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.

 

Houston Criminal Attorney...Less Running Means Less Blogging

I have mentioned about all the Houston Criminal Attorneys that run.  Personally, I have slowed down on my blogging since we have been in trial and not running as much.  Since the weather is heating up and I thoroughly enjoy running during the warmer months I am confident that my blogging will increase.  During the past year I have noticed that I get a lot of blogging ideas while running so I anticipate that my blogging will increase as I run more.

The Ability to Enjoy a Vacation

I just got back from vacation and realized that I am so lucky to know that our client's needs are being taken care of despite my absence.  Let me explain...most criminal defense attorneys in Houston are solo practitioners or have an associate working for them.  When this is the case a client is unable to reach the lawyer they hired when they are away from the office on vacation or in trial.  That is one of the many reasons that I am fortunate to have a business partner like Mario Madrid.  Mario and I have been criminal lawyers for over twelve years.  We meet and discuss every case with our clients.  We handle every case as a team and know all the pertinent facts surrounding our client's cases.  Whenever a client needs one us we are there for them.  If we are not in the office one of assistants will give you our mobile phone so you reach us.  We even answer our phone after normal business hours.

If you, or  a loved one has a criminal matter that you would like to discuss feel free to call our office at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com

Buyer Beware of the Criminal Attorney Guaranteeing a Dismissal

Those of us that have been Criminal Defense Attorneys know better then to guarantee that a case will be dismissed based on the initial visit with a potential client.  Routinely, clients come into our office a state some form of the following: "Attorney A said he will get the case dismissed if I pay him X dollars.  My initial thought is if they really believed the attorney why are they here in my office?  I am sure they feel the same way or else they would not be visiting me.  My advice is always the same...if a lawyer in guaranteeing something get in writing because the truth is that no attorney can make such a statement without reviewing the case, talking to the assistant district attorney, and investigating all the facts.  I am always amazed that people believe these attorneys even after talking to competent criminal lawyers.  Do not forget that you are presumed innocent, but that does not mean that the prosecutor will automatically dismiss your case.

This does not change even if the crime occurred in  Fort Bend County, Galveston, or Harris County, Texas.  If you want to speak to an affordable, honest, and experienced criminal defense attorney call us at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at ww.mmalaw.com. 

I Hate a Prosecutor's View of Cocaine.

I was having a conversation with a prosecutor that I have known for over ten years recently about why the Harris County District Attorney's Office refuses to use 12.44(b) punishment for state jail felony drug cases.    This type of punishment gives a prosecutor the discretion to reduce the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor.  His reply was "how does that help me?"  I tried to impress upon him that his job was to make sure that justice is done.  I tried to let him know that the general consensus among the citizens of Texas is that low level drug users should not be sent to prison.  He refused to be swayed.  He just kept stating how does this help me  Ironically, he said he would start treating those cases like misdemeanors when the Texas legislature changes the law.  He fails to take into account two things.  First, the Texas legislature has stated that the prosecutor may reduce a state jail felony to a misdemeanor.  The Harris County District Attorney's Office does not acknowledge this law.  Second and most importantly, the comments section of the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct states: "A prosecutor has the responsibility to see that justice is done, and not simply to be an advocate." (Rule 3.09 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor).

If you need help with your drug case in Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

Your facebook account could be detrimental to your defense.

As a criminal defense attorney in Houston, I am amazed how much information I can gather on a potential witness via the Internet.  Their facebook account reveals a lot about them.  They make comments regarding all sorts of subjects.  Sometimes they even post stupid comments regarding the case that they are the alleged victim and/or witness.  Nevertheless, facebook is a double-edged sword.  My clients have been burned with what they have written in their facebook and the pictures that they have posted.  That is why I tell all my clients now to "clean up" or delete their facebook accounts before a prosecutor uses it against them at a punishment hearing or at trial.  For example, a probation officer may see that you posted that picture of you and your buddies drinking at a party that you tagged and pass it along to the judge.  This could be grounds for your probation to be revoked.

The Martinez Law Firm

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer enjoy running

Everyone enjoys some type of diversion in life.  Some people like to read or play music to "get away."  The Houston Marathon is next month and I have come across various criminal lawyers at the Harris Criminal Justice Center  that  are in training for or have done a marathon. There are all types of runners at the courthouse.  Some are new at running, others are slow and some are fast, but they all like to run for that special feeling that running a long distance does for them.

While I have done several marathons in the past this year my wife and I have opted for a half marathon.  Mario Madrid, a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, my business partner, and his wife are doing the full marathon again this year.  Mario's time was so good last year that he made the Houston Chronicle results section for the top finishers.  Fellow criminal lawyer, Tom Radosevich, recently had the best time for his age group in a local long distance race. .  John Boone, chief of the Check Fraud division, has the best Houston Marathon time that I know of at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.  Judge Marc Carter and his family are all avid runners. Rick Trevathan can recount how he ran one of the first Houston Marathons.

The Martinez Law Firm:http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

How the financial crisis may affect your criminal bond.

It seems prices for just about everything are falling...could illegal drugs be next?  This is probably the least of your worries unless you or someone you care for is arrested with a large amount of drugs.  Typically, in Houston, Harris County, Texas the value of the drugs determines the bond amount.  In fact, the bond is set at double the street value.  Just last month gas was selling for half as much as it is today.  If cocaine prices have similarly dropped so would the bonds in a criminal drug case.  For example, if someone was arrested for a drug charge and the street value was $100.000 last month the bond amount would initially be set at $200,000, but if that street value has decreased and now is $75,000 the bond should be set at $150,000.  That is a difference of $5,000 when bonding someone out of jail. 

Recently, I was use this theory as part of my argument to get someone a bond.  The bond in that particular case was initially set at $80,000, but a magistrate judge decided to strip the person of their bond.  I was able to go to the presiding judge and have the bond reinstated and lowered to $50,000.  That saved my client's family over $3,000 when bonding him out. 

The Martinez Law Firm: http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.

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 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.