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Mexican man charged with rape was deported 10 times

Three Republican senators – Chuck Grassley, Jerry Moran, and Pat Roberts – asked in late December for the Department of Homeland Security to hand over immigration records for Mexican national Tomas Martinez-Maldonado. Martinez-Maldonado, 38, was charged with a felony following the alleged rape of a teenage girl on September 27, 2016 aboard a Greyhound bus in Geary County, Kansas.

Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, co-signed a December 9 letter with Moran and Roberts to the Homeland Security Secretary upon learning that Martinez-Maldonado was deported 10 times. He had also been voluntarily removed from the country another nine times since 2003. Martinez-Maldonado’s legal counsel, David Trevino, in defense of his client, said it is not unusual for immigrants to be able to renter the U.S. multiple times without legal permission. Trevino noted, Trump “can build a wall 100 feet high and 50 feet deep, but it is not going to keep family members separated.”

Our attorneys at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law provide legal services for our clients in Austin and other areas in Texas. We will put forth our best fight in order for the charges against you to be lessened or dropped altogether. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950.

Austin forensic lab’s reopening to cost around $6M to $14M

The Austin Police Department’s forensic crime laboratory, which temporarily shut down in June 2016 due to issues of contamination and tampering that were raised by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, will likely cause Travis County and the city of Austin around $6 to $14.4 million to reopen.

While Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said they are still not sure as to what exact amount would be needed to make a clean review of the cases that involved the contaminated DNA evidence, she noted “I expect it to be a very large number. The downstream costs of this are mostly in the country’s column, and we’re going to need the city’s assistance with this.”

However, some city officials said they do not believe that the laboratory’s reopening in 2017 would take millions of dollars.

We at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, who provide legal services for our clients in Austin or other areas in Texas, can help you protect your future by providing you with the best criminal defense representation. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950.

Advocates for sexual assault victims wary of continued closure of Austin’s DNA lab

In light of the closure of the Austin Police Department’s DNA laboratory, advocates for sexual assault victims have started the #EndtheBacklog campaign due to their fear that untested rape kits would remain untested, adding to the number of unsolved sexual assault cases, an already high number: 484 untested rape kits from within the past year and 126 pending sexual assault cases.

The Austin City Council conceded to an additional $1.4 million in funding for the lab—which should go towards paying seven new forensic analysts and one new supervisor-level employee for the lab when it reopens in February 2017—in September during discussions to finalize the city’s 2017 fiscal budget.

Being convicted of a crime, especially rape or sexual assault, can bring about dire consequences for you and your family; this is why it is essential that you hire the legal services of an attorney who is guaranteed to deliver favorable results in most of the cases they handle, much like our attorneys at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law. Call our Austin offices at (512) 472-1950 to learn about our legal services and representation.

Austin lab closure sparks controversies over DNA-based convictions

Austin Police Department’s forensics laboratory was closed in May 2016 after discoveries of contaminated evidence and faulty scientific protocol during a Texas Forensic Science Commission audit. Following this development, defense attorneys believe that some convictions should be investigated because they might be worth overturning.

At present, staffers at the district attorney’s office are almost a third of the way through checking the police department’s forensic investigations since 2004 to determine the number that resulted in trials and convictions. So far, they say around 1,044 cases resulted in 863 convictions for the defendants, Director of Special Prosecutions Gregg Cox said. The laboratory is set to reopen in 2017, but local authorities are still in contention about whether they will allow the police department to run it independently. One major problem contributing to this conundrum was the fact that the police department created its own testing methods with no scientific basis, and they continue to stand by these methods.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Austin or another area in Texas, your legal rights may need a serious defense strategy. Seek the legal assistance of our criminal defense attorneys at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950 so we can craft comprehensive and aggressive legal strategies that will help support your case as soon as possible.

Former doctor Charles Fischer found guilty of sexual assault of a child

Former Texas state psychiatrist Dr. Charles Fischer, who is a resident of Westlake, was convicted of multiple charges last Wednesday, November 16, which include four counts of sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony, by a Travis County who deliberated for nine hours over two days before returning with the decision. The same jury will decide on Fischer’s sentence.

Fischer allegedly abused seven men, only one of whom wasn’t a patient of his but, rather, a seven- or eight-year-old neighbor of his previously.

Fischer originally faced 17 felonies—the most severe charge against him, aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony, was dropped.

Monica Flores, one of the three attorneys who prosecuted the case against Fischer, focused on discussing the three accusers who appear on Fischer’s 2012 indictment.

The criminal penalties that can befall a person who had been convicted of a criminal offense can leave long-lasting damaging effects to said person’s reputation, especially since a criminal record can leave permanent marks on one’s personal and employment history. If you had been charged with a crime in Austin or other areas in Texas, get in touch with our attorneys at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950.

Austin DNA evidence analysis transferred to Dallas County forensics lab

It might be a long time before Austin, Texas can make it through its backlog of over 600 batches of DNA evidence related to sexual assaults. Austin Police Department Chief of Staff Brian Manley told members of the Public Safety Commission last Tuesday, November 8 that he was uncertain when the Dallas County’s forensics laboratory would finish processing the evidence.

The Austin City Council passed a $3.6 million six-year contract with Dallas County to process Austin’s DNA evidence. Austin Police Department’s own laboratory faced recent closure because of evidence contamination. Judge Karen Sage of the 299th Travis County Criminal District Court said the backlog was already interfering with public safety and defendants’ constitutional rights. Sage recalled one case of a man charged with sexual assault who she was forced to dismiss before the DNA evidence could be analyzed because “he had a sixth amendment right to a speedy trial.”

If you are accused of breaking the law in Austin, no matter how severe the charges you are facing, seek legal representation from our criminal defense attorneys at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law today by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950. Get in touch with us as soon as you can.

Defense attorneys seek death penalty appellate system reform

A report released by the Texas Defender Service on Tuesday, September 20, which studied data from 2009 to 2015, showed that the district appeals system decided 82 death penalty cases, affirming 79 of those cases and reversing only three death sentences.

The report noted the problem of the rise in death penalty cases stems from defense understaffing, poor representation, and a lack of oversight. Defense lawyer Amanda Marzullo noted, “Our criminal justice system only works when there is experienced, skilled, and focused advocacy on both sides. Today the current direct appeals system is failing to provide that adequacy to ensure that justice is properly served.”

Being charged with a criminal offense is a debilitating experience that can cause both your professional and personal life to suffer. If you are charged with a criminal offense in Austin or another area of Texas, consider the legal services of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law. Discuss your legal options with us by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950.

Austin criminal defense attorneys question APD crime lab

The Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association condemned the operations at the Austin Police Department crime laboratory on Friday, September 16. Prosecutors in the DA’s office said officials at the crime lab were guilty of “shoddy practices” and “gross errors that could jeopardize the rights of thousands of defendants and victims.”

In a statement, the association said: “For years, the Austin Police Department has known its DNA lab was taking shortcuts to save time and money at the expense of science. Prosecutors in the DA’s (District Attorney’s) office questioned the lab’s shoddy practices and were rebuffed.” The laboratory currently has a serious load of backlogs and recently obtained $5 million from the City of Austin to address the issue.

A conviction for any kind of criminal offense can ruin your chances of having a good life. It can tarnish your reputation, alienate your friends, and deter potential employers from hiring you. Ian Inglis Attorney at Law can help you fight the charges you are facing so you can have your life back. Call our Austin offices today at (512) 472-1950 to discuss your case and learn more about your options.

Study reveals bail system unfairly affects lower income citizens

The United States Department of Justice has declared the current bail system unconstitutional, after a case in Georgia involved a man being retained in jail for six days because he could not afford the $160 bail associated with a misdemeanor charge.

A new study conducted by New York University assistant professor Arpit Gupta, Columbia University Ph.D. candidate in economics Christopher Hansman, and University of Chicago Law School student Ethan Frenchman showed that the assignment of money bail increased recidivism rate by 6-9% and conviction rates by 12% in Philadelphia.

The reasoning behind bail is that it ensures people will return for trial proceedings. However, in practice, the bail system blatantly disadvantages citizens of a lower socioeconomic status. The impacts of being in jail for the length of time between being merely accused of a crime and ever having an opportunity to a trial are detrimental. In that time, individuals are likely to form relationships with people inside the system that could be a negative influence, are prevented from going to work, are isolated from their families, etc. These factors lead to increased recidivism later. Moreover, many choose to falsely confess to crimes to avoid being retained in jails at all.

According to the researchers, “Money bail, as a source of pretrial detention, imposes significant costs on defendants. Money bail may also directly influence recidivism through the harms of pretrial incarceration imposed upon those unable to make bail, post-trial incarceration following conviction, or the stigma of conviction.”

Other studies echo these findings. For instance, New York Times Magazine reporter Nick Pinto wrote: “[The Bronx Freedom Fund bailed out nearly 200 [low-income] defendants and generated some illuminating statistics. Ninety-six percent of the fund’s clients made it to every one of their court appearances, a return rate higher even than that of people who posted their own bail. More than half of the Freedom Fund’s clients, now able to fight their cases outside jail, saw their charges completely dismissed. By comparison, defendants held on bail for the duration of their cases were convicted 92% of the time.”

Bail is just one of the many complicated factors of the criminal justice system. Austin criminal defense attorney Ian Inglis at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law has the legal experience and technical knowledge to help assist you through the process. Get in touch with him and other qualified members of our legal team by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950.

Civil rights lawsuits filed by Twin Peaks bikers to follow criminal trials

United States District Judge Sam Sparks said that the civil rights violation lawsuits filed by 15 bikers will proceed in Austin. The motorcyclists claim they were unlawfully arrested after a shootout that happened at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco in McLennan County, Texas on May 17, 2015.

Eight of the 15 plaintiffs were not indicted with organized criminal activity charges, and three of those eight claim in their lawsuits that they were not even in Waco when the shooting happened. The civil lawsuits name McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman, Waco Detective Manuel Chavez, and an unknown police officer as defendants.

The plaintiffs’ legal counsel, Dallas attorney Don Tittle, welcomed the development, saying, “While we may have to wait a little longer for accountability than we had hoped, we respect the judge’s decision to put these cases on hold for now. Once the criminal cases are resolved, justice is going to come for Mr. Reyna and company in the form of an Austin federal court jury.”

We at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law can help you contest the criminal charges that have been leveled against you in Austin. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (512) 472-1950.

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