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

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Atascosa county criminal defense lawyerBeing charged with a crime can fill you with a cascade of emotions, including fear, anger, and frustration. This is especially true if you have been charged with a violent crime like sexual assault. A sexual assault charge is enormously serious, carrying stiff penalties including significant fines and prolonged prison sentences. Therefore, while it may be true that being charged with such a crime can cause you to feel strong emotions, you must operate with the utmost caution. 

As with many crimes, there is a certain protocol you should follow if facing severe criminal charges. You do not want to put yourself in a worse situation than you are already in. If you have been charged with a violent crime like sexual assault, do not hesitate to contact an attorney who will passionately protect your rights and work to pursue a positive outcome in your case. 

You Have Been Arrested, Now What?

Suppose the police arrive at your doorstep and state you are under arrest. Remain silent and do not resist arrest. The worst thing you could do would be to start resisting arrest or speaking to the police and giving your side of the story. You may incriminate yourself without even knowing it or meaning to. The police may try to coax you into giving them incriminating information. Remember, under the fifth amendment in the United States Constitution, you have the right not to self-incriminate. Exercise this right. 

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jourdanton criminal defense lawyerRegardless of if you have been driving for 10 years or 20 years, driving takes a lot of concentration. Unfortunately, as our society becomes more digitized and our cell phone rarely leaves our grasp, traffic violations involving cell phone use have become common.

If you live in Texas and have been charged with distracted driving, consult with an experienced attorney skillful in working in cases that involve distracted driving. 

Distracted Driving Laws in Texas 

Across the United States, 48 states, including Texas, have explicitly banned texting while driving. In Texas, texting and driving is a misdemeanor, which means a conviction will create a criminal record. You may also be subject to a fine of $25 to $99 if it is your first offense. A repeat offender can be fined up to $200. If you text while driving and cause an injury or death, that fine is increased to $4,000, including the possibility of jail time. 

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 Floresville criminal defense lawyerTexans tend to be very proud of their right to keep and bear arms, as is defined under the Constitution’s Second Amendment and Texas state law. Texas has some of the more forgiving laws in the United States regarding weapons possession and the practice of open-carry firearms, which is why it can be shocking when someone finds themselves charged with a weapons violation. Contrary to popular belief, you can still find yourself in legal hot water for possessing or using a firearm, even in Texas.

Anyone charged with a weapons violation in Texas must take the charge seriously. Weapon violations are serious offenses, and failing to take the situation seriously can subject an individual to unfavorable consequences. Therefore, if you have been charged with a weapons violation in Texas, it is a good idea to pursue legal guidance as soon as possible to pursue a favorable outcome. 

Basic Gun Laws in Texas

Under Texas law, anyone 18 years of age or older without a felony on their record may own a firearm. If you are interested in purchasing a handgun from a licensed dealer, you must be at least 21. If you successfully complete a training course, you can become eligible to receive a license to carry, otherwise known as an LTC, which allows you to wear a pistol openly in a shoulder holster or belt. 

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floresville criminal defense lawyerThe Texas Family Law Code categorizes family violence as an act committed by a family or household member that inflicts harm, assault, physical injury, or causes the person to fear impending harm. Criminal charges for domestic violence-related offenses can lead to jail time, steep fines, and permanent damage to your personal and professional reputation. 

If you were charged with committing acts of family violence, it is imperative to consider reaching out to a knowledgeable family violence attorney with experience in such cases. 

Family Violence in Texas

Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, accusations of family violence must be taken very seriously. Not only can a family violence conviction bring prison time and enormous fines, but it can also have a lasting impact on your ability to be employed, as well as negative consequences in child custody or divorce hearings. 

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Karnes City Criminal LawyerHalloween can be a fun time for children, teenagers, and adults alike. Unfortunately, sometimes. the "trick" portion of trick or treating gets out of hand. If you or your child is facing criminal charges stemming from Halloween mischief, it is important to understand the possible consequences and defenses that may be available.

Most Halloween-related crimes are relatively minor, such as vandalism or trespassing.  However, more serious offenses, such as burglary or assault, can also occur. In some cases, people are charged with crimes that they did not commit. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. 

Juvenile Offenses During Halloween

Children, teenagers, and young adults may be shocked to end up in handcuffs after a seemingly harmless prank. For example, "egging" a house by throwing eggs at it can lead to broken windows and other property damage. This may be considered vandalism. 

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Jourdanton Violent Crimes LawyerMurder is considered one of the most serious crimes in Texas, and it is punishable by up to life in prison. If you have been charged with murder, it is important to understand the severity of the charge and the possible defenses that may be available to you.

Criminal defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, however, individuals accused of murder are often treated as if they committed the crime. If you have been accused of murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide, you need a lawyer who will fight for you.

Know What You Are Up Against

There are four main categories of criminal homicide in Texas. Murder refers to intentionally causing the death of another person. In Texas, capital murder is a first-degree felony. Killing someone during the commission of another crime such as kidnapping or sexual assault, killing a peace officer, or killing a child under ten years of age are examples of capital murder. Murder is a second-degree offense. If a murder took place in the "heat of passion" and was not planned in advance, murder is considered a second-degree felony.

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Floresville Criminal Defense AttorneyThe sex offender registry is a website that lists people convicted of certain sex crimes. The registry is accessible to the public, which means that neighbors, friends, employers, co-workers, and virtually anyone else can look up sex offenders.

If you are convicted of a sex crime, you will likely be required to register as a sex offender. This means that your personal information, including your name and address, will be available to the public. In some cases, you may also be required to provide a photograph and other identifying information.

Understandably, individuals accused of sexual assault, prostitution, statutory rape, indecent exposure, and other sex crimes are often deeply concerned about being on the sex offender registry. Once someone is on the registry, it can be nearly impossible for them to live a normal life. 

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Pleasanton White-Collar Crime Defense LawyerFortunately, in the United States, people accused of crimes are considered to be innocent until they are proven guilty. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant committed the elements of the offense "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is the highest standard of proof in our legal system. The role of a criminal defense lawyer is to find inconsistencies and problems with the prosecution's case and to cast doubt on the defendant's guilt. 

Embezzlement is a theft charge punishable by lengthy prison sentences, especially if the defendant is facing felony charges. If you have been accused of felony embezzlement or another white collar offense in Texas, it is important to understand the elements of the offense and how they can be proven or disproven.

Embezzlement Defined in the Texas Penal Code 

In Texas, embezzlement is a misdemeanor or felony offense. If the value of the goods allegedly stolen is less than $2,500, embezzlement is a misdemeanor offense. Stealing more than $2,500 worth of goods or services is a felony punishable by multiple years in prison. The greater the amount allegedly stolen, the longer the associated prison sentence. 

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texas underage drunk driver lawyerWith September nearly halfway over and school in full swing, minors must stay keenly aware of the seriousness of a DUI or DWI charge in Texas. If you operate a motor vehicle and are charged with a DUI or DWI, you must first understand the penalties for such an act. Additionally, Texas enforces a stringent zero-tolerance policy toward underage drinking and driving. If you are a minor charged with an alcohol-related crime, you may want to work with an experienced attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you defend yourself. 

Zero Tolerance for Driving Under the Influence 

It's critical to keep in mind that Texas has a strict zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. This zero-tolerance policy means that most alcohol citations in Texas can affect your driving privileges, even if you are not driving a car. Acts that warrant an alcohol citation include trying to buy alcohol as a minor, lying about your age to try and buy alcohol, using a fake ID, consuming or possessing alcohol, and public intoxication. If you are charged with an alcohol-related criminal offense, your driver’s license may be suspended which makes it illegal for you to drive any vehicle.

The penalties for underage drinking in Texas are as follows:

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Atascosa County Internet Crimes LawyerThe vast majority of adults and teenagers use the internet on an everyday basis. While many people assume that what they send through social media or email is separate from "real life," online interactions can have significant consequences, personally and legally. Juveniles that engage in online harassment can even find themselves facing criminal charges for cyberbullying. If you or your child were charged with online harassment, cyberbullying, or a related offense, make sure to contact a criminal defense lawyer right away for help.

What is Cyberbullying?

When it comes to cyberbullying and online harassment, the law is still catching up with technology. In Texas, there are a few laws that specifically address cyberbullying and online harassment, but prosecutors have also been able to use other laws to convict defendants of these crimes.

Cyberbullying is defined as using electronic communication to harass, threaten, or embarrass another person. Types of electronic communication that can be used for cyberbullying include social media, text messages, email, and websites.

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TX defense lawyerTexas’ laws are particularly harsh when it comes to possession and use of illegal drugs such as marijuana. Although many states have revised laws in relation to marijuana, Texas has not. This immobility is unsurprising in consideration of Texas’ history as El Paso was the first U.S. city to make marijuana illegal. Texas remains rigid in its classification of marijuana as a controlled substance because of its mind-altering effects. As marijuana is defined by Texas law as a controlled substance – no matter how small the quantity if it is in your possession it is a crime.

However, Texas’ staunch approach to cannabis is incongruent with the viewpoints of modern Texans. A recent poll recorded that 60% of Texans supported the decriminalization of recreational cannabis use. Small steps were made towards this goal, as 2019 saw a law that allowed low THC oil use for a variety of medical conditions. This incremental change leaves room for improvement, as over half of Texas voters hope for more lenient laws.

Penalties for Possession

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, it is important to note the quantity and type. Two or less ounces of weed can result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. If you have been charged with possession of hash or other concentrates in the amount of one gram or less, you face a felony charge punishable by up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. Fine and incarceration penalties increase with the amount of marijuana, hash, or THC concentrates in your possession.

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TX defense lawyerHave you been charged with a traffic violation? While a traffic violation is nothing to scoff at, it is one of the most common types of offense people make. This offense is especially prevalent in Texas as there are a number of possible violations you could be cited for. The most common violation is texting and driving, and in some municipalities, it is even illegal to answer a phone call or look up directions while driving. Texas is such a large state and it is crucial to be aware of your specific town’s laws surrounding safe driving.

Some overarching laws to become familiar with are the most frequent, such as motorcycle lane splitting, speeding, DWI, not wearing seatbelts, neglect of appropriate child car seats, texting while driving, and using a mobile device. Driving citations can also be issued without the driver getting pulled over, as it is common practice for tickets, especially those for speeding, to appear in the mail.

Penalties

Each traffic violation warrants varying penalties, as they are split into minor and major violations. Most of the common traffic violations are minor and result in points against your license. Minor violations are punishable by fines ranging from $50 to $1,000. A minor violation like failure to stop for a school bus may even cost you your license for a period of time. Major traffic violations such as a DWI, are punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000, license suspension, and jail time.

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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Originally published: August 7, 2020 -- Updated: August 12, 2022

Update: As discussed below, there are certain situations where the use of deadly force may be justified if a person is defending their property, including their home or their vehicle. In fact, the laws in Texas allow deadly force to be used to prevent the commission of multiple types of crimes, including burglary, arson, robbery, or aggravated robbery. However, this law also applies in cases where a person is allegedly attempting to commit theft or criminal mischief during the nighttime, and a person may use deadly force to prevent someone from fleeing after committing any of the offenses listed above. Generally, deadly force is considered to be justified if a person believes that they have no other options for protecting or recovering their property or if the use of non-deadly force would put them or someone else at risk of being seriously injured or killed.

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TX defense lawyerA key element of any driving while intoxicated (DWI) case is the driver’s blood alcohol level. In Texas, a driver is considered intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. While a BAC over the legal limit is not always required to secure a DWI conviction, a driver’s blood alcohol level inevitably plays a major role in a DWI case.

BAC is often determined using a breath test or blood test. However, these tests are not infallible. Multiple issues can occur during testing that invalidate test results. This blog will describe common issues with blood alcohol tests that can be used to defend against DWI charges.

Blood Alcohol Test Results May Be Incorrect

Blood tests are generally believed to be the most accurate way to assess a person’s level of alcohol intoxication. However, these tests must be prepared, administered, and analyzed correctly to yield accurate results.

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TX defense lawyerCrimes against family and household members are often classified differently than offenses against non-family members. In Texas, domestic violence or abuse of a child, spouse, romantic partner, ex, parent, or roommate can lead to criminal charges for family violence.

Family violence charges already carry significant criminal penalties. However, if an individual is accused of family violence several times within a certain period, he or she may face charges for “continuous family violence.” Continuous family violence is a felony offense that carries a long maximum prison sentence and other devastating consequences.

Multiple Charges for Family Violence

Texas law prohibits violence against current or former family and household members. Assault family violence involves injurious or offensive physical contact with another person and is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the defendant has previous convictions for domestic assault or is accused of choking the victim, assault family violence is a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of misdemeanor assault family violence, you face up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000. If you are convicted of felony family violence, you face up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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TX defense lawyerCompared to many criminal offenses, disorderly conduct is a minor offense. Typically, disorderly conduct is penalized with fines and, possibly, probation. However, a conviction for disorderly conduct can still influence a person’s life in many ways – especially if the alleged offender is a juvenile. If you or your child were accused of disorderly conduct, read on to learn more.

What is Disorderly Conduct?

Unlike other criminal offenses such as drunk driving, disorderly conduct is not well defined in Texas law. Disorderly conduct can involve:

  • Getting into a fight or physical altercation with someone
  • Making an offensive or obscene gesture at someone with the intent of starting a fight
  • Using profane language intended to provoke someone
  • Music or other noise that is more than 85 decibels or that violates local noise ordinances
  • Firing or displaying a gun with the intent to upset others
  • Reckless exposure of genitals
  • Spying on someone for lewd or illegal purposes

Something as simple as having a party with loud music or shouting curse words at someone can lead to disorderly conduct charges.

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TX defense lawyerAssault is defined in Texas law as intentionally or recklessly causing or threatening harm to or offensive contact with another person. The terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably. However, these are two different criminal offenses. Battery refers to conduct that results in actual bodily injury. Someone can be charged with assault even if they do not hurt the other person. Verbal threats, threatening gestures, or contact that is offensive, such as poking someone in the chest or shoving him or her backward, may lead to assault charges.

Many people find themselves facing assault charges because they got into a heated argument with a family member or friend. Bar fights or altercations in public can also lead to assault charges. If you or a loved one have been charged with assault, speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you build a strong defense to fight the charges.

Acting in Self-Defense in Texas

People have the right to defend themselves against those who mean them harm. Unfortunately, some individuals find themselves in handcuffs for simply trying to protect themselves. According to the Texas Penal Code, an individual is justified in using force against another if he or she reasonably believes that the force is needed for protection. However, the force must be reasonable considering the circumstances.

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TX DWI LawyerImagine the following scenario: You are driving down the road when you hear police sirens. You look in your rearview mirror and see flashing lights. You pull over and a police officer approaches your window. He suspects you of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and wants you to take an alcohol breath test or breathalyzer.

Do you have to comply? What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer test in Texas?

Clearing Up the Confusion Regarding DWI Arrests and Breath Tests

Breath alcohol tests are used to determine whether a person has been drinking. These tests are often used during traffic stops to provide police with probable cause for an arrest. There are two types of breath tests used in drunk driving cases: The breath test that police officers carry with them and use during traffic stops is a portable breath test. Results from portable breath tests like these are not admissible as evidence in a DWI case. These tests are used to justify a drunk driving arrest and take a driver into custody.

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TX defense attorneyCriminal charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and drug possession are often the result of a traffic stop. Police may see someone weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner and pull the driver over. Once the vehicle is stopped, the police may initiate a search of the vehicle. Sometimes, officers bring in K-9 police dogs who smell the car for signs of drugs or other illicit items.

If you are like many people, you may have questions about how and when police can search a person’s vehicle. Do police need a warrant to search someone’s car? Should I give police permission to search the vehicle if I have nothing to hide? Read on to learn more about your rights regarding police vehicle searches in Texas.

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits “unreasonable search and seizure” of personal property. Police cannot search a person’s property or take property without justification. However, understanding what constitutions an “unreasonable” search is not always easy to determine. Furthermore, the right to be free from search and seizure varies based on the type of property in question.

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TX defense lawyerA criminal record can follow a person for years or even decades, making it hard to find employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Having a criminal record can also damage a person's personal or professional reputation. If you have ever been charged with a crime, you probably know this all too well. Fortunately, Texas law allows certain individuals to expunge or clear their criminal records.

Erasing Your Criminal Record Through Expungement

Many people are surprised to learn that being arrested for a crime results in a criminal record even if the person is never convicted of the crime. When an arrest is expunged, it is completely erased from the person's criminal record. This means that employers, landlords, and the public can no longer view the arrest.

You may be about to get a criminal record expunged if:

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