FELONY CHOKING ASSAULT ON FAMILY MEMBER
Case No. 1424765 – Michael L.
DISMISSED BEFORE TRIAL Sept. 28th 2015
Michael was assaulted by an intoxicated angry girlfriend while he was driving. He defended himself in the car and later in the driveway in front of witnesses. Despite calling 911 to document his self-defense he was charged due to her lies he choked her. We fought this case for a year and a half. The State had expert witnesses lined up but caved at trial based on our Motions, police and civilian witnesses, and our extensive impeachment documentation of Complainant based on prior similar incidents. Michael is now free to keep his CDL trucker license and go out on the road.
FELONY CHOKING ASSAULT ON FAMILY MEMBER
Case No. 1374365 – Samuel M.
DISMISSED September 5, 2013
Sam’s ex-girlfriend, expecting their second child, went berserk when he told her he was getting married and assaulted Sam violently. In his self-defense Sam left red marks on her neck area. Afterwards, afraid of being arrested and losing custody of their son, she lied and told police Sam had strangled her, sat on her stomach and told her she must have an abortion. Police observed evidence consistent with strangulation and the Complainant was put on bed rest for complications with her pregnancy. So… it didn’t look good for our side. First we presented medical records and other testimony to the Court and successfully argued dire need to get the Court-ordered Protective Order lifted, allowing Sam to care for their son while his ex-girlfriend was on bed rest. Next we had Sam submit to a polygraph administered by our defense-side (but former police) polygrapher to build our defense. Then we filed Supplemental Discovery Motions and Motions for Pretrial Disclosures of Rule 404(b) and Rule 609 Evidence and Article 37.07(3) (g) Evidence to prepare for Trial – Sam was not guilty and was unwilling to plead. Before getting to Trial, we got a big break in the case that we exploited to a Dismissal when a very credible witness – one who did not even know Sam – came forward to testify that Complainant had confessed to her that she had lied to police regarding Sam and that Complainant had done the same thing to her own son a few years ago. After some face-saving negotiations on the part of the DA’s we won our Dismissal.
FELONY CHOKING ASSAULT ON FAMILY MEMBER
Case No. 1378582 – James W.
DISMISSED July 22, 2013
James and his wife had a rocky marriage including several prior constable visits. We laid the groundwork for lawful self-defense by documenting these episodes to show his wife was the aggressor, then as now, and that she had a severe rage/anger problem. We used medical records, police reports, cell-phone video, and marriage counseling records to prove James had sought help to deal with his wife’s abuse and that she had agreed to anger management. An argument erupted in the bedroom and spilled over into the kitchen where it escalated to James’ wife throwing food on James after which she assaulted him, including hitting him with a frying pan. Problems for us to overcome were that both parties called 911 but her call was made first, statements of police that her neck was increasingly red and swollen at the scene and that they could find no visible injuries on James where he said she had hit him. Using injury photos and scene reconstruction we showed how Complainant’s statement to police was false by proving it could not possibly have happened as she described and we used the nature and location of the visible injuries of both to solidify our position that James was the victim. We finally cogently argued that this relationship could be better handled through the divorce courts – where an action was pending.
FELONY ASSAULT OF FAMILY MEMBER – CHOKING / BROKEN ANKLE
Case No. 1254072 – Chris J.
“NOT GUILTY” JURY TRIAL VERDICT
Chris was an executive for a major oil company whose career was in jeopardy if we did not win this case. This three day trial was a “Battle Royal” as one of our attorneys phrased it – a broken bone assault case with a choking allegation. It included two attorneys for our side, [Mr. Haggard and a second-chair attorney to assist with courtroom legal research, citations and other trial matters], over 100 evidence exhibits and a slough of witnesses. Chris’ ex-girlfriend was bipolar with a history of lying and violence; in fact, her ex-husband was one of our star witnesses for impeachment of her character. (She further impeached herself during direct examination regarding photo evidence. Mr. Haggard at that time caught her in one too many lies and ruthlessly shattered her self-confidence into a stream of stammers.) A turning point in the case was when Mr. Haggard literally browbeat the prosecution into allowing a necessity and self-defense charge to be given to the jury. Besides a fractured ankle bone, we had evidence of several bruises and marks on Complainant – including in her neck area – as alleged proof of the alleged choking – to contend with. But the Complainant’s inability to tell the same story twice on direct examination – here’s a sample version – “He beat me up with both fists [230 lbs] in my face, choked me twice severely, threw me on the ground, broke my ankle, threw the chair across the room…” was grist for our mill. The prosecution lamely countered the Complainant’s lies with the abused child excuse – that she had been so traumatized she couldn’t remember what happened… The police officer further lent a hand to us here: We had to FIGHT to let the police officer even look at his own offense report. (He was not allowed to read from it because it was not in evidence.) Upon looking it over, he developed a sudden case of amnesia in order to keep from the jury the contradictory statements of Complainant. Ultimately we had interrupt the trial to get the O.R. into evidence due to the officer’s “amnesia”. From there Mr. Haggard deftly dealt the death blow by making the officer shamefacedly answer a bald-faced, “yes” to his pointed questions, (having to do with lies regarding the location of scene evidence), to which his response was a confident, “No further questions.” There were many other problems with evidence that we had to fight to overcome. Mr. Haggard commented that both police and prosecutors played some of the dirtiest tricks he had ever had played on him during a trial – and he’s had a lot. Our Final Argument was melodramatic. The jury was out 45 minutes.
Before I began working with Mr Haggard, I spoke with over five attorneys at a variety of Houston based law firms. All of them were eager to take my case. None of them seemed concerned about me personally. Carl was, and I am very grateful. He consistently took the time to talk me through each situation in a straightforward honest manner. I trusted him because he always respected me as a teammate as opposed to just a client. I believe this benefited our final result. My impression is that such kindness and honesty are unusual in the legal profession. It would be my pleasure to recommend Carl to anyone else who is unfamiliar with the legal system. I was facing 2-10 years taking this to trial, but when you’re innocent and your side has not been heard or told, you go for it! Her lies came out and my truths prevailed and so did Mr. Haggard. He fought and hammered through the details and together we received a NOT GUILTY verdict!!! Thanks Mr. Haggard!!!
~ Chris J.
FELONY ASSAULT OF FAMILY MEMBER – CHOKING
Case No. 1320735 – Jason K.
Jason was an award-winning Naval Officer set to retire soon when his sister, Complainant, had him arrested for allegedly choking her. A felony conviction would have destroyed the rest of his career. Complainant had a past history of drug abuse which we carefully documented to lay the groundwork for impeaching her credibility. On the day in question, Jason’s wife witnessed Complainant, already intoxicated, take several Loratabs and Somas and then try to leave in their car. She called her husband to help her wrestle the keys away. Complainant sustained visible injuries on her neck in the ensuing struggle over the keys, a struggle which was nothing like what police wrote up for the Offense Report: “He wrapped both of his hands around [my] neck, choking [me] … [I] started seeing white spots.” She further played up the military connection, making it seem as if he took advantage of his Special Forces training in assaulting her. An alleged statement of Jason’s wife in the ER corroborated Complainant: Jason’s wife stated she observed both of Jason’s hands wrapped around [Complainant’s] neck choking her [and] told Jason to let her go.” We used testimony from a Harris County Sheriff deputy who witnessed a similar episode between Complainant and her mother later that same day. After several flip-flops on her story, (presented as indirect proof), we finally obtained an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution from Complainant and other Affidavits of those who knew how violent she became when intoxicated. We successfully argued self-defense and the absence of true medical indicia of choking.