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Tag: Texas

Understanding the Crime of Aggravated Theft

October 3, 2018
Understanding the Crime of Aggravated Theft

On the evening of October 16th, 2017, the police in Texas arrested two suspects for the criminal offense of aggravated theft. The target of theft was a Samsung S-7 mobile phone where the thieves were armed with knives. The police investigators on the raised suspicions and through the evidence that was provided did identify and arrest the named suspects through the help of a surveillance footage. They were grounded on the suspicions of the criminal offense. The prosecutor interviewed the procedures on the two suspects and imposed a police custody.

There are many cases of aggravated thief that are reported day in day out. At times we just call it theft, robbery or burglary. At the end of the end, this remains a felony.

How do you know it’s a felony?

A theft of property is considered aggravated if accompanied by the following aggravating factors;

  • Use of a weapon in the commission of the crime and to be specific, deadly weapons.
  • Threats or intimidation relating to the crime.
  • If it is a gang or crime related theft.
  • Where it is a theft of a high-value asset or property or
  • It’s a theft of police or government property

This kind of theft is very serious in the judicial system. It bears serious consequences. A defendant who is found guilty of aggravated theft is sentenced to at least one year in prison alongside fines and also a permanent felony record. Being convicted of aggravated theft affects permanently or even temporarily your individual legal rights. It affects your;

  • Voting rights,
  • Driving privileges,
  • Rights to serve on any jury and even
  • Gun ownership rights.

After you have been arrested on the grounds of Aggravated Theft, does it mean you can’t do anything? This is the point where you immediately hire a criminal defense attorney. These have the experience and legal knowledge on how they will deal with such cases. They understand the seriousness of your cases and will know where to dispute and where not to.

Depending on other evidence presented before a court of law, the criminal defense attorney will advise you on how you are supposed to plead. It is a scenario where you can easily find yourself on the wrong side of the law. A criminal defense attorney is the only real friend that you can trust in such a time. They have won similar cases and you might be the lucky one this time especially where you defense attorney has good relations with the jury.

Depending on how the aggravated theft has been categorized, there are possible defenses. It is possible that the defendant was intoxicated or at the time of the crime he/she was not of sound mind. It is also possible that the defense of duress was used in the case where the defendant was forced or even threatened to commit the crime. You are likely to walk free or with minimal penalties if you happen to provide proof of intoxication or duress.

The type of defense which the criminal defense attorney will use will, however, depend on the crime itself. It will also depend on the circumstances that led the defendant into committing the crime. It is therefore very important to source for intelligent and qualified criminal defense lawyers who will understand every aspect of your case.

As much as the aggravated robbery has very serious consequences. It is also very difficult to defend in a court of law. You can only be sentenced after you plead guilty or when you have been identified as the robber. Most experienced criminal defense attorneys will attempt to challenge the identification process. They discredit the eyewitness testimony as inaccurate. Most other similar cases fail to succeed due to lack of enough evidence that ought to link the crime perpetrator to the crime itself. These cases also frequently get in the direction that the defendant believes they were the rightful owner of the property and theirs was simply an act of retrieving it. It is therefore very important to hire a criminal defense attorney lest you find yourself a victim.

Houston Domestic Violence Cases & Texas Law

March 2, 2018
Houston Domestic Violence Cases & Texas Law

Cases of domestic violence in Texas has been on the rise since 2011 (Texas Sees Increase in Domestic Violence Reports , 2017). The statistics in the state Department of Public Safety show that about 214000 people in Texas have been victims of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence: Misdemeanor or Felony Offense?

Misdemeanors and felonies are criminal offenses that are punished differently. A misdemeanor charge is sentenced up to a year, and the offender is not necessarily taken to a maximum security prison, while a felony is punishable by more than a year in prison. A felony is a more serious offense than a misdemeanor. If you’re charged with a felony offense in Harris County, you’ll need the best Houston criminal justice lawyer you can find to give you a fighting chance at avoiding what’s sure to be a lengthy jail sentence. We recommend Attorney Mark W. Bennett of the Bennett & Bennett law firm. Their phone number is 713-224-1747.

With that being said, you might be wondering whether domestic violence is a misdemeanor or a felony offense. But first, you should understand what domestic violence entails to comprehend where domestic violence falls in entirely.

Domestic violence refers to any abuse inducted upon a family member or a spouse. Domestic violence can be characterized as both a misdemeanor or a felony; it depends on the extent of damage that results from the offense. A misdemeanor domestic violence typically comprises of verbal abuse and minor assault battery. Unfortunately, if you are convicted more than twice with a misdemeanor domestic violence, it can prelude to a felony domestic violence.

A felony domestic violence as mentioned above is more critical. This offense can result in possible do-time in prison, be fined heavily and even get a restraining order against you. The following is a short list of events or outcomes that can lead a domestic violence offense to be categorized as a felony:

    • The occurrence of serious violent altercations that can cause severe injuries or even ultimately death.
    • Battery inflicted to a minor or a child.
  • If a deadly weapon is involved; let’s say a firearm, hunting knife or brass knuckles.
  • Inappropriate sexual acts
  • Acts involving conduct of an inappropriate sexual nature

You should note that a felony domestic violence charge is hard to expunge from your records. However, after many years of good behavior, it can get obsolete.

Also, whether it’s a misdemeanor domestic violence or a felony domestic violence, you can never underestimate these charges. You should find yourself a good lawyer to get you through it.

Therefore, since there has been a drastic rise in domestic violence in Texas, the state take-on on the offense is very serious.

Top Causes of Houston Family Assaults & Domestic Violence Cases

The primary causes of domestic violence include:

  1. Physical abuse – mostly start off with drug abuse and alcohol
  2. Financial abuse – involves unemployment of one of the partners hence dependent on the other

iii. Psychological abuse – involves comments that lower self-esteem of your partner or family member.

  1. Emotional abuse – involves anger, jealousy and envy
  2. History of domestic violence in a family can be passed on. Young adults and children may get negative lessons from domestic abuse at home.

In case you sense any form of domestic abuse as aforementioned, you need to be careful so that you don’t become just another number in the statistics of domestic violence in Texas.

Houston Domestic Violence Cases & Texas Law

DWI Crimes: Harshly Prosecuted in Texas

June 10, 2017
DWI Crimes: Harshly Prosecuted in Texas

Many states consider it a serious criminal offense to operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol and the State of Texas is no exception. Alcohol impairs ones mental and motor skills and driving under the influence continues to cause a significant number of accidents that result in deaths and injuries around the world.

The problem of drunk driving affects all road users. Authorities both at state and Federal levels have strengthened enforcements, passed laws and sponsored campaigns against drunk driving. The Brazoria County in Texas is also working hard to curb drunk driving. Although statistics show that impaired drunk driving still cause fatalities, it remains a problem that cost money and preventable human accidents. The majority of the drunk driving accidents are caused by heavy drinkers and repeat offenders.

Criminal Charges & Penalties for Drunk Driving

If a Texas law enforcement officer pulls you over and your alcohol blood concentration reads 0.8% or higher, you risk being charged with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). Texas DWI Attorney Tad Nelson is one of the best lawyers in Houston for people facing prosecution for drunk driving and he recommends never submitting to request for blood & breath testing.

Otherwise, your chance of facing harsh penalties will escalate depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, the penalties will vary based on if you had passengers when the police pulled you over, the type of license you hold and if you got involved in an accident while drunk. You also risk being charged with child endangerment if you had a child passenger at the time of police intervention. You’ll face a number of penalties depending on your history of convictions.

The charges range from a fine of up to $ 10,000, a two year jail term in a state jail and even suspension of drivers license for a minimum of 180 days.

When the authorities pull you over for suspected DWI, the legal expectation is that you take a breath or blood test. Snubbing the test may result in suspension of your driving license for a period that may exceed 180 days but no more than two years. Usually, the police take your driver’s license and issue you with a temporary driving permit.

Criminal trial for Drunk Driving

This is your first arrest on based on drunk driving, you will probably be charged with a misdemeanor. You will be issued with a court date when you will stand for trial. Here you may plead guilty, or otherwise, you will be offered a chance to choose to be tried by a jury or a judge. Either of them will determine your fate when you and the prosecution present your case.

Classes to Help with DWI

Brazoria County enacted a law that provides educational services with programs to cater for First and Repeat DWI offenders. An individual convicted of DWI offense for the first time is put on probation. During this period the convict must attend and successfully complete an educational program within 180 days from the commencement of the program.

The law revokes the driving license of the offender whenever they fail to finish the program within the stipulated time. However, there are occasions where the program may grant the offender and extension. The authorities will reinstate a revoked license only when the DWI offender completes the program.

The Texas Department of State Health Services certifies the program whose standard duration is twelve hours. The same program is available to repeat offenders only that the duration is now thirty two hours. These classes are offered in the evening during weekdays and Saturday mornings. The classes cost a hundred dollars for first time offenders. This price doubles for repeat offenders.