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.

In a recent criminal case before a district court in Texas, the defendant asked the court to find that the trial judge had been biased against him when deciding to sentence him to 50 years in prison. According to the defendant, the judge decided on 50 years arbitrarily, and the higher court should reverse that decision. Looking at the record, however, the district court disagreed with the defendant and ended up affirming the lower court’s sentence. This case serves as an example of how difficult it can be to establish bias-related claims on appeal, which is why it is essential for criminal defense attorneys to create detailed records in the event bias becomes a concern down the road.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with assault after he physically abused a person that he was dating. He struck her with his hand, hit her with an object, pulled her hair, and pushed her to the ground. According to the State, the defendant used both a car and a firearm during the assault, which made the offense more serious.

The defendant had been previously convicted of assault, specifically assault against a family member. The case went to trial, and a jury found the defendant guilty. After trial, the court sentenced the defendant to 50 years in prison. The defendant promptly appealed the judge’s decision.

The Court’s Decision and Legal Analysis

On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court judge was biased against him. During the sentencing phase of the case, the judge spoke at length about the defendant’s prior convictions. After discussing the defendant’s criminal history at length, the judge decided he would accept the State’s suggestion and sentence the defendant to 50 years in prison.

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In a recent case before a Texas court, the defendant appealed a jury’s unanimous decision that he was the shooter responsible for a 2020 drive-by shooting. According to the defendant, the evidence was legally insufficient to result in his guilty conviction. On appeal, the higher court considered the defendant’s argument but ultimately disagreed, affirming the original conviction and sentence. The case serves as a good example of one of the most common–but challenging–defenses in all of criminal law: insufficiency of the evidence.

Facts of the Case

The defendant’s case revolved around an August 2020 drive-by shooting that took place in Grand Prairie, Texas. A seventeen-year-old boy was killed while at a convenience store, and investigators discovered that the shots came from a driver-side window of a white SUV speeding by. The police department notified all local agencies to be on the lookout for the car, and an officer eventually stopped the SUV a few hours later.

The officer searched the SUV and found a nine-millimeter bullet, which matched the bullet casings found at the crime scene. After some additional investigation, the State charged the defendant (who was also the car’s driver) as the shooter. His case went to trial, and he was found guilty as charged. The defendant appealed.

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense that one should never take lightly. Collin County is known for its zero-tolerance approach to DUI, which means that even a single drink can lead to an arrest. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Collin County, it is fundamental to know the laws, penalties, and consequences. Additionally, building a strong DUI defense strategy and working with an experienced Collin County DUI attorney can significantly increase your chances of securing a favorable outcome.

Understanding Collin County DUI Laws

Before we delve deeper into how to build a strong DUI defense strategy, it is essential to understand the DUI laws in Collin County.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits

In Collin County, the legal limit for BAC is 0.08%. However, drivers under the age of 21, commercial drivers, and individuals on probation for a previous DUI charge cannot have any alcohol in their system while operating a vehicle. It is important to note that BAC can be affected by a variety of factors, including the individual’s weight, gender, and the rate of alcohol consumption. For example, a person who weighs less may reach the legal limit faster than someone who weighs more. Furthermore, alcohol can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, even if their BAC is below the legal limit. This is why law enforcement officers may still arrest individuals for DUI if they exhibit signs of impairment, such as erratic driving or slurred speech.

Implied Consent Law

Collin County has an implied consent law that mandates drivers to take a chemical test if they are arrested under the suspicion of DUI. This means that if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver must submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. Refusing to take the test can lead to an automatic driver’s license suspension for up to 180 days. It is important to note that even if a driver refuses the test, they can still be charged with DUI based on other evidence, such as field sobriety tests or witness testimony.

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Motions to suppress in Texas criminal cases play a critical role to put it mildly. Understanding their significance and knowing how to utilize them effectively is crucial for anyone charged with a serious crime. In this post, we will explore the definition and importance of motions to suppress, the legal grounds for filing such motions in Texas, the process of filing them, the role of defense attorneys in this process, and the potential consequences of successful and unsuccessful motions to suppress.

Understanding Motions to Suppress

Before delving into the intricacies of motions to suppress, it is essential to grasp their fundamental definition. In criminal cases, motions to suppress can be filed when there is reason to believe that certain evidence presented against the defendant was obtained illegally or in violation of their constitutional rights. The primary purpose of these motions is to exclude such evidence from being used against the defendant in court.

The significance of motions to suppress cannot be overstated. They can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. When successful, these motions effectively render the unlawfully obtained evidence inadmissible, weakening the prosecution’s case and providing the defendant with a much better chance at trial. In many cases, the prosecution will be forced to withdraw some or all of the charges if a motion to suppress is granted.

What Is a Motion to Suppress?

Motions to suppress are legal requests made by the defense to exclude specific evidence from being used against the defendant in a criminal trial. These motions argue that the evidence in question was obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.

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As Forney criminal defense attorneys, the lawyers at Guest & Gray play a pivotal role in investigating, preparing and litigating motions to suppress. Motions to suppress are responsible for protecting our clients’ rights and ensuring a fair trial. Thus, our assistance can make a significant difference in the outcome of the motion and your overall case.

Selecting the Right Defense Attorney for Your Case

Choosing the right defense attorney is paramount in motions to suppress. It is essential to select an attorney with a proven track record in handling similar cases and a strong understanding of the intricacies involved. A capable defense attorney will thoroughly evaluate the circumstances surrounding the alleged constitutional violations and provide the needed guidance throughout the entire process. The experienced defense attorneys at Guest and Gray possess an in-depth understanding of criminal law and the constitutional protections afforded to individuals. We can identify potential grounds for filing a motion to suppress, gather evidence to support our clients’ claims, and craft persuasive arguments to present in court. Our expertise plays a crucial role in shaping the outcome of your case.

The Consequences of Successful and Unsuccessful Motions to Suppress

The consequences of both successful and unsuccessful motions to suppress can significantly impact the outcome of a criminal case. Understanding these implications is vital for defendants and their legal teams.

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Statutes of limitations are specific laws within the Texas Penal Code that detail how long the government has to bring charges against you. Understanding how statutes of limitations work is important, especially for those who have been charged for a crime based on conduct that occurred years ago, if at all. At Guest & Gray, we have specific experience successfully using statutes of limitations defenses and know how to convince prosecutors and judges that it’s too late to charge you with a crime.

How the Texas Penal Code Defines Statute of Limitations

In Texas, the statute of limitations is primarily outlined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. This chapter provides detailed information regarding the time limits applicable to different types of criminal cases.

For felony offenses, the statute of limitations typically ranges from three to ten years, depending on the specific offense committed. On the other hand, the statute of limitations for most misdemeanors is generally set at two years.

Different Types of Criminal Cases and Their Statute of Limitations in Texas

Understanding the specific time limits imposed by the statute of limitations is crucial for both prosecutors and defense attorneys in Texas. It allows them to determine whether a criminal case can proceed based on the date of the alleged offense.

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In a recent criminal case on appeal before a Texas court, the defendant argued that his indictment for aggravated assault should have been barred by the state’s statute of limitations. Originally, the defendant was indicted almost exactly two years after he committed the aggravated assault. Fighting the indictment, the defendant argued on appeal that the indictment was brought too late and should therefore be dismissed. Considering the defendant’s argument, the court of appeals reviewed the relevant procedures, reversed the lower court’s ruling, and dismissed the defendant’s indictment.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case committed aggravated assault while he was acting in the role of a public servant. The assault happened on July 7, 2019. For reasons unclear from the court’s opinion, the defendant was indicted for the assault on July 9, 2021 – approximately two years after the incident.

Legally, this means that two years passed between the incident and the formal charges that the State presented against the defendant. After being indicted, the defendant appealed.

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Criminal cases can be complex legal matters, and understanding the various aspects involved is crucial. One such aspect is the concept of a statute of limitations, which plays a significant role in determining the timeliness of criminal prosecutions in Texas. It is essential to have a clear understanding of what a statute of limitations entails, how it impacts criminal cases in Texas, and the exceptions that may apply. This article will explore these topics in detail, shedding light on the intricacies of the Texas penal code and its relationship with the statute of limitations.

Understanding the Concept of a Statute of Limitations

Before delving into the specifics of the Texas penal code, it is vital to grasp the fundamental concept of a statute of limitations. In simple terms, a statute of limitations is a time limit imposed by the law, determining the maximum period within which legal proceedings must be initiated after a crime has been committed.

This legal principle aims to strike a balance between the right of the state to prosecute offenders and the rights of individuals to be free from the fear of prosecution for an indefinite period. By imposing time limits, the statute of limitations ensures that evidence is still fresh and available, witnesses’ memories are reliable, and defendants have a fair chance to mount a defense.

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In Texas criminal law, the option of deferred adjudication gives defendants the ability to admit criminal wrongdoing while avoiding a criminal record. Deferred adjudication can be a lifeline for individuals facing criminal charges, offering them a chance to avoid a formal conviction. However, understanding when and how it applies can be challenging. If a defendant is unable to meet the conditions of a deferred adjudication agreement, they may find themselves in a worse position than if they had been convicted under the original charges. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals recently heard an appeal by a man who was harshly punished for violating the terms of a deferred adjudication agreement.

According to the recently published judicial opinion, the defendant had been previously found liable for a criminal drug charge by a Texas court. He entered into a deferred adjudication agreement with prosecutors, in which the government would dismiss the charges if he completed certain conditions as part of the agreement. To succeed, the defendant was required to not be convicted of another crime while his agreement was pending.

In June 2020, the defendant was spotted by police in his vehicle with expired registration tags. An officer attempted to stop the vehicle, and the defendant allegedly fled the scene, and the officer initiated a chase. The defendant ultimately crashed his car, and he was arrested and charged with evading police, which led to the rescission of his deferred adjudication agreement.

The statements of the accused often play a pivotal role in criminal cases, especially those involving family violence. Depending on the content of the statement, it can either bolster the prosecution’s case or provide a strong defense for the accused. A well-crafted statement that establishes a reasonable doubt or challenges the credibility of the alleged victim’s testimony can significantly impact the outcome of the case. Conversely, a statement that admits guilt or contains incriminating statements can strengthen the prosecution’s case against the defendant.

Criteria for Admissibility of a Defendant’s Statement in Texas

For a defendant’s statement to be admissible in court, it must meet specific criteria as outlined by Texas law. The following factors are considered when determining the admissibility of a defendant’s statement:

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