Notwithstanding our ability to negotiate favorable plea bargains and obtain dismissals when least expected, our attorneys communication and interactive skills will be put to use for you during any jury selections and jury trials. The key to a favorable jury trial begins with as flawless a voir dire (jury selection) as possible, which is why you need a law firm that is dedicated to excellence and will put the time in to review all jury questionnaires and be prepared to thoroughly vet the jury panel.
Sexual crimes evoke confusion, disgust and many generalizations from the public that could easily taint the jury pool. You need an attorney who has experience with jury trials in sex crimes and understands the intricate procedural pitfalls that come with defending these highly emotive felony cases. This is where effective communication is crucial because relevant issues must be clearly defined and framed by the defense attorney during questioning in voir dire and throughout the trial.
Excellent preparation is what future clients charged with sexual assault of any kind can expect when they hire our firm. If you have been charged with a sexual crime you need to hire an attorney now to preserve evidence and witness testimony. Interviews need to be conducted as close to the incident as possible because memories fade, witnesses move, and evidence is lost. Call today so we can put our expertise to work and make a difference for you.
When it comes to defending sexual abuse or sexual assault charges against children, it is imperative to hire an empathetic, but aggressive attorney who completely understands the intricacies of defending these types of cases. If you are charged with a sex crime against a child, your defense cannot hinge on ignorance as to the age of the child because not knowing this is not a valid defense.
You also cannot depend on mutuality, meaning the child gave consent, because a child cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult.
If your case goes to trial, a child is generally perceived as innocent in the eyes of the jurors, so the defense attorney must be careful not to alienate juries. Even though the prosecution is required to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, when an individual is accused of child sexual assault, there is a tremendous amount of antagonism against the accused. The best defense, if the facts lean this way, is that the incident as alleged by the child did not happen at all. Remember, a defendant’s constitutional rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is the rule of law. However, if the media gets involved, there will be a frenzy and you need an attorney able to deal with the fall-out of you being presumed guilty by the court of public opinion.
We have extensive experience in this area and have represented multiple defendants on state and federal levels in this undesirable, life-changing situation. Some cases have been successful, and some were not. These are extremely difficult cases to defend, but not impossible. Due to the sensitive nature of child sexual abuse, defendants are well served to preserve the constitutional right not to testify. Jurors and the prosecutors will hang on every word of the defendant if put on the witness stand and one wrong statement can bring an avalanche careening down on the defendant that may be impossible for the defense to recover from.
If you are a convicted pedophile or sex offender charged with new crimes, there are public safety laws and legislation concerning offender treatment plans that must be considered. These highly emotive, controversial cases require extreme focus, patience, and dedication on the part of your defense attorney.
In defending child sexual abuse cases, it is important to have a firm understanding on the facts and the timeline to ensure every detail and moment is accounted for, investigate the witnesses and the child to ensure there are no hidden motives or inherent biases reflected in their testimony or in the outcry by the child. Do we believe children make false allegations of sexual abuse? Yes, this is possible for many reasons. Frequently, children want attention, are trying to hide other behavior and are unable to express themselves, or are angry or frustrated about a significant other in the parent’s life and want to remove an unwanted person. Sadly, it is also the case that children have mental disorders and are pathological liars and need intensive therapy. We have even experienced where some children were coerced by adults to falsely accuse the defendant with the promise of gifts, riches, fame, or fortune.
Many of the same principles related to child sexual crimes apply here because any endangerment to children is a travesty and met with staunch and abiding conflict. Although a simple act that you have performed many times before seems innocent to you, it is disturbing when you learn the act is criminal in nature and you could be jailed.
Parents, caretakers, family members or guardians of children are often surprised to discover they have been accused of child endangerment or abandoning a child. Since Texas has strict child abuse, neglect, endangerment and abandonment reporting requirements, law enforcement officials will immediately investigate allegations of abandonment or endangerment. Additionally, under Section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code, anyone who has reason to believe a child’s mental or physical health is endangered or has reason to believe the child has been abandoned is required to make a report with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and can even do this anonymously.
Additionally, according to Section 261.001(1) of the Texas Family Code, “abuse” can include the following acts or omissions:
The Texas Family Code also defines “neglect” under Section 261.001(4) as:
In one of our child endangerment cases, we represented a father who was driving at an extremely high rate of speed with his young daughter in the car. Our office put an informative “get to know the defendant” package together giving the judge a snapshot into the type of person and father our client was and we were able to get him probation, even with prior convictions. This is the type of extra care our law office goes to ensure you are presented in the light most favorable to you, giving you the most viable opportunity for success in your criminal matter.
Attitudes about marijuana have been rapidly changing, but Texas goes its own way. Neighboring states have passed laws permitting medical use of marijuana, de-criminalizing petty offenses, and even legalizing the recreational use of the plant. However, Texas, continues to punish marijuana offenses severely, although it did pass a very restrictive medical cannabis law allowing limited use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil. In Texas, possession of even a tiny amount of marijuana can land you in jail; in fact, anything less than 2 ounces carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
We once represented three young men who were charged for possession and intent to distribute. Ultimately, their cases were fully dismissed, and all charges dropped due to procedural errors made by the arresting officer. Were it not for our diligent efforts during the discovery process, and continually pressuring the prosecutor to prove they followed the letter of the law, these errors would not have been uncovered. These young college students with bright futures would have been forever in a legal system for nonsense offenses that would stick with them forever if they hired an attorney who didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to ensure the justice system worked for them.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to due process of law, including lawful search and seizure procedures prior to an arrest. Search and seizure issues are common territory for drug possession defenses. Illicit drugs found in “plain view,” such as a car’s dashboard after a legal traffic stop, may be seized and used as evidence. But drugs found in the trunk of a car after prying it open with a crowbar, (assuming the suspect didn’t give permission) can’t be entered into evidence. If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, then the drugs can’t be used at trial and the charges typically are dismissed.
Intent to distribute is a tricky charge because the determination is subjective and made by the arresting officer based on a number of variables. Fortunately, if not caught in the act of distributing, mounting a successful defense has stronger teeth.
How does Texas law determine that an individual found in possession of drugs intends to distribute them? Texas law enforcement officials take into account a wide variety of factors when determining if an individual found in possession of a controlled substance intended to distribute it or if it was intended for personal use. In many instances, the arresting officers don’t actually catch the individual in the act of distributing the drugs but often make their decision based on circumstantial evidence found at the scene of the arrest, including 1) the quantity of drugs, 2) large quantities of cash found on the defendant, 3) presence of firearms or other weapons at the time of arrest, 4) type of paraphernalia, and 5) other incriminating evidence like telephone numbers of known and convicted drug dealers.
Being charged with possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute in Texas brings more severe penalties than being charged with simple possession for personal use. A person convicted of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute could potentially face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines as well as a life sentence.
Although, Governor Abbot signed SB 339, The Texas Compassionate Use Act into law in June of 2015, obtaining and using medical marijuana is still a federal crime. The state law allows patient’s access to low-THC cannabis (.5%). Unlike many other CBD Laws, this act also allows for dispensing organizations to cultivate, process and distribute this medical cannabis, which are overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety. All patients would have to be diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, be under the care of an authorized physician, and have tried at least two FDA approved drugs prior to trying medical cannabis.
If the U.S. Attorney decides to charge you, you will go through the federal court process and will have an arraignment, preliminary and other hearings, an appearance to set your trial date, and then a federal trial before a judge or jury. Evidence of state medical marijuana recommendations and state medical marijuana laws will likely not be allowed as part of your defense in federal court. The medical use of marijuana is never a defense for federal drug possession court but may be in states where medical marijuana has been legalized. Unfortunately, this means patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration.
Specifically, medical marijuana recommendations by state physicians are deemed not relevant to your guilt in a federal matter and the U.S. Attorney will almost certainly be successful in excluding from the jury any evidence of medical use presented for the purposes of justifying or excusing your use. Additionally, the federal government may also attempt to seize all of your property and may commence asset forfeiture proceedings.
Things The Cops Don’t Want You to Know When They Pull You Over
Getting caught drinking and driving is a preventable offense and one that is undoubtedly no laughing matter, but when something as regrettable as this occurs you need a tenacious attorney and a bit of grace. The first thing to remember is to stay calm, breath (through your nose), and think before you open your mouth, which may be difficult if you have been drinking. Remember, the more you speak, the more alcohol they smell on your breath. Try to talk without expelling much air. Control your heart rate and take as many deep breaths as possible without arousing suspicion to pump oxygen into your bloodstream.
Putting you in the light most favorable to the prosecutor and judge will be our endless pursuit. I will make sure the prosecutor knows who you are and all your redeeming qualities to get you that extra bit of consideration, which could be the difference between probation and jail or keeping your professional license or losing it.
A false believe when it comes to assault family violence is if the alleged victim provides an affidavit of non-prosecution to the state prosecutor, the case will be dropped. While this does happen, it is becoming less the norm and more the exception where assault family violence is concerned. If there is additional compelling evidence the state can use to prosecute the defendant, such as medical records, the officer’s testimony, or eyewitness accounts, the prosecutor may move forward with the case despite the resistance of the alleged victim.
In situations as this, getting in front of the case and hiring an attorney is crucial. If the attorney is hired soon, they can uncover quickly subpoena relevant witnesses and medical records that may unearth instability in the alleged complainant, such as a pattern of accusing other of assault, or attempts to cover infidelity by falsely accusing the defendant.
White-collar crime refers to financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by businesses and government professionals. White collar crimes also include identity theft, mortgage broker fraud, bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. These crimes all have one similarity, which is the ultimate goal to receive economic or financial gain.
These crimes are often committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. White-collar crime, is similar to corporate crime, because white-collar employees are more likely to commit fraud, bribery, ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cyber-crime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery. White collar crimes stand in contrast to blue-collar street crimes include arson, burglary, theft, assault, rape, and vandalism, which enunciates how the law unfairly stigmatizes the poor, while it does not stigmatize the rich and powerful enough.
While we realize and fully appreciate clemency is an act of incalculable forgiveness, we also know that commutations are no substitute for sentencing reform that is so critical in a faulty federal system, it is the best remedy available for rectifying mistakes such as prosecutorial misconduct, over-indictments, judicial misconduct, prejudice and misconduct, and archaic sentencing guidelines.
It is no secret that our current judicial system is an unreserved attack on economically oppressed, emotionally bankrupt, and historically disadvantaged people. These markings are most notable in people of color, which has rendered them less able to organize and advocate for their rights and liberties.
The urgent interest of aging inmates dictates that when drafting clemency applications, we put our client’s interest in the light most favorable to the decision maker, whether it is the Governor of the state of the President of the United States. Many inmates rot in Supermax, suffering deplorable circumstances and facing physical and mental deterioration, which is why we work tirelessly to put the most comprehensive packages before the decision maker. We believe wholeheartedly the public welfare is unequivocally served by the release of many of these deserving inmates.
The Obama administration focused primarily on granting clemencies for inmates who were convicted of drug offenses. While we understand and appreciate the large number of federal inmates released during the Clemency Initiative of 2014 and in the ninth hour of his administration, this initiative left behind a large number of inmates convicted of varying other crimes. For this reason, our office has pushed the Trump administration to be more inclusive in its purview of the clemency grants and divest from this moratorium by focusing on a different type of inmate and a different type of crime.
With prosecutorial overreach at its height and mandatory sentencing guidelines being used by judges as a tool of bigotry and racism, this Presidency will do well to consider granting clemencies to the elderly, ill, mentally challenged, and white-collar criminals who were over-indicted and over-sentenced under RICO and MANN Act charges. It is unsavory to consider the number of inmates undeservedly serving sentences resembling the likes of domestic terrorist and serial murderers.
With President Trump’s enactment of The First Step Act, there is tremendous support for prison reform. Our firm has been on the forefront of this fight, representing clients convicted of federal crimes, sentenced in ADX, Florence (Supermax), and on the state level. We have fought to maintain the constitutional rights of inmates to visit their family, have access to the courts, receive correspondence, and have unfettered access to their attorney housed within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
It is no secret the BOP has historically mistreated prisoners with mental illnesses. In June of 2017, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released a study that revealed 14 percent of state and federal prisoners and 26 percent of jail inmates reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD). The landmark class action lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons challenged ADX’s treatment of mentally ill prisoners and accused mental health staff of being “unwilling or unable to detect impending mental health emergencies. Furthermore, studies are conclusive that the conditions of solitary confinement are enough to cause severe mental illness, stress, trauma, and ultimately suicide.
The First Step Act, enacted into law by President Trump, has brought a renewed consciousness and shed light on the disproportionate number of black prisoners, many of whom were wrongfully accused, over-indicted, maliciously prosecuted, denied plea agreements by racist judges, and are serving inordinate sentences without the possibility of parole.
Our most senior elder inmate client is 75 years old and we are continually fighting to aid him in maintaining his rights, dignity, health, and association. The American Civil Liberties Union reported in 2012 there were 8,853 state and federal prisoners age 55 and older. State and federal governments spend approximately $77 billion annually to run our penal system. These corrections costs are mainly spent on incarceration, and the cost to incarcerate an aging prisoner far outweighs the cost for younger inmates.
One report indicates it costs approximately $34,135 per year to house an average age prisoner, but jumps to $68,270 to incarcerate a prisoner age 50 or older. Releasing aged prisoners will save taxpayers billions of dollars. Yet, beyond fiscal considerations, there are many non-fiscal benefits to releasing aging prisoners who no longer pose a safety risks to the public.
Prisoners, their families, and communities will benefit from more stable family structures once aging parolees are reintegrated into society. Aging parolees will increase economic growth through increased productivity because they will be eager to re-establish themselves as a positive member of society. Their gratefulness for a second chance will serve as a promising antidote to those infected with large doses of cynicism and dismay. Releasing elderly prisoners or those with mental illnesses will also increase the United States’ profile as a world leader in human rights.
Continued incarceration of aging prisoners does not serve the four traditional goals of punishment in the penal system primarily because many will end up serving far more time than their crimes warrant. This results from the fact that our harsh sentencing policies are often devoid of the concept of proportionality, which is central to retribution. Incapacitation has little or no added value for aging prisoners, as they have an extremely low propensity for recidivism and are often physically weak and mentally challenged. Hence, the goal of deterrence is no longer served. Finally, incarcerating the elderly does not serve to rehabilitate them, especially when they are continually subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
Federal laws that address police misconduct include both criminal and civil statutes. These laws cover the actions of State, county, and local officers. In addition, several laws also apply to Federal law enforcement officers. The laws should work to protect all persons in the United States (citizens and non-citizens).
But, we all know the justice system isn’t just at all. What happens when the laws don’t work for you and you encounter a police officer who is hell bent on violating your civil rights? During these unpredictable and immensely uncertain times, how have you proactively prepared yourself to protect your rights and the rights of your family? Inhumane and brutal misconduct by corrupt police officers in this country has become the norm and not the exception.
It is disheartening that our legal system, which I have taken an oath to uphold, has not evolved past blatant racism, nepotism, and favoritism; where these concepts are sustained, justice will forever be denied.
In light of the civil and racial unrest this county is experiencing, something drastic must be done to let the world know the United States is united and that our slogans and mantras are not empty rhetoric but are true and heartfelt sentiments
Every 28 hours a Black person is killed in the United States by police, security, or a racist vigilante. Although, the majority of the law enforcement officers perform with respect for their communities and in compliance with the law, but for the times when this is not the case and you have been unfairly targeted, it is a wise practice to have an attorney on retainer in the event an incident occurs, your representation is already in place.
The types of conduct suffered by victims of hate crimes at the hands of covered by this law can include, among other things, undue or excessive force, discriminatory harassment, physical and verbal harassment, mental injury, property damage, death, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests.
Unfortunately, with the entrance of Coronavirus (CoVid 19) into the lives of every citizen in the world, police are being given new powers to enforce social distancing. Eventually, the country will force all of us to “reopen” and, when this happens, police will be more empowered and embolden to stop and brutalize black and brown people. That’s because the cops will us, are already using “social distancing enforcement” as an excuse for more racially biased harassment. Reopening will force African Americans back into the crosshairs of two predators, CoVid 19 and the police they fear.
Black people are 20 percent more likely to be pulled over while driving. Black people are more likely to be prosecuted for drug possession or use. Black people are more likely to be stopped for walking down the damn street. Whenever the discussion of racially biased police brutality comes up, there’s always a chorus of people who claim cops wouldn’t harass black people if black people followed the rules. That’s always a ridiculous argument, but the coronavirus is going to expose the weakness of that logic even more than usual. That’s because black people will be harassed for not following social distancing rules, but they’ll also be harassed if we do.
The peace that one can derive from having an attorney on retainer is that if you are ever in a situation with law enforcement you can immediately refuse to answer any questions and demand your attorney by name and number immediately.
Other criminal law practice areas not specifically named above:
“He who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well advanced on The Path to Mastery.” — The Kybalion”
If you have been arrested for, charged with, or indicted on any of these crimes or a crime not named, call The Alchemy Attorney, or e-mail now for your no cost consultation, so you can experience authentic lawyering, where it is our business to make our skills work for you.