Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Consult the Finest Houston Lawyer at the Charles Johnson Law Firm as soon as possible if you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense. Getting legal guidance is essential to make certain that a defendant’s legal rights are safeguarded.
Certain constitutional protections apply to an individual arrested for a criminal offense. Additionally, there are certain procedures that are generally identical from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Here is a concise explanation of what occurs when an individual has been arrested for a criminal offense.
A person could very well be charged with a criminal offense before they are arrested. If this transpires, a judge is going to issue a warrant for the individual’s arrest. A law enforcement officer will try to find the individual who is the subject of the warrant. If the individual is found by the authorities and arrested, police officers must give the individual a copy of the warrant that declares the charge for which they are being arrested. The authorities do not necessarily have to have a copy of the warrant with them at the time of the arrest, however they must provide a copy to the arrested individual within a reasonable amount of time afterward.
After an individual is arrested, they will be “booked” at the police department. This involves taking fingerprints and completing other procedural requirements. The individual will then be held in police custody pending a court hearing. This hearing will generally take place within 48 hours.
When an individual is taken into police custody, they have the right to contact a lawyer. The individual will likely be permitted to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney. The individual should have at least a brief opportunity to meet with their criminal defense lawyer prior to their preliminary court hearing.
At the court hearing, the judge will read the criminal charges against the individual, who is designated the defendant. If the individual was arrested without an arrest warrant, this will likely be the first time they are told the criminal charges against them. The judge will attempt to ensure that the defendant comprehends the criminal charges. The judge will then ask the defendant to enter a plea. A defendant can enter a plea of “not guilty”, of “no contest”, or of “guilty”.
Even if the defendant is guilty, they are able to enter a plea of not guilty, should they think there is not enough evidence to establish their guilt. In any case, a plea of not guilty may result in a trial where the federal government will be required to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the criminal offense for which they are being charged.
A jury will need to decide, dependent on the evidence introduced by both sides, whether or not the defendant is to be found guilty or not guilty. In many cases, a defendant may possibly waive their priviledge to a jury trial, and the judge will determine if they are guilty or not guilty primarily based on the evidence which is offered. The defendant should speak with their criminal defense lawyer about whether or not they should waive their priviledge to a jury trial.
If the result of the trial is that the defendant is found not guilty of the violations charged, they can be released from police custody. If the result of the trial is that the defendant is found guilty or if there isn’t a trial due to the fact that the defendant entered a plea of no contest or of guilty, then there will be a sentencing hearing.
There will be evaluations of the defendant that are performed prior to the sentencing hearing. By way of example, if the criminal offense is DWI, the defendant may be evaluated to determine if they have a substance abuse issue. The court will also prepare a pre-sentencing report, which is basically an investigation into the previous criminal history of the defendant. This knowledge helps the judge determine an appropriate sentence.
At the sentencing hearing, there will be an opportunity for individuals to speak with the court about what factors they feel the court should take into account in determining a sentence. These individuals can include the victim of the criminal offense, the victim’s family, the defendant, the defendant’s family, and any other interested party.
The judge will take into consideration all of the evidence shown and any sentencing requirements. The judge will then enter a sentence for the defendant. If the criminal offense was fairly minor, and the defendant has been in custody throughout the entire court process, some may have already served the jail time that has been imposed by the judge. If the criminal offense is more severe, the defendant could possibly face substantially more prison time. Furthermore, a criminal sentence may involve more than serving time in jail. The defendant may be ordered to pay fines, to provide restitution to the victim, to undergo treatment for substance abuse or mental problems, to perform community service, or many other things.
Any person who is arrested for a criminal offense should hire an experienced Houston Lawyer with practical experience in criminal defense to represent them. This is the most effective way to make certain that their legal rights are defended, and that they obtain the finest possible outcome.
If you or someone you love has been arrested, you probably aren’t sure where to turn or what to do next. A positive first step is to contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm as soon as possible, 24 hours/day. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system and help you to remain calm during this stressful time.
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Generally, prostitution is the act of participating in sexual activity by an individual for a fee or a thing of economic value. However the scope of the crime of prostitution has been widened to include virtually all prostitution related offenses. As a result a person is considered to commit a criminal offense of prostitution if he or she engages in an act of prostitution willfully, solicits prostitution, or agrees to engage in an act of prostitution.
An individual could possibly end up being guilty of an attempt to commit prostitution when he or she engages in conduct that tends to effect the commission of such crime.The parties to the crime often include: a prostitute in addition to a customer or a third person/pimp. In addition to engaging in prostitution, soliciting prostitution, agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution, child prostitution, attempted prostitution are some other prostitution related offenses. In order to establish attempt, it is necessary to determine that a defendant had the intent to commit a specific offense and that a defendant engaged in some affirmative act to carry out that criminal offense.
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The elements constituting a criminal offense of prostitution are that an individual has engaged in a sexual activity and has done it willfully. Sexual activity might be sexual intercourse or any type of lewd acts that can arouse sexual feelings. Most jurisdictions make monetary consideration a requisite to constitute prostitution but a few jurisdictions do not require it to be a component of the offense. Consideration need not be in the form of cash.
In order to constitute an offense of soliciting prostitution, an individual has to solicit another individual to engage in an act of prostitution and the act must have been done with specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution. A prostitute or a customer may be charged for the criminal offense of solicitation of prostitution depending on the circumstances or who began the interaction. Specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution is an essential element to constitute a criminal offense. An offer to pay cash or some other compensation like drugs in return for sexual acts may very well be regarded as evidence as to the intent of the parties. Several courts have held that the individual being solicited must actually receive the solicitation in order to convict an accused for soliciting prostitution.
Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution is another prostitution offense. The elements of the criminal offense are that, an individual has to have agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person. It should have been with a specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution and any sort of act in furtherance of prostitution must have had to be performed. This offense is a continuation of solicitation of prostitution because the person who accepts solicitation will undoubtedly be agreeing to engage in prostitution.
An arrest under the offense of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution may possibly be made even if the person who solicited did not have the same intent. This situation may arise when a person who pretended to be a prostitute was an under cover agent. In addition to the intent, an act in furtherance of prostitution must have been performed to constitute the offense of agreeing to engage in prostitution.
An act in furtherance of prostitution might be, driving to an agreed upon location where the sexual activity will take place, simple verbal command to undress, giving the payment agreed upon and the like. The nature of the act isn’t important as long as it indicates existence of an agreement to engage in prostitution.
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Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson will treat you and your legal situation with dignity and go to war for you to safeguard your life, loved ones and future. When you or a family or friend are dealing with legal issues or a criminal defense inquiry, you need someone you can depend on to help you.
Even though prostitution is (initially) a misdemeanor, a conviction can be devastating. A sex related criminal record can damage an individual’s career and family life. In the event you are contending with prostitution or solicitation of prostitution in Houston, Texas, you will find an aggressive, skilled, and knowledgeable attorney in the Best Houston Criminal Defense Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm.
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