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John M. Gioffredi

John Gioffredi’s Answers

181 total

  • I have a probation violation warrant for my arrest this is my second violation my first violation wasn't revoked whats will hapn

    I want to know what will happen. I was charged with a mistameanor of possession of xanax and that is what I was violated for. I am on deferred probation for burglary of a habitation. Will I get jail time. I have never failed a drug test and never ...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Nobody knows what will happen to you if you violate probation.

    I'll answer your question like I answer every other probation violation question: If you are on probation (and apparently you are), and the DA can prove that you violated your probation (and it sounds like they can), then the judge can do anything he or she wants to you, as long as it is within the sentencing options provided by state law. That includes a lot of options, including a long prison sentence.

    I somewhat disagree with the other attorneys, however, when they write that you are "likely" to be revoked. Most Dallas judges are somewhat reluctant to sentence a decent person to the pen for relatively minor violations of the law, especially if there is some evidence that substance abuse is at the heart of the matter. If you are a decent person, and if you have a good relationship with your probation officer, and have otherwise been doing well on probation, lesser sanctions are certainly a possibility. The judge could continue you on probation and add drug rehab, more community service hours, or lengthen your probation, or require you to serve up to 180 days in jail.

    But there is no legal defense to your violating of probation. If your violation is proven by the DA, your butt belongs to the judge. The judge gets to do whatever the judge wants. You better hope that the judge is in a good mood when he or she hears your case. If they aren't in a good mood, reschedule your hearing for another day. Seriously. Sometimes resetting a case is the very best legal action a lawyer can take. As a lawyer, I never enjoy being put in the position of having to beg for my client. It's never very comfortable.

    Get yourself a good lawyer!

    Good luck to you!

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  • Are there specific qualifications for someone to be a criminal defense attorney?

    How do I know if the lawyer really is a criminal defense attorney if it is not on his website?

    John’s Answer

    While I agree with the others, don't overlook the obvious: Check with the State Bar to make sure the person is a licensed attorney. If they aren't licensed, they aren't any type of attorney!

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  • How long do i have wait to get record expunged of class b misdemeanor theft in Dallas county TX

    How long do i have wait to get record expunged of class b misdemeanor theft in Dallas county TX once case DISMISSED with Fine + class + community service.

    John’s Answer

    The other attorneys are correct. If you aren't sure what type of disposition / probation it was, a good rule of thumb is: If you stood before a judge, that would be some sort of adjudication - probably deferred Adjudication, based on your query. Notice the two words: JUDge - adJUDication. If you NEVER went before a judge, it is more likely a pre-trial diversion of some sort. Again, judge probably = some sort of trial. No judge probably = pre-trial diversion.

    Bottom line: Quit guessing and consult a local lawyer! Chances are they'll let you know for free!

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  • Is it rape if one person was intoxicated?

    Is it considered rape if while I was drunk, a completely sober guy had sex with me? I told him i didn't want to have actual sex, but i didn't do anything but verbalize it once. He didnt force me or hold me down or anything. This resulted in a chil...

    John’s Answer

    You say that a guy had sex with you, without your consent, and while you were drunk, and that the incident resulted in your pregnancy, and eventually a child. In Texas, the crime you are describing is aggravated sexual assault, which is committed if a person "causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent." It doesn't matter if it was violent or not. It doesn't matter if you were drunk or not. If it was without your consent, it is sexual assault. That is a first degree felony carrying a potential penalty of 5 to 99 years, or life imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Generally, the statute of limitations for this offense is 10 years from the date of the incident, or 10 years from the victim's 18th birthday, whichever is later.

    Although a life sentence is one possibility, the offender could also get probation, so there is an extremely wide range of punishment available at sentencing. Judges and juries are allowed to make the punishment fit the crime, including all of the surrounding circumstances.

    A conviction is a distinct possibility under the facts you have provided, though I wouldn't think a conviction would be a "slam dunk." The prosecutor will have to establish that you didn't consent to the encounter, and the jury may require some proof other than simply your testimony.

    If you were under the age of 17 at the time it happened, lack of consent is easy to establish. If you were 16 years of age or younger, you couldn't consent legally. The male would be guilty unless he could establish both consent and that his age was within 3 years of yours (the so-called "Romeo" or "Romeo and Juliette" defense.)

    Contact a lawyer if you want further clarification. Best of luck to you.

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  • I was arrested for public intoxication and wasn't tested for alcohol.

    A friend and I were at my apartment pool. I was swimming in the water, my buddy sitting at a table under an umbrella. We had been there for about 3 hours enjoying the day, drinking a couple mixed drinks. We were not drunk by any means, not yelling...

    John’s Answer

    Assuming that your version of the facts is accurate, it sounds like a fairly certain Not Guilty. But a lawyer may charge anywhere from $750 to $2,500 to do a jury trial for you. And that money can't be recouped. Alternatively, you should be able to keep the offense off your record by requesting deferred adjudication. Assuming that option is available (and it probably would be), the most that should cost you is a $500 fine and maybe $200 in court costs and fees for rehabilitative type programs.

    If you aren't guilty, you SHOULD hire a lawyer and fight it. But if you just want out as cheaply as possible, look into getting deferred.adjudication.

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  • Just got charged with my first DWI last night, my breath test was at the station, it was .11 and .10 --- I am in Dallas TX

    I was pulled over for "swerving lanes with no blinker". I believe I passed the sobriety test pretty well, just wondering if I should get an attorney, I've read that it's "better" because they'll spend more time on you, but is it worth it and any a...

    John’s Answer

    Of course you should hire an attorney! If you had a heart attack, would you question whether or not you should see a doctor???

    If you "passed the sobriety tests pretty well," and that is captured on the video of your arrest, there is always a chance that you can beat the case. Especially with a relatively low breath test. If you changed lanes without using your turn signal, that would be a legal stop, but if you merely swerved a bit, but never changed lanes, a turn signal is not required, and you may be able to have the case dismissed with a motion to quash. And you may have a rising alcohol defense as well, depending upon the facts. (Alcohol levels can change quite quickly over short periods of time. It's possible that you were under the 0.08 legal limit when you were arrested, and only reached 0.11 an hour or so later, when the breath test was administered.)

    In short, you have several avenues that might lead to a not guilty verdict. Most lawyers will provide a free consultation, so take an afternoon off work and speak to at least two or three lawyers. You can find a lot of information about DWI online, and you can start at my website if you'd like:

    Best of luck to you!

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  • Legal interpretation for "appears in public place"

    What constitutes a person to "appear in a public place." The word "appear" is a gray area. For example: A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person o...

    John’s Answer

    To answer your specific question, the person must BE in a public place to commit the offense of public intoxication. Your home is definitely private, and you can't be convicted for public intoxication if there is no proof that you were ever outside your home.

    Being seen in your home from behind your open window is a good example. Although the police STILL might be able to take you into protective custody under a community care-taking theory if the facts were crazy enough. For example, if you were seen drunkenly waiving a gun around, or chopping up the curtains or walls with an axe...

    What exactly constitutes a "public place" is largely up to the jury (or judge) hearing that case. If the jury says the place is public, an appellate court is not likely to disagree. Woodruff v. State 899 SW 2d 444 says "if the public has ANY access to the place in question, the place is public." I've seen numerous occasions where officers go to a house in answer to a 911 call, then arrest the person for public intoxication after first getting them to step outside onto the porch. (So if the police ever ask you to step outside and you've been drinking, do so at your own risk! And never invite the police into your home!)

    If you are currently facing a legal charge, hire an attorney! You'll have plenty of time for independent research later!

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  • Can a hard DL suspension be lifted?

    My license has been suspended for two years. I have been told that there Is a one year hard suspension from the day of the conviction placed on my license.

    John’s Answer

    Dallas, Texas - You ask if there is any way to lift a "Hard" Driver's License Suspension. A hard driver's license suspension occurs in Texas if there are two or more drug or alcohol related DL suspensions occurring within a 5 year period. A hard suspension means that the person is ineligible for an occupational license for a fixed period of time ranging from 90 days to one year.

    Up until 5 days ago, I would have simply said "No. It can't be done." Last Thursday I found out that there is a new exception for participants in a court approved "DWI court" probation. DWI court is a very intensive DWI probation to help rehabiliate persons with moderate to severe alcohol (or sometimes drug) problems.

    DWI court is at least TEN times more difficult than regular DWI probation. Basically, it is a discounted alcohol rehab program run by and through the court system. In exchange for you working your butt off 5 or 6 days a week and trying to kick a drug or alcohol problem, they give you an occupational license free of charge (even if you don't otherwise qualify), waive your fines, and actually shorten the probation period to one year.

    It's a lot of work, and not appropriate if you don't have real substance abuse problems, but an occupational driver's license is available if you otherwise qualify. If you are on DWI probation currently on a Dallas county case, ask your lawyer (who may not know about it), your probation officer (who also may not know about it), or contact the DWI court directly at County Criminal Court Number 1 at ph. (214) 653-5605. Ask for DWI court information.

    Best of luck to you!

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  • Is it possible for a person to be on two separate felony probation's at one time, both for the same offense?

    a friend of mine was on felony probation for a cocaine possession. while on that probation, he was set up trying to deliver an ounce of cocaine to a friend-turned informant. Can he possibly get put on a second probation?

    John’s Answer

    Dallas: You ask if a person on felony probation for cocaine possession can be given probation for a one ounce cocaine delivery case occurring while they are on probation. The short answer is "Yes, it's possible" - but I sure wouldn't bet on it.

    Probation is basically a contract between the probationer and the judge. The judge says "OK, you screwed up, but I'll give you another chance. Screw up again, and I can send you to the pen." Your friend has obviously screwed up again. If the prosecutor can prove that your friend has violated his probation, the judge can do anything he or she wants, as long as it is allowed by law, and that includes sending him to the pen or the state jail facility.

    Judges don't look too kindly on drug dealing. And drug dealing while on felony probation is an extremely high risk proposition, to say the least. Anything is possible, but I don't like your friend's chances. Drug dealing while on felony probation is like wearing a T shirt to court that says "F*** you, judge, and your f***ing probation! I live by my OWN rules!"

    Your friend's behavior and his attitude is wrong - very wrong. Unless your friend has an extremely forgiving judge and some highly unusual circumstances, I suspect that your friend will be living by the rules of the state penetentiary system over the next several years, not his own.

    Best of luck to you and your friend.

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  • How can I get a Misdemeanor class c Offenses Expunged?

    how much will it cost me? its been almost 2years..

    John’s Answer

    You ask if you can get Class C midemeanors expunged. The question might seem simple, but the answer is fairly complicated Class C misdemeanors include traffic tickets and any crime which is punishable by fine only. These cases are normally filed in municipal or JP courts.

    For any Class C acquittal or outright dismissal (i.e.-you were never fined or put on probation), you could expunge the offense under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (TCCP) Section 55.01. You should also be able to expunge any successfully completed Class C deferred adjudication under TCCP Art. 45.051(e). You can also expunge one "under age" alcohol conviction under the Texas Alcohol Beverage Code Sections 106.01 - 106.15.

    The filing fees could be as low as $30 and as high as $282 or so, depending on the applicable code section, and other factors. I would suspect that you could find a local attorney to do the work for less than $1,200.

    Because of all of the various factors, you should probably be speaking to lawyers (either in person or over the phone) rather than trying to get answers in a written forum such as this.

    Best of luck to you!

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