Check out our blog for perspectives on accidents and injuries in the news, including links to the McMinn Law Firm’s Injury & Accident Checklist Resource Series.
Also, below you’ll find our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).
What should I prepare to get the most benefit from my free initial consultation?
First, bringing any and all relevant documentation will help us give you an accurate assessment of your situation. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and are coming in for a personal injury consultation, bring any paperwork from the mechanic, medical treatment documentation, a copy of the police report and any witness information.
Constructing a timetable of the events in question prior to your consultation will provide a sound, clear starting place for the McMinn attorneys. Prepare yourself to be thorough and honest; we need all the facts to help you as completely and effectively as possible. Even if you choose not to hire McMinn Law after this consultation, everything discussed still falls under attorney/client privilege, keeping your sensitive information confidential.
Finally, prepare a list of questions and be ready to ask them. This is, after all, meant to give you answers and clear the way for legal your plan of action.
How much will my case cost?
The price of each case varies depending on your unique circumstances. All personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. In these cases, our price becomes a percentage of the client’s monetary awards after settlement or jury trial. If you don’t get anything, we don’t get anything. Most criminal cases are based on a flat fee, broken down into a pre-trial fee and then, if necessary, a trial fee.
DUI and DWI Law
What’s the difference between a DWI and a DUI in Texas?
In Texas, a DUI – Driving Under the Influence – applies to drivers under the age of 21. This law applies to any kind of influence, alcohol or drug. A police officer does not need to use a breathalyzer to issue a DUI, as it involves a minor. As long as the individual emits any detectable amount of alcohol while controlling a motor vehicle, this Class C Misdemeanor is possible.
A DWI – Driving While Intoxicated – occurs when someone operates any type of motor vehicle – car, boat, motorcycle – while beyond the legal limit of intoxication. A DWI generally is a Class B Misdemeanor, which results in potential jail time and higher fines.
What does it mean to be “intoxicated” in regards to DWI cases?
Under the Texas Penal Code, “intoxicated” means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Search and Legal Procedure
If a police officer asks to search my home or car, can I say no?
Absolutely. Depending on the situation, a police officer must have probable cause to perform a search or in some situations they must have a search warrant. If the officer is lacking these, then you have the right to refuse any unwanted search of your person or property. If you say yes, anything incriminating they find could hurt you later during trial. If you don’t say yes to a consensual search, they cannot search you.
If my arresting officer didn’t read me my Miranda Rights, will my case be dismissed?
Although this would not cause the case’s dismissal, it may cause certain statements to be suppressed. If the police question you or intentionally attempt to provoke you into commentary without stating your Miranda Warnings while you are being held, then any response you make may be dismissed. However, if you volunteer statements without being asked, those will likely still be admissible in court.
I’m not a U.S. Citizen, but I don’t have a criminal record. What does this mean for my case?
Each case is different. Some criminal charges may result in more serious consequences for aliens in the U.S. For example, for the same charge in which a U.S. citizen may receive probation, a non-citizen may receive incarceration. Ultimately, a non-citizen runs the risk of deportation for criminal charges. Contact McMinn Law immediately if you’re in this situation.
Plea Deals and Probation / Parole
The District Attorney or police are offering me a lesser sentence. Should I take it?
Every case is different and the facts of your particular case should determine whether or not it is advisable to take a lesser sentence from the District or County Attorney. Any criminal conviction that is a class B misdemeanor or higher will stay on your record and cannot be expunged. Before you agree to plead guilty to any conviction, call the McMinn Law Firm to discuss the consequences of your guilty plea. We will help you fight for your rights, securing the best results for your present and your future.
How are parole and probation different?
Probation may serve as an alternative punishment to jail time, in whole or in part. A probationary period involves an individual being released back to the community with certain stipulations, such as community service and meetings with their probation officer.
Parole works similarly, but it’s available specifically to people already serving jail time. Parole conditionally releases inmates prior to their original release date due to good behavior. Probation is issued by a judge upon sentencing; parole may come up as an option after a certain period of an inmate’s incarceration.
Legal and Representation
What’s the difference between civil and criminal court?
The difference lies in the parties. In a civil case, a private party, such as a specific person or a business, files a suit against another private party. In criminal court, the prosecution is always the government, whether it’s the District Attorney or another governmental prosecutor.
What’s the procedure for changing lawyers?
In almost all cases, it’s as easy as deciding to do so. Once you make your decision, notify your current attorney of their dismissal. At that point, depending on the case’s timeline, the attorney will notify the court of the change and cede all the case’s documentation to your new lawyer. If you’re considering McMinn Law, contact us to discuss what we can do for you.
Do I really need a lawyer? Can’t I just represent myself?
You have the right to represent yourself however you’d like. But take into consideration: For personal injury law, insurance companies are not kind to individuals. They’re running a business, and the best way to make money is to keep from spending money – a.k.a., keep from awarding you damages. This is their job, and you need someone representing you who knows the ins and outs as well if not better than they do.
For criminal defense law, the court system does not have your best interests at heart. You need someone on your side, considering your priorities and guiding the trial to most fairly benefit you. The technical intricacies of the legal system are abundant; at McMinn Law, each attorney (Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn) has an exceptional background in training and experience, not to mention our firm has a successful case record which proves our capabilities.
Call today to schedule your free initial legal consultation to better understand your situation and how we can help enforce your rights.