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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS AS A FIRST-TIME OFFENDER?

Our nation’s prisons and jails have an overcrowding problem, and the courts know it. That’s why courts in Fort Worth and throughout Texas are exploring alternative options to jail for first-time offenders. If you have committed a crime for the first time, you have an unprecedented amount of legal options before you—options that will require […]

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M ARRESTED?

So, you were arrested. The question is: Now what should you do? If you have been arrested or a loved one has been arrested recently in Texas, it is important to know what to do to protect your rights. Your future could be at stake! Take this seriously and take the right steps to protect […]

HOW CAN A CRIMINAL RECORD AFFECT MY IMMIGRATION STATUS?

If you are pursuing citizenship in the United States, a criminal conviction can derail your plans and affect whatever type of immigration proceeding you are currently going through. The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) puts a very high priority on targeting individuals who do not have legal status and who have criminal records. […]

WHAT IS A PRE-TRIAL RELEASE BOND?

The Purpose of Pre-Trial Release Pre-trial release is a way for those accused of a crime to continue their lives outside of jail until their court date. It was developed as a way for American courts to balance personal liberty against the safety of the community. For this reason, the only defendants who are not […]

SHOULD I ACCEPT A PLEA BARGAIN?

The Purpose of a Plea Bargain Criminal courts are, in general, overworked and understaffed. There are too many cases to take to trial, and both judges and prosecutors actively seek to push as many cases through the criminal process as possible. Plea bargains are a way they accomplish that goal. By giving you incentives to […]

WHAT ARE SENTENCE ENHANCEMENTS IN TEXAS?

Like many other states, Texas has particularly harsh penalties for persistent offenders. Similar laws in other states are well known as “three strikes” laws, in which a person with two prior felony convictions will automatically receive a pre-set punishment for their next conviction, regardless of the crime. However, prior offenses are not the only factor […]

THE ‘THREE STRIKES’ LAW IN TEXAS

The ‘three strikes’ law was implemented to keep habitual offenders in jail and away from the general public. If you have been convicted of three felonies, or ‘three strikes’, the prison sentencing you face will be much longer, from 15 or 25 to life. Texas is one of many states to enact a ‘three strike’ […]

WILL MY CASE GO TO TRIAL?

In the United States, the right to trial by jury is considered so important that it’s mentioned in both Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, and again in the Sixth Amendment. For most criminal cases, the decision of whether or not to take the case to trial is ultimately in your hands. Since trials […]

ARE THE POLICE ALLOWED TO DETAIN ME IF I’M NOT UNDER ARREST?

While most people understand their basic rights (i.e. the right to remain silent), there is a lot of uncertainty that surrounds the grey areas of police encounters. As a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer, one of the questions I am most commonly asked by clients is “Can the police stop and hold me without placing me under […]

ARE THE POLICE ALLOWED TO SEARCH MY CAR FOR DRUGS?

While a law enforcement officer generally needs a warrant to search you or your property, the rules are a little different when it comes to traffic stops. If you are pulled over for a legitimate purpose—whether you were speeding or you have a broken tail light—the officer would have the right to search your vehicle […]

WHAT DOES AN OFFICER LOOK FOR DURING A DWI STOP?

If a law enforcement officer suspects that you have been driving while intoxicated (DWI), they will need more than just their suspicions in order to make an arrest. For this reason, they will start to look for clues or various types of evidence that will help them establish probable cause once an initial traffic stop […]

IS IT STILL STATUTORY RAPE IF THE VICTIM LIED ABOUT THEIR AGE?

If you have found yourself in a situation where you thought that you were engaging in intimate acts with a consenting adult, only to find out that they were actually a minor, your future could be at risk. According to the statutory rape laws in Texas, it is illegal to engage in sexual acts with […]

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR SIMPLE ASSAULT IN TEXAS?

According to Texas Penal Code §22.01, you could be arrested for the crime of simple assault if you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, threaten another person with imminent bodily harm or cause physical contact with another person that you know is provocative or offensive. If the extent of the victim’s injuries […]

WHEN COULD I BE CHARGED WITH SHOPLIFTING IN TEXAS?

Under Texas Penal Code Section 31.03, you could be charged with shoplifting under a wide range of circumstances. While the most obvious form of shoplifting would be carrying an item out of a store without paying for it, there are numerous other situations that could lead to a petty theft charge. Switching price tags, improperly concealing […]

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR MIRANDA RIGHTS

The Miranda Warning was created in the 1960s as a way of protecting a defendant’s rights during questioning. You’ve probably heard the expression, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” This is the beginning of the Miranda Warning, which goes […]

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROBBERY & BURGLARY?

Although the crimes of burglary and robbery are often lumped together, these are, in fact, two separate offenses. While both involve the unlawful taking of someone else’s property, there are very distinct elements that separate these offenses. Generally defined, robbery involves the act of taking another person’s property through the use of force or the […]

CAN THE VICTIM DECIDE TO DROP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES?

What Happens in a Domestic Dispute? During a heated argument, a husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend may decide that it would be best to call the police. What they may not realize is that this could initiate a series of events that are no longer in their control. Once law enforcement is involved in a […]


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