Defense Attorney Collin County TX

The Benefits of A Defense Attorney in Collin County, TX

When dealing with cases of criminal nature, it is important for you take all precaution to secure your freedom and reputation. Such cases may have tremendous effect on yourself, your loved ones and even business. Hiring a defense attorney Collin County TX is a good way to ensure you do not have to endure unnecessary consequences over allegations that are most likely untrue.

A defense lawyer is specifically trained to deal with legal issues that regard people accused of crime. Keep in mind the prosecution is working tirelessly to ensure you are behind bars or pay a hefty fine without taking interest in your personal well-being. A defense lawyer on the other hand is wholly dedicated to ensuring your rights are upheld and that you do not pay for something you did not do.

Failure to properly refute an allegation may sometimes be taken to mean criminal liability. In order to avoid suffering from such situations, you need to have a defense attorney Collin County TX. The professional will find a way to clearly state facts and refute any claims that may be intended at tainting your image. This will be done in a timely manner making it possible for you to continue with your daily activities.

Matters such as preparation of paperwork, filing of documents and seeking permission to access certain reports or confidential information may be both time consuming and expensive. By hiring a defense attorney, you will effectively transfer these responsibilities to your lawyer. This will allow you to focus on some of the most important issues in your life including spending time with your loved ones and working productively.

To find the right attorney for your defense, get in touch with local law firms such as DFW Crimes for recommendations. Bar associations are also a good place to find some of the best attorneys.

Sexual Assault Defense in Collin County TX

How to Find Sexual Assault Defense in Collin County, TX

When accused of a sexual offense, the first thing you need to do is find an attorney. However, finding the right professional for sexual assault defense in Collin County TX may be challenging since you do not know where to begin. In most cases, it is prudent to seek advice from close friends or family members. These people are able to provide some recommendations or help you seek out the most suitable attorney for your case.

Online directories that give contacts to local law firms can be a good place to look for qualified attorneys. Some directories usually give detailed profiles of the various professionals in the region. These directories allow you to make a shortlist of people you feel can provide good representation. Contacting a local bar association is another way to find sexual assault defense in Collin County TX. Such associations often have highly skilled members who can offer their services at a rate you will find reasonable.

Picking the right attorney

Once you have a list of candidates to choose from, make contact and arrange for a meeting. During the meeting, observe whether the attorney is confident or not. It is also advisable that you select someone that has a proven track record in successfully handling similar cases. The professional you choose should be fluent in communication as this will ensure you do not run into any misunderstandings throughout the duration of your case.

Do not pick the first candidate you interview because there may be others who are more suitable for your particular case. At least talk to three professionals before making up your mind. During the interviews, discuss issues such as payment structure and how long the case may last. Go for an attorney that does not seem swamped with work at that time because this will ensure that he or she spends enough time working on your case.

Sex Assault Defense Lawyer DFW TX

Qualities of A Good Sex Assault Defense Lawyer in Texas

When facing a sex assault case, it is important for you to have one of the best defense teams. This means you must be careful when selecting the attorney to represent you in the case. Having some knowledge on the qualities of a good lawyer is key to choosing the most suitable sex assault defense lawyer DFW TX. A good lawyer must have analytical skills. This means he or she can quickly grasp a large volume of information and make sense of it. The individual should be able to spring into action a few moments after receiving information from a client.

Creativity is another quality that characterizes a good lawyer. The professional is able to respond to matters that arise during the case without having to do serious research. This is quite helpful because in certain cases, issues that were not thought of in the past may spring up. Having good research skills is an added advantage to any defense attorney. These skills help the professional look at relevant information that can help build a strong defense. Research is also likely to bring up the truth regarding a matter and this can help the lawyer prove his or her client’s innocence.

Another quality of a good lawyer is the ability to speak publicly. This is important because some cases may have to be discussed in front of a large number of people. A lawyer who is not confident and eloquent may not be able to adequately represent the client in such situations. Interpersonal skills help lawyers build helpful relationships. This allows the professional to seek help from various quarters within a short notice. Choosing a sex assault defense lawyer DFW TX is a wise move because this company often employs professionals who excel in their practice and have the qualities mentioned above.

Assault Family Violence Attorney in Collin County TX

Trusted Assault Family Violence Attorney in Collin County TX

Being charged with assault or family violence in Collin Texas can be a heartbreaking experience because depending on the nature of evidence, one can be accused of anything from Class C Misdemeanor to first Degree Felony. If you are charged with these offenses, you may be angry and disappointed with the way things are turning out. That is okay, but you should not forget to contact DFW Crimes and request to employ our competent assault family violence attorney in Collin County TX. At DFW Crimes, we believe in defending our clients to win cases.

All law firms are obviously not equal. Unlike most law firms that handle many areas of law, DFW Crimes handles cases within the criminal law field. We appreciate that assault cases are unique and cannot be addressed in the same way as other criminal defense cases. These cases face serious challenges given the pressure from family, loved ones, and some quarters of the society to get the job perfectly done. This knowledge and our commitment to serve to allow us to give all our clients the best possible representation.

The attorney you employ when you hire DFW Crimes has it all. With over two decades experience in criminal law, the firm is not new to defending clients with a wide variety of needs, ranging from health to legal needs. Katheryn H. Haywood, the founder of the company, is also available to ensure you are satisfied. If you need, she will represent you and not send an associate to plead your case.

Most people are mainly concerned with the prospect of having to find a qualified attorney. For this reason, we offer free consultation service to allow us to meet in person and discuss the details of your case. With these benefits, if you want a competent assault family violence attorney in Collin County TX, contact us today, thank us later.

DFW Crimes, Katheryn Haywood

Lack of Consequences: Statistics in Prosecutorial Misconduct

What is prosecutorial misconduct and how does it or might if affect my criminal case or the case of a loved one?  Are there consequences if the prosecutor in my case misbehaves?  Is there any remedy?

Prosecutors have huge and often unfettered power. Prosecutors are responsible for the testimony of the law enforcement officers who investigate criminal cases. Most people see cops and prosecutors as “the good guys,” putting criminals in prison, often on death row. Jurors tend to believe prosecutors when they proclaim someone’s guilt. Most people do not believe that prosecutors can and often do exaggerate facts, withhold evidence or model facts to fit their theory of a case.

Yet many studies have shown that when the stakes are the highest, when a trial involves a possible death sentence, prosecutors are prone to misconduct. For example, according the the Arizona Republic News Paper, in half of all capital cases in Arizona since 2002, prosecutorial misconduct was alleged by appellate attorneys. In some cases the misconduct was minor, presenting overly emotional pleas to the jury; In some cases flagrant, encouraging purjury and hiding exculpatory evidence.

And yet, in spite of these alarming numbers, the highest court in Arizona, like other courts throughout the land, were slow to overturn convictions and almost never sanctioned the prosecutors. There are seldom consequences for prosecutors, regardless of whether the miscarriage of justice occurred because of ineptness or misconduct.

And what of the cases that don’t proceed to trial. 97% of cases are resolved without a trial. This means the prosecutors’ decisions on what to offer, what evidence to disclose and how the plea negotiations are conducted is even more important than those cases that do proceed to trial. The Texas Penal Code defines the prosecutors job as to “insure justice is served,” not to win and not to hide the ball. This obligation is embodied in the Supreme Court’s 1963 holding in Brady v. Maryland, which required prosecutors to provide the defense with any exculpatory evidence that could materially affect a verdict or sentence.

Far too often, sadly, prosecutors fail to fulfill this constitutional duty and neither the system nor the courts seem willing to hold them accountable. In a stinging indictment of this systemic failure, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated, “There is an epidemic of Brady Violations abroad in the land……and only judges can put a stop to it.”

In the case before that court the prosecutors failed to disclose that the chief scientist, whose lab tests were critical to the case, was “incompetent and committed gross misconduct.”

Seems clear. However the federal appeals court panel ruled that the overall evidence of the defendant’s guilt was so overwhelming that the failure to disclose the scientist’s firing and incompetence would not have changed the outcome of the trial.

The courts are erroneously and unconstitutionally ignoring obvious Brady violations time and time again arguing that in these cases “it is possible the defendant would have been convicted anyway,” according to Judge Kozinski, thus creating a “serious moral hazard.”

Couple this with the statistics which show that prosecutors are virtually never prosecuted for misconduct. According to the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, multiple studies over the past 50 years show that the courts punished prosecutorial misconduct in less than 2% of cases where it occurred. And the punishment was rarely more than a slap on the wrist, such as making the prosecutor pay for the cost of the disciplinary hearing. When The National Registry of Exonerations states that 43% of wrongful convictions are the result of official misconduct, it is easy to see that something doesn’t add up.

Part of the problem is that the duty to disclose “Brady materials” falls on the party charged with seeking a conviction and whom often believe in the guilt of the defendant. For this reason, the state and federal prosecutors have little incentive, other than moral and legal obligation, to turn over a single, often insignificant in their perspective, piece of evidence. One piece of exculpatory evidence may seem worthless in a mountain of evidence which demonstrates guilt, in the prosecutor’s mind. Couple this with the fact that there are almost NEVER consequences for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence, and the likelihood of a breach of the duty is all the more common.

As Judge Kozinski wrote, fighting prosecutorial misconduct is not only about protecting the innocent, but also about preserving “the public’s trust in our justice system.”

Without consequences to punish those who violate this sacred duty, whether a person is convicted or acquitted rests more on the shoulder’s of the prosecutor’s opinion than on the jury’s verdict.

Katheryn Haywood for DWFCrimes.com

 

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‘Rape Culture’ Article in US News & World Report

Sex Crimes - 9069522

 

 

If you haven’t read Caroline Kitchen’s article about the rape culture that isn’t, you should.  In an effort to protect our college students and military service women from rape, we have lowered the standards used to prosecute, punish and penalize young men who are often falsely accused.    Should a young man be removed from school, denied Due Process or court marshaled in a military tribunal on evidence less than Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?   Shouldn’t the standards used to  protect each of us from criminal prosecution be the same as those which can be used to remove us from organizations or institution to which we otherwise belong?

This “preponderance of the evidence” standard is being used to demoralize and crucify our young men without a day in court, without the burden of proof necessary for a conviction.  We are accepting accusations as facts, as gospel.

If you haven’t read this article and you have a son, you need to educate yourself and beware.

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Sexting, Teens and What You Need to Know

1. What is sexting?

Teen SextingThe Act of sending naked or otherwise provocative photos to another via text or
electronic message, including computer images, web camera shots and photos sent by
digital camera. Teens use this mode of communication as a way to flirt with each other.

2. Are there legal ramifications?

Yes, including promotion or possession of child pornography. Forwarding a naked
picture of an individual who is under the age of 18 can quality as possessing or
trafficking child pornography. These charges, often felonies, can lead to criminal
prosecution, confiscation of all electronic equipment, felony convictions and hefty prison
sentences. In addition, possession or distribution of child pornography leads to a life
long duty to register as a sex offender.

3. Can a teen be arrested for this act?

Yes. One third of teens surveyed by the University of Texas Medical Branch in
Galveston said they sent or received provocative photos of another teen. More
disturbing most who were polled stated that they were aware that there were serious
consequences to this conduct but did so anyway.
A similar survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned
Pregnancy revealed that 1 in 5 teenagers have admitted to sexting despite harsh
punishment hanging over their heads.
“Studies show that teenage students are increasingly creating, sending and receiving
explicit pictures of themselves on their mobile devices,” said Texas Attorney General
Gregg Abbott.
75% of teenagers own cell phones and one-third send over 3,000 text messages a
month. Texas School Safety Center.

4. How serious is this crime?

In the past, sending or promoting the material would be a felony. However,
understanding the nature of teen behavior and the increasing culture of social media, in
2011 Texas signed into law Senate Bill 407 which prohibits minors from “intentionally
promoting or possessing text messages that contain explicit images of those 18 and
younger,” but punishes offenders with misdemeanor, rather than felony, charges.
Before this law was enacted there was a case in which an 8th grader was jailed after an
accusation of sending suggestive photos on his phone.

5. With the enactment of the new law, is it still illegal to sext?

Yes, this conduct still results in criminal charges. In order to insure the minor (and the
parent) understand the seriousness of the charge, he or she is still required to appear in
court and attend court mandated educational courses on the lifelong consequences of
sexting. The offender’s parents are also required to make a court appearance and
attend the required educational program about the harmful consequences of sexting.
(Texas Education Code, Section 37.218).

6. Can the charges be more serious even if the offender is a teen?

Yes, additional charges may be increased if the offender is found to have used the
explicit images to “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass or offend another.”
So if the offender simply possesses an explicit picture of another teen, he or she will
face a misdemeanor (Class C charge for first time violators under the age of 18) with
counseling and classes. However, if the teen forwards that image to embarrass or
harass the person in the photo (or another), the prosecutor may bring more serious
charges, including felony prosecution.
In addition, teens who are accused of a 2nd or 3rd “case” are going to face much more
serious consequences, including felony charges. These types of cyber crimes are very
serious and require an experienced attorney.

7. Are there any legal defenses to these charges?

Yes, if the couple is within 2 years of each other in age and in a romantic relationship,
the Romeo-and-Juliet affirmative defense may protect the individual charged with the
violation. Exemptions can also apply if the message was not “solicited” (requested or
sought) and when received was promptly deleted.

8. Can my teens record be erased or expunged after a sexting accusation?

If your child is acquitted or granted deferred disposition on a Class C Charge, he or she
may be eligible to have the offense erased after he/she reaches the age of 18. If more
serious charges are filed and result in a conviction, the case will remain on his/her
record for life.
The new law contains a provision that allows the teens to apply to the court to have the
sexting offense expunged from their records.

9. What if an adult is accused of dirty talk with a teenager?

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals struck down the portion of a Texas statute
prohibiting “communicating in a sexually explicit manner” with a minor with the intent to
arouse noting the law was unconstitutional on its face. Ex Parte John Christopher Lo,
No. PD-1560-12 (Oct. 20, 2013).
Statutes regarding “on-line solicitation,” statutes that cover actual invitations to have
sexual contact in person are still regarded as constitutional in Texas and most other
jurisdictions.
What was found to be unconstitutional about Section 33.021(b) of the Texas Penal
Code was that portion of the law which covered:
“Communicating online in a sexually explicit manner with a minor if the person
communicating has the intent to arouse and gratify anyone’s sexual desire.”
“Sexually explicit” is defined as “communication, language or material that relates to or
describes sexual conduct.”
As other separate statutes dealt with obscene communications, communications
harmful to minors and child pornography, the only material that was prohibited in the
now defunct provision was protected speech. Because the statute covered content that
was not necessarily obscene, it could have included “titillating talk,” and other innocuous
content such as “50 Shades of Grey,” Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunctions and
Miley Cyrus ‘twerking.’
This ruling permits sexualized communications between and adult and minor that are
not obscene or solicitative, even if there is some intent to arouse on the part of the
adult-sender. The transmission, while possibly harmful, cannot stand up to First
Amendment scrutiny.

10. What is the exact language of the law?

Tex. Penal Code Sec. 43.261. Electronic
Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting
Minor.
(a) In this section:
(1) “Dating relationship” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.0021, Family
Code.
(2) “Minor” means a person younger than 18 years of age.
(3) “Produce” with respect to visual material includes any conduct that
directly contributes to the creation or manufacture of the material.
(4) “Promote” has the meaning assigned by Section 43.25.
(5) “Sexual conduct” has the meaning assigned by Section 43.25.
(6) “Visual material” has the meaning assigned by Section 43.26.
(b) A person who is a minor commits an offense if the person intentionally or
knowingly:
(1) by electronic means promotes to another minor visual material depicting a
minor, including the actor, engaging in sexual conduct, if the actor produced the
visual material or knows that another minor produced the visual material; or
(2) possesses in an electronic format visual material depicting another minor
engaging in sexual conduct, if the actor produced the visual material or knows
that another minor produced the visual material.
(c) An offense under Subsection (b)(1) is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the
offense is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the
actor:
(A) promoted the visual material with intent to harass, annoy, alarm,
abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another; or
(B) except as provided by Subdivision (2)(A), has previously been convicted
one time of any offense under this section; or
(2) a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the
actor has previously been:
(A) convicted one or more times of an offense punishable under
Subdivision (1)(A); or
(B) convicted two or more times of any offense under this section.
(d) An offense under Subsection (b)(2) is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the
offense is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the
actor has previously been convicted one time of any offense under this section;
or
(2)AAa Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the
actor has previously been convicted two or more times of any offense under this
section.
(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the visual
material:
(1) depicted only the actor or another minor:
(A) who is not more than two years older or younger than the actor and
with whom the actor had a dating relationship at the time of the offense; or

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Regret vs Lack of Consent: Rape Laws in Texas

rape

More and more cases of “next day regret” are becoming rape charges in Texas. Young people meet, drink to excess, engage in intercourse and go their separate ways. The next morning the young woman may regret her decision or not have the emotional capacity to understand or rationalize her conduct.

REGREAT IS NOT RAPE.

The questions that the DA and detectives should be asking are:
1. What did the woman say to the man?
2. Did the woman give any verbal or non-verbal sign that she did not want to engage in sexual acts?
3. How much had each person been drinking?
4. Was the drinking voluntary?
5. Was one person giving the other alcohol or drugs in order to lessen their inhibitions?

If the answers to these questions do not indicate that the female did not want to have sex and communicated that to the man, it is not a rape. But you still may be charged.

What happens when nice co-ed calls a rape crisis center crying the next day b/c she can’t remember what happened? Who will be blamed?

Know you rights! Don’t talk to anyone except your attorney. And protect yourself against these types of situations by always having witnesses.

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Can my criminal record be ‘expunged’ after being charged and acquitted with DWI as well as having my drivers license suspension lifted.

If you are found NOT GUILTY, not only do you have the right to have your record expunged or erased but your driver’s license suspension will also be lifted.

In most cases, I charge $3500.00 to represent you in all aspects of a misdemeanor DWI short of a trial. A refusal trial is typically $7500.00 and a breath or blood trial is typically $10,000. Expert witness fees are additional and are recommended in all breath or blood trials and in some trials that hinge on Field Sobriety Test results.

In many cases, it is less expensive to proceed to trial than to pay all the probation fees, required DWI classes and license maintenance fees (surcharges). And in almost all DWI trials, the punishment after trial is probation or credit for the time you have already served in jail.

Typical punishment for a “plea bargain for probation” in a DWI trial is:

Two years probation
Reporting to probation once per month
$60 per month probation fees
up to a $2,000 fine
An 8 hour, DWI Education program ($50)
A one hour drug and alcohol evaluation ($25)
A three hour MADD Victim Impact Panel ($25)
24 to 80 hours of community service restitution
A $25 payment to Crime Stoppers
Random urine tests for drug screening
And the possibility of being revoked and sent to jail for 120 to 180 days.

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