Criminal Law

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

DWI

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

Juvenile Law

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

I’ve done a few hundred consultations in my career. I almost always ask about a potential client’s criminal history (sometimes for ticket case I don’t, or sometimes in other consults I forget, it happens). We also have intake forms that ask about your criminal history. Potential clients who have the most criminal history, are often reluctant to explain their entire criminal resume.

They are afraid that I won’t believe them if I know about their past. They want to avoid starting the conversation by telling me they’ve been arrested before, or been to prison before. There is also a weird belief that being arrested for a different category of offense somehow doesn’t count.

For example, I’ve had people arrested for a violent offense who had prior convictions for drugs not tell me because “those were drug cases, this is my first assault.” There is this weird reflex to rationalize not disclosing cases that are in the wrong category of offense. This is your first assault, great, but if you have prior cases for ANYTHING, let your lawyer know.

So your license to drive is suspended but you are still driving? That happens a lot in Texas. We’ve designed our State in a way that driving is required to function. You can’t walk to work in most areas, and public transportation is not something Texas has invested in. So people have to drive and sometimes will continue to do so after their license is suspended.

What’s the offense for driving with license invalid in Texas? That’s Texas Transportation Code Section 521.457(a)(2). It is illegal in Texas to operate a motor vehicle; on a highway; during a period that the person’s driver’s license or privilege was suspended or revoked under any Texas law.

How bad is it to commit DWLI? What’s the range of punishment?

I’ve been getting a lot of calls on this issue lately. People who were in a car accident and left the scene and now don’t know what to do. Let me stop the post right here and offer some free legal advice. HIRE A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY! YOU WILL MAKE A BAD SITUATION WORSE IF YOU DON’T. SERIOUSLY.

Am I going to be arrested?

Depends. If you hurt someone or injured others it is almost certain the police will issue an arrest warrant as soon as they have evidence you were driving and fled the scene. For cases that are only property damage, it’s different and we have resolved those type of cases without an arrest before, but it’s not always possible. The police can easily issue a warrant and it’s not something we can litigate to stop if they do. So be prepared to get arrested and have some money ready for bail just in case. We can help you find a local bail bondsman to assist.

Prison sucks, and any prison sentence can feel like cruel and unusual punishment in Texas. Can a sentence be too long to be constitutional? Theoretically yes, the Constitution places limits on how long someone can be sentenced, but in practice, it’s an argument that our appellate courts routinely reject.

How can a prison sentence be unconstitutional?

The 8th amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Over the years the Supreme Court has indicated that a sentence could be so long that it is disproportionate to the crime committed, and therefore unconstitutional. However, our Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (kind of a Supreme Court for criminal cases in Texas) is run by former prosecutors who don’t mind how long people rot in prison.

Good news for some marijuana defendants in Texas. It may be more difficult for the government to convict you now that hemp is legal. The issue is in the way the law now defines legal hemp products. Texas recently legalized hemp, and defined hemp as cannabis Sativa l. with a THC % of .3 or under. What’s wrong with that? Well, Texas defines illegal marijuana as cannabis sativa l. with a THC level of over .3%. So when the police find your plant material, or vape oil, or gummies, the only difference between being illegal or not is the % of THC in the product. This is awesome because the drug labs that the State uses to test marijuana don’t have the equipment currently to test for THC %. The State has millions of tax dollars to waste buying new drug lab equipment, so expect the market to supply some solution eventually. Texas Prosecutors are already aware of these issues and are brainstorming how to convict you anyway, at least with plant material cases.

Does this change in the law apply to those currently charged with possession of marijuana?

I’m not sure, that’s going to have to be litigated, but defense lawyers are going to argue it does and prosecutors our going to argue it doesn’t. The law that makes hemp legal in Texas is already in effect. So possession cases after June 14th will be affected. Those before will have some extra litigation on their hands if they want to use a hemp defense.

A new law in Texas is going to make it more difficult to arrest people who fail to complete rent to own contracts. Have you ever bought furniture on a “rent to own” basis? Where you made monthly payments to a store, and then after a year or two owned the item? If you couldn’t afford the payments any longer, would that turn you into a criminal?

In Texas, the answer is yes. Companies do file criminal charges against people who had failed to pay out rental contracts on items, even if they never intended to steal anything. Treating renters behind on their finances as criminals is stupidly evil, but par for the course in Texas criminal justice.

What’s the new law on rent to own theft in Texas?

The Supreme Court held today that a enhancement provision for a “crime of violence” was unconstitutionally vague.

What’s a “crime of violence” enhancement?

18 USC 924(b) allows for harsher penalties if an offense was a “crime of violence”, which is a criminal act “that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”  In US vs Davis, the Defendant was found to have committed a crime of violence (robbery with a shotgun), he appealed his case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held, 5-4, that this “crime of violence” language was too vague and therefore unconstitutional.

Texas has some of the countries cruelest and stupidest drug laws. However, as of June 14, 2019 they are a little less stupid with the signing of House Bill 1325 that legalizes Hemp in Texas. Marijuana is still illegal, what’s the difference? Basically, it’s the THC-level.

What is Hemp in Texas?

House Bill 1325 defines “hemp”as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

You or a loved one have been arrested in Forney and you are searching for “best criminal defense lawyer in Forney” or “lawyers near me” (we see that a lot in our analytics). It’s great that you found Guest and Gray Law Firm! We are Forney’s largest and highest rated criminal defense team. We also offer free consultations to go over your options.

What sets us apart? That’s a great question, and you should ask any defense lawyer you meet with what makes them the best for your case.

First off we have a team of defense lawyers to help you. I am Robert Guest, Chief of the Criminal Division. I’m a former Kaufman County prosecutor. We also have defense lawyers who have worked at the Rockwall, Dallas, and Collin County District Attorneys office.

The offense of compelling prostitution in Texas is a serious felony offense, it’s a more serious charge with an “under 18” enhancement.

What is prostitution in Texas?

Sex for money basically. Texas Penal Code 43.02(a) says that prostitution is knowingly offering or agreeing to receive a fee to engage in sexual conduct with another person.

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