Most Common Questions Asked by Potential Clients
By: Mark Diaz
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Most Common Questions Asked by Potential Clients
Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon
Recently, the most common question we’ve had is regarding an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. When I say the most common, I mean, in the sample that I ran, that was the offense that was inquired about most often.
One of the most interesting conversations I had with a potential client was when they were asking me, what specifically is a deadly weapon? My answer to him was, literally almost anything. The penal code doesn’t say “anything”. however, quite literally, if you go through the cases, the things that have been found to be deadly weapons are almost limitless. It’s anything that if you were to strike someone with, and it could cause an injury, then that can be considered a deadly weapon.
I’ve had cases where the jury is asked to enter a finding that the vehicle was a deadly weapon. So aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is exactly what it sounds like. It means that someone is accused of attacking, or at least threatening someone with some object and causing physical damage with that object. Now an aggravated assault, making it a felony rather than just a misdemeanor assault had there been no weapon involved.
There is no definition specifically of a weapon for this offense. It’s anything that if used could inflict bodily harm. If you want more specifics on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, I’m sure I’ve made a blog about it in the past, which will give you the penal code section and everything. It’s 22.02. You can look it up and read it.
Possession Of A Controlled Substance In Texas
The next subject that was most asked of us recently was about possession of a controlled substance in Texas. The most common call we get is, someone wants to know what level of offense they will be charged with because of the substance they had. Most of the calls we get are for felonies involving the more serious controlled substances, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.
Methamphetamine still seems to be the most commonly charged here in Galveston County. If you read the newspaper here, you’ll see that there has been an uptick in fentanyl cases in our county, fentanyl is extremely dangerous and oftentimes leads to death. Fentanyl is starting to be on the uptick but I believe at least in my office, the most commonly charged controlled substance is still methamphetamine.
Dismissal Of Domestic Violence Charges
Someone asked me what percentage of domestic violence cases get dismissed. To be honest, I don’t have the answer. To answer that, one would have to go through the district clerk’s site and see how many were filed in a certain period, and then check the disposition of each of those cases to determine what the percentage is.
The problem with that is there are so many different reasons any case can get dismissed. I don’t know what the knowledge of that percentage would get you because it’s not always the same reason that cases get dismissed, especially in domestic violence. It could be a situation where the parties have reconciled and it was a misunderstanding involving alcohol, and the victim no longer wishes to prosecute. There are so many possibilities that I can’t answer that without doing a whole bunch of research that I’m not willing to do.
Family Violence Charges
So, the next most popular call we get is assault/family violence. Family violence cases tend to pick up a lot, as I’ve said before, on holidays. I’ve done blogs on assault, family violence, done blogs on how to withdraw charges, we get that inquiry a lot. We get calls and emails a lot from victims, and their call or email is if I had my spouse, partner, or friend, arrested for domestic violence, how do I drop those charges? Once the charges have been filed, it’s out of the victim’s hands and into the state of Texas. We do get those inquiries, sometimes weekly.
Expungement Of Conviction
We get a lot of calls on expunctions. I’ll throw nondisclosures in there too. I’ve gotten two emails this week, from people wanting to know, how could they expunge their conviction from a very long time ago, one of them was 19 years ago, specifically because he wants to now be able to carry a weapon.
It’s now gotten to the point that every time we get a call for an expunction, I can’t give you a general answer over the phone without looking up your case. I have to know how the case was disposed of, which becomes a lot harder on cases that are 19 and 20 years old, because the records are not always available online for me to look at the judgment, look at the disposition, see what the language was in the order that disposed of your case.
It’s getting more labor intensive in some cases to try and figure out if someone is entitled to an expunction or not. However, I did find it interesting that I got two calls or two emails in the same week. Same issue two separate people want expunctions specifically so they could now carry a weapon. Those are the most popular.
Galveston Biker Rally
There’s not much going on locally to talk about except for this coming weekend the biker rally. It starts Thursday and I guess goes through Sunday. Just like any other holiday event, we will likely see an uptick in alcohol-related arrests over that period. During the biker rally, we do not often see crimes of violence or anything like that. Usually what we see is an uptick in intoxication offenses. It’s just like July 4th, or any other big holiday weekend where people come to town and drink all day and then make bad decisions.
I haven’t been on in a while so I just wanted to pop in and give you all an update. I’ll think of a more exciting topic to come back to maybe next week. In the meantime, check our new Texas Criminal Law FAQ page.
Mark Diaz & Associates represent people charged with a crime in Galveston, Tiki Island, Jamaica Beach, League City, Texas City, Algoa, Santa Fe, Hitchcock, La Marque, Bayou Vista, Bacliff, Kemah, Clear Lake Shores, Bolivar Peninsula, Dickinson, and San Leon. Contact one of our Galveston County criminal defense lawyers now at (409) 515-6170.