Dennis M. Slate Attorney at Law
We hope that you will find our site informative and useful. Our goal is to provide the highest quality legal services to you and your business in a timely fashion. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you and to discuss how we may be of service.
Based in Deer Park and serving all of the greater Houston, Galveston and Brazoria County areas, Dennis M. Slate prides himself on offering clients dynamic legal representation for a fraction of the cost of most downtown firms. The son of well respected attorney Sherry Tavel, Slate began practicing family and criminal law, soon after completing law school, with his mother and has since used her 20 years of legal experience as a driving force to build his own very successful client-focused law practice.
Please Call: 281-476-9447
Slate has devoted his legal career to handling complex Family law matters, all areas of Criminal defense, bankruptcy and Probate cases. The firm has a reputation of thoroughly preparing all of it's cases for trial, so that we are ready to represent our client’s interests if negotiations fail. We feel it is important in trying to negotiate a case that our opponents know; we are ready for trial.
The firm’s caring and knowledgeable staff is also known for helping clients endure and navigate the litigation process by offering individual support and professional guidance. In addition to maintaining a thriving legal career, Slate has invested 16 years into his military career where he currently serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Slate is also the immediate past president of the Pasadena Bar Association, he teaches as an adjunct professor at San Jacinto College, and he is an associate municipal judge for the City of Pearland.
Focus: Family and criminal defense law
Education: Texas A&M University, B.B.S.; University of Houston Law Center, J.D.
Please Call: 281-476-9447
Personal InjuryCriminal Law
We handle cases in the following areas of Criminal Law:
- Drug Cases
- Public Intoxication
- Assault/ Battery
Frequently Asked Criminal Questions
What happens if the police did not read me my rights when they arrested me?
The police are not required to read you your rights unless they want to talk to you once you are in custody. Everyone has heard of the "Miranda Rights." This phrase comes from the case of Miranda v. Arizona, where the United Supreme Court stated that before a law enforcement officer can question a person who is in custody, they must tell them their rights. From this case came the paragraph everyone hears on television and in the movies: "you have the right to remain silent; anything you say can and will be used against you at your trial; you have the right to a lawyer; if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed; you have the right to terminate the interview at any time; do you understand your rights?" The case of Miranda v. Arizona dealt with confessions and not arrests. So, it is not necessary for the police to read you your rights at the time of arrest. That is just something that can, and often does, happen. However, it is not a prerequisite for a lawful arrest.
Will I be able to get my case dismissed because I was not read my rights?
Most likely, no. As discussed above, reading your rights is not necessary for a lawful arrest. However, if you were "interrogated" (legal term with a legal definition) after being placed in "custody" (another legal term with a legal definition), your statements may not be admissible at your trial, which can lead to a dismissal of your case.
Should I File Bankruptcy?
The process of deciding whether to file a bankruptcy proceeding often is very difficult indeed. Nobody wants to file bankruptcy, whether it be under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. A bankruptcy may have adverse credit effects and there can be other undesirable ramifications. Well then, why should someone take this important step? The answer to that question, in my opinion, is that you should file only after considering the various possible alternatives. If none of these alternatives is feasible or practical for you, then filing a bankruptcy petition may be the most responsible step to take.
Warning Signs. In assessing whether or not you should seek some kind of debt relief, consider the following questions:
- Do you ever use one form of credit, such as a credit card or debt consolidation loan, to make payments on other debt?
- Have you taken one or more cash advances greater than $500 in the past few months to pay living expenses?
- Do you ever borrow to meet regular expenses, such as food and utility bills?
- Can you barely make the minimum required payment on credit cards or other debts?
- Are you receiving calls or letters from creditors or collection agencies?
- Are you being sued, or are your creditors threatening to sue you?
- Are your wages being garnished, or are your creditors threatening a garnishment?
- Are your financial problems impacting your health or relationships?
- Do you owe two months salary or more on your credit cards?
- Are you using one-quarter or more of your take-home income to pay credit card bills and personal loans (excluding mortgage payments)?
- Are your revolving credit cards charged to the limit?
- Have you bounced more than one check in the past year?
- Are you without cash reserves?
- Are you behind on house or auto payments?
- Are your creditors threatening to take your car, house, or other property?
- Are you behind on your taxes or do you owe the IRS?
If you answered 'yes' to one or more of the preceding questions, you should consider seeking some form of debt relief. Bankruptcy, of course, offers very effective debt relief, but there are possible alternatives to filing bankruptcy, such as consumer credit counseling or negotiating with a single lender for reduced payments. If you are unsure about bankruptcy, you should investigate all your options.
Of course, often it is not possible to satisfactorily negotiate a settlement with your creditors. Perhaps your credit card debt or other unsecured debt is overwhelming, with no reasonable prospect of ever paying it back. In this situation, the most responsible step to take for you and your family may be to obtain a financial "fresh start" through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Or, if your mortgage company has started a foreclosure of your home or your vehicle has been seized, the possibility of working this out with your creditor is very slim. In this case, you will have to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to save your property.
Should I File Under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
You must ultimately decide for yourself whether filing bankruptcy is the proper action to take, and if so, which Chapter is better for you. Some of the factors to consider are as follows:
- If you are not making more money than you need for your current living expenses (you have no disposable income), Chapter 13 is not a realistic option.
- Chapter 7 has the advantage of wiping the slate clean and enabling you to embark on your "fresh start" immediately. With Chapter 13 you will be making payments for three to five years.
- If you have a particular asset that you want to keep and that is valued above the allowable exemption then Chapter 13 may be the only alternative. For example, if you own a house with significantly more than $25,000.00 in equity and you don't want to lose it, Chapter 7 probably will not work.
- If you are trying to ward off a repossession or a foreclosure, Chapter 7 will not help you, and you will need to file a Chapter 13.
- If your debts are primarily consumer debts, and if your budget reveals that after filing bankruptcy your income substantially exceeds your expenses, it is possible that the United States Trustee could file a motion to dismiss the Chapter 7 case for "substantial abuse." In such a case Chapter 13 may be the better alternative.
Whatever the situation that you are struggling with, I hope that the information in my website will be helpful to you. If you wish to discuss your situation with me, I would be pleased to do so. You may contact me either by telephone or by e-mail, as follows:
Whatever method you use, your consultation will be confidential.
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