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Willard James Hall Jr.
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Willard Hall’s Answers

5 total

  • What is a reasonable time frame to expect blood draw results to be revealed by the prosecution?

    Arrest and blood draw were performed after a DWI on 9/112/2015 in Bryan, Texas. As of this date, no Information has been filed and the suspect is approaching graduation from college next month with the potential of employment in another state. He ...

    Willard’s Answer

    What is particularly troubling in this situation is that your son has been charged before the evidence is known. Having over 30 years in defending these types of cases, I am always surprised that many just assume this is the way it is suppose to be. In theory, no person is not suppose to be charged or indicted for a crime without probable cause as I am sure you know coming from law enforcement backgrounds. You also know that anyone in Texas who is charged with a DWI is entitled to full information relative to the arrest. As you are likely peace officers, you know that right now you can start looking into the complete background of the arresting officer and ALL officers having anything to do with the case by public records requests to www.tcole.texas.gov/content/open-records-requests. Be certain to ask for all training, personnel, disciplinary and employment records. Also Texas Transportation Code 724.018 gives your son or his attorney the right to full disclosure of any and all information relative to the test. You need to prepare open records requests to Scientific Director, Texas DPS in Austin, the District Attorney's Office, and the head of the law enforcement agency Chief who arrested your son. In this you should ask for any and all video tapes, photographs, scientific test results, lab reports, type of instrument used for testing, all manuals pertaining to the instrument, all accreditation certificates, Standard Operating Procedures, policies as to testing and calibration, validation studies, verification studies, complete chain of custody, refrigeration standards and logs, proficiency testing, Chromatograms, personnel resumes and training, and issues and/or faults logs. You do not have to wait to get these or to wait on your lawyer. Your lawyer's job should begin when the lab report is submitted, it does not end there. He should be entitled to as much time or more to look into these issues as the State took in conducting the test. BTW, if your son PASSED the test for alcohol, his license will not be suspended. A pass test for alcohol will trigger a more definitive test for drugs which can take much longer. DO NOT DELAY. The volume of information you receive could be 150 pages to over 1,000. You might take it to a chemist or other lab person to help you review it and understand it. Some former prosecutors make excellent defense lawyers, others not so much. Many times they are more interested in keeping a cozy relationship with the courts or buddies in the DA's office than in helping their clients. His suggestion about dragging this on together with his background is concerning. BTW, if your attorney receives anything different in discovery than you receive in your son's own investigation, I would file a complaint with the State Bar General Counsel against the District Attorney and his assistant due to prosecutorial misconduct. You are already half way there, they charged your son before they had any evidence. If they hold back evidence, its the nail in their coffin.

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  • I am going to court for my first dwi. Can i still buy a firearm.

    I am not a felon.

    Willard’s Answer

    It could -- possibly-- be a problem if your DWI resulted from an addiction to a drug or habitual use of marihuana. It could also be a problem if your first DWI was for a felony charge, such as intoxication assault or DWI with a child passenger. Otherwise, if its a misdemeanor DWI due to alcohol impairment the purchasing, owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition should not be a problem.

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  • Are there ways to getting a fine over probation?

    I was recently arrested for possession of marijuana, I did deferred adjudication in 2011 for same; is there anything I could do to get a fine or possible adjudication again? I was caught with 5 grams of M. Thank you.

    Willard’s Answer

    Yes is the short answer. You have to hire a good lawyer and stand the State down. ITs going to cost you some money. Possession of marihuana can cause your driver license to be suspended until you take drug classes. It has employment implications. It can make it very difficult for you to rent an apartment. All of this even if you pay a low fine.. Why should you submit to this when everyone knows its pot is going to be legalized everywhere, eventually? Jurors minds are changing about marihuana, some may be smoking themselves. Don't give up.

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  • What is the Likely outcome of a contested hearing for revocation of probation in 3rd felony DUI in Brazorio County TX

    A Friend had his 3rd felony dui reduced to a 2nd offense misdemeanor. He received 3 years probation. He has since had at least 11 violations for failing drinking tests. a capias was issued and he is scheduled for a contested hearing. What is the ...

    Willard’s Answer

    Yes, your friend could go to jail. So could anyone, anytime, anywhere, for any b.s. reason. A good lawyer will go all over what has happened so far in the case. Once I was hired by a young man who was given probation on nine felonies and ordered into boot-camp as a term and condition of probation. He ran off from boot camp one day and was home at 9:00 p.m. the same day where he was arrested. Due to a paperwork malfunction on the part of the judge, I noticed that in about four of the original probation orders, the young man was ordered to successfully complete boot-camp. In the others, there was nothing about the boot camp, only orders he must observe a 10 p.m. curfew nightly. When I brought this to the judge's attention, we won but the judge threatened that the next time he would 'stack' all nine cases giving him 90 years in prison. We had this printed up. The next time the kid violated, we protested because the judge had already 'prejudged' the matter by his threat. We won again. What kind of 'drinking tests' were given? Was it a urine test? A blood test? A breath interlock violation? There are scientific defenses to all of these, I've won urine, blood, breath interlock, etc., on probation violations. Most good lawyers have too, I'm no different. Sometimes your back is up against the wall and you have no choice but to fight. On probation violations, the burden of proof is still on the state. Its by the 'preponderance of the evidence' standard, not 'reasonable doubt.' That makes it a little easier for the State and a little harder for the Defense, but nothing is indefensible. Sometimes if you just say 'not true', the State will flub it up, crash and burn. Remember too, if your friend is over 21, it is not against the law PER SE for him to consume alcohol. Many free people do everyday, so his behavior is no different than that of many free people. I've used this argument too: 'You don't have to be perfect to get on probation, surely you don't have to be perfect to stay on probation or even get off. At least he has not committed another DWI.' There are some other great answers on here too from other lawyers. I realize my response has not answered your question, and your friend probably has a serious health problem with his drinking which I hope he masters. But no case is hopeless of indefensible. He simply has not changed since he was granted probation, there are no other DWI's or illegal conduct charged. ITs not a hopeless case, not by a long-shot. Peace!

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  • I'm on probation for a DWI. I'm getting kicked out of the place i'm staying at and have to move back home but its out of state.

    I talked to my probation officer but all he told me was to find a new place.

    Willard’s Answer

    Everyone goes through bad periods in their lives for one reason or another, and I am sorry this is happening to you. The good news is the kind of situation your describe happens a lot. You previously had an out-of-state residence, so transferring probation to a new State should not be a big problem -- after all, you are going to 'move back home'. Very few States do not accept misdemeanor or even felony probation transfers-- most do. Even if the State to which you wish to return does not accept misdemeanor or felony probations, other accommodations can be made; for example, you may be placed on 'mail in' status, or you may be told to report to the Sheriff in the home county to where you wish to move. The important thing is to get permission in advance from either your probation officer or from the Judge. To ask the Judge, you will need to ' lawyer up' and the lawyer will file a Motion with the court to request permission to transfer, which may require a hearing. Please do not move without advance permission, this could lead to a motion to revoke your probation and possibly up to the full term of your original sentence.

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