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Lisa Haines
Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney & Former Tarrant County Prosecutor. Tenacious representation! Extensive trial experience. LisaHainesLaw@att.net
Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney & Former Tarrant County Prosecutor. Tenacious representation! Extensive trial experience. LisaHainesLaw@att.net
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I had another "Why I went to law school" day last week My client was facing 5 to Life/99 years on a Burglary of a Habitation enhanced to 1st degree. He is 24 years old. I read the police report and watched the body cam videos within a few days of my appointment. I concluded that my client was unjustly arrested. The Fort Worth officers, in my opinion, did not even have probable cause to arrest him. He was making a lot of noise but walking into a friend's motel room while shouting did not meet the elements of Burg Hab. I immediately contacted the prosecutor, asking her to look closely at the evidence then dismiss the case or, in the alternative, give him a Class C ticket for disorderly conduct. A couple of days later she got back to me saying she would offer the DC. I went to the jail to tell my client. He was very upset about being arrested and he was scared of going to prison. I told him I agreed with his assessment and had spoken with the Grand Jury prosecutor about the lack of evidence to warrant an arrest. I then told him the prosecutor has agreed to offer a Class C ticket! Tears of relief rolled down his face. As we discussed his "backstory" I learned that he has been on his own since he was in 8th grade, when his grandmother died. He sought help on the psychiatric ER on the 10th floor at JPS the night before his arrest but didn't have the $10 to pay for the Rx there. ( He has had a tough time getting his medication over the years.) I told him about the many services TC MHMR can provide. All alone in the world, on the streets. I set the case for a plea. But when I went to court I learned he had been released. Then I learned the prosecutor had presented his case to the Grand Jurors the day before and it was no-billed. My young friend did not even have to plead to the disorderly conduct. His case had been dismissed. The prosecutor had kept an open mind in her evaluation of the facts. She had been a defense attorney for a few years before joining TCDA. That experience, I believe, gave her a broader perspective and a humanity I don't see often enough among prosecutors these days. She did a great job. I wish more of the police officers in our county understood mental disorders and mental disease. Perhaps then they would have more patience with people like my client so that arrests like this wouldn't happen.

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Attended a continuing legal education seminar Wednesday, October 12, 2016 regarding Tarrant County Mental Illness, Criminal Defendants and Criminal Law. Learned details about the new TC court program (Enhanced Mental Health Service Docket) for defendants who have mental health issues and have been arrested at least twice in the past year. Defendants are working with a service team, assisting them in getting MH assistance. The highly qualified and enthusiastic director of TC MHMR (Mental Health and Mental Retardation) spoke about all the resources available to residents in Tarrant County. Other leaders at TC MHMR spoke about Adult Outpatient Services, Crisis Services and other resources and support available. Learned about the TC Jail system for assisting inmates. Unfortunately, they need a lot more medical staff to deal with evaluations, medication, etc.

If your relative is taken into custody, make sure your relative tells the intake jail staff if he/she has been diagnosed with a mental disorder and/or if he/she has been a patient in Trinity Springs Pavilion at JPS (Wichita Falls, etc.) and/or prescribed medication for any mental health issue. That should ensure that the defendant receives the medication. If there are prescription bottles at home, you can bring them to the jail administration.

TC MHMR main number is 817-335-3022.
http://www.mhmrtarrant.org/Services/Mental-Health-Services

Has Lisa Haines been your lawyer? Please click on "Reviews" above and share what you felt about my work on your behalf.

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Mental Health issues often overlap into the criminal courts. Lisa is very interested in mental health issues and how clients often self-medicate with methamphetamine or pot, etc. when they would really benefit from a psychological evaluation and treatment for a mental disorder. The brain is an organ just like the kidneys or the heart. If it is not functioning properly, medication may help. Tarrant County has a diversion program for people who have mental health issues. If successfully completed, the defendant can get the arrest erased (expunged) from his/her criminal history. Contact Lisa by email (lisahaineslaw@att.net) or phone 817-877-Lisa for a free consultation.

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Family violence arrests are made every day here in Tarrant County. If you are the husband or boyfriend in a mutual combat situtation, you are likely the one who will be arrested. These are very serious charges: Class A ABI-FM (Assault on family member) and 3rd degree felony Impeding Breathing (Choking family member). Even with a deferred probation (no conviction), the defendant cannot ever have a gun. (The US Supreme Court recently upheld this law June 26, 2016.) But Tarrant County has a deferred PROSECUTION program where a defendant, if accepted into the program, can avoid a probation. Click "Domestic Violence Diversion Program" below then call Lisa Haines to get started on the application. 817-877-Lisa

7 No Bills (dismissals) by Grand Jurors. One man was accused of Impeding Breathing - Family Member (3rd degree) and was going to be deported if even put on probation. Presented to the Grand Jury - case dismissed. One client was charged with 2 cases of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Family Member. First degree 5 - life range of punishment. Lisa provided evidence that the prosecutor did not have and likely wouldn't have gotten otherwise. The Grand Jurors found that this evidence proved the innocence of Lisa' s client.

Grand Jury presentation on a charge of Sexual Assault of a Child Under 17 in May, 2016. The two consenting young adults were 46 months apart in age; she turns 17 next month. What an injustice if this wonderful young man had been indicted! He faced 2-20 years in prison and a lifetime of sex offender registration. When will we have a brave representative in Austin who will take this crime out of the Texas Penal Code?! Does a young man really need to be grouped with the 40 year old coach or step-father or grandfather who force themselves on teenage girls? I do not think so. But no representative seems to have the courage to stand up to screams of being light on sex offenders. I have been practicing for 19 years and have never seen anyone step up to the task.

Pursued justice and got case dismissed in May for a client facing 25 to life for scratching a police officer (120 pound client was body slammed by the cop and suffered a broken collarbone). Police and our society in general need a better understanding of mental illness.

From Shoplifting & DWI to Aggravated Assaults & Drug charges, Lisa has the experience to resolve every crimal charge to her client's satisfaction.

Law Office of Lisa Haines, P.C. 817-877-Lisa [5472]
Office email: lisahaineslaw@att.net (not @gmail.com)
Criminal Defense Attorney Fort Worth, TX
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