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Wilson County criminal defense attorney stay at home order

Since March, the United States has seen an unprecedented shutdown of non-essential businesses and public places. Each state has enacted its own version of the “stay-at-home” order, although they are all very similar in intent. Many businesses and public areas have been temporarily closed in order to contain COVID-19 as best as possible. Although health officials have not come up with a permanent solution just yet, Texas, along with other states, has begun to slowly reopen businesses to stimulate the economy. However, this is being done in stages, and there are still existent regulations for citizens and business owners.

A Recent Case

During the past couple of months, Texas has been on a mandatory stay-at-home order, initially mandated by city mayors but later authorized as a state-wide restriction for all citizens to follow—including government personnel themselves. With patience growing thin everywhere, it is not surprising that public figures may grant themselves leniency on the ordinance. Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames went to a nail salon to get her nails done, despite clear orders issued by her and the governor to remain at home for the time being. Mayor Ames was seen at the nail salon, wearing a face mask, and she was reported to authorities for her actions. Since the nail salon disobeyed the order mandating all non-essential businesses to remain closed temporarily, the charges will likely fall on the owners rather than the mayor. This case is currently under review by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. If found guilty, the nail salon could face a fine of up to $1,000, and the mayor may have ruined her chances of getting re-elected. 

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Jourdanton family violence attorney

Domestic abuse is prevalent throughout the United States⁠—and Texas is no exception. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. With numbers this high, it is no wonder why orders of protection are taken seriously. These legal orders, commonly known as restraining orders, can be requested by a person who believes they or their family members are in danger of harm by a family or household member. Although restraining orders are typically not valid for indefinite amounts of time, they can be extended if the court deems it necessary. Legal protection should be put in place for those who need it, but in some cases, these protective orders may be based on false allegations of abuse. If you find yourself facing an unjust order of protection, you do have legal options, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Types of Protective Orders

There are three types of orders of protection available in Texas, each with its own length of duration. In many cases, the individual filing for the order will get a temporary order initially and work to extend that order in the meantime. The differences between each of the protective orders are described below:

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Floresville assault defense attorney

The term “assault” can mean different things depending on the situation. You may be picturing two men fighting while they are out with their friends, or maybe you are imagining a couple arguing and things going too far. As is the case with most criminal charges, assault charges can include a number of actions or intended actions. Understanding what is considered assault is important, since inflicting physical harm is not necessarily required. We have all had the experience of emotions running high and anger taking over our better judgment. Although most would not press charges for a heated argument, some may take your words or actions differently than you had intended, leading to serious charges that can label you as a criminal.

The Definition of Assault

There are three definitions that are included in the description of assault in the Texas Penal Code. The criminal offense of assault may involve the following actions:

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Karnes County traffic violation defense attorney

Obtaining a driver’s license for the first time can be one of the most exciting events in a teenager’s life. After spending hours behind the wheel, attending various driving courses, and getting yelled at by nervous parents as they are learning to drive, being able to finally ride on the roads without parental supervision can make a minor finally feel independent. However, driving without parents in the car does not mean that young motorists have surpassed the various restrictions allotted to new drivers. Many teens incorrectly believe that once they have a driver’s license, they have the same rights on the road as any other driver. Understanding the restrictions that exist for new drivers is extremely important before hitting the road, especially since traffic violations can have a significant effect on a person's license and insurance rates, and serious violations may even lead to criminal charges and a lifelong criminal record.

License Phases

Each state has its own rules for new drivers, and it is imperative to have a good understanding of this, whether you are a parent or a new teen driver. In Texas, there are two types of driver’s licenses, known as “phases,” and each phase has its own rules and regulations.

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Karnes County criminal defense attorney protective order violation

Texas law enforcement offers individuals who have been the victims of domestic violence the option of filing for an order of protection. More commonly known as a restraining order, an order of protection is set in place for those who have experienced family violence or violent threats. These legal orders are only validated for certain reasons to avoid having protective measures taken against innocent Texans. The state allows an individual to obtain an order of protection if someone has hurt them or threatened to hurt them; they are afraid that the designated person will hurt them again; and either the individual, his or her partner, or his or her spouse has a close relationship with this person. This “relationship” can include marriage, dating, relatives, cohabitation, or having children together. If an order of protection is filed against someone, he or she will be notified of the terms to avoid violating the legal order and thus committing a crime.

What Constitutes a Violation of an Order of Protection?

There are multiple ways a person can be accused of violating a restraining order. These are known as “elements of the offense.” In order to be found guilty of this type of violation, the prosecution must prove that a defendant was under the restrictions of an order of protection and was aware of the order. A violation of a protective order means that a person knowingly and intentionally performed at least one of the following prohibited acts: 

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Jourdanton white collar crime attorney

When the word “criminal” is used, many people may picture individuals dressed in orange jumpsuits standing behind bars rather than a clean businessman in a nice suit walking down Wall Street. The fact of the matter is that many criminals fall between the cracks, especially those who have committed “white collar crimes.” White collar crimes are nonviolent crimes committed by employees while performing their job. This can include deceit, concealment, fraud, and bribery regarding finances. Many people see white collar crimes as “victimless” and thus deem their actions to be harmless. While they may seem less harmful than violent crimes, white collar crimes are not tolerated in Texas and throughout the United States, and they can result in serious consequences.

Examples of White Collar Crimes

Although many have heard the term white collar crime, few know the various crimes that fall under this category. Understanding the different actions that are considered white collar crimes is one of the best ways to avoid facing harsh penalties for your actions on the job. Some common white collar crimes include:

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Wilson County expunction attorney

Few people have a spotless record in the eyes of the law. Maybe you received a traffic ticket when you were first learning to drive, or you were caught with alcohol before turning 21. Teenagers often make decisions before considering the legal consequences that may follow. Not only can these “bad choices” lead to large fines or jail time, but they can also remain on your record as you try to move on from your past mistakes. In Texas, those with a criminal record can sometimes have the charges removed or expunged. Although many people may not seek out this option until they are an adult looking for a job, minors should consider expunction to give themselves a better chance of clearing their record at an earlier age. 

What Is Expunction?

Being able to hide your previous encounters with the law can help you move on personally and professionally. Most convictions cannot be removed from an individual’s record, especially those considered more serious. However, expunction may allow Texans to remove information about arrests that were never formally charged, criminal charges that were dismissed, or cases in which a pre-trial diversion program was completed. Expunction may also be available for certain types of convictions, such as some first-time DWI charges. Once expunction is approved, all information will be erased from criminal records, allowing the person to deny the incident and any consequences that came from it. 

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Floresville sexual assault defense attorney

College is an exciting and new time for young adults who are just getting started with their higher education. Since many students attend college right after they graduate high school, some students are still minors. For many, this is the first time that they have lived without a parent, making it easy for them to get into trouble with their newfound freedom. Whether a minor or not, making a legal mistake in college can affect a person's future at the school itself as well as the professional opportunities available to them in the future. Many students do not recognize the severity of their actions until after they have been caught, making an experienced criminal defense attorney crucial for avoiding a conviction and allowing them to continue on with their academic career.

Types of Offenses That Occur on Campuses

In 2017, The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) released a report that highlights the crimes occurring on American college campuses. On a positive note, violent victimization on school grounds has decreased by 75 percent since 1995. However, 5 percent of students reported carrying a weapon on school grounds in the last 30 days alone. Criminal tendencies shift as times change, yet the existence of crime remains consistent. The following are the most common crimes that have occurred on higher-ed campuses:

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Wilson County drunk driving defense attorney

It is not uncommon for drivers to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, especially around the holidays. Rather than paying for a rideshare and leaving their car behind to be safe, individuals will often assume that their senses are not altered to the extent that restricts their ability to drive. The truth is that even when you think you are capable of driving, you may be over the legal limit. With the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit being 0.08 percent for Texans, even a couple of drinks can cause you to be legally intoxicated. If you see red and blue flashing lights in the rearview mirror after drinking any amount of alcohol, you could face DWI charges.

Do I have to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Being pulled over by a police officer can be an anxiety-provoking experience. After stopping on the side of the road and waiting for the officer to come to your window, you will likely wonder how you should handle the situation. One thing to note is that in Texas, all drivers are required to submit to a BAC test if they are arrested on suspicion of DWI. This is known as the implied consent law. Every driver who has a valid Texas driver’s license agrees to give a blood or breath sample upon arrest.

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Karnes County shoplifting defense attorney

Shoplifting is a common crime that occurs in many retail businesses. For both large corporations like Walmart and mom-and-pop shops, stores want to make sure the patrons coming through their doors are abiding by the law. In an attempt to reduce the number of items taken from shelves without paying, some stores have their employees check receipts before customers exit the premises. This may be helpful to catch the few individuals attempting to shoplift, but what about the majority of other loyal customers who waited in line at the register? Should they be subject to this routine interruption?

Shopkeeper’s Privilege in Texas

Many large corporations have receipt-checkers placed at all of their exits to act as an additional level of protection against shoplifters. Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s Club have some of the largest stores in the country and also make the most use of these “security checks.” However, their presence can sometimes be frustrating and insulting to customers. After standing in a long line for the past 30 minutes, it can feel unfair to have to take the time for another employee to scan your cart. It may seem as if these employees have no power, but according to Texas’ Shopkeeper’s Privilege law, refusing to show your receipt could be your first step toward detention.

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Pleasanton murder defense attorney

Texas is often known as one of the most “open” states in terms of gun laws. This includes a person’s ability to purchase a weapon, the right to carry a concealed weapon, and the use of a weapon for self-defense. Most states have some form of legal protection for those who use a firearm to defend themselves, including Texas. Each state that provides its citizens with this right has different regulations tied to the law. Texas has two separate laws regarding self-defense to ensure that people have a right to protect themselves. It is important to understand what is and is not allowed in Texas to avoid being convicted of serious criminal charges related to murder or manslaughter.

Standing Your Ground in Texas

The “Stand Your Ground” law originated in Florida in 2005. Since then, the majority of the U.S. states have followed suit, passing their own versions of this law meant to protect those who defend themselves. As is evident in the phrasing, this law allows individuals to stand up against an attacker in the face of danger. In Texas, those who plan to use this law as their criminal defense tactic must be able to prove that they were in fear of imminent danger of serious injury or death at the hands of another person. The Stand Your Ground law applies to those protecting themselves or another person in danger.

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