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All Press Releases for February 01, 2014 »
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Insufficient evidence: criminal charges reduced for two Texas men

Two Texas men are cleared of gang-related charges.
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    February 01, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Alleged members of the Texas Mexican Mafia, who have been accused of robbing and harming a limousine driver, are now free as they await trial. Initially, authorities stamped the crimes as gang-related; however, now, investigators do not believe that the purported crime was linked to gang activity.

The two defendants were accused of harming a private driver in early September 2013. Allegations suggest that the driver stopped at a liquor store while traveling from one nightclub to another, per the request of the suspects. During the ride, the driver notes that one suspect claimed to be a member of the "Mexican Mafia," and that the passenger had killed in the past. The suspect then indicated that the driver would be next.

However, prosecutors were unable to bring forward enough evidence to a grand jury that suggested the suspects' actions involved "intent to promote, further or assist a criminal gang." As a result, a judge ordered prosecutors to drop the gang accusations. The charges were ultimately amended downward, and the defendants' trials are now set for February 2014.

Pursuant to the reduction in charges, the bail was lowered from $1 million to $30,000. The two defendants have been released pending litigation.

The importance of criminal evidence

Before the assault charges were amended downward in the aforementioned case, an officer from the Texas Department of Public Safety in San Antonio, Texas, stated to the grand jury that the defendants were participants of the Texas Mexican Mafia. However, a closer look at the transcript of the grand jury suggested to the judge that there was not enough evidence to prove the men were associated with a band of criminals. This was a big breakthrough for the defendants, as gang-related criminal offenses are more egregious and carry stiffer penalties.

In addition to the elimination of gang charges, robbery charges were also tossed after the judge concluded that no theft occurred. The judge felt prosecutors had "magnified" what had actually happened the night of the purported crime.

This story is a perfect example of how crucial evidence is in a criminal matter -- even at the grand jury stage. If the state's case is not supported by adequate evidence, charges could be reduced or even dismissed. If you have been charged with a crime, it helps to work with an experienced defense attorney. A lawyer versed in criminal laws can help you challenge incriminating evidence and potentially attain a more favorable outcome.

Article provided by Law Office of Derek W. Emmons, P.C.
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