I was arrested at my campus today for PI based on an accusation. No students were present as school starts tomorrow. I

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Customer: I was arrested at my campus today for PI based on an accusation. No students were present as school starts tomorrow.
JA: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I am in Lewisville, TX. This is my 19th year.
JA: Have you spoken to a local attorney or school administrator? What is your ideal outcome for this situation?
Customer: My principal said HR will call me AM tomorrow. However, tomorrow is the first day. Today was a teacher workday….no students were even on campus. I was given a sobriety test based on hearsay and there were no meetings today.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No. I was simply in my room without students. I am very upset.
Answered by Jerry, Esq. in 3 hours 3 months ago
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Jerry, Esq.
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Jerry, Esq.
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Good morning! My name is ***** ***** I hope you are well today. I thank you for allowing me to answer your question. I have practiced law for nearly seventeen years handling family law issues, and I am happy to help point you in the right direction.

As we begin our chat, please consider the following disclaimer:

  • This conversation does not constitute legal advice and does not replace speaking with a local attorney in your area. This conversation does not form a lawyer/client relationship.
  • The comments are not confidential and may be seen by others, so remember not to post any confidential or private information.
  • The conversation is for your educational and informational purposes only and there is no liability formed by any errors or omissions.
  • If you receive a prompt for a phone call, that has been auto generated by the site and not sent by me. I am happy to continue to chat here, but in any event, I am currently unavailable to take a call.
  • And finally, there may some delay between posts, but I promise to answer every post sent and thank you for your patience, in advance.


I am sorry to hear about the charges you incurred at school. I know that it can confusing, and I am happy to chat with you about that.


To be clear, have you had any type of hearing on the issue yet?

Customer
No. I have to go to the court on August 19th, but that is with the city.What are my rights as a teacher?
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Good morning, I’m sorry to hear about the arrest. I also practice criminal defense issues and am happy to help you.Let’s start with the Fifth Amendment. Remember that you have the absolute right to remain silent.So, for context, did you make any statements to either the school or the police, including taking any sobriety test or breathalyzer test?
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Hello again!

I wanted to let you know that I have an appointment in a few minutes and will be sure to answer your posts. So, don't hesitate to respond and I promise to answer and apologize for any delays. I am in my office all day and will be sure to answer your posts as quickly as possible. I look forward to working with your regarding the issues.

Thanks.

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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Hello again! Just wanted to see if you had responded yet. Don’t hesitate to post your comments and I will be sure to respond.Thanks!
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

I'm not sure what exactly happened, perhaps you have experienced internet issues. I will offer these comments to start you out. If you have any further follow up questions, please don't hesitate to post them, and I will be sure to respond.

So, to begin the answer to your question 'what are rights are as a teacher' I would comment as follows:

A person that is facing criminal charges due to an arrest will have rights before, during, and after the process.

Among the first rights that you have as a teacher and citizen will be the right to remain silent previously mentioned, guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If a person charged with a crime is to be questioned by the police, Miranda Warnings must be first given and waived by the defendant.

During the process you will have the right to see, hear, and cross examine any witness that the state presents in your case. That will become important during the hearings that will ensue.

You also have the right to examine any physical evidence that is in the possession of the state prosecutor's office. You will also be able to independently have tested, at your expense, any physical evidence that is arrayed against you. This may become important when there are results of tests performed by experts like blood or other evidence that they may have.

If there are witnesses that may be available to testify on your behalf, you can use the subpoena power of the court to compel attendance of any witness that may be unwilling to come forward. This may become important if there any witnesses that may dispel any allegations that may exist.

If this process is just beginning, you will have the opportunity to have a preliminary hearing, at which the court must prove that there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, and that you may have involvement.

The 'probable cause' standard of evidence is fairly low, so most of the time a preliminary hearing is a formality given that it is very easy that a crime may have been committed. Where a court will have found probable cause, the charges will be bound over to the Grand Jury where they will meet to determine whether to release a 'true bill' or 'no true bill'.

Where a 'true bill' is returned, the defendant will be indicted.

Thereafter, the court will hold an arraignment to formally charge someone of the charges that the Grand Jury will have found probable cause to issue the indictment.

The defendant will often enter a plea of 'not guilty' after the charges have been formally entered. From there, the defendant will either settle the issues through a plea agreement (most of the time, charges will end with a plea) or given the opportunity to have trial before a jury (not nearly as often).

If the trial course is chosen, a jury must find a defendant guilty 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. That is a very high standard of evidence and must be returned as a unanimous vote by the jurors.

Switching gears to your 'rights as a teacher', you will need to refer to the negotiated terms of your teachers' union and/or the school board to determine what the process of appealing the charges.

Most school boards have clauses that provide for termination of teachers that have been arrested unless the charges are dismissed. So, the court hearing that you have on August 19th will be very important as it relates to your teaching job.

And finally, I would point out the most important right that you have as both a teacher and a defendant. Namely, you have the right to counsel at every stage of the proceedings against you. That is the single one thing that you may remember and consider looking into.

If you cannot afford one, the court can appoint one to represent you in court. Unfortunately, you may have counsel to represent you before the school board, that matter is a civil matter and not in a court, so you will have to retain counsel if you want to be represented in that matter.

I am sorry that we didn't get to chat any further, but I think that I have outlined the more important rights as a defendant charged with a crime and a teacher accused with allegations of drinking. Please don't hesitate to post any further comments, and I will be happy to continue our conversation.

Thanks. 

Customer
Hello- I did not take a breathalyzer or blood test. I contacted my teacher's union and I'm seeking a criminal attorney.I only did a field sobriety test in my classroom per their request.
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Hello again and thanks for the response.You are under no obligation to have taken a field sobriety tests.And I am glad to hear that you are going to retain a lawyer. That is there best thing to do.Please don’t hesitate to post any further questions and I will be sure to respond.Thanks!
Customer
Three officers were there and said they came because someone was “concerned”.
Customer
Was I supposed to deny the field sobriety test?
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Thanks for the post.I can’t say whether you should’ve refused them or not. Rather, that you were under no obligation to take such a test.Did they say you had to take the test or did they simply ask you to do so?
Customer
Hello- Your advice has been wonderful.I am very upset and very nervous. This is my livelihood and my integrity they are questioning. I have been on paid administrative leave.
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Hi there!

I am glad that my comments have been helpful. And I understand being upset and nervous. You work hard for your license and your job and something like this is certainly stressful.

I hope that your court date on the 19th goes well, and I wish you a quick and successful conclusion to the issues.  And I am very glad to hear that you are seeking an attorney. Just in case, I will provide you with some links to referral services:

Avvo.com      Lawyer.com      Martindale.com

Please add my name (@JWM_ESQ) to your 'counselors list' and contact me directly anytime, and I will be glad to chat with you about your issues that may arise.

If you choose to rate our conversation, you will be given to add me to your list, so please don't hesitate to do so.

Also, keep in mind that your Just Answer memberships include over 150 categories with many experts to help you with any question you might have. The service is available 24/7 to field your questions, so don't hesitate to come back for assistance in a wide array of subject matter.

Please stay safe, and I wish you the best with the issues. Thank you for visiting Just Answer. Have a great evening!

Customer
Thank you so much. There was no breath assessment or blood draw. Could that help me?
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

Good morning. I hope you had a great night!If the charge was for intoxication, it must be proven that you were above the legal level to operate a vehicle (.08 BAC).But if the charge was for drinking alone, then blood and/or breath tests may not be needed to prove that happened.I’m so very sorry that this is causing so much stress on you. I hope that my comments are helpful to aid you in clarifying the issues.Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime and I will be happy to chat with you if you have any further issues.How a great day!
Customer
Thank you again. I truly appreciate you.
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Jerry, Esq., Expert

You are very welcome and please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Thanks again and have a great afternoon!
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