For years, I Â have privately held a theory about how I think people choose a lawyer to represent them in a criminal case or DWI. Â It's not flattering, but it is what it is... Â I think it's like choosing a dentist. Â You don't really want to have to go, but you can't ignore it, so what do you do? Â You pick one and you go see them, and if they don't completely turn you off, you go ahead and hire them because you're clueless and they seem smart enough (and you don't want to have to see another one). Â The thought just kills me, but I still go to that same dentist and I have no idea if his work is great or awful, but I think he's all right. Â Just like lawyers, they're all expensive so how do you know if you should pay a premium or is a cheaper one just as good? Here's my perspective, for what it's worth. Â I'm not going bargain hunting when I look for a dentist, or an electrician, or a babysitter, or anything Important. A criminal charge is just not something you can afford to skimp on, not in this job market, in this age of electronic data, and certainly not if you have plans for your future. Â If you are charged, you should look for a trial lawyer, even if you don't even think you would go to a jury trial yourself. Â
I KNEW it!! Â Here they come again with their shiny needles, the better to stick you with! Â Well, I can't say it's any surprise. Â I mean, APD does so many no refusal weekends (or blood warrants, as others say) that it's like keeping up with your relatives' birthdays. Â Let's see, New Year's, Super Bowl weekend, so now Mardi Gras. Â Interesting that Valentine's Day is still sacred, I suppose they don't expect a lot of people driving around drunk. Â So drink up, lonely people, you own Valentine's!
Well just as regular as the rodeo in this state, and on February 25, 2012, it's time again for the coordinated Texas Warrant Roundup! Â For those of you who take care of all your business, good for you- the rest of you should really look up the info on your traffic tickets. Â And clear up that old bond forfeiture and check for county warrants too. Â Get squared up with your child support payments, or your driver license surcharges. Because the roundup is coming for you. Â I foresee a lot of scurrying, and a lot of laying low. Â Just remember that those guys sometimes come EARLY in the morning before last night has fully worn off! Â And whatever you do, don't be drawing any any attention to yourself out in public!
Please give yourself a moment to read something short simply for pleasure.Â It's fluff, and I only include it becuse it happened in the county where I used to practice in Vermont.Â Who knows, I could have even represented the mystery prankster once.Â Here's to the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Franklin County, Vermont, nestled in the northeast corner of Lake Champlain.Â Way to represent!Â Good to see prison doesn't completely destroy your sense of humor.Â
I don't really have a distinct angle on this story, I just find it fascinating. Â It has ties to white collar crime, the internet, New Zealand, copyright, the Department of Justice and FBI, the film and music industries, Hong Kong, Kim Kardashian, Bob Bennett, Kanye West, and on and on... but that's what makes it so good.Â Â What also makes it compelling is the darkness of it, a perfect study in what it's like when the Feds decide you are worth pursuing and put their weight behind getting you.
Aaaaaah, you should get up in the morning and take a deep breath of that FREEDOM that the Supremes just dished out today!! Â It's hard to recall the last time that this Court (the same one that says corporations are "people") ruled unanimously in favor of civil liberty instead of some institution, in this case, law enforcement. Â That's right, all NINE of them. Â Of course they didn't all agree for the same reason, but they dovetailed into unison where it counted. Â My married readers will understand.
This is actually old news, but I've started seeing some of these lately so it's relevant. Â Back in September the legislature passed a new law affecting DWI's, for enhancement purposes. Â As things were, all regular DWI first offenses were class B misdemeanors, which carried a maximum punishment of 180 days in jail and up to a $2000 fine. Â In their wisdom, the legislature decided that if a DWI breath test is done (or blood) and the result is .15 or over, the charge will now be a class A misdemeanor, which doubles the max penalties from a class B. Â So your new exposure is a year in jail and $4000 fine. Â
And from the outset here, I want to clarify that I'm talking about without a warrant- no probable cause at all, just wanna see what you're up to. So if you've got nothing to hide then why would you care? Â Seriously, it's not even on the inside, you'll never even know it was there...
Fortunately it DIDN'T happen in Austin, at least not yet. Â This only slightly stale news story comes to us from Wyoming, a shade more conservative than Austin by most accounts. Â I apologize in advance for not disclosing in the title that this incident did not actually occur in Texas, but it's a hot enough issue so it's bound to come up.Â
I'm sad that the Statesman beat me to the punch, but glad to see I wasn't the only one annoyed by the Austin Police Chief's involvement in the dismissal of radio host Jeff Ward's DWI.Â According to a Statesman article last night, it looks like now the Austin Police Union is a bit irritated as well.Â Let's review:Â high profile radio host is stopped for DWI, but he knows Chief Acevedo, who is a frequent guest on his show.Â Host has his fiancee call the Chief on cell phone from the scene of the stop, and then the Chief accepts a call from him at the jail.Â Chief reviews Ward's case with police brass, then personally calls the County Attorney's office to point out problems with the case.Â Ward was arrested Thursday night, and County Attorney declines to prosecute the case by Monday morning.Â Case closed.