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John M. Gioffredi

John Gioffredi’s Answers

181 total


  • Will he get jail time for a 2nd DWI?

    My brother was technically still on probation from his first DWI because he hadn't finished his community service, and received a second DWI. So he was given an unsatisfactory discharge from his probation. Now he is waiting to see what will happen...

    John’s Answer

    You ask if your brother will do any jail time for a second offense DWI, considering that he is still "technically" on probation on his first DWI - because he hasn't completed his community service*.

    The answer depends on several factors, not the least of which are: 1) Is he still on probation (technically or otherwise), 2) Can you beat the new DWI charge? Those are the first questions which need to be addressed. I'm not sure what you mean by him being "unsatisfactorily discharged from probation". ANY discharge from probation is satisfactory in most circumstances.

    If he's still on probation, jail time is a distinct possibility. If he gets probation on the new case, there is 72 hours county jail time required as a condition of that probation, but there are some alternative sentencing options that can be explored.

    Fortunately, Dallas is generally pretty good about not putting people in jail under these circumstances. Most Dallas judges take the approach that jail time does little or nothing to rehabilitate DWI offenders, and is a waste of taxpayer's money, for the most part. If this was in Denton county, just to the north, your brother would likely be spending three to six months in jail. In any event, your brother needs a good attorney!

    Best of luck to you both!

    PS - *Your brother apparently isn't very smart, but I'd be happy to represent him to the best of my ability anyway.

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  • My son had a 10 yr probation for theft of habitation with 30,000 restitution. He paid a little and had no job and was ajudicated

    they offered 5 yrs or pay total and do 2 yrs the victim said the amount was too high and he would accept some down and a payment plan . My lawyer said the probation dept would decide to accept or not and they said it was not them but rather the...

    John’s Answer

    If a person is on probation, and it is proven that they have violated that probation, it is ultimately up to the judge to decide what should happen to the probationer. Some judges delegate that to their prosecutors or their probation officers, but the final decision remains with the judge, who has to sign off on any deals reached.

    If the ONLY probation violation is failure to pay, whether that failure to pay is for restitution, fines, court costs, or probation fees, then the probationer may defeat the probation violation if he or she can convince the Court that they are indigent - i.e. - have no source of funds.

    The lawyer you have hired may simply be providing you with the options that are available. Whether your lawyer "cares" or not has nothing to do with what options are available. If the only options are A or B (and I certainly wouldn't know if that's the case), caring so much that it makes them cry isn't going to magically create another option. The options are what they are. On a probation violation, there is always the option of rejecting both A and B, and simply letting the judge decide, but with some judges, that option is basically legal suicide.

    Your lawyer probably has forgotten what he or she has told you on "various issues," especially if those "issues" have no relevence whatsoever to the case. But I doubt that he or she has forgotten what your sentencing options are, and what the important issues are in the case. If that's what has happened, you need a new lawyer.

    If you are not 100% confident with the lawyer you hired, hire (or at least consult with) another attorney! If that second lawyer confirms what your current lawyer is telling you, that's probably because it's true. Some lawyers are just bad lawyers. But more often, the client blames the lawyer for not finding better options when there really aren't any. Get a second opinion. Most attorneys will give you a second opinion for free.

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  • What legal questions can I ask in my own murder trial if I am doing a pro se

    Please give me info on what questions I can ask to represent myself and how can I get a lawyer to represent me if I dont have the money. I dont want a court appointed lawyer. they didnt represent me at all previously

    John’s Answer

    I hope that your question is a hoax - just to see how many lawyers will take the bait and respond to your question.

    If you are serious, God help you. Enjoy the rest of your days in prison.

    Either get a court appointed attorney NOW, or hire one. If you want to try your hand at criminal litigation, go out and get a traffic ticket.

    You need a lawyer.

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  • If a case is disposed and it means that its closed, then why did the person get put on probation? and is it on their record?

    it was for burglary habitation and the person got 5 yrs probation, but is that still on their record even though it was disposed

    John’s Answer

    You ask: Why is a completed probation for burglary of a habitation still on a person's criminal record?

    When a person is placed on probation, and successfully completes it, that case is "closed." But it still happened, and the law treats it that way. It will be included as part of the person's criminal record - for life. That's why it's called a criminal record - it's recorded!

    If it was deferred adjudication probation, it won't be a conviction - that's the main advantage of getting deferred adjudication. But it's still on the person's record. The person was still arrested, he still plead guilty (or no contest), and he still did probation. The person's criminal record will show all of that. In such a case, those matters may be non-disclosed after the statutory wating period. Non-disclosure means the matter will be erased or completely shielded from public view, but the government (law enforcement, FBI, CIA, INS, etc.) will always have access to it.

    If was regular (non-deferred adjudication) probation, it's a final conviction, and it's on the record for life for anyone to see, unless you can get a pardon from the state governor, which is highly unlikely. If the person does get a pardon, it can then be expunged (legally erased.)

    The person's lawyer should have explained all of this to the person before the person agreed to that particular plea bargain. And the lawyer probably did. But that doesn't mean that the lawyer would have necessarily explained all of that to you...

    Best of luck to you.

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  • If i have a Bench Warrant in Ca for about 15 grand will that prevent me from getting a texas Drivers license.

    ??

    John’s Answer

    You ask: Will a $15,000 bench warrant out of California prevent you from getting a Texas Drivers License?

    Simply having a warrant out of California shouldn't prevent you from getting a Texas DL (driver's license,) but, if under California law, the type of warrant has caused a suspension of your California DL, Texas will probably honor that suspension and not issue a Texas DL until you have cleared things in California. I say "probably" because for some reason Texas and California don't always "play nice" when it comes to following each other's laws.

    The only way to know for sure as to whether you can get a Texas DL is to contact the Texas DL authority, which is the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    I'm not exactly sure that you are using the term "bench warrant" properly. In Texas, a bench warrant is used to bring somebody to court to conduct a hearing on some unfinished business. If the matter has already been decided, and it's just a warrant for money to be paid, and nothing else, it should be a "capias" warrant. And if it's only about a $15,000 administrative DL surcharge, it probably isn't a warrant at all - it's just an unpaid surcharge that prevents you from renewing your California DL (or probably getting a Texas DL).

    If it's a warrant for an outstanding felony charge, that would be an "alias" warrant, and Texas will likely arrest and extradict you as soon as you come in to contact with law enforcement. I use the word likely because again, Texas and California do not always see eye to eye on such matters.

    If it's an outstanding misdemeanor alias warrant, it probably won't have any effect at all on obtaining a Texas DL.

    And if nothing else, you can always get an occupational driver's license (ODL), provided that your California DL has not been revoked for mental or physical disability.

    You should probably contact a lawyer to figure out exactly waht your situation is.

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  • I wanted to renew my vows this summer with my husband and want to know what will happen to our previous marriage license?

    Hi, We wanted to renew our vows this summer. Its our 5 year anniversary. I wanted to go to to the local court house where we got married. This is for the state of TX. Can we do this and will we get a new marriage record?? Kinda confused. What w...

    John’s Answer

    No. Your marriage doesn't "start over" just because you renew your vows. Your opld marriage certificate remains intact, and you won't get a new one. Renewing your vows is prett much just a ceremonial / romantic thing.

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  • Can I reinstate my Colorado cancelled license in TX?

    it was cancelled because of an unpaid parking ticket that is now paid.I have since moved to Dallas.

    John’s Answer

    Texas should grant you a Texas driver's license as long as you have done everything necessary to clear up the cancellation / suspension / revocation in Colorado. In the event that you have a problem doing so, you could get an occupational driver's license (ODL) which would allow you to drive until you cleared things up in Colorado.

    You shouldn't need a lawyer to clear things up in Colorado - just call the applicable driver's license bureau there. If you need an ODL, you'll probably want a lawyer to assist you.

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  • Do I have a good chance at getting my felony probation reinstated since I got a bond on motion to revoke probation?

    I have been on probation for a year.I relapsed a few months ago and drank.I have not drank since then.I go to AA meetings and do my community service and report everytime I'm supposed to.I went to jail last week for motion to revoke probation.I di...

    John’s Answer

    The answers already given are very good answers. You really haven't specified why there is a motion to revoke your probation. Is it merely for consuming alcohol? If so, how did they find out? Interlock violations?

    The most important thing in a probation revocation hearing is knowing the judge. If you know how the judge has ruled in similar cases in the past, you should pretty much know what to expect in your very near future.

    If the violation is ONLY for consuming alcohol once (and not driving), pen time would seem pretty harsh. But small town east Texas judges can be pretty harsh.

    As I tell all of my clients: If you are on probation, and the prosecution can prove that you have violated your probation, you don't have any legal defense. The judge can do anything that he or she wants, as long as it is within the range of punishment set by law. All that you (or your lawyer) can do is 1) beg, and 2) promise that it won't happen again. Neither is much of a defense.

    Go to your judge's court several days in advance of trial, and watch everything that goes on for a day or two. Or maybe three. Or get your wife or a good friend to do it for you. Watch for a defense attorney who seems to get along extremely well with your judge. Hire him or her and hope for the best.

    Good luck to you, my friend.

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  • R n dwi in 98

    n9w have stip and has three months no wook on food stamps can not get a job

    John’s Answer

    I'll take a shot at this...

    I think that you're saying that you are an RN in Dallas, picked up a DWI in 1998, and after 22 years in the nursing business, now you can't find work (?). If that's so, that's pretty sad, but all you can do about it is keep plugging away. Surely you have many contacts in the medical field. Start calling around and asking for help.

    It's not really a legal problem, but it's a bad problem. Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I be charged with a DUI if I never drove, because I fell asleep in my car after drinking too much?

    I went into my car to call a taxi, but before I could, I threw up, and after that, fell asleep. I was NEVER planning on driving.

    John’s Answer

    In Texas, the prosecution has to prove that you "drove or operated" a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The DWI statute does not define "drove or operated," so it is a question of fact, meaning that every jury (or judge in a non-jury trial) has to decide whether the prosecutors have proved that you "drove or operated."

    Some cops think that you "drove or operated" a vehicle if they can connect you to the vehicle in any way whatsoever. Sleeping in your car is good enough for those cops to arrest, and they will surely testify that sleeping in your car is "driving or operating" the vehicle.

    To defend against this, among other things, your lawyer should spend quite a bit of time during your jury selecton on what constitutes "driving or operating" a motor vehicle. "Mr. Juror, do you think that sleeping in a car constitutes "driving or operating" a motor vehicle? No? Why not? Are you sure? Does anyone disagree with Mr. Juror? Of course not! That's just common sense, isn't it? If a cop tries to tell you that sleeping in a car is the same as "driving or operating" it, would you say that cop was being truthful? If a dog is sleeping in a car, is that dog operating the vehicle? If a baby is sleeping in a car, is the baby operating the vehicle? If a blind quadriplegic was sleeping in a car, is he or she driving or operating the vehicle? Etc.

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