Did I Pass the Field Sobriety Test?

October 9, 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

When people are visiting with me about their recent DWI arrest in I’m often asked what constitutes passing or failing the standardized field sobriety tests.

I start by telling them that at least according to the grader– they probably failed — but the officer’s opinion ultimately isn’t what counts. It’s the jury’s opinion that matters and if the tests aren’t done to standard (and they often aren’t), then the jury may give the officer’s tests and opinions very little weight.

The truth is that there are three tests that are typically utilized by police and they are highly subjective in how they are graded. Not only that, but they must be given in the manner prescribed by the officer’s training or the results can be compromised. So when the officer says you failed — I tend not to worry.

View original 216 more words


What is Hearsay?

October 7, 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

As a general rule, if a witness on the stand is repeating what someone else said who isn’t testifying in a case… there are hearsay issues.  In trial you have a constitutional right to cross examine someone testifying against you — but you can’t effectively cross examine someone who isn’t there.

For starters, a short blog can’t possibly do the concept of hearsay any justice. Hearsay is one of the hardest topics in evidence and is heavily covered on the multistate bar exam.

The hearsay rule can block damaging statements from being admitted into evidence at a criminal trial. In some cases, such as assault/ family violence cases, the entire outcome can rest on a single hearsay objection. Yeah… It’s THAT important.

The legal definition of hearsay is, “a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the…

View original 263 more words


Texas Assault/ Family Violence Common Legal Issues

September 29, 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

Assault is governed by Texas Penal Code Section 22.01(a)(1).  That section provides that someone has committed the offense of assault if the person “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse.”  At first blush, this statute looks scarily broad but in Dallas and Collin Counties in Texas, these cases are among the hardest to successfully prosecute.

What is the Definition of “Bodily Injury?”

Texas Penal Code 1.07(a)(8) defines “bodily injury” as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.”  Again, scarily broad.  But not to worry.  There are plenty of strong defenses and other mountains the prosecution has to climb if they want to convict someone.

Self Defense

Self defense can absolutely be an affirmative defense in assault cases alleging “bodily injury.”  Section 9.31(a) defines self defense as stating in part, “a person…

View original 684 more words


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…

View original 381 more words


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…

View original 254 more words


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…

View original 275 more words


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers