It is sad that people have children out of wedlock. In worse cases, the people involved hardly know each other. This was exactly the case when David Howe took to the stand on 22 November 2015. A woman who identified herself as Rebecca, filed an SAPCR (suit affecting the parent-child relationship) against David and according to the laws that govern parent-child lawsuits in Texas, she had a case. In Texas, prosecutors are serious on matters that deal with infidelity and parent-child lawsuits in general.
About David’s case
Family law generally involves cases to do with divorces, child upkeep and other family relationships. In most cases, there has to be a child/ children involved. For example, in David Howe’s case, he was accused of siring a child out of wedlock with Rebecca. While David had “forgotten” about the night, Rebecca argued her case.
Even with the best family law attorney, David (an accountant) had to pay for the child’s “exorbitant” expenses until he attained the legal age. As if that was not enough trouble for him, his legal wife Nina who lived in Lakeway Texas also filed for a divorce.
Most of the time than not, SAPCR cases bring shame to the family at hand and more so the alleged culprit. For example, in David’s case, while his attorney managed to reduce the amount he was to pay as his child’s upkeep charges, the shame still hang over his head. For the rest of his life he will have to deal with the stress that come from teasing and to make it worse, he now has two “families” that do not live with him. He incurs expenses while he does not receive any family love and enjoy family moments.
Are there other family law cases in Texas?
David Howe’s case is obviously not an isolated one. According to Dirk Ronald (a famous family law attorney), he handles over twenty such cases every year. This means that SAPCR cases are rampant and on the rise in Texas.
Parent-Child Lawsuits are rampant in Texas. Taking David Howe’s case as an example, people get children out of wedlock some of whom the “do not know” about until it is too late. While an attorney can fight your battle and reduce the charges levelled against you, you will still have to deal with the shame and possible divorce that may come as a result of the charges.
In December 2015, Disaster Center compiled a report using data from FBI and other law enforcement agencies across United States. It was found out that Texas alone reported 1,316 murders, a 7.3% spike from the previous year’s 11,123 cases. These incidences, however, remained steady at 13,304 cases in 2016.
1/3rd of Texas Murders Are of African Decent
The worst affected racial group by homicide was African Americans, accounting for over a third of reported cases. Houston and Dallas were the cities most hit by the homicide wave followed by Fort Worth. San Antonio saw the fastest rise in murder cases. 67% of the murders were committed using guns while Knives and Cutting objects were weapons of choice in the 15% of total cases.
Texas Laws on Murder
Murder is knowingly doing an act that leads to loss of life of another person or causing the death of the person while attempting an act that was intended to inflict serious harm to the individual.
In other states and jurisdictions, intentional murder that attracts capital punishment is defined as First Degree Murder. In Texas, this form of murder is identified as Capital Murder. The defendant should meet the following requirements to be considered competent enough to stand conviction;
The defendant should have knowingly or directly caused the death of the person in question.
He/she should have forethought to injure and perpetrate an act considered to be life threatening and the action was the eventual cause of the individual’s death.
He/she should have tried to execute a felony (Besides the manslaughter) and in executing the felony, did an act that led to the killing of the individual in the question.
One of the following should be met for the offense to be considered as a Capital Murder and not merely Murder.
If the killed individual was a police officer or fireman on duty when the offense took place.
If the defendant hired or was hired by a third party to commit murder.
If murder was committed while the defendant was trying to escape from police custody or prison.
In case the defendant killed the victim and another one person or more.
If the defendant killed a child not older than six years.
If the defendant retaliates by killing a person related to or in connection to a member of the judicial team.
Capital murder attracts a life sentence in prison without parole under Texan federal law. In case of murder resulting to first degree felony, a prison sentence of over 5 years and less than 99 years is recommended with a fine not more than $10,000.
Manslaughter is a second degree felony under Texan federal law. It refers to carelessly causing the death of another person. It brings between 2 and 20 years imprisonment with it.
Criminally negligent murder results when an individual causes the death of another person by disregarding standard operating procedures or code for a sane person in a given environment. The punishment involves a sentence between 180 days to2 years in prison.
The homicide section on Bennett & Bennett’s website is very thorough when it comes to explaining the various caveats for the different types of murder offenses.
Criminal defense refers arguments and strategies the defendant employs to counter the accuracy of evidence presented by the prosecution.
Due to complex Texas laws concerning murder and capital murder offenses, the defendant requires a capital murder attorney. There are, however, two choices for the defendant in establishing a defense. The defender can simply insist that the murder was justified or declare his/her innocence. The defendant can also argue the murder took place while he/she was acting on self defiance. Sufficient evidence must however, be produced to support the claim.
The prosecutor’s job in the murder case is to prove the suspect’s guilt and prescribe the harshest punishment possible. The defendant will be considered innocent until the prosecutor clears the burden of proof. The prosecution panel must therefore prove murder was premeditated, deliberate and willfully committed by the defendant.
When can a defiant challenge presented witness
Accidental Murder- The killing took place while performing a lawful activity.
Insanity- If a psychiatric report proves the defendant has mental instability.
Exercise of duty- Incase the defendant was a law enforcement officer and carried the killing under the law.
Self Defense- Incase the defendant’s own life was under threat necessitating protection.
Mistaken Identity- If the defendant is being wrongfully indicted as the main suspect.
Law firms routinely use private detectives in many capacities. Some examples of cases where investigators might be utilized by attorneys include divorce, corporate espionage, personal injury, worker’s compensation, and accident-related issues.
Hiring a Private Investigator
In these cases, a law firm retains a PI to help them gather information and do their “leg work.” The investigator will likely be tasked with following and observing a person(s) of interest. They would research their background, see who they interact with, where they go, and document their actions.
Generally speaking, law firms employ investigators to gather evidence for them and perform the tasks attorneys do not have the time and/or training to do themselves. The length of time a PI follows and observes a subject can vary greatly, depending on the type of case and/or amount of evidence desired.
In many cases, the information gathered by these professionals may make or break a case for the law firm, especially if the case involves corporate matters or significant personal injury issues. Depending on what evidence the private detective gathers, it could result in a case being dismissed or a multimillion dollar settlement.
A prime example of a law firm using a Private Investigator might involve a case of corporate espionage. Case in point, a pharmaceutical company suspects they have a mole, who works for one of their competitors, within their ranks. The company is close to applying for FDA approval and wants to rush their product to market. However, there are rumors the company’s chief rival is working a similar drug and they suspect a mole might be relaying vital information to the competition that could enable the rival company to debut their drug on ahead of schedule.
Spy Vs. Spy
In this instance, a private detective like J.J. Gradoni could be retained by a law firm to determine if there is, in fact, a mole within the company. Then, they would also identify the mole as well as observe and document their actions. This information would be passed along to the law firm and/or client for their purposes.