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My practice is entirely focused on defending people accused of criminal charges in State court.  The following list is representative of cases that I have handled in the past, although this list is not exclusive.  I am happy to speak with you about your case to determine if it is a criminal matter within my field of expertise or if a different type of legal expertise is required.   

Driving While Intoxicated

This includes administrative license suspension defense and occupational driver’s license services.  I have extensive experience in the defense of DWI at every level from the first time misdemeanor to the habitual felony.

At any given time, DWI defense represents over 50% of my practice.  I have had great success defending these charges throughout my career and former clients continue to refer friends, family members, and co-workers to me.  Not all of my colleagues enjoy DWI defense, but I actually like handling these cases.  To me, this is the one crime the average person may commit is his or her lifetime.  And the consequences for this offense seem to ratchet up almost every legislative session.  The financial impact of conviction and the future exposure to enhanced penalties are unacceptable in my view.  For this reason, I do everything in my power to help my clients avoid being convicted of DWI.

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Assault:

These cases include defense of family violence allegations, protective order defense, and defense of allegations involving serious bodily injury and/or the use of a weapon during the commission of an assault. 

The second most frequent offense I see in my practice is assault, with Assault Family Violence and Aggravated Assault being the most common.  As with DWI, there are numerous collateral consequences to taking an assault conviction.  For example, if someone pleads to a misdemeanor Assault Family Violence charge they will be exposed to felony prosecution if they are ever accused of a similar offense in the future.  Additionally, these offenses have extreme consequences for non-citizens including deportation or exclusion from the country if convicted.  For these reasons, and the fact that such offenses are over-charged in our community, I work very hard to avoid conviction in every case. 

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Drug Offenses:

These cases include mere Possession of Controlled Substances cases, to Possession with Intent to Distribute, and increasingly, Obtaining Prescription Medications by Fraud/Forgery. 

I handle all cases involving marijuana, other drugs, or controlled substances.  These cases range from misdemeanors to high level felonies depending upon the substance involved and/or the amount of the substance.  As with assault-related offenses, drug convictions can bring severe consequences for the non-citizen so I often enlist the help of immigration counsel to consult during the course of such cases. 

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Theft:

Thefts from stores such as shoplifting can be filed at a misdemeanor or felony level depending on the person’s criminal history or the value of the items alleged to have been stolen.  These cases are quite common and have ramifications for the non-citizen accused due to their classification as “crimes of moral turpitude.”  My goal is to avoid conviction whenever possible and I work diligently toward that result. 

Sexual Misconduct Allegations:

This broad category includes Sexual Assault (commonly referred to as “rape”) and the sexual abuse of children as well as lesser offenses such as Indecency and Public Lewdness.  The sexual assault of a child is a very serious allegation and carries with it exposure to severe criminal penalties as well as the possible life-long stigma of having to register as a sex offender.  Child sex abuse cases are difficult to defend due to the incendiary nature of the allegations and our general sense that we do not want people who would do that on the street.  Some lawyers simply won’t take these sorts of cases.  I have sought special training in this area and know from experience that as bad as such allegations are, they are also far too often completely false.  People accused of the sexual assault of a child need and deserve a lawyer as much as anyone and I am willing to take on such cases.  

Similarly, adult sexual assault cases involving individuals who know each other (commonly referred to as “date rape”) are often the result of false allegations or an honest misunderstanding of the intent of the alleged victim.  These cases must be litigated to get at the truth and I am comfortable handling such matters.         

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Weapons Offenses:

Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon in a Prohibited Place, and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon are all offenses that can be quite easy to commit.  For example, even though you can buy switchblade or “butterfly” knives in stores all across Texas, this weapon is illegal and possession of it can result in your arrest.  A lot of people consider them novelties and do not realize they are illegal contraband.  Similarly, a lot of law abiding people unwittingly attempt to carry on baggage containing knives or other utility-type items and find themselves being arrested and charged with a serious felony offense at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

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Probation Revocations and Motions to Adjudicate:

Probation can be difficult and the consequences for violating the terms of a misdemeanor or felony probation can be serious.  If you are on “deferred adjudication” probation, you can be found guilty of the offense if you violate your probation terms.  If you are on a “straight probation” violating the terms of the probation may result in your incarceration.  The most common causes of the filing of a Motion to Revoke probation are the failure to report to one’s probation officer or the commission of a new criminal offense.  Non-compliance with the terms of any condition of probation can result in revocation, however.  Failed drug tests, not doing court ordered community service, failure to pay fees and restitution, failure to complete required counseling, etc. can all lead to a Motion to Revoke one’s probation.  I have had good success helping my clients get back on track to avoid conviction and/or incarceration, even in the case of very serious felony probation.  If you have been told by your probation officer that he or she plans to file a motion, or you are aware that a warrant for your arrest has been issued due to probation violation, please call me for a consultation.                

By law, many individuals can seek an early termination of their probation if they have completed all the terms and conditions, e.g. counseling and community service, and are up to date on their fees.  By filing a Motion for Early Release you may be spared up to half the required term of probation and thus return to normal life sooner than you otherwise could have.  I routinely draft and present Motions for Early Release.   

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Expunctions/Orders of Non-Disclosure:

If your case was dismissed or you were found Not Guilty at trial, I can help you get your record expunged.  There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet and elsewhere about what entitles a person to expunction.  No matter what you have heard or what a previous lawyer told you, the circumstances under which you can get your record cleared are very specific and require the analysis of someone who knows the law in this area.  This procedure may be more important for some than others depending on what they want to do with their career and education and whether they have other cases on their record.  Additionally, the severity of the charge may impact a person’s decision on whether the costs of expunction are worth it.  I always provide people with my honest assessment of the pros and cons of this procedure to determine whether it is appropriate for them to expend the resources to seek expunction.  I am happy to discuss your unique circumstances with you. 

In cases where an individual has successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, he or she may be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure instead of expunction.  While the records in such cases will still be available to certain entities such as law enforcement and prosecutor’s offices, this procedure prevents public access to documents relating to the arrest.    

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Protective Order Hearings:

Oftentimes in conjunction with an Assault Family Violence case the alleged victim also applies for a Protective Order.  Whenever possible these should be vigorously opposed.  The hearing will take place in County Court if no children are involved and District Court if the parties do have children together.  The burden of proof in such an action is a mere preponderance of the evidence, so they are often granted.  Nevertheless, Protective Orders can be successfully defended and the costs of failing to defend against them can be quite severe.  For example, major restrictions on the Respondent’s movement and access to his or her children can be put in place.  Furthermore, if the Protective Order is granted, the violation of that order is a separate criminal offense and multiple violations can result in felony charges.

If you get served with paperwork indicating someone is seeking a Protective Order against you, contacting a lawyer quickly is very important.  I can help.  

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Other Criminal Cases:

There are many offenses under the various codes and laws of the State of Texas and I have handled most of them during the course of my career.  The expanded list above is not exhaustive and new laws to criminalize conduct are always up for consideration by our legislature.  Other criminal cases I typically handle include:

Theft by Check
Burglary
Criminal Trespass
False Statement to Get Credit
Prostitution
Sale of Alcohol to a Minor
Criminal Mischief
Violation of Protective Order
Various Class C Charges (PI, DUI, MIP, Theft, Assault, Traffic Violations)

If you have been arrested in Travis or Williamson County for any criminal offense whether it is listed here or not, I am happy to meet with you to discuss your options for representation. 

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