Call Us Now For A Free Consultation

Questions? Our phones are answered 24/7

281-810-9721
Mingledorff Law Firm Experienced Trial Lawyers
View Our Practice Areas

Houston Criminal Law Blog

DA shifts focus from marijuana possession: What is next?

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has indicated the office will not make misdemeanor marijuana a priority. For those caught with less than four ounces of marijuana, the offense will not appear on their record if they attend a drug education class. It's basically a across-the-board pre-charge diversion program.

What will the prosecutor's office target with the $26 million budget that had been directed at marijuana cases?

Fotolia_48863173_prescrip crop.jpg

Prescription drug abuse and possession of prescription medications is one area likely to receive more scrutiny. A routine traffic stop could thus become much more problematic if a law enforcement officer observes a plastic bag containing pills.

Texas DWI charges: Different drivers, different penalties?

A Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) conviction in Texas can lead to serious criminal penalties. What factors explain the differences in sentences?

Fotolia_51160741_Subscription_Monthly_handcuffs crop.jpg

If you are facing these charges, it is important to realize that the penalties of a conviction can vary. To get out of the handcuffs as fast as possible and limit the damage, you need a basic understanding of the factors taken into consideration when determining a potential sentence.

How to keep a DWI off your criminal record

As the holidays get into full swing, there are work parties and gatherings with family and friends. From eggnog to cocktails and wine, alcoholic beverages are a part of many of these events.

Fotolia_128814579_holiday party crop.jpg

How do you know if one more drink will put you over the legal limit? You might not feel intoxicated and you could still be over .08. To avoid a Texas DWI you should get an Uber or postpone your departure, even if you feel buzzed.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has already warned of stepped up enforcement over the holidays. If you are stopped and an officer asks you to complete field sobriety testing, politely refuse. Following any DWI arrest, immediately ask to contact a criminal defense lawyer.

Options to wipe a criminal record clean

An arrest can happen after a momentary lapse of judgment or a youthful mistake. It is not generally representative of your character. Still, many will form lasting negative opinions based on a past arrest or plea of no contest. These opinions can prevent you from landing the job of your dreams, obtaining a professional license or moving to a new apartment.

Fotolia_108602505_job search_crop.jpg

Two remedies exist that can reduce or mitigate the effects of an arrest or past conviction. They are expunction and orders of nondisclosure. In this post, we explain the differences.

Miranda turns 50: Here is why you shouldn't answer questions

The Miranda warnings have become well known over the past five decades. You might even be able to recite them after watching Law & Order, Blue Bloods, the Good Wife or another law-related sitcom. These warnings were designed to limit the number of false or coerced confessions.

Fotolia_89161857_interrogation_crop.jpg

But unfortunately they still happen. A coerced confession in the Brendan Dassey case provided the basis for the "Making a Murderer" series. Dassey was 16 with intellectual limitations when he confessed during police questioning. He was questioned without a parent or guardian four times before confessing. His conviction was recently overturned, but he still remains in custody while the case is appealed.

In a Northwestern University Law Review podcast, Professor Laura Nirider discusses common interrogations tactics and how they can lead to false confessions. About a quarter of DNA exonerations in some of the most serious rape and murder cases involve these types of coerced statements. The podcast focuses on police questioning of children. But the information is broadly informative.

It underscores the risks of answering questions about a crime without an attorney. Do not talk to police until you have had time to consult a criminal defense attorney.

Is legal purchase a valid defense to Texas marijuana charges?

The short answer is no. And you should know that Texas has some of the harshest penalties in the country for marijuana possession.

Fotolia_76578537_marijuana.jpg

If you purchased marijuana in a state where it is now legal, take care when you return to Texas. Thousands of arrests for the possession of drugs occur every year in the state. Many of the arrests are related to the possession of marijuana. And often it's a small amount (less than two ounces).

You may have a hard time believing this, but the misdemeanor possession of two ounces or less could cost you as much as $2,000 in fines and land you in jail for up to 180 days.

What to keep in mind when searching for a criminal defense attorney

Abraham Lincoln famously said that "he who represents himself has a fool for a client." This is never more true than in a criminal law case. No matter how seemingly minor the charges may be on paper, any criminal conviction can come with serious consequences. These can include:

  • Jail/prison time
  • Hefty fines
  • Difficulty getting a job in the future
  • Loss of educational, housing and career advancement opportunities
  • Social stigma
  • Loss of relationships (whether because of time spent away incarcerated or due to the conviction itself and the mental associations with it)
  • Possible sex offender registration for some crimes
  • Loss of driving privileges for some crimes

A vigorous defense is the best way to fight back against these serious consequences, both before a trial starts and throughout the entire process. No matter how intelligent, well-read and articulate you may be, chances are very, very good that you simply don't have the wherewithal, knowledge and experience necessary to mount the best defense on your own behalf. That is why you need to hire a criminal defense attorney with the skill and ability to fight for you.

How often do errors happen in DWI cases?

A DWI arrest can be disorienting. It is the first encounter that many people have with the criminal justice system.

This means that the odds you uncover a mistake on your own are slim. It doesn't, however, mean that they never happen.

Law enforcement officers and crime lab analysts are human and you might be surprised to learn how often errors happen. KHOU 11 News reported on an Office of Inspector General investigation that found repeated mistakes by lab analysts had contaminated blood samples.

*** Payment Plans Available

Credit Cards Accepted:

AMEX VISA MasterCard DISCOVER