February 21, 2018

Jeff Sessions Wants to Takeaway Billions From Hardworking Americans

Attorney general Jeff Sessions’ anti-marijuana policy is aimed to cripple a multi-billion dollar industry, and will put millions of Americans out of work. The recently renewed war on marijuana is aimed at taking no prisoners, and kicking every American in the industry to the curb. Sessions has placed marijuana on the Schedule I substance list, along with LSD and heroin. If the government truly wants to take aim at the national debt, there would be no better place to start than continuing the expansion of the legal marijuana industry. However, Jeff Sessions is looking to roll back previous policy, which effectively eliminate jobs estimated to reach over 1.1 million in the next decade.

Along with this, enforcing stricter rules and regulations on marijuana will only hurt everyday citizens. It will result in more arrests and penalties, which ultimately hurt people and their loved ones. Instead of a flourishing $132 billion dollar industry, Jeff Sessions would rather see Americans in debt and imprisoned. Sessions also is ignoring public opinion, in several states, citizens illustrated that they would much rather have more relaxed recreational marijuana laws. Jeff Sessions is acting as a counter influence to what the American people want. Those who are placed in positions as he is should want to help everyday Americans, not harm them.

Lying or Excessive Force, Which is Worse?

Last week, an Austin Police Department officer was fired for lying about using excessive force during an arrest. This leads us to an important question in regards to the responsibility placed on an APD officer. Are the police more concerned with the use of excessive force or officers lying about their actions in the field? In this most recent situation, the unfair treatment of a citizen was not probable cause for a police officer to be relieved of duty. The fact that the officer lied about the facts of the arrest was cause for his dismissal.

In response to this event, many people question which scenario is worse, lying or excessive force. An argument can be made for either side, clearly most good people never want to see another person unnecessarily harmed, especially by those who are meant to protect and serve. Just hearing that an officer has used excessive force on a suspect more than once without being reprimanded, tends to rub someone the wrong way. On the other hand, a culture of lying and distrust in a city’s justice system is something that never leads to prosperity. If in the terrible case in which an officer does use excessive force, it seems unfair that there should be a possibility where they can get away with it by falsifying a report.

Neither of these sound like common occurrences in respectable police departments, something must change from within in order to see a difference . Until that change is made, local Austin lawyers will be here to aid and assist members of the community.

Law Office of James Gill Honors Veterans

Our local Austin law firm understands the sacrifice that our nation’s veterans have made. Our veterans risk not only their lives but in many cases their mental health as well.   The  hardships our veterans face are numerous. The Law Office of James Gill looks to help veterans in any way possible, and so we are now providing substantial discounts and in some instances free services to veterans who are in need of any legal services that James Gill can provide. The staff of the Law Office has several relatives who have served in our armed forces, so they understand the perseverance and struggle that many veterans have undergone. The Law Office of James Gill is one of the premier defense law firms in the local Austin area; clients are extremely satisfied with the work that is provided. James Gill feels especially grateful to American veterans which is why the discount will be provided to all who have served in our armed forces.

Is Poor Lab Work Going to Cost a Man His Life?

On Wednesday, in the state’s most superior criminal court, a closer look into Areli Escobar’s case was ordered. Escobar was convicted and sentenced to death in the 2009 sexual assault and stabbing of his neighbor, a young 17-year-old high school student. Nearly a decade later, Escobar’s defense lawyer is calling for a reconsideration of the work that was done by the Austin police crime lab, which Escobar is saying ruined his case.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered an examination of the claims that the police crime lab produced false or misleading conclusions from DNA evidence in the 2009 case. The claims are against tests that were conducted on the shirt, jeans, and shoes that connected Escobar to the murder. Along with this, after the trial, there was a discovery of poorly trained analysts, reports of cross-contamination of samples and questionable analytical methods. All of these factors lead to the possibility that the DNA evidence for Escobar’s trial is inaccurate.

How can mistakes like this be made when a man’s life is at stake? DNA evidence is one of the most incriminating factors in murder cases. A jury would be almost certain to convict a defendant if their DNA matches what is found on the murder scene. In this case, Areli Escobar is sitting on death row because his DNA was found at a crime, yet years later it comes out that the lab was done incorrectly. An innocent man could be put to death because of this miscalculation.

However, we are not saying Escobar is innocent. Rather we are wanting for the right to a fair trial where a person is innocent until proven guilty. An American citizen should not be imprisoned yet alone put on death row due to poor lab work being completed. This case is a prime example of why a good defense attorney is needed if you are ever in any legal trouble.

“No Refusal” Weekends in Austin

Austin’s No Refusal Weekends: What Does It Really Mean?

The Austin Police Department is continuing their “No Refusal DWI” policy which began earlier this year. The enforcement of this policy runs from 10 PM through 5AM every Friday and Saturday night and continues into Sunday morning.

The next “no refusal” weekend will occur this weekend from September 22nd through the 24th. But what does this initiative actually entail?

For the most part, it is pretty straightforward; drivers who are arrested for DWI have no choice but to submit a sample of their blood or take a breath test. If the motorists refuse to take a sample, they will be forced down and have blood drawn from them.

“No refusal” weekends used to just occur around holidays and big events; now they will take place every weekend in hopes of deterring drinking and driving. Even though this initiative only takes place during the weekend, local criminal lawyer James Gill, of the James Gill Law Firm PLLC, claims that APD has a loophole to forcibly draw blood. He states, “Even if a driver is accused of a DWI and refuses to take a breath test, the police department can simply get a warrant which will allow them to forcibly draw blood from the driver on any day of the week at any given time.”

This leads us as citizens of Austin to wonder whether the police are truly doing this to protect public safety or as a way to gain more revenue for the city of Austin. This is all occurring with the return of mainstream rideshare companies to Austin. Does this return make the police feel that they will lose economic benefits from pulling over drunk drivers? Whatever the case may be, if you or anyone you know encounters any DWI charge be sure to contact James Gill, a highly-esteemed local Austin criminal lawyer.

Celebrities Arrested for Carrying Guns at the Airport

gun-at-the-airportSo who’s been busted for trying to carry a gun onto a plane recently? In June, it was Zonnique Pullins, rapper T.I.’s stepdaughter and member of the girl group O.M.G. You could say she missed her flight, since she was arrested in the morning of a Thursday and got her release the next morning.

Other celebrities caught carrying weapons at the airport include Too $hort, 2 Chainz, and reality TV personality Spencer Pratt.

Celebrities aren’t the only ones making this glaring and very inconvenient mistake. Austin criminal lawyer James Gill urges his clients and the public to think twice before unthinkingly trying to check a gun past airport security. Not only will you miss your flight, but you could end up sitting in jail and paying a hefty fine.

This is particularly true of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. As of June 1, travelers with guns in their luggage will be stung by a maximum of a year in jail and a $100,000 fine. Previously, offenders would be allowed to take their weapons back to their cars or leave them with a friend. Two years ago, Georgia lawmakers changed this loophole to increase safety at the airport. In 2015, security discovered a total of 113 guns at the Atlanta airport.

If you happen to make the mistake of carrying a weapon into airport security, please feel free to contact the Law Office of James Gill for prompt and informative assistance.

Gill Client Barry Cooper Is “The Strangest, Most Brazen Activist”

Barry Cooper of KopBustersThe Progressive has published an article that recounts the tale of iconoclast and former narcotics officer Barry Cooper, calling him “the strangest, most brazen activist America has seen in decades.”

Cooper performed a startling about-face from his previous role in the drug war and has won widespread admiration among drug reform for his “KopBusters” reality TV show and for famously tricking law enforcement into raiding a faux marijuana greenhouse in Odessa, TX. Cooper also appears as himself in the 2012 documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs, which also features Woody Harrelson, Susan Sarandon, and 50 Cent.

The Progressive‘s article goes on to interview Austin criminal lawyer James Gill and to detail how Cooper’s fled with his family to Brazil to escape alleged police harassment. Cooper has drawn attention from a variety of law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Rangers, Liberty Hill police, and the FBI (he was profiled in a February 2009 FBI report).

Read more at the Progressivehttp://progressive.org/drug-war-insurgent-barry-cooper

And at Rawstory.com: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/11/insurgent-ex-cop-barry-cooper-arrested-at-texas-capitol/

Photo by Stephen C. Webster/The Progressive.