Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Assault Family Violence Cases

Family Violence
Once police get involved in an ordinary dispute between family members, an avalanche of social worker, victim rights advocates, law enforcement and prosecutorial resources are set in motion. Only a specially trained and experienced advocate can successfully negotiate and derail this legal juggernaut once it is set in motion. Hines, Ranc & Holub has this know-how.
Family violence is one of the most commonly filed & politically sensitive charges in the criminal justice system. Here are a few tools & resources to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions:
Texas Family Violence Council
Family Violence is a serious problem. But, as with many serious issues, sometimes the government's response is inadequate, inappropriate or heavy handed. Check out the information on this quasi-governmental site.
Travis County Court at Law # 4
There are even a special courts created to preside over these unique cases. In Travis county, this is County Court at Law #4, Judge Mike Denton presiding.
Travis County Family Violence Programs
This is the County run counseling agency. Many judges require successful completion of this "therapy" as a condition of pretrial release. BEWARE! This is a county agency. Information is not confidential!
APD Special Family Violence TeamThis is a link to the special "task force" that coordinates the arrest & investigation of family violence cases. Grant money that funds these type of programs are dependent on the number of arrests & convictions. Guess what incentive this gives law enforcement.
Travis County District Attorney
Most counties only have one office that prosecutes family violence cases. In Travis County, the responsibility for handling these assault cases is divided between the County Attorney, prosecuting Misdemeanor cases and the District Attorney, filing Felony charges.
Travis County Attorney's Office
This office prosecutes the vast majority of DV cases. Specially assigned & trained prosecutors follow a strict zero tolerance policy that has resulted in not only an apparent record number of DV charges being filed but, an embarrassingly high number of dismissal and acquittals.
Williamson County District Attorney's Office
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley has a national reputation for being one of the toughest, hard on crime offices around.
Williamson County Attorney's Domestic Violence Policy
Although not as organized & over funded as Travis County, prosecutions are becoming more aggressive
DPS Family Violence Victim Services
Why the Police make an arrest even if no one wants to "press charges".
Definition of "Family"
What determines whether an charge is a "family violence" case? The definition basically includes any member of your family, anyone you've ever lived with, or dated.
Police DV raining Materials
Law Enforcement training materials on DV cases
What determines whether an Assault Family Violence case is filed as a felony or misdemeanor?
Types of Assaults: Class C & Class A
Affidavits of Nonprosecution
Witness Chicken & The confrontation clause

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What to do when you've been arrested.

What Do I Do If I Have A Warrant For My Arrest?
An attorney should be contacted immediately if you or a member of your family or a close friend has a warrant for their arrest. The term for this situation is called a NON ARREST WARRANT..
The definition of the term means there has been a warrant issued by a magistrate or a judge. The arrest warrant commands a law enforcement officer or some other person specifically named to arrest the body of the accused and take the body to be dealt with according to law.
By contacting an attorney the person accused has made the right decision to solve the warrant problem. An Attorney will know how to make the necessary inquiries and arrangements for the person named in the warrant while preserving the rights of the accused person.
How is an Arrest Made?
A law enforcement officer must obtain an arrest warrant before taking a person into custody. However, a law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant only if:
There is probable cause to believe that the person committed an offense; and
The arrest falls within one of the exceptions in Chapter 14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 14.01
A criminal act is committed in a law enforcement officer's presence or view.
A magistrate may issue an arrest warrant on the basis of an affidavit made by any person under oath before the magistrate, establishing probable cause to believe another person has committed an offense. The arrest warrants commands a law enforcement officer or some other person specifically named, to take the body of the accused to be dealt with according to law.
What Are Your Rights If Arrested?
The police officer making the arrest is required without unnecessary delay, but no later than 48 hours after the arrest, to take the person arrested before a magistrate. The magistrate is required to inform the person arrested of:
The accusation against the person arrested (defendant) and of any affidavit filed therewith
The right to hire an attorney
The right to remain silent
The right to have an attorney present during questioning by law enforcement or a prosecuting attorney
The right to end the questioning at any time
The right to request a court appointed attorney, if the person arrested is indigent or cannot afford to hire an attorney
The procedures for requesting a court appointed attorney
The right to have an examining trial
The person arrested is not required to make a statement and any statement may, can and will be used against the person arrested.
The magistrate is also required to allow the accused reasonable time and opportunity to consult counsel and to be admitted to bail if allowed by law.