Skip to main content
David R. Lee
Avvo
Pro

David Lee’s Answers

255 total


  • Should I get an attorney or pay the ticket?

    I got a ticket in Colorado County Texas in 2009 for going 16-20 miles above the speed limit. I was young, dumb and ignored the ticket. Now there is a failure to appear charge of $434.20 and the fine of $301.60. I cannot renew my license until I t...

    David’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Depends primarily on what kind of license you have. If you have a CDL then you need to post a bond and hire an attorney. If not then. unless you already paid 3 moving violations and this would be 4, or includes an allegation of Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility, you wallet will be lighter but there would be no other lasting effect. If paying this creates 4 moving violations over a 12 month (any 12 month) period, then The Department will come after your license as a habitual violator. The fact that it was years ago will not protect you.
    If it includes a FMFR (no insurance) you have to post bonds and fight it. Those NEVER go off your record and two . . . ever. . . will cause (guess what?) The Department (of Public Safety) to come after your license for up to a two year suspension. But if neither of these scenarios apply, then you COULD, could, mind you, "just pay them". Or hire an atty to try to negotiate them down.

    See question 
  • What happends if i quit drug court?

    Carlos alberto vasquez castillo 531-53-3702 july/16/1992

    David’s Answer

    you better hope that's somebody else's info. Because everything you own is now at risk. Change all of your passwords and account numbers TODAY.
    Quittin drug court is virtually a ONE WAY trip to the joint. Don't do it. Talk to your lawyer about why you want to do that, and where you can get help so you don't cause yourself everlasting harm, by quitting drug court.

    See question 
  • If a speeding ticket was written, and the county is wrong on the ticket, shouldn't that be dismissed?

    I got pulled over and received a speeding ticket in Somervell county. the officer wrote hood county on the ticket. why shouldn't I have been sent to the Somervell county judge to pay the ticket, instead of hood county, where theyre more likely to ...

    David’s Answer

    Disagree, I'm afraid. Lack of Jurisdiction is "all fall down". It's a go - no go deal. Either they have jurisdiction or they don't. If not, they're dead, period. . . . In THAT court. They could, up to 2 years later, re-file the case in a court of competent jurisdiction in the correct county. And they might. But a more fundamental question is: Are they alleging an offense location - on the ticket - that is located in Somervell County or in Hood County. Where you got pulled over - by contrast - and by what agency, have almost nothing to do with jurisdiction. LEOs are LEOs 24-7 no matter where they are. If a Hood Co officer sees you commit an offense in Somervell Co. He can detain you until either a person with statewide jurisdiction (DPS, any Constable, yes, constable) or one belonging to that county (like SCSO) comes along and issues you a promise to appear (aka ticket) or arrests you (for anything besides speeding or open container) and takes you before a magistrate immediately. What won't work is: a local or statewide officer writes you a ticket for an offense that occurred in Fort Bend Co, and sends you to a JP in Harris Co. or Wharton Co., for instance. They can file wherever they like, but then the question becomes OK, do I, the JP (and the district or county attorney who staffs my court) have jurisdiction over this matter? If we don't, we're done, and we are wasting our valuable time.

    See question 
  • Do I need a criminal defense lawyer??

    I just got charged with theft of 1500 to more than 20k. What are my chances of doing jail time?

    David’s Answer

    A felony theft conviction is a VERY BIG, bordering on GIANT deal. The teaser said "do I need a criminal defense attorney?". It made me laugh. If you're asking, you already know the answer. A guilty plea for straight time reduced sentence, or for probation is an everlasting CONVICTION involving moral terpitude. Unless your record is already stinkadelic you do not want to go that route. These cannot be erased. They are both final convictions. They can't be hidden in any way. Every job you apply for, every loan, credit app, mortgage, car loan, apt. rent, will ping off that conviction, creating an ever longer paper trail. Most people these days have no idea what a mill stone is, so picture a monster truck tire and wheel hanging around your neck and a shoulder (you'd be crushed, of course since they weigh half a ton). How far are you going to get like that?

    Fight this. Like MJ said: you miss 100% of the shots you never take.

    See question 
  • Do criminal defense attorneys have to respond to a client's e-mail and questions about their pending case?

    I have an attorney that doesn't like to answer my questions and will not tell exactly what is going on in my current felony case. To which had yet to be filed by the state.

    David’s Answer

    Two things are going on. 1. The Attorney is doing what many, many others have done and, unfortunately, will do: failing to adequately communicate. More grievances are filed for this reason than any other, by a long shot. . . . . on the other hand 2. There may be nothing to say. You stated that your case has yet to be filed. Getting information from the State when they are still investigating is very difficult-impossible. However, it may will indicate that their case is no good. If they thought they HAD you cold, they'd file and indict right away. Long investigations may be a sign of meticulous prosecution, or it may be that they just don't have much of a case and are hoping somebody involved gets scared enough to drop you in the grease. Are you paying YOUR attorney to investigate/represent you?. If not, he HAS NO duty to communicate with you. Just talking to him or her, or even having a consultation does not make he or she your attorney. Signing contracts, and paying green money do. That may sound elementary and patronizing, but you'd be amazed at how many people think talking to an attorney about something, or dropping off paperwork is enough.

    See question 
  • Walmart shoplifting

    I got caught stealing $13 worth of makeup in Brownsville Tx, they didn't call the police or make me sign anything or take my picture but they did get my ssn, address, and name and DOB, they said I would receive a civil demand letter through the ma...

    David’s Answer

    First and foremost: loose lips sink ships. WATCH what you say in writing. Defense Attorneys are not the only ones who look at these.
    The worst that can happen? They file criminal theft charges (if they can convince an ADA or Assist. City Atty to take the charges). They technically have up to two years to do so, but I wouldn't lose sleep over that possibility. If they were going to, they already would have.
    The demand letters are plain hooey. Blow them off. They're thinking: "Hey, you miss 100% of the shots you never take. Can't hurt to ask. He MIGHT even pay us."

    The previous advice is well taken. My last client did this for several years. Then he started getting Caught, and caught and caught with unfortunate things in his possession, etc. We kept him from doing time, but it cost him Thousands of dollars. Thank God his family had money, and continued to shell it out on his behalf.
    Shoplifting is theft. It is an offense indicating moral turpitude. Don't do it. Why ruin your life if you don't have to?

    See question 
  • Being fined for missing a court date of which I was never notified.

    Is there a way to get rid of assesed court fees for a hearing when I was never notified? I just tried to renew my EZ Tag (toll road in Houston) and found out I have 2000+ dollars in fines. 50-60 dollars in unpaid tolls and 2000+ for a missed cour...

    David’s Answer

    Unless you are independently wealthy, the best way to handle this is to PAY it. The HCTRA is a racket. They provide administrative hearings where the only question is: what payment option do you want to elect. Seriously. Then you will have to appeal the result and pay an attorney hourly fees to contest the outcome. You may be able to be able to avoid the consequences of the "failure to appear". But the fines, collection fees, and unpaid tolls will have to be paid, or possibly negotiated down. The Problem is: you told them your address was X when you signed up for the EZ tag. As a matter of law, they are entitled to rely on that information when seeking to communicate with you. You didn't tell them your new address in GodForsakenHellHole . . . I mean Afwaneestan. You NEED an attorney, and soon.

    See question 
  • My bf got a DUI 2 years ago and has a month left till his case is dropped & exponged off his record. Got a speeding ticket today

    Now what happens!! Does it affect the case?

    David’s Answer

    All of the following is predicated upon this being an adult DUI (seldom charged) or DWI (OFTEN charged) B misdemeanor case. If it arose in Juvenile Court, all bets are off. It could not have been a C Misd. case. Deferred Disposition under CodeCrim.Proc. Art. 45.01 cannot go on any longer than 180 days after the date the plea (no contest or guilty [both are really guilty pleas]) was entered. The Court loses jurisdiction on the 181st day. Only successful 45.051 "Deferreds" are automatically eligible for expunction. It is a big detour from the rest of the law.

    In more serious cases, any plea of guilt takes you out of consideration for expunction. The best you could hope for would be a Petition for Limited Distribution of Criminal Information. Or "sealing the record" in street parlance.

    If it wasn't a Class C misd, and it almost certainly is not, then it cannot be expunged (erased, altogether), as a matter of law. See Ch55 of the Code of CrimProc. Most of the time, very minor matters like speeding which do not need criminal intent to commit have no effect on the pending Deferred Disposition. 300 mph in a school zone with your non-street-legal funny car, well, that might be treated differently. So he should not fear telling the PO/Community Supervision Officer about the ticket. Make SURE he goes to court and does not let this turn into a failure to appear. That would open a whole 'nother can of worms. There are indeed many ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Hire an attorney, or rouse the one he already had for the original case and get him or her working on this, before this whole thing blows up.

    See question 
  • I received a ticket 3 months ago, and it has increased and I now have a warrant. Is it legal to increase the fine amount?

    Hello, I recently received a speeding ticket in October of 2014. It was originally around $250 I believe, and then increased to $600. I missed court dates and now have a warrant, that said, shouldn't I have to pay for my original speedi...

    David’s Answer

    Of course it is legal. One might argue that under the Texas Comptroller's mandated Programs, they have to do it. But let's be clear. The traffic fine is not increasing. It is set by law. So too are the court costs. Collection fees (even if no collection activity actually occurred), and Additional fines and court costs for the new Violation of Promise to Appear case, Omni fees etc, are what is driving up the tab. Those law firms . . . I mean collection agencies . . . contracted with whatever court you are in Have To make (and are unquestionably entitled to [just ask 'em!]) a profit.

    It is ALWAYS worse not to go to Court than to go. That is Etched in Stone someplace. I'm certain of it. So if you want to fight, get with a bondsman (too bad you aren't it Harris Co - there is even more unpleasant news awaiting you) and get the warrants recalled and the cases put back on the docket. Then you can hire an attorney and get after it. If you don't, then gather a substantial downpayment and then see about a time payout of the fines and costs. Most courts, these days, will not LET you "lay out" the fine by going to jail. Any fine you pay will carry statutory court costs with it, and every moving violation case you pay a fine on MUST go onto your driving record. So if you are (were?) a truck driver, start looking for another line of work, if you intend to simply pay.

    See question 
  • If you write a statement contesting a speeding ticket in HI does this increase the chances that the ticket will show up on recor

    I trying to avoid the ticket from showing up on my record so trying to determine if I write a letter contesting it does that increase the chances that it will show up on my driving record in Texas or is it best to just pay the ticket.

    David’s Answer

    You were in Hawai'i and got a speeding ticket? But you dusted it off and went back to Austin? Does writing a letter contesting it (which probably results in a plea of Not Guilty being entered on your behalf) increase your chances? Depends on what the letter says. "I had to go fast because xyz" is universally construed as an admission of guilt. XYZ is seldom a defense to a charge of speeding. There are some specific situations enumerated in the TEXTRANSCODE that are defenses. But you need to look up Hawai'i's pertinent statutes, if you're serious about this.

    If you contest the ticket, even inadvertently, but do not return for the hearing/trial/whatever that results from that choice, things will get worse. Much worse. Real fast. And offenses, and especially delinquencies, are reported by all 50 States back to the driver's home State under the Violator Compact

    On the other hand, if you're looking for an excuse to go back . . . (and who isn't!?!) . . .

    In either case, if you intend to contest the matter, in whatever forum and under whatever set of procedures they have, in whatever "county" you were in, then you should seek out qualified legal counsel there (unless you want to fly my wife and I out there. We prefer the pink lady [Royal H] by the way, but the Outrigger Main; Ocean View w/ lanai, will do) to defend your interests.

    See question