Being accused of a crime can simply destroy everything you have worked so hard to earn in your life. You will end up losing your name, reputation, career, time, family and many more.
Even if you are found not guilty, the stigma of a criminal accusation follows you around until it is erased from your record. The method of erasing your record is via an expunction. Such an expunction allows you, if it is granted, to legally deny even ever being arrested.
If you are charged with a crime, you must find Houston criminal attorneys who are Board Certified in Criminal Law and who know how to handle your type of case. After all, you would never hire a doctor to perform surgery if he had never done it before. That is, unless you want to be guinea pig so the doctor (or Houston criminal lawyer) can gain experience at your expense.
Hiring a criminal attorney is not like buying a television. You don’t shop around for the cheapest price. Rather, you need to hire the best qualified lawyer that you can afford. This is not the time to pinch pennies and hope for the best. In short, you get what you pay for, particularly when it comes to criminal lawyers. The best Houston criminal lawyers are not cheap; and the cheap Houston criminal attorneys are not the best.
A professional and experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer will educate his defendant on all the aspects pertaining to the case. A good attorney-client relationship is imperative. Knowledge is power, and you and your attorney both are on the same team and need to know what you are confronting.
Other characteristics of a good criminal lawyer: his reputation (including actually trying cases), whether he is Board Certified in criminal law, whether he is a good negotiator, and whether he has a history of getting results. This is the case whether the criminal lawyer deals with State law or is a federal criminal attorney that handles federal criminal charges.
The State of Texas treats driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) cases seriously. This includes Houston, Texas, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Some commonly refer to DWI as “drunk driving.” Even though attorneys are schooled in the laws pertaining to a wide variety of legal areas, a huge amount of expertise comes from practical experience, either by prosecuting or defending individuals or businesses.
For DWI cases, which involve a great deal of science in addition to just knowledge of the basic governing laws, this experience may be the most critical thing.
Not taking the case seriously: This is the main problem for your life because it will affect your rest of your life and keeps track of it until you are dead so make sure that you look of the matter seriously.
Anyone in Texas who is on community supervision is assigned a “probation officer” typically. The probation officer can be helpful. They can set up needed appointments, answer questions you have, and refer you to classes you must complete.
It is also the probation officer’s job to:
Of course, every job area has bad apples, and probation is no exception. Probation officers are often underpaid and overworked, and as a result can be negligent or take a “don’t care” attitude towards probationers. Or, occasionally, the probation officer is overzealous, holier-than-thou, and does everything in their power to see the probationer fail.
When you are accused of violating the terms of your community supervision, you have the right to challenge the accusation. As an experienced probation attorney, Neal Davis, a criminal defense attorney in Houston Texas, can handle any motion to revoke or adjudicate, assist you throughout the entire process, and put forward the best defense that he can. Rest assured that he will do whatever he can to get the best result he can.
According to the January 3, 2012, Houston Chronicle, northeast Houston-area residents have been charged with felony theft in connection with an alleged $70,000 coupon fraud scheme at the Humble supermarket where they worked.
The four, who were not in custody Tuesday morning, were identified in court records as Traveon Monte Boyd, 19, of Humble; Krystal Keaira Cormier, 19, of Houston; Corey Scott Lester, 21, of Porter; and Latrisha Wilkerson, 23, of Humble.
They used a “coupon override function” on the cash register that allowed them to give the coupons a dollar value of their choosing, according to a complaint filed Friday by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The alleged scheme took place from July 20 to Oct. 16, bringing the store’s total loss to nearly $69,900, according to court documents.
The store investigator said she interviewed three of the defendants, who told her operators of a flea market paid them to override coupons that did not match the products being purchased, records state.
Cormier declined the agent’s request for an interview, according to the complaint.
The investigator reviewed each defendant’s register log and also saw footage of them using the override function on security-camera video, the complaint said.
So that’s the story. But the question arises: what if one or more of these individuals testifies against another? What does the law say? How does the jury weigh that?
The accomplice witness rule is a rule of Texas Criminal Procedure. In Texas, you cannot be convicted solely on the word of another party who was involved in the crime. So the prosecution in this case must show something to support or corroborate what the cooperating witness says. But if all they have is his word, you can’t be convicted. You can be convicted on the word of one person, but that person can’t be charged or implicated in the same crime that you are charged with. Houston criminal lawyers have won cases based on the accomplice witness rule. So the rule is alive and well in Harris County, Texas. Indeed, prosecutors sometimes are unable to file charges because they realize they have nothing but a snitch’s word to support their case.
You need a criminal defense attorneys in Houston Texas, who understands the law of parties and accomplice witnesses if you are charged with a case involving a snitch or cooperating witness. This is a relatively complex area, often arising in drug cases, and requires the guiding hand of a Board Certified criminal attorney.
If a prosecutor believes that a witness impermissibly invoked the Fifth Amendment before a grand jury, he can request the judge overseeing the grand jury or trial to require the witness answer the question. United States v. DiMauro, 441 F.2d 428 (8th Cir. 1971). This is what has happened with the Harris County Assistant District Attorney who was subpoenaed to testify recently at a grand jury investigating possible crimes that District Attorney’s office may have been involved in. The problem is that the grand jury witness, if she properly invokes the Fifth Amendment, cannot be required to answer questions that would incriminate her.
In Texas courts, the prosecutor can offer immunity. There are two common types of immunity in these instances: transactional immunity and use immunity. Transactional immunity, sometimes referred to as blanket immunity, protects you from being prosecuted for the crime for which you are testifying. Use immunity, however, only precludes your own testimony being used against you, but does not protect you against the testimony of other witnesses in any future prosecution. The general rule is that a trial court has no power to grant immunity without approval by the state. Fuentesv. State, 622 S.W.2d 19 (Tex. App.–Houst. [1st] 1983).
Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441 (1972), was a Supreme Court decision that ruled on the issue of whether the government’s grant of immunity from prosecution can compel a witness to testify over his assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
In a 5-2 decision (Justices Brennan and Rehnquist took no part in the consideration of the case), the Court held that the government can overcome a claim of Fifth Amendment privilege by granting a witness “use and derivative use” immunity in exchange for his testimony.
In this case, Petitioners were subpoenaed to appear before a United States grand jury in the Central District of California on February 4, 1971. The Government believed that petitioners were likely to assert their Fifth Amendment privilege. Prior to the scheduled appearances, the Government applied to the District Court for an order directing petitioners to answer questions and produce evidence before the grand jury under a grant of immunity conferred pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 6003(a). Petitioners opposed issuance of the order, contending primarily that the scope of the immunity provided by the statute was not coextensive with the scope of the privilege against self-incrimination, and therefore was not sufficient to supplant the privilege and compel their testimony.
The District Court rejected this contention, and ordered petitioners to appear before the grand jury and answer its questions under the grant of immunity.
Petitioners appeared but refused to answer questions, asserting their privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. They were brought before the District Court, and each persisted in his refusal to answer the grand jury’s questions, notwithstanding the grant of immunity. The court found both in contempt, and committed them to the custody of the Attorney General until either they answered the grand jury’s questions or the term of the grand jury expired. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed (406 U.S. 441, 443). The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the important question whether testimony may be compelled by granting immunity from the use of compelled testimony and evidence derived therefrom (“use and derivative use” immunity), or whether it is necessary to grant immunity from prosecution for offenses to which compelled testimony relates (“transactional” immunity).
The United States can compel testimony from an unwilling witness who invokes the Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination by conferring immunity, as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 6002, from use of the compelled testimony and evidence derived therefrom in subsequent criminal proceedings, as such immunity from use and derivative use is coextensive with the scope of the privilege and is sufficient to compel testimony over a claim of the privilege. Transactional immunity would afford broader protection than the Fifth Amendment privilege, and is not constitutionally required. In a subsequent criminal prosecution, the prosecution has the burden of proving affirmatively that evidence proposed to be used is derived from a legitimate source wholly independent of the compelled testimony.
Remember: if you have any doubt whether you need a criminal defense attorney in Houston Texas, you should not hesitate to seek one. Call me at 713-227-4444 or email me if you have any questions about your Fifth Amendment rights. I am available for free consultations.