Texas DWI Laws for Beginners

May 29, 2015

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

For Starters:

Everyone is presumed innocent and the police and prosecution must prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt… and that goes for DWI’s and DUI’s too.  Accused people are acquitted of DWI in Courthouses all over Texas every day.  Just because the Police believe something does not make it so.

The nuts and bolts:

Texas DWI law can be extremely complicated but we’ll start with the basics.  For more advanced discussions, you can read here, here, and here.

Tex.Pen.C. 49.04(a) makes driving while intoxicated illegal.  That provision says, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”

Tex.Pen.C. 49.01 (A) and (B) define “intoxication” as… “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a…

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Getting out of Jail on a Plano DWI Arrest

May 21, 2015

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(214) 724-7065 – 24 hour number

(972) 369-0577 – Office number

To get someone out of the Plano City Jail for a DUI or DWI arrest a bond needs to be paid to Collin County.  The problem is a bond needs to be set by a magistrate before it can be paid.  No bond = no release.  Plano may not bring the accused before the magistrate until the day following the arrest.

How a Lawyer Can Help:

An attorney assist you in getting a bond set through what is called a “Writ of Habeas Corpus” (sometimes referred to as a “Writ Bond.”).  Under local rules, a writ bond filed by an attorney will trigger a cash bond on a misdemeanor DWI (either a 1st or 2nd offense) which can be paid — and the person released immediately (assuming there…

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Physician – Patient Privilege in Criminal Cases

May 18, 2015

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

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Texas Rule of Evidence 509 governs the physician- patient privilege.  As with all privileges, it acts to protect communications that are confidential between a physician and a patient “relative or in connection with any professional services rendered by a physician to the patient.”

Tex.R.Evid. 509(b), however, practically negates the physician- patient relationship in criminal cases.  That section bluntly says, “There is no physician-patient privilege in criminal proceedings.”

The only small exception under 509(b) is that communications to any person involved in the treatment or examination of alcohol or drug abuse by a person being treated voluntarily or being examined for admission to treatment for drug or alcohol abuse is not admissible in a criminal proceeding.  This is obviously to encourage people who need help for substance abuse to voluntarily get help without recourse.

Police and/or prosecuting agencies can…

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Defending Blood Draws Versus Defending the Breath Test

April 26, 2015

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

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

There are many strategies to specifically attack either a breath or blood result, but today I’m going to compare blood and breath samples very generally.

Generally speaking — the most vulnerable aspects of either test is due to the degree that a human can either intentionally or negligently effect the outcome.

Jurors tend to have a bit of a natural skepticism against the science and technique regarding the breath test, but jurors unfortunately don’t scrutinize blood tests quite the same way.  On the other hand, the process for administering the breath test is ‘idiot proof’ whereas the procedure for taking, shipping and testing the blood is filled with human contact.

The Breath Test

The breath test is based on extracting the alveolar breath from one’s deep lungs.  That breath sample has to (1) come from the deep…

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How Long Does a Conviction Stay on a Criminal Record?

April 3, 2015

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

Forever.

I ask this question frequently when I’m picking jurors and believe it or not, very few people know this.

I guess it’s understandable because not everyone is a criminal defense attorney or have a loved one weighted down with a conviction.

A conviction in Texas stays on your criminal record forever.  It’s hard to quantify the amount of opportunity costs which are lost due to convictions, but everyone has been asked before when renting an apartment, applying for a job, or seeking a loan, to check the ominous box asking if they’ve ever been convicted of anything other than a minor traffic ticket.

Criminal convictions can even hurt you in things such as adoptions, immigration status, and voting rights if the conviction is a felony.  The collateral consequences are countless.  Here is a good article about the…

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Why Do I Need a Lawyer if I’m Guilty of the Charges?

March 30, 2015

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

We were all taught to take responsibility for our actions when we were children.  We are internally programmed that we will be rewarded by coming clean by fair treatment and a clean conscience.

The Leap of Faith

Taking responsibility for your actions is a leap of faith. You are trusting that when you take responsibility you will be treated fairly and justly by those in authority.  Parents and teachers hopefully always treated you fairly when you owned-up to a mistake.  They made the punishment fit the crime and they put your mistake in perspective.

This doesn’t always happen in the criminal justice system.  The state or government’s version of responsibility may be drastically more cruel or harsh than you might think.  Thus, taking the ‘leap of faith’ that you will be dealt with fairly doesn’t always work out.

Understanding The Disconnect

Knowing why the state’s version of justice and our own is so far apart can be complex question.  The three most common answers I can think of are as follows:

(1)  Some times the law just isn’t fair.  Police and prosecutors are bound by the law… and those laws are created by our legislature… and our legislature is comprised of politicians who probably didn’t campaign on being easy on crime.

(2)  Some prosecutors and judges can be misguided.  Many have never defended anyone accused of a crime so they don’t understand the fears, emotions and worries of criminal defendants or their families.  In their defense most do their best to empathize… they’ve just never walked in a defense lawyer’s shoes.

(3) Jurors sitting on a case have never been in trouble themselves.  Many tend to think someone in trouble is in trouble for a reason.  They think because someone made different choices than they would have made, they deserve to be punished harshly.

Why You STILL Need a Lawyer

You need an advocate who knows the mind-set of the people making crucial decisions.  This goes for plea negotiations, dealing with judges and the occasional trial where the only debate is what is a fair punishment.  An effective lawyer can translate your fears, worries, and problems to the prosecutor, Judge or Jury in a way which turns them into an ally instead of an enemy.

Collateral Consequences

Sometimes we have to get a Not Guilty verdict because of the collateral consequences of a conviction.  This can include situations where we are concerned about a divorce/ custody situation, professional licensing or immigration consequences.  Often those charged with the crime don’t understand the full implications of their guilty plea in other areas of their life.  This is precisely why they need a lawyer who knows the broader view.

Putting the State to Its Burden

Just because you’re guilty doesn’t mean you still can’t fight for an acquittal.  There is nothing illegal, immoral, or dishonest about pleading not guilty and having a trial.  What you accomplish here is keeping the system — and those in it — honest.

Police and prosecutors would have everyone believe they do a good job on big cases because they’re the good-guys in the blind pursuit of justice.  Human nature tells us even though that may be mainly true — they will also do a good job if they know their homework is being graded.  Isn’t that we all want anyway?

The framers of the Constitution knew how to keep their government in check, didn’t they?

 

 

 

 


White Collar Crime

March 23, 2015

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

“White Collar Crime” refers generally to corporate crimes including but not limited to fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crimes, money laundering, identity theft and forgery.  White collar allegations can be particularly detail oriented both with the facts and with the law.

What Makes Charges Scary

Having Defended multiple cases — the pattern you typically see is the investigators often decided you’re a criminal first and then go about putting their case together later.

White collar cases — with the often hundreds if not thousands of documents tend to be like huge mosaics.  Anyone can take a portion of the documents to paint a certain picture which may not reflect how a business or transaction was really conducted.

Major Differences Between Other Charges

Unlike every-day “street” crimes, “white collar crimes” can be very document-intensive and require experienced counsel that is…

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