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Writs of Habeas Corpus

What is a Writ of Habeas Corpus? A writ of Habeas Corpus is a legal document prepared by a lawyer. When signed by a judge, it releases a person from jail. The term is Latin for "turn the body over". A person is eligible for a writ when they are incarcerated with no bond set. In rare cases, it is also a form of appeal in limited circumstances when the time tables for appeals has run. The United State Constitution, Article 1, Section 9 provides “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of...

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Forgive Yourself

The STRENGTH of George Washington "Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the "hero" within us is revealed." Bob Riley The Father of our Country, George Washington, is revered for his leadership, stoicism, and wisdom. It is inspiring to focus on his strength in times of trouble. Before the battle of Trenton in 1776, Washington experienced a seemingly insurmountable low. In just three months, the British captured 4,500 American soldiers. The British also confiscated 3,000 muskets, 250 cannons, and 17,000 cannonballs. There were three main armies which suffered staggering attrition. More than three quarters of his soldiers...

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BEWARE: Increased Penalties During a State of Emergency

Texas Penal Code section 12.50 provides that penalties increase for certain offenses when committed during a state of emergency. Due to the unexpected outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we are currently in a state of emergency! When the President of the United States or the Governor declares a state of emergency, this provision goes into effect.  Texas Governor Abbott declared the Coronavirus a state of emergency on March 13, 2020 (https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-declares-state-of-disaster-in-texas-due-to-covid-19). Specifically, the following crimes under the Texas Penal Code jump a penalty grade:   22.01 Assault 28.02 Arson 29.02 Robbery 30.02 Burglary 30.04 Burglary of a Vehicle 30.05 Criminal Trespass 31.03 Theft Increased...

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Practical Advice for Going Through the DWI Process

If you are reading this, you or a loved one is probably going through the horrible experience of the DWI Process. Please know that we all make mistakes. We are human. DWI is a unique offense in that no one goes out with the intention of driving intoxicated. Please know you have our greatest sympathies. What you are experiencing is actually very common. Many people, approximately 1.4 million, have gone through exactly what you are experiencing. We have had at least four lawyers at The Coffey Firm who have had an arrest for a DWI or a related offense. We...

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Texas DWI: Private Security Registration License Notice

If you are the holder of a private security registration license, be aware that certain offenses can suspend your license. Most serious offenses, such as murder, assault, and burglary, can result in suspension. Driving while intoxicated, by itself, may not lead to suspension. However, if you commit a Texas DWI in your capacity under the registration, then a DWI may result in suspension. Any offense that may deem you 'unfit' can also result in suspension. Please see the following: https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=37&pt=1&ch=35&rl=4 See also: Texas Occupations Code § 53.021 Further, you are not eligible to become an armed security officer if, at the time of your...

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The Perfect Pretext for Illegally Stopping People: Unconfirmed Insurance

A DWI traffic stop based only on unconfirmed insurance lacks the reasonable suspicion required for a search and seizure. The 4th amendment of the Constitution protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure. This protection comes to life in Texas under the Texas Constitution, Article 1, section 9.  This is a wide net.  This means that the “ends do not justify the means”. More simply, the police cannot break the law to enforce the law. For example, they can’t illegally enter into a house to search for illegal drugs. They must follow due process. They must have a warrant. For people...

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Give Me a Break, “Passing Judgment”

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." The Dalai Lama "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." Abraham Lincoln "Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy." Albert Schweitzer "God has no religions." Mahatma Ghandi "Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion." Buddha The problem with "Passing Judgment" I can't understand why a church would fire a minister for a DWI arrest (had a client recently fired and a chaplain put on leave). People make mistakes. A church who is living what they preach...

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The Biggest Misconception in DWI

The biggest misconception in DWI cases is correlating a single act of bad driving behavior with guilt. Think about the unexpected jerking of the wheel, an accident, a slight swerve or stopping too long at a stop light for example. These may very well be evidence of a driver’s inattention, not intoxication. I have analyzed thousands of DWI cases and tried over 300 during my career. What I find are prosecutors who argue that the inattentive driving behavior is clear evidence of intoxication. This is not fact. The facts are that every day drivers commit these violations due to distraction, inattention, fatigue or a...

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Educating the Public About Lawyer Selection

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240"] Paid accolades are the reason that we need to educate the public about lawyer selection[/caption] The State Bar of Texas regulates all lawyer advertising. For a lawyer to advertise a flyer, billboard, website, or other solicitation, they must pay a fee to the State Bar of Texas and adhere to the advertising and ethics rules that bind Texas lawyers. The State Bar of Texas will review the advertisement and either approve or disprove of its use. The rules are in place to protect the public from false advertising. But, the State Bar is having a hard time...

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Shocking Legal Truths on DWI

The way our government is created is simple. The legislature passes the laws and the judicial branch enforces it. That is the way it is designed. This is not the way it works. The Constitution is the framework that guarantees all rights and sets the parameters for all the state legislatures to follow when passing laws. Simple? It should be. Who on earth would dare defy the Constitution? Judges do it every day. Not just in Texas, but everywhere. Examples: In the State of New Jersey, you can’t have a jury trial for a DWI. Yes, the United States Constitution entitles...

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