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Arrested in West Texas

Arrested In Texas? Get Legal Help from Blizzard Law

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A traffic stop by a Texas State Trooper leads to a client for Attorney Jacob Blizzard and Jacob was mentioned on the Troublemakers podcast, episode 63 – “Arrested in Texas” in early January.

Host Dylan Krasinski is joined by LA comedian Randy Valerio.

In his interview, Valerio talks about a traffic stop in West Texas that led to a legal problem.

Arrested in Texas, he credits Jacob for getting Class 2 Felony Possession charges against him dropped.

The clip is below along with the full episode.

 

View the entire episode:

So Jacob recorded a response to Randy’s video, which is here with the transcript below:

Recording Transcript |

Jacob Blizzard:
Hey guys, my name’s Jacob Blizzard. I’m an attorney practicing in West Texas, Abilene, Texas. I do criminal defense appeals, writs (of habeas corpus), things of that nature.

Recently saw the podcast by the Troublemakers and featuring an old client of mine, Randy Valerio.

And so wanted to jump on and talk about my comments and feedback on seeing that video. It’s a great video. So here we go.

Randy Valerio:
“I got arrested in West Texas in Abilene, Texas for class two felony drug possession. I got pulled over for speeding.”

Jacob Blizzard:
So interesting there. He talks about getting a class two felony in Texas.

Well, in felonies in Texas are not classified quite that way, but he got it mostly right in that there are generally classifications of first, second, third-degree felonies and state jail felonies. Second-degree is kind of what he’s referring to as the class. And so that would be a range of punishment of two to 20 years in prison. And for this particular drug possession….

Randy Valerio:
“Pulled over for speeding. Cop’s like… “I smell pot in the car”. I’m like, no, you don’t. He goes, “what, no, you don’t?” It’s a brand-new car. I haven’t smoked weed in it yet.”

Jacob Blizzard:
Yeah, it’s funny guy. Randy Valerio, he’s a comedian. And funny, I don’t know if it’s a best course of action to maybe cop a joke with the police officer there that’s talking to you, but hey, it could be true. He just bought the car.

In Texas, you can get probable cause to search a vehicle after a traffic stop. If you have some sort of articulable suspicion that a crime is being committed, that gives you reasonable suspicion to detain a person, then you have probable cause to search their vehicle can come from something like the smell of marijuana.

Sometimes they describe it as fresh marijuana or burnt marijuana or something like that. And of course, it’s difficult to challenge in court because you know can’t have a video of a smell. So all you can go off of is the officer’s statement and credibility.

So it can be really difficult to challenge what an officer says about that. And so here Randy’s saying, no, I had a brand new car.

So obviously it didn’t smell like marijuana, but you know that a police officer’s going to search his vehicle regardless.

Randy Valerio:
“It’s not a bag. It was in my trunk and in the bag and it was six chocolate bars. He’s like, oh, all right, this is like a misdemeanor. I’ll write you a ticket. And he goes to his car and comes back, say, can you turn around? I’m like, why? He’s like, I have to arrest you. I’m like, why? He’s like, it’s too much weed. I’m like, what are you talking about? It’s six chocolate bars. He’s like, well, if you read on the labels, it’s like a thousand milligrams in each bar. So it became a class two felony. Holy shit. I know.”

Jacob Blizzard:
Yeah. So crazy thing, right? You think it’s marijuana, it’s practically legal in many states across the United States.

Well, it’s not legal in Texas one, but two really what Randy was actually dealing with here is the THC concentrate that comes from marijuana because it wasn’t marijuana packaged in marijuana form.

It was the oil taken from marijuana and put into an edible, a chocolate bar of some sort.

And so I don’t remember whether it was a thousand milligrams or a gram of THC within the chocolate bar or if the whole chocolate bar was a gram.

But nonetheless, even so the state would use the added material, the chocolate or whatever’s there with it also as a part of the substance because they can’t necessarily differentiate between what’s chocolate, what’s THC. So, they call it all THC for the purposes of calculating how much drugs you have

And in Texas, that’s what’s going to get you to your level of felony based upon how much drugs you have. So you state jails less than a gram third degree is going to be one to four grams, and then over four grams to 200 grams is going to be that second-degree felony range. So that’s what Randy’s looking at. He’s got six chocolate bars weighed out at six grams near over the four grams. You’re in that second-degree felony range.

Randy Valerio:
“Oh, so found me the best lawyer in Dallas. I call him up, he goes, “You don’t want to hire me.” I’m like, why not? “Cause my big money ass goes out to Abilene and show up in court. They’re going to stick it to you just to stick it to me. You want to get the local guy who hunts pheasant with the hillbilly judge.” Exactly.

Jacob Blizzard:
Yeah. So I love that quote. It’s probably one of the best quotes from the video about the hillbilly judge. But I’ll tell you, there are a lot of lawyers that do come out to the Abilene area from other places like Dallas Fort Worth, and they practice successfully out here.

There’s always something important to be said about having local counsel in a, because local counsel’s going to know, the judge is going to know, the prosecutors going to know the police officers going to know how the system works that they’re operating within because they’re in it every day.

They’re working in it every day. They’re not having to travel and figure out another system.

And so to that extent, maybe that’s more that Dallas lawyer didn’t want to come in a sense because he knows that. He knows the idea that local counsels who you really want, somebody’s familiar with it, who’s doing, going to do a good job out there in the Abilene area.

And then also he references the hillbilly judge.

So for me, I don’t hunt pheasant, right? And I don’t hunt pheasant with any hillbilly judges. I don’t hunt with any judges.

But I think it speaks to the idea that it’s good to know your audience. It’s good to know your prosecutors, your judges, and just know how they think. It’s always good to be courteous and have a good relationship with them, but also be willing to go to bat and really go to trial and advocate for your client if need be. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t be courteous and know what they think about cases, right?

Because you talk about hundreds of cases with them a year about, well, this guy’s doing this and these are the facts here, and you get a read on the various prosecutors and how they operate.

Randy Valerio:
“So he found me, that guy, a guy named Jacob Lizzard, I asked who???”

Jacob Blizzard:
Sure. So this is funny because this is something that’s happened to me my whole life. My parents named me Jacob Blizzard. I guess not thinking about it.

My mom says because she always thought of it as Jacob Austin Blizzard is my middle name included, but Jacob Blizzard, people forget there’s a bee in there because the bees run together b and b next to each other.

Just sounds like Jacob and then lizard.

And so here I am Jacob Blizzard out here practicing law in West Texas. But something that commonly happens, it doesn’t bother me, but I prefer the name Blizzard when people can get it right.

Randy Valerio:
“This is the guy, he’s like, he got a guy off a double murder last week. I’m like, that sounds like the guy.”

Jacob Blizzard:
Yeah. So I think what Randy’s referencing here is actually I represented a gentleman named Damian Cate, right? Shortly before I represented Randy.

And basically, I think the confusion is it wasn’t a double murder in the sense that two people were murdered.

It was maybe thought of as a double murder in the sense that there were two people who were accused of committing the murder of one person.

And so I had recently gone to trial on a capital murder case where my client, another person, were accused of killing this person.

And in our trial, we got what I thought was the right result. We got a not guilty verdict. I thought it was the right result. I thought that justice was done there.

And so people think of getting somebody off of double murder or capital murder, whatever.

I think of it as doing good advocacy so that the truth can be brought forward and to advocate for my clients to do the best that we can do for them. And so in that case, in the quote double murder case, I advocated well, and we got him not guilty, and I think the right result came out.

Randy Valerio:
“But thank God, I got it tossed, dude.”

Jacob Blizzard:
And so right, Randy Randy’s story has a happy ending, right? Happy ending.

At that time when things were going on, we were able to get a good result for Randy based on a lot of things.

But, I’m happy that he’s been able to move on, and now it’s just a funny story that he’s able to sell about the trying time that he went through.

But criminal cases can certainly be taxing and hard, but it’s always great when you can come out the other side having either learned something and moved on forward from it or if you’re wrongfully accused, obviously, to be able to walk away from that and have the right thing happen.