Sergi and Associates PC
The law firm of Sergi & Associates, P.L.L.C. was formed in November 1993. The firm offers a full range of commercial and personal legal services. The firm is dedicated to “big-firm” service in a small-town environment. Our basic philosophy is to enable parties to resolve disputes pragmatically and realistically with an eye towards the future.
We are not afraid to take on the hard cases. The firm has been involved with a wide variety of commercial cases, ranging from land, zoning and business disputes to business bankruptcies. We are also a personal services firm and offer a wide range of professional legal services involved in personal bankruptcy, family law, divorce and custody suits, as well as criminal cases.
One of the key assets that Sergi & Associates offers is that we are based in San Marcos, Texas. As a result, we have lower overhead while being centrally located. By keeping our overhead low, we are able to affiliate with a wide variety of independent practitioners who have experience in any given area. The firm also contracts paralegals and legal assistants who are familiar with individual areas of law to add their expertise to a given subject area. As a result, we are able to meet the needs of any given litigation in relatively short order and handle most litigation with the same degree of efficiency and resources as firms of a much larger size.
Please Call: 512 392 5010
The firm was formed in November 1993 and has been involved in a variety of matters ranging from representation of Joe’s Crabshack, in their attempt to remove the fence along San Marcos River, employment disputes, representation of parents involved in custody suits, as well as high-profile criminal cases. In addition, the firm is able to offer advice on the structure and formation of business entities, handle their day-to-day legal affairs, as well as giving advice on employee handbooks.
David Sergi has been licensed in Texas since 1985. Prior to returning home to San Marcos in 1993, he practiced with a wide variety of firms including the San Francisco law firms of Pilsbury, Madison, and Sutro and Pettit and Martin. While practicing law in San Francisco, Mr. Sergi was involved in financial institution litigation, as well as international litigation and arbitration. He has also practiced law with firms in Sydney, Australia.
The firm’s practice emphasizes commercial, civil, criminal land use, family litigation and dispute resolution, as well as bankruptcy. He is admitted to practice in all State Courts in Texas. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas.
Please Call: 512 392 5010CRIMINAL LAW
Our philosophy in representing the criminal defendant is simple. If you are truly innocent, we will leave no stone unturned in our attempt to see that all charges dropped. If we cannot convince the State to dismiss the charges, we will be glad to take the case to trial.
In the event that guilt may be an issue, it is our philosophy to attempt to humanize the client so a prosecutor and/or court can understand why one may have committed a foolish act. Often, we find that criminal acts are the result of depression or life-changing events which can cause people to act in an inappropriate manner. As a result, we work with a wide variety of psychologists, psychiatrists and healthcare practitioners, as well as other experts in order to present a favorable image of a client.
We have handled hundreds of criminal cases ranging from capital murder cases (those charged with a death penalty offense) to complex financial federal fraud cases, as well as drug possession and driving while intoxicated cases. We are experienced in State and Federal criminal law and, given David Sergi’s background as a law clerk to the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas, we have the depth and understanding to handle almost every criminal case.
My friends at the New York City law firm of Greenberg & Merola came up with the following "The 10 Commandments" for dealing with a policeman:
- ALWAYS scream for your attorney NOW.
- ALWAYS remember loose lips sink ships and BIG MOUTHS GO TO JAIL!
- NEVER talk about your case to anyone but your lawyer.
- NEVER sign anything for a cop.
- NEVER answer questions of make any statements to a cop. SHUT UP NOW.
- NEVER let a cop into your home or onto your property without a search warrant.
- NEVER agree to stand in a police lineup or go to the police station to "clear things up."
- NEVER consent, agree or "waive" anything. Remember "waive" means give up and go to jail.
- NEVER take a cop’s lie detector test.
- NEVER let the cops videotape you or try to talk your way out of it. You will lose and go to jail. Shut up now.
FAQS REGARDING CRIMINAL CASES
(Please note that these answers are general in nature and not intended to address a specific legal question or constitute individual legal advice.)
- What should I do after I am arrested? Do not say anything—use the "Silence is Golden" rule. Ask to speak to an attorney and indicate that you will not talk to them until you have spoken to an attorney. Do not discuss your case with anyone, including police, probation/ parole officers, family members and (if in jail) your cellmates, guards, etc. Do not write letters about your case to anyone except your lawyer and his employees. It is a good idea to have a written account of the events leading to your arrest, including names and phone numbers of witnesses (if any) to the events. <Go Back to Top of Page>
- What is the attorney-client privilege? How do I know that what I tell a lawyer will remain between us? The attorney-client privilege exists when you speak to a lawyer. This means the lawyer cannot and will not disclose to the State anything you reveal about your case or other related matters without your permission. That sort of privilege does not exist between you and your friends, parents or cellmates, so do not discuss the specifics of your case with them; it might come back to haunt you at trial.
- Must I give a statement if arrested? Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you are not required to say anything that would be self-incriminating. As a result, silence is golden—do not say anything. If you are questioned by police officers, prosecutors, and/or other agents of the State, I strongly advise you not to enter into any discussions with such persons. If any of them question you as to the facts of the charges or other possible charges, remember, you have the right to have an attorney present to advise you during questioning and the right to end the interview at any time. Use those rights to your advantage; do not be aggressive or abusive toward the officers but, if you are questioned, tell them that you have representation and will not speak with them before discussing the matter with me. If they continue to ask questions, tell them you wish to end the interview until you have discussed the matter with me.
- What if I am told that immediate cooperation will help? If you are arrested, ask to speak to an attorney immediately and terminate the interview. Law enforcement officers are trying to solve a case, not look out for your best interest. <Go Back to Top of Page>
- What is the general process in a criminal case?
- Misdemeanor. In most cases, you will be charged by an "Information" document. You will appear in court within 4 to 12 weeks after your arrest and be offered a plea bargain. If you refuse the plea bargain, you will be offered a chance to go to trial by jury or by judge.
- Felony. After being arrested, evidence is presented to a grand jury who is composed of community members chosen at random. The district attorney’s office will present what he believes to be sufficient evidence to obtain an indictment. Once an indictment is obtained, you will appear in court to enter a plea. (In our experience, indictments are easier to obtain than parking tickets.) An indictment is not an indication of guilt; however, it is a serious allegation which must be dealt with appropriately. Once you appear in court you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. Generally, one enters a plea of not guilty and puts the State to its proof. The State will review the case and offer a plea bargain. In most cases, there is some give and take in negotiating a plea bargain. If a plea bargain is accepted, the case will be disposed and you will wind up on probation or in the penitentiary. If you do not accept the plea bargain, the case is set on the trial docket. <Go Back to Top of Page>
- What function does an attorney serve? Generally, the attorney uses his experience, knowledge and skill to investigate each case differently. For example: a) if you are clearly guilty, the object will be to obtain the best possible plea bargain; b) if you are not guilty, the attorney’s role will be to investigate all evidence and point out to the district attorney’s office why you are not guilty; c) if you are guilty of a lesser crime, the attorney’s role will be to show the district attorney’s office why a lesser sanction should be imposed.
If I am your attorney, I will inform you as to the law and the facts that I believe apply in your case, and I will prepare for trial and/or negotiate a resolution of the case with the State as necessary. I will not, however, make the decision as to whether to try the case, whether to take the case to a judge or jury, or whether you will testify for trial. Those decisions involve your individual rights and must be made by you. While I will advise you as to what I believe would be the best course, those decisions are not mine to make.
- What is probation? If you receive probation in Texas, you are usually placed on community supervision and will be ordered to report weekly or monthly to a probation officer. These meetings will ascertain how well you are doing and give you the opportunity to pay your monthly probation fee of $30 to $40. In addition, the probation officer will ascertain whether you have been arrested for new offenses and if you are meeting the terms and conditions of probation. (The conditions of probation are to obey all the laws of the State of Texas and the United States.) You may be requested to give a urine sample to detect whether you have been using illegal drugs or alcohol. <Go Back to Top of Page>
- What is a plea bargain? Whether or not you are interested in a plea bargain agreement, you need to know that the State offers plea bargain agreements in most cases and once such an offer is made, I am obligated to tell you the terms of the offer. Because I communicate a plea bargain offer to you does not mean that I advise that you take it—I am merely fulfilling my obligation by telling you of the State’s position at that time. <Go Back to Top of Page>
- What happens if I plead guilty or I am found guilty? While it is my practice to ask to be relieved from appeal cases for which I have been the trial attorney, it is my duty to inform you that if you are convicted after trial on your plea of not guilty, or if you plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to a jury, you have the right to appeal your conviction and sentence. If you plead guilty or nolo contendere to the judge and receive a sentence, you then have the right to appeal any matters raised by written pretrial motions.
Where there is a "plea bargain agreement" (a plea of guilty or nolo contendere made by you to the judge in return for the State’s recommendation of a certain penalty) and the judge follows the agreement, you may only appeal by permission of the trial judge. If the judge does not follow the agreement and gives you a higher penalty than the agreement, you may appeal the sentence without his permission and are entitled to withdraw your plea.WRONGFUL DEATH
The sudden death of a family member is an extremely traumatic experience. This is especially true when the death was needlessly caused due to the negligence of another person or business. We have handled a wide variety of wrongful death cases, such as obtaining a substantial settlement for the surviving children of a skier who was killed as a result of a drunk lift guard, as well as recovering money for the estate of an individual who died after being hit by a drunk driver.
We would be happy to discuss representation of survivors of a fatal accident. Our approach is aggressive, yet realistic.