Senator works to stop wrongful convictions

According to the Innocence Project of Texas, Texas currently has the highest number of inmates exonerated on DNA evidence of any state.  So far, at least 42 people have been exonerated after filing successful DNA appeals to their convictions.  For this reason, State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston is introducing new legislation to reform Texas’ criminal justice system.

The “Innocence Protection Package” was created by Ellis and will be introduced during Congress’ current session.  The package would create four new bills that will fight for criminal justice and hopefully prevent future wrongful convictions.  Recording interrogations of people charged with serious felonies, organizing the DNA appeals process, creating a uniform procedure for eyewitness identification and reorganizing the state’s indigent defense task force are issues that the package would address.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and need help having these charges removed from your record, contact the Dallas expungement attorney, Mark T. Lassiter, at 214-651-1121 to set up an appointment today.

School administrator found not guilty, charges to be expunged

Last week, a Pennsylvania school administrator was found not guilty of charges of sexual assault and went trial to have the arrest and charges expunged from his record.

The school teacher, Ryan Thomas Monaghan, was recently accused by a student of molestation 10 years earlier when she was in Monaghan’s first grade class at East Vincent Elementary School.  Witnesses testified that the girl’s story did not make sense and that Monaghan would not have been left alone with the girl.

The trial lasted for three days and the jury deliberated for 10 hours before coming to a decision.  When Monaghan is granted expungement, all court documents and criminal records about the charges and trial will be destroyed.  In addition, he will never have to report being arrested or the charges made against him.

Contact the Dallas expungement attorney, Mark T. Lassiter, at 214-651-1121 today if you or someone you know has been wrongly accused of committing and crime and wants to have the charges expunged from your record.

Innocent Dallas man released from prison, charges expunged

An innocent Dallas man accused of rape and robbery over 30 years ago recently had the charges and conviction expunged from his record.  51-year old Cornelius Dupree Jr. was released from jail after spending 30 years in prison.

Dupree is one of 265 people in the country who have been exonerated through the use of DNA evidence testing that was not available when the charges were made.  Dupree’s conviction and 75 year jail sentence were reversed in a Dallas County courtroom yesterday.

Co-director of the Innocent Project Barry Scheck stated, “Misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful  convictions in the United States”.  Currently, eyewitness misidentification takes place in 75 percent of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence.  Officials believe that if DNA testing had been available at the time Dupree was convicted his case never would have gone to trial.

If you or a loved one has questions about having criminal charges expunged, contact the experienced Dallas expungement attorney, Mark T. Lassiter, at 214-651-1121 to learn more about your rights.

Harris County uses new DWI expungement program

Harris County recently introduced a new program that makes it easier for people charged with DWI, or driving while intoxicated, to have the charges expunged from their criminal record.  Harris County is infamous for having the nation’s highest annual rate of drunk driving fatalities.  Every year in Harris County, approximately 6,000 people are charged with DWIs for the first time.

The program, called DIVERT, or Direct Intervention using Voluntary Education Restitution and Treatment, was launched by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.  DIVERT allows drivers charged with DWI to agree to two years of supervision and counseling.  If at the end of two years a driver has kept a clean record, then the DWI charge will be expunged from their record.  So far, about 166 people have agreed to being a part of the DIVERT program.

To discuss having a criminal charge expunged from your record in Texas, contact the experienced Dallas expungement attorney, Mark T. Lassiter, at 214-651-1121 today.

Police woman accused of theft waits for expungement

23-year old Kim Fields, a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio, was accused of theft and subsequently suspended from her position in August.  A local Wal-Mart employee claimed that Fields had shoplifted from the store and pressed charges against her.

The Wal-Mart loss prevention employee told officers that she witnessed a “black female conceal several items and attempt to leave the store”.  After stopping her, the suspect said that she had not stolen anything and walked away.  The Wal-Mart employee told officers a license plate number from the vehicle she witnessed the suspect enter.  Police connected the license plate number provided by the Wal-Mart employee to Officer Kim Fields.

Fields received a 180 day suspension sentence as a result of the charges.  Court documents state that she is unable to request expungement of the charges until April 19, 2011.

Contact the Dallas expungement attorney Mark T. Lassiter at 214-651-1121 if you or someone you know wants to have previous criminal charges removed from their record.

NJ workers denied public employment despite expungement

Yesterday, the New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that public workers who commit a crime are barred from public employment in the state despite having an expungement.

The case involved a detective that formerly worked at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office who conducted an illegal criminal background check after ending her employment with the office.  The detective plead guilty to the disorderly persons offense charge for “purposeful and unauthorized access to a computer”.

In 2008, the detective requested expungement of the charge.  The jury requested the expungment but ruled that along with the expungement she was unable to obtain public employment in the future.  After an appeal, yesterday the court decided that the initial 2008 ruling should stand and the detective is barred from future public employment.

If you or someone you know is seeking expungement of a criminal charge, contact the Dallas expungement attorney Mark T. Lassiter at 214-651-1121 to learn more about your rights.

Bill created to allow deferred adjudication for DWI

Last Texas Congressional session, a bill was created and passed through a house committee to allow first-time DWI offenders to complete deferred adjudication for the first time since 1984.  The bill was not voted on in full before the session closed.

Deferred adjudication allows an individual guilty of an offense to complete an assignment and probation period and have the offense removed from their record.  Currently, individuals guilty of a first-time DWI have the option of probation or jail time.  More and more people are choosing jail time, leading legislators to believe deferred adjudication could be the best option to prevent drunk driving.

Over one million drivers in Texas have a DWI conviction on their record.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and have completed deferred adjudication, contact the Dallas non-disclosure lawyer Mark T. Lassiter at 214-651-1121 to learn more about your rights.

NJ man’s crime exposed on fliers despite expungement

A New Jersey man has gone to court to sue for defamation after Hudson County campaign fliers appeared saying that he had been convicted of a drug crime despite having the charge expunged.  The man, identified as G.D. in court documents, was convicted of drug possession in 1993 and later had the charge expunged in 2006.

G.D. was a former aid to Senate candidate Brian Stack in 2007 when the fliers were released by former state Senator Bernard Kenny.  The fliers were entitled “It’s the company you keep” and had G.D.’s criminal record, photo, and identification on them.

The New Jersey Supreme Court now has to decide whether or not it is libel to address a person’s expunged crime.

If your or someone you know is looking to have their record expunged, contact the Dallas expungement lawyer Mark T. Lassiter at 214-651-1121 to learn more about your rights.

Illinois man has record expunged after battery charge

24-year old Ryan Gaertner of Rockford, Illinois was charged with criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse after three women accused him of raping them several years before.  After the prosecution was penalized for misconduct, Gaertner was entitled to a new trial.  However, officials decided not to continue with the trial because “the charges, we believe, were vindictively brought against him and not well-founded,” stated Gaertner’s attorney.

After the Appellate Court threw out the case, Gaertner was granted expungement of the battery conviction and criminal record.  “The books are closed on this…The matter is done,” stated his attorney.

If you or someone you know is seeking expungement of your criminal record, contact the the Dallas expungement lawyer Mark T. Lassiter at 214-651-1121 to learn more about your rates.

Hico, TX asks to pardon Billy the Kid

The small town of Hico, Texas, 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth, is appealing to New Mexico governor Bill Richardson to have the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid pardoned.

Hico Mayor Lavern Tooley states, “I am asking for an opportunity to make the case of a pardon and explain how Billy came to spend his finals years in Hico”.  In reference to Richardson she continues, ” We would be honored to entertain you as a guest of the city of Hico, or we could arrange for a delegation to make the trek to Albuquerque”.

Tooley and Hico residents are determined to have the governor hear their version of Billy the Kid’s history and set the truth straight.

If your or someone you know is seeking to have their criminal record expunged, contact the Dallas pardon expungement lawyer Mark T. Lassiter at 214-651-1121 to learn more about your rights.

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