The Legal and Financial Consequences of a Texas Identity Theft Conviction
Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or otRead More
Two years ago, In the last legislative session, prosecution- oriented groups supported reciprocal discovery. It’s not hard to understand why they took this position.
Under reciprocal discovery, the citizen accused would have to identify ALL defense witnesses to the State prior to EVERY trial. Under reciprocal discovery, the citizen accused would have to designate his codified defenses, like self- defense, prior to EVERY trial. If the citizen accused failed to notify the prosecution of his defense prior to trial, the citizen accused would be barred from asserting that defense.
Experienced defense lawyers know the inherent dangers with reciprocal discovery. With reciprocal discovery, DA investigators would locate and bully defense witnesses into not coming to court. With reciprocal discovery, State witnesses, would change their stories to counter anticipated defenses. This is the real world impact of reciprocal discovery.
Reciprocal Discovery is the Devil’s work. It would give the State yet another advantage- in a system where the State already has EVERY CONCEIVABLE ADVANTAGE. But bullies know no limits.
In the last legislative session, many of us fought reciprocal discovery. Eventually, with enormous help from
Michael Morton, Senator Ellis, Brandon Dudley and others, we Beat reciprocal discovery and in its place the Michael Morton Act passed.
The Morton Act is the single most important discovery legislation in criminal law in at least three decades.
Under the Morton Act, in EVERY CRIMINAL CASE IN TEXAS THE STATE MUST PROVIDE OFFENSE REPORTS AND WITNESS STATEMENTS TO THE
DEFENSE. The Morton Act has already helped secure the liberty of countless Texans who might otherwise have been convicted.
State proponents of reciprocal discovery did not care about the 25 years Michael Morton spent in prison.
They defended the prosecutor who hid evidence and cheated to secure Michael Morton’s wrongful conviction. The executive director of the Texas County and District Attorney’s Association (TCDAA), Rob Kepple, outrageously publicly referred to the Anderson Court of Inquiry as a “Court of Injury” for poor Ken Anderson.
The State proponents of reciprocal discovery were not happy with the Morton Act. They want this Legislature to undo the Morton Act. They want the reciprocal discovery act that they did not get last time.
In the coming legislative session, we must oppose any attempt to tamper with or neuter the Michael Morton Act.
Michael Morton and others paid too high a price for the legislature to undo, neuter or destroy the Morton Act.
All signs indicate there will be attempts in this legislative session to gut the Morton Act. With FIRM RESOLVE those who care about liberty in Texas, must oppose any attempts to undo the Morton Act.
Across this State, the Defense Bar,
And those who care about liberty and fair play must speak out. We must make our voices heard.
If you know your State Rep or State Senator, Please talk to them about Michael Morton and the importance and fairness of the Act.
The saying is, “If the fence ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The Morton Act ain’t broke and it don’t need fixin.
Let our battle cry be heard,
” Don’t Mess with the Morton Act!!”
Client was charged by Federal Indictment with making a social media post that threatened Malicious Damage and Destruction of a Building by Means of Fire and Explosives in violation of Federal law. The Defense showed that Client was a law-abiding citizen. The Defense further showed that the alleged threat was not made with any criminal intent.
The client, a public official with a long history of public service, was accused by a former girlfriend of engaging in non-consensual sexual relations. The Defense investigation and analysis showed through a detailed timeline that the allegation made absolutely no sense. Phone records, including calls and texts, were relied on to help establish an accurate timeline. The Defense met with law enforcement and reviewed a detailed package that exonerated the accused.
Client, a Houston area professional who frequently travels for work, was accused by his wife of assaulting her in his family home. Defense showed that wife’s story lacked credibility and there was no physical evidence in support of the wife’s allegation.
The client, a young Black male, was driving his car when police pulled him over for no apparent reason. It looked to be a profile stop. The client was accused of possessing a controlled substance in his vehicle. The Defense showed that there was no lawful basis for the police to stop the Client’s car. The Defense also showed that there was no lawful basis for the search of the Client’s car. It was a bad search, so the seized evidence was not admissible.
Client charged in Federal Indictment In “Operation Wrecking Ball” with 55 named co-defendants. Client faced seven charges. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Client was also charged with four counts of Distribution of Cocaine and one count of Money laundering.
Allegations involved client’s alleged use of his home to distribute cocaine. Government’s lengthy investigation involved numerous wiretaps, surveillance, video, pole cams, search warrants, vehicle stops and use of cooperating co-defendants.
Client went to trial with four remaining defendants. After a two-week trial, Judge granted Motion for Acquittal on four of the seven charges. Jury found Client Not Guilty of remaining three charges.
Client charged in Federal Court with two counts of Wire Fraud related to Five SBA EIDL loan applications. The Government alleged the client, a Houston professional, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of over $150,000. The Client faced up to 20 years in prison on each count. The Defense investigated the case and negotiated a deal that included the Government not opposing a probation. The Federal Guideline calculation was for a prison sentence and the Probation Department recommended a prison sentence. Attorney Fickman submitted a 90 page Defense Sentencing Memorandum asking for Probation.
Client was retired professional. Client was accused of being involved in a road rage incident in 1960 Area. Defense put together a 100 page memorandum that demonstrated complainant was actual aggressor.
Client was accused of touching child. Case involved thousands of pages of psychiatric and Child Protective Services records as well as investigations by multiple police departments. After three- year fight, case dismissed.
Client accused of shoving and knocking down family member causing injury. After investigation, charges were dismissed.
Client was accused of knocking disruptive student against the wall. Videotape of incident was obtained. Witnessed located and interviewed. On the day of trial, case was dismissed
Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or other illegal activities. “Identifying information” includes:
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