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Father cleared of state crime charges for taking daughter's phone

A Texas father was cleared of a theft charge following a two-day trial that made news across the state. The state crime charges sparked a discussion on the role that the law should play in a parent's decision concerning discipline. The father expressed relief at the verdict, with many individuals agreeing with the outcome.

The investigation into a possible stolen phone began when the father discovered a text message that he deemed inappropriate on his daughter's phone back in Sept. 2013. At the time she was only 12 years old, and as a punishment, he took away the cell phone. However, when the girl returned to her mother's house, police were notified. The mother had purchased the phone and at that point still footed the bill, and believed that she had the right to have it returned. Her ex-husband refused.

Months later, he was cited for the theft of the phone and later offered up a plea deal, which he turned down in lieu of a trial by jury. In April 2015 he was arrested for the 2013 theft and placed briefly placed behind bars until he was able to post the $1,500 bail. During the recent trial, prosecutors were unable to provide the necessary evidence to continue the charges filed against him, and he was ultimately cleared and permitted to retain ownership of the cell phone.

While early offers of plea deals might be appropriate in some instances, it is not always the best idea to pursue. Each and every defendant in Texas is a unique individual facing any combination of state crime charges, making no one defense approach universally appropriate. Because of this, it is usually a good idea to begin defense preparations only after performing a careful review of the charges alongside a person's defense counsel.

Source: Yahoo!, "Dad Arrested for Taking Daughter's phone as Punishment", Melissa Walker, Feb. 4, 2016

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