Articles Posted in Rockwall Criminal Defense

When involved in a criminal investigation, it is crucial to understand that every word you say can significantly impact the outcome of your case. One common mistake individuals often make is giving a statement to law enforcement without consulting a criminal defense attorney first. In this blog post, we will discuss why it is of utmost importance to speak with a Rockwall criminal defense attorney at Guest & Gray before providing any statements during a criminal investigation.

Safeguarding Your Rights

When you find yourself under investigation, you must be aware of your constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel. By consulting a criminal defense attorney before speaking with law enforcement, you ensure that your rights are protected from the very beginning. Your attorney will guide you on when and how to respond to authorities while safeguarding your interests throughout the investigation.

Navigating Complex Legal Procedures

Criminal investigations involve intricate legal procedures that can be challenging to understand without proper legal knowledge. The dedicated defense attorneys at Guest & Gray are well-versed in the intricacies of the local legal system and can explain the investigation process to you. They will guide you through each step, ensuring you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities, empowering you to make informed decisions.

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If you have been charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense in Rockwall, Texas, it is crucial to understand the potential consequences and what defense strategies may be available to you. A DUI conviction can have a major impact on your life, including a driver’s license suspension, fines, increased insurance rates, and even jail time.

At Guest & Gray, our Rockwall DUI defense lawyers have extensive experience handling DUI cases. In this post, we discuss three of the most common DUI defense strategies we regularly use to help protect our clients’ rights and achieve the best possible outcome in each case we handle.

Challenging the Traffic Stop

One common defense strategy for DUI charges is to challenge the legality of the traffic stop. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to initiate the traffic stop, any evidence obtained during the stop may be suppressed. Your defense lawyer will carefully examine the circumstances surrounding the stop, including the officer’s observations, traffic violations, and adherence to proper protocols. If any constitutional violations occurred, they can challenge the legality of the stop, potentially leading to a dismissal of the charges.

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When facing DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges in Rockwall, Texas, it is crucial to understand the importance of procedural compliance. DUI cases involve complex legal and scientific aspects, and law enforcement officers must follow strict procedures to gather evidence and make arrests. If they don’t certain evidence—like breathalyzer or blood-test results—may not be admissible at trial.

As experienced Rockwall DWI defense attorneys, we want our clients to understand every possible defense that might apply to their case. So, in this blog post, we are exploring how to use procedural defenses to fight DUI cases.

Protecting Your Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. This protection extends to DUI cases, where law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop a vehicle and conduct investigations. A skilled defense attorney will examine the circumstances surrounding your traffic stop and arrest to ensure that your rights were not violated. If any constitutional violations occurred, they can file motions to suppress evidence, potentially leading to a dismissal of the charges.

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When facing DUI or DWI charges in Rockwall, there are various defense strategies beyond challenging the evidence or procedural compliance. These alternative defense strategies focus on highlighting mitigating factors, exploring diversion programs, or negotiating plea agreements to achieve a favorable outcome. In this blog post, we will explore three alternative DUI defense strategies that a skilled Rockwall criminal defense lawyer can employ to protect your rights and minimize the impact of the charges.

Mitigating Factors

A strong defense strategy involves highlighting any mitigating factors that may exist in your case. For example, if it was your first offense, you have a history of responsible driving, or there were exceptional circumstances surrounding the incident, your defense attorney can present these factors to the prosecution and the court. Demonstrating that the offense was an isolated incident or out of character can help negotiate a reduced charge or a more lenient sentence.

Diversion Programs

In some DUI cases, especially for first-time offenders, participating in a diversion program may be an option. Diversion programs aim to rehabilitate offenders rather than impose strict penalties. These programs typically involve counseling, educational classes, community service, and regular check-ins. Successfully completing a diversion program can result in the dismissal of the charges or a reduction in penalties. An experienced Rockwall criminal defense lawyer at Guest & Gray can assess your eligibility for diversion programs and guide you through the process.

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In the world of criminal law, two legal terms frequently make headlines but are often misunderstood: insanity and incompetence. While these terms may seem interchangeable, they carry distinct meanings and implications within the legal system.

For individuals facing criminal charges in Rockwall, Texas, it is crucial to comprehend the difference between these concepts. In this blog post, we will delve into the contrasting notions of insanity and incompetence, shedding light on their definitions, legal implications, and how they affect criminal defense strategies.

The Insanity Defense: A State of Mind

Insanity, as a legal concept, revolves around an individual’s mental state at the time of committing a crime. To be considered legally insane, the defendant must have been unable to comprehend the nature of their actions or distinguish right from wrong due to a severe mental illness or defect. This defense suggests that the defendant lacked the mental capacity to form the requisite intent or engage in criminal behavior knowingly. However, it’s important to note that the insanity defense is rarely invoked and, when used, faces significant scrutiny and strict requirements in the courtroom.

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In a recent case involving a motion to suppress evidence stemming from a traffic stop, a Texas Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court decision, holding that the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant. The defendant was pulled over after the police officer claimed that the truck crossed the white line into an adjacent lane briefly. At trial, a grand jury returned an indictment charging the defendant with fraudulent possession of identifying information and forgery of a government instrument. The defendant subsequently filed a motion to suppress the evidence collected during the initial traffic stop.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, David Alfaro, an officer with the City of Corpus Christi Police Department, was the sole witness for the prosecution. Officer Alfaro testified that he observed a U-Haul truck parked at a fast food restaurant in Corpus Christi around 1:19 A.M. Officer Alfaro stated that he had received a notice to be on the lookout for a U-Haul truck that had been involved in multiple local burglaries. As a result, he followed the U-Haul in his marked patrol car onto the I-37 highway before observing the U-Haul truck’s fires cross the line into the adjacent lane briefly. Officer Alfaro then initiated a traffic stop based on his suspicion that the defendant failed to maintain the vehicle in a single lane.

At trial, the court admitted Officer Alfaro’s dash-cam video footage. The footage depicts the defendant’s U-Haul traveling in the center lane of a three-lane highway. The U-Haul truck is the only vehicle visible in the footage for the duration of the video. The passenger side rear tire of the U-Haul truck can be seen briefly straddling the lane divider after rounding a curve. The U-Haul truck then moves towards the opposite lane divide, remaining in its lane. Officer Alfaro then activated his patrol lights and initiated the traffic stop. The trial court found that Officer Alfaro lacked reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant and granted the defendant’s motion to suppress.

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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?

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?

I used to be a solo practitioner. That is, I was the only attorney in my own firm. It was an exciting time and the way many lawyers start out after leaving the DA’s office. It was also an exceptionally challenging way to practice law. Guest Law Firm PC ended in 2011 when Guest and Gray was formed. It marked the end of my solo practice, and it helped me understand the benefits of having a team of lawyers in a criminal defense firm.

When I was solo I had to have all the answers not just for the case, but for the firm. I had to handle all the consultations, attend all the hearings, review all the discovery, watch all the videos, research all the issues etc; as well as attend to the running of a business with all the demands of marketing, accounting, payroll etc. I did not speak Spanish, but I would be appointed clients who did and assigned an interpreter.

I would have issues I hadn’t litigated before and sought the assistance of my peers. If I needed to workshop a case for litigation strategies I usually took another lawyer to lunch. If I got sick or took a vacation, my clients had to wait until I got back to reach me. If I was in trial, I couldn’t help anyone else until the trial ended. That’s the life of a solo lawyer, it’s a great way to get a lot of experience fast. But it also created problems when I couldn’t be two places at once. There are a lot of great solo defense lawyers in Texas, but in my experience practicing defense work alone is no match for a team of experienced defense lawyers.

If charged with an offense and want to hire an attorney but can’t afford one you may qualify for a court appointed attorney.

In some situations, you may not be happy with the court appointed attorney. But, it is unlikely that the court will appoint someone else. Unless you want to hire your own attorney, you are pretty much stuck with whoever the court appoints.

What if the attorney isn’t telling me what I want to hear?

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