Skip to main content
M Elizabeth Gunn

M Gunn’s Answers

3,021 total


  • My Step Daughter school won't let me see her can I sue should I sue??? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

    I have joint custody of My 7 year old step daughter I have papers signed by the judge to prove it but my ex wife told the school not to let me see her but I'm the one who has the final say so on where the child lives and goes to school but when I ...

    M’s Answer

    School personnel, like law enforcement, are put in the position of trying to straighten out stuff like this on a pretty regular basis. But usually, they just don't really know what to do, so they often end up seeming to side with whichever parent approaches them first and seems likely to push the issue. Keep in mind they're not lawyers, and some of this stuff is actually pretty complex to figure out (even if it's well-drafted, which many custody orders are not). Suing the school district is an understandable response to your frustration, but I think not one that will probably end up getting you where you need to be in a reasonable manner. I think you should likely be able to resolve the issue by hiring an attorney to addressing the situation with the school district's attorneys, who, unlike the principal, presumably can read and correctly interpret the contents of the order. Good luck, and good for you for wanting to stay in your step-daughter's life.

    See question 
  • How do you get a bench warrant using public defender from Denton to Houston Texas? Thank you

    Bench warrant- Son has five weeks left on sentence in Denton County Texas and still has a warrant pending in Houston, TX for using his brothers name at a traffic stop. He would like to go ahead and be bench warranted to Houston.

    M’s Answer

    Presumably Harris County has put a detainer on him telling Denton County not to release him without giving them a chance to come pick him up and transport him to Harris County to deal with that other case. But that transfer won't happen until he's served out his sentence with Denton County. He should, however, get credit on any sentence he gets for the Harris County case for whatever time spent in the Denton County jail after that detainer got placed on him. That credit seems to get misplaced sometimes, though, so your son needs to make sure that his attorney knows about it to make sure he receives it on the Harris County case.

    See question 
  • Can I press charge the guy he lured my daughter to his room and has sex with her ? Thanks for any suggestion.

    I live in TX. My daughter is 16 years of age. She has a boy friend (Friend as a boy). Last week, during my daughter worked on her school project in the park, he came and invited my daughter to have ice cream and walk around the park with him. Afte...

    M’s Answer

    That will probably depend mostly on how old this guy is. If there's more than exactly three years between their ages (meaning he has or will turn 20 before she turns 17), that would probably be filed as Sexual Assault of a Child. If that's not the case,and their ages are within that three year range, it's probably going to take a little more than showing he gave her ice cream to demonstrate that she didn't provide valid consent for whatever sexual activity took place. If you're concerned about the situation, talk to someone with your police department, and they should be able to tell you what their decision is on whether to file charges and their reasoning for that decision.

    See question 
  • My question is pretty much explained inn the box that explains my situation

    I have a joint custody case with my 5 year old sons father. For periods at a time our getting along will go great but as soon as his said wife comes home everything changes. She has two kids of her, she just got out of jail a month ago and she bas...

    M’s Answer

    Certainly, it's possible. But it sounds like what you have now is what's called a standard possession order, and Texas law presumes that those provisions are what works best for kids unless there's either an agreement between the parents to do something else, or you can show the judge that there's a really good reason to do it another way. So changing what you've got now without the dad's agreement would require some pretty good evidence as to the reasons why making those changes would be in your son's best interest. You have several issues that would require special consideration, and while you may or may not get everything you want even with an attorney representing you, I do think doing that would help you quite a bit, and maybe even give you a chance to see if there are alternative solutions you may not have thought about yet. Good luck!

    See question 
  • Where can I find a lawyer for these?

    I have a a few criminal records to be sealed. Some in Harris County and some in Galveston County. I also need to remove the father from my son's birth certificate. My son's father currently only has medical right to pay child support. He has not p...

    M’s Answer

    You're not going to be able to remove your son's father from his birth certificate. Custody is a completely different matter from the birth certificate, and that would not be able to be changed unless you could show either that the information on there is factually wrong (like they screwed up and put "John" instead of "Don"), or he actually gets his rights terminated and your son then gets adopted by someone else. It doesn't sound like either of those is what you're talking about.

    Whether you can get your criminal records sealed (or expunged, which is a different procedure) will depend entirely on what happened with the cases, and in some circumstances, how long ago it happened. If you ended up with a conviction, which includes things like time served, regular probation, fine only, etc., you're not going to be able to either seal or expunge that case. If you got a dismissal after deferred adjudication, you can usually, but not always, get the records sealed. If the case got dismissed, an arrest never resulted in a court case, something like that, you may be able to get an expunction. I practice in Galveston County and I handle both expunctions and nondisclosures, and would be happy to talk to you, but nobody's going to be able to help you unless your criminal cases ended in a way that allows a nondisclosure or expunction, because you cannot go back later and change the disposition. Good luck.

    See question 
  • What will happend if i absconded from probation was to be over on 7/04/16 & hasn't got caught

    If I'm on probation and absconded and my probation was to be over on July 4 2016 what will happen with my probation if I get caught after the expiration date I did some of the terms that was ordered but not complete all terms

    M’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There only two things associated with that situation that work at all like what you're talking about, and the odds are good neither will help you the way you're wanting. The first would be that the DA has to file a motion to revoke your probation at some point before your probation term is over, because if they don't, the court loses power to do anything about it. But as long as that motion is filed and the resulting capias against you get issued before your probation term expires, the court will still have the legal authority to revoke your probation even after your probation term should have been over.

    The second issue is that once that capias has been issued, the State is supposed to use due diligence (reasonable efforts) to get you arrested and back before the court. They can't just sit back and hope you get stopped on traffic. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they do, realistically. The only time it much matters is if it does end up taking a long time for you to be arrested, and once you get a hearing, your lawyer brings up the due diligence issue, shows the court that it took longer for the arrest than it should have (seems like there's an old case saying eight or nine months is presumptively long enough to warrant the judge looking at the issue if it does get challenged), that you really weren't that hard to find had they bothered to try (you hadn't moved, were in jail in another county, something like that), and I believe maybe also that your defense was somehow prejudiced by the delay.

    So unless one of those situations applies to you, and your lawyer raises it in court, you're not going to have any luck with your attempts to get out of this. Sorry.

    See question 
  • What should i do?how much is the fine?

    Am 16 years old today i got caught shoplifting i don't know how much i should pay i only stole around 12$ merchandise they say its a ticket but didn't call no cops and said that they would send a warrant if i didn't pay that in 3 weeks they would ...

    M’s Answer

    I know this is going to be really hard, but you are going to have to tell your parents about this. Given your age, you're actually going to have to have a parent come to court with you, and you really should have an attorney. But even if your parents can't afford an attorney, at least one will need to be involved with this. The good news is that you're still a juvenile under Texas law, and should get some form of "probation" (legally it's not, exactly) designed to get you back on the right track. Usually a fine/fee, an anti-theft class, and community service will be required, maybe other things, depending on the judge. It's not going to be the end of the world, but you do need to go ahead and tell your parents now, and face this head-on, so it doesn't become a bigger problem. Good luck.

    See question 
  • My question is with all that being who I am now, what are my options on getting my record "clean"

    Hello, I am a 33 year old male who lives in Texas. At the age of 17 I was convicted of a felony. The charge was Burglary of a Building. I was given 3 years probation, but failed and my probation was revoked. I did a year in state jail and wa...

    M’s Answer

    I'm sorry you're stuck in this situation. It really does sound like you've done a great job trying to get past it and have a meaningful life. Unfortunately, you are not eligible for either an expunction (which would destroy your arrest and case records) or Ann order of nondisclosure (which would seal them for most purposes). Unless you could somehow manage to get relief on a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus, which has a very high burden of proof and gets increasingly more unlikely to succeed the longer you wait, your odds of being able to do anything about this are very, very slim.

    A pardon is the only real legal mechanism we have for people in your circumstances, but in recent years, those just have not happened in Texas for people with felony convictions. The governor potentially takes a political hit for "being soft on criminals" every time he grants a pardon, and with our last two governors, that's resulted in them granting very, very few pardons for felonies. Last year, Greg Abbott, who I personally expect will grant even fewer than Perry did, gave out only four pardons in his first year of office, all for misdemeanors. On average, there have been somewhere around ten pardons granted each year for the last ten years. So yes, it's possible, but please, please keep all that in mind, and do your homework before paying a bunch of money to some questionable attorney who makes promises that can't be kept. Good luck.

    See question 
  • Can i get an expungement after I complete my probation successfully? i have a class c petty theft

    My 3 months probation ends in April over my dumb misstake of shoplifting under $50. I went before my court date & I talked to the judge & she basically said I would have gotten probation anyways bc it was my 1st offense. If I complete the probatio...

    M’s Answer

    Given that you have a Class C misdemeanor offense, as long as you do end up being successful with it and get a dismissal, then yes, you should be eligible for expunction after you're done. It's possible that you may not be eligible until 180 days after the offense date, but I think that the Houston municipal prosecutors (if that's where this case was?) normally allow expunction proceedings immediately upon dismissal. (I wouldn't swear to that, because the expunctions I've done of their cases have been old enough to be long past the 180 days, so I've never had to ask their policy on that, but believe I've heard a prosecutor mention that they do agree to the earlier expunctions).

    See question 
  • Will the court test the powder to see how pure it is?

    I got caught with 500mg of powder xanax on me in school and I gave some too a kid who told on me. They charged me with possession, distributing, and under the influence. I did not sell it to anyone though.

    M’s Answer

    The court doesn't test anything. The police agency involved will send the substance out for testing, but the purity is actually legally irrelevant to their case against you. If that seems unfair to you, you might want to take a moment to be grateful you're not one of the many people who have found themselves charged with first degree felony possession of a controlled substance (as in something that carries a 5-99 year TDCJ sentence as punishment) for having an ounce or two of codeine cough syrup mixed with a nice, big cup of Sprite in a Big Gulp cup (don't ask, just trust me on this--certain people used to do that on a very regular basis). When you go mixing a little codeine (which like Xanax, is a controlled substance, but would by itself at least potentially get filed as a misdemeanor, or at worst a low-grade felony), with Sprite, the entire weight of the resulting drink gets counted as being the weight of the controlled substance. So purity is really not an issue. Nor, for that matter, is whether you were giving it away versus selling it.

    See question