The 5 Most Common Questions Criminal Lawyers are Asked: #4 Will I Lose My License?

February 27, 2020

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

All licenses are important when you think about it.  It is special permission to do something not everyone else can do.  It could be practicing medicine, driving, or simply possessing a concealed weapon.  Licenses are tickets to livelihoods and they often represent our firewall or Alamo which we’ll have to defend at all costs.

This is a complex question which is obviously going to be case specific in every event.  Each and every license is different and has different triggers to what jeopardizes it.  A DWI is obviously extremely bad news for a pilot.  Drug possession can be very damaging for doctors or nurses.  Intent or fraud crimes can cause a lawyer to lose their license.

Here’s what I can say about protecting a license — we use the “carpenter’s rule.”  That is we “measure twice and cut once.”

Generally speaking licensing agencies tend to be very thorough which is typically good for our clients.  That’s not a misprint.  It’s good for our clients because the truth typically works.  Some agencies will draw a hard line in the sand when it comes to criminal cases or guilty pleas but most want to hear the full story… and that gives us the opportunity to show them our situation isn’t as bad as they think.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an Attorney Licensed to Practice in Texas.  He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.


The 5 Most Common Questions I Get – #5 “Can I Travel After I’ve Been Arrested?”

February 26, 2020

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

I’ve met with thousands of people facing criminal charges.  The vast majority visiting my office have been through the humbling trauma of an arrest.  This series is about the most common questions I’m asked.

Question #5 — Can I Travel After I’ve Been Arrested?

If you’ve been arrested and are released on bond — the answer is normally “yes.”  The whole point of going to jail then being released on bond is to assure you show up to face the charges against you.  If criminal court was voluntary – no one would go.

But understand travel is relative.  Your bondsman and the court care much less if you’re going on business to Texarkana than if you are going on business to Dubai.

My office is in Collin County.  We have a very international populace here.  It isn’t uncommon at all to have people who travel the globe either for business or to visit family… so this topic is frequent enough to be in my top 5.

Travel can be restricted one of three ways.  First, the Court can restrict your travel as what is known as a “term and condition of bond.”  This means it is the Court itself ordering you either to remain in the county where you are charged (or in neighboring counties).  Some counties are stricter than others.  You know who you are (Tarrant!) If the Court has ordered you to surrender your passport then clearly you’re prohibited from leaving the US.  These cases tend to be reserved for more serious allegations.

A second way travel can be restricted is by your bail bondsman.  When you use a bondsman you have entered into a private contract.  In that contract, you may or may not have agreed to remain in a certain area.  Few people read the fine print of the contract with a bondsman as travel tends to be a low concern when getting out of jail – but your bondsman can have you re-arrested if you like to travel without approval.

The third way travel can be restricted is by the place you’re going.  I’ve not encountered problems in other US states – and I don’t know what the law says in other countries.  A foreign country might not let you in based on your arrest alone.

Bottom line — you are usually going to be fine to travel facing the majority of state charges.  Travel should always be a situation where you ask for permission and not forgiveness.  It obviously doesn’t hurt to ask, though, if you’re not sure.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is licensed to practice by the State Bar of Texas.  Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice.  For legal advice you should contact an attorney directly.

 


What Constitutes a Win?

February 20, 2020

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

From time to time I’m asked what my win-loss record is.  It’s a fair question, I suppose, from someone whose not around defense lawyers all-day every-day.

The question assumes all cases are equal in complexity, difficulty – and all people facing the dilemma of a criminal cases have the same tolerances for risk or life pressures which affect their decisions.  So I like to joke “last year, I made the playoffs.”  It normally gets a chuckle – but the person typically gets the point.

A sexual assault allegation where consent is blurred by alcohol consumption is much different than a bank robbery caught on tape.  Also the pressures facing a pilot arrested for a DWI and the loss of a lucrative livelihood aren’t the same as a college student studying for an MBA who got arrested for marijuana.  My goal is to clear everyone’s record who comes into my office – but not all cases are equal.

It’s unethical for any lawyer to guarantee results.  This makes sense because we are in the profession of quantifying unpredictable variables.  I know what the law says should happen — but unless I’m actually both your lawyer and the judge in a case, I can’t guarantee it will happen.  I know how the prosecutor will likely approach your case — but until I’m both the prosecutor and your lawyer in a case, I can’t guarantee what will happen either.  And then there are juries.  Don’t even get me started with them.

So what constitutes a win is often relative.  Make no mistake — I hate losing and I’ll always do my best to completely clear my client’s record in every case.  Sometimes it can be a really tall mountain.  If it is a bad felony charge we can often get it reduced if winning is too unrealistic.  If we can’t win a case which might result in losing a job or even a career – then we can often get the charges reduced to something my client can live with.  I’m in a tough business.  There are cases which come in my door where a great outcome is simply less time in prison.

The one thing a lawyer can always guarantee is how they treat you and their effort.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas and is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


How Long will my Court Case Last?

January 29, 2020

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

It depends on what type of case, where the case occurred and the court to which it is assigned.  Some cases have a tendency to be fast and others are typically slower.  The biggest single factor is typically evidence which must be analyzed such as lab evidence or computer forensics.  Cases without those components have less impediments.

This said, other complex cases obviously drag on a bit too.

Slower Cases:

  • DWI with blood draws
  • Drug Cases other than Marijuana
  • Computer Charges
    • Online Harassment
    • Hacking
    • Possession of Child Pornography
  • Sex Charges
    • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual Assault of a Child
    • Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
  • White Collar Theft
    • Embezzlement
    • Money Laundering
  • Engaging in Organized Criminal Activities
  • Crimes against persons which  have complex medical records/ issues

 

Quicker Cases:

  • Assault
    • Assault/ Family Violence
    • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • Retail Theft
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • DWI without blood testing
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Crimes against persons (without medical records)

 

Just how Quick (or Slow) will a Particular Case Be?

You can expect most Collin County Misdemeanors to last between 6 and 12 months from the date of arrest until a trial/ dismissal/ or plea bargain.  Felonies tend to be more complicated so those usually take longer.

Most of our courts have efficient dockets – meaning the cases move relatively quickly.  Some courts might have a glut of cases for various reasons and by luck-of-the-draw your case may take more time.

Other jurisdictions such as Dallas County simply have more real-world issues to contend with such as insufficient funding, high turn-over with court staff, or inexperienced prosecutors which can compound delays.  It should be no surprise that in general the bigger the county, the slower the case may be.

What Control do We Have in How Fast or Slow a Case Takes?

Some.  We can’t control how long an investigation, grand jury, or prosecutor takes to do their job… but we can control whether or not any delays are because of us.  Some clients want a case to move quickly and others prefer the case take a while for their own reasons.  We can do our best to affect either.

What About My Right to a Speedy Trial?

Analysis for speedy trial is multifaceted and analyzes more than merely calendar time.  Part of the analysis is about the reaons for any delay, whose fault delay may be (the prosecutor, the defense, or in many instances — the Judge).  Another component of the analysis is what degree of harm was suffered by Defense by the delay?  Stress and anxiety are parts — but the loss of evidence (such as a witness moving) could play a role too in speedy trial analysis.

“Tough-on-Crime” Courts have done much in Texas to gnaw away much of Speedy trial rights and privileges… so normally trying to have a case dismissed for lack of speedy trial isn’t typically my first preference.

Bottom Line

You won’t get a really sharp estimate for how long your specific case will take on the internet.  Sorry!  You’ll just have to run that question by a lawyer who is familiar enough with all the players and factors involved.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in Texas.  He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He was Designated as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters in 2019.

 


What does it Mean when a Crime is “Aggravated”?

January 18, 2020

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

It typically means “worse” or “heightened.”

The term ‘aggravated’ is applied to many different criminal charges and there is no uniform definition as to what allegation renders a charge ‘aggravated’ in any specific case.  One constant is an ‘aggravated’ allegation normally kicks the punishment range up a notch or more.  It can also affect parole eligibility if someone is sent to prison.

Here are the most common “Aggravated” offenses in Texas:

Aggravated Assault – Assault where someone either uses or exhibits a deadly weapon.  It can also mean assault which results in serious bodily injury.  See Texas Penal Code 22.02.

Aggravated Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is generally where a person conducts one of a number of prohibited sexual acts to another (Tex.Pen.C. 22.011).  Aggravated sexual assault can be committed where defendant inflicts serious bodily injury on the victim, assaults a person younger than 14, or a disabled or handicapped person.  Tex.Pen.C. 22.021).

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child – sexual assault committed against a child younger than 14 years old.  Sexual assault of a child is committed where a child is between the ages of 14 and younger than 17.

Aggravated Perjury – perjury is making a false statement under oath.  It could be in an affidavit or an official document of some sort.  Aggravated perjury is a false statement during a court case which is considered material in nature to the proceedings.  Perjury is typically a Class a misdemeanor.  Aggravated perjury is elevated to a third degree felony.

Aggravated Robbery – Robbery is typically defined as theft plus assault regardless of how minor either is.  Aggravated Robbery is where a person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the commission of the robbery, causes serious bodily injury, or places in fear of imminent bodily injury of a person over 65 years of age or a disabled person.  Robbery is a 2nd Degree felony and aggravated robbery is a 1st degree felony.

Aggravated Kidnapping – Kidnapping is abducting a person.  Aggravated kidnapping is where someone is abducted with the intent to be held for ransom, intent to be used as a human shield, intent to sexually violate, or with intent to terrorize.

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution – This offense is for those who invest in, finance or promote prostitution of two or more persons.  See Tex.Pen.C. 43.04.

Aggravated Promotion of Online Prostitution – Promotion of prostitution done in a fashion which is online.  Tex.Pen.C. 43.041.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice.