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Many men and women wonder why an individual arrested for a criminal offense probably would not testify in their own court trial. The most appropriate answer is that testifying can open the flood gates to virtually all kinds of detrimental evidence. Such evidence would otherwise be inadmissible. This dangerous step is designated “opening the door”. Whether or not a defendant’s past conviction is admissible in a brand new criminal case is determined by a variety of factors. These are the criminal offenses of which the defendant is currently accused, whether or not the defendant within the existing case testified in a prior case, as well as the purpose for which the conviction is asked to be admitted.
In many situations, anytime a defendant loses at trial or takes a plea offer, a judge could very well use a defendant’s previous conviction to enhance the individual’s sentence. Theoretically, this doesn’t count as admitting the past conviction into evidence. The judge has not put the conviction on the record to determine whether or not the defendant committed the criminal offense within the existing case. The judge has the discretion to use a previous conviction to enhance the sentence for the defendant within the existing case. If the defendant goes to trial, the sentencing can occur separately from the trial. If the jury leaves before the sentence is imposed, they might never find out that the defendant had a past conviction.
In many situations, most notably DWI cases, a judge will likely be required by law to enhance a sentence if the defendant has a past conviction for the same type of criminal offense on their record. Generally, prosecutors are incredibly zealous. The State often seeks to introduce particularly old previous out-of-state convictions to encourage, or require, the judge to enhance a sentence. Many prosecutors also seek to introduce past convictions of significant out-of-state felonies to ask a judge to enhance a sentence.
Except in a few instances, a criminal defendant can often prevent admission of a previous conviction by refusing to testify at trial. Typically, when a prosecutor or a defense lawyer would like to introduce a defendant’s previous conviction, they need to notify the court, meaning the judge, of their intention. A prosecutor generally succeeds in getting a previous conviction admitted into evidence if the defendant makes the decision to testify or if the defendant decides to make their character an issue in their case. Generally, a prosecutor can’t introduce a criminal conviction to establish that the defendant has a bad character if the defendant hasn’t made their character an issue. Additionally, the prosecutor generally can’t introduce a criminal conviction to demonstrate that a defendant has or had a propensity to commit criminal offenses.
If the criminal defendant decides to testify, their previous conviction could very well become admissible for purposes of impeaching their credibility. This kind of impeachment asks the judge or jury to question the truthfulness of the defendant’s testimony. The general rule is in cases where a prosecutor or defense lawyer wants to use a previous conviction to impeach a defendant’s testimony, the past conviction has to be for a felony or a criminal offense involving dishonesty. This indicates that a defendant may perhaps not be impeached with a past conviction for a minor criminal offense, most notably possession of drug paraphernalia, which has nothing to do with dishonesty.
Whether or not the defendant makes a decision to testify, a judge won’t necessarily rule that a past conviction is admissible. A good number of courts use a balancing test to figure out if the past conviction will be admitted. The judge weighs the probative value of permitting the criminal offense to be introduced contrary to the prejudicial impact on the defendant. If the previous conviction is for a similar criminal offense, the judge could possibly determine that the risk is too great. Within these situations, the judge uses the reasoning that the jury will decide, “If this individual did it previously, this individual probably did it on this occasion.”
Usually, a prosecutor or defense lawyer can ask that a past conviction or set of convictions be admitted as evidence of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
Given that the admissibility of previous convictions is an issue of evidence, it becomes an issue of law. Constitutional amendments and proposed bills may affect the evidence rules. If you are defending criminal charges, it is imperative that you speak to a qualified criminal defense attorney. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson is going to be able to evaluate your record and he will understand how the rules pertaining to past convictions might affect you. Lawyer Johnson is going to be able to advise you on the benefits and drawbacks of testifying. Only you can make the final decision.
Houston Criminal Defense Attorney: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
Should you have past convictions and have been arrested or are under investigation for a criminal offense in Texas, get in touch with Houston Criminal Attorney Charles Johnson ASAP – and protect your legal rights and reputation.
Houston Criminal Attorney Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact us at 713-222-7577 or toll free of charge at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.
Charles Johnson |
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In the event you have been found guilty of a criminal offense, you might wonder if you will be able to find job opportunities. Employers have become increasingly interested in finding out whether or not applicants have criminal records. Part of the concern stems from recent jury decisions which have been rendered against employers for negligently employing individuals with criminal backgrounds who consequently caused problems for other people whilst at work. An additional concern for employers concerns whether or not they’ll need to divulge the criminal conviction. For instance, in cases where a business is attempting to raise capital, it might need to create particular disclosures to a bank. Will the business need to reveal that an employee has a criminal conviction for money laundering or embezzlement?
The laws about which criminal history records an employer should or might access, what an employer might ask a would-be employee and what the job applicant should reveal vary widely among states. In the event you have a criminal history and are searching for a job, it’s in your greatest interest to contact the Best Houston Lawyer at the Charles Johnson Law Firm to ensure that you go into the employment search completely informed of your legal rights.
Contradictory Public Policies
On the one hand, the public would like to reintegrate into society individuals with criminal histories, rehabilitated and productively employed. A routine schedule and normal income reduce the likelihood that an individual will reoffend, however an individual with a criminal history might encounter prejudice within the job application process. However, it’s essential to safeguard the public from contact with past offenders who might have propensities to re-commit. For instance, convicted sex offenders must not work with kids or vulnerable adults.
Just How Much to Reveal
Based on the state guidelines, an applicant might not need to reveal potentially detrimental info, like arrests not leading to convictions or convictions for minor matters. A few states have procedures to judicially “erase” a criminal history. Houston Criminal Attorney Charles Johnson can certainly help figure out whether or not you might be eligible to have a conviction sealed, expunged or legally minimized.
Suggestions for Employment Re-entry
Be truthful. Employers are interested in workers they are able to trust, and nearly all of the information on a job application may be checked and verified. Even if it might close the door to particular positions, revealing the truth will be the greatest method to receive a job that the applicant can retain over the long haul. Keep in mind, in many states not all convictions need to be revealed nor can would-be employers ask for particular info.
Begin the job search with loved ones, pals and acquaintances that might be more likely to take a chance on employing somebody they are familiar with, in spite of a criminal background.
Don’t anticipate the very first job following a conviction to be your perfect job. It’s much more essential to get started somewhere and produce a track record, because employers realize that a great indicator of future job performance is prior job performance. Think about temporary or entry-level positions to develop your résumé.
Recognize where the employer is coming from. It must balance its legal and ethical obligations to you, to it’s workers and towards the public.
Investigate career services. A good number of states have public agencies that administer programs to assist individuals with discovering their perfect career, and some were created specifically for those with criminal histories.
Stay away from alcohol & drug use. Many employers call for employee drug testing.
Think about the nature of your earlier criminal offense. Apply for jobs where that type of criminal offense is much less likely to be an matter of concern.
Hire the Finest Houston Lawyer. Don’t take any chances.
Completing a jail term or paying a fine may be just part of the cost of a criminal conviction. The conviction may also impact post-conviction occupation opportunities. However, there are employers that would like to give those with criminal records a chance in a suitable environment. Just one job – any type of job – may be the very first step toward rebuilding a career and a new life. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can advise you about numerous choices and provide suggestions on preparing for the future.
Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.
Charles Johnson |
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The illegal sale or use of prescription drugs can certainly result in severe criminal charges. If you have been arrested for a forged prescription or the unlawful possession of a prescription drug, you want a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer protecting your rights and fighting for you in court.
At the Houston Charles Johnson Law Firm, our trial attorney has many years of practical experience dealing with numerous drug crimes involving prescription drugs. Available at any hour, 7 days a week, we are ready to answer your questions and build your defense.
Anyone can certainly be hooked on prescription drugs. A number of our clients started out taking their drugs for medical reasons, but grew to be addicted. When their prescriptions ran out, they obtained the drugs by other means. Serving satisfied customers throughout Texas, our firm recognizes the penalties of a criminal conviction for average, everyday men and women. We can help you battle any sort of of the following charges:
- Prescription Forgery
- Sale of Prescription Drugs
- Prescription Fraud
- Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs
The primary goal in each prescription drug case is to prevent a prison sentence. We shall help you discover alternative sentencing options, that include entering a drug treatment center. You will likely be in need of rehabilitation, certainly not a jail sentence. Looking forward, we are going to help you receive the assistance you might need.
Although the majority of prescription drug court cases involve painkillers, we handle criminal charges involving a wide range of drugs, for a wide range of clients, including minors. If your case involves any of the following prescription drugs or others, we can help:
Abuse and the unlawful sale of prescription drugs, significantly painkillers including Oxycodone and OxyContin, is a growing criminal charge being vigorously charged and prosecuted across the state of Texas. A popular and quite often easily accessible narcotic, prescription drug offenses carry with them the same kinds of severe penalties as various other illegal sale, trafficking, distribution and use offenses.
It is quite often students and under-30 men who are most commonly charged with abuse of prescription drugs. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm we have represented valued clientele in Houston and nearby communities for quite some time. Our lawyer offers personalized attention to each individual client to develop a powerful defense depending on the unique circumstances of your situation.
Act In your Defense
Prescription pain medication is popular. No doubt the majority of medicine cabinets across the Houston area have some kind of prescription drug unlocked and very easily accessible. But, even doing something as simple as offering a few Oxycodone, OxyContin, Valium or Xanax pills to some close friends at a social gathering could potentially result in a major criminal record and even prison time.
Our expert criminal defense lawyer provides the advantage of many years of working experience working exclusively in criminal defense. We have expertly handled a wide range of drug cases. Rely on us to battle your prescription drug criminal charges involving:
- Prescription fraud
- Doctor shopping
Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson has worked with folks from virtually all walks of life, including students, blue-collar workers and executives. Attorney Johnson has built his reputation on the foundation of his dedication to getting results and meeting the needs of our individuals.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that close to twenty percent of Americans have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at some point in their lives. But with the increased trafficking of prescription drugs online, the shocking increase in senior citizen trafficking of prescription drugs, and the high incidence of overdoses by users of illegally attained prescription drugs, prosecution is increasing and sentences are quite often just as harsh as those imposed for the distribution of illegal drugs. Trafficking statutes don’t discriminate: doctors and pharmacists are arrested for unlawful trafficking in prescription drugs, and so are the social-security-dependent elderly who trade painkillers for cash to pay for various other medications not supplied by Medicare or to pay the electric bill.
Houston Prescription Drug Possession/Sales Defense Attorney: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
Possession or distribution, prescription or "street" drugs, drug-related criminal charges are serious business. The potential for mandatory minimum prison sentences – sometimes ten years or more for fairly minor offenses – along with license suspensions, lengthy and restrictive terms of probation, mandatory drug treatment, hefty fines, taxes, forfeiture of property and assets, and limitations on future employment prospects, means that you ought to fully understand your liberties and options before you take any sort of action at all. The clock is ticking on the limitations period for filing certain defenses and requests for information.
Take charge of your case now. Talk to Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson now. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will undoubtedly be able to explain exactly what sort of penalties you could very well be facing, and assess your case for potential defenses. Call right now for a no charge, no obligation consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will be able to guide you through this hard time.
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