Daniel Peugh is a former Chief Prosecutor for the Denton County Criminal District Attorney's Office. He has an insider's knowledge of local Judges, Prosecutors, and Probation Officers. At The Peugh Law Firm we try cases and we get jury verdicts. Our ability to make our case before judges and juries benefits all of our clients at every level of representation. Most of our clients do not go to trial. Still, the plea bargain offers our clients receive are based in large part on what the prosecutors know we can do if the case goes to trial.
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OK, I admit it. Real people do not like trials. Only the mutants that we call lawyers like trials. Even if you feel very strongly that you did what you are accused of, hire a good lawyer. Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. At one time in my career I was a bulldog of a prosecutor. I know very well that prosecutors, particularly the young ones, can think that they are saving the world by throwing good people to the wolves. You must have good representation. You do not need to be “made an example of.” The fact that I do try cases and that I do get verdicts will be respected in the plea bargain negotiations. My thorough investigations always turn up defensive issues that, at least, encourage prosecutors to offer a better plea bargain.
What if I did it?
More and more in Assault cases the Family Violence variety is consisting of what we call, “one bad night” cases. This can apply to regular Assault Causes Bodily Injury cases as well. Life, at times, becomes over whelming. People commonly lose loved ones suddenly. Jobs are unexpectedly lost and financial struggles set in quickly. Everyday someone learns that his marriage is not as blissful as he thinks according to his partner’s cell phone records. Often these things will hit more than one at a time.
These stressors commonly lead to arguing. Sometimes the arguing goes too far. A push, a slap or a grab happens quickly under these conditions. Assault and Assault Family Violence require an element of bodily injury. But, bodily injury is defined as any pain, any impairment or any illness. That means as little as a red mark or, “Ow! Don’t do that” is a Class A Misdemeanor. Police make arrests in these situations and the Assault Family Violence snowball grows quickly as it speeds downhill.
These cases quickly come to include protective orders, whether they are wanted or not. Bond costs and special bond conditions follow if you want to get out of jail. The case is headed to the District Attorney’s Office and it will be filed in court unless the accused and defense counsel act quickly. Convictions and adjudications for Assault Family Violence carry serious collateral consequences such as; the loss of gun rights, immigration consequences for non-citizens and a permanent public record on a background.
Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. You do not need to be “made an example of.” My thorough investigations always turn up defensive issues that, if they do not win dismissals, encourage prosecutors to offer a better plea bargain. The worst consequences of an Assault or Family Violence charge can be negotiated away.
What if I did it?
Texas Drug Laws are not exactly keeping up with the decriminalization of drugs that is going on elsewhere. Not at all. Possession of a Controlled Substance, even in personal use amounts, is still a felony in Texas. Possession of Marijuana in personal use amounts is an arrestable and jailable misdemeanor even today. There are a number of prosecutions for the possession of prescription drugs without the prescription. Police and prosecutors are filing and pushing these cases through court just as they always have.
Drug Possession cases such as Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana require the same elements of the crimes to be proven. Did this happen to you? Officer, “Do you have anything in the car I should know about? Accused, “yeah, I have some weed in the center console.” This exchange is common and it proves possession and knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt. Or, is this your case? You deny having possession of anything illegal but the officer finds a controlled substance or marijuana in a change tray below the dashboard. The car is registered to you, you are the driver and you are the sole occupant. You have a right to a trial but, you do not have a right to win.
Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. You do not need to be “made an example of.” Where Texas is doing well is with First Offender Programs and Drug Court Programs for Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Prescription Drug cases. A knowledgeable local attorney can help you dispose or your Possession case in a way that will allow you to get it completely off your record in the future.
What if I did it?
Most Delivery of a Controlled Substance or Delivery of Marijuana cases are made by police through the use of controlled buys. Somebody you know gets arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana or Possession of a Prescription Drug and the police give her a chance to work the charges off. Working charges off involves giving police information on where she gets her drugs and working with the police to set up a buy that the police can record. So, your friend calls you up and begs you to sell her a controlled substance or a quantity of marijuana that she knows you have. You don’t usually sell but, you’ll do it to help a friend out. A few days later the police are at your door with a warrant for your arrest. The whole thing is on video and your right to a jury trial doesn’t sound like such a great option.
Much the same thing can happen with manufacturing a controlled substance. Some people like to grow their own marijuana. So, you get some lights, a water source and maybe a vent hood. Now you never have to buy marijuana again. Until someone sees it, smells it or becomes upset that you won’t share it and calls the police. You are not dealing. You just grow for your own use but, you are growing and that amounts to manufacturing a controlled substance. Technically for Marijuana it is cultivating but, the facts are clear and, again, trial doesn’t sound so good.
Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. You do not need to be “made an example of.” Delivery and Manufacturing a Controlled Substance and Delivery and Cultivation of Marijuana are typically not eligible for first offender or drug court programs. However, there can be exceptions. It is also possible to work with us on custom fit defense mitigation cases that can get these charges reduced. Avoiding prison, felony conviction and a felony record are all possible with the right defense plan.
What if I did it?
The most common form of theft charge is by far shoplifting. My clients tell me that they have gotten in trouble with shoplifting at difficult times in their lives. Sometimes that means financial stress but, it can also mean intense difficulty in life generally. These people have committed a theft because they were feeling desperate in their circumstances. Even more of my clients tell me, “I have no idea what I was thinking. I never do this!” Sometimes we just exercise really bad judgment in life. Unfortunately, a Theft or shoplifting record can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to get and maintain employment.
The same dynamics are at work with credit card abuse, fraud and forgery. Desperate people will engage in desperate acts. Sometimes temptation is more powerful than judgment and signing someone else’s name or using their credit card seems easy. Credit card abuse, all forms of fraud and forgery are felonies. Felony thefts are even harder to live down than misdemeanor thefts.
Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. You do not need to be “made an example of.” Whether it is misdemeanor theft, shoplifting, felony theft, credit card abuse, fraud or forgery you can get through it. Here again first offender programs can be a good option when trial just won’t work. Deferred adjudication and reduced charges are also possible and helpful when it comes to your record.
What if I did it?
There are so many laws regarding drinking and driving. Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Intoxicated BAC > 0.15, Driving While Intoxicated 2nd Offense, Driving While Intoxicated with a Minor Child, Driving While Intoxicated 3rd Offense or More, Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter are all drinking and driving offenses. MADD and other groups exert a tremendous amount of pressure on police and prosecutors to arrest and prosecute suspected offenders. As a result, I believe DWI enforcement entangles more innocent people than any other type of offense.
What if you don’t have a good DWI case to defend? Some people stumble all through the video of their arrest. Some people slur their speech and say all kinds of crazy drunken things on video. Some people have blood or breath alcohol concentrations well above 0.08 and they look like they are over the legal limit. A Driving While Intoxicated trial wherein the prosecutor pauses the video to point out where it is obvious that you wet your pants that night, is not a good experience. We can still help.
If you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated of any type you will quickly learn that you have a driver’s license problem. There will be Administrative License Revocation Hearings meant to suspend your privilege to drive. Drunk Driving offenses also come with occasional requirements for ignition interlock devices to be installed in personal vehicles. If your license is suspended you will need an Occupational License in order to stay on the road. There are many issues to juggle with Driving While Intoxicated cases and we can help through them all.
Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. You do not need to be “made an example of.” Blood samples can be re-tested in an attempt to reduce the BAC. It can be very helpful to get a lab result that is lower than 0.15 when you have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated BAC > 0.15. With such a result the charge can be reduced to Driving While Intoxicated and the punishment lessened. With Driving While Intoxicated 2nd Offense and Driving While Intoxicated 3rd Offense or More cases, the alleged prior convictions can be challenged. If we can successfully knock out one of the alleged priors, that can be the difference between a misdemeanor conviction and a felony conviction. Let us give it a shot.
What if I did it?
So, you pled guilty and accepted the probation offer. Once you are on probation, no one cares anymore if you actually committed the offense you were placed on probation for. “I didn’t commit the crime in the first place” is not a viable defense to probation violations. As discussed above, the prosecutors want to put you in jail or prison as applicable.
Failing to report to probation, failing to complete community service, failing to complete a court ordered program and failing a urinalysis test are all common reasons for Motions to Revoke Probation (MTR) and Motions to Adjudicate Guilt (MTA). Busy schedules, job requirements and various life emergencies can cause good probations to go bad. If you have one or more easily proven probation violations we can still help.
Criminal Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good people that just messed up. You do not need to be “made an example of.” We can work with you to make your case look better to prosecutors. It is possible to get Motions to Revoke Probation and Motions to Adjudicate Guilt withdrawn by the DA’s Office. It is also possible to be continued on probation without being sentenced to jail in probation violation situations. Give us a call.
Part of what makes juveniles, juvenile, is their judgment. It seems teenagers routinely have the brain fly right out of their head. Sometimes these moments result in juvenile charges and the need to attend juvenile court. With the exception of DWI, juvenile courts are filled with the same things that adult courts are filled with. There are a lot Juvenile Possession of Controlled Substance cases and Juvenile Possession of Marijuana cases. We also see a good number of Juvenile Assault cases and Juvenile Theft cases.
Even when it seems that your child just made a foolish mistake, Texas Law requires that juveniles accused of crime have attorneys to defend them. Juvenile charges come with real and serious consequences. So, even when it is clear that a juvenile was in Possession of a Controlled Substance or Marijuana and in situations wherein it is obvious that a juvenile has committed assault or engaged in shoplifting, you will still want to have a practicing juvenile attorney to help the child.
Juvenile Defense, as much as I like to brag, is not all “not guilty” verdicts and dismissals. A big part of what I do for a living, my favorite part, is helping good kids that just messed up. Juveniles do not need to be “made an example of.” Like in adult cases there are many legal and factual defenses available to juveniles charged with committing a crime. A good juvenile defense attorney can get juvenile cases routed to first offender programs even over the objection of prosecutors. Charges and punishments can be reduced, while still teaching a valuable lesson, when the right attorney is employed.
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