Atascosa County Defense Attorney | Wilson County DUI Lawyer | Frio County
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location1433 3rd St, Floresville, TX 78114

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TX DWI lawyerThe power and authority held by police officers are not without limit. Police are bound to certain procedures and rules when it comes to traffic stops, arrests, and interrogations. When police act in violation of these rules, it can have a significant impact on a criminal case.

One potential defense strategy in a Texas DWI case is lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop or the DWI arrest. If police do not have probable cause, evidence obtained by police may be inadmissible during the DWI case.

Police Need Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime to Pull Someone Over

The Constitution and other legislation require police officers to have justification for a traffic stop or arrest. Police cannot lawfully pull someone over solely because of their race or the neighborhood they were driving in. They must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. For example, police may pull someone over if they witness a driver run a red light or weave in and out of lanes or if the driver has a broken taillight. Police must be able to point to the specific reason that they pulled someone over. If they cannot give a valid reason for the initial traffic stop, evidence obtained during the traffic stop (such as breathalyzer results) may be thrown out.

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TX defense lawyerMoney laundering is the process of making money acquired through illegal means appear legitimate. The “dirty” money is transformed into “clean” money in the hopes of avoiding criminal culpability for the illegally obtained funds. Money laundering is a crime punishable by jail time and other serious penalties. However, some people involved in money laundering schemes are not even aware that they are committing a crime. They may believe that they are working a legitimate job or even that they received a stroke of good fortune.

Read on to learn about some of the most common money laundering scams and how people get caught up in these scams.

Fake Lottery Winnings May Be Money Mule Scams

Finding out that you won prize money in a sweepstakes or lottery is great news. Unfortunately, scammers often use fake prize money to manipulate unsuspecting victims. The victims are told that they must pay some type of shipping and handling fee or tax fee before they can collect the prize money. However, the alleged prize money is fictitious and the victims never receive it. In some fake lottery scams, the victims are even tricked into laundering profits from criminal activities by receiving money and sending it to another party.

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TX defense lawyerTexas has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. Penalties for drug offenses are harsh and often include significant prison time. If you or a loved one were charged with drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug delivery, or another drug-related offense, it is important to understand your rights and options fully. Prosecutors often offer a plea deal or plea bargain to criminal defendants charged with drug crimes. Before you accept a plea deal, speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to ensure you make the best possible decision.

Pleading Guilty to a Lesser Charge

People charged with a criminal offense are given the option to plead guilty or not guilty to the crime. Pleading guilty is admitting to the offense. Pleading not guilty means that the person intends to fight the charges at trial. In many criminal cases, the prosecution offers the defendant a plea deal. Essentially, a plea deal or plea bargain is a chance for the defendant to plead guilty to an offense in exchange for some type of benefit. For example, the prosecution may offer the defendant the chance to plead guilty to a lesser criminal offense in exchange for the prosecution dropping the original charges against him or her. The prosecution may also offer a reduced sentence in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea. The defendant may accept the plea bargain or turn down the deal and take his or her chances at trial.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Plea Bargain

When an individual is charged with a drug crime or any other criminal offense, they have certain Constitutional rights. Among these rights is the right to a trial. During a criminal trial, a defendant is given a chance to defend himself or herself against criminal charges. The defendant’s lawyer can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make a case for the defendant’s innocence. The jury considers the evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense and eventually finds the defendant either guilty or not guilty.

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TX defense lawyerIf you or a loved one were arrested for drunk driving, you need to know all of your rights and options. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is penalized harshly in Texas. Depending on the nature of the offense and your past criminal history, you could be looking at serious jail time for a DWI conviction. However, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your DWI charges reduced or dismissed if he or she can prove that the breath alcohol test you took was unreliable or flawed.

Problems With Breathalyzer Tests in DWI Cases

Breath alcohol tests, sometimes called breathalyzers, measure the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath. This information is used to assess the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Essentially, BAC is a measurement of how intoxicated someone is. Having a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered “per se intoxication.” In other words, if your BAC is above this limit, you are automatically considered to be intoxicated according to the law.

However, breathalyzer results are not always accurate. Your attorney may be able to fight your DWI charges by questioning the validity of the breathalyzer results. Multiple issues can cause breath tests to be inaccurate, including:

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TX defense lawyerIf you are a parent, you know how hard it can be to raise children. Despite all of your efforts, your child may make mistakes that land him or her in legal trouble. Some teens and young adults end up in the back of a police car because they make poor decisions. Others simply get mixed up with the wrong crowd or are accused of something they did not actually do.

Whatever your child’s situation, you may understandably be anxious and unsure of how to handle the situation. Read on to learn three tips for parents whose children have been arrested for a criminal offense in Texas.

Remember That Your Child Has Rights

Just like adults, children and teens who are arrested have certain rights protected by the U.S. Constitution and other legislation. Your child has the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. Your child also has a right to an attorney. The best advice you can give your child if he or she has been arrested is to say nothing to the police and wait for his or her lawyer to arrive.

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TX defense lawyerIf you have looked up the potential sentences for the crime you have been or may be charged with, you probably noticed that there is a range. For example, the statutory sentence for a given crime might be “2 to 6 years imprisonment,” or “not more than one year in jail and/or a fine of no greater than $5,000.” This is because no two crimes are alike. Even if two people are charged with the exact same offense, there is still the likelihood that the circumstances of one crime are more serious than the other. One person convicted of assault may have caused greater harm to the victim, for example. Judges have quite a bit of discretion in Texas sentencing. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, there is still a lot a lawyer can do to help you during sentencing.

What Kinds of Factors Suggest that Lighter Sentencing is Appropriate?

Circumstances that make a crime less serious than the charge a defendant is convicted of suggests are called “mitigating factors.” If there are a lot of mitigating factors present, the court will likely opt for a sentence that is at the lower end of the statutory sentencing range. Mitigating factors could be the difference between jail time and probation. These factors include:

  • Genuine remorse - If a defendant shows that they are genuinely sorry for committing the offense and regret their actions, the court may not see a need to throw the book at him.
  • Mental illness - When a mental illness, such as a substance abuse disorder or issues like bipolar disorder played a large role in the crime, the defendant may be seen as less responsible for his conduct and a lighter sentence can be used. This is especially true if the defendant is taking steps like going to rehab or seeking mental health care.

What Kinds of Factors Suggest that Harsher Sentencing is Appropriate?

These are called “aggravating factors.” If there are too many aggravating factors, the sentence might be at the upper end of the statutory range. They include things like:

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TX defense lawyerAssault charges in Texas are divided up into different offense levels, from Class C misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. The general definition of an assault under our state’s law is injuring or threatening to injure another person or making provocative or offensive contact with another person. From there, there can be facts and circumstances that make the offense of assault more serious, or less serious. The exact type of assault you are charged with can depend on any number of things. If you are facing any type of assault charge, it is important that you take the situation very seriously. Having even a less serious misdemeanor assault on your record can close doors. Your first step is contacting a good criminal defense lawyer.

What Are the Types of Misdemeanor Assault?

Misdemeanor assault charges are typically brought when the victim had only very minor injuries or no injuries. Common levels of misdemeanor assault charges include:

  • Class C - The least serious level of assault is charged when either a threat was made, or a provocative or offensive, but not harmful, physical contact was made.
  • Class A - Assault is charged as a Class A misdemeanor when the defendant caused some type of bodily injury, but there are no aggravating factors present. Provocative or offensive contact can also be charged as a Class A misdemeanor if certain circumstances are present, like if the victim is a senior citizen.

While not great to have on your record, these types of assault are treated as less serious.

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TX drug crimes lawyerA conviction for drug possession carries some very negative stereotypes. Even if it is not true, you could be labeled an addict or habitual user. You could have trouble finding rental housing because landlords are reluctant to rent to people they suspect may use or keep drugs in the property. Even if you are only charged with a misdemeanor, a drug conviction could have a serious impact on your life. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies an attorney may be able to use to help you avoid a conviction. If you are facing drug possession charges, it is important to speak to a qualified attorney right away.

What Are Some Defenses Used in Drug Possession Cases?

Just because there were illegal drugs in your vicinity does not necessarily mean that a possession conviction is a sure thing. Some defense strategies your lawyer may use include:

  • Illegal search - The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bans unlawful searches. Any evidence found during an unlawful search cannot be used against you in court. Your lawyer will evaluate the circumstances under which you were found with drugs in your possession to determine whether the police had a legal right to search you.
  • Legal possession - It is legal to possess your own prescription drugs. People with prescriptions for a narcotic are sometimes arrested in error, particularly when they are carrying pills that are not in the original prescription bottle with their name on it. Compassionate Use Program patients have also been mistakenly arrested for lawfully carrying low-THC products.
  • Lack of knowledge - While the “these are not my pants” defense rarely succeeds, there are plenty of situations in which a person may legitimately not know that there is an illegal substance in their vicinity. This is common in vehicles. If your grandma left her prescription painkillers in your backseat by accident, you might not notice until the police find them. If you are driving a borrowed vehicle, you probably did not search it thoroughly first.
  • Improper testing - DUI cases are often dismissed because the police failed to follow proper testing procedures. Drug cases can be dismissed for the same reason. The state must conduct laboratory testing on the alleged drugs to prove that they are actually illegal substances. In one famous case, a man was arrested for possessing “methamphetamine” that turned out to be residue from a glazed donut.
  • Diversion - In some cases, your best option may be to enter a diversion program. In this type of program, you may be required to complete rehabilitation and probation, but the case can ultimately be dismissed.

Call an Atascosa County Drug Possession Defense Lawyer

BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys can defend you if you have been charged with drug possession. Our Jourdanton drug possession defense attorneys are skilled at building strong defenses in drug cases. Call 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.

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Posted on in DWI

TX DWI lawyerPolice officers can sometimes be their own worst enemies when it comes to securing DWI convictions. If they follow the legal procedures as well as their own department’s procedures, it can be difficult to overcome a DWI charge. However, this does not always happen. An error at any point, from when they first spot a suspected intoxicated driver through booking can open the door for a strong legal defense. This is why experienced DWI attorneys begin each case by looking for any mistakes made by law enforcement during the process that could make the case more difficult for the prosecution to prove. If you are facing DWI charges, your best bet is to work with a skilled DWI attorney who is familiar with all the procedures that must be followed during a DWI stop and arrest.

What Types of Errors Can Interfere With a DWI Prosecution?

The most important errors that frequently occur in DWI cases tend to either relate to sobriety testing, or a suspect’s constitutional rights. They include:

  • Illegal stop - The police must have had a legally valid reason to pull you over in the first place. Officers will sometimes claim that they saw you swerving, but without crossing into another lane. This is generally not enough. Nor is simply seeing you pull out of a bar, or driving late at night.
  • Chemical testing steps - There is a strict set of procedures that must be followed during a blood or breath test after a DWI stop. Something as simple as having a radio in the room while you were taking a breath test or opening a test tube for a blood test too early can render the results invalid. There is also a waiting period before a breath test can be administered to ensure that any alcohol present in the mouth does not affect the results.
  • Improper field sobriety tests - You may have been set up for failure during field sobriety testing. For one, some of these tests are very subjective and police officers are sometimes less than truthful about what they observed. The conditions under which field sobriety testing is conducted are also relevant - the soberest person may struggle to balance on one leg during heavy winds or while wearing stilettos.
  • Lawyer denied - If you asked for an attorney at any point and the police refused to allow this or continued their investigation, your constitutional rights were likely violated.

Few DWI cases are as hopeless as they may initially appear.

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TX defense lawyerFinding out that your minor child has been arrested can be terrifying. You may be worried not only about having your child locked up in a juvenile detention center, but also about how this will affect their future. Colleges and trade schools, as well as employers, may consider a person’s juvenile record. No matter which path your child plans to take after high school, a juvenile conviction could get in the way. You should also know that if your child was at least 14 years old at the time of their alleged offense, there is a risk that they could be tried and sentenced as an adult.

Texas does have a program called “deferred prosecution.” This program could provide a way to have the charges ultimately dismissed. There are steps an attorney can take to try to help your child get into this program.

How Does Deferred Prosecution Work?

In general, deferred prosecution allows juvenile offenders to have their charges dismissed after successfully completing probation. It is typically only available to first-time juvenile respondents. When an alleged juvenile offender is accepted into this program, the prosecution against them is paused. The juvenile is not required to enter a guilty plea to be accepted for deferred prosecution, which could protect them later. Should your child successfully complete their period of probation, the charge is dismissed.

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TX defense lawyerYou probably do not want to go to either jail or prison. These punitive facilities are intentionally designed to be unpleasant, to say the least. If you have already been arrested and charged with a crime, then you are probably familiar with jail. Prisons, on the other hand, are exclusively for those who have already been convicted of felonies. Your best bet is to do everything you can to avoid landing in prison, starting with finding an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Are Jails Used For?

Jail is where arrestees are taken and held until they are able to bond out - if they are able to bond out. Generally, people are taken to local city jails, frequently attached to a police station, right after arrest. City jails are generally designed to hold arrestees for very short periods of time - usually, over the weekend until they can see a judge on Monday at most.

However, those who are unable to bond out may be sent to a county jail, which is larger and better equipped to keep inmates for somewhat longer periods of time. There are instances where people have sat in a county jail for years on end waiting to be tried. Quite a few jail inmates have yet to be convicted of any crime and are supposed to be presumed innocent.

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TX defense lawyerSex crimes are widely regarded as some of the worst. No other type of offense leaves you with the same kind of stigma or results in the same kind of potentially lifelong restrictions. Sex offenders are likely to struggle with the consequences of their convictions for the rest of their lives. Depending on the level of the offense, you may be subjected to embarrassing notification requirements or barred from living in certain places. The impact of being registered as a sex offender on your life can be intense.

If you are facing sex crime charges, the importance of finding an aggressive attorney and building the best possible defense cannot be understated. Prison time is just the beginning of the consequences should you be convicted.

5 Facts Sex Crime Defendants Should Be Aware Of

If you are facing felony sex crime charges, there is a lot at stake. Your entire future is in jeopardy. It is important that you know:

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TX defense lawyerBeing charged with a felony is scary. There is a lot more at stake in felony prosecutions - you could go to prison for more than a year, and the social repercussions of a felony conviction can be lifelong. Having a felony on your record can exclude you from educational and career opportunities, and even make it difficult to find housing. Some felonies are fortunately relatively rare, but others are much more common than you may realize.

If you are facing one of these felony charges, rest assured that you are not alone. Seeking out a well-qualified criminal defense attorney would be a wise move. In some cases, felony charges can be reduced to misdemeanors when the case is carefully handled.

Which Felonies Are Most Commonly Prosecuted in Texas?

While a misdemeanor record can certainly cause some problems, a felony conviction will have a serious impact on your life. Some people, after being arrested, are surprised to learn that they have been charged with a felony over what they believed was a relatively non-serious offense. Common felonies Texans are charged with include:

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TX defense lawyerMost people would prefer to go their entire lives without ever being arrested or charged with a crime. Unfortunately, it can be strikingly easy to make one bad move and find yourself in legal trouble. Although misdemeanors are the less serious category of crimes in Texas, being charged with one can still have a substantial negative impact on your life. That said, if you find yourself facing one of these misdemeanor charges, you are not alone. Thousands are arrested and accused of crimes every day. Your response to the charge matters. Taking the case seriously and securing good legal representation can have an enormous impact on the ultimate outcome of your case.

What Are the Most Commonly Charged Misdemeanors in Texas?

No two criminal cases are ever alike, but some types of accusations are more common than others. Most Texans who get arrested for alleged misdemeanor crimes are accused of:

  • Cannabis possession - While many other states have legalized high-THC cannabis products for medical or recreational use, they remain illegal in Texas. However, the drug remains ubiquitous and many Texas residents risk harsh punishment for using or possessing it.
  • DWI - DWI arrests are extremely common, especially during the holiday season. This does not mean the charge is not serious - the penalties for DWI in Texas can include jail time and up to a two-year loss of driving privileges for a first offense.
  • Family violence - Domestic disputes have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Arguments between family members, especially during long quarantines, can quickly spiral into physical confrontations that land someone in jail. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for police officers to figure out who the primary aggressor was, and they do quite frequently arrest the wrong person.
  • Theft - Between minor shoplifting and petty theft, accusations of stealing lead to criminal charges for a lot of people.
  • Disorderly conduct - Often viewed as a “catch-all” charge, any number of actions, innocent or not, could lead to this charge. Intoxication is not required to sustain a disorderly conduct conviction.
  • Suspended license - Texas suspends people’s driver’s licenses for an enormous number of reasons, not all of which are related to a person’s driving record. If you know your license is suspended, do not drive. If you did not know that your license was suspended and found out because you got pulled over, you could still find yourself charged with a misdemeanor.

Although none of these crimes are nearly as serious as, say, running a large-scale meth operation, this does not mean that you can take them lightly. Misdemeanors can and do put Texans in jail every day. If you are facing a criminal charge, you must address it with care.

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TX defense lawyerMurder and manslaughter are both very serious felony charges that can lead to extended prison sentences. Manslaughter, however, is seen as slightly less serious than outright murder. While both are considered forms of homicide, capital murder, murder, and manslaughter are three distinct offenses in Texas. Trying to determine which charge applies to a given series of events that resulted in a death can be difficult, as many elements of murder and manslaughter overlap. Much of the distinction comes down to the defendant’s intent and state of mind.

If you are facing any homicide charge, your freedom and future depend on a strong legal defense. Securing aggressive legal counsel should be your first priority.

What Does Murder Mean in Texas?

In Texas, murder generally applies to situations where the defendant has knowingly and willingly caused the death of another person. Murder charges can also apply if the defendant intended to cause the victim serious bodily harm, or was in the course of committing a different felony when he killed someone as a result. So, murder does not necessarily mean actually intending to kill - a defendant who intended only to seriously hurt someone may be liable for murder if the victim instead dies.

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TX defense lawyerIf you have been accused of a white-collar crime, you are probably worried about much more than the criminal sentence you could be facing itself. You have probably worked hard to build your career, life, and reputation. Being convicted of a white-collar crime can threaten everything you have worked for over the years. It could also affect not just you, but also your family.

If you are facing white-collar criminal charges, it is important that you find a criminal defense lawyer who appreciates the far-reaching consequences you could face if convicted. A lot is at stake for people accused of white-collar crimes.

What Additional Concerns Might I Have in a White-Collar Crime Case?

People accused of white-collar crimes tend to have one thing in common - they are professionals. Many alleged embezzlers hold trusted positions at large corporations. Those accused of money laundering typically own a business. People who are in a position to commit white-collar crimes in the first place may have more to lose than those accused of street-level crimes like drug possession. If you have been accused of a white-collar crime, consider:

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TX defense lawyerYour spouse probably knows almost everything about you, from your deepest fears to your favorite song. Many married couples share nearly every aspect of their lives and have few or no secrets from each other. If you have been accused of a crime, odds are, your spouse knows something about that too. You may be worried about the potential impact of having your spouse testify against you, not just on your case but on your marriage as well.

Luckily, Texas law carves out a few exemptions to protect married couples from having to testify in proceedings against each other and limiting the scope of questioning if they do. A qualified attorney can help you better understand whether your spouse may have to testify, and if so, about what.

What Two Texas Rules Protect Spouses from Testifying Against Each Other?

In Texas, there are two distinct rules that protect married couples from having to incriminate each other. They are:

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TX defense lawyerThe definition of a “burglary” can vary wildly between states. The general consensus is that burglary is a felony committed when a person breaks into a structure intending to commit another crime inside. Some states are very specific about what type of structure is covered under the burglary statute. Others are particular about what type of crime the offender must be planning to commit once inside. If you have been accused of committing burglary, you may have a lot of questions about why you have been charged with this crime. It is best to speak to a criminal defense attorney who can assess how the Texas burglary statute applies to your case and begin preparing your defense.

What Is the Legal Definition of Burglary in Texas?

In Texas, burglary means unlawfully entering or staying in a building with the intent to commit theft, assault, or any felony. Traditionally, people think of burglaries as being limited to home invasions for the purpose of stealing a family’s things. However, the legal definition of burglary in Texas is not nearly so limited. The building or structure targeted need not be a residential dwelling - retail stores, financial institutions, office buildings, or any other public or private building may count for the purposes of a burglary charge. Even a vehicle like an RV or camper that is designed for use as temporary accommodations.

Intending to commit a crime inside is another important element of burglary. Theft, assault, or any felony can count as the planned crime for purposes of a burglary charge. This is where some defendants may become confused about why they are charged with burglary. Many believe that if they did not mean to take anything or hurt anyone, they are not committing burglary. However, felonies like selling narcotics and stalking-related offenses are routinely committed inside structures that no one had a legal right to be in. In Texas, that could be a burglary.

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TX defense lawyerFamily violence accusations are serious. Even if it is charged as a misdemeanor assault family violence rather than a felony, the stigma associated can limit your future career, educational, and social opportunities. False accusations of intimate partner violence are extremely common, however. The reasons people make these kinds of allegations are numerous. Whatever happened, you are now facing a very serious charge - for something you did not do. If this is happening to you, you will need to get in touch with an aggressive criminal defense attorney soon to give you the best chances of clearing your name.

Why Do People Make False Family Violence Claims?

You may have been completely blindsided by your arrest. You know you did nothing wrong, but you are still facing a terrifying prosecution. There is no good reason for filing a false police report alleging an assault that never happened, but common reasons include:

  • Divorce - Angry spouses looking to get an edge in the divorce proceedings sometimes falsely claim that their partner was violent. This is especially likely when there are children involved, as one parent may accuse the other of violence in an effort to gain sole custody.
  • Self-defense - Police officers arriving on the scene have extremely limited background information. It is not uncommon for them to make a big mistake and arrest the victim, who was merely trying to defend herself.
  • Spite - After a difficult breakup, or even during a big fight, people will sometimes accuse their partner of attacking them out of sheer spite. In this type of situation, the accuser often calms down the next day and wants the charges dropped - but it might be too late for that.

What You Can Do if You Are Falsely Accused of Family Violence

Facing this type of accusation is frightening, and the situation may feel hopeless. There are, however, a few steps you can take to minimize your risk, such as:

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerTexas boasts some of the nation’s harshest laws regarding prostitution. As of September 1, 2021, we became the first state to make the crime of purchasing sex from a prostitute a felony. As for prostitution, it can be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Either way, a prostitution charge will have a serious impact on your life. Undercover stings where police pose as interested buyers (“johns”) are one of the most common ways people get arrested for prostitution in Texas.

Many people who are caught up in a prostitution sting, whether they are guilty or not, immediately think of entrapment as a possible defense. However, the defense of entrapment requires a very high bar to be met. If you were arrested during a prostitution sting operation, you will want a strong legal advocate to stand between you and the prosecutor. Texas sentencing can be notoriously harsh for sex crimes.

What is Entrapment?

In Texas, an entrapment defense can be raised when “engaged in the conduct charged because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement agent using persuasion or other means likely to cause persons to commit the offense.” This means that the crime must have been the police officer’s idea, not the alleged prostitute’s. Merely offering someone the opportunity to commit the crime of prostitution - for example, by offering cash in exchange for a sex act - is not enough. If you accept such an offer, the court will assume that had your client not turned out to be a police officer, you would have engaged in prostitution with a different, legitimate client.

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