The Importance of Trial Advocacy and Trial Skills

April 24, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

I don’t write much about trial advocacy because I think most people who happen across my blawg are probably more interested in other nuts & bolts legal topics.  Experience, comfort and skill in the courtroom is extremely important stuff, though.

I can safely say I spend more time honing my trial skills than any other type of other continuing education available.  This is in part because it fascinates me and, frankly, it’s my trade.  I like to think of myself like a basketball player who works every day after practice on nothing but free-throws, dribbling to the left, or shooting threes.

On my bookshelf you’ll find books about jury psychology, cross-examination, and persuasive rhetoric.  I devour jury studies, psychological studies, and other data which I feel help give me an edge in trial.

Trial is the fascinating competition between…

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The “Public Place” Requirement of DWI Law — How it Really Doesn’t Matter Anymore

April 16, 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 49.04(a) is Texas’ DWI law and states, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”

“Public place” means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.  Tex.Pen.C. 1.07(40).

Obviously when the Texas legislature wrote the drunk driving law, for whatever reason only they truly know, they wanted to omit places that weren’t public… i.e. private places.  My guess (and that’s all it is) is that the legislature probably wanted to preserve Texan’s ability to consume alcohol while engaging in sport such as hunting or fishing on private property.

The Courts of Appeals have essentially written…

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What is a Motion to Suppress?

April 11, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

A motion to suppress is a challenge to the legality of how evidence was attained.

In Texas and the United States we have what is known as the “exclusionary rule.”  This rule means where a court finds evidence was attained illegally – it cannot be used for any reason against the accused.  The exclusion (or suppression) of evidence often makes it impossible for the prosecution to prove one or more elements of the crime — which means they often lose the entire case based on a successful motion to suppress because they will fail to meet their burden of proof at trial.  Other times, a successful motion to suppress will exclude a damaging admission, confession or other piece of evidence which does not win a case for the defendant but makes the case much more difficult on the prosecution.

What…

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An “Illegal Search” is Really More Like an “Illegal Procedure” Penalty in Football

April 8, 2014

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 best weapons in defending many cases is the exclusionary rule.  That rule prevents illegally attained evidence from being used by the prosecution during trial.  The exclusionary rule is the citizens legal protection remedy from illegal police acts.

Isn’t it a Bit Much to Say the Police Acted Illegally?

Think of the word ‘illegal’ in terms of a penalty during a football game such as ‘illegal procedure.’  The word ‘illegal’ has a much lighter connotation when we know it’s just a 5 yard penalty for a player moving the wrong direction before the snap.

Calling a search or particular police action ‘illegal’ is really no different.  As the accused, you’re merely saying there was a foul committed without regard to wether it was intentional or severe.  But the rules are the rules and everyone has to…

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How Double Jeopardy Works

April 7, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Double jeopardy comes from the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which holds in part, “…nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…”

Double jeopardy can be an extremely complex topic.  The easiest way to think about it is once you are acquitted of a charge, you can’t be prosecuted for the same charge again. The prosecutors who represent the government are like anyone else before the Judge.  They get their day in court — but they don’t get it again and again and again until they win.

What makes the issue so confusing at times are the different concepts behind what constitutes an acquittal for example.  The prosecution may dismiss a case but if they do so before jeopardy is said to “attach” in a particular case…

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Lowering Felony Bond

April 3, 2014

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

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

A felony bond in Collin County, Texas, is set by a magistrate judge in all cases (unlike misdemeanor cases where there may be a schedule of bonds for certain situations).

Previously, I’ve discussed when a person is entitled to a bond and when they’re not.  Today I’ll discuss what to do when the bond which is set is ridiculously high and your loved one is jailed.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 17.15 guides the setting of bail and it reads as follows:

“The amount of bail to be required in any case is to be regulated by the court, judge, magistrate or officer taking the bail; they are to be governed in the exercise of this discretion by the Constitution and by the following rules:

1. The bail shall be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking…

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