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Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

Curtis Harrington’s Answers

2,788 total

  • I traveled to Port La Vaca, Texas and got a misdemeanor DWI, can I leave to go back home to California while on probation?

    I was pulled over for not making a complete stop at a stop sign, officer smelled the beer on my breath, I was detained for one evening and released the next day. Court date is on July 12, 13. I am waiting to go to court. I need to go back home. If...

    Curtis’s Answer

    Elizabeth Foley, here on Avvo is in Galveston. I know its 130 miles from Port La Vaca, but:
    (1) her knowledge of Texas Criminal Law is excellent, inlcuding DA procedures.
    (2) She might be the one most likely to (a) know if you can get this done, and (b) either be able to handle the case or know someone in Port La Vaca who can.

    Her Avvo Link is below.

    Good luck with what you are trying to do....

    Curt Harrington
    Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (J.D.; LL.M.-Tax)
    Electrical(M.S.E.E.)-Chemical(M.S.Ch.E.)(B.S. Chemistry)-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney & MBA (562) 594-9784 ---

    Please remember to designate your question's BEST ANSWER.

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  • Do I need to explain the details of a pending case to an employer?

    I was offered a job contingent on a background check and I think I'm going to talk to my manager and explain the situation so he doesn't get blindsided if/when it's discovered. The case will be dismissed once I complete the pretrial diversion prog...

    Curtis’s Answer

    A lot depends on the nature of the job and the nature of the pending case. There are some direct problems (securities trader - criminal fraud case), or (law enforcement - drug case) for example.

    Why not call Christine Mccall of this index and get her experiential take on the company, the job, and the offense. She has such breadth and depth of knowledge that a 5 minute phone call might get you some great insight.

    The type of question you have is one of probability and of knowing the employer, the crime, the position in question, and possibly the company doing the background check.

    This could be your best value

    Curt Harrington
    Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (J.D.; LL.M.-Tax)
    Electrical(M.S.E.E.)-Chemical(M.S.Ch.E.)(B.S. Chemistry)-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney & MBA (562) 594-9784 ---

    Please remember to designate your question's BEST ANSWER.

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  • How long can the judge keep resting. A case in Houston Texas. Harris county

    My boyfriend been in the Harris county jail for about three months now and his cases. Keeps gettin rest. This is his 4th rest.

    Curtis’s Answer

    District Attorney and former District Court Judge Pat Lykos was an efficient and effective district attorney for the past four years. Her decision to treat possession of trace amounts of drugs as misdemeanors instead of felonies - like crack cocaine residue in a pipe, angered the police union and led to her defeat.
    Mike Anderson is the new DA, and if he kept to his promises about getting tough, he may have doubled his criminal docket in the past 6 months, and with budgets being what they are, guess what? There will be even more crowded jails and longer wait times.

    Judge Lykos policies were not characterizable as liberal, but they made sense in terms of resources. Its difficult to say to what extent the administration contributes to his delays.

    Judge Lykos was a great, no-nonsense judge, and an efficient Harris County district attorney.

    Hopefully the delays in Harris County will get better before they get any worse.

    Boyfriend's hiring of a private attorney who is willing to file writs to speed things along may help fortce things along for him.

    Curt Harrington
    Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (J.D.; LL.M.-Tax)
    Electrical(M.S.E.E.)-Chemical(M.S.Ch.E.)(B.S. Chemistry)-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney & MBA (562) 594-9784 ---

    Please remember to designate your question's BEST ANSWER.

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  • Is there any Rule of Evidence that says a layman cannot decode a relevant, secret message and testify in court to what he did?

    The question is about Rule of Evidence 701-C . Someone is arguing that Rule 701-C says only a cryptographer or other coding expert can testify about decoding a message. I say that if a police officer who is not a cryptographer figures out and br...

    Curtis’s Answer

    1. These guys on the blogspot page forget that evidence ruled not admissible for one purpose can come in for another purpose.

    2. Rule 701 is "opinion testimony by lay witnesses" and it cites 702 "testimony by expert witnesses".
    Thus, the question is whether (a) there is an opinion, versus (b) "what did you do".

    3. If the decoder normally decodes, he can use rule 406 "habit, routine, practice" to establish that he has done it before (and still outside "expert" range.

    4. The real unstated question is the point of the exam.

    a. If the purpose of the exam is to determine whether someone did "operate (mathematically) until an indication is perceived, and act by doing X upon that indication" its not expert evidence.
    "I looked out my window and saw blinding red light and called the fire department". Is there "decoding" going on here? No. Just perception.

    b. If the purpose of the exam is to do hypothesis testing on the message, fully exploring the mathematical possibility of type I and type II error (and the probabilities of correct decoding) AND to characterize the probability of aliasing, then you will need an expert.
    Actually, the debate is a TRICK QUESTION because it does not pose a question.

    Note the vagueness of the construct of the call of the question:::

    ""would not have been allowed to testify to decoding the hidden message""

    It did not state what the question was, and the rules of evidence deal with question and how they are put.

    Question: What Happened then?
    Answer: Well, as is my habit (406) I worked the message until I was able to see "Its me, I'm guilty" (401)


    Question: What is the mathematical probability, given the length of this message, that it has one or more aliases as decoding possibilities ?
    Answer: 1 in 150,000 (702 establishment of expert status needed)

    "expert" status provides a shortcut which relieves the jury of the task of reviewing and weighing all of the multifarious pathways in the testifier's experience. Its a "shortcut".

    Can the testifier show the operators (mathematical or otherwise) he performed on the message? yes. this is not opinion, this is what he did.(percipient witness) and how he perceived it.

    Curt Harrington
    Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (J.D.; LL.M.-Tax)
    Electrical(M.S.E.E.)-Chemical(M.S.Ch.E.)(B.S. Chemistry)-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney & MBA (562) 594-9784 ---

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  • Can you see jail time with a federal crime under $800???

    Worried about the kids and if there a chance of going to jail and for how long

    Curtis’s Answer

    If you attacked your congressman's windshield while he was in the vehicle and even if the damage was less than $800 -------- There will be trouble.

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  • I need a pro bono atty, before my situation gets out of hand, or at least an atty that I can make pmts too.

    I am facing 1 count of wire fraud, 2 counts of money laundering, the charges have not been filed yet, I had refused to speak to them and thought the case was done, its been a year ago, but its not done. I have the documentation to give to them to ...

    Curtis’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Couple of things.
    First, Pro Bono Attorneys can be found for very unusual cases or very unusual personalities; but its a real marketing challenge and takes a lot more than a Q&A board.

    Second, IRS is looking for a celebrity like Wesley Snipes on a low dollar amount, or an obscure fellow on millions of dollars. You didn't say how much the loan was for ($1000?) or why you did it.

    Third, you did phrase something disturbingly "I have the loan agreement, that I made pmts on."
    Why are you not making payments as per the agreement? If there is a disruption, is there a reason?
    Was the loan large? have you been making any payments?

    Fourth, If you can't make the payments, how close to bankruptcy are you? If you are close and otherwise have a clean entryway, you need to consider how your current state (not paying a loan) stacks up to the remainder of your assets. IF your total financial health is bad and if you can be 100% honest in getting a fresh start, why have you not had a bankruptcy filing?

    Fifth, The loan unrepaid is a major sniff test for unreported income. Further, if she is taking the position that you defrauded her:
    (1) did she file a police report?
    (2) what has she done in state court?
    (3) has she brought suit in state court?
    (4) In sum, if she is treating this as fraud, what has she done state-wise, civilly and criminally to bring this to light?

    Sixth, On the flip slide, did she try to declare the loan a "writeoff" or "a madoff type fraud"? Is that the case she is pressing with IRS? Is she a relative such that the possibility of "gift" could be used by IRS against her attempted deduction?

    Seventh, has she been reporting your repayments as income under the installment method?

    Your evidence of contract would include a nice even stream of repayments. For fraud, the fact of a contract may not buy much as a fraudulent intent may be bolstered by seduction of the contract.

    Her treatment of the loan on HER taxes is at least SOME evidence of what SHE believes the situation to be.

    Eighth, have you contacted your congressman and senator? They have access to IRS congressional liason who might be of help.

    Ninth, you are treating this as a straight criminal matter. Even your practice area above (a) ignores tax aspect, ((fed and state)); (b) ignores loan aspect (reaonable under state law? not usurious, etc), and (c) you have omitted any facts of your change in circumstances between the first stream of payments and now.

    and if you really can't pay her back, isn't evidence of that REALLY indicative of impossibility rather than fraud? changed circumstances rather than fraud?

    Why not seek out a local tax attorney and be frank with him or her about the transaction. If you are blowing it off and if you are solvent, you WILL have cancellation of debt income.

    Also seek out a local bankruptcy attorney for advice and help in characterizing your total financial estate. Find out if you are insolvent for purposes of cancellation of debt.

    Money laundering implies taking money into income without paying tax on it. Its somewhat of a tautological bootstrap to say that a loan not yet paid back is fraud. What Year? Case law is very specific in some circumstances on exactly when the "tax event" of COD income occurs. If no cancellation event has yet occurred, where does the money laundering come in? Is the fraud based upon some other statute?

    For certain kinds of fraud, an AUSA can get excited. Mortgage fraud for example. and bankruptcy fraud. But if all you have is a simple note, and a simple loan, then how does this get to a criminal stage?

    Again, I suggest that you get a free, face to face consult with a local tax attorney who knows bankruptcy, ASAP, then go over your affairs before the loan and after the loan and get their opinion and guidance on where this lies. He or she will need to look carefully for any events that indicate a non-genuine desire to repay, and related circumstances.

    Good luck.

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  • Can you be criminally prosecuted for a bounced payday loan check that has resurfaced seven years later?

    At the height of my college expenses, I took out a payday loan for $255. A month later, it bounced. I made arrangements to repay the brick and mortar, but by the time I had the funds, it had moved into collections. Along the way (the last seven y...

    Curtis’s Answer

    Civil fraud is typically 3 years occurrence or 3 years discovery.
    Criminal fraud is typically 4 years from occurrence or discovery by PC 810.5
    Since a person who cashed a check knows about it when it happened, it looks like the civil and criminal statutes may have run (but the ultimate disposition will depend on the specific facts).

    Keep in mind that big collection agencies are buying old debts all the time and "farming" them to get every nickel they can. It may also be that the agency won't identify themselves because of the liability to them which may be involved if they know they are acting wrongfully.

    Why not get the free copies of your credit reports and see what's on there, just for fun?

    I also get the feeling that this has been so long, that many of the details of what happened when may have escaped you. getting your credit report (a) is good to know, (b) lets you know what others might be seeing, and (c) whether this debt record, if it still exists, appears. (ie what if company were "refreshing" the debt wrongfully to keep it on the report?

    Good Luck.... and if it bothers you to keep getting bothered, contact an attorney who will file a Fair Credit action, however, you need to know who is calling; it could be some ladies from India and they may never tell you their corporate identity.

    Curt Harrington
    Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (J.D.; LL.M.-Tax)
    Electrical(M.S.E.E.)-Chemical(M.S.Ch.E.)(B.S. Chemistry)-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney & MBA (562) 594-9784 ---

    Please remember to designate your question's BEST ANSWER.

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  • On my case i was prosecuted by the feds (served 2 years) for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and had no other charges.

    My question is does the state (Colorado) try to come after you for state charges as well after Federal time served? There was nothing else done on our case (No theft, No tax evasion, No embezzlement Nothing) Just curious

    Curtis’s Answer

    when you say "done" I can't tell if you mean "prosecuted" or "occurred". I think one answer interpreted it to mean "occurred"

    If the other crimes occurred they can be prosecuted by the state depending upon whether you were charged/indicted within the statute of limitations.

    If you mean that no other violation OCCURRED, and that the only violation was mail fraud, then that may be all, as it is federal only; however, I would be mathematically surprised to learn that mail fraud does not involve other crimes; and

    other crimes may involve dual prosecutorial ability by both fed and state.

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  • Is it legal to own, manufacture, or have manufactured, a "nearly"complete full auto drop in sear for an AR 15?

    The "drop in auto sears" are considered "machine guns" under the NFA and it is illegal to produce them. Some people though, like having the security of knowing they have access to one if necessary without paying outrageous prices or going through...

    Curtis’s Answer

    I am in agreement with the other two answers and point out that your sentence " This piece would absolutely not be able to function, or fit, in any gun until a couple of small and easy alterations were made" further sets you up even more closely to violation of the law than you would be otherwise.

    Think. You would be producing an object that, because it functions nowhere, has no other use. If a cam that fit into 1000 other types of machines could be modified for your use, there might be a non-illegal-use market. Thousands sold (by someone else) would be done so innocently.

    If the details on how to modify these became known, it might be a matter of free speech, HOWEVER, when you couple a TEACHING plus PROFIT or a TEACHING plus some other benefit to yourself, you necessarily invite a conspiracy.

    If you teach and take profit, you are conspiring to enable this to be produced.

    Aside from that, did you think about the other liability?
    1. A home enthusiast modifies the part and it destroys his weapon.
    2. A home enthusiast modifies the part and he can stop the fire rate when he lets off the trigger and others at the range are killed and injured.
    3. Weapon breaks and harms user and by-standers.

    Even for points 1,2,3, and ignoring the criminal prohibition, are you going to charge enough to make up for the catastropic damages that could come from this? What insurer would insure it?

    Further, what if it turns out that its prosecutable, and after the feds make you turn over your customer lists for individual prosecution, there will be thousands of your fellow Americans very angry at you. I forsee class actions, punitives, and contribution for restitution and fines.

    This type of liability may very likely not be dischargeable in bankruptcy either and you might owe hundreds of thousands of dollars for the remainder of your life. You would have a federal conviction, you may not be able to leave the country unless you can get another country to take you in. You would still be under the feds thumb until you surrender your citizenship and live elsewhere (as you will always have to pay tax as a citizen and they will always take your tax refund until all of the restitution is paid off.

    If you were not a U.S. citizen and were a citizen of another country, my answer might be different, depending upon which country of which you are a citizen.

    don't do it.

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  • How does some one in the following scenario get a fair sentencing memorandum and sentencing hearing in federal court?

    (embezzlement case young person) The probation officer and judge are extremely bigoted and prejudicial. There are no factors that a defendant can use to mitigate and make themselves look like what a conservative would deem an upstanding citizen (i...

    Curtis’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You are looking at the specifics (which may have been stated as a form of communication by example and possibly due to the inability of that person to otherwise paint a word picture of what he or she was trying to communicate).

    The theme in all these points is your relationship with society. Ayn Rand developed a philosophy about the individual that she called Objectivism. But that relates to what government should be, and that government should be molded along the lines of libertarian principles. Ayn believed in ethical altruism as an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have a moral obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary, at the sacrifice of self-interest.

    But with a crime, its the defendant against government and not individual against individual.

    If that is the vector with which you approach sentencing, it may all become the absense of a negative, which can't prove much.
    "I never bothered anyone" "I never wronged anyone" "if I wronged someone, I restored that person and made it right".

    You can make a laundry list of good things, even within the Ayn Rand mold that never touches church (Ayn was an atheist) , nor volunteer work (Ayn belived that Volunteer work violated her principles of objectivism), marriage (we are not born married and should not necessarily get married if we are too young).

    These include:
    1. Self improvement for the sake of self. Did you go to college? Did you pursue research? Did you try to solve technical problems for which you would have been well rewarded?

    2. Achieving your own life dream. Have you been preparing and acting upon your life's challenge? If your dream was to walk from Pt. Barrow to Tierra del Fuego, have you been getting ready for it? What about finding a cure for cancer that would net you 10 billion dollars, have you been pursuing it?
    What about running a 2 and a half minute mile, you been working on that?

    3. What have you been doing that makes others want to "be" you? (selfish objectivist stuff is ok in this category).

    You also mentioned "not partying". Partying I take to be the process of messing yourself up and pursuing self-destructive behaviour. That is something repugnant to both the altruists and to the objectivists. Repugnant to the altruists because you could otherwise be helping others; and repugnant to the objectivists because you are not improving yourself or helping yourself achieve your goals.

    So, you have millions of objectivist possibilities, any one of which would make Ayn Rand and your contemporary humans envious. What have YOU done to help and improve YOURSELF?

    What YOU done to help and improve YOURSELF is more important than ethical altruistic status (married, church member, volunteer).

    Maybe your attorney can help you characterize these.

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