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.

COVID has wrecked what was a predictably oppressive criminal justice system in Kaufman County. In the days before COVID, we could pretty accurately predict how long it would take for your case to get filed and then how long it would take before you had to set it for trial or pre-trial. Since the first court shutdown in March, that’s all gone by the wayside. It’s not easy to predict how long it will take for a case to get filed since agencies are working on different schedules now, and the usual time frame to get a case filed can be shorter for some cases. Since prosecutors aren’t in trial, they can be in the office more handling intake. It can be longer for other cases to get filed, such as cases that need lab testing or many witness interviews.

We are still setting cases for trial in Kaufman County, but since March 2020, there are have been only 3 criminal trials in Kaufman County. Kaufman County has four courts that hear criminal cases in Kaufman County. They used to average 1-2 trials a month each. Now they average zero a month.

So what’s happening to all those criminal cases? Many are getting reset indefinitely. The plea offers haven’t gotten much better, so defendants who don’t want to take a deal are just waiting to see if things improve. If you are looking at pen time, most people would rather wait and see what happens anyway.

The internet age has brought about new ways for humans to treat each other poorly. Anyone who has dared to post a comment online has probably been insulted, called terrible things, or otherwise tormented. Before the cell phone, you had to actually see a person or call their landline to be awful towards them. Nowadays, you’ve got dozens of apps that can give you instant access to someone. Cyberbullying is also a problem, and that’s probably what led to the creation of the Online Harassment law in Texas.

What is Online Harassment?

We start with the general harassment provision in the Penal Code, which is 42.07, and go down to subsection (a)(7).

We get asked a lot about attorney bonds in Kaufman County.  First, let’s talk about-

What is an attorney bond?

You know how someone is stuck in jail and they have to post a bond to get out? Well, they have a few choices. Let’s say Bill is in the Kaufman County jail on a $5,000 bond for possession of meth. Bill can pay $5,000 cash (a cash bond), hire a bond company (bail bondsman) and pay them a % (varies), or get an attorney to post bond (and usually hire them on the case as well).

What happens if you are facing a criminal charge for assault family violence, while you are getting divorced? Our law firm handles both criminal defense, and family law matters. We have seen cases in which one party, let’s say the Husband, is charged with family violence against his Wife, and a divorce is pending.

The first issue that’s going to come up is usually a protective order. If Husband was arrested for assault family violence, then often the judge (magistrate) who sets his bond will issue an emergency order of protection. This order will often forbid the defendant (in our case, Husband) from many things including returning to the residence, threatening the Victim (complaining witness), or possessing a firearm. If you are getting divorced this will essentially ban a defendant from accessing the marital residence.

If you have been arrested and are facing a divorce with a protective order you will want to see understand what options you have to challenge the protective order and to challenge a finding of family violence being entered.

We talk to a lot of people who have a defense lawyer and are looking to switch. One of the most common reasons defendants want to change attorneys is a lack of communication. These defendants are frustrated that they hired an attorney but can not get an update, or a callback, or any information regarding their case. Their stress and anxiety are only made worse the more serious the charge. No one who is facing prison time wants to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars only to be ignored.

What’s going on? Why won’t your lawyer call you back?

The first reason is they may not have time. A lot of defense lawyers are solo and work alone. However many cases their law practice has, there is only one lawyer to work on all of them. Being a lawyer is stressful, and if you are the only lawyer you might handle stress by focusing only on the most serious problems that have an immediate deadline. So if your case is not set for trial (I’m writing this during COVID so there aren’t any trials, but still, I’m assuming that trials will hopefully resume someday), then it might not be a priority for your defense lawyer.

If you are facing a charge of drug possession in Texas and you are not a citizen of the United States, you should be aware of the laws regarding deportation for drug convictions.

What is the law on deportation for drug convictions?

Under federal law, an alien convicted of a drug offense, other than possession of a relatively small amount of marijuana, is deportable. See 8 U.S.C.A. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). Placement on deferred adjudication in Texas is considered a conviction for purposes of federal immigration law. See Moosa v. I.N.S., 171 F.3d 994, 1005–06 (5th Cir. 1999); Guerrero, 400 S.W.3d at 588 & n.52; see also 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(48)(A).

Salto de fianza

Salto de fianza es el nombre corto para un delito penal de Texas llamado “salto de fianza y falta de comparecencia”. Si no asistió a una cita en la corte, especialmente si el caso es un delito grave, es posible que se le acuse de fianza. Primero, algunas aclaraciones, si se pierde una cita en la corte, se emitirá una orden judicial y su fianza se perderá. Ese es un tema diferente al de la fianza. La fianza es un caso criminal completamente nuevo que se puede presentar en su contra junto con la orden del caso original por el que iba a la corte.

¿Cuál es la ley sobre el salto de fianzas en Texas?

So you caught a charge in Kaufman County?

Kaufman County borders Dallas County but the two criminal justice systems could not be more different. If you have been arrested in Kaufman County it is important that you understand just how different the system is and what that means for your case.

The first issue is bail, if you’ve been arrested in Kaufman County you know what I’m about to tell you. Bail in Kaufman County is outrageous. Bond amounts are above and beyond what most counties charge, and a simple possession case can get you a $5,000 bond or worse. The result is many people can’t afford to post bond and are struck in jail while their families scramble to find the resources to free their loved one. Kaufman County bonds also come with many conditions attached, like drug testing, psych evals, reporting every month, or even wearing a GPS monitor. In Kaufman County, the system treats people on bond (who haven’t been convicted of anything) like they are already on probation. I will say the pre-service director is really nice, he wants to help people comply with the conditions of bond. 

What does the “same criminal episode” mean? 

Section 3.10 of Chapter 3 of the Texas penal code defines a “same criminal episode” as “the commission of two or more offenses, regardless of whether the harm is directed toward or inflicted upon more than one person or item of property, under the following circumstances: …. or (2) the offenses are the repeated commission of the same or similar offenses

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.3.htm 

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?

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