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.
As a Houston Criminal Defense lawyer I look forward to my next trial. However, after a year of going to court and trying cases I now look forward toward to my docket slowing down. Typically this happens on the last two weeks of December since this is the only time that since jury summons are not mailed out during this time of the year. For this reason, I try to catch up on the things I neglect throughout the year. For example, I try to schedule as many doctor appointments as I can during this time and take my longest vacation of the year.
Once the new year starts it is a different story. The month of January is already full for me with trials. I have at least one case set for trial each week of the month, if not more. Luckily, I try to avoid both myself and my business partner being in trial at the same time so we do not neglect our otter clients. At The Martinez Law Firm we appreciate that our clients do not want to be waiting around all morning when they could be back at work. It never fails that the first two weeks of January are go, go, go since the courts have delayed trials from end of the previous year.
As a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer I am always amazed when innocent people confess to crimes that they did not commit. Many of friends find it unbelievable that this happens and think that is just me being a defense attorney. The innocence project provides some insight into this dilemma. I hope that after reading this article more people will have an open mind that an innocent person may provide a false confession to a crime that they did not commit.
If you need the assistance of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779.
When someone calls our law firm asking whether they should talk to the police in a criminal investigation I always tell them it is never in their best interest to talk to the police. Typically, the person is concerned about what may happen if they talk to the police especially if they do not speak English. This is one of the easiest answers I can give as a criminal defense lawyer in Houston. NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE! I realize that the answer is counter intuitive to most people, but it is blunt and easier to understand. If you do not believe me watch this video where a law school professor and former criminal defense attorney explains our 5th amendment privilege in great detail. Even the police officer that follows him in the lecture completely agrees with everything he said.
If you need the help of one of the best Houston criminal defense attorneys please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779.
Mark McGwire has been named the St. Louis Cardinals' new hitting coach. McGwire would not have even been considered for this position with his former team if he would not have followed his lawyers advice of "taking the fifth." In 2005 Mr. McGwire refrained from speaking about steroid use after being summoned to appear before Congress. At that time, he was heavily criticized by the media, became the poster boy for the steroid era of baseball, and vanished from the baseball scene. Who in their "Flash Forward" would have seen him putting on a baseball uniform again in 2009?
Lucky for him, the American sports public has a short memory. The baseball world is now welcoming him back with open arms. Baseball's version of the prodigal son is returning. Even Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, is delighted to see Mr. McGwire back. Unlike the players that testified fully during the congressional hearings in 2005 he is being given the "red carpet treatment" while the others are getting "blackballed by the sport" or even worse, getting Federal charges brought against them for perjury.
If I hope that McGwire does not get a free pass from the media and baseball fans. The steroid era was a black eye for baseball. How Mark McGwire is perceived will be an indicator if baseball fans really care what the players are doing legally or not so long as they produce on the field.
If you would like to speak to a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer about your situation please call our law firm at (713) 242-1779 to talk to one of the attorneys.
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.
As a part of our representation it is imperative that we present our clients in the best possible light to Prosecutors, Judges and Juries. We routinely counsel our clients on what to wear to court and to trial. If we don't feel our clients have trial worthy clothes, we dress them ourselves. We keep a number suits, ties and shoes that we feel make our clients presentable to a jury. Anyone accused of a crime is going to be judged by their appearance and as the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
A couple of months ago I represented a young man charged with Aggravated Robbery. He was accused with three other men with of a home invasion, where it was alleged they held a family at gunpoint as they ransacked their house looking for cash. One of the co-defendant's was tried separately because his criminal history would have prejudiced the other defendants. In my preparation as a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, I attended and observed the co-defendant's trial. We will call him Bob.
Bob was arrested around the crime scene in victim's next door neighbor's yard within seconds of the alleged aggravated robbery. The police had been called while the perpetrators were in the house and as the police arrived, they fled. When Bob was detained he was wearing a blue floral Hawaiian-like shirt. The victims were able to identify him by his skin, height and his distinctive shirt.
So surprise to me, the prosecution, police witnesses and the victims, Bob wore the same shirt to trial that he was arrested in, fleeing from the scene, seconds after the home invasion, Apparently this was not a surprise to his attorney because at closing arguments he argued that he purposely had his client wear this shirt to show the corruption of the police. I don't know what this meant other than it explained his trial strategy and let the State off the hook for an ineffective assistance appellate argument regarding this issue.
Anyway, terrible terrible strategy. No one was surprised when the jury came back five minutes later with a guilty and later took another five minutes to give Bob life in prison. You never get a second chance to make first impression.
As a Houston criminal defense Lawyer I am always concerned with our local jail conditions. While Adrian Garcia has not been Sheriff of Harris County, Texas long, the conditions of his jail are not improving according to Inspectors. It has been a continuous battle to improve the jail conditions in Harris County, Texas. Hopefully, Sheriff Garcia will make some improvements soon.
The inspectors also found that courtroom holdover cells are packed beyond capacity. This is evident to any practicing Houston criminal defense attorney. Routinely, courts are unable to have all the defendants that are in jail make their morning docket. Nothing is more frustrating to a person expecting to go to court only to find out that they will not be going because there are too many people in custody. This is also frustrating to the person's family and their attorney.
If you or someone you care about needs help with their criminal case please call our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at www.mmalaw.com.
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 www.mmalaw.com.
As a criminal defense attorney in Houston,Texas I have appeared on television several times over the years. So I thought it would be a breeze when we made a few videos for our law firm. Boy was I wrong. It is much easier to talk about specific question on television than having to talk about our law firm. What I thought would take a hour max ended up taking twice the amount of time. Most interestingly, was that the Spanish videos were the easiest to do.
As Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers we get most of our clients via referrals. I would say over fifty per cent of our clients come from previous clients referring their friend or family members to our law firm. While fellow attorneys refer us cases I must admit that I prefer one from a former client. Aside from the obvious benefit of this is that the satisfying feeling we get when hear that a former client speaks highly enough that someone desires our services. I can assure you that having a former client that was delighted with our representation is one of most gratifying parts of our job.
It is always best to read over any document that you sign more then once to completely understand it or at the least least take someone with you that can help you catch something that you may have missed otherwise. There will always be deceitful companies that try to take advantage of people when they are down and vulnerable. I experienced this type of underhanded behavior when I was prosecutor. I had to routinely refuse charges when rental agencies brought charges against the people that had leased furniture from them despite the payments made exceeding full market value, but for one reason or the other could not make their monthly payments any longer. Similarly, an unscrupulous loan company has a clause in their no interest contracts stating that if all payments are not made the loan turns into a lease at any time. These people lose all the money that they have paid and could potentially be charged with theft if they keep the property without making the revised payments since the loan/lease company has a greater right of ownership. While this behavior is deplorable I can see it happening. Luckily, anyone charged with a crime is PRESUMED to be INNOCENT.
When I became a criminal defense attorney in Houston over ten years ago I was told that our area of law is recession proof. This was not the reason why I entered criminal law. In the past, I never took the economy into account. However, the media shows different companies failing daily. That made me reflect on what I was told when we started our Houston Criminal Defense law firm. I must admit that when the downturn started I was apprehensive on how the legal field would be impacted by the recession. Surprisingly, our criminal defense practice has seen a steady increase of business during this time. Perhaps, our field of law is recession proof... it looks to be the case so far.
Over the years, I have realized that when we do outstanding work our clients recommend us to their friends and family when they need help with a criminal matter. I always feel humbled when a previous client recommends us. It says a lot about the work we did for them. It tells me not only that we did a great job for them, but that they trust us enough to represent a friend and/or family member with their freedom. We understand the stress and the feeling of uncertainty that someone is experiencing when they are charged with a crime and strive to relieve them of these feelings.
During these difficult times we will continue to offer free consultations. We will also offerpayment plans, and our fees are very reasonable. Thus, if you have any questions regarding a criminal issue contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at www.mmalaw.com.
The time has come for the Harris County District Attorney's Office to start using 12.44(b) punishment.
This session the Texas legislature is considering reducing the punishment of possession of less then a gram of a penalty group 3 drug like cocaine from a state jail felony to a misdemeanor. In fact, Judge McSpadden, presiding judge of the 209th District Court of Harris County, has been promoting this change in the past and now has the support of his colleagues. Unfortunately, the Harris County District Attorney's Office does not agree. Our elected District Attorney has a bigger picture in mind. That sounds very comforting, but most people want instant results. If she is concerned about jail overcrowding how about using the tool that the Texas legislature has already given them in the form of "12.44" punishment more readily.
Sec. 12.44. REDUCTION OF STATE JAIL FELONY PUNISHMENT TO MISDEMEANOR PUNISHMENT. (a) A court may punish a defendant who is convicted of a state jail felony by imposing the confinement permissible as punishment for a Class A misdemeanor if, after considering the gravity and circumstances of the felony committed and the history, character, and rehabilitative needs of the defendant, the court finds that such punishment would best serve the ends of justice.
(b) At the request of the prosecuting attorney, the court may authorize the prosecuting attorney to prosecute a state jail felony as a Class A misdemeanor.
It is a shame that prosecutors in Harris County, Texas dismiss more cases than offering a "12.44(b)." Surprisingly, new felony prosecutors feel like there is an office policy against this type of punishment. I have never know this to be the case, but most prosecutors are extremely reluctant to extend the offer and are surprised when I request one. I have never known a real reason for this other then "we do not do that in Harris County." The jail overcrowding issue could be addressed by implementing a new attitude towards 12.44(b) punishment and accepting charges for low level marijuana charges when a police officer decides to give someone a citation to appear for court instead of arresting them.
If your need assistance with your drug charges in Texas please contact our law firm at (713) 242-1779 or visit our website at www.mmalaw.com.
I would to thank my business partner, Mario Madrid, my staff, my peers, and all those that I associate with at the Houston Criminal Courthouse, on making 2008 a successful year for me. I am even more grateful this year to see our business grow when many others have failed. Wishing everyone a prosperous 2009!
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 www.mmalaw.com.
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 www.mmalaw.com.