10 Principles of Defending People: (#5 All Eyes are Equal & #4 Know the Enemy)

June 6, 2018

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

I’m going over to me what are the top ten principles of defending people.  To recap the list so far:

#5 All Eyes are Equal:

People don’t trust themselves or their own judgment for some reason.  Lawyers included.

Maverick trusted himself.  He hit the brakes and the MIG flew right by.  He had cunning, creativity, and self-assurance to know the maneuver would work.  The fact it hadn’t been done before didn’t bother him.

What I like about Maverick is he didn’t ask anyone’s permission.  He just trusted himself and to a lesser degree wasn’t afraid to fail.  I’m a pretty far cry from Maverick, but I hope I think like he might every now and again.

When I say all eyes are equal what I mean is if a trial theory makes sense to me then chances are it makes sense to the jurors too.  If I think the police and prosecutors are reaching then I ask myself why?  Maybe they’ve been suckered by a doe-eyed accuser in a sexual assault case…  Maybe they’re blinded by my client’s appearance or problems they’ve had in the past… or maybe they’re so trapped in their own narrative, they can’t see they’re in an echo chamber as in some domestic violence cases.

Too often, lawyers will settle into a conventional defense.  They are afraid to think outside of the box.  But by thinking inside the box, they turn themselves into fish in a barrel waiting to be speared.  Remember all eyes — including the lawyers own — are equal.  The big picture makes sense.

Don’t be afraid to tell the jury about the big picture.  Don’t be afraid of hitting the brakes so the MIG can fly right by.

#4 Know the Enemy: 

The key to knowing your opponent in my book is experience, experience, experience.

I remember how I thought as a prosecutor.  It helps me today.  I was advocating for the opposite position which is something lawyers do.  I remember my thought process in trying to prove-up a case.  I remember my areas of emphasis to the jury, the assumptions I’d make in each case, and the points of emphasis to the jurors.  I also remember how effective defense lawyers would attack my case.

Defending cases are wonderful learning experiences too.

Cross examining hundreds of police officers teaches you how to control a sophisticated witness who is often trying intentionally to personally subvert you in front of a jury.  Mountains of experience teaches you how to strike the precise blows you need to inflict with your questioning without picking losing battles, having your message bogged down, or looking like a jerk.

Experience also teaches you the prosecutor’s playbook.  Prosecutors across the state share practices and training (as do defense lawyers) so it’s not uncommon to see the same techniques and arguments in different counties.  An experienced defense lawyer needs to know what is coming and how to neutralize, spoil, or blow-up certain tactics they ought to expect are coming.  It’s no different than a football team watching tape on their upcoming opponent and figuring out how to defend against certain plays or formations.

Knowing the enemy is important — but it can’t be confused with a winning strategy.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He is Licensed to Practice by the State Bar of Texas.

 

 

 


Will I Be Sentenced to Jail Now That I’m Accused of DWI, Theft, Domestic Abuse, Drug Possession…. or Any Crime for that Matter?

February 8, 2018

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

This is probably the no. 1 question on the minds of many who come into my office.  It’s a completely normal question I’d and probably worry about you if you didn’t care.

Obviously I can’t say yes or no unless I hear whats going on first.

Even then I can’t make promises though I can tell someone they’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning than going back to jail after an initial arrest.

By the time most people are pondering this question it is as if a grenade has exploded in their living room.  They or a loved one have gone through an ordeal they never imagined they’d face — going to jail then getting released on bond.

Then you or your loved ones read about sentence ranges for the particular charge and it’s hard not to fixate on the high number at the end of the punishment range to the exclusion of everything else.  It is completely normal to have high anxiety wondering about the end result of the case and not knowing anything about the criminal justice system doesn’t help.

Here’s What I Can Say

The vast majority of people I help worry far too much about something totally unrealistic.  They exaggerate their chances of going to back to jail in their own mind. Totally normal.

Law enforcement trends in most populated cities and suburbs in Texas are to lower inmate population.  People with little or no criminal history simply don’t jam the jails on misdemeanor or low-grade felony offenses these days.  Major emphasis is being placed on identifying other ways to address issues such as mental illness, addiction and even anger issues or conflict resolution other than jail.

And by the way… I’m going to work my hardest to acquit someone or get their case dismissed before we even get to jail questions!

The greatest chance for jail in someone’s future for someone coming into my office on most cases is violating terms and conditions of bond or probation.  In other words, they may go back to jail if they use illegal substances, miss court, or drink alcohol when ordered not to do so while waiting for their case to be resolved or after they’ve been put on probation.

The good news here is the person is still in control of whether or not they face future incarceration.  More good news is when people do go to jail on bond or probation violations — the time in jail is measured in days or weeks and not months or years.

I end up telling many people it is unrealistic to worry about future jail.  I don’t mind repeating it 35 times if that is what it takes to take away the feeling a house has landed on you!

Normally my greatest concern is not future jail — it’s keeping your job and keeping your criminal history as clean as possible.  This is a more realistic fear in many, many cases we handle.

When Jail is a Worry

There are times to worry about a jail sentence and not every place in Texas is the same.  Each case is its own snowflake so trends I’ve discussed above may or may not apply to your situation.

The more severe the charge — the more likely it is we can’t safely rule future incarceration out.  Even then we rarely realistically discuss worst-case scenarios.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law and is Licensed to Practice Law in the State of Texas.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice you should see an attorney directly.

 

 

 


Our Number is (972) 369-0577. Put it In Your Phone Right Now. Yes, YOU!

June 13, 2017

By Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

Put our phone number in your phone right now.  It is (972) 369-0577.

Why do you want a criminal defense lawyer’s number in your phone?  It should be self explanatory but many don’t think they’ll ever need it.  Fair enough.

There are two main reasons.

The First Reason

I recently spoke to several groups of non-lawyers about criminal justice.  They were interested in my topic but not particularly excited or passionate.  Why should they be?  To them criminal cases happen in newspapers or on television and — like advertising — it might affect a few people out there but it doesn’t affect them.

At the most recent lecture, I decided to bring the topic home for a more engaging discussion.  I wanted the audience to know why they all needed our phone numbers in their phone.  And the answer is simple —  You don’t lead a life of crime and you don’t plan on getting arrested…? GREAT!  Me too!

But Rosenthal & Wadas has built a big criminal defense law practice right here in the suburb of McKinney, Texas?  How did we do that…?  Because people’s sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, grandsons, granddaughters, sisters, brothers, friends and co-workers are getting arrested here.  They get arrested for DWI, domestic violence, drug charges, embezzlement, sexual assault and on and on and on.

Now, when a criminal case gets hot — it gets hot.  When the arrest or accusation happens — the case is hot.  We potentially create more value by getting into a case right at the beginning than at any other time.  This is because we can represent someone during an investigation or sometimes just help put the fire of an arrest out so we can begin getting to the bottom of what happened to get the best end result.

Sometimes key legal advice or representation at the inception of a case can make the whole thing go away.  You read that right.

So if you don’t plan on ever getting arrested — great — but put our number in your phone for when you get an unexpected call from a co-worker, friend, or just a non-conformist family member.  People’s friends and loved ones are being arrested every-day right here in Collin County and they’ll often turn to you looking for direction.  I hope it is never your loved one, but why not be prepared?

Our office has a lawyer on call 24/7.

The Second Reason

Putting our number in your phone is free.  (972) 369-0577.

Do it now while you’re thinking about it.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any specific situation you should contact a lawyer directly.

 

 


24-Hour Criminal Lawyer

October 28, 2016

By Board Certified Collin County Criminal Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(214) 724-7065 (24-hour line)

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Call if you’re having a criminal law emergency.

Examples of things the lawyers at our office can help with 24/7 are:

  • Police want to interview you or a loved one about anything;
  • You have reason to believe you or a loved will are or soon will be investigated;
  • Law enforcement has just executed a search warrant on you or a loved one;
  • A loved one has been arrested for a felony or Class B Misdemeanor or higher and you don’t know what to do;
  • A loved one is being held in jail without bond;
  • You or a loved one are concerned about probation violations;
  • Any other type of “bomb-shell” which you know or suspect needs a lawyer;

Criminal law emergencies come in many shapes and forms, so if you have a question please call.  (Please, no traffic tickets or traffic warrants).

All calls are confidential pursuant to Tex.R.Evid. 503(b)(2).  Rosenthal & Wadas has a team of 7 lawyers so someone will be available 24/7 to help.

 

Common Mistakes People Make With Criminal Law Emergencies

  • They Self-Diagnose on the Computer

There is only so much you can google about a situation where someone has an urgent criminal legal problem.  There is no substitute for picking up the phone and calling a lawyer who has handled thousands of cases.  If you had a true medical emergency, would you call 911 or would you go to a search engine?

  • They panic too Little

I can’t tell you how often someone comes into my office after it’s too late.  They considered calling a lawyer earlier but because they didn’t their situation is worse than it was before.  People often follow their gut instinct which is understandable.  The problem when you face an unknown and new situation is “you don’t know what you don’t know.”  We’ve handled thousands of cases.  We can tell you if there is a problem or not and what to do.

 

  • They Panic too Much

We can help ease the stress for some problems — which just aren’t problems.  We do see plenty of cases where someone or their loved one is worried sick about a situation that isn’t worth the mental strain of the worry.  Nothing makes us happier than to give some good news and help people understand criminal proceedings, consequences, or jail is simply unrealistic or far-fetched.

Your Call is Welcome 24/7

If you’re having a criminal law emergency, please call (again, no traffic tickets or warrants please).  If you’re just web-surfing then put the phone number in your phone.  I hope you never need it, but putting it in your phone is absolutely free and it could save you valuable time if you ever do need to find a criminal lawyer in a hurry.

 

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed in the State of Texas and is Board Certified in Criminal Law.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any situation you should consult an attorney directly.

 


How Do I Find Someone In Jail?

November 25, 2013

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer

(214) 724-7065 (Jail Release Number)

www.rosenthalwadas.com

In Collin County:

People arrested in Collin County go one of six places — Dallas City Jail, Richardson City Jail, Plano City Jail, Allen City Jail, Frisco City Jail, or the Collin County Jail in McKinney.

For information about jail release on DWI, Theft, Marijuana Possession and other misdemeanor arrests, click here.

The Collin County Jail serves as the “nerve center” for jails in the county as McKinney is the county-seat.  Persons arrested in the City of McKinney as well as any city not listed above are taken to the Collin County Jail.  You can go to the Collin County Sheriff’s Office web page and see if the person is a current inmate.  If someone is not listed on the web page as an inmate — this does not mean they’re not in jail there.  They may be in custody but not yet booked onto the system.  You can speak with jail personnel at (972) 547-5100.

Richardson, Plano, Allen & Frisco jails do not currently have online look-up systems.  Contact information for those jails is as follows:

Richardson City Jail:  (972) 744-4820

Plano City Jail:  (972) 424-5678

Frisco City Jail:  (972) 292-6001

Allen City Jail:  (214) 509-4100

Dallas County Jail: (214) 962-5800

People arrested for class b misdemeanors and above are eventually transferred to Collin County or must process through if released without having processed through originally.

Helpful Tips and Suggestions:

  • Have as much information as possible about the person and the arrest available.  Some jails are busier than others and the more information you have, the more likely you can help the jail staff identify your friend or loved one.
  • Check surrounding counties.  Cities in Collin County are in multiple counties.  The cities of Dallas, Richardson and Sachse are in both Collin and Dallas County.  Frisco and Plano have portions both in Collin and Denton Counties.
  • Be patient.  Being a jailer is a hard job.  They constantly deal with difficult people and it’s easier to have questions answered when you are polite.  Some might be difficult but dealing with them is an unfortunate reality at 3 in the morning.

*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 a licensed attorney directly.


Jail Release for a Juvenile Under 17 Years In Texas

November 17, 2013

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)

Juvenile arrests in Texas (children younger than 17 years of age) are different from adult arrests.

Whereas an adult has a right to see a magistrate within 24-48 hours after arrest (depending on the level of offense), a juvenile has no such right.  See Texas Family Code Chapters 53.02 and 54.01.

The Immediate Determination

A Judge or “other authorized officer” makes an immediate determination as to weather the child should be detained under factors which include;

(1) whether or not the juvenile is likely to abscond,

(2) the degree of parental supervision at home,

(3) whether a firearm was involved,

(4) and the likelihood of re-offending if released.

For more specifics, you can read Tex.Fam.C. 53.02.

After the Immediate Determination

If it is determined that the child should be detained under 53.02, then “not after the second working…

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Getting Out of Jail in Plano

August 13, 2013

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(214) 724-7065 (24-hour jail release)

What is needed is generally called a “writ bond.”  A writ bond is a document filed by a licensed attorney with the county triggering a cash bond.

In English, this means that you can get a loved one out of jail without having for them to wait on a magistrate — a process which by law may take up to 24 hours.  The most common application are DWI cases from Plano, Frisco or Allen.

Legally here’s what is happening:  An attorney is filing a “writ of habeas corpus” on behalf of his client (the person in jail).  The application asks that bond be set.  The bond is paid (presumably by a friend or family member).  Collin County requires the person paying to sign an acknowledgment that the money received is the money of the inmate — and will be refunded to the inmate at the conclusion of the case.

For a writ bond, the inmate is both the principal and the surety on the bond.  The person released must report back to court.  If the arrested person fails to go to court and has his bond forfeited, then a warrant is issued and the County can institute proceeding to keep the bond money originally paid.

This process shouldn’t be confused with a bail bond.  That is where a bondsman posts the bond with the county on the inmate’s behalf.  This gives the bondsman incentive to make sure the released person goes to Court because if they don’t, they’re liable to the county for the bond fronted.

*Jeremy F. Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas and is Board Certified in Criminal Law.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice, please consult an attorney.