Posts Tagged ‘Houston Juvenile Lawyer’


Houston Juvenile Law FAQs

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Answers to frequently asked questions concerning Houston juvenile law—

My child was arrested.  What kind of a lawyer does he need?

Your child needs a juvenile defense attorney who is experienced in this specialized area of law.  Juvenile law is different from criminal law and family law. For this reason, it is important to retain an experienced juvenile lawyer to represent your child, as many criminal lawyers and family lawyers simply do not have the experience and understanding of the different rules and procedures in this specialized area of law. Few attorneys are experienced in juvenile law and fewer still are lawyers that are experts in this area of law.  In the state of Texas, there are about 40 attorneys in private practice that are certified in juvenile law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

At James G. Sullivan and Associates, the Houston defense attorneys are experienced trial lawyers in both juvenile and criminal courts.  They have successfully defended thousands of clients and fought for many clients at jury trial on all kinds of charges ranging from misdemeanor theft to felony murder.  Unlike many colleagues who practice criminal or juvenile law, James Sullivan has never prosecuted anyone and never will.  That is not him. His entire career is devoted to defending people accused of crimes and delinquencies.

James Sullivan has been Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2004.  In order to be certified, a lawyer has to devote a substantial percentage of his practice to juvenile law, handle a wide variety of matters in juvenile law to demonstrate experience and involvement, attend continuing education seminars to keep legal training up to date, be evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges and pass a six (6) hour written examination related to juvenile law.

Why should I hire you to represent my child?

In addition to being Board Certified in Juvenile Law, James Sullivan has the heart to help others and has over 20 years of experience defending juveniles in court.  Sullivan cares deeply for his juvenile clients and personally interviews each client and their parents at his office for a minimum of one hour and this initial consultation frequently lasts longer.  The initial focus is on the juvenile case, the possible legal defenses and its resolution—dismissal, deferred prosecution, jury trial or stipulation (plea).  Sullivan is an experienced defense trial attorney and gets proven results.  Sullivan has tried and won felony cases to a jury in all three Harris County Juvenile District Courts.  These cases include aggravated sexual assault of a child, burglary of a habitation, deadly conduct and assault against a public servant.  Sullivan has also had over 30 misdemeanor and felony juvenile cases dismissed on the date of a jury trial in Harris County.

The second focus is on the child and his future. Sullivan counsels them from his own experience on how to get on the right path and be successful in life. Sullivan also draws upon the experiences of some of his adult and juvenile clients who did not heed his counsel and are now either in prison or deceased.

James Sullivan chose to become a juvenile defense lawyer. It was not by accident.  Fighting the government and defending people come natural to him—he was born into a diverse, dynamic family of conservative Christians and liberal social activists.  Because of his own difficult teen years, Sullivan connects with teenagers in ways that other attorneys simply cannot and has been instrumental in leading juveniles to have a successful future.  As one client wrote in a review,

Sullivan connected with our son immediately. It was apparent he cared about him as a whole person, not just the kid who suddenly found himself in trouble. He was more than just a lawyer to my son. He shared his own experiences and his positive attitude about life and relationships. Sullivan is not only a good lawyer but a good role model for our children.

Gerry Spence and James Sullivan

Gerry Spence and James Sullivan in 2012

In 1990, James Sullivan graduated from Baylor University with honors. In 1993, Sullivan earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law. Sullivan also graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, the most selective and prestigious trial advocacy program in America.

At the Trial Lawyers College, Sullivan shared his life story with Gerry Spence. Sullivan’s path through life has given him a unique understanding of the injustices that happen to many juveniles, many of which are far beyond their control. Spence himself also experienced tragedy during his formative years, yet went on to become America’s most celebrated and winningest trial lawyer. Spence shared his own wisdom on this transformation from suffering to success—those who have overcome great pain and suffering have the heart to help others. And those words of wisdom sum up Sullivan’s life story and vocation. Sullivan is passionate and zealous in defending his clients in court and in guiding them to a successful future.

Sullivan was also interviewed by The Trial Lawyers College for their blog regarding a juvenile jury trial win on a felony case of deadly conduct, his experiences learning their methods and his unique insight into juvenile defenses.

Contact James Sullivan to consult with a board certified Harris County Juvenile Attorney at (281) 546-6428.

How much do you charge?

Attorney fees are an important factor in selecting a juvenile defense attorney, but do you really want the cheapest lawyer when your child’s rights, freedom and future are on the line?  The old saying that you get what you pay for is definitely true when it comes to hiring a defense lawyer.  Exceptional representation is what your child deserves, but that level of representation should come at a fair price.

James G. Sullivan and Associates strive to provide each juvenile client with exceptional representation at a reasonable cost. Unlike many of their colleagues, they charge separate trial and non-trial fees.  They do not believe it is reasonable to charge a trial fee unless the case is actually prepared and set for trial. Sullivan, however, is not a pro bono lawyer, i.e. he does not represent people for free. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you should ask the judge to appoint an attorney to represent you.

Does my child really have to have a lawyer?

Yes.  The law requires that children in juvenile court must be represented by an attorney during most proceedings. In some circumstances, the judge may appoint an attorney to represent the child and require the parents to reimburse the county for the court-appointed lawyer however this process has been heavily criticized by the local press, specifically that judges hire bad lawyers and ban the good ones. This system was first described in 1999 in an article in the Houston Press.

About 75 percent of juveniles are represented by court-appointed lawyers who receive appointments because of their financial support of judges’ election campaigns. Because these lawyers represent large numbers of juveniles each year, they may only spend a few minutes with each client before court.

Attorney James Sullivan is a reputable trial lawyer and defends his client’s constitutional right to a trial by jury. Unlike court-appointed lawyers, Sullivan only tries cases to a jury in juvenile court. In 2013, Sullivan tried and won an aggravated sexual assault of a child case where the State was seeking a determinate sentence. The day after the trial a juror sent Sullivan a kind note–

Hi Jim, I was on the jury panel for the defendant on March 19 & 20, 2013 [in Juvenile Court]. My congratulations on winning the case. I believe justice was served. The harsh treatment you received from the court was NOT a factor in deciding the case but it WAS noticed and mentioned during deliberations by all the jury members. Glad to see you took the higher ground. Your closing statement was very well prepared and was helpful in our decision making process. Best of Luck, it was an honor to be there.

What else might the State or Judge consider in my child’s case?

A representative of the juvenile probation department will contact you to gather information to prepare a probation report. These reports are prepared on all juvenile cases where charges have been filed and most of the information that is in the report comes from this interview. Obviously, the character, behavior and personality of the child described in the report carries great weight in decisions regarding release as well as final disposition (i.e. sentencing). Many parents make the mistake of not providing positive information about their child that may not be directly asked about, such as major improvements in behavior since the charge was filed, volunteer work in the community, attendance and participation at their place of worship (if any), etc. Furthermore, if the child uses social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), the government may want to log in to their accounts to check for evidence of inappropriate behavior, postings or “friends”. Such information could also be used against the child in a release decision or recommendation as to disposition.

What is the difference between juvenile court and adult criminal court?

In Texas, children from 10 to 16 years of age are charged in juvenile court.  In Harris County, the children are tried in Juvenile District Courts, whereas in other counties they may be charged in juvenile district or county courts. Juvenile court is considered a civil court, although certain sections of criminal law are applicable.  In the juvenile system, a child is charged with a “delinquency” by way of petition whether than with a “crime” by way of complaint or indictment.  At trial, a jury or judge returns a verdict of “true” or “not true” instead of “guilty” or “not guilty”.  Also, unless a juvenile is certified to stand trial as an adult and transferred to criminal court, juveniles are not released on “bond” but are released or detained depending upon the circumstances of their.  Finally, the juvenile system primarily focuses on rehabilitation.  Instead of a “punishment” hearing, if a juvenile is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct, the juvenile then has a “disposition” hearing where the consequences for his behavior are based upon guidelines and levels, not necessarily upon the offense as in criminal court.

Because juvenile law proceedings are hybrid in that they involve both civil and criminal law, you should retain an attorney that specializes in this unique area of law.  The Houston defense attorneys at James G. Sullivan and Associates devote a significant portion of their practice to defending juveniles and have significant trial experience in both juvenile and criminal courts.

At what age is a teenager charged and tried as an adult?

17.  Texas is one of only 10 states where 17 year olds are tried and sentenced as adults.  Because of this, it is extremely important that a juvenile mature quickly before his wayward path takes him into the adult system.  For many children, the juvenile system becomes a pipeline to adult prison.

What happens in court?

The first court setting of your child is referred to as the arraignment setting. If your attorney did not make an appointment to review the District Attorney’s file prior to court, then this is an opportunity for him to do so.  Your attorney may also make a written request for a copy of the police report.  The District Attorney also may offer a “plea deal” on this first setting to avoid a trial, however before any possible resolution can be considered your attorney must first exhaust all possible defenses.  Sullivan considers a plea deal to be the last resort.

At this setting, your attorney may also receive and review a copy of the juvenile probation report.  Prior to court, a representative of the probation report will call you to ask about your child’s behavior at home and in school.  The representative will also contact your child’s school to get his grades, attendance and disciplinary records.  As the probation report will be relied upon by the court for case disposition purposes, it is important that the information be accurate.  It is a good idea to hire an experienced juvenile lawyer right after your child is arrested so that he can advise you on these important matters in advance.

It is possible to resolve a juvenile case on the first court setting if your attorney has investigated the case, reviewed the District Attorney’s file, researched the applicable law and tested the prosecutor’s evidence in advance.  This is only possible if your attorney is hired early on, signs on in court as attorney of record and then off dockets your child’s case to a later date to get more time to prepare.  Sullivan frequently does this on juvenile cases so that his juvenile client and his parents do not have to needlessly miss work or school.

Sometimes, the initial court setting will result in a reset of the case to a future date for reasons beyond the defense attorney’s control.  For example, in every case involving a complainant, the prosecutor is required to contact the complainant to gather information regarding any restitution amount, any injuries sustained and his feelings on punishment.  It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to not be able to reach a complainant prior to court.

At James G. Sullivan and Associates, the Houston juvenile attorneys will strive to complete your child’s case with as few court settings as necessary, without compromising your child’s rights, freedom and future.

What happens if my child is found guilty?

Juveniles cannot be found “guilty” because the juvenile court is considered civil, not criminal.  Instead, a juvenile could be found to have “engaged in delinquent conduct” if the jury or judge finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile committed the offense.  Of course, an experienced juvenile defense attorney will work hard to avoid a finding of delinquency, preferably by persuading the prosecutor to dismiss the charge or the jury or the judge to acquit his client at trial.

If a juvenile did commit the offense, your defense attorney may be able to avoid a finding of delinquency by persuading the prosecutor or the judge to grant a deferred prosecution.  This is a contract between the juvenile and the District Attorney whereby if the juvenile follows the rules of probation for six months then the District Attorney dismisses the case.  The prosecutor cannot agree to a deferred prosecution for certain misdemeanor offenses and all felony offenses, however James Sullivan has been successful in persuading judges to grant deferred prosecution in many such cases anyway.

When a juvenile is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct, the court judgment following a disposition hearing can range from (1) a probation where the child is left in the custody of his parents (or guardians), (2) a probation where the child is removed from the home and placed in a local juvenile facility, or (3) the child in felony cases may be committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (formerly known as the Texas Youth Commission).  In serious felony cases, depending on the circumstances, the juvenile may face certification or transfer to criminal district court to stand trial as an adult.

Can my child’s juvenile records be sealed?

Depending on the circumstances, your child’s juvenile records may be sealed.

In a misdemeanor case with a finding of delinquent conduct, the juvenile must wait two years and have no other convictions or adjudications before the records can be sealed. 

In a felony case, the juvenile must wait until he is at least 19 years of age and have no other convictions or adjudications before the records may be sealed.  The judge has the discretion whether or not to seal the records.  In cases where there was a “determinate sentence”, the records can never be sealed.

When a case results in a dismissal such as when a juvenile successfully completes a deferred prosecution, the juvenile can get his records sealed immediately.  The juvenile does not have to wait two years or until age 19.

Can I post a bond to get my child out of detention?

No. Juveniles cannot be released on “bond”.  They are either detained or released depending upon the circumstances of their case.

The police arrested my child for a delinquency.  What is going to happen? 

The police often take juveniles into custody.  Sometimes, the child is released by the police to parents (or guardians).  When this occurs, the parents can take their child home but they are told that their child is still being charged.  The police then send their information to the District Attorney over the next few days or weeks.  If the District Attorney accepts charges, a petition is filed with the juvenile courts.  In Harris County, the case is then randomly assigned to one of the three Juvenile District Courts.  A Deputy Constable usually will then come to your home and “serve” or deliver the petition to you and your child.  The paperwork tell you what your child is accused or and will direct you and your child to appear at a specific court on a particular day.

At the same time, the juvenile probation department begins to gather information about your family and your child to prepare a report for the court.  In addition to requesting records from your child’s school, a probation officer will contact you to gather information.  Before speaking with the probation officer, it is important that you and your child talk with a juvenile defense lawyer in order to protect your child’s rights.  While you want to appear cooperative with the probation department, you must also keep in mind that information provided to the probation officer will be put in the report that is given to the court and the prosecutor for consideration.

Do you have experience defending children with mental health and substance abuse disorders?

Yes. James Sullivan is very knowledgeable in various mental health and substance disorders and how they impact a juvenile. Behavior, mood, anxiety and substance disorders are common with children brought into the juvenile system. These children often have more than one disorder; substance abuse is the most common “co-occurence” with a mental illness.These disorders frequently put children at risk for risky behavior and delinquent acts.

Behavioral disorders are characterized by actions that harm or disturb others and that cause distress or disability. Typical behavioral disorders are ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and conduct disorders.

Emotional disorders occur when a child’s ability to function is impaired by depression or anxiety. The occurrence of depression is significantly higher among juvenile offenders than among other young people.

Many juvenile offenders have a history of substance abuse. Studies also have shown that up two-thirds of juveniles in the justice system with a mental health diagnosis had dual disorders, most often including substance abuse.

According to the National Mental Health Association, between 30 and 50 percent of juvenile in the justice system have disruptive behavior disorders.

Anxiety disorders and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) are also prevalent among juvenile offenders, especially girls. Asperger’s syndrome and higher levels of Autism spectrum disorder are less common in juvenile offenders. Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, however, are rare in juveniles in the justice system.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), children aged 3-17 years have:

  • ADHD (6.8%)
  • Behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%)
  • Anxiety (3.0%)
  • Depression (2.1%)
  • Autism spectrum disorders (1.1%)
  • Tourette syndrome (0.2%) (among children aged 6–17 years)

Adolescents aged 12–17 years have:

  • Illicit drug use disorder in the past year (4.7%)
  • Alcohol use disorder in the past year (4.2%)

Approximately 65 to 70 percent of the 2 million children and adolescents arrested each year in the United States have a mental health disorder. Approximately one in four suffers from a mental illness so severe that it impairs his or her ability to function as a young person and grow into a responsible adult. Without treatment, the child may continue on a path of delinquency and eventually adult crime.

What can I do to get my child released from detention?

Call a juvenile lawyer who has experience in getting their clients released in detention hearings.  An experienced juvenile lawyer should be able to explain the legal process to you and to guide you on how to best prepare for the detention hearing.  It is important for you to attend the detention hearing while your child’s lawyer argues the many reasons why the judge should release your child. 

What does the Judge consider when deciding whether or not to release my child?

At the hearing, the judge considers five factors in determining whether to hold your child in the detention center pending a resolution of the case in court or to release your child to a parent or guardian: (1) whether the child is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court, (2) whether a parent or guardian can provide suitable supervision, care, and protection for the child, (3) whether the child has a parent or guardian who is able to return him to court when required, (4) whether the child may be a danger to himself or others if released, and (5) whether the child has previously been found to have engaged in delinquent conduct and is likely to commit a new offense if released.

Defending Texans Since 1994

Defending juveniles from all Harris County cities and communities including Houston, Katy, Cypress, Humble, Baytown, Tomball, Pasadena, Pearland, La Porte, Bellaire, Webster, League City, Seabrook, Deer Park, Galena Park, Jersey Village, South Houston, West University Place, Nassau Bay, Jacinto City, Spring Valley, Hunters Creek Village, Hedwig Village, Bunker Hill Village, Piney Point Village and Hilshire Village.

Defending juveniles from all Harris County independent school districts (ISDs) including Aldine, Alief, Channelview, Clear Creek, Crosby, Cypress-Fairbanks (Cy-Fair), Deer Park, Galena Park, Goose Creek, Houston, Huffman, Humble, Katy, Klein, LaPorte, North Forest, Pasadena, Sheldon, Spring, Spring Branch, Tomball and Waller.

Contact James Sullivan to consult with an experienced Houston Juvenile Lawyer at (281) 546-6428.

 

BOARD CERTIFIED HOUSTON JUVENILE LAWYER JAMES SULLIVAN

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Harris County Juvenile Defense

IMG_2906BHouston Juvenile Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law in private practice.  Sullivan handles all juvenile offenses in the juvenile courts in the counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Waller, Brazoria, Liberty and throughout southeast Texas.
Juvenile law is not criminal law.  There are fundamental differences between these two areas of law.  Many criminal defense attorneys are not aware of these differences nor aware of the significant ongoing changes in juvenile law enacted by the Texas legislature.  The proper representation of juveniles is a complex and multi-disciplinary practice that requires knowledge of both civil and criminal law.  A juvenile law attorney at minimum must have a thorough understanding of the relevant interacting Texas law, including
  • the Juvenile Justice Code,
  • the Penal Code,
  • the Family Code,
  • the Code of Criminal Procedure,
  • the Rules of Evidence,
  • the Controlled Substances Act, and
  • the Rules of Appellate Procedure.
The attorney must also understand other issues such as the psychosocial and psychological development of adolescents.  For a successful juvenile defense, all of these factors, including the facts of the case, must be thoroughly evaluated.
Historically, juvenile law focused on rehabilitation of the youth.  However, it is now an area which also looks toward punishment and, as a result, juvenile records and adjudications can affect your child for years to come.  Indeed, for the most serious offenses, a child could be made to stand trial as an adult, and if found guilty could have a criminal conviction that could follow him the rest of his life.  For sex offenses, juveniles can be made to register as a sex offender until age 28.  Even a misdemeanor offense could affect his future education and employment.
Deferred prosecution (pretrial diversion) may be an option for some.  It is a contractual agreement with the prosecutor that can enable a juvenile to avoid an adjudication (conviction) on his juvenile record.  If a juvenile fulfills the requirements of a six month deferred prosecution, then the prosecutor will non-suit (dismiss) the case, and the juvenile then has the immediate right to petition the court to seal his records.  Per rules of the District Attorney, the juvenile court prosecutors cannot agree to such a resolution for many misdemeanor cases and all felony cases.  Even though the prosecutor is opposed to deferred prosecution in many cases, Jim Sullivan is effective in persuading courts to grant deferred prosecution anyway.
Texas law requires all juveniles in juvenile court to be represented by an attorney.  Great care should be taken in selecting an attorney who can effectively represent your child in juvenile court.  Even seemingly simple cases can involve complex legal issues that could  become a nightmare for parents with a less knowledgeable or inexperienced attorney.
It is natural that teenagers go through a period of rebellion as they make their way through adolescence, and of course some teens rebel more than others.  However, if your child is on probation, it is very important that he follow the rules.  If he breaks the rules, he may be removed from his home and placed in a juvenile facility such as at the Burnett Bayland Reception Center (usually up to three months), juvenile boot camp (four to six months), youth village (usually up to three months) or for felony cases commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (formerly known as the Texas Youth Commission) up to the age of 19. Obviously, each case is different and must be evaluated on an individual basis.

Many parents have the opinion that their child got himself in trouble despite their best efforts and therefore they are not willing to spend any money on a defense attorney, or worse they encourage their child to talk with the police without first consulting an attorney.  These approaches, however, have lead to many heartbreaking realizations later on.  Your child is a blessing.  Decisions made during these difficult years of his adolescence are critical to his future well being.  Your child needs  an attorney who not only can relate to and counsel him but also who specializes in juvenile law and can effectively represent him.  Be proactive and make your decision on retaining an attorney wisely.

NTLA-roundContact Attorney James Sullivan

Houston Juvenile Defense Attorney James Sullivan is very passionate about defending, counseling and inspiring his juvenile clients to get on the right path, to stay in school and to plan for the future.  Sullivan wants all of his clients to have a successful future, just as all parents want their children to do better than they did.  Sullivan strives to keep his clients at home and to keep their record clear, although he realizes that some are so out of control that for their own safety they need to be placed in a secure facility or residential drug treatment center.  Many teens need the adversity and discipline of an out of home placement such as at boot camp to learn to accept responsibility for their actions, to stop blaming others for their behavior and to build character.
James Sullivan also attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.
Whether your child is charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, Houston Juvenile Attorney James Sullivan can provide effective representation and advice.  Don’t let one mistake ruin your child’s future. To schedule a consultation, contact Sullivan at (281) 546-6428.

HOUSTON / HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS JAMES SULLIVAN & ASSOCIATES

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Houston Criminal Trial Lawyers Fighting for Your Rights, Freedom and Future

IMG_2922BJames (Jim) Sullivan is an experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney. For over 20 years, Sullivan has successfully fought the government in Jury Trials on behalf of clients in criminal and juvenile courts.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

The National Trial LawyersDefending Your Freedom

James Sullivan chose to become a criminal lawyer.  It was not by accident.  Fighting the government and defending people come natural to him—he was born into a diverse, dynamic family of conservative Baptists and liberal social activists.  Unlike many colleagues who practice criminal law, Sullivan has never prosecuted anyone and never will.  That is not him.  His entire career is devoted to defending people accused of crimes and delinquencies.

Proven Results

James Sullivan gets results (see Case Results).  Over the past 20 years, Sullivan has defended more than 3,000 people charged with every kind of criminal and juvenile case, including murder, aggravated robbery, drug cases, sex offenses, domestic assault and DWI.

Philosophy

James Sullivan practices criminal law with a simple philosophy.  If a client says he is not guilty, and if the prosecutor will not dismiss the charge, then Sullivan advises his client that they should fight the case at a jury trial.  Unlike many other attorneys, Sullivan does not try to convince an innocent person to plead guilty.  Instead, Sullivan fights for his clients’ freedom and reputation (see Trial Case Results).  Sullivan was honored to attend the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and to be invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization.

Cares About His Clients

James Sullivan cares about his adult and juvenile clients and is concerned about their future.  He frequently counsels with clients at his office for hours at a time. He listens to their concerns, answers all of their questions and discusses legal strategies. He also explains how a criminal conviction could affect them and how to get on the right path for a successful life. Because Sullivan understands that people need to honor work and family commitments, he offers afternoon, early evening and same day appointments along with free parking.

Reputation

James Sullivan has a good reputation in the legal community.  Sullivan is humbled by fine lawyers who endorse him on AVVO. He is also very grateful for clients who write testimonials on his behalf. Most of his business comes from referrals from past clients and other lawyers, although it is not necessary to have a referral for him to defend you.  Anyone can call Sullivan to represent them.

I cannot thank you enough for your help with my case in Montgomery county. It was a very serious accusation against me. My teenage nephew falsely accused me of molesting him. You took our initial call on a weekend and assured us then that everything would turn out fine. You explained that it was very important for a good attorney to get involved before indictment because you believed a good defense attorney could get the case no billed (dismissed) by the grand jury. And, that’s exactly what you did. You are very talented and professional at what you do. I cannot thank you enough for standing beside me, believing in me and and most importantly, your confidence. You are truly a super lawyer. ~K.M., Dallas (AVVO review)

The law practice of James Sullivan is devoted solely to criminal and juvenile defense. Sullivan has tried many cases in the Harris county criminal and juvenile courthouses. Approximately half of his cases involve criminal charges while the other half involves juvenile charges.

Contact Attorney James Sullivan

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime or delinquency, call Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan to discuss your case.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428 right now.

TEXAS CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Robbery, Arson, Assault, Assault by Impeding Breathing, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Auto Theft, Burglary, Child Abuse, Child Porn Possession, Computer Crime, Credit Card Abuse, Cruelty to Animals, Domestic Violence, DUI/DWI, Drug Defense, Drug Possession, Drug Delivery, Employee Theft / Embezzlement, Evading, Felony, Fraud, Grand Jury, Indecency with a Child, Insurance Fraud, Harassment, Homicide, Identity Theft, Insurance Fraud, Manslaughter, Misdemeanor, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Prostitution, Probation Violation, Record Sealing (Non-Disclosure), Record Expungement (Expunction), Robbery, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault of a Child, Shoplifting, Theft, White Collar Crime, and all Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Certification, Juvenile Record Sealing and Juvenile Sex Offenses.

 

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Tries Cases to a Jury

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Harris County Criminal Trial Defense

Houston criminal defense lawyer James Sullivan represents clients at trial.  While Sullivan works hard to win every case, the reality is that many, if not most, accused committed the offense and some were even caught in the act.  On these cases, the definition of “winning” must also include beating the best offer from the government.  One recent jury trial illustrates this principle.  Sullivan represented a man in a Harris County Criminal District Court accused of sexual assault. The testimonial and physical evidence was overwhelming and convincing.  The man was found guilty by the jury.  However, Sullivan persuaded the jury to be merciful to the accused and recommend probation.

James (Jim) Sullivan is an experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney. For over 20 years, Sullivan has successfully fought the government in Jury Trials on behalf of clients in criminal and juvenile courts.

IMG_2922BJames Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact Attorney James Sullivan

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime or delinquency, call Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan to discuss your case.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428.

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Prompts Questions

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Harris County Criminal Defense

 

portrait of Leo Tolstoy

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy. Image via Wikipedia

 

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan prompts questions from individuals accused in criminal and juvenile court.  Some individuals are shocked and bewildered as to why they are charged with any criminal offense, much less the felony or misdemeanor that they are accused of committing.  By carefully going over and over what happened with the accused in precise detail, James Sullivan is able to draw out and prompt questions as to what really occurred and offer his legal opinion as to why the person is charged with that particular criminal offense and whether or not their actions or inaction met the elements of that offense.  It is a real, albeit brief and focused, education in the law.  The Texas Penal Code and its application and interpretation to the facts in any particular case requires experience and understanding.  A vast and ever growing collection of appellate court opinions from the Texas Courts of Appeal and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals gives guidance to the legal practitioner in articulating sound legal arguments to educate and persuade the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges, to quash the indictment or to persuade the jury at trial to find the accused not guilty.

 

Real education begins with a question in the life of the learner. ~Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer, 19th century

 

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

IMG_2906BContact Attorney James Sullivan

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime or delinquency, call Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan to discuss your case.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428 right now.

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS

 

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.

 

 

 

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer James Sullivan Knows the Value of a Good Defense

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

IMG_2922BHarris County Criminal Defense

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer James Sullivan knows the value of a good legal defense.  With over 18 years of legal experience, he has represented thousands of clients and caused hundreds of cases to be dismissed, no billed by the grand jury or found not guilty by a jury.

Oscar Wilde in his favourite coat. New York.

Oscar Wilde. Image via Wikipedia

The countless clients who were satisfied with his representation know the value of a good legal defense because their freedom, livelihood and family life were saved.  Too many accused pay little for their legal defense, get what they pay for and it ultimately costs them more than they can afford.  Others pay too much for their legal defense by lawyers who base their legal fees on the potential client’s income or residential area code or who charge an inflated flat fee which includes a trial, knowing that most criminal cases will not need a trial.

A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

Attorney James Sullivan offer legal services that are affordable to most people, but he is definitely not the least expensive criminal attorneys in town.  Sullivan cares about his clients and works hard to get the best result for them.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact Attorney James Sullivan

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime or delinquency, call Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan to discuss your case.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428 right now.

HOUSTON, TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Encourages Experiences to be Written Down

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Harris County Criminal Defense

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer James Sullivan represents many individuals who were traumatized by the events and experiences leading up to or surrounding their arrest by law enforcement.  These men or women may be in shock or bewilderment as to why they were arrested or charged in the first place.  Others may still carry the fresh scars or bruising from having been physically injured.  For whatever reason that contributes to their current mental state, what is extremely important is for the individual to put down in writing while it is still fresh in their mind what actually happened in the case–their experiences–for which he or she is being charged as well as any other pertinent information regarding location, witnesses, etc.  This not only helps them to remember and recount accurately what happened, it also helps the defense attorney to begin to formulate a defense theory that may carry the day at trial.

Many times, after having read the individual’s written account of what happened, James Sullivan has been able to elicit from the individual certain additional facts and circumstances from the accused that he or she overlooked or did not consider important to mention in the first place.  In the long run, however, that additional information made the difference in getting a case no billed (dismissed) by the grand jury, dismissed by the prosecutor or the person being found not guilty by a jury.

Unless we take time to think about our experiences, they stay on the surface and don’t become a part of our inner wisdom. ~Cecile Andrews, American author, present day

NTL-top-100-memberJames Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan is also Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact Attorney James Sullivan

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime or delinquency, call Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan to discuss your case.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428 for a confidential consultation.

HOUSTON, TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Eases Others’ Burdens

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
CLipped version of picture of George Bernard S...

George Bernard Shaw. Image via Wikipedia

Harris County Criminal Defense

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer James Sullivan defends people struggling under the oppressive weight of governmental prosecution.  Their burdens are heavy and really attached to them.  Sullivan fights to free them from those burdens, indeed to free them from all governmental entanglements in criminal and juvenile court.  Some people are charged with serious felony offenses, others with misdemeanor offenses.  No matter the level of offense, each person is burdened by prosecution from the government and needs legal help.

Sullivan approaches each legal problem with the mindset of obtaining the best possible result.  Can the State prove their case at trial?  Is their evidence persuasive?  What is the risk versus the reward?  Can the client afford to take the risk of a conviction when the State is agreeable to a deferred adjudication probation or possible pretrial diversion?  Depending on the case, the client and the evidence, the best possible result may vary from a not guilty verdict at trial, a dismissal by the State, a pretrial diversion contract, a deferred adjudication probation or some other resolution.

IMG_2906BJames Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428 for a confidential consultation.

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them. ~George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, 20th century

HOUSTON, TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Encourages Learning How to Live

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Harris County Criminal Defense

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney James Sullivan defends people in criminal and juvenile courts throughout the state of Texas.  Frequently, Sullivan counsels people in learning

  • how to live in a more positive and productive way,
  • how to overcome negative habits and addictions,
  • how to seek out and learn a trade or marketable skill,
  • how to seek gainful employment and
  • how to grow their self confidence and belief in themselves.

As long as you live, keep learning how to live. ~Seneca, Roman philosopher, 1st century

Despite these difficult economic times in which we live, it is not the end of the world.  Positive change in our lives is always possible.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  That saying still holds true today.  As Napoleon Hill wrote,

Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.

This positive mental attitude can carry you throughout your life.  Learn how to live.  It will save your life and will set a positive course for your children and your children’s children.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan is also Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

IMG_2914BContact Attorney James Sullivan

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime or delinquency, call Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan to discuss your case.

Sullivan generally tries to answer his own phone so that you can speak to an attorney directly. He wants to hear from you and to help you. Call him right now. Don’t go to court alone. To schedule an appointment or to discuss your case, call (281) 546-6428 for a confidential consultation.

HOUSTON, TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Solves Legal Problems

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Charles F. Kettering, pictured with his first ...

Charles F. Kettering. Image via Wikipedia

Harris County Criminal Defense

Houston criminal defense trial attorney James Sullivan fights to solve legal problems for his many clients in criminal and juvenile court.  Each client has a story to tell and a legal problem to solve.  Some clients are charged with serious felony offenses, others with misdemeanor offenses.  No matter the level of offense, each client faces prosecution from the government and needs legal help.  Sullivan approaches each legal problem with the mindset of obtaining the best possible result–

  • Can the State prove their case at trial?
  • Is the State’s evidence persuasive?
  • What is the risk versus the reward?
  • Can the client afford to take the risk of a conviction?
  • Is the State agreeable to a deferred adjudication probation or pretrial diversion?

Depending on the case, the client and the evidence, the best possible result may vary from a not guilty verdict at trial, a dismissal by the State, a pretrial diversion contract, a deferred adjudication probation or some other resolution.

A problem well stated is a problem half solved. ~Charles F. Kettering, inventor and engineer (1876-1958)

NTLA-roundJames Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

If you have a legal problem to be solved in the criminal court or juvenile court arena, contact Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation.

HOUSTON, TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL LAWYERS

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Bellville, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Grange, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, El Campo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, and Katy and other communities in Austin County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Colorado County, Fayette County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Walker County and Wharton County.