Trying to Join the Military when Facing Criminal Charges

July 17, 2014

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

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

Joining the military can be a great way to serve your country and find a new meaning or direction in life.  I know because I’m a former Army Field Artillery Officer.

It can be frustrating when you’re trying to join the army and you’re facing criminal charges.

My first suggestion for anyone trying to join when facing criminal charges is to visit with your recruiter about what will or will not be acceptable to the military on your criminal record or as far as completing civilian probation.  As a lawyer licensed in the State of Texas, I am simply not in a position to advise people of current U.S. Armed forces policy on recruitment.  I know from my own military experience that policies can and do change frequently with regards to eligibility.  Your recruiter should be up to…

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Underage Alcohol Consumption or Possession Reference Guide

July 10, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

Several main Texas laws impact minors who mix with alcohol under the Texas Alcohol Beverage Code.  First, the good news.  Though Texas prides itself on being tough on crime, all charges I’m discussing today are Class C Misdemeanors with multiple ways of getting them off a criminal record.

Below are my abbreviated description of the statutes.  If you enjoy the more precise legalese of the Texas Alcohol Beverage Code, you can read the laws here.


1.  Minor in Possession (also called an “MIP”)

Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code (“TABC”) 106.05 makes it a crime for a minor to possess alcohol.  Possession is defined by Texas Penal Code 1.07(39) as “Actual Care, custody, control or management.”

This simply means the officer and the prosecution must prove the minor did more than be in the mere presence of alcohol…

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Should I Bail My Son or Daughter Out of Jail?

July 9, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

I get asked this question a lot where the child is 17 years old or older and in adult custody.

Unfortunately there is no right answer though I wish there were.  I don’t have a stake in the issue so I advise parents to do what they feel is best because they know their children better than I do.

Parents should also take to heart this truism: there is no right answer.

Leaving your son or daughter in jail does not make you a bad parent nor does getting them out.  I’ve seen parents who do both for understandable reasons.

For clients who have serious drug issues — parents might tell me they leave their kids in jail because at least they know they’re safe and not using drugs.  Drug cases (other than marijuana) take a long time because…

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The Mosaic

June 30, 2014

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

Many criminal cases can be analogized to a mosaic.

A mosaic can have hundreds if not thousands of small tiles of all different colors, shapes and textures.  Someone doesn’t even have to be very skilled to arrange the tiles in a way to create the picture they see in their mind’s eye.

Similarly a criminal case often has hundreds of bits of information such as witness accounts, video tape, or scientific evidence.  A person interpreting all of the scattered information, too, can and will create a picture based on their initial impression of what they see in their mind.

This is where the analogy gets interesting — the mosaic is all based on the perception of the person interpreting the bits and pieces.  

Let’s say the person making the picture is a law enforcement officer who decided guilt before even looking at the pieces.  That person would naturally take the pieces he or she needed to make the picture they want and potentially discard pieces which don’t fit their vision.  They don’t do it to be mean or to frame someone — it’s just how people think.  For instance, most police reports simply don’t contain many positive facts for my client.  It’s not that there isn’t good evidence for my client the officer knows about — it just got ignored like a tile piece which got left on the floor and swept into a pile.  

The good news is we have the ability to do the same thing to give a jury, judge or even the prosecutor a COMPLETE picture.  We can make a mosaic which we know reflects how we see the picture — only we won’t discard pieces just because they don’t seem to matter to us.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas.  Nothing in this article should be considered as legal advice.  For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly.  Communications sent through this blog are not privileged.

Criminal Credit or Debit Card Abuse

June 17, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

It’s not a crime to be irresponsible with your credit cards.  It is a crime to use someone else’s credit card without their consent.

Credit or debit card abuse is defined by Texas Penal Code 32.31 which holds, in part, beginning in subsection (b);

(b)  A person commits an offense if:

(1)  with intent to obtain a benefit fraudulently, he presents or uses a credit card or debit card with knowledge that:

(A)  the card, whether or not expired, has not been issued to him and is not used with the effective consent of the cardholder; or

(B)  the card has expired or has been revoked or cancelled;

The code lists out several other ways credit or debit card abuse can be committed other than just using someone else’s credit card.  Other examples include using fictitious credit cards, possessing someone else’s credit card without…

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Computer Crimes in Texas: Online Harassment

June 5, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

Laws lag behind online crimes. Society gets outraged when stories come on the news about online bullying, for example, but the truth is that the legislature naturally plays catch-up to technology.

Who knew Facebook or Twitter would become as popular as they’ve become… Much less had the foresight to know how to keep people from victimizing one another just two or three years ago?

One recent step taken by Texas is the addition of Texas Penal Code Section 33.07 which criminalizes “online harassment.” That statute was passed several legislative sessions ago and it criminalizes the creation of an account on a social networking site that not only isn’t you — but is purportedly someone else (or their persona) and was created for the express purpose to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten ANY person.

The punishment for such an offense would be…

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What I Like About Defending DWI Cases Collin County

May 28, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

Defending driving while intoxicated case presents a unique challenge to lawyers.  This is because long before entering the courtroom, you can detect a stiff headwind of resistance working against you which lasts the entire case.

You get the sense the legislature, lobbyists and victim advocacy groups, and even many jurors don’t stop to consider whether the police are right when they make an arrest.  Even the news media runs article after article about how if the courts and police were just meaner and tougher on these cases — they would somehow go away.  There is an unmistakable and heavy bias which reaches far beyond whether drunk driving is a problem — and assumes everyone suspected of DWI is guilty.

No one wants drunk drivers on the road.  Everyone’s heart breaks for victims of drunk drivers.  The vast majority of…

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