Articles Posted in jury trial

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When someone has been charged with a criminal offense, at some point the decision must be made to plead guilty or exercise one’s right to a jury trial.  This statement is true in most criminal cases.  I say most,  because some criminal cases are dismissed by the prosecutor before trial or plea.

The decision to enter a guilty plea or insist on one’s right to  a trial is a very important one for one’s future.  There are a number of factors that go into the decision to accept a plea bargain offer or .  The decision is very case specific and can’t be made until a lawyer thoroughly investigates the facts of the case, including speaking to the witnesses where possible, and fully understands the law applicable to the case.  Other important but somewhat intangible considerations involve the defense lawyer.  Does he or she practice in the county in which the charge is pending?  Does the lawyer know the practices of the particular court in which the case is pending?  Has the lawyer tried this type of case before and is he or she familiar with the sorts of punishments are common for thus type of offense.

It is not possible for your lawyer to advise you as to whether you should try the case or accept a plea bargain offer unless the attorney has the information I discussed above, as well as a realistic grasp of what sorts of outcomes are reasonably likely in the case pending against the client.  An inexperienced attorney is not going to know whether a particular plea bargain offer is “good” or “bad.” 

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The jury trial is the cornerstone of our criminal justice system. It is the forum where my client’s future is often on the line. Jury trials are the method by which people accused of crimes can have their day in court and put the state to its proof. Every person accused of a crime is entitled to a jury trial where the state will be required to prove every element of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

An important aspect of representing people in court against a criminal charge is the decision to enter a plea of guilty or to exercise one’s right to a jury trial. That decision is unique to each case and depends on many factors.

Recently, my client and I decided to try her Driving While Intoxicated case in Collin County. Because the client’s blood was drawn unlawfully it was excluded from evidence. As the trial unfolded the evidence simply did not persuade the jury and the client was found not guilty. The jurors did the right thing, consistent with their oath to follow the law, and the client was pleased with the outcome.

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This particular offense is frequently charged, and often misunderstood. The offense may be found at Texas Penal Code, Section 42. 062.   Essentially, to establish this offense, the State must prove

1. knowing

2. prevention or interference with another’s ability to place