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Any DWI arrest carries the potential for significant penalties and requires the attention of a highly experienced lawyer. But when that DWI arrest involves serious injury or a fatality, there is simply no room for error. The question is no longer as simple as getting your license back or avoiding some time in the county jail.
Accidents do happen and tragically, someone can die. Mitigating factors are thoroughly checked out such as whether the person broke any traffic laws, was driving with a suspended license, or if the person was negligent in some way. These are usually tried as misdemeanors. However, if a person is found to be intoxicated or under the influence of something, it is treated in Texas as a second degree felony and the prosecution goes after the person diligently. In intoxication manslaughter cases, the prosecution only has to prove that the driver was indeed, intoxicated. The term of incarceration could be anything from two years to twenty years.
If you have been charged with DWI after being in an accident that involved a death, you may be facing very serious charges of intoxication manslaughter. It is imperative that you speak with Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson as soon as possible after you have been charged, or think you may be charged. Attorney Johnson has the experience you can rely on for aggressive and effective defense strategies against the charges. The skilled attorneys at the Charles Johnson Law Firm do not believe there is any such thing as being slam-dunk guilty. No one truly intends to commit intoxication manslaughter. They do not wake up and say “I’m going to get drunk tonight and drive and see who gets in my way.” No matter what the circumstances of the accident are, your personal story is behind the charges and will make a difference in the outcome of your case. We will make sure that the judge and jury know that this isn’t just about an intoxication manslaughter case. It is about you and your family.
Intoxication manslaughter is a Second Degree felony which holds people liable for any death which occurs because of criminal negligence, or a violation of traffic safety laws. A common use of the vehicular manslaughter laws involves prosecution for a death caused by driving under the influence (determined by excessive blood alcohol content levels set by individual U.S. states), although an independent infraction (such as driving with a suspended driver’s license), or negligence, is usually also required.
Intoxication manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other similar offences require a lesser mens rea (Latin for “guilty mind”. In criminal law, it is viewed as one of the necessary elements of a crime) than other manslaughter offenses. Furthermore, the fact that the defendant is entitled to use the alcohol, controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance, is no defense. For example, in Texas, to prove intoxication manslaughter, it is not necessary to prove the person was negligent in causing the death of another, nor that they unlawfully used the substance that intoxicated them, but only that they were intoxicated, and operated a motor vehicle, and someone died as a result.
Types of Intoxication Manslaughter
In Texas, intoxication manslaughter does not only apply to automobile drivers. Individuals may be charged with this crime under any of the following circumstances:
- If they are operating a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other type of motorized vehicle in a public place
- If they are operating a boat, airplane, or amusement park ride
- If they assemble an amusement park ride
If the alleged offender has done any of these things while intoxicated, and someone was killed by the vehicle they were operating or had assembled, they can be convicted of intoxication manslaughter. There is no requirement that the prosecutor prove negligence, that their intoxication was the direct cause of the crash, or that they were behaving unlawfully by using the substance that caused their intoxication.
Defenses For Intoxication Manslaughter
Intoxication manslaughter cases should be attacked on two fronts if the case is going to trial. Notwithstanding whether a person is or is not intoxicated, a good lawyer would examine the Texas Peace Officer collision report which was completed as part of the investigation. Just because a driver may be intoxicated does not mean that he should be held criminally liable for the death of another.
There have been cases where the deceased driver was as much at fault if not more at fault than the accused. Examples could include the deceased having run a red light, the deceased having operated his motor vehicle at night without lights, the deceased also being intoxicated, the deceased merging improperly into traffic, and the list goes on. A lawyer familiar with crash reconstruction and who has worked with reconstruction experts should be able to present this defense if it is available. The issue is one of causation and is set forth in Tex. Penal Code Section 6.04. In a nutshell, what 6.04 states is that if an accused’s conduct is insufficient in itself to cause the result, and the conduct of another contributed to the result and the contributing cause was sufficient to cause the result, the accused cannot be held liable.
A good accident reconstruction expert’s report may convince a prosecutor to agree to probation if causation is questionable. That in itself may be worth the investment in hiring both a reconstruction expert and a lawyer who knows how to present such findings.
The second line of defense is whether a person is intoxicated. Scientific evidence can be compelling for a jury. However, the State is allowed to rely upon opinion evidence based upon observations such as lack of coordination, blood shot eyes, smell of intoxicants on breath, slurred speech etc. Some of these symptom could be explained by lack of sleep, allergies, injury, but not all.
Most police departments have on board video cameras and video may very well have been used in this case. Video can be a two-edge sword. Many a video has convinced a defendant to make the best deal possible, while other videos have convinced an accused to take it to trial
In blood draws/test results, there are several considerations. A blood sample can be lost, yet there can be a medical record from a laboratory stating what the test result is. In fact, most hospitals don’t retain the blood samples, but for a very short period. If the blood draw was for medical treatment, sometimes there is a chain of custody problem that makes admission of the medical records unreliable. Most courts, when dealing with a chain of custody issue on medical records as the result of medical treatment rule that any problems goes to the weight of the evidence, not the admissibility, that is, the records gets admitted but the defense lawyer gets to argue that it is not reliable because of the poor chain of custody.
Mandatory blood draws can be attacked, however, you should hire a lawyer familiar with the statutory and administrative requirements for blood draws.
Houston Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
When you are charged with intoxication manslaughter or intoxication assault, you have more than just the prosecutor against you. You have the victim’s family and the public screaming for your head. You don’t have to go through this alone. The Charles Johnson Law Firm will fight aggressively to protect your rights and your future.
After a car accident in which there has been a fatality, it is an extremely upsetting situation for everyone involved. Law enforcement will collect evidence at the scene and this evidence is an important part of the documentation of the case. It is crucial that if you have been charged with intoxication manslaughter that you contact The Charles Johnson Law Firm quickly. The evidence in the case can be reviewed and an attorney can advise you what can be done in your case. Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson can offer a free evaluation of your case, and it is advised that you take advantage of this so it can be determined what can be done and what options may be possible in your case.
Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted
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For questions about Texas expungement laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with Houston Expungement Lawyer Charles Johnson, do not hesitate to contact us at the Charles Johnson Law Firm. We offer free expungement consultations via phone anytime day or night to see if you qualify to expunge your criminal record.
A criminal conviction can certainly change your life. Even after you’ve paid your debt to society, your criminal record may make it hard to get your life back. Fortunately, Texas provides a way to set the record straight: expungement.
Houston Record Expungement Defense: Hire the Most Effective Houston Criminal Lawyers
Expungement is a legal process through which a charge or conviction could very well be erased from a person’s criminal record. Below you will discover links to in-depth knowledge on expungement.
- Expungement Basics – Introductory advice on expungement and its legal consequences.
- Eligibility for Expungement – An arrest or conviction usually must meet certain standards in order to be eligible for expungement.
- The Expungement Process – A number of steps must be taken before an expungement is granted.
- Expungement isn’t Always an Option – Expungement isn’t available in all jurisdictions, and may not be an option for certain arrests or convictions.
Expungement (also called “expunction”) is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of a charge or a criminal conviction is “sealed,” or erased in the eyes of the law. When a conviction is expunged, the process may perhaps also be often called “setting aside a criminal conviction.” The availability of expungement, and the procedure for getting an arrest or conviction expunged, will vary according to the state or county in that the arrest or conviction transpired.
Legal Effect of an Expungement
An expungement ordinarily means that an arrest or conviction is “sealed,” or erased from a person’s criminal record for most purposes. After the expungement process is complete, a charge or a criminal conviction ordinarily doesn’t necessarily need to be disclosed by the individual who has been arrested or found guilty. For instance, when completing an application for a job or apartment, an applicant whose charge or conviction has been expunged doesn’t need to disclose that arrest or conviction.
In the majority of cases, no record of an expunged charge or conviction will appear in cases where a potential employer, educational institution, or other company conducts a public records inspection or background search of an individual’s criminal history.
An expunged arrest or conviction isn’t really necessarily completely erased, in the literal sense of the word. An expungement will ordinarily be an accessible part of a person’s criminal history, viewable by certain government agencies, such as police officers and the criminal courts. This limited accessibility is in some cases known as a criminal record being “under seal.” In many legal proceedings, that include during sentencing for any type of crimes committed after an expungement, or in immigration / deportation proceedings, an expunged conviction that is “under seal” may possibly still be considered as proof of a past conviction.
When expungement of an arrest or conviction is an option in a state or county, more often than not a person’s criminal record should meet certain standards in order to qualify for the process.
Whether or not an individual is eligible for expungement will commonly depend on a number of factors, including:
- The amount of time which has passed since the arrest or conviction
- The severity and nature of the event for that expungement is sought (i.e. a conviction for a sex criminal offense could possibly lead to a denial of expungement)
- Events within the applicant’s criminal record (such as arrests or convictions in virtually all jurisdictions, not only the offender’s state/county)
- The severity and nature of various other events within the applicant’s criminal record
Special eligibility rules might exist for expungement of arrests or convictions that transpired when the offender was a juvenile, and arrests or convictions for sex offenses. Please contact the Finest Criminal Lawyer in Houston TX to talk about your readily available options.
The Expungement Process
Where available to persons who have been arrested or found guilty, expungement does not happen automatically, and is never guaranteed. A person looking to have an arrest or criminal conviction expunged from their record has to in most cases fill out an application or request, and submit the paperwork to the appropriate criminal court for a judge’s review and ruling. In most jurisdictions, a fee must be paid in conjunction with the filing of the application.
The expungement process might be complex. By way of example, a few jurisdictions require an applicant to deliver (or “serve”) papers on district attorneys, while others require the applicant to put together the legal document (or “Order of Expungement”) which will probably be signed by the judge. In certain cases, a court hearing is required, after which a judge will decide whether to grant the expungement.
The Best Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm can certainly advise you regarding this challenging process.
Expungement is not Always an Option
It is very important to understand that expungement of an arrest and/or a criminal conviction is not really an option in virtually all states and counties (named “jurisdictions”). Depending on the jurisdiction in that the arrest or conviction transpired:
- Expungement may not be available at all
- Expungement may be an option for arrests, but not for convictions
- Expungement may be an option only for certain criminal convictions
- Expungement may be an option only for arrests and/or convictions that occurred while the offender was a juvenile
- Expungement may be available only after a person is acquitted (cleared) of an offense (i.e. charges are dismissed)
- Expungement may be possible only when a criminal conviction is reversed (i.e. after a successful appeal of the conviction).
Hire The Most Respected Houston Criminal Lawyers! The Charles Johnson Law Firm
In Texas, criminal record expunction or an action to seal your criminal record may help you move on with your life. There are many benefits which flow from misdemeanor or felony expunction or record sealing, including no longer needing to list a prior conviction on a job application or worrying about the possible consequences of an employer’s discovery of your criminal record. The Charles Johnson Law Firm will do everything possible to clear a client’s record. If you are interested, contact the Best Houston Expungement Attorney today.
Need Help Acquiring an Expungement? Hire the Best Houston Criminal Lawyers
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Domestic Violence is a difficulty that affects virtually every town, city, country and nation. Domestic Violence covers a broad spectrum of abuse between partners, spouses, members of the family or various other people who live together. Family Violence charges are quite severe. If you are convicted, you could confront prison time and other criminal penalties. A conviction will not only destroy your reputation, but your future as well. You could be refused future employment, housing, academic loans and worse, access to your home and children. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we see our clients falsely accused of Domestic Violence all the time. Whether you are innocent or guilty, Houston Family Violence Lawyer Charles Johnson will battle aggressively on your behalf in order to help protect your rights and your future. Contact us Twenty-four Hours A Day, Seven Days A Week for a free of charge consultation.
All too often the news bombards us with news regarding a high-profile Family Violence case, wherein a man or woman is suspected of murdering their wife or husband, with or without a prior history of domestic abuse.
Violence. How can a individual turn from loving and living with a person to beating them up or murdering them? What kind of a person resorts to Domestic Violence against their spouse or domestic intimate partner? What kind of person thinks it is okay to continually humiliate or talk down to their life intimate partner? What kind of an individual has sex with their partner without the person’s consent and desire to participate?
A common pattern of domestic abuse is that the perpetrator alternates between violent, abusive behavior and apologetic behavior with apparently heartfelt promises to change. The abuser may perhaps be quite pleasant most of the time. Therein lies the perpetual appeal of the abusing partner and why many men and women are unable to leave the abusive relationship.
Domestic abuse is most often one of the following:
- child abuse
- abuse of a spouse or domestic intimate partner
- elder abuse
In this article, we examine domestic abuse between spouses and intimate partners: the sorts of domestic abuse, signs and symptoms, causes, and consequences. Family Violence and abuse are popular. The initial step in ending the misery is recognition that the situation is abusive.
What is the definition of domestic abuse between intimate partners?
Domestic abuse between spouses or intimate partners is when one individual in a marital or intimate relationship tries to control the other individual. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation and will likely threaten to use or may possibly actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse that involves physical violence is designated Domestic Violence.
The victim of domestic abuse or Family Violence may be a man or a woman. Domestic abuse takes place in traditional heterosexual marriages, as well as in same-sex partnerships. The abuse may perhaps occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. Family Violence may perhaps even end up in murder.
The key elements of domestic abuse are:
- humiliating the other person
- physical injury
Domestic abuse isn’t really a result of losing control; domestic abuse is purposely trying to control another person. The abuser is purposefully using verbal, nonverbal, or physical means to acquire control over the other person.
In many cultures, command over women by men is accepted as the norm. This article speaks from the orientation that control over intimate partners is domestic abuse within a culture where such control isn’t the norm. Nowadays we see many cultures moving from the subordination of women to increased equality of women within relationships.
What are the sorts of domestic abuse?
The types of domestic abuse are:
- physical abuse (domestic violence)
- verbal or nonverbal abuse (psychological abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse)
- sexual abuse
- stalking or cyberstalking
- economic abuse or financial abuse
- spiritual abuse
The divisions between these kinds of domestic abuse are somewhat fluid, but there is a strong differentiation between the various forms of physical abuse and the various types of verbal or nonverbal abuse.
What is physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the individual, or puts the person at risk of being injured. Physical abuse ranges from physical restraint to murder. When someone talks of Domestic Violence, they are often referring to physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner.
Physical assault or physical battering is defined as a criminal offense, whether or not it occurs inside a family or outside the family. The police are empowered to protect you from physical attack.
Physical abuse includes:
- pushing, throwing, kicking
- slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
- pinching, biting
- holding, restraining, confinement
- breaking bones
- assault with a firearm that include a knife or gun
What is emotional abuse or verbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse could be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. Although physical abuse may seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep. Studies show that verbal or nonverbal abuse may be much more emotionally detrimental than physical abuse.
Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner may possibly include:
- threatening or intimidating to obtain compliance
- destruction of the victim’s personal property and assets and possessions, or threats to do this
- violence to an object (such as a wall or piece of furniture) or pet, within the presence of the intended victim, as a way of instilling fear of further violence
- yelling or screaming
- constant harassment
- embarrassing, making fun of, or mocking the victim, either on your own within the household, in public, or in front of family or friends
- criticizing or diminishing the victim’s accomplishments or goals
- not trusting the victim’s decision-making
- telling the victim that they are worthless on their own, without the abuser
- excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family
- excessive checking-up on the victim to make sure they are at home or where they said they would be
- saying hurtful things when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and using the substance as an excuse to say the hurtful things
- blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels
- making the victim remain on the premises subsequent to a fight, or leaving them somewhere else after a fight, just to “teach them a lesson”
- making the victim feel that there’s no way out of the relationship
What is sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a spouse or intimate partner?
Sexual abuse includes:
- sexual assault: forcing another person to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity
- sexual harassment: ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
- sexual exploitation (most notably forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)
Sexual abuse often is linked to physical abuse; they can occur together, or the sexual abuse could possibly occur subsequent to a bout of physical abuse.
What is stalking?
Stalking is harassment of or threatening another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally in a repetitive and devious manner. Stalking of an intimate partner can take place during the relationship, with intense monitoring of the partner’s activities. Or stalking can take place after a partner or spouse has left the relationship. The stalker may very well be trying to get their partner back, or some might wish to harm their partner as punishment for their departure. Regardless of the fine details, the victim fears for their safety.
Stalking can take place at or near the victim’s home, near or in their workplace, on the way to the store or another destination, or on the Internet (cyberstalking). Stalking could be on the phone, in person, or online. Stalkers may possibly never show their face, or some may be everywhere, in individual.
Stalkers employ a number of threatening tactics:
- repeated phone calls, in some instances with hang-ups
- following, tracking (possibly even with a global positioning device)
- finding the person via public records, online searching, or paid investigators
- watching with hidden cameras
- suddenly showing up where the victim is, at home, school, or work
- sending emails; communicating in chat rooms or with instant messaging (cyberstalking: see below)
- sending unwanted packages, cards, gifts, or letters
- monitoring the victim’s phone calls or computer-use
- contacting the victim’s buddies, family, co-workers, or neighbors to find out about the victim
- going through the victim’s garbage
- threatening to hurt the victim or their family, friends, or pets
- damaging the victim’s home, car, or various other assets
Stalking is unpredictable and should always be regarded as dangerous. If another person is
- tracking you,
- contacting you when you do not wish to have get in touch with,
- attempting to control you, or
- frightening you,
then obtain assistance immediately.
What is cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is the use of telecommunication technologies including the Internet or email to stalk another person. Cyberstalking may be an additional form of stalking, or it could possibly be the sole method the abuser employs. Cyberstalking is deliberate, persistent, and personal.
Spamming with unsolicited email differs from cyberstalking. Spam doesn’t necessarily focus on the individual, as does cyberstalking. The cyberstalker methodically finds and contacts the victim. Much like spam of a sexual nature, a cyberstalker’s message may possibly be disturbing and inappropriate. Also like spam, you cannot stop the contact with a request. In fact, the more you protest or respond, the more rewarded the cyberstalker feels. The recommended response to cyberstalking is not to respond to the contact.
Cyberstalking falls in a grey area of law enforcement. Enforcement of a good number of federal and state stalking laws requires that the victim be directly threatened with an act of violence. Very few law enforcement agencies can act if the threat is only implied.
Regardless of whether you can get stalking laws enforced against cyberstalking, you must treat cyberstalking seriously and protect yourself. Cyberstalking in some instances advances to genuine stalking and to physical violence.
How likely is it that stalking will turn into violence?
Stalking can end in violence regardless of whether or not the stalker threatens violence. And stalking can turn into violence even if the stalker doesn’t have any history of violence.
Women stalkers are just as likely to become violent as are male stalkers.
Those around the stalking victim are also in danger of being injured. For example, a parent, spouse, or bodyguard who makes the stalking victim unattainable could very well be injured or killed as the stalker pursues the stalking victim.
What is economic or financial abuse of a spouse or domestic partner?
Economic or financial abuse involves:
- withholding economic resources that include money or credit cards
- stealing from or defrauding a partner of money or assets
- exploiting the intimate partner’s resources for personal gain
- withholding physical resources including food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from a partner
- preventing the spouse or intimate partner from working or choosing an occupation
What is spiritual abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Spiritual abuse includes:
- using the spouse’s or intimate partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them
- preventing the partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs
- ridiculing the other person’s religious or spiritual beliefs
- forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the partner has not agreed to
How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship? What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship?
The more of the following questions that you answer Yes to, the more likely you are in an abusive relationship. Examine your answers and obtain guidance if you find that you respond positively to a large number of the questions.
Your inner feelings and dialogue: Fear, self-loathing, numbness, desperation
- Are you fearful of your partner a large percentage of the time?
- Do you steer clear of certain topics or spend a lot of time figuring out how to discuss certain topics so that you do not arouse your partner’s negative reaction or anger?
- Do you ever feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
- Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your partner?
- Do you in some instances wonder if you are the one who is crazy, that maybe you are overreacting to your partner’s behaviors?
- Do you in some cases fantasize about ways to kill your partner to get them out of your life?
- Are you afraid that your partner could possibly try to kill you?
- Are you afraid that your partner will try to take your children away from you?
- Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for guidance?
- Are you feeling emotionally numb?
- Were you abused as a child, or did you grow up with Domestic Violence within the household? Does domestic violence seem normal to you?
Your partner’s lack of control over their own behavior
- Does your partner have low self-esteem? Do they appear to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate in the world, although they are outwardly successful?
- Does your partner externalize the causes of their own behavior? Do they blame their violence on stress, alcohol, or a “bad day”?
- Is your partner unpredictable?
- Is your partner a pleasant person between bouts of violence?
Your partner’s violent or threatening behavior
- Does your partner have a bad temper?
- Has your partner ever threatened to injure you or kill you?
- Has your partner ever physically hurt you?
- Has your partner threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to leave the relationship?
- Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving?
- Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?
- Has your partner threatened you at work, either in person or on the phone?
- Is your partner cruel to animals?
- Does your partner destroy your belongings or household objects?
Your partner’s controlling behavior
- Does your partner try to keep you from seeing your pals or family?
- Are you embarrassed to invite buddies or family over to your house mainly because of your partner’s behavior?
- Has your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
- Does your partner try to stop you from going where you would like to go outside of the house, or from doing what you would like to do?
- Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been, as if checking up on you? Do they accuse you of having an affair?
Your partner’s diminishment of you
- Does your partner verbally abuse you?
- Does your partner humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
- Does your partner often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions?
- Does your partner always insist that they are right, even though they are clearly wrong?
- Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior, saying that your behavior or attitudes cause them to be violent?
- Is your partner often outwardly angry with you?
- Does your partner objectify and disrespect those of your gender? Does your partner see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
In my workplace, what are the warning signs that an individual is a victim of Family Violence?
Domestic Violence often plays out within the workplace. For instance, a husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend might make threatening phone calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker could very well show injuries from physical abuse at home.
In the event you witness a cluster of the following warning signs in the workplace, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse:
- Bruises and other signs of impact on the skin, with the excuse of “accidents”
- Depression, crying
- Frequent and sudden absences
- Frequent lateness
- Frequent, harassing phone calls to the individual while they are at work
- Fear of the partner, references to the partner’s anger
- Decreased productivity and attentiveness
- Isolation from friends and family
- Insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car)
If you do recognize signs of domestic abuse in a co-worker, consult your Human Resources department. The Human Resources staff ought to be able to assist the victim without any your further involvement.
Who abuses their spouse or intimate partner?
Domestic abuse knows no age or ethnic boundaries.
Domestic abuse can occur during a relationship or after a relationship has ended.
Most psychological, medical, and legal specialists agree that the vast majority of physical abusers are men. However, women can also be the perpetrators of Family Violence.
The majority of stalkers are also men stalking women. But stalkers can also be women stalking men, men stalking men, or women stalking women.
Houston Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
As the justice system has come to recognize the social and legal effects of domestic violence, the penalties for conviction of domestic assault have become steeper. This is why it is so important to consult a lawyer who is familiar with your local court system. Seek the assistance of an competent attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to learn more about what you can do to assert and protect your rights.
Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.
Best Houston Criminal Lawyer: Struggling With A Domestic Violence Arrest?
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As an alternative to sentencing a defendant to a prison term, a judge could possibly choose to sentence a defendant to probation. Probation releases a defendant back into the community, but the defendant does not have the same degree of freedom as a regular citizen. Probation comes with conditions that restrict a probationer’s behavior, and if the probationer violates one of those conditions, the court may very well revoke or modify the probation.
Courts typically grant probation for first-time or low-risk offenders. Statutes determine when probation is practical, nevertheless it is up to the sentencing judge to figure out whether or not to essentially allow probation.
Houston Criminal Defense: Hire the Most Effective Houston Criminal Defense Attorney
Even though sentencing judges have this latitude, they must still remain within the statutory limits when allowing probation. By way of example, a judge can’t impose probation for a period longer than the maximum sentence prescribed by statute.
Probation has three primary goals:
- To rehabilitate the defendant
- To protect society from further criminal conduct by the defendant
- To protect the rights of the victims
Once a judge has granted probation, the matter moves into the jurisdiction of probation officers, who monitor the probationer’s compliance with the terms of the probation.
Conditions are an inherent part of probation. Judges set conditions in order to meet the goals for probation stated above. A probationer needs to comply with these conditions or else the court may possibly impose a jail sentence or add more restrictive conditions to their probation.
Courts in most cases have a good deal of discretion when setting probation conditions, nevertheless that doesn’t mean that judges can set whatever terms they want. Probation conditions must be reasonable. This means that the conditions can never be vindictive, vague, overbroad or arbitrary. In addition, the conditions must be related to the protection of the public. Also, in cases where a judge wishes to impose special conditions, those conditions must relate to the nature of the transgression that the probationer committed.
Judges set the conditions, nevertheless probation officers enforce them. Any time a probation officer finds probable cause to believe that the probationer has violated the terms of the probation, the judge will likely either change the terms of the probation or revoke the probation and impose a prison sentence.
Because the probationer’s freedom is at stake, however, the probationer has to receive some procedural due process before a court revokes their probation. While the verdict to revoke probation, just like the ruling to grant probation, is at the court’s discretion, the court has to go through a number of procedural requirements before revoking probation. The probationer dealing with revocation doesn’t have as many legal rights during revocation proceedings as they do through the original criminal trial, however.
In order to revoke probation, a court has to provide the probationer with notice of the proposed revocation and conduct a hearing on the matter. The probationer has a right to testify at the hearing, present supporting witnesses, and confront the witnesses against them. The probationer also has a right to a neutral hearing body, and needs to receive a written statement containing the reasons for revoking probation.
If there is sufficient evidence, a violation of even a single condition is able to bring about revocation of probation. The violated condition has to be valid, however. In cases where a condition is later found to be unreasonable then violation of that condition will not constitute grounds for revocation.
Houston Probation: Hire the Most Qualified Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are accused of violating the terms of your parole or probation or have questions regarding a potential probation offense, make sure you call the Most Respected Houston Criminal Defense Attorney the instant for a free of charge initial consultation.
Charles Johnson |
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Hire the Most Qualified Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer!
When you are going to court, it generally isn’t simply because you WANT to go, but rather you HAVE to go. If you are going in for a criminal defense, it would be in your best interest to be well prepared and informed BEFORE you enter those doors. The following are guidelines that are highly suggested that you follow in order to have a successful time in the courtroom and put the percentages far better to your favor within the eyes of the court.
When in court it is in your very best interest to look your very best for the judge, jury, prosecutor, and yourself. It emotionally can help you in court with your case and can improve your odds of winning if you look like you’re really serious about the courtroom proceedings and play the part.
People who head to court in shorts and sandals will not receive the same treatment that a person in a suit or nice dress might receive. It looks, at least to the court that you have absolutely no interest in being there and that is certainly regarded as disrespect to the court.
The following is appropriate dress code for the genders:
- A nice dress or women’s business suit. At the minimum, a blouse and a skirt which is NO MORE THAN two inches above the knee.
Dress shoes or heels
Hair neatly groomed
Jewelry: Same as for men. A ring and a watch. Nothing else.
Perfume: Again nothing that’s too strong and do not bathe in it. No one wants to smell you!
Nail Polish: Keep it simple. Colors that aren’t acceptable are neon’s and brightly colored nails. If you can avoid it, don’t wear any polish beyond a clear coat or perhaps the French manicure is suitable.
Again, the idea here is you are looking for the judge and any other people deciding your fate to look at you with as much respect as possible regardless of what you are in the courtroom for.
- A dark suit is preferred. If a suit is not available, then slacks and a white shirt and tie at the minimum!
Dress shoes (NEVER WEAR SNEAKERS IN A COURTROOM, PERIOD)
Hair well groomed and neat. Should you have long hair, make sure it is tied back and combed back.
Do not bathe yourself in strong cologne. This is not a club and no one wants the distracting smell of another in court.
Jewelry: one ring (wedding band) and a watch, if you have either.
The point here is you want the judge and any type of various other men and women deciding your fate to look at you with respect regardless of what you’re in court for.
In the courtroom the following are advised as far as behavior and procedure are concerned:
Only respond to questions that you’re asked in a direct manner.
Prosecutor: “Do you have the time?”
Prosecutor: “What time do you have?”
YOU: “11:00 a.m.”
In this example you were asked a question, and the response was EXACTLY what should have been given. Never volunteer information without first consulting your criminal defense attorney about this beforehand. Prosecutors exist to trip you up and get you to admit important things in order to aid their case, and they are generally pro’s at what they do. Don’t help to make it easy for them. They are NOT your friend, and they don’t have your very best interests in mind 110% of the time.
When sitting in court do not place your elbows on the tables at any given time. Sit up straight and look attentive at all times, unless you are injured somehow. Slouching is certainly a sign that you do not care about what is going on and you’d rather be home or doing something else and the court will treat you that way but definitely not in your favor. Pretend you are on television in front of the world and you need to look your very best.
This is possibly the most abused item in the courtroom besides dress. Again you must remember you’re not at a get together with your buddies. You are in a courtroom. If it is a criminal matter, someone wants a reason to put you away. DON’T Provide THEM ONE! Speak English as correctly as you are capable. Use of slang is not going to help you in any way.
The judge is not your “bro”, this individual is your honor. The D.A. or Prosecutor is not an old pal, and should be addressed as sir.
- Always be punctual.
- Do not speak during the proceedings while court is in session.
- Don’t bring books to read or magazines.
- Do not wear a hat in a courtroom EVER!
- Don’t wear sunglasses unless you have a condition that is medically proven to hurt your eyes in light.
- Remain in attendance until excused. All persons seated before the bar shall remain there during each session and return following recess. Parties and counsel ought to remain in attendance during jury deliberations; absence waives the right to attend the return of the judgment.
- Dress with dignity.
- Address others only by their titles and surnames, including lawyers, witnesses, and court personnel.
- Avoid approaching the bench. Counsel should anticipate the need for rulings and discuss them when the jury isn’t seated. Whenever a bench conference is unavoidable, obtain permission first.
- Hand to the clerk, not the judge or reporter, all things for examination by the judge.
- Stand when the judge or jury enters or leaves the courtroom.
- Conduct no experiment or demonstration without permission.
- Make no side-bar remarks.
- Request the use of easels, light boxes, and other equipment well in advance so that they may be set up while the Court is not in session.
Following these basic simple rules and procedures, you greatly enhance your chances of winning in court. These are unwritten guidelines, however over the years people appear to have forgotten them.
If you have additional concerns or are unsure about any of this, speak to the Most Effective Houston Lawyer BEFORE you go to court.
In the event you or a family member is charged having a crime in the Houston region, contact us for a free consultation with a successful criminal defense lawyer from the Charles Johnson Law Firm. Attorney Johnson is able to provide compassionate legal counsel, accessibility and personal attention, years of experience, and aggressive protection of your rights.
Charles Johnson |
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