Categories for Criminal Law

We hear about sexual assaults often on the news. Sexual abuse can refer to a variety of actions. Sexual abuse can be a variety of pressures or actions that coerces another person to do things sexually that they didn’t want to do. It can also make references to behaviors that affect an individual’s ability to control circumstances surrounding sexual activity or how and when sexual...

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If you are arrested in Texas, you might be facing a mandatory minimum sentence depending on your crime. Texas courts are required to sentence offenders convicted of felony charges to legally mandated sentences. The minimum jail time depends on the severity of the offense as well as the classification of the felony. Texas classifies felonies into five different categories. These categories include capital felonies, first-degree...

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The main criminal code of the State of Texas, the Texas Penal Code was enacted originally in 1856 then revised in 1973. The revised Penal Code is based partly on the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code. Before 1856, the common law was used to govern Texas criminal law with only a few penal statutes serving as exceptions. The fifth legislature passed an act that...

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While crime happens everywhere, there are some communities that are more prone to violent crime. Laws were created to crack down on violent crime, and often the penalties are quite harsh in response. In Texas, actions that are classified as violent crime include murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assault. America’s Health Rankings annual report indicated that in 2018 Texas reported 439 violent crimes per 100,000...

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Marijuana has been mentioned in the news a lot lately. Whether it is for medicinal use or recreational use, you need to be familiar with the marijuana laws in Texas. A drug charge could haunt you for the rest of your life, so you want to avoid a conviction for marijuana or any other drugs. Attitudes about marijuana use have changed considerably through the years,...

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Drug crimes are very serious charges, and they can haunt you for years to come. Having an arrest for drug possession in Texas can negatively affect your life for years to come. Even if you weren’t found guilty or you were given deferred adjudication, your criminal record could be used against you when you are job hunting, buying a home, or buying insurance coverage. It...

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While almost any neighborhood has its risks, there are some areas that are much more dangerous than others in any given city. Fort Worth has a variety of neighborhoods ranging from college communities to communities with a higher population of professionals. On one hand, Fort Worth ranks as one of the best places to live in the United States because of its various entertainment opportunities...

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The 1984 Minimum Drinking Age Act requires states to prohibit individuals younger than 21 from purchasing alcohol or possessing it publicly. If a state doesn’t set the minimum drinking age at 21, the state is not eligible to receive state highway funds. However, some states have set exceptions regarding alcohol use and possession in a private residence or while in the care of a parent....

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There are many classifications of criminal offenses under Texas law. Two main kinds of crimes exist, misdemeanors and felonies. The less serious of the two, misdemeanors, involve fines of less than $4,000. There are some situations in which a misdemeanor could result in jail time, but for many others it is simply a monetary form of punishment and a fine-only offense. The more serious offenses,...

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If you live in the Dallas metro area, or if you are thinking about moving there, then you probably would be interested to know the latest crime rates here. In the Dallas-Fort Worth metro region, the rate of property crimes, which include robbery, are reported as slightly higher than the national average, but the violent crime rate, which includes assault, is lower than the national...

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What are Fine-Only Offenses?

November 15, 2018

There are three ways the state of Texas tries to deter the commission of a crime: capital punishment, incarceration, or fines. Of course, capital punishment and incarceration are the result of the commission of serious crimes known as felonies, which often include violent crimes like murder, robbery, rape, and so forth. Fines are used to deter less severe crimes that are referred to as misdemeanors....

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The state of Texas has earned a reputation for having some of the most severe prosecutions for those who commit sex crimes. Many of these crimes are categorized as a felony and you could spend as much as 25 years to life in jail. When you eventually get out of prison, you will then have to register as a sex offender for the rest of...

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In the state of Texas, criminal offenses are divided into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the most serious crimes and commonly involve physical harm, large-scale theft, or fraud. A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony and can result in a fine or short time in jail. Within both categories of criminal offenses, each is divided up into different levels of severity. Among...

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Sadly, every day individuals across the country face hardship or discrimination and are denied opportunities due to unfair practices, perceptions, and actions. It is the job of a civil rights attorney to stand up on behalf of those individuals, as they are specialized in cases involving an individual’s human rights and they act as advocates for the rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution...

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What Is A Juvenile Crime?

October 23, 2018

The U.S. judicial system separates children who have been accused of a crime into a Juvenile Justice System. The state in which the child is accused determines the procedure of the Juvenile Court including the age of minors who are under the jurisdiction of the court. In Texas, it is 16 years old and younger. Children who are found guilty of a crime are sent...

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If you are a parent, then the well-being of your children is always priority one. There are so many things that we have to worry about on a daily basis, whether it is bullying, the character of their friends, how they are doing in school, and so much more. One of the last things a parent ever dreams of is that their child will be...

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Has someone wrongfully stolen or taken property from you or from your business? Then you may be able to find some relief by means of a civil theft lawsuit. Civil lawsuits differ from criminal charges in a few important ways, which is crucial to understand if you are considering filing a lawsuit. Criminal theft is a general term used to describe crimes that involve taking...

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The consequences associated with a probation violation are dependent upon a number of factors, including the gravity of the violation, whether you have had previous violations, and whether there may be outstanding circumstances that either diminish or worsen the severity of the violation. Some violations may be treated lightly, but there are other probation violations which can result in significant penalties, including heavy fines, extended...

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Under the U.S. Constitution, anyone who has been accused of a crime has the right to the defense of a lawyer, and it is the criminal defense attorney who represents a defendant both in and out of court. It’s important that you realize that a good criminal defense attorney brings much more to the table than a simple understanding of the law by the books....

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Under the U.S. Constitution, anyone accused of a crime has the right to the defense of a lawyer, and it is this criminal defense lawyer who represents a defendant both in and out of court. While there are no hard statistics on how many people choose to represent themselves in criminal cases, the estimates find that less than 1% choose to do so. The fact...

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If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will probably happen to you at one point or another… You’re driving along, listening to the radio, when all the sudden you hear that whine of the siren and the red and blue lights flashing behind you. Your heart sinks into your stomach as you silently hope that they aren’t pulling you over, but just trying to...

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Misdemeanors in Texas are crimes that are punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to a $4,000 fine, and all misdemeanors are classified into the categories of A, B, or C. A Class “C” Misdemeanor is the lowest level criminal offense in the state of Texas. These Class C misdemeanors have a fine limited to up to $500 and have no jail...

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You may think that you cannot be charged with drug possession if you are with someone who has them, but that would be a mistake. Take a common scenario where a few friends are driving around town and get pulled over by the police for a minor traffic infraction. Unbeknownst to you, your friend has stashed a bag of drugs in the center console or...

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Compared to some other states, Texas has some pretty severe penalties for drug crime convictions and in most cases isn’t likely to go “easy on” drug offenders. In part, this approach can be attributed to the state’s much lauded “tough on crime” stance and may also be attributed to the state’s large border with Mexico. This large and difficult to control border has made it...

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While we hear the terms assault and aggravated assault in movies and television programs quite frequently, many don’t really know what the difference between the charges is and the ramifications that they entail. In Texas, the difference between assault and aggravated assault is the difference between a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge. So if you or a loved one is facing one of those...

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According to the Texas Penal Code, theft encompasses a wide range of offenses which can include shoplifting clothes from a store, stealing a car, or a variety of other situations. But they all boil down to knowingly taking someone’s property with the intent to deprive them of that property. You don’t have to keep the property for a long-time, or keep it at all, in...

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You would never ask a neurologist to help you get over the flu, nor would you ask your eye doctor to perform a knee replacement surgery. Attorneys are much the same, as many specialize in different fields of law, so the attorney you are looking for is probably not the one who helped your parents handle their will, or helped your friend after their car...

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Thousands of criminal cases are filed and tried in the state of Texas each month. If you are facing serious legal charges, then hiring a criminal defense attorney is the best step you can take to successfully defend yourself and to reduce the risk of a disastrous outcome. While there are a wide range of criminal defense cases that attorneys see throughout their careers, there...

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A criminal record can negatively impact your life long after your sentence has been completed. In today’s computerized age, background checks have become commonplace and they can hurt your chances of getting a job, being approved for loans or credit, trying to find an apartment, and hurt your standing in the community. If you’ve been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime in the past,...

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People frequently contact our office after they have been arrested and charged with a crime. But in certain situations we could have prevented the charges from being brought all together. Many people unintentionally harm themselves by discussing their case with a detective. When a detective calls you in reference to a criminal matter, you should always contact your attorney before providing a statement of any...

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As one might expect, the facts of most criminal cases are in dispute between those involved.  Law enforcement, the complaining witness and the prosecutor see the case one way while the accused and his or her attorney view the case another way.  In this instance, a jury is typically called upon to hear the evidence and testimony in the case and render a verdict accordingly. ...

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On August 9, 2014, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward, Jr. during a dirt track race in upstate New York.  The incident occurred when Stewart’s vehicle made contact with the car driven by Ward, causing it to spin out and stop on the racetrack.  Ward then exited his vehicle to confront Stewart and was struck by Stewart’s vehicle as the...

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Mr. P, 17 years-old, was arrested and charged with Burglary of a Building in Dallas County, Texas.  Mr. P and two friends allegedly entered a locked area of an apartment complex and that one of the suspects had stolen an item from the facility.  Although Mr. P was not found to be in possession of any stolen items at the time of his arrest, it...

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Last week, on Monday, June 9th, a woman identified as Ingrid I. Morataya rear-ended and killed two others in Mesa, Arizona. The accident occurred at Recker and Brown roads in east Mesa, according to the Mesa Police Department. Morataya was driving a FJ Cruiser allegedly at a speed significantly higher than the posted speed limit when she crashed into 37-year-old Guadalupe Madril and 33-year-old Jason...

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Deferred adjudication probation is a type of probation whereby the court withholds a finding of guilt while the client attempts to successfully complete the requirements of their probation.  If the client is successful, the case is discharged without a final conviction or a finding of guilt. There are several reasons why a client would benefit from a deferred adjudication probation if one is offered.  First,...

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Along with the holiday season comes a wide array of social engagements that involve the consumption of alcohol.  Law enforcement is well aware of this fact and they make a conscious effort to step up DWI enforcement.  Furthermore their “no refusal” policy, which is frequently employed during this time of the year, results in the widespread acquisition of blood draw warrants. A DWI conviction can...

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A common question that arises when a client seeks an occupational driver’s license is “do I have to be working to get one?”  In many circumstances the answer is “no.”  This scenario typically comes up in the case of a stay-at-home parent or a person who is currently out of work and is seeking a job. In these situations we simply state in the occupational...

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Speculation continues to surround Florida State star quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston regarding an off the field incident from late 2012.  The case exhibits many of the complicated factors that can surface in a sexual assault allegation. A young woman alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Winston in late 2012, however the matter was considered closed in early 2013.  News has recently...

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Our client was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.  The suspension was due to unpaid surcharges with the Department of Public Safety (DPS).  Originally the State was unwilling to offer an agreed resolution to the charges until the client’s license was valid.  This would have prevented him from avoiding a conviction for the offense on his permanent record. With the help...

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Taylor was charged with Assault Involving Family Violence for allegedly assaulting his mother.  He is 19 years-old and has no prior criminal record.  We encouraged the prosecuting attorney to contact his mother and confirm that their relationship has been repaired and he is not a threat to her safety. Upon confirming these facts we convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the case entirely on the condition...

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