Samples of Recent HLF Cases No-Billed by the Grand Jury
BURGLARY OF HABITATION W/ INTENT TO COMMIT OTHER FELONY
Case No. 1365017 – Cliff O.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL February 15, 2013
Cliff did not burglarize the home of his ex-girlfriend to assault Complainant [the new boyfriend] as alleged. Rather, as we proved up, he had well-founded concerns for her safety and went to her house for a welfare check. He did not break in but knocked; the new boyfriend opened the door; Cliff called out to her while standing outside but, as we documented for the Grand Jury, was dragged in and violently assaulted by Complainant. We further proved that Complainant’s injuries were sustained as a result of Cliff’s lawful self-defense. We also had to prove up the motive of Cliff’s visit to the home of his ex-girlfriend beyond a reasonable doubt: She had expressed in writing to Cliff [via text] fears for her safety regarding her new boyfriend. We proved beyond a reasonable doubt Complainant’s motive to assault Cliff: Cliff had advised his ex-girlfriend that her marriage-for-pay plans with Complainant were illegal. (Complainant was paying her to marry him so he could get his green card.) We proved to the Grand Jury that Cliff was actually the victim assaulted by Complainant, who exploited a police shift change to lie to a new report-taking officer who didn’t know the background. Sworn statements, photos, medical records and text messages in admissible form rounded out our presentation for a Grand Jury No Bill.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON POLICE OFFICER
[VEHICULAR ASSAULT ON POLICE OFFICER]
Case No. 1340411 – Liban H.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL June 21, 2012
Liban was a guest at a large lavish party replete with free-flowing alcohol and its expected accessories and abuses. A fight erupted. 30 gunshots and 1 fatality later Liban ran for cover to his car where he hunkered down in fear then tried to make his escape during a lull in the shooting. He accelerated to get his tires unstuck from the mud and speedily rounded a corner in dark and rainy conditions. After narrowly missing hitting a police officer in the street he was dragged out of his car, beaten and charged with trying to mow him down with his vehicle. We obtained scene witness Affidavits to certify the conditions and his non-involvement in the killing rampage. We also compiled and presented mitigating factors and circumstances and used character testimony to portray Liban as credible, responsible and, in the final analysis, as the victim of the siege–mentality of the police officer, acting under chaotic conditions which did not allow for a calm assessment of the situation.
Mr. Haggard did an excellent job on my case. He was very helpful and worked extremely hard to get me a great outcome. He demonstrated a lot of support and showed me that he cared about my case. ~ Liban H.
ACCIDENT INVOLVING INJURY / FAILURE TO STOP & RENDER AID / “HIT & RUN”
Case No. 1328644 – Aida H.
GRAND JURY NO BILL April 24, 2012
Aida allegedly ran over a high school student pedestrian, callously threw a “Smile God Loves You” religious tract as he lay injured on the ground and then sped off in full view of a nearby witness who tried to wave her down. Ch. 13 TV News approached her daughter with cameras and mikes for a statement in front of their house and then new stories featured Aida’s photo with slanderous headlines of “Hit & Run – Call Crime Stoppers If You See This Person” after cleverly-spliced sound bites were aired making it seem as if she were hiding out. Aida was unjustly persecuted on social media sites rife with anti-Christian propaganda. She decided to change lawyers and find one sympathetic to her rather than the Complainant as her first attorney seemed. She was also concerned that he never mentioned surveillance camera evidence, scene photos or the use of medical or other forensic experts if the case went to Trial. But– most of all – he didn’t listen. [See Testimonial.] Unfortunately by the time Aida hired us she had already been more or less tricked by police into giving a recorded statement without being advised of her right to have an attorney present. We listened carefully as she proposed her theory that Complainant and witnesses were scam artists but, after explaining to her how that was not a good defense under the facts, we proceeded to develop ours. Complainant had been treated for injuries by HFD but we proved beyond a reasonable doubt his injuries occurred when he fell in front of her car after she alertly slammed on her brakes in time to avoid hitting the running jaywalker. [The OR stated he was walking.] Police interviewed a scene witness for the Crash Report who stated, “I was standing across the street and saw the car hit him. I yelled at the lady to stop but she just left..” We worked with the DA’s office to obtain time to gather our evidence, do our research and prepare our defense for presentation to the Grand jury. This included scene photos and diagrams to portray for the Grand Jury how the witness, from his vantage point, could not have distinguished whether Complainant had been struck. Medical records helped us prove the injuries, based on their location on his body, were not likely to have been caused by contact with her vehicle. We argued the many obvious and compelling points of the case then deftly used her personal background and resume to finish a portrait of a responsible, empathetic woman who takes her faith seriously and was not the guilty hypocrite the media made her out to be.
When I first met attorney Carl Haggard, he asked me the incident and to show him how it happened, so I demonstrated it to him. Right there he already knew how to interpret the incident using the right words that made more sense. He is a good advocate and very experienced lawyer. He also has faith in God for he told me, “The Lord is on our side.” ~ Aida H.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DEADLY WEAPON
Case No. 1328955 – Fred R.
GRAND JURY NO BILL March 5, 2012
The Complainant in this case was the ex-boyfriend of Fred’s daughter. He lied to police saying Fred violently assaulted him with a thick board and then left him lying injured in the street. The background necessary to understand this case, and that we had to credibly portray for the Grand Jury, is that Complainant had an ongoing and serious drug problem. So had Fred’s daughter – in the past – but she had checked herself into rehab several months previously and had largely overcome her addiction. Shortly before the incident in question, however, she ventured into the dangerous territory of her boyfriend who basically held her captive for several days while using her car, her gas and her money. He commandeered her cell phone as well and used mental oppression and demoralization to effectively paralyze her and prevent her from extricating herself from the situation. Her frantic parents texted her and received reassuring replies until their suspicions broke the surface of consciousness and they texted her a question only she would know the answer to. The texting ended abruptly and the phone went dead. Her parents ransacked her belongings for leads and received intel as to her likely whereabouts. Upon arriving there they saw their daughter in the passenger seat of her own car being driven by her ex-boyfriend. When he saw her parents he attempted to drive off with their daughter who managed to roll down her window and call out, in her native tongue (Farsi), “Help me, I want to come home!” Her father blocked Complainant in with his vehicle. The truth – which we had to prove to the DA’s and the Grand Jury – is that Complainant approached Fred in an aggressive, menacing manner with the thick long board and that Fred, in self-defense, only pushed him back causing him to drop the board which was then picked up by Fred’s wife – who with her mother’s instinct for her daughter’s safety coming to the fore – is the one that pummeled the deserving Complainant with the board. Her husband however was the one erroneously charged with Aggravated Assault. Complainant’s belongings in the car were tossed out on the ground. Fred’s wife jumped in and drove off in her daughter’s car followed by Fred. We explained for the Grand Jury that Fred had not alerted police his dadughter was being held against her will and to ask for assistance with her rescue as he was worried drugs would be found inside her car (as they were) and he did not want her to be implicated. Complainant had indeed been assaulted with a board and left injured in the street — but we sufficiently proved the necessary background, the despicableness of Complainant’s actions, and that Fred had only pushed Complainant back in self-defense during his daughter’s dramatic rescue. We were able to get the case before the Grand Jury pre-indictment for a No Bill and no Aggravated Assault charges were filed on Fred’s wife.
FELONY CARRYING PROHIBITED WEAPON IN PROHIBITED PLACE – AIRPORT
Case No. 1325239 – George T.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL February 3, 2012
George was an international businessman whose two oil and gas businesses spanned two continents and required frequent air travel. Due to a comedy of errors on the day of his flight, combined with several urgent matters in both his business and private lives, he got distracted and left his loaded Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol in his computer bag. It was detected by the x-ray machine and he was detained by Homeland Security and TSA authorities and then arrested. Complicating the case was his prior Unlawful Carrying of Weapon conviction in the same county. He also had a felony conviction of Evading Arrest in Motor Vehicle. Our first order of business was to document the legitimacy of his businesses and reasons for air travel, as a large sum of cash was confiscated from his person at the time of his arrest, as well as his legitimate reasons for owning and carrying a weapon. Then, using employee and business partner Affidavits and letters and personal accounts, we carefully pieced together for the Grand Jury the personal and private upsets in his life that had combined to distract him to the point of forgetting to remove his weapon from his computer bag. We were able to do this in a sufficiently believable manner and to convince the Grand Jury that he was not a threat to any one’s safety, nor a terrorist – despite his past Weapon convictions, but was, at the time of arrest, a law- abiding citizen who had made a mistake.
On Oct. 28, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security TSA screener detected my Glock 19 semiautomatic firearm inside my computer bag that I forgot to transfer to my briefcase where I usually keep it. I was arrested. After a careful investigation, I decided to hire Carl Haggard to tkae my case, taking into account his prior experience as a Chief Prosecutor and many years experience as a defense attorney. This proved invaluable to getting my NO-BILL verdict. I highly recommend Mr. Haggard to anyone accused of a weapon offense. ~ George T.
MDCS – Manufacture/Delivery of Controlled Substance [Heroin] PG I 4-200 Gms.
Case No. 1325980 – Danny S.
GRAND JURY NO BILL January 31, 2012
Danny was an ex-con with a long criminal history accused of delivering heroin. He was in custody for several weeks on a zero bond which we fought before finally obtaining a $200,000 bond. His family was grateful to be able to bond him out since he had terminal liver cancer and was on the liver transplant list. We exploited his extreme disability and documented by extensive medical records and testimony that his days were too filled with cancer treatments to engage in illegal drug trafficking. We argued that Danny’s motivation was “strong as death” to not jeopardize the transplant he needed by risking incarceration but that even if he wanted to he couldn’t have stood up to the rigors of such a lifestyle. We backed up this defensive theory using banking and other incontrovertible proof of his affluent financial situation making it further not credible that he would resort to drug trafficking. (He was so weak we had to obtain a Court Order for the jail to see to his medical needs.) Next we attacked the alleged delivery. We carefully reconstructed for the Grand Jury the setup the co-defendant employed to “use” Danny, entirely unaware of it, to make it appear to the buyer [undercover narcotics officer] he was purchasing from Danny the exact quantity of heroin he was then going to turn around and sell to the buyer/undercover. Danny thought he went to the scene to transact the sale of a car and that the money the co-defendant gave him was the deposit on that sale. (We carefully documented this as having been the plan and the car’s actually being for sale.) The co-defendant had more heroin in his possession than he was planning on selling to the buyer. But he was afraid of being robbed of his surplus and so staged the “delivery” by Danny in clever words with double meanings, as we showed, allowing two entirely different interpretations. An Affidavit we obtained from the co-defendant while in jail after having pleaded confirmed certain elements of his setup including the cash transaction for the sale of Danny’s SUV. We also argued the improbabilities of the situation - the big dealer [allegedly Danny] rarely shows up at a street transaction, and the two defendants had been separated from the moment of their arrest with no time to “get a story together”. Although Danny had not been charged with Possession but only Delivery we also argued as a point in his favor that at no time was he observed by the undercover with any narcotics in his possession. This case was long on extenuating circumstances and short on hard evidence all of which we exploited and argued to the full for a Grand Jury No Bill and a new lease on life for Danny.
PCS – CRACK COCAINE
Case No. 1327243 – Kelly H.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL January 31, 2012
Kelly was stopped and arrested on a bogus traffic violation after police observed a hand-to-hand transaction. Now under cover of a “lawful inventory”, police illegally ransacked her car and illegally found what they were looking for – crack – in the center console. Kelly admitted she had been battling her addiction for 10 years – and her record showed it with several felony drug charges including State Jail on a Man/Del CS and TDC on a PCS - but she’d been sober for some time. So she and her family were devastated as she now stood to lose everything – great new job, new car, hard-won financial independence. Also around this time her daughter was murdered which fueled her spiral downward into her old self-destructive behavior. Despite her past, her record, and her personal tragedy, we forged ahead optimistically, making several recommendations, based on our experience, of what is necessary to help cases like Kelly’s. She fully complied in implementing our recommendations and made great strides in an excellent outpatient treatment program learning the origins, triggers and signs of her co-dependency, her misuse of addiction as a coping strategy for pain and healthy coping strategies. While the main reason for our No Bill was the illegal search and seizure of the evidence by police Kelly’s cooperation with our client recommendations – besides helping her personally – allowed us to present her case in a more favorable light and to demonstrate to the judge and prosecutors and ultimately the jurors the strength of her resolve to overcome her addiction.
FELONY THEFT $1500 – $20,000
Case No. 1307012- Joshua W.
GRAND JURY NO BILL August 16, 2011
This was Joshua’s second malicious arrest and prosecution by the same officer who slandered him and tried to destroy his towing business in the first arrest. And also our second Grand Jury No Bill for him in less than 6 months. [See below.] Joshua was the owner of a very successful private towing service with zero complaints filed against him and zero Tow Hearings. He had signed up several businesses on private property tow contracts, as these businesses were experiencing numerous problems (beer bottles, ruts in grass, break-ins, etc.) due to illegal after-hours parking in front of their businesses by patrons of a nearby night club with inadequate parking. The allegations were that Josh’s tows were illegal. We acknowledged a “gray area” in the Code as to whether the area between the roadway and the ditch was legal for towing – but steadfastly argued that the signage and methods were by the book and moreover that private property tow issues have always been civil matters, never criminal. It was astounding that the police agency wanted to escalate this civil matter into a criminal complaint, esp. as none of the owners had even requested the civil tow hearings provided for by law. We compiled an enormous quantity of evidence in support of our position – including photo evidence, service agreements, tow tickets, pertinent sections of the Texas Occupations Code (Towing and Booting Act) and Texas Administrative Code, and a Statutory Analysis of same, for presentation to the Grand Jury. The thrust of our presentation and arguments to the District Attorney’s office was that any issue on the legality of these tows was a civil question. We further argued the highly unethical and even illegal behavior of the arresting officer in slandering Josh’s character and in exercising a personal vendetta against Josh through efforts to destroy Josh’s contracts by direct selling of other towing services to Josh’s former customers.�
SEXUAL ASSAULT OF AN ADULT
Case No. 1300842 – Franklin N.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL July 14, 2011
Franklin was dealing with a lying, conniving ex-wife in this case. At the time of the incident, they were still going through a divorce (for a marriage that she had conned him into by pregnancies which always seemed to “miscarry”). Motivated by jealousy over a new woman on the scene, she went to police with an allegation of rape and then to the hospital for the necessary medical forensics testing. Franklin submitted to a DNA sample which was found to match. Moreover, the Prosecutors and Grand Jury had access to a half-hour recorded audio conversation between Franklin and the Complainant in which he admitted to forcing himself on her. We exploited several factors to secure this early No-Bill to prevent an Indictment: Although the tape had incriminating evidence against Franklin, it also held – for the careful listener [which we were] – other statements of Complainant which tended to exculpate Franklin and which we carefully pointed out to the Prosecutors and the Grand Jury; we secured umpteen pages of texts showing a non-hostile relationship in the weeks and days preceding the alleged assault; we obtained and presented many financial records showing Franklin had paid many bills on her behalf even after the alleged assault - and yet she was obviously not afraid to accept his help. Our biggest stumbling block was without a doubt the recorded audio tape of Franklin admitting to using violence. Mr. Haggard carefully and ethically advised Franklin, in writing, as to how exactly to testify before the Grand Jury without perjuring himself or telling any lies. Our persuasive presentation of our evidence and our meticulous preparation of Franklin for this all-important testimony succeeded brilliantly and we obtained our desired outcome – a No-Bill by the Grand Jury.
ACCIDENT INVOLVING INJURY/DEATH
Case No. 1293255- Ismael C.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL April 26, 2011
Ismael went to pick up an unrepaired computer after six months in the “shop” he’d found on Craig’s List - which turned out to be the repairman’s [Complainant] home. When the Complainant asked to be paid for the still-unrepaired computer, Ismael refused and started to back his truck out. While doing so Complainant jumped onto the side rails of Ismael’s truck and assaulted Ismael including grabbing the steering wheel which caused the moving truck to swerve and Complainant to fall and sustain injuries; an EMT arrived at the scene and Complainant was transported to the hospital. It did not occur to Ismael, an honest man, to make a defensive report to police to forestall a lying Complainant. He assumed that the fact that Complainant had attempted to defraud Ismael, had rather assaulted Ismael and had caused his own injuries to himself would prevent him from lying to police and fabricating an entirely different story. WRONG. It did not help matters that Ismael was in the Sheriff’s database due to two prior assault charges. We prepared Ismael for testifying along with a convincing Grand Jury brief which included several meticulous eyewitness Affidavits, phone and other evidence records and BBB records on Complainant’s business – it had an “F” rating – to impeach his credibility.
Mr. Haggard put my worries at each with the legal experience he brought to the table when I was facing a tough District Attorney. ~Ismael C.
FELONY THEFT $1500 – $20,000
Case No. 1294203 – Joshua W.
GRAND JURY NO BILL March 2, 2011
Joshua was the owner of a very successful wrecker service who gave an old friend a break when down on his luck by allowing him to work with him on tow jobs. Unknown to Josh, his co-defendant was going into towed vehicles in the storage lot yard and stealing laptops, ipods, purses etc. while Josh was inside the office filling out paperwork. Problems with the State’s case were that, although Josh ultimately fired his co-defendant, he had given a culpatory statement to police that he knew his co-defendant had been stealing laptops; this, coupled with the fact that Josh’s name was on the tow slips of the burglarized vehicles and that the arresting officer told some critical lies regarding Joshua’s business practices [as well as managing to get Josh's club towing contracts illegally shut down] – all this led to Joshua’s arrest for felony theft which he did not participate in or benefit from in any way. His CHL license as well as his three tow licenses would have been imperiled had he pleaded guilty in return for an adjudicated dismissal. We had recorded evidence including exculpatory recorded phone conversations and text mssages as part of our defense. We compiled a Grand Jury presentation and successfully prepared our client to testify before the Grand Jury.
FELONY CARRYING PROHIBITED WEAPON IN PROHIBITED PLACE – AIRPORT
Case No. 1287689 – Bryan T.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL February 3, 2011
Bryan was going on a business trip to Kansas City and forgot he had his firearm in his laptop bag. He threw his laptop on the x-ray belt in the screening area which is operated by Homeland Security’s T.S.A., whose records, files, reports, videos and policies we subpoenaed as part of our defense. When Bryan, as he stated to police later, “saw her eyes get big“, he knew Homeland Security scanners had revealed his loaded .45 caliber automatic. Bryan is the holder of a CHL license and the weapon is owned by a Class III NFA Firearm Trust – but we were unable to utilize these as defenses – signs are prominently posted outside the TSA screening area and a Trust is not responsible for where a gun is carried. Our task was to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Bryan’s state of mind and lack of intent. Muddying the waters of his reputed innocence was the fact that several unlabeled medications – zanax among them – were also found in his baggage. We turned this to advantage however with a ream of medical records to prove the source of his anxiety – his young daughter’s ongoing cancer treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital which in turn helped us to convince the Grand Jury of his state of mind – distraction in the extreme. We gave the Grand Jurors graphic and all too recent photos of his child’s cancer accompanied by her reams of medical records and a vivid recital of what their lives had been like in the months leading up to the arrest – living in the hospital, marriage counseling due to the stress, staying up all night with a child in pain, trying to make a living. We provided a –
… [B]efore and after of my daughter’s journey through Hell with my wife and I along for the ride. This is a three-month snapshot of what cancer looks like. I appreciate your advice on how to convey how a person can get to the state of mind I was in. She went from winning the war on cancer to relapse… This [the photos] is straight and narrow is what was going through my mind as I was going through TSA security. Thank you for everything.
~ Bryan T.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DEADLY WEAPON
Case No. 1260984 – Adam B.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL June 23, 2010
Adam is a consultant who teaches online Webex classes to Fortune 500 businesses. While thus engaged, maintenance personnel from his Westchase residence began loudly sanding his front door. He calmly asked them to work elsewhere until his class was over. Complainants belligerently told Adam to see the management and continued their work even more loudly. Adam couldn’t leave his class waiting to go see management. Further, he felt threatened and displayed his shotgun vertically from within his own residence. A shoving match ensued after which Complainants took photos of the gun with their cell phones. Their statement, written in Spanish, lost something in the ‘translation’ by their jefe. It took a long time for charges to be filed as presumably the DAs coached police on which leading questions to ask to elicit the required responses from Complainants. Trespass was an issue since much of the struggle took place on and just over the threshold of Adam’s home whereas Complainants had no right or need to enter. Adam further felt threatened with bodily injury by Complainants, who were acting aggressively, as corroborated by witness testimony. After briefing the DA’s on all pertinent and disputed legal and fact issues, providing eyewitness and character testimony, – including a compelling letter from the property owners, and photographic and weapon evidence, we got this case before the Grand Jury in record time.
Carl Haggard and his staff defended me expertly, vigorously and professionally to bring false accusations of Aggravated Assault against me to a 100% positive resolution. You will not find a law firm more dedicated to clearing your good name.
~ Adam B.
PCS – COCAINE PG 1 < 1 gm State Jail Felony
Case No. 1276490 – Christopher L.
GRAND JURY NO-BILL December 15, 2010
In his initial written statement submitted to us, Christopher wrote, “I know y’all don’t know me but I’m really a good person. I have 5 wonderful children, 3 from a previous marriage and 2 beautiful little girls from my wonderful wife I have now. I pray that we can resolve this without being taken from my family.” We prayed but also worked very hard to help Chris since he had a prior felony drug conviction and a Federal drug conviction for methamphetamine. At the time he hired HLF, Chris had turned his life around and was working a steady job as a boat mechanic which, due to prior injuries, caused him a great deal of pain. We thoroughly documented for the jury with medical records his need for prescribed medications. We also contested the reason for the stop: The officer lied in the Offense Report that he “could not identify the state on the license plate”. (We easily disproved this with photos.) Both Chris and his passenger were arrested for pills inside plastic bags in a metal vial and a cigarette box: Soma, Oxycodone and Adderall [dextroamphetamine] broken into several pieces. Hurdles to overcome were prescriptions for a third party found in the vehicle and the fact that Chris told police they were in Houston for a doctor’s appt. – but there was no appt. since they had “gotten the day wrong”. We prepared Chris on how to best testify to overcome these hurdles and prevailed – despite the fact that the Adderall was not documented with a valid Rx and he had a prior Federal amphetamine case.
Case No. 1231038 – John T.
GRAND JURY NO BILL November 19, 2009
Two co-defendants were caught soon after burglarizing a construction site at midnight. Copper wire cutters and cut copper conduit lay on the ground at the scene and a spool of copper wire was found in one of the co-defendants’ trucks. John, a third co-defendant, was the “chauffeur” in this copper wire theft ring. He was stopped while driving one of the trucks immediately after a two-truck coordinated theft had been carried out when a sharp-eyed Tomball PD officer pulled him over after spotting evidence of the crime. By skillful presentation of the evidence, despite our client’s participation as the chauffeur in the ring, we proved his innocence of complicity in the actual thefts beyond a reasonable doubt and obtained a Grand Jury No Bill for our client. [See convictions in co-defendants cases 1231039, 40 and 41.]
~The Haggard Law Firm accepts selected criminal defense cases in Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Brazoria, Montgomery, Matagorda and surrounding Texas counties. Affordable representation; payment plans arranged in some cases. We represent clients in all Misdemeanor Courts, Felony Courts, Juvenile Court and Federal Court.~
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