuccessfully argued in federal court to try to stop the eviction.
July 25, 2011 – Six figure settlement for woman injured in collision with drug dealer. After years of litigation, Joe settled this case in mediation a few months before trial.
May 1, 2011 – Mr. Welch’s client was in a park behind a cop’s house. The cop and his cop friends beat him up, planted drugs on him, and charged with felony assault and felony possession. Jury finds him not guilty of both. Joe Welch made it plain to the jury – these cops didn’t happen to find drugs and mistakenly believe that they belonged to his client, but that these blue-shirted-criminals planted the drugs. The prosecutor’s losing response to the jury was “how could this police officer possibly have planted the drugs? He was on his way to training when responding to the call, and his sweatpants didn’t have pockets that he could have even put the drugs in.”
March 30, 2011 – Felony stealing charges dismissed. Mr. Welch’s client was charged with stealing close to $100,000 – all charges completely dropped the week before trial.
February, 2011 – Felony stealing charges reduced to misdemeanors with probation. Joe Welch’s client was charged with stealing $20,000 worth of construction materials.
December 14, 2010 – Felony possession of a weapon while intoxicated charge dismissed at the preliminary hearing after the arresting officer’s testimony.
November 10, 2010 – Police officer falsely accuses Mr. Welch’s client of refusing to take a breath test, but the court throws out the license revocation because Mr. Welch points out the damning piece of evidence in the otherwise very well written police report – “[t]he test was refused.” That sentence, written in the passive voice indicated that the officer was trying to conceal how the test was refused. Had the officer been truthful, he would have written something to the effect that “the suspect refused the test.”
July 30, 2010 – Six figure judgment for child run down by careless driver.
June 28, 2010 – Felony burglary case reduced to misdemeanor trespassing with no conviction the morning of trial.
February 18, 2010 – After deliberating for several hours, 10 members of the jury refuse to believe that Joe Welch’s client committed felony child abuse against his 3 month old daughter, despite his written confession. Mr. Welch tried the case again several months later, and another jury found his client guilty, but sentenced him to pay a fine instead of sending him to prison. Ultimately the judge gave him SIS probation (suspended imposition of sentence) saving him from having to pay a fine and having a felony conviction.
July 10, 2009 – Jury refuses to convict client of possessing crack cocaine, even after hearing about his prior conviction for cocaine possession and the fact that he was in drug court. The hanging members of the jury walked over to the defense table and shook his hand. Several months later the prosecutor dismissed the case completely instead of facing another trial.
March 19, 2009 – Client freecased by dirty ex-cop Bobby Garrett is acquitted of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a jury (which included a police officer) after deliberating for less than half an hour. Mr. Welch himself was briefly taken into custody by the court during the proceedings but did not get charged with any crime or contempt of court. Even though he won the trial, it was a difficult case – the defense was ambushed and forced to go to trial without all of their defense witnesses and Mr. Welch’s client, who was on felony probation, had to testify in order to establish his alibi. Since the jury was going to hear about his prior felony when he testified, it gave Mr. Welch the unique opportunity to call his client’s probation officer as a defense witness. It was her testimony that helped undermine the story the police made up and secured the not guilty verdict.
March, 2009 – Mr. Welch’s client was indicted for over 30 felony tax charges. The morning of trial Mr. Welch forced the prosecutor into offering a plea bargain – all the felonies dropped in exchange for a plea to 2 misdemeanors with unsupervised probation.
May, 2008 – Joe Welch’s client was charged with attempted stealing of a laptop from a school, a felony. The charges were completely dropped before trial.
November, 2007 – Mr. Welch’s was accused of failing to complete any of the conditions of his probation and was facing a probation revocation and jail time. Mr. Welch argued that the probation had expired because the court had scheduled the probation revocation hearing a couple months after the probation was scheduled to end without either suspending the probation or issuing a warrant. The judge agreed and terminated the probation with no conviction or jail time.
October, 2006 – Client charged with refusing a breath test and faced losing his driver’s license and commercial driver’s license (and job as a driver) for a year. Despite the officer’s denials, Mr. Welch’s client testified that the officer said to him during the arrest “I sure don’t know if you were driving drunk this time, but I’m sure you’ve driven drunk before so it all evens out.” The judge must have believed that the officer really said that because he threw out the license revocations.
The choice of a lawyer is an important one and should not be based solely on advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case must be judged on its own merits.