Articles Posted in Kaufman County Criminal Defense Lawyer

RobertGuest.com has been redeveloped and is now the home of Guest and Gray Criminal Defense Lawyers. Justia did a great job with the design and I have to say they have again exceeded my expectations. I’ve already reviewed Justa once, here is the short version: they aren’t cheap, but they are worth it. I’m keeping the same url, robertguest.com on the advice of Justia. I was going to switch to GuestandGrayCriminalDefense.com, but apparently it would have offended the Google gods.

Besides the aesthetics of the website what’s different?

For the first six years of my criminal defense practice I was solo. I’ve already discussed the challenges of a solo attorney so let’s talk about my partner in crime… er criminal defense… drumroll………… TRACY GRAY!

Like many suburban Texans I was brought up in a Republican household. The first two political books I ever read were written by Rush Limbaugh. As a young adult I had not heard of libertarianism, but I did hear a lot of rhetoric from the right that I liked; limited government, liberty etc.

I found myself more and more confused at how Republicans supported policies that were the definition of Big Government- drug wars, bans on gay marriage, sodomy laws, blue laws, pornography prosecutions etc. Logically, I could not understand how a political party could espouse limited government and support for the war on drugs in the same platform? How can you be against Obamacare because you oppose big government and against gay marriage? The cognitive dissonance must be overwhelming.

I stumbled upon the answer about a year ago when I read “The Republican Brain” by Chris Mooney. The answer, authoritarianism. Wikipedia can explain this better than I can. Why not copy and paste?

A few months ago I took Lance Platt’s SFST certification course for attorneys. We had mostly defense lawyers and some prosecutors in the room. I didn’t come into this with clean hands. My experience with DWI cases and research of these “tests” tells me they are voodoo bullshit.

I came to this conclusion because as I understood the SFST studies they lacked the markers of real science and quality research; control groups, blind studies, placebos etc. Did you know the field sobriety tests have never been tested on a large groups of individuals who have not been drinking? Or on individuals with different medical conditions? There have been exactly zero studies on gender differences, or on the effect of performing the tests under the stress to mimic the pressure of a typical roadside DWI investigation. Why?

SFST’s are agenda driven science. The feds needed a way to arrest people who had been drinking, but without any bad or impaired driving behavior. So they invented the notion that by performing 10 minutes of balancing tests you can tell if someone is over .08.

Forney has two online media outlets (TheForneyPost.net, and InForney.com) reporting the happenings in this growing exurb. I have been surprised to see how much copy each site devotes to coverage of local drug busts.

The stories themselves are largely formulaic; we get a mugshot, the government’s version of events, and sometime a nice pic of dope on the table for emphasis. I often wonder if the public sees these busts and thinks that something has been accomplished; that by arresting this one drug user or drug dealer we’ve made the world safer, or made some dent in the local narcotics market. The frequency of these arrests may be news to the public, but it’s old hat for anyone involved in the Kaufman County criminal justice system.

I’ve been here for 8 years, and we’ve been arresting suppliers and consumers the entire time. I can tell you that the net effect on supplies of controlled substances in Kaufman County is zero. Drugs are still readily available to meet the demand of our local consumers.

It’s probably past time to announce that I partnered up. Guest Law Firm PC was laid to rest over 18 months ago, but I’ve been too busy to really blog about it until now. I would like to take this opportunity to let all solo practitioners know that having a good law partner makes this job much more enjoyable. Being a solo attorney means having to solve every legal problem, make every client happy, have every great marketing/business idea, follow up on every payment, court date, correspondence etc. It’s a 24/7 job that obliterates any separation of your personal and professional life. If you can give up controlling every little decision and learn to trust your colleagues you can have a much happier and more fulfilling professional existence.

When you have a team of attorneys working together you get some wonderful benefits including specialization of labor (I’m the IT/advertising department at Guest and Gray, in addition to my criminal defense duties), economies of scale (for some reason legal research pricing screws solos), and a built in team of law therapists to share you frustrations with. This is a stressful job and it’s great to have peers you trust to brainstorm with, vent, or just discuss the latest legal happenings.

Since our inception of 5/2/10 we’ve added two new attorneys and are looking to open a new office next year. The current make up of Guest and Gray PC is

Both Forney online media outlets are reporting that a grow house was discovered in the Windmill Farms subdivision. It appears the house was abandoned and no arrests were made. Thank goodness. The last thing we need to waste our local tax dollars on is another pot case.

You know what will end residential grow houses? Legalization.

I know people who have tried to brew their own beer and most quit after a batch or two. It’s a messy and smelly process. It’s not easy to make something that even compares to Beast lite, much less Chimay. I’ve never seen someone convert an entire residence to making bathtub bock. And why would they? They can march down to Wal Mart and buy a better product at a low price and save themselves the trouble. For some reason we can’t apply this rational reality based approach to weed. It’s a strange situation given how dangerous booze is relative to pot. You could smoke every ounce of bud in this grow house and it wouldn’t kill you.

What happens when an inmate sues the sheriff for open records information?

Today’s case of the day is In Re Brian Edwards Johnson-

In 2008 Brian Edwards Johnson was incarcerated in the Kaufman County jail and sustained an injury. Not sure why he was in jail, or what the injury was. In 2011, Johnson was still an inmate (not sure where) and he filed an open records request to obtain records regarding the 2008 injury. The Sheriff denied the request and asked the AG to rule on the issue. The AG agreed with the Sheriff. Johnson filed suit and appealed to the 5th District in Dallas.

For the longest time I’ve been using KaufmanCountyClerk.com to search for case information. You click on “court public record search” and get directed here.

As long as I’ve been in Kaufman the KCC site has been a reliable cornucopia of case information. Recently something strange has happened to the search site and now it’s mostly FUBAR. New cases don’t appear, old cases have entries deleted, it’s a mess. I’m not sure what’s going on, and I don’t have time to investigate.

Fortunately, Kaufman County has another online database for case information available through KaufmanCounty.net. Click on Court Records and you are sent here.

A Kaufman County conviction for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender was reversed last week for factual insufficiency. Basically, it appears the State indicted the defendant under the wrong section of the code of criminal procedure. Factual insufficiency reversals are pretty rare, so let’s walk through how the court reached it’s decision.

Today’s case of the day is- Roberts vs. State.

What happened?

Some old news from last week, the Kemp, Texas police department is being shut down due to budgetary concerns. This isn’t the first small town Kaufman County PD officer to face massive layoffs. Last year, almost the entire Combine police force was jettisoned.

How will this affect your Kemp PD criminal case? It depends on where these officers go and if they are available to testify in the future. If not, that could present some challenges for the State. Especially for the typical “pull the car over for innocuous traffic offense, find dope” case. You have a right to confront the witnesses against you, cops included.

In the interim, KSO will take over for Kemp PD.

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