houston criminal lawyer

Former Prosecutor Disbarred After Presenting False Testimony in Death Row Case

Texas remains third on the list of states with the highest number of death row inmates. But in 2015, new death sentences reached their lowest point since 1976. This was the year that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Texas’ revised death penalty statute. However, prosecutors are still fighting for unfair death-row sentences in a completely illegal manner. One recent case of false testimony illustrates this.

Anthony Graves was sentenced to death in 1994 for the murder of six people. He spent 18 years in prison, with 12 of those years on death row. But Graves wasn’t guilty and he wasn’t the right person to be sentenced to death.

Although Graves conviction was overturned in 2006, he wasn’t exonerated till 2010. Several pieces of evidence lead to his exoneration.

The prosecutor in Graves’ case, Charles Sebesta “failed to provide several items of exculpatory evidence to the defense during Graves’ trial, presented false testimony to the jury, made a false statement of material fact to the trial judge and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

Recently, the State Bar of Texas made the decision to disbar Sebesta. But yet, disbarring Sebesta can only go so far as to right the wrongs of Sebesta.

Corso Law Group knows the facts about death row sentences. They know why cases with certain evidence should be not be legal in the first place. In Graves’ case, the prosecution presented evidence that should have never been accepted.

Our firm seeks to fix this problem. It’s the main reason our criminal defense attorneys always fight for our client’s rights.

For life-altering, difficult situations, an experienced, aggressive defense attorney is crucial. Having a criminal defense attorney who also has prior prosecutorial experience is an advantage.

Our firm knows how prosecutors operate and we fight to defend your rights.

Graves experienced unimaginable suffering. He served 18 years in prison, thinking he was going to be executed for a crime he didn’t even commit.

Corso Law Group operates in a different way. Our focus is to help the person, not just the client.

3 Reasons Criminal Defense Law Firm Reviews Matter

Our Houston defense attorneys work to provide a fair and aggressive defense for each client. We understand that every case is different and each client requires our undivided attention and skills in order to attain a favorable outcome. We’ve found that our client reviews have positively reflected this, showing potential clients that these reviews do indeed matter.

They reveal who the criminal defense attorneys are behind the firm

Brent A.  – Corso Law Group review: “I had a great experience with this law firm. I recommend them to everyone. My legal team was experienced and worked hard for me. If you need a lawyer, consider this firm. I liked the fact that they were dependable and always had the answers. I was living out of state at the time and it was important for me that I knew my lawyer and team had everything under control.”

We understand that it can be difficult to fully understand who your criminal defense attorney is solely from the firm’s website. Client reviews present personal attributes of the attorneys, revealing that they are dependable and trustworthy, or possess other desirable traits you seek when hiring a criminal defense attorney. 

They help you understand the firm’s process for their clients

Juan P. – Corso Law Group review: “The lawyers were able to assist me with questions I had regarding getting my old charges cleared. I got to go in for a personal consultation with the owner, and within a couple weeks they had taken care of my record for me. Every step of the way I was notified and if I had any questions, I could call at any time. Wonderful staff. I would recommend.”

One of the most important aspects about the criminal defense firm you decide to hire is understanding their process for assisting their clients. Are they quick to respond to you? Do they lead you through each and every step of your case? Their process should revolve around you and the situation you’re in, not them. Client reviews reveal how consistent, effective and motivated a firm is through the way they assess and then act on your case.

They provide proof of success

Paul B. – Corso Law Group review: “Because of their experience and professionalism, my charges were reduced to one from three and the one was reduced to a reasonable outcome. The circumstances of my mistake could have been much worse. I salute this firm. Thank you.”

No one wants to hire a law firm that isn’t good at what they do. Take the time to read each review and see if the outcomes are in line with what that client expected and received. Your criminal defense attorney should be experienced in the field your case is in and present proven successes to you up front.

Uber and Breathometer Join Forces to Help Prevent Drunk Driving

Would knowing your blood alcohol content help you make the right decision to call a cab or hail an Uber at the end of the night?

Breathometer, a portable breathalyzer that works on smartphones, has partnered with Uber to further prevent drunk driving by offering users safe, convenient alternatives to getting behind the wheel when intoxicated.

Simply blow into one of the Breathometer devices, which can be wireless or attached to the headphone jack, and the app shows the person’s current blood alcohol content.

If BAC levels are at .04 percent or higher, Breathometer provides a list of nearby restaurants, hotels and transportation options that can be contacted directly form the app.

Now partnered with Uber, an app that connects people to drivers in the area, Breathometer offers the company’s services first on the list of transportation options, and the Uber app automatically opens when selected on Breathometer.

Since the partnership began earlier this year, Uber has been selected 54 percent more frequently than the other options Breathometer offers, with approximately 1,700 Uber rides so far.

After recording BAC levels, Breathometer has the option to store this information so that over time, the app gets to know how much alcohol it takes for an individual to become intoxicated, how long it takes to sober up and more.

In the future, Breathometer founder and CEO Charles Yim has plans to expand the app even more, so that it offers users additional services, such as helpful resources for battling alcohol abuse.

The partnership between the Uber and Breathometer, and each of their respective partnerships with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Fathers Against Drunk Driving, demonstrates a serious effort to prevent alcohol-related accidents.

Why a Public Defender Isn’t Enough

Gideon’s Law states that under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, every state has an obligation to provide counsel in criminal cases to represent those defendants who can’t afford to hire a private attorney.

However, many people have a misunderstanding of the public defense system and do not realize that choosing a public defender over a private attorney can be very hurtful to the outcome of their case resulting in a higher chance of being convicted as well as more severe punishment during sentencing.

Anyone who is in need of a defense lawyer should consider every aspect of using the public defense system. There are some serious issues plaguing the system including the fact that public defense lawyers are given hundreds upon hundreds of cases over the course of a year. This only allows lawyers enough time to spend 2 hours or less on each case.

In some cases a public defender technically has only minutes to spend on each assigned case and is given more than 800 cases annually. More than half of the countries legal systems also prevent public defenders from refusing to take on additional new cases.

With such minimal amount of time dedicated to each client, many defendants are simply encouraged to enter a guilty plea for the sake of resolving the case even if they might have otherwise had a relatively high chance of successfully fighting the charges against them.

Another large issue with the public defense system is a severe lack of funding. The result is that defenders do not have the necessary means to access certain resources that could make or break a case such as legal research, investigators and field experts.

More importantly, due to the problems with funding, those who are under the impression that they will save loads of money by using a public defender may be disappointed after finding themselves having to pay high amounts of court fees.

According to NPR, there has been a huge growth in the use of court fines and fees to finance the criminal justice system and other state programs. An NPR survey found that 43 states require defendants to pay fees in order to have a public defender represent them in court.

With a private attorney, there is no need to be concerned about those issues that are all too common in the public defense system. Opting to hire a private attorney gives the defendant a greater fighting chance of winning their case and saves him/her from having to worry about whether or not they are receiving the best representation in court.

Private attorneys have the education, time and resources to spend working each client’s case and will fight to get the best outcome possible in court.