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Expert Help with Austin Traffic Tickets

Houston Traffic Ticket Lawyer Charles Johnson

Traffic Citation in Austin?

If you have been ticketed in the Austin area, or if you have a Texas Warrant or License Suspension, call 512-832-1200 today. We are ready to give you a free, confidential consultation to discuss your rights and options.

A Good Lawyer can Help, A Great Lawyer Can Win

When you have been ticketed in the greater Austin area, it can be a frustrating and confusing process. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has experienced trial litigators and expert traffic ticket lawyers on staff who represent clients in Austin. Our firm represents all types of clients who include Texas drivers, tourists just passing through, and even commercial truck drivers. Our skilled team is available 24 hours/day to answer all your traffic related questions, or to get you headed in the right direction to resolve your Austin traffic issues.

Anyone facing charges, from a simple traffic violation to more serious offenses within the State of Texas, should contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm at this toll free number (877) 308-0100 or at 512-832-1200 for a free confidential consultation. Often, the stress of facing a traffic ticket is made worse by not knowing the process, not being aware of your options, being located out of State, and being unable to make it to your scheduled court date. Attorney Charles Johnson and his team are experienced in traffic law and more than happy to provide you with answers to your Texas traffic law questions, and if needed, represent you in your Texas traffic case.

Speeding Ticket in Austin?

Receiving a speeding ticket or any type of traffic citation can be an intimidating experience, even if it just involves fines, points, or misdemeanor charges. It is especially stressful for people who do not know or understand the consequences involved with certain offenses. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has the knowledge and expertise to calm a driver’s fears and anxieties. Our expert team knows and understands that giving our clients prompt answers to their questions and accurate information about what to expect is often the best way to relieve the stress associated with citations, traffic court, and driving records. We offer help and assistance with dismissing, deferring, and fighting speeding tickets and other citations in the state of Texas.

It’s not just Speeding Tickets

All types of moving violations such as speeding, driving with no insurance, reckless or careless driving are all subject to citations from law enforcement officers. Whether a driver is accused of a moving or non-moving traffic violation, it advisable to contact an experienced Austin traffic ticket lawyer as soon as possible. The Charles Johnson Law Firm offers expert advice regarding any traffic violation. Our firm is familiar with all facets of Texas traffic law and may be contacted for assistance around the clock at 512-832-1200. The service offered by our expert traffic ticket lawyers is unsurpassed in the state of Texas.

Out-of-State Drivers Need Extra Help

It can be very intimidating and stressful for Out-of-State drivers to be stopped by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation. They may be unsure of the proper procedure for paying a fine or for contesting a ticket. It is even more if frustrating if they feel the ticket was issued unfairly. Because insurance premiums are usually tied to traffic citations, many drivers want to minimize this by fighting the ticket. Unfortunately, many drivers cited in Austin are forced to make a snap decision at the time of the traffic stop, admit guilt and agree to a fine, or plead not guilty and schedule the case for a court appearance.

The Penalty Assessment

Those drivers who choose to admit guilt and pay the fine are, in all but the rarest of instances, locked into a traffic conviction. This practice is extremely frustrating and is one of the biggest injustices in Texas traffic law. Unfortunately, the Texas courts have held that this practice is legal, and except in cases where the driver can show 1) Actual Innocence and 2) Coercion by the law enforcement officer, a driver who elects the penalty assessment option is stuck with a traffic conviction on their record. Even those who meet the actual innocence and officer coercion criteria are facing a costly and extensive legal battle, initiated by seeking a Writ of Mandamus in the District Court in Austin, Texas.

Court Appearance Option

When a driver is cited for a Austin traffic violation and chooses the Court Appearance option, they have made the first step in fighting the citation and keeping their driving record clean. The next step is to make the court appearance and enter a not guilty plea. Where and when you are required to appear is written on the lower portion of your ticket. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has on staff experienced traffic ticket lawyers who represents drivers statewide for their Austin traffic citations. Our Team knows the traffic courts in Austin and will offer clients expert advice and prepare a complete plan of action.

We Appear on your behalf for Tickets

Whenever a traffic ticket lawyer appears on behalf of a client in any Austin traffic court, there are certain procedures that must be followed. If the person receiving the citation decides not to appear in court, a Austin traffic ticket lawyer must file the appropriate paperwork needed to obtain a waiver for the driver’s appearance. Being familiar with the procedures involved in having traffic tickets dismissed at a traffic arraignment or any other stage of the process requires the expertise of a good Austin traffic ticket lawyer. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has successfully had traffic tickets dismissed, deferred, or reduced for his clients for more than 15 years.

If a plea offer for a serious traffic violation is unacceptable for the client, our team will work on the client’s behalf to schedule the case for trial. In the event that the issuing officer does not appear in court, it is the responsibility of the lawyer to make a proper motion for dismissal. In those circumstances, the judge usually dismisses the case. If the officer is present at trial, our expert Traffic Ticket Lawyers will discuss all the options available for the client. As the best traffic ticket firm in Austin, the Charles Johnson Law Firm uses their experience and excellent legal skills to obtain the best results for their clients. If you want to see for yourself what he has done for clients in more serious matters, take a look at our Results.

Don’t Ignore Your Austin Traffic Tickets

When drivers ignore or forget a Austin citation or fail to appear for a hearing or trial, it usually results in the issuance of a warrant. If this occurs, the driver is at risk of arrest. The court will impose mandatory fees and and may suspend the driver’s license. If the client receives notice of driver’s license suspension or a court warrant is issued, it is time to contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm, Austin’s top traffic ticket lawyer. Our firm can help by filing the necessary motions to cancel or quash the Traffic or Bench Warrant and discuss options for posting bond. Our expert Traffic Ticket lawyers will work with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to help get the license reinstated. Our Team will contact both the court and DMV, and secure and file the proper clearance paperwork. Then it is simply a matter of the driver paying a reinstatement fee. Both Texas and Out-of-State residents should contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm at 512-832-1200 for immediate results.

When dealing with Austin tickets for any traffic offense, it pays to work with the very best and most experienced Austin traffic ticket lawyer. The Charles Johnson Law Firm Team represents clients charged with any Austin traffic violation. Our Team brings years of experience to the negotiating table and understands Texas traffic laws. The Charles Johnson Law Firm is proud of their record of helping drivers ticketed in the greater Austin area. They have been instrumental in helping hundreds of ticketed drivers get traffic citations dismissed without them having to appear in court. Out-of-State drivers with Austin traffic citations should call the Charles Johnson Law Firm at 512-832-1200. Our expert Traffic Ticket Lawyers can often help them resolve traffic issues without having to return to appear in a Austin Court.

Driving as a Career? We’ll Help Fight Tickets

Over-the-road commercial truck drivers who receive tickets while traveling through Austin  need help resolving the problem quickly and thoroughly. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has on staff experienced ticket lawyers who have helped hundreds of truck drivers resolve issues with citations for speeding, faulty equipment, expired medial cards, and other citations targeting Class A drivers. With their expertise as traffic ticket lawyers in working with local officers and courts, the firm has been successful in helping with all scenarios and getting the drivers case completed and their truck back on the road as quickly as possible.

Charles Johnson Law Firm, Austin Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Our firm tackles all traffic charges including speeding, commercial driving violations, DWI, and reckless driving. Many of these traffic charges have very serious consequences and repercussions for the driver. Many carry high fines and others may result in suspension of driver’s licenses or even jail time. The Charles Johnson Law Firm is dedicated to helping current and prospective clients understand what is involved in the legal process. As the best traffic ticket lawyer firm in Austin, our expert attorneys listen to all the details associated with traffic citations and analyze the client’s legal position. Clients need to hear the pros and cons of their particular situation before making the decision to proceed with any specific resolution.

The Charles Johnson Law Firm makes certain that clients know what is at stake and he understands what their purpose is in seeking legal representation. Hiring a traffic ticket lawyer in Austin can help drivers get their Austin traffic citations dismissed. Because traffic citations can affect insurance rates and even play a role in preventing a client from being hired for some jobs, hiring a traffic ticket lawyer to negotiate a ticket dismissal is a smart choice. The Charles Johnson team works tirelessly for their clients always striving for the best, most positive outcome. The best part is that the client does not have to set foot in the courtroom in order for a judge to order a dismissal. The Charles Johnson Law Firm understands traffic citations and his record of dismissals speaks for itself. Contact him today at (877) 308-0100 toll free or 512-832-1200 locally for a free consultation and case evaluation. Your call will be answered 24 hours per day, every day of the week.

Everything You Need To Know About the Appeals Process in Texas

What is the definition of an appeal?

An appeal is a petition to a higher court by the losing party in a court action to overturn a lesser court’s judgment. The basis of an appeal has to be a reversible oversight in the application of the law at the trial court level (i.e., depending on the facts, the court plainly misapplied the law).

In defense cases, a great appeal can target the conviction itself or perhaps the sentencing portion associated with the decision without any regard to the fundamental conviction. For instance, if the defendant is properly convicted of manslaughter but a judge sentences the defendant to a prison term which is beyond the limit of the law, the defendant will undoubtedly appeal the prison term while leaving the actual conviction itself intact.

An appeal can be filed only after a final judgment or order has been reached by the trial court. This is quite simply for reasons of efficiency, so that the court system isn’t bogged down by delays and trials aren’t constantly put on hold while awaiting appeals associated with a judge’s every ruling.

At the conclusion of a trial, the losing party may also construct direct appeals (e.g., motion for a new trial, motion for directed verdict) to the presiding judge to immediately overrule the jury’s judgement, nevertheless these are rarely victorious.

Does an appeal constitute a new trial?

No. In an appeal there won’t be any new issues provided or witnesses designated to testify. The appellate court will only assess the trial’s transcript and evidence offered during the trial to figure out whether there were errors with regard to either procedure or application of the law. Even if there were errors, when they are considered minor – legally designated “harmless error” – the judgment won’t be overturned or a new trial granted.

Can any judgment be appealed?

The short response is no, there isn’t any absolute right to an appeal. Every state has laws which outline the kinds of cases which appellate courts may review. There should be an error of law for an appellate court to review a case. The reality that the losing party did not like the decision is not really enough to sustain an appeal.

That being said, even in administrative courts or lower level courts, if anyone’s constitutional protection under the law have been infringed upon, some may file suit to enforce their privileges and/or to revisit the original case.

What is the definition of the appeals process?

In Texas court proceedings, the appellant or petitioner (the party appealing the judgement) should file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the decision. In federal court, the deadline is 60 days. The filing of the notice of appeal begins the clock running on the appeals process and then there are prescribed deadlines from this point on. The petitioner submits a legal brief detailing the alleged discrepancies of law made by the trial court, and the respondent or appellee (the party that prevailed at the trial) creates a reply.

Once the appellate court acquires both petitioner and respondent briefs, it will assess the arguments and make a determination of whether: a) there were errors of law made by the trial court, and additionally b) if perhaps the mistakes rise to the level of “reversible error” (highly serious errors). As mentioned above, benign discrepancies are likely to be disregarded by the appellate court.

There might not be oral arguments given by petitioner and respondent. If the court chooses to hear oral arguments, the petitioner will present their arguments and additionally field inquiries from the judge(s) and after that the respondent will do the same. In the majority of appeals, this question and answer format may last 10-15 minutes per side.

Whether the appeals court listens to oral arguments or issues a verdict established exclusively on the written briefs, the court will either: 1) affirm the decision; 2) demand a new trial; 3) change the ruling in some way; 4) give consideration to new facts or evidence (seldomly); or 5) in incredibly infrequent cases, may throw out the case completely.

What is the likelihood of a successful appeal?

The number of winning appeals is minimal. Appellate courts offer the trial court great freedom in conducting trials. The law doesn’t necessarily guarantee perfect trials, subsequently appeals courts can only overturn verdicts which contain clear, serious errors of law.

Because of the flexibility appeals courts give trial decisions, petitioners bear a far greater responsibility in proving that errors of law happen to be considerable rather than harmless. If an appellate court can discover any satisfactory argument that the oversight could not have changed the verdict (and is therefore “harmless”), it will refuse to overturn the verdict.

There will most certainly be, certainly, a number of cases where significant errors were made and appeals courts will overturn those verdicts. Particularly serious are charges that the trial court refused the law secured by the constitution, that include due process and equal protection rights.

I lost my trial due to the fact that my attorney made stupid mistakes, can’t I depend on an appeal to correct them?

Don’t rely on appeals to make up for any real or perceived deficiencies at trial. You should put all of your energy into the trial itself, which includes finding the proper lawyer to attempt the case. Successfully appealing a verdict simply because you had a deficient attorney is a difficult proposition. You can’t appeal because you basically had a poor lawyer.

You can appeal on the basis that your attorney was so incompetent that you had been denied your 6th Amendment right to a fair trial (known legally as an “ineffective assistance of counsel” appeal). This occurs nearly exclusively in criminal defense circumstances and the standard for the appeal is really high – courts are incredibly deferential to the competency of attorneys and maintain a strong presumption that the lawyer’s assistance was within professional standards. To put it in perspective, there have been situations where an attorney has fallen asleep during a trial, yet the verdict was not overturned nor the case retried.

Many cases aren’t eligible for appeal since the trial attorney did not object to a ruling during the trial, and therefore didn’t “preserve” that issue for appeal. For example, a written statement from a witness accusing a defendant of robbery is entered into evidence, but the witness does not testify at trial. The defense attorney does not object and the defendant is convicted based solely on the written statement. The Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to face his accuser, a right which, if infringed, could form the basis for an appeal.

Because the attorney neglected to object at trial to the admission of a written statement rather than live testimony, however, the defendant is regarded to have waived this priviledge and an appeal will possibly not be allowed on that issue.

The example sounds absurd; an attorney waives your constitutional priviledge through ineptitude, yet your appeal on the basis of inadequate assistance of counsel fails – but it happens frequently. An appeals court may reason that calling the witness on the stand wouldn’t have had any beneficial effect for the defendant and therefore the decision not to object may possibly be considered a trial strategy. That’s the type of deferential latitude attorneys get in ineffective assistance of counsel appeals as well as the reason why it is important to select your attorney wisely at the beginning of the process and stay involved during each aspect of the trial.

What is a writ?

A writ is a directive from a higher court instructing a lower court or government official to take a specified action in accordance with the law. For instance, if a lower court decides to try a case that is outside of its jurisdiction, one or more of the legal representatives concerned may object and seek a writ of mandamus (writ of mandate) from an appeals court ordering the lower court to transfer the case to another jurisdiction.

How do writs and appeals differ?

Writs are extraordinary court orders and solely issued in cases where a moving party (the one seeking the writ) has no other available alternatives. In the case of the writ of mandamus from above, the moving party had to act quickly simply because the lower court improperly took the case. If the moving party had simply objected at trial and waited to appeal, a remarkable waste of time and money would have occured – and all for nada if the trial court improperly took the case.

Generally, superior courts won’t review choices of a lower court until a final verdict is delivered, for the formerly discussed reasons of efficiency and leeway given to lower courts. Unlike appeals, which need a final verdict, writs are immediate orders and extraordinary in that the ordinary course of a trial is disrupted, potentially causing disorder and delay.

Courts do not necessarily take such events lightly and superior courts do not issue writs often. A court will only issue a writ when a lower court wrongly decided an issue, permanent harm would happen to a party, and there are no other options.

Courts could also issue writs, such as writs of attachment and execution, in order to force compliance with a court order by an unwilling party.

What’s the definition of a writ of habeas corpus?

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be produced to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody.

Literally translated, a writ of habeas corpus is a court order to “produce the body,” and is generally filed by those in prison, though they are also filed by those who have been held in contempt of court by a judge and either imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment. Also known as “the Great Writ,” habeas petitions are ordinarily referred to as the hallmark of the United States justice system. Unlike other countries where the powers that be may throw someone in jail and keep them there indefinitely without filing charges or conducting a hearing, habeas corpus serves as a check on the government and offers prisoners a legal avenue to protest their imprisonment.

A habeas corpus petition can be filed in state or federal court. Before filing in federal court, however, all state options must be exhausted first.

Everyone has the right to challenge illegal imprisonment or inhuman prison conditions. Like all writs, however, courts will insist on clear and convincing evidence in support of a writ and do not issue them frequently.

Austin Appeals Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Dealing with the appeals process is tough and time consuming. An experienced attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Austin, Texas can help you plan your next move. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Should I Consult An Attorney Before I Am Charged?

Yes, if possible.

Unless you were arrested on an outstanding warrant, the fact that you have been arrested does not necessarily mean that charges have been authorized. An attorney can advise you of your rights, and how to handle contacts with the police. It can be very helpful to have an attorney intercede on your behalf before a warrant has been issued, as he may be able to influence the prosecutor’s “charging decision.” Sometimes, an attorney will be able to convince a prosecutor to charge a less serious offense, to send the complaint back to the police for more investigation, or even to refuse to authorize a warrant. However, once a warrant is issued, it is very difficult to get a prosecutor’s office to change the charge.

Remember, Attorney Charles Johnson offers a free consultation for anyone charged with a crime. You should take advantage of that free time with a lawyer to better understand the exact nature of your situation, and what is likely to happen to you.  To set up a meeting, contact my office by e-mail or call me at 512-832-1200 (toll free at 877-308-0100). Se habla español.

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