10 Principles of Defending People (#8 Be Optimistic & #7 Inoculation)

June 1, 2018

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal


(972) 369-0577

Today I’ve got two principles to share and they can be summed up the cliche, “Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.”

I’m summing up what I feel are the 10 most important principles a criminal defense lawyer should follow in their practice in this series.  You can read about my previous posts so far on the topic here:

#8 Be Optimistic

You won’t find much doom and gloom on my blog.  I’m sure there’s plenty of anger, grand-standing and self-ritcheosness… but hopefully not much fear-mongering.

People often shake as they’re walking into my office.  A big part of it is because they’ve been on the internet or gotten legal advice from their best friend growing up.  They think I’m going to confirm their fears about having body and appendages severed by the prosecution.

I have yet to come across a case in the zillions I’ve evaluated where there isn’t some hope, some ray of sunshine, or something to be optimistic about.  Granted, these things are relative and  if there weren’t legitimate reasons for concern — no one would come and see me at all.

But people crave optimism from professionals they deal with.  There is nothing wrong with being optimistic and letting folks know where the sunlight is.

#7  Inoculate People For Bad News

Again, today’s topic is a ying and yang concept.  While there is nothing wrong with being optimistic — people also don’t come to a lawyer to be lied to.

Bad news is unfortunately part of the job.  It’s important to discuss unpleasant possibilities for many reasons.  What is also important is putting them into context and letting someone know how realistic certain outcomes may or may-not be.

I find it is important to discuss possible bad news before it happens.  This way the lawyer and client can come up with a plan for avoiding the possible bad result and time to come up with another plan should the bad result come to fruition.  This gives the client and/or their family a sense of some control and allows time for them to wrap their mind around things.

I call the concept inoculation.  It is like eating vegetables.  It’s no fun to eat veggies at the table but it’s very healthy in the long run.  Discussing possible bad outcomes in a constructive way yields long term dividends.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is licensed by the State Bar of Texas.

Jail Release for a Juvenile Under 17 Years In Texas

November 17, 2013

Deferred Prosecution for Minors

May 28, 2010

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal


(972) 369-0577

In Texas juveniles (under the age of 17) that are alleged to have committed crimes can be considered for what is known as “Deferred Prosecution” under Texas Family Code 53.03.

Deferred prosecution means that the juvenile completes an informal probation with the county and if that probation is successfully completed, then the charges are dismissed and not formally prosecuted.  If the juvenile cannot successfully complete the deferred prosecution, then they can be formally prosecuted.

Deferred prosecution for juveniles is better than deferred adjudication is for adults in adult proceedings.  In the adult world, the accused pleads guilty to the underlying charges but forever waives their ability to contest the original charges. Also, in the adult-system, the accused must gain the consent of the prosecutor to get deferred adjudication — not so in the Juvenile Court.  In Juvenile Court, the juvenile has an absolute right to request deferred prosecution directly from the judge AND the juvenile retains the ability to fight the charges later should they be placed on probation… and probation not work out.

Deferred prosecution for juveniles in Texas is almost always a win-win.  The prosecution gets to make sure the juvenile has some sort of semi-formal probation… the juvenile gets a clean record — and just as importantly the juvenile gets to retain his or her important legal rights to fight the case later if necessary.

*Jeremy F. Rosenthal is an attorney licensed in the State of Texas.  Nothing in this article should be considered legal advise.  For specific legal advice, you should directly consult an attorney about your specific situation.


Jail Release for a Juvenile Under 17 Years In Texas

May 27, 2010

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal


(214) 724-7065 (24 hour number)

Juvenile arrests in Texas (children younger than 17 years of age) are different from adult arrests.

Whereas an adult has a right to see a magistrate within 24-48 hours after arrest (depending on the level of offense), a juvenile has no such right.  See Texas Family Code Chapters 53.02 and 54.01.

The Immediate Determination

A Judge or “other authorized officer” makes an immediate determination as to weather the child should be detained under factors which include;

(1) whether or not the juvenile is likely to abscond,

(2) the degree of parental supervision at home,

(3) whether a firearm was involved,

(4) and the likelihood of re-offending if released.

For more specifics, you can read Tex.Fam.C. 53.02.

After the Immediate Determination

If it is determined that the child should be detained under 53.02, then “not after the second working day after the arrest,” the juvenile is entitled to a “Detention hearing” under 54.01.

The Juvenile Detention Hearing

At the detention hearing it is determined whether the juvenile should be detained for an additional 10 working-days based on the same general criterion as discussed above.  After another 10 days, the juvenile is entitled to another hearing.

The Police and Juvenile System Aren’t Always there to Help

This process can be confounding to parents who are dealing with the trauma of having a child arrested.  The police and the state can seem sympathetic, but unfortunately they often bring their institutional mind-frame to dealing with you and your child.

Getting your child released back to you can be a difficult and delicate process under the rules discussed above.  You should seek attorney representation as soon as possible to maximize the chances of getting your child out of the machine that is the juvenile process.

After the release, there are generally charges which must be answered in court.  But that’s another issue altogether.  Obviously an experienced lawyer helps there too.

*Jeremy F. Rosenthal is an attorney licensed in the state of Texas.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For specific legal advice, you should consult an attorney directly.