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Out-of-State Convictions and Enhancements

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code governs punishment for convictions under Texas law. It also addresses certain enhancements that can apply based on prior convictions, hate crimes, crimes resulting in losses to nursing or convalescent homes, and crimes committed during declared disasters. Other provisions of the penal code and code of criminal procedure will […]

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Telling Your Story

Before starting my own firm, I worked handling commercial litigation, employment discrimination, and personal injury cases.  The likely outcome in the vast majority of those cases was either mediation or a dismissal following a summary judgment motion.  In contrast, since becoming a criminal-defense attorney, I have found that obtaining the information necessary to tell my […]

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Harris County’s New Bond System

By now, you have probably heard that Harris County started using a new bail system beginning on August 4, 2017.  That date was not completely random.  Earlier this year, United States District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal handed down a 193-page opinion finding Harris County’s old money bail system unconstitutional and imposing a May 15th deadline […]

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Ten Tips for Hiring a Criminal-Defense Attorney

10 TIPS FOR HIRING A CRIMINAL-DEFENSE ATTORNEY Do you need a specialist? The odds are probably not. What you do need; however, is an attorney who at least spends half of his or her time representing people in criminal courts. You also want an attorney who spends a significant amount of their time in the […]

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Myths about Harris County’s Marijuana Diversion Program

In just the past few months since District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Harris County’s latest marijuana diversion program, it has become apparent that there are numerous myths associated with the program.  I will examine a few of those myths and explain why they are not true. Myth No. 1:  Marijuana has been legalized in Texas […]

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Burdens of Proof and Standards of Review

As a trial attorney, I spend a fair amount of time during jury selection going over the burdens of proof with prospective jurors.  If you’ve never been exposed to the trial process, there is a good chance you do not understand the differences between these various burdens of proof.  The most significant are the differences […]

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The Sessions Memorandum

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a two-page memorandum instructing all U.S. Attorneys and their prosecutors to charge crimes based on the highest offense possible and to seek the longest sentences possible.  You can read his memorandum here.  This follows on the heels of a memorandum issued on April 11, 2017 dealing with criminal immigration […]

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Federal DWI’s and DUI’s

If you are from Texas, you are probably thinking there are no such thing as DUI’s for adults in Texas.  Only for people under age 21.  However, there are federal laws and regulations that also govern driving while intoxicated.  The most common of these is covered by the Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. Section 13) which […]

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Finding a loved one who has been arrested

If you live in the greater Houston area and you think a friend or loved one may have been arrested, you can locate them using several websites and phone numbers. If they were driving a car and you think the car may have been impounded, you can locate the car by searching the City of […]

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Non-lawyer Judges

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of two Montanans who were convicted following jury trials and sentenced to jail time by a non-lawyer judge.  Texas, along with eight other states, allows non-lawyer judges to hear criminal matters that could result in jail time.  In Texas, you often see […]

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