top of page
Courthouse Steps

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

LEGAL QUESTIONS

Not sure where to start?  Find the answers below to some of our most frequently asked legal questions.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
    If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you likely have come quickly to understand that a DWI charge not only involves the prospect of jail time and fines but also the possible suspension of your driving privileges. Of course, it obviously is bad enough that you are facing having to spend at least some time in jail. And, the thought of paying a large fine can be hard to stomach. However, you very well may be wondering how you will manage your life – get to work, care for the children and so forth – if you are unable to drive your car, if your driver’s license is suspended. Understanding the extremely serious ramifications that can occur when a driver’s license is suspended, you need to be as proactive as possible. In other words, when it comes to administrative license suspensions, you need to do everything that you can to “get out in front of the issue.” In this regard, the most important step that you can take is to engage the services of a Houston attorney or Houston law firm that has experience in dealing with administrative license suspensions and related issues. While there are numerous Houston DWI attorney options available to you, not all of these lawyers are equipped with the experiences and resources necessary to give you the legal advice and assistance that is necessary to effectively prevail in the face of administrative license suspensions and proceedings. You have to ensure that you find a qualified Houston DWI attorney that also has a specific, established track record in fighting administrative license suspensions. The technical nature of these important proceedings depend on your taking this course. With this in mind, Brian Roberts is a Houston DWI attorney that has devoted himself to developing and crafting the best possible strategies to provide his clients with effective legal advice and assistance in regard to administrative license suspensions. In this regard, not only has Brian worked as a criminal defense attorney, he has also been a Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Brian understands the Texas judicial and administrative systems from “both sides of the fence.” From this unique vantage point, Brian understands what needs to be done to provide you full legal representation … including what must be done to allow you the ability to keep your driver’s license following a DWI or similar type of charge.
  • ASSAULT
    ASSAULT IN TEXAS The offense of Assault in all its forms is codified in Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, which, in brief, states that a person commits the offense of Assault when the person: “(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person; (2) Intentionally or knowingly threatens another person with bodily harm; or (3) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another person that he knows the other person will regard as offensive or provocative.” Assault includes causing bodily injury to or threatening your spouse, which is explained in greater detail in the Domestic Violence section of this website. Assault may be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the manner in which the assault is committed, the relationship between the parties, the age of the complainant, whether the complainant is disabled, if a weapon was used and the circumstances surrounding the assault. DEFENSES TO ASSAULT There is an old axiom in criminal defense that goes something like this: “What do you call the winner of a fight? Defendant.” Not all assaults are unlawful. This does not mean you will not be arrested for assault but there are three affirmative defenses that are lawful justifications to a charge of assault. Self-Defense — Every person has the right to protect and defend himself or herself from another person’s attack. In Texas, you may even be justified in “throwing the first punch” under the principle known as “apparent danger.” In other words, you do not have to wait to get hit or injured before you are entitled to defend yourself. You may assert this defense at trial for the jury to consider. Once self-defense is raised by the defendant, the State must prove it was NOT self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Mutual Combat or Consent — The simplest examples of consent and mutual combat are boxing, MMA fighting and football. However, the defense of mutual combat or consent is not limited to sports. For example, if some guy in a bar challenges you to a fight and you oblige him, that is mutual combat or consent, not assault. If you win, do not be surprised if the guy who picked the fight claims assault. Assault allegations in this circumstance often do not go any further than the report and police see it for what it is. Sometimes, the circumstances are not clear to law enforcement and you may be arrested and charged for assault (see axiom above). The fact that you get arrested and charged does not mean you lose the defense of mutual combat or consent. If you go to trial, you can assert the defense at trial for the jury’s consideration. Defense of a third person — Just as every person has the right to protect and defend himself or herself from another person’s attack, so too do persons have the right to protect a third person from another’s attack. A guiding principle is if you would have the right to defend yourself in the particular circumstance, you have the right to defend a third person from attack. For example, if someone attacks your spouse, you have the right to defend your spouse from the attack. WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE CHARGED WITH ASSAULT Call Brian Roberts because the right lawyer makes all the difference in assault cases. Brian has handled countless misdemeanor and felony assault cases as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer and is here to help you if you are charged with assault. Brian is the lawyer you need with the experience you want.
  • CLEARING YOUR RECORD
    Life can be challenging. None of us are able to journey through life without making mistakes of one type or another. Perhaps you are like a good number of people and found yourself involved in the criminal justice system at some juncture in your past. Despite having dealt with the consequences of a criminal charge by “serving your time” you may find that blemish on your record haunting you to this very day. For example, if you are in the market seeking a new job, you realize that many potential employers are undertaking thorough background checks during the interview and screening process. Consequently, you may have found that your prior record has become a major roadblock to your ability to advance in your own career. Understanding the real concerns you have about your criminal history, you will want to consider seriously engaging the services of an experienced Houston lawyer who can assist you in clearing your record. You need to find a Houston law office that realizes how important it is to ensure that you are in the best possible position to achieve your career and personal goals and objectives without unnecessary impediments. Brian Roberts, a Houston criminal defense attorney, assists clients precisely like you who desire assistance in regard to the public availability of certain aspects of a criminal record. Brian is in a truly unique position to be able to assist you in clearing your record. Before becoming a criminal lawyer Brian was a prosecuting attorney. Therefore, he has a complete understanding of how the process of pursuing an expunction or petition for non-disclosure works. He appreciates how the criminal justice system works from both sides of the fence. He knows the exact steps that must be taken in order to clear your record … and literally give to you a new lease on life. Expunctions are available when a person has been found not guilty in a case, when a grand jury fails to indict an individual and when a case is dismissed after charges are filed but when no conviction is obtained. Petitions for non-disclosure are available for certain types of offenses in which a defendant has completed successfully a deferred adjudication.
  • COCAINE OFFENSES
    If you’re facing cocaine criminal charges, Brian M. Roberts will represent you as your cocaine criminal trial defense lawyer. If you are facing cocaine criminal charges leading to trial, Brian M. Roberts Law is available to serve as your defense lawyer. We offer specialized service as your cocaine criminal trial defense lawyer. You cannot turn on the television or log onto the Internet and World Wide Web today without hearing about the zero tolerance the judicial system has for cocaine offenses and other drug related crimes. In fact, when it comes to cocaine offenses and other drug crimes, the Lone Star State has taken a particularly aggressive approach to prosecuting people charged with these crimes. The penalties associated with a conviction for cocaine offenses and related crimes are significant. Long jail terms are the norm and not the exception. If you have found yourself facing a charge involving cocaine offenses or other drug related crimes, you must obtain the legal advice and assistance of a Houston criminal attorney that has the experience and the fortitude necessary to fully and completely protect your rights and interests. Because of the tremendous consequences of being charged – and convicted – of cocaine offenses or other drug crimes you must have a skilled and effective criminal lawyer in your corner. While there are numerous Houston criminal attorneys and Houston criminal law firms in business today, you must make certain that you retain a lawyer that has an established track record handling cocaine offenses and other serious drug crimes. Brian Roberts is an example of such a Houston criminal attorney that has the experience, the reputation and the resources necessary to provide you the defense you need to fight charges including cocaine offenses and other types of drug crimes. Whether the cocaine offenses you have allegedly committed involve personal use or selling, Brian has worked with men and women in precisely the position you find yourself in today. Moreover, before becoming a criminal defense attorney, Brian was a Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. As a result, he understands the mechanics and dynamics of the criminal justice system and puts this experience to work every day defending his clients against charges, including cocaine offenses and other types of drug crimes. Call or email us to schedule a consultation with Brian Roberts regarding drunk driving charges, drug possession charges, or any state or federal crime.
  • CORPORATE INVESTIGATIONS
    Many companies fall victim to financial and property theft committed by employees. Unfortunately, the vast majority of corporate theft cases are committed by trusted employees, employees who have worked for the company for many years, many of whom are considered almost family by co-workers and owners. It is precisely because of this close relationship and trust that they are able to steal from their employer, often undetected for years. It isn’t until the trusted employee goes on medical leave or vacation and another employee asked to fill in temporarily discovers irregularities; forged checks, unauthorized charges on the company credit card, phony invoices, checks written to unknown vendors who turn out to be DBA’s established by the trusted employee. WHAT DOES THE COMPANY DO AFTER THE THEFT IS DISCOVERED? HOW DEEP DOES IT GO? How long has it been going on? Can any of the money be recovered? Outside of the FBI and some other federal agencies, none of whom would investigate a company theft unless there was a federal nexus or interest, only the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office have financial crimes divisions. However, neither agency has the manpower, knowledge nor experience to investigate anything more than the simplest financial crimes such as credit/debit card abuse, check forgery and identity theft. Outside of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Special Crimes Bureau – Major Fraud Division, there is no other local agency with the ability to investigate corporate theft. Unfortunately, the Major Fraud Division is a small division with limited resources and can take many months to conduct an investigation. So, what is the solution? Brian Roberts can help you investigate, package and present your case to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Major Fraud Division and get the process moving more quickly towards a formal investigation and prosecuting the case. Brian Roberts knows what the Major Fraud Division fraud examiners and prosecutors need to put your case together. This can save you months of waiting. WHY YOU NEED BRIAN ROBERTS TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR CORPORATE INVESTIGATION? As a Special Crimes Bureau – Major Fraud Division prosecutor, Brian Roberts investigated and prosecuted numerous white collar crimes including stock fraud, embezzlement, employee theft, misapplication of fiduciary property and other similar crimes. Brian drafted numerous search warrants and coordinated investigations with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Texas Attorney General’s Office and Secret Service to name a few. These investigations required the review of numerous bank records and financial documents and a solid financial acumen to determine who committed the crime and how. Criminal masterminds do not exist outside of the movies. Through his experience as a Major Fraud prosecutor, Brian Roberts found there are certain predictable patterns to corporate thefts and most schemes are not unique. Call Brian M. Roberts when the financial integrity of your company is at stake, because the right lawyer makes all the difference. Brian Roberts is here to help you if your company falls victim to employee theft or fraud. Brian is the lawyer you need with the experience you want.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
    WHAT IS CONSIDERED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNDER TEXAS LAW? Domestic violence cases involving assault and aggravated assault are referred to as “Assault — Family Member” in Texas. The offense of Assault – Family Member is codified in two different Texas statutes. The offense of Assault, in all its forms, is codified under Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code and Chapter 71 of the Texas Family Code defines the relevant elements. Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code defines “Family Violence” as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.” Family Violence also includes “Dating Violence,” which is defined as “an act by an alleged offender that is committed against an alleged victim (1) with whom the alleged offender has or has had a dating relationship; or (2) because of the alleged victim’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the alleged offender is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage.” WHO IS CONSIDERED A FAMILY MEMBER? As you can see from the definitions above, a family member can be anyone to whom you are related by marriage or consanguinity (blood) or who is or was a member of your household or with whom you have or had a dating relationship. The most common members of a family include: Current or former spouse or domestic partner Children and stepchildren Siblings Persons in a dating relationship Grandparents Aunts and uncles Roommates (this one always surprises folks) MOST COMMONLY FILED TEXAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMES Assault – Texas Penal Code §22.01 Aggravated Assault – Texas Penal Code §22.02 Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code §22.011 Aggravated Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code §22.021 Terroristic Threat – Texas Penal Code §22.07 Harassment – Texas Penal Code §42.07 Stalking – Texas Penal Code §42.072 Continuous Violence Against the Family – Texas Penal Code §25.11 Violation of a Protective Order – Texas Penal Code §25.07 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN TEXAS Assault – Family Member cases are treated very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors and lawmakers in Texas. Many local law enforcement agencies have domestic violence divisions that handle nothing but Assault – Family Member cases. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has a special division called the Family Criminal Law Division staffed with prosecutors and case workers and is dedicated solely to prosecuting domestic violence cases between romantic partners. In short, if you are charged with Assault – Family Member, you have a serious fight on your hands. Take a look at these statistics from The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported the following family violence statistics for Texas in 2016: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN TEXAS In 2013, there were 76,704 reported victims of abuse by current or former spouses. Many others went unreported. This statistic excludes reported abuse between non-married intimate partners. In 2014, Texas domestic violence hotlines answered 185,373 calls. In 2012, 114 Texas women were killed by intimate partners, more than 10% of the national total. 75% of Texas 16-24-year-olds have either experienced dating violence or know another young person who has. In 2013, 31% of victims/survivors of domestic violence requesting shelter were turned away due lack of resources. DID YOU KNOW? 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, an average of close to 15 calls every minute. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime. The presence of a gun in the home during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%. 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these crimes are female. Source: http://ncadv.org/files/Texas.pdf ARREST These statistics tell you everything you need to know about how law enforcement and prosecutors will view your case if you are charged with family violence. Texas law authorizes the police to make an arrest without a warrant of “persons who the peace officer has probable cause to believe have committed an assault resulting in bodily injury to a member of the person’s family or household.” Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 14.03 (a) (4). If police go out on a domestic violence call, somebody is going to jail whether there is credible evidence or not. Why? Because no police officer is going to take a chance that a domestic violence complainant ends up in the hospital or the morgue because they didn’t make an arrest (refer to the NCADV statistics above). Unfortunately, because police officers are willing to “let the courts figure it out,” a mere accusation is sufficient for an arrest. As a result, many of these cases are not properly investigated. Police often fail to determine who is the real aggressor, they fail to photograph the alleged victim for visible injuries or the lack of injuries and they often fail to get the accused’s side of the story. The lack of a diligent investigation can lead to a number of mistakes. FALSE ALLEGATIONS Sadly, domestic violence is the one area of law that is most prone to false accusations. It is very common for a spouse or domestic partner to make an accusation of family violence to gain advantage in a pending divorce or child custody battle. It is also common for someone who is on parole or probation or who has been previously charged or convicted of family violence to be falsely accused of family violence by an angry spouse or domestic partner intent on revenge because they know that a person in that situation will almost certainly be arrested and charged. Anger, spite and vengeance for perceived or actual transgressions are strong motivators for false allegations. BOND AND PROTECTIVE ORDERS If you are arrested for domestic violence in Harris County, the prosecutor will request you be held at No Bond until the magistrate or the judge in your case signs a Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection, commonly referred to as a MOEP. The purpose of the order is to bar the accused from having any harassing, or threatening communication with, stalking or committing another act of family violence against the alleged complainant and imposes a distance restriction where the accused may not come within 200 feet of the alleged complainant’s home and place of employment. The MOEP expires in 61 days in a simple assault and in 91 days if a deadly weapon was used in the offense. Any violation of the order by the accused can result in a separate criminal offense known as Violation of a Protective Order. In addition to a MOEP, the judge can also issue a No Contact Order, which bars the accused from having any contact with the alleged complainant for as long as the case is pending. What does this mean for you if you’re charged with domestic violence? It means that you will likely be barred from living in your own home and not have any contact with your family for months. CONSEQUENCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTION If you are convicted of domestic violence, receive a probated sentence, deferred sentence, deferred adjudication, or any form of plea bargain pursuant to a guilty plea or no contest plea will result in a permanent criminal record. Under any of these circumstances, domestic violence criminal records cannot be expunged (a court order that orders the district attorney’s office, district clerk, county sheriff, arresting agency, DPS and any other Texas state agency that maintains records of your arrest and charge to destroy all those records). There is no provision under Texas law to expunge, destroy, or seal domestic violence convictions, probations, or deferred adjudications. See Texas Government Code Section 411.081. In Texas, there are only three ways to remove a domestic violence arrest record; 1) The records of arrest can be expunged if the state never files a case; 2) if the case is a felony and the grand jury declines to indict (called No Bill in Texas); or 3) if you are found not guilty at trial. Domestic violence allegations and convictions not only carry with them a negative social stigma but can have a devastating affect on many aspects of your life, including employment, professional licensing, child custody, the right to possess a firearm, loss of security clearance or the inability to obtain security clearance and the ability to rent an apartment or home. Domestic violence can be considered a crime of moral turpitude (conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals) under Texas and federal law, especially when the accusation concerns a male on female assault. A person charged with domestic violence who is not a United States citizen can face serious immigration consequences. Under federal law, a guilty plea that results in a deferred adjudication is considered a conviction, which can result in deportation, denial of re-entry into the United States and denial of naturalization. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE COMPLAINANT WANTS TO “DROP CHARGES” OR REFUSES TO TESTIFY? It is very common for complainants in domestic violence cases to want to “drop charges.” Some complainants even decline to press charges after police are dispatched to the scene of a domestic violence call. However, Texas law gives police officers authority to arrest a person accused of domestic violence even if the complainant does not want to press charges so long as they have probable cause to believe the offense occurred. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 14.03 (a) (4). Clients and complainants often ask if the DA will dismiss the case if the complainant files an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution, a legal document signed and sworn to by the complainant that states the complainant does not wish to pursue charges against the defendant. The Affidavit is then presented to the prosecutor. Quite simply, this document has no legal effect. The prosecutor has the legal authority to prosecute the accused despite the complainant’s wishes to the contrary. As a matter of fact (and law), a criminal charge may only be dismissed upon the prosecutor’s motion. The case belongs to the prosecutor and no complainant, no lawyer and no judge has the authority to make the prosecutor dismiss its case. Another common question is if the DA will dismiss the case if the complainant refuses to appear at trial. This is a loaded question because there are some potentially serious consequences if the defendant causes the complainant’s absence at trial in any way. If the defendant personally or through a third party asks the complainant to not testify or threatens the complainant if he or she testifies or takes any other action to prevent the complainant’s appearance at trial, the defendant can be charged with the third degree felony offense of Tampering With a Witness, which is punishable by 2 years to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Under the doctrine of “Forfeiture by Wrongdoing” this conduct may also cause you the defendant to lose his Sixth Amendment right to confront the witness against him and permit the State to admit the complainant’s previous “testimonial” statements against him that would otherwise be inadmissible at trial if the Court finds the complainant’s absence was caused by the defendant’s conduct. Another common question is whether the complainant has the right to refuse to testify. Generally, the complainant has no constitutional right to refuse to testify. There is no marital exception in domestic violence cases so the Court can compel the complainant to testify against the defendant spouse. The Court can hold a complainant in contempt for refusing to testify at trial. If the complainant does not appear for trial as ordered by subpoena, the DA can ask the Court to issue a Writ of Attachment under Article 24.11 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which “command[s] some peace officer to take the body of a witness and bring him before such court … to testify in behalf of the State or of the defendant, as the case may be.” The only circumstance under which a complainant can refuse to testify is if they have committed a crime and testifying would violate their Fifth Amendment right. This, however, is the rare circumstance. PUNISHMENT RANGES FOR ASSAULT – FAMILY MEMBER Class A Misdemeanor — up to 1 year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Third Degree Felony (Assault – Family Member 2nd offender and Assault – Family Member by Impeding Breathing or Circulation (“Choking”)) — 2 years to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – If defendant was previously convicted of one third degree felony or higher (any criminal offense, does not have to be domestic violence), the punishment range increases to a second degree felony, which is 2 years to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – If defendant was previously convicted of two third degree felonies or higher(any criminal offense, does not have to be domestic violence), the punishment range increases to a first degree felony, Habitual Offender, which is 25 years to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Second Degree Felony — 2 years to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – If defendant was previously convicted of one third degree felony or higher (any criminal offense, does not have to be domestic violence), the punishment range increases to a first degree felony, which is 5 years to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – If defendant was previously convicted of two third degree felonies or higher(any criminal offense, does not have to be domestic violence), the punishment range increases to a first degree felony, Habitual Offender, which is 25 years to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – Second Degree Assault – Family Member cases are usually aggravated offenses involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon. If the defendant is convicted of an Aggravated Assault – Family Member and is sentenced to prison, the defendant must serve 50% of their prison sentence before they will be first eligible for parole. First Degree Felony (Serious Bodily Injury – “means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” Texas Penal Code Section 1.07(46) — 5 years to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – If defendant was previously convicted of one third degree felony or higher (any criminal offense, does not have to be domestic violence), the punishment range increases to a enhanced first degree felony, which is 15 years to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. – If defendant was previously convicted of two third degree felonies or higher (any criminal offense, does not have to be domestic violence), the punishment range increases to a enhanced first degree felony, Habitual Offender, which is 25 years to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Call Brian Roberts because the right lawyer makes all the difference in domestic violence cases. A domestic violence charge is NOT a no-win situation but you need the right lawyer to shepherd you through the difficult and complicated process and who will push back hard against the State. Brian M. Roberts has handled countless misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer and is here to help you if you are charged with domestic violence. Brian is the lawyer you need with the experience you want.
  • DRUG CHARGES
    If you are facing drug charges leading to a criminal trial, Brian M. Roberts Law is available to serve as your defense lawyer. We offer specialized services in the capacity of drug charges criminal trial defense lawyer. The so-called War on Drugs is being waged with a vengeance in the United States. As a consequence, the penalties that potentially can be imposed even when a person is facing what can best be described as minor drug charges can be tremendous. Therefore, if you or a member of your family is facing drug charges, you must be as proactive as possible. You need to take control of your case and the only way to take this step is to develop a meaningful and effective criminal defense plan of action. The only serious option available to you if you want to deal with drug charges in a manner most favorable to you is to get in touch with a qualified and experienced Houston criminal attorney immediately. In this day and age, in both the federal and state court systems, cases involving drug charges tend to be put on the proverbial fast track. This scheme of “rushed justice” simply does not work to your benefit. You need a criminal defense attorney with a proven track record on your side today. In dealing with a case involving drug charges, you must also bear in mind that if you or your family member has a prior criminal history, the penalties for even a fairly minor case of possession can end up being severe. Long jail terms are the rule and not the exception. On a related note, making clear decisions during a time of crisis – particularly when you have been or are facing being arrested – can be next to impossible. Therefore, it is imperative that you have thoughtful, reasoned legal advice when you are involved in such an extremely challenging situation. Brian Roberts is a Houston criminal defense attorney who has the qualifications and experience vital to effectively defend federal and state cases involving drug charges. Because Brian was worked both as a Special Crimes prosecutor and as a criminal defense lawyer he fully understands the ins and outs of the judicial system. He knows what must be done in order to protect your rights and your important interests when you find yourself facing drug charges. He has the proven track record that will give you the most powerful, effective and meaningful criminal defense.
  • TEXAS DWI/DUI
    Call Brian M. Roberts Law Firm Immediately to Save Your License If you are facing DWI/DUI charges, the team of Texas DWI Lawyers who are experienced is available to serve as your defense attorney. As your DWI defense attorney, We provide the aggressive defense you need to stand up to your charges in and out of court. No matter how careful and responsible a person is throughout the course of his or her day to day life, the reality is that it can be very easy to get behind the wheel of a car after having a couple of drinks without giving much thought to the potential consequences. Over the course of the past fifteen years, states across the country – including Texas – have taken steps to significantly increase the penalties associated with driving while intoxicated. At the same time, the threshold at which a person is considered to be driving while intoxicated has become much lower. Therefore, for most people, driving even after consuming a small amount of alcohol can expose them to a charge of driving while intoxicated. The consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), conviction are significant. Therefore, even if you are facing your first ever DWI or DUI charge, you need to retain the services of a Texas DWI attorney Brian Roberts who has specific experience in providing an effective and favorable DWI/DUI defense. Many people tend to be too casual with a first time DWI or DUI charge. However, you simply cannot underestimate the seriousness of being charged with DWI or DUI. Even if you suffer relatively slim consequences from an initial DWI or DUI conviction, you need to understand that if you ever are arrested again for DWI or DUI, the potential jail time, fines and other penalties will be significantly enhanced. Additionally, you also must understand that a first time conviction for DWI or DUI can cause you to experience very serious penalties. A suspended drivers license … a high dollar fine … surcharges … jail time are all possibilities even if you have never had any legal problems previously. Humble DWI attorney Brian Roberts stands ready to provide you precisely the representation that you must have under these circumstances. Before becoming a Humble DWI attorney, as a former Harris County District Attorney, I understand the criminal justice system from both sides of the fence.
  • MARIJUANA OFFENSES
    If you are facing marijuana criminal charges, Brian M. Roberts Law is available to serve as your defense attorney. We offer specialized service as your marijuana criminal charges defense attorney. Although there seems to be something of a growing debate about marijuana laws, and while there are some limited instances in which marijuana can be utilized in some places in the United States for medicinal purposes, the fact is that there remain marijuana offenses on the books in the State of Texas. Indeed, perhaps you have found yourself charged with one or another of marijuana offenses for which people can be prosecuted: possession, sales or some other similar type of crime. In seeking a Houston criminal attorney or Houston criminal law firm to represent you in regard to marijuana offenses, there are some factors that you definitely will want to keep in mind. First, experience is important when it comes to an effective criminal defense in a case involving marijuana offenses. Second, in considering a Houston criminal attorney or Houston criminal law firm to provide you representation pertaining to marijuana offenses, you also must have a capable attorney who understands the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. You must have a lawyer at your side who knows how to best protect your rights in the midst of a very complicated court system. Finally, on a related note, you need a Houston criminal attorney or Houston criminal law firm that has the necessary resources to ensure that you obtain the most powerful criminal defense possible in your case involving marijuana offenses. Brian Roberts is a criminal defense lawyer who has the experience, understanding and resources necessary to ensure that you have the most effective representation possible in regard to marijuana offenses. Few attorneys have the type of experience that Brian possesses. Not only does Brian have a successful history of defending people in criminal cases, he also served as a Special Crimes prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He definitely understands how the criminal justice system works – and how to best make this system work for you. Finally, through his firm he has all of the resources necessary to ensure that your rights are fully protected and that you are forcefully defended against marijuana offenses.
  • MURDER
    THE ULTIMATE CRIME. Texas has several variations of murder that are distinguished by the circumstances of the offense and differing ranges of punishment. MANSLAUGHTER (TEXAS PENAL CODE §19.04) Unlike murder, which is the intentional or knowing killing of a person, manslaughter is a type of criminal homicide that has a lower culpable mental state. Section 6.03(c) of the Texas Penal Code defines the reckless mental state as follows: “A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.” Manslaughter is a Second Degree Felony punishable by 2 years to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE (TEXAS PENAL CODE §19.05) Criminally negligent homicide has a lower culpable mental state than manslaughter and occurs when a person causes the death of another through criminal negligence. Section 6.03(d) of the Texas Penal Code defines criminal negligence as follows: “A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.” Criminally Negligent Homicide is a State Jail Felony punishable by 6 months to 2 years in state jail and a fine up to $10,000. INTOXICATION MANSLAUGHTER (TEXAS PENAL CODE § 49.08) Intoxication Manslaughter falls outside the Murder statute (Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code) and is found in Chapter 49. Intoxication Manslaughter does not require any culpable mental state. It is what is known as a “strict liability” offense. In other words, if you operate a motor vehicle in a public place while you are intoxicated and cause the death of another because you are intoxicated, by accident or mistake, you have committed the offense of Intoxication Manslaughter, your intent or lack thereof has no legal bearing. Intoxication Manslaughter is a Second Degree Felony punishable by 2 years to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. MURDER/CAPITAL MURDER (TEXAS PENAL CODE §19.02 AND §19.03) Murder is the the intentional or knowing killing of another. It is, without question, the ultimate crime. A person can be convicted of murder in three ways under Texas Penal Code §19.02: (1) Intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person. This is where it is a person’s intent to kill another; or (2) Intends to cause serious bodily injury by committing an act clearly dangerous to human life which causes the death of the other person. This is where a person intends to cause serious bodily injury to another, not kill the person, but nevertheless the act causes the other person’s death; or (3) Causes the death of another person while committing a felony or fleeing from a felony, also called Felony Murder. Capital murder is the penultimate crime with the penultimate punishment. Texas has one of the most active execution chambers and Harris County has always been a top death penalty county. It is important to delineate the circumstances under which a person can be charged with Capital Murder. Texas Penal Code §19.03 states that a person commits Capital Murder if: The person murders a peace officer or fireman who is acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty and who the person knows is a peace officer or fireman; The person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), or (6); The person commits the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employs another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration (murder for hire); The person commits the murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution; The person, while incarcerated in a penal institution, murders another: – who is employed in the operation of the penal institution; or – with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination; The person: – while incarcerated for an offense under this section or Section 19.02, murders another; or – while serving a sentence of life imprisonment or a term of 99 years for an offense under Section 20.04, 22.021, or 29.03, murders another; The person murders more than one person: – during the same criminal transaction; or – during different criminal transactions but the murders are committed pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct; The person murders an individual under 10 years of age; or The person murders another person in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of the other person as a judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of appeals, a district court, a criminal district court, a constitutional county court, a statutory county court, a justice court, or a municipal court. Prosecutors have the option of seeking the death penalty for capital murder. The case is presented by the prosecutor handling the case to the elected District Attorney, who makes the ultimate decision on whether to seek death. If the State elects to not pursue the death penalty, the punishment if convicted is life without parole. If you have been charged with murder or capital murder, you MUST speak with an experienced, qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. You need a top lawyer who knows how to present a strong defense to a murder case. Not many lawyers are qualified. Choose carefully. WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER OR MURDER/CAPITAL MURDER Call Brian Roberts because the right lawyer makes all the difference in defending a murder case. A murder charge is NOT a no-win situation but you need the right lawyer to shepherd you through the difficult and complicated process and who will push back hard against the State. Brian has handled a number of murder cases in is Certified as Counsel in Death Penalty Cases by the Second Administrative Judicial Region of Texas. If you are charged with murder, Brian is the lawyer you need with the experience you want.
  • PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
    If you are facing prescription drug criminal charges, Brian M. Roberts Law is available to provide you a quality legal defense. We offer specialized service as your prescription drug criminal charges legal defense. As media reports have made clear over the last few years there has been a sharp increase in the number of people who are being prosecuted in criminal cases involving the misuse of prescription drugs. While these cases can and do take many forms there are two common themes in all prosecutions involving the misuse of prescription drugs: the penalties if a person is convicted in one of these cases are very significant; and, a person who is charged with some type of violation of the law pertaining to prescription drugs must have an experienced, resourceful and dedicated criminal defense attorney in his or her corner. Generally speaking, there are two types of cases that tend to be prosecuted involving prescription drugs. First, there are cases in which people are prosecuted for unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Second, there are cases in which individuals are charged with unlawfully selling prescription drugs. Depending on the specific nature of the case at hand, charges involving the misuse of prescription drugs can be brought in state or federal court. Indeed, in some instances and depending on the allegations and circumstances, various charges centering on prescription drugs can end being brought in both state and federal court at the same time. If you have found that you or someone in your life is facing prosecution on charges arising from the unlawful possession or sale of prescription drugs (or a similar type of case) there are some important factors that you must keep in mind when seeking a Houston criminal defense attorney. Of course, above all else you need to find a lawyer who has experience in fighting these types of charges both in federal and state court. Criminal cases that involve the unlawful sale or possession of prescription drugs can end up being very complex and challenging. Therefore, you do not want to engage a lawyer that requires on the job training. You also need to make sure that you retain a Houston attorney that really understands the criminal justice system and what needs to be done in order to ensure that you obtain the best possible resolution of your case. In considering these fundamental requirements, Brian Roberts is a Houston criminal defense attorney who can provide you the type of representation that you must have to protect your rights and to properly defend your interests in a case arising out of allegations pertaining to prescription drugs. In addition to defending clients in a whole host of criminal cases, Brian also served as a Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Because of these diverse experiences, Brian thoroughly understands how to make the criminal justice system work for you.
  • ROBBERY AND AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
    WHAT IS ROBBERY IN TEXAS? Robbery is a theft committed with the added element of bodily harm or threats of harm. Section 29.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines Robbery as follows: (a) A person commits an offense if, in the course of committing theft as defined in Chapter 31 and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death. The typical robbery scenarios are obvious and require little explanation. There are other scenarios, however, that are not so obvious. For example, did you know that a simple case of shoplifting can quickly and unexpectedly turn into a robbery where there was no such intent when you walked into the store? Consider the following scenario: you walk into Walmart, take a $20 DVD off the shelf and hide it under your shirt or stuff it in your purse. You walk out without paying and as soon as make it out the door a loss prevention officer follows you out, confronts you about taking the DVD and asks you to come back inside to the loss prevention office. You think you have a better idea and decide to make a run for it. The loss prevention officer chases you. The loss prevention officer catches you and in the tussle to get away the loss prevention officer is injured (scrapes his knee when you push him, gets a scratch on his hand from your nails, gets a black eye when your elbow accidentally hits him — you name the scenario). What would otherwise have been a class C misdemeanor theft punishable by a fine is now a second degree felony robbery punishable by 2 years to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Why? Because a person with greater right to ownership of the property stolen was injured (only bodily injury is required, which is nothing more than the person felt pain) in the course of the theft. Making a run for it after committing a theft is considered “in the course of” committing a theft. WHAT IS AGGRAVATED ROBBERY IN TEXAS? Aggravated Robbery is a much more serious proposition. Section 29.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines Aggravated Robbery as follows: (a) A person commits an offense if he commits robbery as defined in Section 29.02, and he (1) causes serious bodily injury to another; (2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or (3) causes bodily injury to … or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death … if the other person is (A) 65 years of age or older; or (B) a disabled person. Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony punishable by 5 years to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Every day we see news reports of aggravated robberies. Violent images of bank robberies, convenience store robberies, liquor store robberies, home invasion robberies, carjackings, people attacked at gunpoint and their money and property taken from them. These are crimes that drive law enforcement to find the perpetrators and solve the cases quickly and prosecutors are driven to push for lengthy prison sentences. Aggravated Robbery is treated as seriously as Murder by law enforcement and prosecutors for a variety of reasons. Under Texas law, Murder and Aggravated Robbery are both first degree felonies and have the same punishment range. It is a crime that has a long-lasting traumatic impact on complainants. It often results in serious injury to complainants and is the primary underlying crime in Capital Murders. This point bears repeating. If a murder is committed in the course of an Aggravated Robbery, the accused will be charged with Capital Murder, which is punishable by death or life in prison without parole. Juries treat defendants they find guilty of Aggravated Robbery harshly because Aggravated Robbery is something they fear most next to sexual assault and death. It’s a crime most people are afraid of because anyone can be a victim anywhere, anytime and it’s in the news every night. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has a long-standing policy, as do many other prosecuting attorneys offices, against offering deferred adjudication (the only type of probation available in certain aggravated cases) to defendants charged with Aggravated Robbery. If you are charged with Aggravated Robbery, you have a serious fight on your hands because all the prosecutor wants is for you to go to prison. CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION FOR ROBBERY OR AGGRAVATED ROBBERY A conviction for Robbery can result in a sentence of 2 years to 20 years in prison. However, a conviction for Aggravated Robbery can result in a prison sentence of 5 years to 99 years or life. If convicted of Aggravated Robbery, a defendant must serve at least 50% of his prison sentence before he will be eligible for parole. The collateral consequences of a Robbery or Aggravated Robbery conviction can be devastating. Robbery or Aggravated Robbery allegations and convictions not only carry with them a negative social stigma but can substantially impact many aspects of your life, including employment, professional licensing, child custody, loss of security clearance or the inability to obtain security clearance, the ability to rent an apartment or home and the inability to obtain a loan. Robbery and Aggravated Robbery are crimes of violence under Texas and federal law. A person charged with Robbery or Aggravated Robbery who is not a United States citizen faces serious immigration consequences. Under federal law, a conviction, which includes a guilty plea that results in a deferred adjudication, will result in deportation, denial of re-entry into the United States and denial of naturalization. WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE CHARGED WITH ROBBERY OR AGGRAVATED ROBBERY Call Brian Roberts because the right lawyer makes all the difference in Robbery and Aggravated Robbery cases. This is not the time to go bargain hunting for cheap lawyers or lawyers who make promises of an easy resolution because it will be, without question, the worst and most expensive decision you will ever make. There is no easy resolution to Robbery and Aggravated Robbery cases. Robbery and Aggravated Robbery are high stakes charges that require the talents and services of a top lawyer to handle your case. Brian Roberts is that lawyer. Brian has handled numerous Robbery and Aggravated Robbery cases as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer and he is the right lawyer to fight the State if you are charged with Robbery or Aggravated Robbery. Brian is the lawyer you need with the experience you want.
  • SEARCH AND SEIZURE
    If you are facing charges stemming from a search and seizure, Brian M. Roberts Law is available to serve you as a criminal defense attorney. We offer specialized service as your search and seizure criminal defense attorney. If you spend any time watching crime programs on television or on feature films at the multi-plex, you see and hear a great deal about search and seizure. Indeed, on many of the shows and movies, search and seizure issues are high drama during courtroom scenes. The fact is that search and seizure issues can be extremely important in a winning criminal defense. With this understood, if you are seeking a Houston criminal attorney or a Houston criminal law firm, you need to make sure that you pay attention to the experience of such a lawyer or group when it comes to issues relating to search and seizure. The reality is that many people who are dealing with criminal charges end up prevailing in their cases because they have hard hitting attorneys who understand the rights of their clients as they relate to search and seizure issues. Of course, not only do these criminal defense attorneys understand the rights of their clients in relation to search and seizure issues these lawyers also really know how the criminal justice system works and how to effectively argue search and seizure issues before a court of law. In the final analysis, if you are in need of a criminal defense attorney (particularly if you think you have issues relating to search and seizure in your case) you will want to consult with Brian Roberts. In cases involving search and seizure and other crucial issues, Brian is an attorney with a background that makes him uniquely qualified to prevail on behalf of his clients. Before becoming a Houston criminal attorney, Brian was a Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and in that role he drafted, reviewed and consulted with law enforcement in the execution of numerous search and arrest warrants. Having practiced law on both sides of the fence, Brian has the tools, resources and understanding necessary to be able to present the most compelling defense in cases involving unlawful searches and seizures on your behalf. He is in the best position possible to protect your vital rights and interests throughout the course of your case.
  • STATE AND FEDERAL DRUG CASES
    If you are facing federal drug charges, Brian M. Roberts Law is available to serve as your criminal defense attorney. We offer specialized service as your federal drug charges criminal defense attorney or lawyer. The War on Drugs … No matter the political debate over the so-called War on Drugs, it is still being waged. Consequently, if you end up facing federal drug charges, you have to fully appreciate that you have a serious situation on your plate. Although there have been some minor modifications in the sentences that are being imposed in federal drug cases, the stark reality is that when a person is charged with a federal drug crime, that individual is facing the prospect of spending a very long time in prison. Make no mistake about it – the penalties are severe both in cases involving the distribution and possession of illegal drugs of all types. The concept of zero tolerance in regard to drug distribution and possession remains the order of the day with the federal judicial system. If you have found yourself or a member of your family charged with a federal drug crime it is essential that you engage a strong, experienced and dedicated lawyer to provide you with a powerful criminal defense. You need to get an attorney in your corner immediately. In looking for a Houston criminal attorney that can provide you the legal representation that you need, you must obtain legal advice, assistance, support and representation from an attorney that can defend you against federal drug charges . Houston criminal attorney Brian Roberts has the resources, dedication and tenacity to fully defend an individual like you who has been indicted (or is facing indictment) on federal drug charges. The best opportunity to resolve successfully federal drug charges in the most favorable manner is to engage the services of an attorney sooner rather than later. By doing so, you have an attorney on your side from the very beginning of the process. Because Brian has extensive experience as a Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office prior to becoming a criminal defense lawyer, he thoroughly understands how the judicial system works. He has the tools necessary to best ensure that you will be able to achieve the best possible resolution of anticipated or pending federal drug charges.
  • STATE AND FEDERAL WHITE COLLAR CRIMES
    When facing prosecution a white collar crime, a good defense attorney and legal counsel is vital. Brian M. Roberts Law is qualified to serve you as your white collar crime defense attorney & legal counsel. Although they collectively are referred to as “white collar crimes,” these types of cases actually take on a variety of forms and concern a significant array of different subject matters. For example, so-called white collar crimes include criminal prosecutions stemming from the operation of a business enterprise, crimes involving other types of economic issues, and cases arising from issues pertaining to taxes and taxation. Indeed, there are many other types of economic and related crimes that are categorized under the white collar umbrella. Prosecution of a white collar crime can also take place on the federal and state levels. In some instances, a person can be charged with different white collar crimes in both state and federal courts simultaneously. Of course, if you have learned that you are facing indictment or prosecution for some sort of white collar crime, you certainly are experiencing a range of different emotions. If you are being honest with yourself, you are scared, angry, confused, embarrassed – and more. The one factor that you must understand is that if you are at a juncture at which a criminal indictment or prosecution is in the offing you are not in the best possible position to make the most appropriate decisions regarding your legal situation. You absolutely must retain competent, experienced and reputable legal counsel immediately. If you have already been indicted, if a white collar criminal prosecution already has been commenced against you, you literally have no time to spare in retaining a criminal defense attorney. The clock is running and you need someone in your corner now not only to defend your rights but to advance your interests. Houston criminal attorney Brian Roberts has extensive experience in the realm of white collar crimes. Brian has dedicated himself to providing effective criminal defense to people in precisely the shoes you are in today. Additionally, previously in his career, Brian was a Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Through this role, he oversaw the prosecution of a great many cases involving white collar crime. Because of his unique background, Brian is in the best possible position to provide you the most potent defense possible when you are facing charges arising from an allegation of white collar crime.
  • THE ARREST
    You have a legal right to an attorney and legal representation when you are placed under arrest. Brian M. Roberts Law is available to guard your rights in such instances. You cannot watch a crime drama on the big screen or on television without hearing a police officer rattle off the rights a person has when arrested. In the end, there are extremely significant reasons why one of these rights is to have a lawyer present during questioning by the police. No matter what a police officer might tell you, if he or she is questioning you as a suspect the officer is not there to help you or to look out for your interests in any way. Nothing in life presents the type of complex challenges that exist when you find yourself under arrest for a crime. Additionally, for most people, being taken into custody by law enforcement officials is a terribly emotional experience. Therefore, when arrested you are being forced to make very difficult decisions at a point in time when you understandably are the least personally equipped to do so. On many levels, the arrest and the period of time immediately following can prove to be the most crucial juncture in the course of any criminal case. Police officers understand how vulnerable even the most strong willed and intelligent people are at this point in time. Consequently, they make every effort to obtain information directly from you before you have the chance to consult with an attorney and make more thoughtful decisions in your own time. If you are facing arrest or if you have been arrested – no matter what the allegations being made against you – talking to the police is not in your best interest. The most important step for you to take if you are facing arrest or when you have been arrested is to contact a lawyer immediately. Because of the complexities of the criminal justice system – and because of the significant nature of what you have at stake when arrested – not any lawyer will do when it comes to ensuring proper representation. Rather, you must ensure that you are represented by a lawyer who has specific and extensive experience in assisting clients who have been arrested. You must have a lawyer who understands the judicial process, how the police work and your rights. Having been a Trial Bureau and Special Crimes prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office before becoming a defense lawyer, Brian Roberts has a thorough understanding of the arrest and investigatory process – and what you have at stake before, during and after an arrest. Because of his years of experience in the criminal justice system, he is a lawyer who will take all steps necessary to completely and fully protect your rights and your interests during the arrest process. By making sure that you have Brian on your side at the time you are facing arrest or immediately after you have been arrested – before you do anything else, before you make any statement whatsoever – you will be in the best possible position to defend your case.
business-lawyers-discussing-contract-papers-with-brass-scale-desk-office-law-legal-service

Brian M. Roberts has earned the confidence of his clients by developing a deep understanding of the specifics of each client's case. 

bottom of page