Criminal Law - Practice area
Criminal Law

DWI, Drugs, Assault, Probation Revocation, Sexual Offenses, Theft, Juvenile Defense. Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses in State and Federal Court

DUI - Practice area
DWI

Driving While Intoxicated, DWI and Your Drivers License Forney, Texas DWI Defense Lawyer.

Juvenile Law - Practice area
Juvenile Law

Sexual Offenses, Drug Offenses, Assault and Violent Crimes, Theft, Truancy/School Related Criminal Charges.

Can a Roofing Contractor be Charged with Theft?

After every hail storm of tornado roofing contractors will defend on neighborhoods looking for repair work. Most contracts are honest and upright and do a great job. However, sometimes a roofing contractor is hired, paid, but then fails to fix your roof as agreed. Law enforcement may get involved, and even arrest a roofing contractor for theft, or they may tell the homeowner this is a “civil matter” and to file a lawsuit in small claims court instead. If you are charged with theft over a roofing case, most often the prosecutor will require restitution as a condition of any plea bargain, or even offer a better plea offer if you pay restitution upfront. This varies by county.

What is theft in Texas? How does that apply to roofing contractors?

Marijuana Laws in Texas

The War on Drugs has been around for decades and marihuana is no exception. In Texas, the  possession and distribution of marihuana are against the law. Texas drug penalties depend on the type of substance in your possession, the amount of substance in your possession, and whether you’re near a drug-free zone or minors. If you are facing marihuana charges, the penalties can be very serious.

What is Marijuana in Texas?

Manejar un vehículo de motor bajo los efectos de bebidas embriagantes

¿Se enfrenta usted a una alegación de conducir un vehículo en estado de embriaguez? Existen varios detalles que usted debe saber sobre las penalidades y multas de un DWI.  ¡De ser arrestado por un DWI se enfrenta a la suspensión de su licencia de conducir, pero der ser encontrado culpable de manejar bajo efectos embriagantes, usted podría enfrentarse hasta 10 anos de prisión! 

¿Enfrentarse a tal acusación crea miedo, no? 

A recent case from the Dallas Court of Appeals (Woodland vs State) discusses the use of prior convictions in “he said/she said” sexual assault cases. First, what is a “he said/she said” sexual assault case? It’s when the main evidence in a case is the complaining witness testifies, and so does the defendant. We are going to skip the issue of if a defendant should or should not testify in right now.

Can prior convictions be used against a defendant in sexual assault cases? The answer is, probably if the prior convictions are germane to the new offense. So a DWI might not be admitted, but a case regarding sexual assault or sexual misconduct can be. There is a general rule that prior convictions may not be used to show “character conformity”, that is, that the defendant is guilty because he is a criminal. But, in sexual assault cases there is a special provision, 38.37 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, that allows prior convictions to be used against a defendant.

Here is a quote from the court-

In law, must and shall are important words. Must and shall indicate that an action is required, it has to happen, it is a part of the process, proceeding, or hearing that can’t be ignored. Contrast that with “may”, which implies that it doesn’t matter if the thing happens or not.

One thing that is supposed to happen in a criminal case, is that the Judge must inform the defendant about the range of punishment before he pleads guilty. That is, the defendant must know how much time he’s look at before he says “I’m guilty”.  Here is the shall if you want to read it-

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 26.13

What is a stacked sentence?

Good question. A stacked sentence is one in which two sentences are to be served consecutively or one after another. So if Bob has two cases for possession, and gets 5 years TDC in each case, then a stacked sentence would require him to serve these sentences back to back.

Contrast that with a concurrent sentence, which lawyers call “CC”. If Bob has two charges for possession and gets the same 5 years in each case, then both sentences run at the same time. So Bob does one 5 year sentence.

What is assault causing bodily injury in Texas? 

A person commits assault if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 22.01(a)(1).

“Bodily injury” is broadly defined as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Id. § 1.07(a)(8).

Let’s talk about turn signals. Lots of people get pulled over for not using a turn signal. But what does the law require? The short answer is – 100 feet. You have to use them for 100 feet before you turn.

Here is the Texas Transportation Code 545.104

(a) An operator shall use the signal authorized by Section 545.106 to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position.

There are a lot of bad ideas in the world. One the worst is going to court alone on a criminal case. One reason people don’t hire lawyers is that they think they are guilty, and it won’t make a difference if they have a lawyer or not.

Here’s the thing, you can be 1000% did-it-on-camera-and-confessed super guilty and it’s still a good idea to hire a lawyer.

Let’s talk about what guilty means first of all. Being guilty means that the fact finder in your criminal case has found you guilty. You can think you “did it” but until you are found guilty, you aren’t guilty. What’s between you and being found guilty is litigation, due process, criminal prosecution, litigation. That’s where the defense lawyer can help you.

We get it

Being a criminal defendant sucks, and one of the reasons why is the huge amount of time the system will steal from you. For example, in most counties (besides Dallas) judges require defendants to appear at every setting, even on who-gives-a-shit misdemeanor cases. Defendants have to miss work and wait around the courthouse just to sign a pass slip and get another court date. It gets frustrating when it feels like the case is moving towards a conclusion, and defendants have to keep investing. The truth of criminal defense lawyering is that the fast result, or plea offer, is usually not the best result, or plea offer.

So what makes a criminal case take so long?

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