Cowboys’ Wide Receiver Dez Bryant Faces Legal Trouble

Despite a number of legal troubles, Dez Bryant’s teammates say they are sticking by him. The talented Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver has reported to training camp after a recent brush with the judicial system. Whether he will be able to remain is still in question, as he faces Class A misdemeanor charges and a possible suspension from the NFL.

Bryant, age 23, was arrested on charges of family violence on Monday, July 16, 2012, when he turned himself in to DeSoto, Texas, police. Two days earlier, his mother had called 911 and reported that her son “tried to kill” her. When police arrived at the home, Angela Bryant, age 37, told them her son had pulled her hair, tore her shirt, struck her face with his hat, hit her wrists and hands several times, and pushed her in the chest. She declined medical help, but later developed bruising on her arms and wrists. Following his arrest, Bryant was released on bail.

Angela Bryant subsequently changed her mind about the charges against her son. On July 24, the family’s attorney issued a statement on their behalf acknowledging that a disagreement had occurred but denying that Dez Bryant committed family violence against his mother. Attorney Royce West disclosed that the elder Bryant had filed an Affidavit of Non Prosecution with the DeSoto Police Department.

“Dez and his mother believe this is a family matter that can be worked out through counseling,” West said, adding that the family requested the public’s continued prayers and support as they worked through the matter.

Bryant’s teammates are honoring that request.

Quarterback Tony Romo was the first to speak out in support of Bryant. “Dez knows I have his back,” he told reporters on July 21. “Dez knows I’ll be there for him.”

“Obviously, we’re going to support Dez no matter what,” linebacker Sean Lee added during a promotional appearance on July 24.

Bryant still faces possible prosecution and may need to hire a criminal lawyer despite his mother’s reluctance to press charges. Because the bruising to Angela Bryant’s arms is physical evidence of an assault, the police could proceed without her cooperation. If they do, Bryant faces up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. He also faces possible discipline for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The league is reviewing the matter.

Although this is Bryant’s first arrest, it’s the latest incident in a series of off-field legal troubles for the Cowboys’ 2010 first round draft pick. In March 2011, a security guard ejected Bryant from an upscale Dallas mall with a criminal trespass warning for a dress code violation and profanity-laced tirade. A week later, a jeweler and a ticket broker served him with a pair of lawsuits claiming he owed them more than $600,000. In January 2012, Miami police detained and questioned him after a scuffle at a South Beach nightclub.

Bryant’s legal troubles don’t seem to be impacting his on-field performance. On the second day of the Cowboys’ training camp, team owner Jerry Jones reported that Bryant has been working hard in practice and looks “very impressive.”

Will hard work and the support of his team be enough to keep Bryant out of future trouble? At least Romo is optimistic.

“He’s going to have a good season this year,” the quarterback has predicted.

This article was contributed by Price Benowitz LLP Client Manager Jenny Kim.

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Sunday, August 12th, 2012 Law in the News No Comments

Being Bailed Does Not Mean You Hold a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

Just because someone posted bail on your behalf doesn’t mean that you hold a “get out of jail free” card. In fact, this only means that you are out of prison for the time being, and that you still have to wait for the final court ruling to decide your fate. If you’re convicted of your crime, then you go back to prison. If you’re acquitted, then that’s the only time that you’re truly free.

As someone who’s out on bail, what are your responsibilities?

Stay in the Area

Bail laws differ from one state to another. Some states will require that you stay in the state when you’re out on bail; while some don’t. To be safe though, you need to stay in the area. This way, you can easily work with your lawyers in strengthening your case and proving your innocence. Aside from this, if something comes up that you need to appear in court at a short notice, you can easily do so.

Of note though, you can only leave your state or even the country if you get permission from the court and if the police officer who charged you granted you his permission.

Stay Out of Trouble

You most definitely don’t want to add more charges filed against you, so you need to stay out of trouble. If there are special requirements and conditions of release that you need to follow while you’re out on bail, then follow them. For example, if the complainant also filed a temporary restraining order to prevent you from getting in touch with him in any way, then honor it. Breaking this can lead you back to jail.

Finally, obey all laws. Committing a crime, however minor, can prompt the judge to revoke your bail and order the police to re-arrest you and take you back to prison. Aside from dealing with your current charges, a new one can be filed against you.

Appear for the Court Dates

A court date will be given to you when you leave jail on bail, and you can see this information on your bail order. It is very important that you show up for this court date. Failure to appear in court can be enough reason for your bail to be revoked, which will mean that you could be re-arrested and hauled back to prison.

Do Not Skip Bail

Never skip bail. Yes, you might think it’s so easy to get lost in the country and nobody will be able to track you down if you hide carefully; however, you should understand that the police, bail bond agents, bounty hunters, and skip tracers have special means of tracking down a fugitive. By skipping bail, you’ve labeled yourself as a fugitive, and because you’re a fugitive and wanted by the law, these people are going to do everything they can to find you, arrest you, and bring you back to prison.

Remember, the legal ramifications of skipping bail, whether you’re guilty or not, is very serious. You do not want additional charges filed against you, and you do not want to receive additional penalties for your very foolish behavior.

The author, Jennifer Dallas, writes for several bail bond agents and agencies such as BailBondsDirect. Skipping bail is a serious matter, so through her articles, she hopes to educate people regarding the importance of being out on bail.

Sunday, July 1st, 2012 Finding a Lawyer No Comments

10 Tips to Help You on Bar Exam Day

  1. Pack your bag and get your clothing ready the night before.
  2. Get up early enough that you have plenty of time to double check to make sure you have everything you need. Rushing not only stresses you out, but causes you to potentially forget important items.
  3. Go through your bar exam practice questions one last time, but do not stress yourself out by trying to learn entire new information right before your test. The key to being successful with this is preparing in advance. You should give yourself months to prepare. Gradual, steady studying is the key to success.
  4. Eat a light, nutritious breakfast. There are specific foods that have been shown to help concentration and the intellectual process.  Try bananas, berries, a spinach omelet or ginseng tea.
  5. Dress comfortably in a loose, casual outfit.
  6. Dress in layers. You never know how hot or how cold a testing room may be. Wear items that you can put on or take off to adjust to the temperature. Being too hot or too cold can be extremely distracting and will definitely hinder your performance.
  7. Arrive to the test site early to give yourself time to get comfortable in the space.
  8. Wear a watch so that you are able to keep up with the time without having to search for a clock.
  9. Before sure to use the restroom before the test.
  10. Relax. No one wins when text anxiety comes to fight. Have a positive attitude. Good luck

Themis Bar Review is an established network of experts with decades of experience in successfully preparing candidates the bar exam.

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Thursday, June 21st, 2012 Becoming A Lawyer No Comments

Canadian Legal Education

Canadian legal education teaches individuals who have the intention of entering the legal profession, either in the field of law, or for some other purpose such as academic or political. This endeavor may include obtaining first degrees in law, taking vocational courses or obtaining higher academic degrees.

All individuals who intend to practice as lawyers require a graduate degree in law and may need to pass certain vocational courses that are required as part of the curriculum. In addition to qualifications required to start practice as a lawyer, some individuals go on to pursue higher education in the legal field in order to obtain their doctorates.

In Canada it is possible to practice law with an undergraduate degree. Individuals with undergraduate degrees who intend to set up practice as a lawyer must first pass the Canadian Bar Exam. This exam is intended to ensure that people who have a law degree are qualified to represent clients in courts of law. People who do not wish to practice law in a court may instead decide to teach the subject at educational institutions. In such a case there is no requirement to take the Canadian Bar Exam.

All individuals who wish to practice law must first article with a lawyer for a year before they can practice law on their own. Articling is the name given to on-the-job training under an experienced lawyer. Students with poor grades often find it difficult to obtain an articling job. Articling allows the graduate to obtain an introductory salary and many graduates are hired by the firm they articled with.

A law school is also commonly known as a faculty of law or school of law. A faculty of law may be distinguished from a law school because it is a sub-division in universities in the same way that other faculties, such as the faculty of medicine, for example, are.

A school of law, or law school, may have an autonomous status within a larger educational institution such as a university. Law schools can also be completely independent from other post-secondary institutions of education. In Canada, in order to practice law, the final stages of legal education are required to be carried out away from the university system. Application to law schools is very competitive and there are usually more people applying than available seats.

In Canada all law schools are affiliated with universities and are therefore known as public institutions. Most schools of law focus on the region in which they are located and students who graduate with a degree in law usually practice in the region in which they obtained their degree. Being affiliated with universities allows the disparity in quality of students and teaching between different law schools to be reduced.

Since law degrees are so highly sought after, only those with the best grades are even considered for admission. Practicing law can be a very rewarding profession, but it is also challenging and not for the timid, as it requires frequent courtroom appearances and dealing with contentious situations.

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 Finding a Lawyer No Comments

Top 3 Signs of a Bad Criminal Lawyer

When you are in need of a criminal lawyer to represent you, it is important to know how to spot a poor choice. There are a few key warning signs to look out for that would indicate a criminal lawyer is not the right person to help you.

Unclear Fees and Billing Policies
Lawyers utilize a variety of billing practices that incorporate both flat and hourly fees. The way your criminal lawyer bills you will depend on their experience level, how much attention your case needs and the complexity of your problem. Once a fee structure is negotiated, your lawyer should present you with clear and understandable billing policies. What you are expected to pay and when you are expected to do so should be completely understood before you write the first check. If your criminal lawyer is vague or ambiguous about their fees or billing policies, they may not have your best legal interests in mind or may just be disorganized. Either way, that criminal lawyer is most likely a poor choice of representation

Bad Time Management
A struggling lawyer is more likely to take on an unmanageable amount of cases. While you should expect your criminal lawyer to have more than one case on their plate at a time, a good attorney will have an appropriate amount of time to devote to you. The signs of a lawyer with poor time management will be obvious. Your criminal lawyer should respond to your needs in a timely manner and with accurate information. If you have trouble getting in touch with your lawyer, notice a lack of preparedness or blatant disorganization, you should find new representation.

Lack of Experience
A lawyer can have years of experience practicing criminal law and not have the knowledge for your specific circumstances. An overall good lawyer can be a poor choice for you if they aren’t experienced in the crime your case is dealing with. During your initial meetings with potential criminal lawyers you should ask pointed questions about each candidate’s real world experience with the applicable case law. If you missed this step and already have representation, keep an eye out for looks of confusion, bewilderment or any other sign that could indicate a lack of inexperience. It is better to lose some money and start over with a new criminal lawyer than it is to lose your case.

The choice of criminal lawyer can make or break your chances of winning your case. Pay attention to the warning signs that your lawyer is a poor choice to represent you.

Billy often writes articles on how to recuperate from a DWI charge and where find a good DWI lawyer in Houston. If you are looking for recent legal news or information on a Houston criminal defense attorney, visit his website today.

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 Finding a Lawyer No Comments