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CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28364
Experience:  10+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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I have a few basic questions probaby need someone ...

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I have a few basic questions probaby need someone specifically well versed for Harris County, Houston, Texas to answer them... willing to give $50. for answers but your answers may prompt more questions so if it seems like too much, we can negociate a higher fee. I need info and am willing to pay a fair price for it. Why can't I represent myself in pre-trial phase? They are forcing me to secure a lawyer, prosecuter won't talk to me. Why can't I see the police report or an exact copy or scan of it? They will only show my lawyer and I can only see what he hand copies from the report? How is it legal that I can not see exactly what is being entered against me? How is it legal that I have to go for drug tests before I have been proven guilty of any crime? Condition of bond...but drug tests seem like they are asking me to "testify via the results" against myself. I have more questions but you get the picture of what I'm asking. Questions not just in my case but for all cases...

The main reason the Judge will not let you represent yourself in the pre-trial phase, is because you have no legal training. The Judge does not want a situation to occur, where your inability to understand the Texas Rules of Criminal Procedure, have a negative impact on your case. For you to represent yourself through the pre-trial phase and not be able to prepare for a trial, would be a waste of time for the court. An attorney handles a case from start to finish and uses the time between court dates to complete discovery and prepare a defense for trial. If there is not a trial, then a plea bargain with the State. The Prosecutor will not talk with a defendant who is unrepresented. The system wants to make sure, you are not taken advantage of and do not say anything to strengthen the Prosecutors case. If the State is seeking jail time and you cant afford a private attorney, you can be appointed the public defender. As far as the police reports, that is part of the discovery process. You must make a demand for discovery and be willing to participate as well. This is a motion your attorney can file and the State has the obligation of turning all evidence over to your attorney. If the Judge decides you are capable of defending yourself, you can file a motion to compel discovery and the Prosecutor will be obligated to provide it to you. Finally, the Judge has ever right to make a condition of your bond, that you be drug tested. Depending on the crime you are charged with and the risk that you may use drugs, the Judge can order it as a special condition of release. If you test positive, it will not effect your court case, but will result in you being held without a bond.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to CrimDefense's Post: That makes sense but here is my specifics: I can afford an attorney if you consider the balance of my 401k, but I don't have any income and see no reason to spend the money (already spent - $2500. another 2500. if go to trial). I am not guilty, so I think if the facts would just be known to all parties, it will be dismissed. So how do I get the facts to the prosecutor short of all these resets, bond requirements, and god forbid having to go to trial. I asked my lawyer to file a motion to dismiss on the basis of illegal search and seizure. He said only they court could order a motion to dismiss not my side. Why not? They will not dismiss untill they are told the facts that make the dismissal possible. Without that knowledge the courts will continue to drag this out thinking they are doing the right thing.

My daughter and lez girlfriend were visiting me. They set me up by placing drugs on a tray out in my living area, then telling a neighborhood deputy on watch that I was a big druggie, daughter signed a consent to search form, deputies entered my home, and arrested me upon finding the tray where the girls told them it was.

What wasn't written in the police report: I was reading my bible and drinking kool-aid at the time. No sign of drug use, no smoke or drug smell, no ashtrays lighters or matches found with the tray, no druggie behavior, everything else the girls said (i.e. saw white stuff all over kitchen counters, etc) ..nothing matched girls story except location of tray of drugs. Deputies never told me why they were there or showed me the consent form. If they did we could have established daughter's permanent residence right then.

My daughter doesn't live with me, (lives in Rockport, Tx) hasn't since she was 10 yrs (18 when last feb when this started), I live alone and am sole owner of the house. So first off, the consent to search form wasn't legal.

Even so, I can prove I was set up. After 28 yrs designing chemical plants, refineries, and nuclear facilities, I am disabled due to lung damage...that alone should say I don't smoke drugs.

The reason the girls did it: Over the next few days while I was in jail, the girls withdrew over $1500. from my bank, stole my visa and used it at gas stations, stole family portraits right from my walls, and the main reason for the set-up: stole my car and took off to Kansas where girlfriends' mom lives.

Since then, they did the same type of thing to girlfriend's mom and step-dad up in Kansas and their current where-a-bouts are unknown.

The reason for my arrest per police report (quote) '...C/W stated the reason she told the police abt the drugs that were in residence is b/c she was in the military + didn't want to test + 4 crack coke when she go back.' (My daughter joined Armt Reserves, completed army bootcamp last summer was to return beginning of May for next phase of training. She never showed and Army is currently looking for her.)

So how can I get the prosecutor to see the truth and drop the case without costing me more money and this continued bond condition hassle? Can I file a Motion to Dismiss? Do I need to fire my lawyer next court visit and ask to go before judge?

Am I making any sense? This whole thing has cost me $10k so far including costs to recover car, etc... I what to this over, but I also want to know how I should have handled this.

Let me also say, I have no one, family, friends, etc that can help me. I had no one to call, no one to bail me out (I spent 9 days in jail before bond), it's a fluke I got out at all, since my daughter put me in and wasn't about to help me. I was taken from my couch inappropriately dressed, without shoes, money, credits cards, cell phone, or house keys. I wasn't able to lock windows and doors, lower thermostat, power off TV, lamps, etc. The police left it all for the girls and they abused it leaving my home vulnerable to theft on top of the rest.

I have one more involves after I got out of jail and called to report car, etc stolen. One deputy showed up, door bell rang, and I let another one inside. Then a third car with two deputies arrived. They walked into my house uninvited, and unannounced. One of them was the arresting officer in my pending felony drug case. She proceeded to tell me that my daughter lived with me, that I gave her permission to take the car and therefore no stolen property report was taken from me. When I realized who she was I asked "isn't it a conflict of interest for you to be in my livingroom talking to me about a pending drug case you have against me?" Of course she said no. Is that true?

A motion to suppress is filed when there is no legal basis to support a police officers actions and as a result of those actions, they discover evidence of a crime. If the facts of your case show that the police had no right to enter your home and there is case law to support it, then this motion should be filed and argued by your attorney. Your attorney should know the law in Texas and if he/she does not, research it to support your argument. A defendant has every right to file as many motions that are dispositive of his case as he needs. I have no clue what your attorney is talking about, as to why you cant file a motion to dismiss / suppress if there is case law to support it. If the facts do not support a basis for the charge, then a motion to dismiss could be filed. This normally happens when a law is unconstitutional or the facts of the crime do not support the statute. There is not a court of law in the United States, who is going to dismiss/suppress any motion, just with your version of the story alone. There needs to be case law to support this. The Judge is going to tell you, this is a question of fact, so it needs to go before a jury. You can list your daughter and her friend as witnesses and have them testify. Your attorney will attempt to impeach their credibility and use it to support your version of the story. At trial, you will have a chance to tell your version of the story. It is not up to the prosecutor to decide if you are telling the truth or not. As far as the actions of the arresting police officer and your report, it should have been filed. One thing has nothing to do with the other. The officer had no right to speak with you about the facts of your drug case and if anything was said and used against you at trial, there would be ground to suppress those statements. The report should have been taken and filed. It is not up to this female officer, to decide if you can permission to your daughter to take the car.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Tell me if I understand you correctly...I need to file a motion to suppress on the basis that my daughter is not a resident of the address and therefore legally cannot give permission to search that address based on (historical case number XXXXX in which a non-resident/guest allowed it and it was thrown out or ruled unconstitutional).

Last question and then name your price for what all this info is worth. Because of my disability, I fall asleep while driving. So fulfilling the bond requirements driving 40-50 miles for weekly drug test is very difficult. (It's dangerous for me and a taxi was $100. round trip before gas prices went so high) I'm wondering if maybe I should just go back into jail until this is all resolved. I don't mind jail, as long as I have warm clothes on, money in my account, my house is secure, people know where I am, and my bills, etc are taken care of. I have pressing medical issues as well, that I'm not able to drive to take care of. Is it possible that I can get medical attention while in jail, if it is an emergency? Even if there is a charge, it can't be worse than reg care without insurance, right? (I am speaking of a spider bite where that sack and long string roots?? is still under my skin right next to the tearduct of my eye. It's about 2 inches long from between my eyebrows down next to my eye and to the top of cheek. I'm having bad headaches because of the location and the pressure. My skin at bridge of nose needs to be lanced open and the spider ??sack?? removed. Got bit in March, swelling and infection look to be down but still needs removal and the headaches are getting worse.)

The motion to suppress the illegal search and seizure of the drugs, will be focused upon your daughters apparent authority to allow the officers in the home and the reasonable belief the officers had, that she was able to invite them in, to search the property. The case law will focus on the roles of individuals in a home (i.e. a house guest vs someone who is in the home for 5 minutes) and what rights they have to allow someone in. There is United States Supreme Court law out there, which outlines this issue. The case law should be applied to the facts on your case. If the circumstances equate to a violation, then the evidence will be suppressed.

If the requirements of the drug testing are creating a substantial hardship on you, you should file a motion to reconsider the bond requirements. In the motion, you want to tell the Judge exactly what problems you are having and hopefully if you have been compliant with everything to date, the Judge may lift the drug testing as part of your release. The jail will provide proper medical attention but wont be there to cater to your every need. Normally, you fill out a medical questionnaire and the staff will evaluate it and give you the appropriate medical care. If you sit in jail until this case is resolved, you will get credit for any time in there. If this case is resolved by a plea agreement, you may have accumulated enough time, that you could be released.

I'm glad I was able to answer your questions and wish you the best of luck. You should know this is not going to be resolved over night, so try and be patient with the justice system. If you are happy with my services, feel free to click the ACCEPT button and add any bonus, you think I deserve.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I can't believe this should be so drawn out, costly, and require so much paper. I'm only saying that because I am innocent and it seems so obvious to me when looking at all the facts. I can see where things get muddy when feelings and emotions are accepted as facts since it's my daughter, when asked if she lived here, she answered yes, and even though experience should have told the deputy when an 18 yr old non-mainstream looking female with matching friend says they are scared of testing positive for a drug that means they actually did the drug. That a positive result isn't something you can catch from sharing filtered air across 1700 sq. ft. so strongly that it is still being eliminated through urine for weeks to come. I would think even the worst second-hand-smoke junkie would test negative after 9 weeks of abstenence. I think the deputy let high hopes of actually making a good drug bust even though her assignment is neighborhood patrol cloud her normally sound judgement. (if the daughter admits she's positive, how much bigger a catch the mom will be!) For goodness sakes, she patrols here, it's such a white-bread middle income single home neighborhood with two elementary schools located 150 yards from my front door. No one has ever "caught" me reading a bible before...she had to be shocked herself expecting a drug scenerio!! HAHAHA!!!