So this advertising and marketing project has not worked out as well as I had hoped.  While I didn’t not get many new clients, I did get some great results for the clients that it did send my way, including dismissals in drug cases in Harris County, Montgomery County, and Brazoria County.

At 6’0’’, 300 pounds, one of my clients was a self-described giant teddy bear.  He was definitely a likeable guy who had never gotten into trouble in his 40 years on earth until one fateful week in the County of Brazoria, just south of Houston.  My client had been dating his lady friend for about 8 years.   Long story short, the lovely couple broke up.  But that is just were things begin, because (no judgments) these fine folks lived in a trailer park.

Not long later, my client began dating the trailer park manager who was only 5’2’’ and maybe 120 pounds.  One night, my client shows up at a trailer where the trailer park manager was hanging out.  According the her, via the police, my client was making a racket and when she came outside to tell him to stop stalking her, my client pushed her to the ground causing a road rash type scrape.

The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office and Pearland police arrived to take statements and pictures.  There were 3-4 witness, and they each gave a statement while clearly under the influence of a substantial amount of alcohol.  You could just tell from how incoherent their statements were.   I found it suspicious that the offense report failed to mention anything about anyone drinking.

Just a few days later, the trailer park manager teams up in some sort of girl power movement with the ex-girlfriend. They mosey on over to my client’s trailer.  Trailer park manager goes inside my client’s home.  At some point, my client hears the ex-girlfriend screaming and hollering outside.  The ex-girlfriend then walks right up onto my client’s porch and right into his doorway.  My client claims he tells his ex to leave several times, and she refused each time.  My client then pulls out a gun.  The ex says that my client pointed the gun in her face and yelled “leave or I will fucking kill you.”  She then goes outside and hangs around for some time.  She doesn’t even call the police.  She goes to the police two days later when she is in another fight with my client via text message.  The ex tells the police that when my client pulled out the gun, the trailer park manager held down my clients arm and said, “wait, no, she’s a woman.”  I found that laughable. It just didn’t sound right.  It sounded like a cheesy D list Hollywood movie.

The police speak to my client later that day, and arrange for a meeting at the police station the next day.  As my client leaves his home to meet the police, he is surprised to see police outside his porch.  They ask him his identity, and tell him to drop his bag and come outside the porch to meet them.  My client follows orders.  After he is placed under arrest, the police search his bag because they are looking for the gun used against the ex.  They don’t find a gun, but they find some weed in a keychain pill holder, as if you can conceal a gun in a keychain pill holder.

My client is arrested and charged in Brazoria County County Court with Assault, Terroristic Threat, and Possession of Marijuana.  It was a tricky situation.  Terroristic Threat is normally a Class B misdemeanor, but can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor when the complainant (technical term for victim) is a family member, member of the household, or was in or is in a dating relationship with the defendant.

Sec. 22.07.  TERRORISTIC THREAT.  (a)  A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:

(1)  cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;

(2)  place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;

(3)  prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place;

(4)  cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;

(5)  place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or

(6)  influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.

(b)  An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c)  An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense:

(1)  is committed against a member of the person’s family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence; or

(2)  is committed against a public servant.

(d)  An offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor causes pecuniary loss of $1,500 or more to the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

(e)  An offense under Subsection (a)(4), (a)(5), or (a)(6) is a felony of the third degree.

(f)  In this section:

(1)  “Family” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003, Family Code.

(2)  “Family violence” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004, Family Code.

(3)  “Household” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.005, Family Code.

(g)  For purposes of Subsection (d), the amount of pecuniary loss is the amount of economic loss suffered by the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance as a result of the prevention or interruption of the occupation or use of the building, room, place, or conveyance.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.  Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1114, ch. 530, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 27, 1979;  Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 139, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 446, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 16.003, eff. September 1, 2005.

This was a sticky case with lots of sticky issues.  After getting my client’s story down-pat, I got the state’s story.  It didn’t make much sense. So, as always, I conducted my own investigation.  The first thing I did was speak to the trailer park manager, and boy was her story different about the assault then what she told the police.  She told me that SHE was the aggressor, that SHE was intoxicated, and that SHE is known to be violent when she is intoxicated.  Surprisingly, her story regarding the terroristic threat was didn’t change a lick.  What she told the police was exactly what she told me.  This was becoming case about whether we could trust the manager at trial, and how I got from the ex-girlfriend.

So, I call the ex.  Oh boy, was she nasty, angry, vengeful and dishonest.  However, there was something about her that I wasn’t sure the jury would see through.  The State of Texas, by and through Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office wanted to through the book at my client.  I managed to negotiate a pretty great plea deal of 12 months deferred on the terroristic threat, and dismissals on the possession of marijuana and assault charges.  I generally err on the side of “take that case to trial,” especially when there are cooky-crazy characters and drama involved, like as here.  But what did it in for me, what made me suggest that my client take this plea deal was his own statement.  It is so tough to get around a statement, especially when the witness that helps you out doesn’t say the same thing.  My client said he pulled out the gun and showed the ex that there were no bullets in the clip or chamber.  This could have worked out either way.  What do you think?

Maybe I will link back to this blog in a future post about the many effects that a family violence conviction can have on a person’s life.  For now, I wish my client the best of luck, and I know he can complete his probation and get the case dismissed.

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