Do I Need To Hire a Theft Lawyer?

You have the absolute right to represent yourself, but I would not recommend serving as your own attorney.  If you have been arrested and charged with a theft crime, you are probably worrying about how this will affect your life. The punishments you may receive can be harsh and it is vital that you are adequately represented and that your rights are protected. Hiring a Houston Theft Lawyer who is experienced in this type of representation is essential to achieving the best possible disposition of your case.

Theft is a broad term encompassing many different types of crimes. Some may involve theft of property, such as shoplifting or robbery. Identity theft, Welfare fraud and insurance fraud are also crimes that are considered to be thefts. Some may be classified as misdemeanors, but depending on the value of the stolen property, if over $1500 you could be charged with a felony.

Your immediate concerns may be about the possibility of a jail sentence, but there are other consequences that could adversely affect your life and your reputation. A conviction for some types of theft may be an obstacle to future employment opportunities, as well as the ability to rent a home, for instance. 

I have experience with theft crimes from both sides of the law. As a former prosecutor, I am comfortable in a courtroom, in front of a jury. As your defense attorney, I will examine every aspect of your case to make sure your rights are protected throughout every phase.

Being charged with a crime can be a frightening time. The consequences for even a first-time offense can have far-reaching effects on your future.  Do not take hiring a lawyer lightly! If you would like to speak to an attorney please call 713-242-1779.

Free Legal Consultation Versus Giving Legal Advice

Most lawyers that I know like to talk to people.  More importantly, they enjoy helping their clients with their legal issues.  One of the many dilemmas that attorneys encounter is when a person contacts them seeking legal advice when they have not been hired.  The general public thinks a lawyer can answer any legal question presented to them.  It happens to all of us whether it be while getting a haircut, having a drink at a bar, or making small talk at a party.  Ever since I started blogging people think that they simply email or telephone me with their legal issue and I will be able to answer them.  More frustrating is when the requests come from people that have already retained an attorney, but are seeking a second opinion.  It seems to me that these intelligent people realize that their lawyer may not be as well versed in criminal law as they had let on initially.  That leads them to seek alternative counsel when the have lost their faith in the lawyer they have chosen.  For example, one gentleman wanted to bring me his DWI video so I could tell him if he should proceed to trial.  Another woman contacted me because she had researched alternative sentencing for her son and ran across an article I had written about pretrial diversions .  She wanted to know if I could advise her on how to put a pretrial diversion packet together.  Others just send an email and state "can you please read this and advise me." Unfortunately, this is not how it works.  If you have someone representing you that lawyer should have a better grasp of the facts surrounding your criminal case.  A quick rundown by you on the phone or via email does not allow me to advise you.   When lawyers state that they provide a free consultation it is not synonymous with providing free legal services.  It gets even trickier when someone already has representation.  I am not a "Jack Shepherd" type that will tell you that I can fix your problems without properly investigating your particular case.  

I understand the need to further educate oneself on a particular issue online.  I routinely turn to the Internet when confronted with a medical issue for example. Nevertheless, that does not mean I email a doctor that I have not established a relationship with to get their medical opinion.  Undoubtedly, if I did the Doctor would certainly not be able to properly advise me until she/he understood my full medical history and ascertained the full facts of my medical condition.

If you want to talk to a DWI Attorney that will listen to your issues with compassion please contact me, Herman Martinez at 713-242-1779. Visit the firm's website at http://www.attorneydwi.net

The Harris County, Texas Pretrial Diversion Timeline

I have run into some confusion regarding the time line for submitting a pretrial diversion packet at the Harris County Courthouse.  Some courts and misdemeanor prosecutors seem to think that there is a forty (40) day time period where Carl Hobbs, the chief of the misdemeanor division, will consider a person for a pretrial diversion.  I do not know where this rumor started, but it has gained some steam lately.  Perhaps, it is because Mr. Hobbs had a well known rule when he ran the Welfare Fraud division that  a person must accept his plea offer of reducing the case to a misdemeanor before 40 days after his initial setting.  I had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Hobbs about this issue and he made it clear that this rule does not apply to pretrial diversions.  It is not to say that he prefers them to be presented within the 40 day window, but presenting it after that time frame will not preclude a person from getting one granted.

Typically, a pretrial diversion is granted to a young person that is a first offender, that has a scholarship or is still in school, thus losing something of value to them.  Also, pretrial diversions may be granted to someone that will lose their job with any type of community supervision.  I have found that since Pat Lykos became the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas they have been granted with more frequency than in years past.

If you need the help of a lawyer for a welfare fraud or food stamp case do not hesitate to contact me at (713) 242-1779

If you are unsure whether you qualify for a pretrial diversion You should discuss this option with your attorney.  While they may not discuss it at your initial meeting it would be negligible of the attorney not to explore it before entering any type of probation since it allows your record to be expunged in the future.

Clean Up Your Own Mess!

I have heard through the criminal courthouse grapevine lately how some attorneys are having a difficult time securing clients to represent.  Often, when times are lean lawyers go to great lengths to secure clients.  Perhaps that is why of I have been contacted by many prospective clients lately who are dis-satisfied with their current attorney because the attorney made an outrageous promise to them without even making a court appearance.  It is frustrating for me when a client or the client's family come to our office after hiring this type of lawyer.   The client loses all faith in their attorney when they can not deliver as promised.  Furthermore, the client loses all faith in the criminal justice system.  These types of attorneys go on to blame everyone; including the judge, the prosecutor, or even the complaining witness when in actuality they knew that their "guarantee" was merely a ploy to get hired by the client.  A criminal attorney that promises an outcome before looking at the facts is not a legitimate defense attorney in my book.  They are imposter's that are pooping in the criminal justice center without cleaning up after themselves.  These so-called criminal defense attorney's need to think twice about withdrawing from a case when their client gets upset with them after they do not deliver on the original promise because I am getting tired of cleaning up after them.

No Contract Required For Houston Criminal Defense Work?

As a criminal defense attorney I never understand why someone would enter into an agreement with an attorney to be represented for a criminal matter without a signed contract.  This seems to be a disturbing trend for some reason since I have come across several of these situations of late.   How can the client know what is expected of him/her or what they can expect from the attorney when there is no contract agreed upon by both parties?  Without a contract in place  what often happens is that the attorney quotes the client a fee they later say that the case has become more complicated so they need to charge the client an additional amount.  Most troubling, is when a lawyer promises certain things to the client in order to be hired only to deny making the promises down the line or who ultimately blames the judge, prosecutor handling the case for the negative outcome  A contract detailing expectations, fees, and promises at the outset would prevent most of  these messy situations from happening in the first place.

It is imperative that as a client you have a signed contract with your attorney.  If the attorney promises you that he/she can get your case dismissed or reduced make sure you get that in writing!

If you wish to consult with a lawyer please call me at (713) 242-1779.

Meeting Your Attorney in Court

I understand people not having time for all the things that they have to do in life, but I am amazed when a person does not want to meet with their criminal attorney before their court date.  I always encourage a prospective client to travel to our office to meet with us.  This gives us the opportunity to discuss their case in the comfort of our office.  When this is done we can go over most aspects of the case at our leisure.  However, some client's can not find the time to come to our office so they choose to meet in court for the first time.

While we can answer a lot of questions over the phone it is best to come into the office.  At the courthouse, there is a lack of privacy.  If we are lucky, we find an open office in the courtroom's vestibule to discuss the case.  The problem is that there are only four such offices per floor at the courthouse and they are usually occupied.  The seventh floor of the courthouse has an area for lawyers to talk to their clients, but the client that chooses to meet in court is typically in a hurry to return to work so they do not want to grab an elevator to a different floor to discuss their case.  Most of these clients quickly realize that they need to take the time out of their day to properly prepare for their case by personally meeting with their attorney in their office. 

Communication Breakdown in Houston

In the last few weeks we have been contacted by clients who are unable to get in contact with the their lawyer.  I can understand a criminal attorney not being able to return a client's phone call immediately because they are in trial or stuck working on something extremely important.  Regardless, with the ease that we are able to communicate today it is not difficult to make contact with a client via instant messages, text, email or a phone call.  This puts the client at ease and lets them know that their attorney is not ignoring them.  At the outset, the lawyer and the client should have a preferred method of contact and identify the best time for the client to make contact with them.  For most criminal lawyers, it is best to telephone them in the afternoon if you want their undivided attention.

Not coincidentally, and related to the lack of communication between attorneys and their clients  when I start discussing what the client knows about their case I quickly realize that the lawyer has neglected to inform their client about the alleged facts.  If a defendant has not been before a probable cause judge they are usually unclear regarding the facts of their case.  Thus, at the very least, the hired attorney should go over the offense report with their client.  A criminal defense attorney in Harris County, Texas may obtain a copy of the offense report, but must sign a confidentiality agreement that prevents them from sharing the report in full detail with their client.  However, this does not preclude them from discussing the facts contained in the report with their client. This allows the client to understand why they were charged with a crime and discuss with their lawyer what really happened. 

I remember in law school a professor spending an entire class emphasizing a client's chief complaint about their attorney is that they do not communicate with them.  Additionally, failure to return a client's phone call is the most likely way a lawyer will get a grievance filed against them. 

What Someone In Houston, Texas Could Learn From The Ten Co-Defendants In Haiti?

I would think that most people would realize that having one criminal attorney for multiple people accused of a crime would be a bad idea.  In fact, when co-defendants attempt to hire me I go to great lengths to dissuade them for doing this because of the potential conflicts that may arise.  Perhaps criminal lawyers in other countries do things differently, but a criminal attorney in Houston, Texas would advise against two defendants having the same lawyer much less ten defendants.  I am confused why then ten American missionaries that were arrested in Haiti hired only one attorney to represent them.  It is to be expected that they have different stories about how they got into their predicament as well as how much they knew about the plans to take the children from Haiti.  In fact, there are some in the group that feel that their side of the story is not being told accurately.  They finally came to their senses this week and fired their Haitian lawyer.  Hopefully, each will find their own legal representation.

The moral of the story is if you find yourself arrested in Houston with someone else get your own Houston criminal attorney.  A lot of times a person will offer to split the costs for the attorney, but I would advise to go against this route because the lawyer should be someone you choose voluntarily and only has your interests in mind.

 

 

A Happy Ending To A Houston Felony Case...

I am going to preface this blog entry by saying that I am not one to typically brag about myself on this blog, but this case warrants a mention.  As a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, I hate to admit that most of my clients do not stay in touch with me until they need my help again or someone they know needs my help.  Today, I was fortunate enough to receive some uplifting news from a former client's mother.  Her son made both of us proud after he was able to secure a three year worldwide modeling contract.  Previously, I was able to get a very favorable outcome on his felony case.  This is one of the many reasons that I chose my profession to help others. 

Visit the firm's website for more information: http://www.martinezlawhouston.com

Contacting A Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

We enjoy reading emails from people, but lately we have received some that are way too long. to read.  If you can not say what you want to say in one or two paragraphs please pick up the phone and call our office.  We are very easy to reach when we are not in trial.  It would save you a lot of your time.  I must admit that when I receive a long email from our contact form on this blog I think it is something that has been cut/pasted and emailed  to several other criminal attorneys in Houston.  While that might not be the case, I am conscious that I am not giving as much attention as I would  if had received a phone call.

If you are seeking the help of a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer please call our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at: http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

The Best Houston DWI Lawyer or an Overhyped Prospect?

Major League Baseball Spring training is around the corner this year.  Like most every year there will be a handful of prospects that will be deemed the next superstars of baseball.  Last year Matt Wieters, catcher for Baltimore Orioles, was the can't miss prospect of 2009.  While he did well for a rookie he has a long way to go before he becomes an elite catcher.  This year Stephen Strasburg, a Washington Nationals pitcher, is ticketed for stardom.  Over the years there have been many players that were in the same position.  For example, Brien Taylor was the Yankees first pick in the 1991 major league baseball draft, but was never able to reach the major leagues for any team.

Similarly, I know there are Houston DWI Attorneys that hype themselves up tremendously.  They only talk about how great they are without listening to what the client needs.  They guarantee the outcome of a case before even going to court and "bad mouth" other DWI lawyers. Here are some suggestions if you confront one of these attorneys.  First, go to the Texas State Bar to see if they have been sanctioned.  Second, go to avvo.com where lawyers are independently ranked by that website.  Third, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are listed with them and how they are rated. Fourth, search online for specific information on the attorney.  Lastly, get all the guarantees in writing before becoming their client. 

If you need to talk to a DWI Lawyer that works in the Houston, Harris County, Texas area please call The Martinez Law Firm at (713)-242-1779.

Do You Have Your Houston Attorney On Speed Dial?

I was watching last night's  "Curb Your Enthusiasm" where Larry David, the star, and creator of the show, asks his doctor for his home phone number because it will make him feel better.  The doctor is befuddled by his request.  He can not think of a response other than I do not give out my home phone number to patients, but after Larry pleads for the home number he finally gives in and instructs his secretary to provide him with the phone number.  I do not think anyone would think to request their doctor's home phone number anymore.  I would not even consider asking any of my doctors for their mobile phone numbers. 

On the other hand, my clients do not hesitate to ask me for my mobile phone number.  Additionally, when I am not in the office my staff provides my cellular phone number so anyone may talk to me about their case.  My feeling is that a client should be able to reach their Houston criminal defense attorney when they want to talk about their case.  I guess that is one of the many differences between doctors and lawyers. If you would like to discuss your situation please feel free to contact The Martinez Law Firm today.

 

Matt Damon's New Movie Highlights The Problem With Cooperating With The Government Without An Attorney

I just got back from seeing Matt Damon's new movie The Informant!    I was looking forward to seeing the movie after the reviews I read, but I must admit that I often find Steven Soderbergh's films lacking much depth and too stylized for my taste.  The last film that he directed that I enjoyed from start to finish was Traffic.  I never got into Damon's character, Mark Whitacre, partly because I  never truly understood his motivation for doing what he did.  I did not understand if the film wanted to be a comedy as the trailer suggests or a drama.  The cinematography seemed to suggest that it was a drama, but the script indicated otherwise.  It was great to see Melanie Lynskey, who plays Rose in one of my favorite television shows Two and a Half Men, playing Matt Damon's wife, Ginger Whitacre.  Overall, it is a DVD rental at best.

Since I was disinterested in the film I started to think about my clients that consider talking to the Government.  I could not believe that a man that is so intelligent would engage in such behavior without first speaking to a lawyer about the consequences of their actions.  While Mr. Whitacre may have been suffering from some sort of mental disease, his wife also passively allowed him to contemplate his actions.  It is clear that when he went to a lawyer it was too late.  He continually refrained from telling his attorneys the full truth and openly lied to them while disregarding their advice.  There is nothing worse then a client that does not candidly speak with their lawyer.  Mr. Whitacre would have been better served speaking with an attorney before contracting with the Federal Government.  The attorney would have advised him accordingly, and if was still interested in going forward he may have been granted immunity for his actions.  Thus, Mr. Whitacre may have avoided the nine years he served in Federal Prison.

If you would like a free consultation regarding your criminal case in Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779.  You should talk to us before talking to the police.

A Houston Criminal Attorney Behaving Badly

There has been a lot of discussion recently on the Houston Criminal Lawyer blogs regarding a specific attorney that has been posting negative reviews about  his colleagues online while inflating his own online presence.  While I was not bashed personally, the actions are no less despicable!  Any lawyer that would talk poorly of another is insecure, lacks credibility, and is dishonorable.  This type of behavior does not belong anywhere in life.  Would someone really hire a lawyer that disparages every other attorney?  The truth is that there are many outstanding Houston Criminal Attorneys.  Since a criminal case takes several months to years to resolve a person should chose the lawyer that they feel most comfortable with and trust wholeheartedly with their criminal case.  This should be done after thoroughly checking the Texas State Bar for any disciplinary penalties as well as checking websites like Avvo.com where lawyers are reviewed independently.  You will not hear me denounce a colleague for a business advantage.  The bottom line is you should research the attorneys you are initially interested in hiring, meet with a couple of them in person while hiring the best fit for your particular case.

Is My Criminal History Wiped Clean After Seven Years?

I have had three calls this week from people with the impression that somehow their criminal record gets erased after seven years.  What is worse than the fact that this is inaccurate is that they say they were told this by the attorneys they hired , who stated this is the law . Let me be clear when I say that a conviction will not be erased from your criminal history regardless of the length of time elapsed since it happened.  A case is permanently part of your ciminal history unless one of the following occurs: dismissal, pretrial diversion, deferred adjudication (in limited circumstances), or a special expense fee is paid.  Therefore, simply paying a fine, receiving probation, or any jail sentence will result in a final conviction that will not be erased off your record after a length of time.

Anyone charged with a crime should hire a lawyer that deals exclusively with criminal law so that they do not receive such misinformed advice. 

DWI Pretrial Diversion Plan Not Ready Yet

This past Monday was one of the most chaotic days for Harris County Misdemeanor Prosecutors because every criminal attorney in Houston, like myself, wanted to know the facts surrounding Pretrial Diversions for first time DWI offenders in Harris County, Texas.  Unbelievably, the prosecutors had as much information as I did.  They did not know the guidelines, when it was going to be implemented, or who would qualify.  One thing is for sure, Kate Dolan, the chief of the misdemeanor section, is going to be a busy lady.

If you have any questions regarding a DWI in Texas please contact a Houston DWI Lawyer at (713) 242-1779 visit our firm's website at: http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

A Toll Free Phone Number for Houston Criminal Attorney

Despite being a Houston Criminal Attorney a lot of our clients are from outside the Houston calling area.  We have clients that live throughout Texas and throughout the United States.  In order to better served our clients we provide a toll free phone number for them.  The phone number is (800) 724-1876 in the event you need to contact our firm, The Martinez Law Firm, for any questions regarding a DWI, Assault, Theft/Shoplifting, or Possession of Marijuana/Cocaine. 

One and Done for the DWI Groom in Houston

Billy Puckett, the groom that was arrested on his wedding day for DWI in Houston, pled guilty on Friday, on his first court date.  Mr. Puckett received the standard probation for a first time offender, a one year probation, a small fine, and community service.  Curiously, he was also ordered to have an ignition interlock installed in his vehicle.  The interlock device is typically ordered in Houston when someone is convicted of a second DWI, or they provided a breath/alcohol sample above .15.I I wish Mr. Puckett all the best.

The Martinez Law Firm

 

A website that may help you with your criminal charges.

I enjoy gathering as much information as I can before making a decision.  For example, if I am going to buy a new television for my home I check cnet, Amazon, and read every review about the TV to narrow my choice.  Since I use these type of websites frequently before making a decision I feel obligated to contribute to Avvo, a free legal website, that provides legal assistance on various legal topics to the public.    Avvo allows a person to post a question while lawyers take the time to respond.  Additionally, it has created a system that rates every attorney across the country for people to review.

A word of caution...I find it troublesome that Avvo does not restrict lawyers to the jurisdictions that they are either licensed in or their respective area of practice before giving an opinion.  I would be very wary of a Washington lawyer commenting about legal issues in Texas.

Only in California???

 It has been some time since Texas lawyers were not allowed to advertise.  Traditionally, there are several ways that lawyers have marketed themselves such as direct advertising, commercials, and billboards.  Today, more progressive attorneys have moved to the Internet.  A Los Angeles criminal attorney, Allison Margolin, markets herself via youtube as "LA's Dopest Attorney."  I suspect based on Ms. Margolin's credentials she is doing well.

  

It is a shame that Big Moe passed away in 2007 perhaps I could have enticed him to shoot a video with me in the "Syrup City."  I wonder what the State Bar of Texas would say to this form of advertising? If you need assistance with a drug case in Houston, Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

Yo Hablo Espanol...

Si...yo soy un abagado que hablar Espanol en Houston. (713) 242-1779.

During law school I was hired by several law firms to serve as an interpreter.  Those experiences ranged from going over legal documents to complex multiple plaintiff litigation.  It emphasized the obvious  need that if the attorney could not communicate with their client they quickly found someone that could.  That seems like common sense, but I am always amazed when I hear non Spanish speaking attorneys trying to communicate with their clients without an interpreter at the Harris County Justice Center.  I even know of one attorney that carries with him one of those travel translation devices to communicate with his clients.

I realize that it is up to the client who they hire, but an attorney has a duty to make sure that their client understands everything that is being discussed.  At the very least, the criminal defense attorney should have someone with them to interpret all the legal documents to their clients.  That non Spanish speaking attorney should not ask me in court to interpret their plea papers because I flatly refuse such requests.  There are several reasons I will not interpret for a colleague.  The most important is how do I know that the lawyer has fully discussed all the legal options available to their client and the client understood  them.  My suggestion will always be to reset the case and bring an interpreter.

Luckily, all felony courts in Houston, Harris County, Texas require an interpreter before a plea agreement is accepted by the court.  Perhaps, this is something that the misdemeanor courts in Houston, Harris County, Texas should start doing as well.

The Martinez Law Firm

 

So you are criminal attorney in Houston, Texas...hmmm

When I tell people that I am a criminal defense lawyer, I am often asked "How can you defend someone you know is guilty." The question actually has different meanings to different people. To some, it often assumes that the "guilty" person should simply "take what's coming". To others it is morally wrong on my part to assist someone that is charged with a crime.   Routinely, their feelings dramatically change when one of their friends or family member is charged with a crime especially  if that person is facing incriminating evidence, the need to post bail, and find a lawyer.  Their question changes to How can you help us?"

I will not bore you with what I tell people the first two type of questions.  A person accused of a crime is faced with many dilemmas. They discuss their problem with non lawyers, and often receive bad advice from those they trust the most.

Most everyone wants to cleanse themselves of the incident by telling someone about the facts. They immediately want to know if there are going to be found guilty.   Sometimes the answer is obvious. Often it is not.    Whatever the facts of any particular case, my job is to provide the best defense I can. I am responsible for the identification of possible defenses, and defense strategies. I must discover, organize and prepare the evidence, and research the applicable law. This not only includes the law describing the crime alleged, but also, and often more important, the law as it relates to the evidence the prosecution will be able to use against us, and the law that may prevent us from using important evidence.

The complex and confusing series of sentencing rules and laws are also important to understand in order to fairly evaluate the prosecutor's plea offer. What is the "exposure"? If we go to trial how likely is it that we will win and if we lose, what's the worst case scenario? What are the mitigating and aggravating factors that might be considered if we lose.  Do we request a Pre Sentence Investigation, entering a plea of guilty and leaving the punishment up to the judge.

If someone seeking a lawyer speaks to two or three lawyers, he will probably hear fees quoted that differ dramatically. Often the "best price" buys little more than "holding the defendant's hand" while they plead guilty. I have also seen very high paid  lawyers do what appeared to be second rate work or failing to inform the client of all their options.

In some instance, I know early on that a trial is not the best course. Just because I know the prosecutor will be able to prove that a crime has been committed, and that my client did it, does not mean that something can not be done. Even when you know a trial is not likely, it is still important to prepare as though there will be a trial. Preparation is necessary in every case.".

The Martinez Law Firm

Avoid an arrest for road rage....

Many of us spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel of a car.    It is common that in our daily commutes we encounter a driver that is overly aggressive that triggers frustration especially after a difficult day.  If you have having one of these bad days be mindful of the consequences of your actions.   In my practice, I have seen witnesses mistake someone from their car displaying a shiny silver cell phone for a gun during an incident. This lead to the person being charged with the felony of aggravated assault. 

Avoid road rage and criminal charges.

Try to keep some of these things in mind before doing anything because a road rage case can lead to very serious criminal consequences.  It is also very common to be charged with evading arrest in these type of cases.

If you need assistance with a criminal case in Houston, Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website.

The judge is making me feel like I should take the plea bargain...

Do not allow the judge to scare you into doing something you will regret.

A common practice in Harris County, Texas criminal courts is for the judge to admonish someone that is accused of a crime before setting a case for trial.  I am not a fan of this tactic.  Typically, the scenario is like this:  The judge asks the prosecutor "What is Mr. X charged with....  Then the judge turns to Mr. X and says "well Mr. X I can not believe that the State is even offering you that.  Let me tell you that I will not accept any type of plea agreement once we set this case for trial in my court.  In fact, the maximum sentence for this charge is ____."  In this common scenario the judge is assuming that the person is guilty.  They are forgetting that the person before them is PRESUMED TO BE INNOCENT.  Also,  the judge's role is to be neutral.  I always give the example that the judge should act like a referee making sure that everyone is playing by the rules of the court.

In my practice, all of my clients are well informed and know the range of punishment.  I advise them of all their options.  While no lawyer can guarantee the outcome of the case I am there to protect my client and give them my opinion regarding all the possible scenarios.  A person is scared enough during the criminal process that they do not need a judge scolding them for asserting their constitutional right to a trial.

If you find yourself in the position that a judge is making you feel like you should take the deal being offered trust your attorney's advice.  If you do not trust your attorney's advice find another one quickly because you should value your attorney's advice above anyone else in that courtroom.

Clearing my criminal record...

Since I am criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas almost daily I get some form of the following question… I got probation a while ago and I want to know how I can get it off my record. First, it must be determined what type of probation you received. There are two types of probation in Texas. “Regular Probation” is a conviction and can not be “cleared” from your record. Second, some deferred adjudications may be “cleared” from your record. The instrument used to “clear” a deferred adjudication from your record is called a Motion for Non Disclosure. Some deferred adjudications may be “cleared” immediately after sucessfull completion. Others may take as long as five years and some are never eligible for a Motion for Non Disclosure. Please keep in mind that most government agencies will still be able to see that deferred.

There a lot of attorneys that tell their clients that a deferred adjudication is not a conviction. This is correct, but anyone with access to public records will find your deferred adjudication until you have your Motion for Non Disclosure granted by a court. Therefore, if possible get your Motion for Non Disclosure filed as soon as possible, if you are eligible.

If you need assistance with clearing your record in Houston, Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

The police are knocking at my door...I think I am a suspect.

Mr. Y came into our office because the police has been trying to get in touch with him. He had an idea what it is concerning, but was not sure if he should explain to the police what happened. The short answer is Do NOT SPEAK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT TALKING TO AN ATTORNEY FIRST.

As a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston I come across people that do not follow this advice and pay dearly for it later.  For some reason, people think that they can explain their way out of situation by talking to police.  Typically, people end up getting charged for a crime that the police did not have enough evidence for a conviction before they started talking. Keep in mind that in the United States you have the right not to incriminate yourself. Use that right before talking to the police and you will make your life much easier.

 After speaking to us Mr. Y took our advice and was never charged with a crime.

If you need assistance with your criminal case in Houston, Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

Getting your bond reduced in Harris County Texas

In a lot of instances a court will initially set a very high amount in a case. For example, in a theft case where the value of the alleged property that was stolen is one hundred thousand ($100,000) the court will routinely double that amount and set the bond at two hundred thousand ($200,000). However, if you hire a lawyer before raising the money to bond the person out of jail the lawyer should be able to go to the court and have the bond reduced to a more reasonable amount. In the above scenerio a lawyer would be able to save you thousands of dollars when making a bond. Typically, a bonding company will charge you a 10% fee for bonding someone out of jail. The two hundred thousand dollar bond will cost you twenty thousand dollars and the one hundred thousand dollar bond will cost you ten thousand dollars. Thus,hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston will pay for itself by getting the bond reduced in addition to all the other things they can do for you.  This is an example of where this was done.

If you need the assistance of a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney with your criminal case in Houston, Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

Getting a bond when there is warrant out for your arrest without going to jail.

Here is a question that Houston Criminal lawyers get asked routinely: "There is a warrant out for my arrest...I do not want to go to jail."  "What should I do?"  This is a situation everyone would like to avoid. There are several proactive steps one can take when this occurs. The first thing I would do is contact a bonding company so that I could do what is called a "non arrest bond." If you contact a bonding company and they do not know what that is move on because they probably can not help you. I would hate to pay anyone to be their first case.

The proper way to avoid this situationA "non arrest bond" is straight forward. This type of bond allows you to avoid any jail time while waiting for someone to bond you out if you get arrested. If you talk to anyone that has spent as little as a few hours in jail they will tell you do not want to be waiting in jail for someone to bond you out. Thus, the non arrest bond allows you to skip the booking process. The bonding company will take your information and  give you a court date to appear with your attorney. If you do this you will be one of the lucky people that will not be hassled by the police and potentially giving them information that you would later regret.

If you need assistance with your criminal case in Houston, Harris County, Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

The Harris County Courts have their own schedule that they follow.  This is their posted schedule.