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February 2011 Archives

McKinney, Texas D.W.I. Attorney

Collin County's courthouse is located in McKinney, Texas.  If you are pulled over after having a couple of drinks and the police officer smells alcohol in one of Collin County's cities, like McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Allen, etc. than you will likely be asked to perform a series of tests.  The police officer may tell you that he or she is making sure that you are OK to drive, and that may be the case.  However, in my experience he is simply trying to build evidence for the State to use at trial to show you were intoxicated.

Garland, Texas Bankruptcy

Citizens of Garland have been exposed to the misfortunes of the recession just like the rest of the country.  Just as in the rest of North Texas, there have been many jobs lost in and around Garland, Texas.  As a result, sometimes folks are left with a number of different financial problems.  When the job loss originally occurs, many families are forced to rely on credit cards just to make ends meet.  Originally, the debt seems manageable.  However, once interest rates kick in and the job is not replaced with the same income level then problems can escalate.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

In a case out of the Court of Criminal Appeals that was reversed the appellant defendant was indicted for felony aggravated sexual assault.  The State submitted a jury charge that authorized the jury, should it acquit the appellant of aggravated sexual assault, to convict him of the lesser included offense of aggravated assault, to convict him of the lesser included offense of aggravated assault.  Although the defendant vigorously opposed the inclusion of this charge, the trial court submitted it, and the jury convicted him of aggravated assault, thereby implicitly acquitting him of agg sexual assault.  The defendant appealed his agg assault conviction, arguing that the trial court erred to authorize that conviction for that offense because it was not a lesser included offense of the sexual assault as the latter offense had been alleged in the indictment.  The Court of appeals agreed that as alleged in the indictment, agg assault was not such an offense.  The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed and remanded.

Allen, Texas Bankruptcy

Sometimes people fall on hard times.  Death, divorce, loss of job, reduction in income can all be reasons that citizens are forced into debt.  Unfortunately, sometimes people fall behind on their homes and are facing foreclosure or are behind on their cars and are in danger of repossession.  

Credit Card Debt and Bankruptcy

Credit card debt can really weigh a strain on your life, your marriage, and your health.  Filing for protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code can help get your life back together.  Sometimes a debt settlement plan is appropriate rather than a bankruptcy.  However, there is the potential for income tax liability if a settlement is completed.  

Stop Foreclosure

Facing a foreclosure can be excruciatingly painful.  You may have tried a modification of your loan under the Obama Plan, or you may just have lost a job.  Possibly your wife got sick and you just did not have the ability to take care of her and the house...so you made the choice you had to.  Now the bank is following through with foreclosure proceedings.  Many time clients come to our office and they are three months behind.  They may have a house payment of $2,000 each month.  That means that they are behind $6,000 and they have been told by the bank that unless they come up with that payment, the foreclosure sale will go through on the first Tuesday of the next month.

Texas Falls to Bottom of Bankruptcy List; Nevada Remains at Top

More than one out of every 100 Nevadans filed for bankruptcy in 2010, placing Nevada in the top spot for the largest number of bankruptcy filings last year. Texas, on the other hand, rounded out the bottom three states in terms of annual bankruptcy filings in 2010. Texas had approximately 2.5 filings per 1,000 residents.

Indecency with a Child and Double Jeopardy

In Amador v. State, the Texas Criminal Appeals Court heard a case where the appellant pled guilty to indecent exposure and was sentenced to 120 days confinement.  Subsequently, the State indicted him for two counts of the third degree felony of indecency with a child by exposure.  The trial court rejected his pretrial writ that asserted double jeopardy and the court of appeals appealed.

Double Jeopardy and Lesser Included Offenses

In Amador v. State, the Texas Criminal Appeals Court heard a case where the appellant pled guilty to indecent exposure and was sentenced to 120 days confinement.  Subsequently, the State indicted him for two counts of the third degree felony of indecency with a child by exposure.  The trial court rejected his pretrial writ that asserted double jeopardy and the court of appeals appealed.

Expert Testimony in a Criminal Case

Texas Rule of Evidence 702 governs the admissibility of expert witness testimony. That rule states:  If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.  

Mortgage Modification Program Dropouts Outpace New Participants

Despite an increase in the number of participants seeking assistance from the federal foreclosure prevention effort, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), borrowers continue to drop out of the program more rapidly than new participants join.

Miranda Warnings and Custody When the Cop Takes Your Keys.

An appeals case out of Eastland entitled Steadman v. State involved Fifth Amendment concerns.  Allowing the officer to testify that the defendant neither admitted nor denied allegations against him was not a Fifth Amendment rights violation.  Also, it was not improper for the prosecutor to argue to the jury that the defendant did not deny the allegations against him.  "The law is somewhat unsettled in this area, but we do have some guidance."  Although the case involved post Miranda Warnings silence, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has stated that 'pre-arrest silence is a constitutionally permissible area of inquiry'.  In another case, while the court found it unnecessary to address the question of the admissibility of pre-arrest silence, it did note that there were those federal courts of appeals that had held that pre-arrest silence is admissible.  It also noted that there were other federal courts of appeals in which the opposite result was reached.

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