Should I Talk To The Police?

Should I talk to the police? That’s the first question a citizen who has come under police suspicion has for the criminal defense attorney. Of course the answer varies on the facts of the case, but the correct answer always is, not until you have talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The average person, especially one who has never been trouble with the police intuitively thinks they need to sit down and discuss with the case with a detective. They believe that the police will think they are guilty if they don’t cooperate. What they don’t understand is the majority of the time the police detective has already made up his mind about the suspects guilt and is only looking to either get a confession or at least get incriminating statements that help the detective prove their theory of the case.

Often times the best way a citizen can protect himself is by remaining silent. Sometimes the police can’t really identify a suspect and any admission just proving that the were present at the incident gives them enough evidence to charge. That’s just one example. There are many things that can go wrong if you talk to the police early in the investigation.

The citizens experienced criminal lawyer can determine whether it’s a good idea to interview with the police. That decision can’t be made until a criminal lawyer has had a full discussion with client and any other relevant witnesses. It is also important to get all available information from law enforcement so that you know their version of the events.

 

Three Ways You can be Charged With Deadly Conduct

The criminal charge of Deadly Conduct can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony under Texas law. The misdemeanor penalty range is a Class A which is up to one year in jail. The penalty range for the felony is a third degree which is 2-10 years in prison range of punishment. If a person has never been convicted of a felony then they can also receive probation.

A person can be charged with Deadly Conduct under three scenarios.

1 If a person  recklessly engages in conduct that puts a person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury. This definition can cover many different situations and is charged as a misdemeanor.

2 A person can be charged with a felony Deadly Conduct if they knowingly discharge a firearm at or in the direction of one or more individuals.

3 A  person can also be charged with a felony Deadly Conduct if they knowingly discharge a firearm at a house, building or vehicle that’s occupied.

 

Shoplifting Can Become a Felony Robbery Charge in Texas

In Texas a misdemeanor shoplifting offense can turn into a felony robbery case. How does this happen? Shoplifting in Texas is when a person takes property without the owners consent. In a typical shoplifting case the person commits an offense when they take property from a retail business with paying for the merchandise. The degree of the offense is determined by the value of the property but typically the charge will be a misdemeanor.

This type of misdemeanor can become  a felony if a person is injured during the course of the shoplifting. For example a person takes some property from a drug store and is confronted by a store manger as they exit. If that person tries to resist detention or engages in a physical fight over the property and the store manager suffers bodily injury then the police can charge the defendant with robbery.

The injury suffered doesn’t have to be a serious injury. The victim need only experience some type of pain. Furthermore the defendant can recklessly cause the injury and still be charged.

A robbery charge in Texas is a second degree felony that has a penalty range of 2 to 20 years in prison. That’s a huge difference from a shoplifting charge that usually only carries up to 180 days in jail.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can often use the facts to pursued a prosecutor to reduce the robbery charge during plea bargaining. It all depends on the facts and the types of relationships and negotiating skills of the criminal attorney. The policies of the District Attorney’s Office will also be a factor.

Cowboys Wilson cleared in Frisco road rage case

Cowboys Wilson cleared in Frisco road rage case

Fox4 News, October 11, 2017

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson was cleared of all charges in a road rage case.

The 24-year-old was seen warming up at The Star in Frisco Wednesday morning but did not make an appearance for the media after practice.

The case stems for a confrontation in the parking lot at Toyota Stadium on July 4. Wilson was arrested for two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Click here to see the complete story on Fox4 News, Dallas

Calls for Balch Springs officer to be arrested unlikely to be met, experts say

FOX4News.com Staff – May 4, 2017

A rising chorus of voices is calling for fired Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver to be arrested and charged with murder.

But legal experts said it would be extremely rare for an officer to be arrested before a grand jury sees any evidence.

Jordan Edwards, 15, was a passenger in a car when he was shot in the head with a rifle and killed by Oliver last Saturday night. The car Edwards was in was driving away from the officers when he was shot, not toward the officers as police initially claimed.

Former Assistant D.A. Toby Shook has both vigorously prosecuted and defended police in officer shootings.

“Usually when a police officer is involved in a deadly shooting they refer it to the grand jury. They don’t make an arrest,” Shook said. “But there are some occasions where the D.A.’s office or the sheriff could say we’re going to make an arrest just like any other case,” Shook said.

Click here for the complete story on Fox4 News

Dallas basketball player’s killer arrested for sexual assault

April 3, 2017, by Fox4News

A former basketball player at Dallas Madison High School who was charged with murder in 2014 is now accused of sexual assault.

Jonathan Turner was arrested last week at Ranger College, where he now plays college basketball. Ranger is about 80 miles southwest of Fort Worth or 60 miles east of Abilene.

According to the Associated Press, a woman told police she woke up early one morning to find Turner having sex with her. She said he threatened her if she went to authorities.

Click here for the complete story from Fox4 News, Dallas

Police arrest boyfriend of missing college student after discovering human remains

LynnAnne Nguyen, FOX4News.com, Feb 4, 2017

The boyfriend of missing college student Zuzu Verk has been arrested, one day after police say they found human remains in a shallow grave in West Texas.

Police in the town of Alpine say 26-year-old Robert Fabian was taken into custody Saturday morning on a warrant for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence by concealing a human corpse.

Click here for the complete story

Jury deliberates in trial of former Garland officer

Rebecca Lopez, WFAA, December 16, 2016

Defense attorneys shouted at prosecutors during closing arguments as emotions ran high in the trial of Garland police officer Patrick Tuter, who has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a 2012 police chase.

Robert Rogers shouted, “Prove your case, Prove your case.”

Defense attorneys were direct. They told the jury Tuter made split second decisions to save his life and fellow officers lives while dealing with a dangerous felon high on meth.

Defense attorney Toby Shook said, “For more than 30 minutes, he drove the most dangerous ways possible, running lights, stop signs. It was like a missile out there.”

Click here for the complete story on News8

Flag burning case began with incident during Republican Convention in Dallas

James Rose, FOX4News

The court case that wound up protecting the right to burn an American began with an incident in Dallas during the 1984 Republican National Convention.

A protester named Gregory Lee Johnson burned the American flag in front of city hall and was arrested. The Supreme Court eventually ruled in 1989 that flag burning was a protected form of free speech under the constitution.

But on Tuesday, president-elect Donald Trump ignited another controversy by calling for consequences for the act. He tweeted “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

Click here for the complete story

Former Ellis County fireman avoids jail in sex assault of colleague; deal called ‘terrible message’

Naheed Rajwani, Staff writer / Dallas Morning News / November 10, 2016

A former Ellis County fireman pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in the sexual assault of a male colleague at a firehouse last year.

But advocates for sexual assault victims say the plea deal, which proposed that he get two years’ probation and that charges for seven other suspects be dropped, is unusual and unsettling.

“We look toward firefighters, even if they’re volunteer firefighters, as heroes and people who really help us in need,” said Bobbie Villareal, a former Dallas County prosecutor and former head of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center. “And for them to victimize a colleague like that is extremely disturbing.”

She said she believes that the deal is outrageous and would send a “terrible message.”

Keith Edward Wisakowsky originally faced felony sex assault charges in the case, which generated local and national headlines.

Under the deal, Wisakowsky plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in exchange for two years’ probation. Charges against four other firemen accused of participating in the assault, a woman accused of filming it and the two fire chiefs accused of an attempted cover-up will be dropped as part of the deal.

Toby Shook, Wisakowsky’s attorney, said he didn’t find the plea offer surprising based on what he knew of the case.

He said it appeared that prosecutors offered the deal “based on the totality of the facts and what they knew of their victim and his credibility.” He didn’t elaborate.

Click here for the complete story at the Dallas Morning News (paywall)