Should I take a Police Polygraph Test?

Should I take a police polygraph test? This is a question a person ask when they are under investigation by the police. Some times during the course of an interrogation or investigation the police detective will ask the suspect if they would be willing to take a polygraph. Most people feel obligated to say yes. They believe if they say no the police will think they are guilty of the crime they are investigating. On some occasions the suspect will even volunteer to submit to a polygraph to clear their name. The answer to the question of “should I take a police polygraph test” is No.

The truth is when the police ask the suspect to take a polygraph test their intent is to use the polygraph examination as a way to get a confession. The detective has almost always made up their mind about the suspect’s guilt and their goal in an interview is to get some type of confession or some type of statement that implicates the suspect. The police will hook the suspect up to a polygraph and their polygraph operator will only briefly interview the suspect. After the test the police confront the suspect and tell him the polygraph test shows he is lying and then they put real pressure on the suspect to confess. Under Texas law the police are allowed to lie to a suspect during an interrogation. Even if a suspect passes the polygraph or results are inconclusive the detective can still tell the suspect he failed and try to get a confession.

The only polygraph a person should take is one under the direction of his or her criminal attorney. A criminal attorney will first make a decision if a polygraph test could be helpful to the defense. If the criminal attorney decides to have his client take a polygraph he will hire a qualified polygraph operator as his expert so that the testing and the client’s interview with the polygraph operator is covered under the attorney client privilege. That way test results and communication with the polygraph operator can not be released to anyone unless the client gives their permission.

An experienced criminal lawyer will choose a well respected polygraph operator. If the polygraph operator isn’t respected in his field or has a bad reputation a prosecutor or law enforcement agency will not give the test results any consideration. That is why it is important to let the criminal lawyer choose the polygraph operator.

An experienced polygraph operator will have a lengthy interview with the client. The criminal attorney and the polygraph operator must work together to get the specific questions needed for the test. It should be emphasized again that this whole process falls under the attorney client privilege.

If there is a good result the criminal attorney makes a decision how and when to use the polygraph results. Polygraph test are not admissible in evidence in a criminal trial in Texas but a criminal attorney can include them as part of a grand jury packet or turn the test over to the prosecutor or the detective. The test can also be used by the criminal attorney during plea negotiations.

If the polygraph results are inconclusive or show deception the results stay in the criminal attorneys file and will never be released. Also the fact that a defendant refused a police officers request to take a police polygraph is not admissible evidence in a trial.

Collin County Assault Defense

If you are arrested in Collin County for Assault it is important to begin preparing your defense right away. Collin County law enforcement agencies are very aggressive and almost always arrest a person when an assault charge is being investigated. A conviction for assault carries serious consequences that can affect a person for the rest of their life.

Assault charges can involve bar fights, road rage, neighbors, or domestic violence. A defendant is allowed to use physical force to defend themselves or third parties. The key to self defense is building a case to show the actions of the defendant were reasonable and immediately necessary. An experienced criminal lawyer will begin to build this defense by interviewing witnesses, gathering all relevant social media post, and videos. An investigation into the victims past history of any violence is also very useful.

In some cases identity may be an issue. A defendant should never talk to the police without first consulting a criminal lawyer. Police detectives often use the suspect interview just to prove the defendant is the person who was involved in the altercation. The goal of law enforcement is to enhance their case when they interview the suspect. Except in rare circumstances the police are not conducting and objective interview with a defendant. A criminal attorney can advise a defendant when and if they should interview with the police.

Assault charges are serious but they often have good defenses when the facts are analyzed. In some cases criminal attorneys can use the facts they develop to reach conditional dismissal agreements with the District Attorney’s Office. The best thing a defendant can do to prepare for a Collin County assault charge is to meet with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Permanent Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

Permanent Protective Orders in domestic violence cases occur when the victim in a domestic violence assault wants to go forward with a protective order that last much longer than an Emergency Protective Order. Unlike an Emergency Protective Order a Permanent or Final Protective Order can only happen if the victim wants to go forward and is cooperating with the prosecution.

A permanent protective order must be obtained through a formal hearing. To issue the order a court must find that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. Most District Attorney’s Offices require the victim to come to the office and meet with a victim advocate or investigator and write an affidavit which covers the facts surrounding the family violence arrest and other facts which cause the victim to believe family violence will occur in the future. The victim often cites previous violence and threats made by the defendant.

Next a prosecutor prepares a petition with the victim’s affidavit attached and then a sheriffs deputy or constable attempts to serve the defendant with a copy of the petition and a date to appear for court. The defendant must be served before the hearing process begins. If the defendant is served and fails to show up then the Judge can enter an order by default.

If a defendant is served with paper work for a final protective order they should contact an experienced criminal attorney immediately. Chances are the defendant already has hired a criminal lawyer due to an arrest being made for the assault allegation. However sometimes the police delay issuing an arrest warrant and the protective order hearing is the first step in prosecution.

The first decision a criminal lawyer and his client must make is whether to agree to the permanent protective order or have a contested hearing. The affidavit written by the victim must be reviewed in great detail. Victim’s write these affidavits when they are angry and upset and they may exaggerate facts or lie. Often times the criminal attorney can use text, social media post and emails to trap the victim in lies. If this occurs it can greatly weaken the prosecutions case and lead to a dismissal or a plea offer to a lessor offense.

In some cases the attorney and client may decide the best strategy is to agree to the final protective order. If a permanent protective order is entered it sometimes satisfied the victim who may be feel protected and will then agree not to prosecute the defendant for a criminal assault. In other cases the criminal attorney for various reasons may decide it’s better to avoid a hearing and enter an agreement.

If a permanent or final protective order is granted a defendant is almost always required to to complete a Batters Intervention and Prevention Program called BIPP. That class takes a minimum six months to complete. The order also requires the defendant not to have any contact with the victim or go near the victims house or work place. The Order is usually in place for two years but can be extended under special circumstances. The Order will also always be in court records and can’t be sealed or expunged.

If a defendant violates the protective order he or she can be arrested on a new criminal charge. A defendant can even be arrested if the victim initiates contact

Domestic Violence Protective Order

A Domestic Violence Protective Order can occur when a citizen is arrested for a domestic violence assault. In Texas when a person is arrested for a domestic violence assault they are taken before a magistrate who has the power to issue an Emergency Protective Order which prohibits the defendant from committing any further family violence, stalking, and direct or indirect communication that is threatening. The domestic violence protective order can also prohibit a defendant from going near a victims residence or work place and possession of a firearm by the defendant.

An emergency protective order issued in family violence cases is also called a Magistrates Emergency Protective Order or MOEP. The magistrate can enter the order on her own or at the request of the victim, police, or prosecutor. The amount of time the emergency protective order is in effect is generally between 30 to 90 days. The defendant must be served with a copy of the Emergency Protective order by the magistrate. If the defendant isn’t served with a copy of the Emergency Protective order then he or she can not be prosecuted for violating the emergency protective order.

Most police officers are trained to talk to encourage a victim to request an emergency protective order but if the victim refuses the majority of police officers will request the magistrate to serve the defendant with an Emergency Protective Order. All police agencies in Dallas and Collin County routinely request magistrates to issue Emergency Protective Orders.

The wife or girlfriend of a defendant charged with a family violence offense will often contact the District Attorney’s office about removing the Emergency Protective. The prosecutor doesn’t have the power to remove the order and they often oppose the removal. An Emergency Protective Order can only be modified in a hearing in front of the magistrate. To make that happen the criminal defense attorney will file a motion to modify the emergency protective order. At the hearing the magistrate must find that the original order is unworkable, the modification will not place the victim in greater risk, and the modification will not endanger a person protected under the order.

If a person is arrested for a domestic violence charge they should immediately hire a criminal attorney who is experienced in defending domestic violence charges. The criminal attorney will carefully go over the conditions of the emergency protective order to avoid a violation of the Order. A violation of an Emergency Protective Order can result on a defendant’s bond being raised and new charges being filed. The criminal charge of Violating a Protective Order is a Class A misdemeanor.

Consent Key to Defense to Sex Assault Charges

Consent is often the key to the defense in sex assault charges in Texas. This issue comes up most often in “date rape” scenarios. Two people get together. They may be out on a date or may have just met at party or a bar. They wind up back at one of the parties residence. Drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs is almost always a factor. Within a day or two a sexual assault allegation is made to the local law enforcement agency. The key to the defense of these sexual assault charge almost always will be consent.

Under the law both parties must consent to the sexual activity. There must be an agreement. If the victim was unable to give consent due to the effects of alcohol or drugs then the police can bring charges. They may allege that the victim drank so much alcohol they either passed out or were too inebriated to give consent. The victim may allege that they were given a drug such as rohypnol or GHB and they have no recall at all of the assault but there is physical evidence sex occurred.

Since alcohol or drugs are usually consumed before sex both parties may have foggy memory of what exactly occurred. When law enforcement begins their investigation a detective will usually ask the victim to show him her phone and review any text messages between the victim and the suspect. Often there are texts between the two parties the days after the incident and these can be used as evidence of lack of consent. These text usually consist of the victim asking the suspect if “they had sex and why”. any answers from the suspect which can be interpreted as proving lack of consent will soon become a key part of the prosecutions case.

Detectives will sometimes try to gather evidence by having the victim make a recorded call the the suspect. The goal is to have the suspect discuss what happened and admit that there was sex and that the victim was was in a very impaired mental state.

Once the suspect becomes aware that he is under suspicion for sexual assault the should contact an experienced sex assault criminal lawyer as soon as possible. The criminal lawyer should immediate begin preparing the defense based on consent. Every witness who saw the suspect and victim together should be identified and interviewed. These witnesses may be able to verify the defendant’s story and show the victim was coherent and knew exactly what was going on. All text messages and any other form of communication made by the victim and suspect should be located and preserved. All social media post made by the victim and suspect should be located and reviewed.

The criminal lawyer should also consider having his client take a polygraph examination. Depending on the facts the polygraph examiner may be able to test on specific facts that go directly to the allegation. Polygraph results can be summited to a grand jury as part of a packet or given to the the prosecution for review.

Sex Assault charges are very serious and can result in a prison sentence. A prison sentence or probation also requires registering as a sex offender for the defendant. If you are a family member is accused of a sex assault get in touch with a sex assault attorney as soon as possible

Defenses to Aggravated Assault Charges

There are many defenses to Texas aggravated assault charges under Texas law. A defense lawyer can defend these charges by contesting intent, injuries, or by self defense. An aggravated assault charge can be a second or first degree felony depending on the facts of the case.

One way a person can be charged with aggravated assault is by threatening or exhibiting a deadly weapon during an assault. A criminal attorney may be able to show there is insufficient proof a threat was made with a weapon or that a deadly was never exhibited during an assault. Witnesses to aggravated assaults’ are often unreliable and may not have much credibility when they testify. The crimes often occur at bars or parties and many times the witnesses may be impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Another way of proving an aggravated assault charge is by alleging serious bodily injury. At first glance this may seem easy for the prosecution but in reality proving a serious bodily injury can be difficult. To meet its burden the prosecutor must prove the victim suffered an injury that creates a substantial risk of death. What may appear to be a serious injury at the scene may not turn out to be that serious once the medical records are examined. A good criminal attorney will always get these records and closely examine them.

A defense attorney may also be able to beat an aggravated assault charge by raising self defense. A person can defend themselves with force if they are attacked or if they have a reasonable belief they are about to be attacked. This is easier to accomplish if there is any type of mutual combat involved. The police usually make the loser of a fight the victim and charge the winner. The police may have enough evidence to make an arrest but if self defense is raised the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant’s action were not reasonable.

Aggravated assault charges are serious and can effect you for the rest of your life, but there are many defenses to aggravated assault charges that are available under Texas law.

How to Prepare a Self Defense Case for a Murder or Assault Charge

When a criminal lawyer is going to present a self defense case in a murder or assault case preparation is essential to a successful defense. That preparation should begin as soon as the criminal attorney is hired. One of the most important parts of preparation is finding out everything you about the victim.

Carefully check for all criminal records on the victim. Once you find these subpoena all police report you find. Any crime of violence you find can be gold but even criminal reports on other types of crimes committed by the defendant can lead to valuable evidence for the defense.

Once you have the police records have an investigator locate all witnesses who can give you information regarding victims’ propensity for violence. You will need these witnesses for trial, and they may lead you to more witnesses.

Find out where the victim went to school and subpoena all discipline and counseling records from the school. This can lead to more witnesses and acts of violence by the victim you can put before a jury.

Review all social media associated with the victim. You will often find damning post, photos and videos that can help prove the victim is a violent person.

Why is this type of information essential to a successful self-defense case in a criminal trial? Texas law allows the defense to present some of this information in a self-defense case. How much comes in and exactly what the witnesses will be allowed to testify to depends on the facts of each case.

Assault by Choking is a Felony in Texas

Assault by choking is a felony in Texas. If the police are called to a home and they believe there is any evidence of choking they will make an arrest on a felony charge. The police take domestic violence assaults very seriously and will almost always make an arrest if the suspect is at the scene. If the suspect has left the scene then they will take witnesses statements and a detective will have a Judge issue a warrant at a later date.

Officers are trained to ask the victim if they experienced any problems with the ability to breath during the assault. This can happen a number of ways. A person can be choked by a hand around the throat or could have their breathing impeded by having their face pushed into a pillow or mattress during a struggle. The law doesn’t require that the victim lose the ability to breath for a long period of time. It can be a just a few seconds. If the victim tells the officers that that they did have difficulty breathing then the charge goes from a misdemeanor to a felony.

There are many defenses to choking or impeding breath cases. Since the charge is a felony the case has to go through a grand jury for it to proceed through the court system. Most District Attorney’s offices allow criminal defense attorneys to submit grand jury packets to the grand jury for review. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to convince a grand jury to No Bill the criminal charge. A No Bill ends the prosecution.

If the case is indicted there are still many defenses available. Victims are often unreliable witnesses. Their stories change and they sometimes have motives to have a person prosecuted. The physical evidence may be very weak in the case. The first thing a person charged with a felony choking charge needs to do is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Work needs to begin on the case right away.

Dallas Murder Cases Reach 200 for 2020

Dallas murder cases reached 200 cases for 2020 and many of the suspects arrested remain in jail on high bonds. The record setting trend of Dallas murder cases has brought increased scrutiny on the Dallas Police Department and other officials to lower the murder rate and to punish those charged with murder.

Prosecutors with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office offer long prison terms as part of plea offers in Dallas murder cases. Even when a defendant is young and has no criminal record it isn’t unusual for the prosecution to offer 30 years for a plea deal. Prosecutors are under pressure from victim’s family members and the public to offer tough plea deals in murder cases. As a result a high percentage of Dallas murder cases are disposed of by jury trial.

When facing a Dallas murder charge it is essential that a defendant has the best Dallas Murder lawyer on his side. A defense for a Dallas murder case begins right away. A defendant should not speak to law enforcement prior to consulting with an experience criminal attorney The criminal attorney must know all the facts before he or she can begin planning the defense.

One of the first things a criminal attorney will want to determine is if there were any witnesses to the incident. The police don’t always locate or interview all witnesses involved in a murder case. It is important to locate these witnesses and have them interviewed. If the defendant knew the suspect it is important to examine all text messages or any other messages or information on social media. This kind of information can be very helpful to a defense in a murder charge.

Murder cases must go through the grand jury to determine if the is enough evidence to forward. The prosecution only needs to have enough evidence for probable cause to indict. That is not a high burden of proof. If there is strong evidence of self defense the criminal attorney may submit a grand jury packet and try and convince the grand jury to No Bill the case. Unless the criminal lawyer believes that there is a good chance for a No Bill he may wait to present the defense at trial . Then the prosecution doesn’t get a preview of the defense case.

In Texas the range of punishment for a murder charge is 5 years in prison to 99 years or a life sentence. A person can not receive probation if they are convicted of murder.

Dallas Aggravated Assault Charges

Dallas Aggravated Assault charges are on the increase in 2020. The felony offense of Aggravated Assault carries an penalty range from 2 to 20 years in prison. A person charged with Aggravated assault charges can also receive probation if they haven’t been convicted of a felony.

Dallas Aggravated Assault charges can occur under two theories. A person can be charged with Aggravated Assault if they threaten another person with a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon is a weapon that can cause death or serious bodily injury. The threat is the key element. The victim doesn’t have to be injured but only threatened with a deadly weapon.

The other way a person can be charged with Aggravated Assault is by causing serious bodily injury. If a victim is shot or stabbed and survives then the police will bring the charge of Aggravated Assault. A person can also be charged with Aggravated Assault if they are injured in a fight by being beaten badly by weapons or a defendant’s hands or feet.

There are many defenses to Aggravated Assault charges. A Dallas Aggravated Defense Attorney should be hired immediately if a person is charged or under investigation for Aggravated Assault charges. You should never talk to the police without consulting with a Dallas Aggravated Assault attorney.