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Mark W. Bennett

Mark Bennett’s Answers

53 total

  • Is there any possible way to to get my court probation reduced and have this charge expunged sooner??

    i commited a crime that has really changed my life and if i could go back and stop what i did i would.. i was charged with a misdameanor in embezzlement. i recieved 3 yrs court probation & having to pay restetution of 573$ plus court fees. this w...

    Mark’s Answer

    I think Cynthia and Shannon may have missed something.

    The initial length of a misdemeanor probation in Texas is three years. So if you received three years' probation up front, it wasn't a misdemeanor. (A two-year probation can be extended th three years if you violate your probation.)

    You don't specify whether your probation was a deferred adjudication or a regular probation.

    If your probation was a deferred adjudication, then you can't get your record expunged, but you may be able to get your record sealed from public view with a petition for nondisclosure at some point—upon termination of the probation if it's really a misdemeanor; five years after termination of the probation if it was actually a felony. The statute of limitations has nothing to do with it.

    If it was a regular probation, you can't get your record sealed or expunged.

    As Cynthia noted, you may be able to get the probation terminated early.

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  • Should one go ahead and get a lawyer if someone accused them of touching

    someone accused of being fundled 3 years ago was 8 at the time noe is 13, we just found out about the allegation should we contact cps

    Mark’s Answer

    If you're the accused, CPS is the last agency you should contact.

    If you're not the accused, though, and you learn of abuse, you may have a duty to report it.

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  • Is it legal for a 44 yo man to seduced a 17 yo girl in Texas?

    My soon to be ex has seduced one of my daughters friends. The text messages he sent the child make that clear. Is this legal? Do I have a duty to call police? Not sure how to handle this one.

    Mark’s Answer

    The age of consent in Texas is 17; that is, a 17-year-old can legally consent to having sex with anyone, even a 44-year-old. So it is (barring any other facts) legal, and you have no duty to call the police.

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  • Texas rape with drunk 18 year old and sober 14 year old?

    If a person is drunk and is either sleeping or passed out, and a willing 14 year old, who either wakes you up or brings you out of being passed out, starts having sex with you...who is 'raping' who...if you are that 'out of it', can you give conse...

    Mark’s Answer

    This question illustrates why it's better to talk to a creative lawyer who practices in the area where you might be accused, rather than someone giving cookie-cutter answers from (for example) California.

    While voluntary intoxication is not itself a defense to criminal charges in Texas, every crime in Texas requires a voluntary act. The drunk 18-year-old may have a defense based on the sexual conduct being involuntary.

    Hire a lawyer to advise you before talking to anyone else about this situation. Anything you say to anyone other than a lawyer will come back to bite you.

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  • Bail Bonds

    What does it mean when a lawyer can do bail bonds? And does it matter if lawyer is a member of bail bond board?

    Mark’s Answer

    Paul's right about the conflict. I would add that this is a matter you should discuss with someone other than the lawyer who proposes to both represent you and act as your surety. I find that lawyers with conflicts of interest often don't realize that they have conflicts of interest—the desire to make a buck blinds them to what would be obvious to an objective observer.

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  • I received a deferred adjudication probation for selling unlabeled CD's. Im about to terminate and want a reduction.Any chance?

    Since probation I have received my college degree nad am in grad school. My probation office has sent my file to the judge for early termination but I also want to petition the judge for a reduction of the case to a misdemeanor for me to be able t...

    Mark’s Answer

    As Rosario and Paul note, since you pled guilty or no contest to a felony, you're stuck with a felony on your record.

    My colleague Rosario's solution—wait five years after the probation is terminated and get an order of nondisclosure—will not help you much, since state licensing agencies (including whoever licenses psycologists) are one of the groups that will still have access to the records even after nondisclosure.

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  • How long will expungement take for a Class a misdemeanor conviction in Texas.

    I plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor conviction for "Fraud, destruction of a price tag". I was fined $200, and given 180 days probation for 1 year, probation terminated in 2002. Did 300 hours of community service.

    Mark’s Answer

    I have to disagree with Paul on one thing: a deferred adjudication does not require a no-contest plea.

    180-days-probated-for-one-year sounds like a straight probation, which can't be expunged or sealed.

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  • What is the statue of limitations on statutory rape in the state of Texas?

    Drunk girl claims she was raped. However, defendant claims she participated.

    Mark’s Answer

    "Statutory rape" is sexual assault of a child (in Texas, under 17). There is no statute of limitations, in Texas, on statutory rape, and consent is not a defense (unless the child was at least 14 and the defendant was no more than three years older than the child).

    To the previous answerer: the question was specifically about Texas law. Please see

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  • How should I plead in a car accident case in which a DWI was issued to me?

    My car swerved due to gravel on the road, animal remains, and possible flat tire. In overcorrecting vehicle I entered oncoming lanes and was struck by two vehicles. Totalled all cars involved. Only minor injuries sustained by drivers. My passenger...

    Mark’s Answer

    "Not guilty."

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  • Im 17 living in the state of Texas & My Boyfriend is 27 Is This Illegal?

    Im living with my dad in the state of texas, my dad and step mom love my boyfriend. He even asked permission to date me and my dad said yes. My REAL mom found out and she is pissed. is there anything she can do to try to ruin my life?

    Mark’s Answer

    One small correction to Paul's answer: as of 9/1/2007 there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault of a child, so if the government finds out that you and your boyfriend had sex when you were 16, he could be charged with a felony at any time.

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