Evading Arrest or Detention

January 31, 2014

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

Evading Arrest or detention is governed by Tex.Pen.C. 38.04 and it is committed where a person “intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.”

Evading can be charged differently depending on the facts and resulting injuries someone may sustain (in a car accident for example during a chase). It’s a Class B Misdemeanor if done without a vehicle (by foot); a State Jail Felony if done by vehicle OR if the accused has a prior evading conviction; a 3rd Degree Felony if done with a vehicle AND a prior evading conviction or if during the offense someone sustains serious bodily injury; a 2nd Degree Felony if someone dies during the evading.

The Officer Can’t Chase You Just to Chase You

Though the statute seems very cut and dry, evading…

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Can You Show the Arresting Officer’s Disciplinary Record in Trial?

January 29, 2014

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

It’s possible but it’s certainly not a given.

The Texas and Federal Rules of Evidence try to keep trials from turning into free-for-all mud slinging contests.  Imagine how ridiculous a trial would be if every officer could be drilled on the witness stand about their 4th grade report card.  Then again, if an officer has taken part in shenanigans which call his/her word into question — it might be key for a jury to know.

Two Rules — What the Judge MUST Allow and What they MAY Allow

The rules categorize prior conduct of a witness into two main categories.  Evidence that a judge must allow the jury to see and evidence the judge has the discretion to allow jurors to see depending on the circumstances.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude 

Under Tex.R.Evid. 609, evidence of a prior conviction for a…

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Textbook Video From an Illegal Search

January 24, 2014

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

Today I’m posting a video created by a guy driving home from a Star Trek convention with a buddy who was stopped by a police officer for an alleged minor traffic offense.  He and his friend spend the better part of an hour being harassed, manipulated and badgered by the officer.  It’s a textbook example of when an unsuspecting fly gets tangled in the web of a nasty spider and can’t get away.

You can watch the video here.

As a Criminal Defense Lawyer having dealt with many bad searches, here are a few things I think are important to point out about this stop/ video.

Situations Like This Rarely Come to Light in the First Place

The reason this type of harassment of citizens never really comes to light is because these guys are completely innocent.  They’ve got no reason to ever acquire, watch, or publish this video.  In fact, most people who go through something like this either just want to forget that it ever happened or were so intimidated by the experience that they simply walk away.

Another reason why this situation is seldom exposed is because when an officer does profile correctly and find marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamine — the citizens regard all the singing, dancing, and acting he did to get into the car as “great police work.”  Obviously what is ultimately found, if anything, doesn’t suddenly validate the illegality of the search.

This is an Extreme (but not unheard of) Scenario

This situation is extreme.  It’s very common to see stops for very thin reasons, and very common to see cops play delay games like “the computer is slow today”.  Getting a k-9 to give a false hit (if that’s really what happened) would be highly uncommon, and simply making up a reason altogether for the stop (if that is what really happened) would also be well out-of-bounds.  Police often reach or stretch for reasons to detain someone, but normally it’s based on at least a smidgen of good faith.

Why this Search Was Illegal

Courts have long struggled with these types of police games.  In United States v. Shabazz, 993 F.2d 431 (5th Cir. 1993) citing United States v. Guzman, 864 F.2d 1512, (10th Cir. 1988) the Fifth Circuit stated:

“An officer conducting a routine traffic stop may request a driver’s license and vehicle registration, run a computer check, and issue a citation. When the driver has produced a valid license and proof that he is entitled to operate the car, he must be allowed to proceed on his way, without being subject to further delay by police for additional questioning. In order to justify a temporary detention for questioning, the officer must also have reasonable suspicion of illegal transactions in drugs or of any other serious crime.”

Also, it’s a well known game to wait for the arrival of a K-9 unit in the event the detaining officer suspects drugs.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice 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.  Communications sent through this blog are not confidential, privileged, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship.


Protecting a Professional License When Facing Criminal Charges

January 21, 2014

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

A professional license is like your personal Alamo.  It’s your livelihood and must be defended at all costs.

Any criminal charge must be evaluated to gauge it’s impact on your ability to either attain or maintain a professional license.  In some instances losing a license because of a criminal record is automatic and in other instances it may simply open the door to a licensing board to taking action.

This intersection of law is between traditional criminal law and administrative law as criminal courts don’t directly weigh-in on licenses such as medical licenses, CPA licenses, or engineering licenses.  Those decisions are made by different bodies.

Texas Occupations Code Chapter 53 governs the consequences of criminal records on certain professional licenses.  It’s structure demonstrates the complex and layered approach the legislature intended in situations when dealing with certain crimes as they relate to certain professions.

Your criminal lawyer needs to be mindful of the professional consequences in a criminal action.  Someone facing family assault charges, DWI, or drug charges may be facing stiff probation from the criminal court — but probation may be a hollow victory if administrative action against a professional license wipes-out your ability to put food on the table.

The end-game is what really matters and a good criminal lawyer is thinking 5-steps ahead.  Sometimes you simply need a “not-guilty” verdict… and that is that!

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice 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.


What Do I need to Tell My Boss If I Get Arrested?

January 19, 2014

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy F. Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

I’m asked a lot about what someone should tell their boss after they have been arrested.  It’s a great question — even though it’s not squarely what I deal with as a criminal lawyer.

Unfortunately there’s no quick answer and because no two work-places are alike and because no two arrests are alike.  These situations have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Texas is an “at-will” state which means that in most cases an employer can terminate you for a good reason, for a bad reason, or for no reason at all.  I point this out to underscore how powerless most people are to begin with when it comes to their jobs in the first place.  So it’s possible that you can do everything right and still be shown the door.  But experience tells me that…

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Grand Jury Notice Letters From the District Attorney’s Office

January 19, 2014

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

If you have gotten a a letter notifying you of a grand jury date in Collin County, Texas, it means the District Attorney’s office is attempting to indict you for a felony.  You need a lawyer immediately.

A grand jury is a body of citizens appointed by a district judge who meet regularly to review whether there is sufficient evidence to issue a true bill of indictment for a felony offense.  An accused does not have the right to be present nor present a case to the grand jury.

Though you don’t have many rights when it comes to a grand jury proceeding, you do have a lot of legal strategy to consider.

How Your Lawyer Would Deal with the Grand Jury

Often times a person accused of a crime can submit a “grand jury packet.”  A grand jury…

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Prostitution Law in Texas

January 15, 2014

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Texas Penal Code 43.02 governs prostitution and it states,

(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly:

(1)  offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee; or

(2)  solicits another in a public place to engage with him in sexual conduct for hire.

(b)  An offense is established under Subsection (a)(1) whether the actor is to receive or pay a fee. An offense is established under Subsection (a)(2) whether the actor solicits a person to hire him or offers to hire the person solicited.

Prostitution is a class b misdemeanor unless the person has two or more previous convictions for prostitution in which case it is a class a misdemeanor.  It is a state jail felony if the person has been convicted three or more times.

Obviously the offense is considered the same by…

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