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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Waking up in the middle of the night to rustling outside your house or the sound of a window breaking downstairs would set anyone on high alert. Maybe you grab the nearest object to use in self-defense, if necessary, or perhaps you keep a gun in the house to protect you and your family. Many Texans are gun owners, saying that a gun in the house makes them feel safer. Even if the gun is properly registered and you have the appropriate licensing for the weapon, situations like these can leave the property owner facing criminal charges. Understanding self-defense laws is critical for Texas home and gun owners. It is imperative for those who are facing such charges to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their rights. 

A Look at Criminal Consequences

Texas law states that property owners are able to use force to terminate trespassing or theft if they deem it is necessary; however, force and deadly force are two different actions. Shooting the trespasser is considered deadly force since the bullet can easily end the person’s life. If the person is not an immediate threat to you or your family, deadly force is not permissible. This is easier to understand with concrete examples.


Jourdanton criminal defense attorney weapons violation

Weapon laws across the United States have always been under scrutiny—are they too restrictive or not strict enough? Texas is one of the states that allows Texas residents to obtain a concealed carry license and carry a weapon a number of places while keeping it concealed from the public eye. After COVID-19 hit the United States, many states now require social distancing practices to be followed and face masks to be worn in all public places. Before this virus became an infamous pandemic, wearing a mask in a public place would likely have others wondering about your intentions. Masks are often used by those attempting to hide their identity while conducting a criminal act. For this reason, many gun owners are concerned about the status of concealed carry permits in the midst of the pandemic.

Wearing a Mask and Carrying a Gun

The question of the impact of mask requirements on concealed carry permits has surfaced on social media platforms, as many who are against the mask requirement view the demand as an infringement on their rights. Posts have been made about these various constitutional breaches, some claiming that having to wear a mask takes away their ability to legally carry a concealed weapon. While in some states this is the case, Texas is not one of them.


Texas Criminal Defense LawyerSo if you're on probation, the thing you're trying to avoid at all costs is the motion to revoke your probation commonly referred to as an MTR. Now what happens in an MTR is your probation officer sends a letter or a violation report to the state's prosecutor, letting them know they believe you violated one of the terms of your probation. The prosecutor's office is, in turn, going to file that MTR, send it over to the judge for signature and then a warrant is going to be issued for your arrest.

What are common violations of probation?

Failing to appear, not completing court ordered classes, or failing a drug test are all common examples of probation violations we see but by far the worst violation you can possibly have is the allegation that you've committed an additional or a subsequent crime while on that probationary period. Now when a judge issues an MTR, they may or they may not set a bond when they do. Some judges wait till here physically arrested to set that bond, others wait until your attorney actually approaches them and ask for a bond. All of this can be avoided by working with a local criminal defense attorney and a bondsman to turn yourself in the jail and then immediately bond yourself right back out.

What is the process of an MTR court hearing?

So if you find yourself in court on one of these motions to revoke probation hearings, the judge is going to want to hear from your probation officer about the allegations surrounding your alleged violations of probation. Now if the judge finds it's true that you violated your probation, they're going to have a number of options available to them including extending your probation, adding in digital classes and fines or either revoking your probation and sending you either to the county jail, or to prison. So if you find yourself in a situation where you have an MTR against you or you think an MTR may be coming. It's important that you work with a local criminal defense attorney quickly so they can begin to devise a plan to keep you on probation and keep you out of jail.

Wilson County Criminal defense attorneyWhat should I expect on my first day in court?

So people that don't have a lot of experience in the criminal justice system often wonder what's going to happen on my first court date. Now your first court date is generally called your arraignment and it's the first time the court has asked you to come to court and to address the criminal allegations against you. While most cases aren't and certainly shouldn't be resolved in one court setting, it's still an incredibly important part of your case.

What is the court process like?

Traffic, parking, and security all make getting to court take longer than expected. If you've ever been to the County Courthouse, you'll see these long lines in the morning, of people trying to get through security to get to their courtroom. Now what happens is eventually the judge will come out and he'll call all the names on the docket for that morning. We're gonna stand up with you, we're gonna let the judge know that we're there; we're your attorneys and that we're working on your case. Now judges don't like if you're late and will not hesitate to issue a warrant if you fail to appear.

Now security won't even let you in the courtroom if you're not appropriately dressed. So this means no flip-flops, no shorts, no tank tops and no hats. Our advice to the client is dress for court like you were dressing to go to church.


Posted on in Criminal Defense

Karnes County Shoplifting AttorneySo a really common crime we see in Texas is shoplifting. Shoplifting is a variation of the theft statute. Theft in Texas law is defined simply as taking someone else's property without their permission. The idea in a shoplifting case is that you're taking retail stores’ items -- their products -- without permission from the store. Now the punishment range associated with shoplifting or other theft cases is directly correlated to the value of the items that are taken. Stealing gum is very different from stealing an iPhone. 

What are the penalties for shoplifting?

So a lot of the information on the Internet is actually incorrect and outdated. In September of 2015 the Texas Legislature updated the statute and the value ladder associated with it. Currently as it stands, any item less than $100 is going to be a Class C violation. Any item valued at $750 or less will be a Class B misdemeanor. Anything under $2,500, it's going to be a Class A misdemeanor. Above $2,500, and you end up looking at felony offenses and the possibility of prison and convictions. Now it is worth noting here that the cases stack as well. What that means is as you get further arrested and further convictions, the punishment ranges become more severe. The idea is that courts and prosecutors want to punish more severely someone who has multiple convictions for shoplifting as opposed to the individual that commits the offense just once in their life.

Are there other crimes related to shoplifting?

So we don't see these crimes often but they are out there. There is a separate offense for being in possession of booster bags or in being in possession of devices used to remove security tags. So if you're found with one of those in addition to the shoplifting charge, you'll get an additional case. We also see organized retail theft. The idea here being that if you're part of some sort of group that is stealing things are shoplifting from stores and then reselling them either on websites, out of your house, or at the flea market, you'll pick up an additional organized retail theft charge as well.

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