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Covid-19, Violent Offender Release

The News has reported that inmates in jails are being released due to covid-19.  Is this true? Yes. It has been reported and confirmed that inmates in Harris County, Dallas County, some Texas prisons and a juvenile detention center have the coronavirus.  This is a problem due to increased community spread in the jail environment; which outside of putting inmates' health in danger, endangers the lives of the jail and prison staff and adds more pressure to the hospital community. Are jails and prisons releasing inmates? Yes. This is not a blanket wide release of everyone in jail or prison. Each state, jurisdiction (federal or state), and county is making their own guidelines on release.  75% of all inmates in Texas county jails are not convicted. They are awaiting their case resolutions.   What about the release of violent offenders? Govenor Abbot issued executive order GA 13 which forbids the release of anyone who has been convicted of a violent offense or
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Law Enforcment: The Country Needs a Paradigm Shift!

The problem with criminal justice in the current United States is one which requires a major paradigm shift.  Police academies across the country are training to shoot first, have major discussions later. Police officers are evaluated in their job evaluations on how many arrests they make. Young district attroneys learn fast that trying lots of cases reflects well on advancement, even if they are trying cases that have no business being tried. Young prosecutors, fresh from law school, are thrown out into the world with very little life experience and a lot of power to wield. They know the laws, but don't understand their power. For example, here is where power runs awry. A police officer encounters a recent high school graduate on a speeding ticket. He smells fresh marijuana emanating from the car. Although the kid has a clean record and this is her first real brush with the law, the cop arrests her. An inexperienced, young prosecutor with little life experience gets the case

The Biggest Misconception in a DWI

The biggest misconception in a DWI is to correlate a single bad driving behavior with guilt in a DWI. Whether it be a jerk (failure to maintain a single lane), accident (losing control and hitting something like a curb, pole, or another car), or stopping too long at a stop light, this may very well be evidence of driver inattention unrelated to intoxication. I have analyzed thousands of DWI cases and have tried over 300. What I typically find is a prosecutor who argues that the driving behavior which so often happens due to driver inattention be argued as clear evidence that a person is intoxicated. This is simply not fact. The facts are that every day drivers commit these violations due to distraction, inattention, fatigue or a host of other factors. Accidents are so common that the law mandates a driver operate a motor vehicle on our public roads with liability insurance. The mere fact that a driver commits these with alcohol or a substance (medication, drugs, caffeine, etc.) in

Mimi Coffey DWI/Criminal Defense Lawyer Credentials

Mimi Coffey is an attorney with 23 years experience. She is certified in DWI defense by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). She is a Regent with the National College of DUI Defense. She is the chairman of the NCDD Forensics Committee.  With offices in both Dallas and Tarrant Counties, she serves the entire metroplex. Mimi has appeared as a legal commentator for CNN, National Fox News, and local Dallas/Fort Worth stations on DWI-related stories. She is also a frequent speaker at both national and state-wide seminars. Mimi is an experienced attorney with a proven trial record (over 300 cases, with 80% of them being jury trials). Her successes include everything from .21 breath tests, blood tests to 3 car accident cases. Mimi’s cases have also made excellent case law for the State of Texas. She even sued the Texas Department of Public Safety in federal court on the Texas DPS surcharge program. She has won the President’s Heart of a Champion Award from the Texas Criminal De

The Emotional Aspects of a DWI

How it feels to have a DWI is something critically important to understand for anyone dealing with a person who has been arrested for DWI, whether that be for a family member, employer, etc. The amount of people who get arrested for a DWI every year is akin to the amount of people who get diagnosed with cancer (approx. 1.4 million, although this number has been decreasing). By understanding what it feels like to be accused of a DWI with true respect and empathy, we help everyone. 1. Trauma . Although lumped in with criminal activity, people who get arrested for DWI did not set out to perpetrate a crime on society.  This is a very important distinction.  People who get DWIs feel tremendous remorse and shame at the title "DWI" because they would never intentionally hurt someone. For most, it was an occasion of social drinking which ended in an arrest.  Imagine being called a child abuser, or a sex offender.  The mere thought of being lumped in a category of causing intenti

The Painful Truth....

Last week my best friend turned 50 (we were born and raised here in Tarrant County, Texas). We both graduated from C.F. Brewer High School on the west side of Fort Worth. It was great to actually catch up and spend some time with classmates at her party that I generally never get to see. One of them leaned over and asked me, "Mimi, do the judges of Tarrant County try to help people?"  I looked at her, everyone at the table in eager anticipation, and had an answer they did not expect to hear. Here is the truth, if you can't fall asleep in a parked car in a parking lot in order to avoid a DWI, the county has big issues. I would not say that those judges are trying to help people. I would say the exact opposite. They are sending a message that it is better to risk trying to make it home because if you do the responsible thing and not drive you will be convicted.  I have had juries say Not Guilty in these circumstances. This is because the law does not define "operate

Why Texas Should Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana alone never killed anyone, unlike alcohol or an excess of sugar consumption over a lifetime (diabetes, etc.). Most people reading this blog could care less about legalizing marijuana because they can't understand how it affects them. Oh, but it does. It is rather simple. 1. Taxes. It costs approximately $45k a year to house an inmate in Texas (juvenile costs are far higher).  The amount of money Texas taxpayers pay for prisons and jails is staggering.  People can't seem to understand this is real.  I have a client who has a pending marijuana case in Johnson County. It is a felony because it is not in leaf format- the marijuana concentration is in a few gummy bears. The assistant district attorney has offered a ten year probation sentence which includes a prison rehab (called SAFP) for 6 months to a year.  Ludicrous.  Why send my food delivery guy into a school for hardened criminals where he will come out far worse than when he went in?  News flash, even former P

10 Things I Would Go Back & Tell My Law School Self

My 2nd year of law school at Texas Tech (I had 2 children during law school, this is Kiki my first) I think about my third son Spencer all the time as he just started his first year at Cornell Law School. This week, I came up with this list for him. These are the things I would go back and tell my young, full of wonder self  27 years ago. Maybe this can help other young law students or aspiring lawyers. 10 Things I would go back & tell my law school self: Focus on writing. It’s how the top lawyers in their field help other lawyers and share their knowledge en masse with the world. Publishing is essential. Give back. Look around and remember how your fellow students are struggling and need financial aid. Make it a goal to give back. It’s a worthy endeavor that I wish more lawyers would do. Show gratitude. Appreciate your professors. They have sacrificed an exciting life in the ring to teach. This is huge. Be kind. As you look around and feel the surging blood of