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Brent Mayr Obtains New Trial for Client Previously Sentenced to 15 Years for Intoxication Manslaughter

Facing a charge of Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas is tough enough.  Being convicted and sentenced to prison for it is even tougher.  That is the situation that Desiree Skaf and her family found themselves in back in March 2016.  Represented by other attorneys, Skaf was talked into pleading guilty in exchange for a 7 year prison sentence.  The 23 year-old client had never been in trouble before with the law, had an incredible support structure around her, and had proven herself to be an upstanding citizen.  Nevertheless, she was facing having to turn herself into prison officials in 30 days. She and her family came to Brent Mayr for another option, a way out, and a second chance to fight for real justice.  It was a fortunate decision.  Upon returning to court, she suddenly found herself in a situation she never expected – instead of the 7 year sentence, the Judge in her case sentenced her to 15 years in prison.  She was immediately taken into custody and transported to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to begin serving her sentence. While Brent Mayr was tasked with handling her appeal, he took advantage of an exception in the law that allows a person to challenge their conviction before the case proceeds into the appellate arena:  a Motion for New Trial.  Motions for New Trial are requests to the Judge who convicted and sentenced the client to “change their mind,” throw out the conviction and sentence, and permit the person to start anew.  They are rarely granted.  They are also very difficult to investigate and prepare for.  Under state law,...

Brent Mayr Works to Convince DA to Drop Charges Against Hempstead ISD Superintendent

Delma Flores-Smith had her entire life put on hold. Back in 2013, she was hired as superintendent of Hempstead Independent School District, brought in to help clean up a school district that was in shambles.  She went to work, identifying multiple problems and developing effective solutions. Unfortunately, her work drew the ire of many in the community who did not appreciate her methods and preferred to “leave things the way they be.” Delma’s actions drew national attention when she took punitive action against one of her school’s principals for announcing on the school intercom that students were prohibited from speaking Spanish on school grounds (http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Hempstead-principal-fired-over-Spanish-issue-will-5351254.php). Within time, members of the Waller County community made it their mission to get rid of her. When their efforts proved futile, they went to the Waller County District Attorney and asked him to bring her up on criminal charges. His investigation turned up nothing.  Nevertheless, one persistent opponent insisted that Delma violated open records law and presented her case to a Waller County Grand Jury. The next thing you knew, Delma found herself charged with three counts of Tampering with a Government Document. It was alleged that, upon request for information, she broke the law when she provided her current resume, as opposed to the one she gave to the school district when she applied with the district, one that was supposed to have been on file. Fortunately, Delma made the decision to bring on Brent Mayr to defend her against the charges. Even more fortunate was the fact that Mayr had the receptive ear of the Waller County District Attorney and his...

Brent Mayr Convinces Grand Jury to Toss Out Vehicular Manslaughter Charges; Client Now Going After GM

It has been a long, traumatic road for Zachary Stevens and his family. With the help of Brent Mayr, however, not only is he on the road to freedom, he also stands to hold the real party responsible for his tragic story accountable. On November 15, 2011, around 4:30 in the afternoon, Zachary Stevens left his home in a neighborhood right off of FM 1485, a couple of miles east of US-59 in New Caney. Severe weather and rain showers had just moved through the area and the roadways were still very wet. Zach was traveling westbound on the two lane highway with a number of cars ahead of him following each other fairly close. All of a sudden, Zach recalled one of the vehicles applying their brakes. The rest of it was a blur to him. According to witnesses, he swerved onto the shoulder to avoid colliding with the slower vehicles, passing them on the shoulder. Once past the vehicles, Zach was able to maneuver his car back into the westbound lane of travel. The wet roads, however, proved to be too treacherous. The tires of his vehicle lost their traction and Zach’s car began to hydroplane. It would “yaw” from the westbound lane into the oncoming traffic in the eastbound lane. Traveling in the opposite direction in a Nissan Frontier pickup truck was Mariano Landaverde. He was not wearing his seat belt. He tried to take evasive action but was unable to avoid the nearly head-on collision. Although his vehicle was equipped with one, his airbag failed to deploy. Between that and his failure to wear a...

Back-to-Back DWI Blood Case Acquittals in Back-to-Back Weeks

Convincing a jury to find someone accused of DWI where there is a blood test purporting to show they were over the 0.08 legal limit is a difficult task. Doing it twice in two weeks is an even greater challenge. Brent Mayr, Board Certified Criminal Attorney, however, accomplished it, earning “Not Guilty” verdicts for two of his clients in back-to-back weeks. On August 18, 2014, Mayr proceeded to trial on a DWI case where the client was arrested and charged with DWI after being involved in an accident on a rainy, Halloween night in 2013. After the client refused a breath and blood test, law enforcement obtained a search warrant to take the client’s blood. Testing purported to show that the client had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.127. At first glance, it appeared to be an impossible case to win. Mayr, however, discovered critical errors with both the search warrant and blood testing process, and was ultimately able to convince the judge in the case to direct the jury to find the client “Not Guilty” based on insufficient evidence after one day of testimony. The following week, Mayr, along with attorney Juan Guerra, proceeded to trial on a DWI case where the client was arrested by a Houston Police Department DWI Task Force officer. The client likewise refused a breath and blood test and had his blood drawn after the officer obtained a search warrant. The test result showed the client had a BAC of 0.107. During a skillful cross-examination of the State’s toxicologist, Mayr was able to get the witness to admit to a number of...

Brent Mayr Secures Acquittal for Client on Two Counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide

Houston criminal defense attorney Brent Mayr secured an acquittal for his client. On April 24, 2014, a Montgomery Jury found a Dobbin man not guilty of two counts of criminally negligent homicide for a motor vehicle crash back on December 14, 2010. Merle Pritzkau, 66, was charged with causing the deaths of Michael and Addie Buttercase after he allegedly ran a stop sign at the intersection of FM 149 and Lone Star Parkway. Defense attorney Brent Mayr argued during the four-day trial that there wasn’t any evidence he was speeding, intoxicated or using his cell phone. If convicted, Pritzkau would have faced up to ten years in prison and fine up to $10,000. The defense presented that the stop sign allegedly run by Pritzkau had been hidden by another sign as he approached the intersection, and thus the accident did not rise to the level of criminally negligent. “This was a tragic accident, and nothing more,’ Mayr said. “We are incredibly pleased that the jury saw it that way and chose not to convict him of this felony.” After deliberating for approximately ninety minutes, the jury found Pritzkau not guilty on both counts of criminally negligent homicide. Within months of the crash, a four-way traffic light was installed to replace the two-way stop signs. Read more about the case on The Courier and...

Brent Mayr Leads Investigation into Problems with Houston Police Department’s Breath Alcohol Testing Vans

Brent Mayr led the investigation into problems with HPD’s Breath Alcohol Testing (B.A.T.) vans, resulting in multiple convictions thrown out, pending cases dismissed, and a grand jury investigation into the DA’s office. The Houston Police Department was not forthcoming with all the information about the issues with their B.A.T. vans. Brent Mayr’s investigation discovered electrical issue and other problems that compromised the validity of the tests, possibly leading to wrongful arrests and convictions. In one specific case, Brent Mayr convinced a Harris County judge to overturn a DWI conviction due to the problems with the B.A.T. vans and the failure of HPD to disclose those problems. “It denied [the defendant] the right to a fair trial, not by mistake or by accident,” said Houston defense attorney Brent Mayr. He represented a convicted drunk driver who was arrested and tested using an HPD B.A.T. van in 2010. Back then HPD emails show all sorts of problems with maintenance and concerns over potential impacts on test results. HPD was reported saying that they didn’t see the need to share the information about the B.A.T. vans with the District Attorney’s office. “Do they need to? Absolutely. There’s no question about that they should’ve told them about it,” Mayr said. Shortly after the conviction was overturned, a Harris County Grand Jury initiated an investigation into the District Attorney’s office to determine whether they knew of the problems and knowingly failed to disclose them to defendants that they were prosecuting. While the Grand Jury ultimately returned no indictments, they issued a strong rebuke of the District Attorney’s Office regarding their handling of the issue....

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Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Brent Mayr of the Law Office of Brent Mayr, P.C. is located in Houston, Texas. Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Brent Mayr of the Law Office of Brent Mayr, P.C. represents clients throughout Texas. He can represent you if you have been arrested in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo, Waco, Galveston, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Midland, Odessa, Harris County, Ft. Bend County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Montgomery County, Waller County, or any other city or county in the State of Texas.