An Argument I’ll Never Understand

September 11, 2014

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Here’s something we all hear on occasion… normally when a jury acquits someone who seems to be affluent or maybe just someone that doesn’t appear to be the scum of the earth… you might hear someone complain, “I’m tired of seeing the rich people get off because they can afford a lawyer…”

I’ll just never understand the logic behind that view.

So are we to believe that because the poor and downtrodden can’t afford an adequate defense — affluent people should be subjected to injustice too?

Inherent with this line of faulty logic is the underlying assumption everyone accused of a crime is guilty.  If everyone accused is guilty… then yes… why should the rich people be immune from responsibility just because they have money.

When you take the presumption of guilt out of the equation though… the logic falls flat.

Everyone should have a defense in every case.  Not everyone is guilty.  Even if they are just because the legislature, a prosecutor or even a judge says a certain punishment is fair doesn’t make it so.

Make a mental note next time you hear someone make that comment.  Ask yourself what the world would be like if we didn’t have the ability to dispute accusations or the consequences.  How would you feel if after you were vindicated someone just chalked it up to your economic status?

Doesn’t sound fair, does it?

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly.

 


Texas Criminal Law on Gambling

September 8, 2014

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

Personal Gambling

Gambling is controlled by Tex.Pen.C. 47.02.   That statute states in relevant part, (a)  A person commits an offense if he: (1)  makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest; (2)  makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or (3)  plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.

There are all sorts of defenses, however.  The defenses are under subsection (b) and are if; (1)  the actor engaged in gambling in a private place; (2)  no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and (3)  except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing…

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Robbery

September 2, 2014

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

Our mind’s eye tends to think of a typical robbery as a person holding up a bank or a convenience station with a gun and asking for all the loot.  In reality, the Texas robbery statute is far thinner and believe it or not, some robbery cases can be extremely difficult cases for the prosecution.

Texas Penal Code Section 29.02 governs robbery and under subsection (a), robber is committed where, “…in the course of committing theft as defined in Chapter 31 and with the itent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he; (1) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.

One main reason why these cases present difficulties to the State is that there is no requirement under the…

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Does the Fact I’ve Never Been In Trouble Before Mean Anything?

August 18, 2014

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

One of the most common questions that I am asked is whether the countless years or decades of a clean-record counts for anything at trial.  The good news is that it does but theres lots to consider.

Texas rule of evidence 404 is a rule which discusses when character evidence is relevant, what limitations are on the types of character evidence may be admitted, and when character evidence may be appropriate.

Generally evidence of “a persons” character is not admissible at all to prove conformity therewith on a particular occasion.  The exceptions, though, tend to swallow the rule.

Tex.R.Evid. 401(a)(1)(A) allows the defense to proffer character evidence of the accused in a criminal case.  The same rule allows the prosecution to attack that character evidence if the defense “opens the door” by injecting character as an issue.

Remember — there…

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Weak Judges vs. Strong Judges

August 11, 2014

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

The trial judge calls many of the crucial balls and strikes at trial including on which jurors are chosen to sit on the panel, what evidence the jury may hear, what arguments the lawyers may make, whether the case even makes it to the jury, and what formal instructions are given to the jury.  While some judges see their role as a referee on the sideline — for better or worse — they play a far more important role.

If the Judge makes mistakes in their rulings — those can be appealed.  Here’s why that’s not as easy as it sounds; (1) appeal can be extremely expensive if you don’t qualify as indigent; (2) the appeals courts rarely over-turn what happens in the trial court and often label the trial judge’s mistakes as “harmless error;” and (3) appeal takes…

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New DWI Law: Above a 0.15 is now a Class A Misdemeanor

August 10, 2014

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 562-7549

www.thecollincountylawyer.com

Drunk driving laws are a one-way road.  They’re getting tougher and unless and until politicians begin campaigning on being easier on this sort of thing, you can expect the laws to keep getting even tougher than they are now.

A law passed this past legislative term and now in effect is that it is now a Class A misdemeanor if your blood alcohol result is above a 0.15 at the time the test is taken (not when you were behind the wheel).

The law is yet another example of how the state punishes you for cooperating by taking the breath test.

Not only that, but what they’re also doing is making steeper punishment more arbitrary.  Think of it this way… if person A has been drinking steadily all night and gets behind the wheel at, let’s say…

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Bail Bond FAQ’s

August 5, 2014

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(214) 724-7065 24-hour jail release number

(972) 369-0577 (office)

www.thecollincountylawyer.com

1.  What is a Bond?

Bond is a dollar amount an arrested person needs to post as collateral for their release.  If the person doesn’t come to court when requested, then the bond can be forfeited and an arrest warrant issued.

2.  What is a Cash Bond?

A cash bond is where an arrested person (usually through their family) pays the full amount of the bond to secure the release on their own accord.  When the case is over, regardless of the outcome, the bond is refunded directly to the accused person.

3. What is a Bail Bond?

Often people can’t afford to pay cash for a bond.  A bail bond is where a 3rd party guarantor assures the county that if the person forfeits — that this person will pay the county…

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