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Blog Posts in 2015

  • 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 the deft hands and quick action of a Fort Worth criminal ...
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  • 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. These individuals are considered high risk and ...
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  • 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 yourself. What You Need to Know Right Now First, you need to realize that you have now entered the second phase ...
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  • 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 given the option of pre-trial release in Texas are those who have committed a capital ...
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  • 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 pleading guilty early, prosecutors and judges save the court a massive ...
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  • 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 that the courts consider when determining ...
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  • 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' law, enforcing harsher punishments for those who have committed numerous crimes and are likely ...
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  • 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 cost the judicial system both time and resources, they seek to resolve the majority of ...
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  • 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 arrest?" Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn't always clear. ...
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  • 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 as long as they have probable cause to suspect that there is contraband or criminal ...
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  • 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 has been conducted. This could include anything from red or watery eyes to the ...
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  • 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 a person under the age of 17 under any circumstances—even if that person was a willing participant. So ...
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  • Plea Bargain Vs. Going to Trial

    If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you may be wondering whether you should accept a plea agreement—which, in exchange for pleading guilty, would result in a reduction of your charges—or take your chances at trial. Every case is different, which means that you should discuss the specific nature of your charges with an experienced criminal attorney in Fort Worth. Just because you have ...
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  • 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 is more than a minor cut, scrape or bruise ...
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  • Can the Victim Decide to Drop Domestic Violence Charges?

    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 domestic dispute, an arrest will almost always be made. Even if the alleged victim does not want to press formal charges, this may ...
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