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Have You Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?

Hire the Best Houston Domestic Violence Attorney

Have you been falsely accused or wrongly prosecuted for domestic violence?  False allegations and wrongful prosecutions harm the innocent, squander resources, and shortchange true victims.

If you or someone you care about has been arrested or is facing criminal charges related to Domestic Violence (or “Assault Family Violence”), there may be a lot at stake. You may only have a short period of time to learn your rights and what steps could help you protect them. The Charles Johnson Law Firm can help you understand the charges that you are facing, and help you protect your rights with the police and in court.

Criminal charges don’t always mean a guaranteed conviction. A conviction can bring penalties including court fines, probation or jail time – plus a permanent mark on your record – but you may be able to avoid these by fighting for your freedom. Domestic assault is taken seriously by law enforcement personnel and prosecutors. It is vital to have a competent, experienced defense attorney on your side.

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 713-222-7577 or toll free 877-308-0100.  As the justice system has come to recognize the social and legal effects of domestic violence, the penalties for conviction of domestic assault have become steeper. This is why it is so important to consult a lawyer who is familiar with your local court system. Seek the help of an attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to learn more about what you can do to assert your rights.

Why Should Persons be Concerned about False Allegations of Domestic Violence?

Approximately two million Americans experience intimate partner violence each year. These persons need counseling services, legal assistance, shelter resources, and protection by the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, each year 2-3 million restraining orders are issued in the United States, of which as many as 80% are unnecessary or false. As Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, revealed, “Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply…In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage. “

False accusers not only divert resources away from the true victims of domestic violence, they render harm to the targets of their legal abuse. False allegations stain a person’s reputation, deplete that person’s assets, and can ruin a person’s career. They may deprive a child of parental love and attention which every child needs.

What are the Warning Signs of an Impending False Allegation?

A false allegation can be a life-altering experience. But falsely accused persons often don’t see it coming.

These are some of the warning signs to look for:

  • Your partner has gotten a restraining before and knows how to work the system.
  • You and your partner are thinking about separating, and you are worried about an impending child custody dispute.
  • Your partner is moody, unpredictable, attention-seeking, demanding, manipulative, or fails to assume responsibility for family problems.
  • Your partner has been diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, or other a psychological problem.
  • Your partner has made a joke about getting a restraining order.
  • You just discovered your partner is having an affair (do not confront your partner about it!).
  • Your partner has been arrested for domestic violence, and is now considering ways to retaliate.
  • Your partner has told you they are going to request a restraining order.
  • Your partner has friends or family members who have done so.
  • Be on the look-out for warning signs that your partner may file a false allegation of domestic violence against you, so you can take steps now to protect yourself.

What Should I Do if I Think my Partner is Going to Make a False Accusation?

A restraining order is the most commonly used legal tactic to make a false allegation of domestic violence. If you have reason to believe your partner is about to make a false accusation, it is critical that you act quickly to protect your children, your reputation, your assets, and even your career:

  • Contact Attorney Charles Johnson immediately at 713-222-7577 or toll free 877-308-0100 to protect your rights.
  • Assemble your valuable papers (birth certificate, car title, legal documents, etc.) so they can’t be stolen by your partner. Place them in a newly-opened safe deposit box or other safe location.
  • Open a checking account just in your name so your partner can’t take your money.
  • Tell a family member or trusted friend, in case you need to find a place to stay on short notice.
  • Change the passwords on your computer, cell phone, and personal bank accounts. Remove external hard drives and other electronic storage devices. Do not leave your cell phone lying around.
  • If you have any firearms or other weapons, move them to a secure location away from your home. Do not engage in firearms training or target practice until the situation is resolved.
  • Do not send or receive personal emails from your home computer. Use a computer at your office or at the library.
  • Avoid any actions that could later be misconstrued in a court of law:
    • Do not engage in put-downs or insults, especially in writing or by voice mail or an answering machine.
    • Do not talk or joke about violence or suicide.
    • Do not engage in kinky sex or joke about rape.
    • Do not slap you partner, even if he or she asks you to.
    • Do not play rough-house with your children.
    • Do not smash your fist into the wall.
    • Do not throw the TV remote control.
    • Do not admit to doing something wrong or apologize for prior actions, either verbally or in writing.
  • If your partner has engaged in abusive behavior, promptly obtain a restraining order in advance of your partner taking such action. Once you get the restraining order, change all locks to keep your partner out.
  • If you need to see your ex-partner (for example, to exchange your children), do so in a public location, preferably a place with video monitoring.
  • If you need to drop off something at your ex-partner’s residence, go with a witness.
  • Be sure to document any conversation or incident that could later become a focus of attention in a courtroom.

Contact Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer Charles Johnson

It’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as you’ve been arrested. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner work can be done to prevent your charges from escalating into a conviction.

Harris County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Charles Johnson knows how frustrating and hopeless things may seem right now, but urges you not to give up hope. There are many viable defense strategies for fighting domestic violence charges, and many things that can be done to ensure your charges don’t spiral out of control. You can depend on Attorney Johnson to thoroughly investigate your charges, and trust that he’ll make it known to the judge if he finds anything that may indicate the accusations were fabricated. The Charles Johnson Law Firm is here for you, and will do whatever can be done to make sure this ordeal results in the best possible outcome!

If you have been accused of domestic violence, don’t try to fight your charges alone.

Contact Houston Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson for experienced and dependable representation. He can be reached directly around the clock, 7 days/week at (713) 222-7577.

Related News Stories – Domestic Violence Arrests in Houston, Texas

Arrested for DWI in the Houston Area? Houston DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson

Finest Houston Criminal Defense AttorneyThe Charles Johnson Law Firm provides the highest level of representation in assisting our clients through the rigors of a DWI case. After you are charged with DWI in the Houston area, you are confronted with an unpleasant truth: anyone who drinks and drives is subject to arrest, whether or not they are actually affected by alcohol. However, being charged does not mean being convicted. Contact Houston DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson directly anytime day or night at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your case.

 

Hire the Best Houston DWI Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

When someone gets arrested for a DWI, they get a lot of advice from almost everyone around them; friends, family, co-workers, and sometimes even the arresting officer gives you advice about what to do. It probably seems like everyone has a different answer for what is “the best thing to do.” And then you may have received some annoying letters from attorneys who do not even know you, some of which can be very intimidating, frightening, or just plain obnoxious.

The fact is that no two DWI’s are alike, because penalties and options vary depending on the facts of what happened, your prior record, the county and city you were arrested in, and the status of your driver’s license.

To get superior DWI representation, you need the best of these three things:

KNOWLEDGE.
The Best Houston DWI lawyer will be familiar with the city and county of your offense and should know how that jurisdiction treats DWI cases like yours. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson is aware of the current DWI statutes and case law, which changes all the time. Finally, your DWI lawyer should take the time to know about your situation so the goals of your case suit your individual needs.

STRATEGY.
DWI cases are not easy to win, and the justice system is not about to do any favors for DWI offenders in today’s anti-DWI society. An effective strategy is one that preserves every possible opportunity to impact the various penalties you will be facing. That is the key to superior DWI Defense Strategy: preserving and taking advantage of opportunities. Whether it is for purposes of arguing the issues of your case, negotiating a settlement, or controlling the timing of the penalties you will be facing, a solid strategy will help you come out of this with as little damage as possible.

DEDICATION.
The Best Houston DWI Attorney will devote an adequate amount of time and resources to your defense. You do not want an attorney that does not take the time to explain the ins and outs of your case to you every step of the way. You DO want a DWI lawyer who is passionate about defending DWI cases. Our DWI clients have taken advantage of our Knowledge, Strategy, and Dedication for honest solutions to their DWI problems. Don’t let another day go by before you start working on your case. Contact the Best Houston DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson today at (713) 272-4586 for a free case evaluation.

About DWI in Texas

In Texas, the legal limit for intoxication is .08 BAC. If an officer thinks your driving is impaired, you can still be stopped and arrested for DWI regardless of your BAC. Penalties get worse with every DWI offense.

Texas is a national leader in many areas―unfortunately, one of these is in the number of accidents and deaths related to driving while intoxicated (DWI). Each year, thousands of Texans are involved in this tragedy; about 2,000 of them die.

Texas is also a zero-tolerance state for underage drinking; any detectable amount of alcohol in drivers under 21 is a crime. Yet young drivers account for many alcohol-related traffic accidents, and the age group with the most violations and accidents are those between 21 and 34. Remember, teens and young people are actually more prone to reaching higher alcohol concentrations more quickly than older drinkers. Size and body weight also play a role. Big Uncle Fred may be able to toss back those shots of tequila and maintain an allegedly safe BAC but younger, smaller people may not be able to accomplish this feat.

While a DWI conviction requires a BAC of 0.08% or above, any driver can be cited for “driving while impaired” by drugs or lower concentrations of alcohol.

Texas DWI Penalties for Drunk Driving

Driving while intoxicated, first offense, is a Class B Misdemeanor that is defined at Texas Penal Code §49.04. That provision states that, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place”.

This definition sets forth the elements that must be proven to sustain a conviction.  Those elements are:

  • The defendant, on or about a particular date
  • Was operating a motor vehicle
  • In a public place (street, highway, beach, parking lot, etc)
  • In a particular county
  • While intoxicated The Texas legislature has specifically defined the term “intoxication”, as that term is used for prosecution of DWI cases {Texas Penal Code §49.01(2)}

In addition, there are two definitions to encompass those who do or do not submit to chemical testing:

1) “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or

2) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.”

It is important to note that the law provides for intoxication by the introduction of any intoxicating substance into the body. This is designed to make our roadways safe from dangerous drivers.

Typically, proof at trial is restricted to alcohol unless some statements or other indications suggest that the driver has become impaired by some other substance.  Equally as important, being on prescription drugs is not a defense to a DWI prosecution. If the label suggests that ingestion will impair one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle or machinery, taking such medicine and driving may subject you to DWI arrest and conviction.

At trial, the State therefore may prove intoxication in three (3) different ways:

  • not having the normal use of physical faculties OR
  • not having the normal use of mental faculties OR
  • having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more

The jury does not have to be unanimous on the manner and means of intoxication, only that the person was intoxicated.

Plus, intoxication must occur and be proven to occur while driving. Many other States provide for prosecution of a “lesser included” offense other than DWI (i.e. reckless driving, impaired driving, driving under the influence, etc.). Texas however has no lesser included offense of DWI. Some counties offer plea bargain agreements to other charges than DWI, but they are the exception and not the rule.

Classifications and Range of Punishment for DWI Conviction

DWI, 1st Offense:  Class B Misdemeanor in Texas

Fine

A fine not to exceed $2,000.

Jail

Confinement in the County Jail for a term of not less the 72 hours nor more that six (6) months.

Open Container

If there was an open container of alcohol in your car when arrested, the minimum term of confinement is six (6) days in the county jail.

Community Service

Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 24 hours nor more than 100 hours.

Absent unusual facts, most persons convicted of a first offense DWI are granted community supervision (“probation”) of any confinement ordered. The general length of DWI probation is from 1-2 years. There are also conditions of community supervision ordered that are fairly standard in most courts. Typical conditions imposed are: Drug/Alcohol Evaluation. A person convicted of DWI will be required to submit to evaluation for probability of committing DWI in the future and/or to disclose a potential problem with alcohol or drug abuse. If a problem is detected, additional terms and conditions of probation are ordered to be administered through the Community Supervision Department. Attend and complete an approved DWI Education class within 180 days from the date of conviction (Satisfying this requirement will avoid the one (1) year drivers license suspension, unless if you were a minor (under 21) at the time of the offense.) Attend and complete a Victim Impact Panel. This is a forum that presents victims of drunk drivers to address persons convicted of DWI and warn of the dangers and perils of driving while intoxicated. Work faithfully at suitable employment, commit no other crimes, remain at the same residence and employment unless notification is given to the community supervision officer, report monthly to the supervision office, pay all fines and costs in a timely manner. Pay a monthly supervisory fee. Perform a specified hours of community or volunteer service.  NOTE: If convicted, you will be given an Order Granting Probation. This Order will be specific and unique to your case and fully sets forth the terms and conditions of your probation which apply to you. It is the blueprint for your probation.

Additional Conditions of Probation that may be Ordered:

If your case presents unusual facts (accident, alcohol problem, prior alcohol contacts, bad driving record etc.), additional conditions may be ordered. Most conditions are designed to address a problem that appears from the facts or alcohol/drug evaluation that is performed on the subject after conviction. Again, a specific order is given after each conviction. The following list is only a general discussion of conditions that have been imposed in some DWI cases in my experience and may not apply to you.

Deep lung air device

This provision requires that you install and maintain a device on any car which you intend to drive during probation. The device requires a breath sample before it will allow your car to start. Some devices require periodic breaths while driving. This condition is sometimes recommended after an unfavorable drug/alcohol evaluation during a first-offense probation, and is almost always ordered as a condition of bond on a subsequent offense arrest.

Alcohol Treatment

Attendance at AA or other counseling programs offered through the probation department. In extreme cases outpatient programs may be ordered. This condition is recommended after an unfavorable drug/alcohol evaluation.

Consume no alcohol

Most courts require that a person not consume any alcohol during probation. This provision is monitored by periodic and random urinalysis at the probation office. Some courts will not even allow a probationer to enter a bar, tavern or lounge where alcohol is sold and consumed.

Confinement

Again, in some extreme circumstances, the Court may order that a DWI offender serve confinement in the county jail as a condition of being granted probation.

Restitution

If there was an accident followed by a DWI arrest, and if your insurance company has not paid damages to the other party, restitution of any unpaid amounts will be ordered by the Court as a condition of probation.

Enhanced Penalties (Prior alcohol or drug related criminal history)

Under Texas law, if it is shown that a person has been previously convicted of DWI, the punishment and penalties after conviction are increased or enhanced. The prior DWI conviction must have occurred within ten (10) years of the present arrest for DWI. Additionally, if a person has any prior DWI conviction within the previous ten year period (measured from dates of arrest), the State is then allowed to use any prior DWI conviction since obtaining a drivers license to enhance the accusation to a DWI, third offense. NOTE: Texas can use prior convictions that have occurred in other states for enhancement of punishment.

DWI, Second Offense: Class A Misdemeanor Special Condition for Jail Release on Bond:

It is important to note that if arrested and accused of a DWI Second or greater offense, Texas law now requires the Court to Order as a CONDITION OF RELEASE FROM JAIL ON BOND, that the person install and maintain a deep lung air device on the car that the person intends to drive and operate while charges are pending. The device requires a breath sample before it will allow you to start your car. They also require periodic breaths while driving to monitor and insure sobriety. New technology has made these devices “user sensitive” so that someone else cannot blow into the device for the driver.

Although this provision seems to run afoul of the presumption of innocence, Texas Courts have consistently held that such condition is necessary to protect a legitimate governmental interest in making public roadways safe for the motoring public.

Fine

A fine not to exceed $4,000.00.

Jail

Confinement in the County Jail for a term of not less than 72 hours nor more than one (1) year.

Community Service

Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 80 hours nor more than 200 hours.

Deep lung air device

Typically deep lung devices are required for all DWI second offenders during probation.

Suspension of license

A person convicted of DWI, Second may have their driving privilege suspended for not less than 180 days or more than two (2) years.

DWI, Third Offense (or greater): Third degree FELONY

Fine

A fine not to exceed $10,000.00.

Jail

Confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division (Penitentiary) for a term of not less than 2 years nor more than ten (10) years.

Deep lung air device

Deep lung air devices are generally ordered on all persons convicted of three or more DWI’s both as conditions of bond and as conditions of any occupational or provisional licenses that may be awarded after conviction.

Community Service

Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 160 hours nor more than 600 hours.

Suspension of license

A person convicted of DWI, Second may have their driving privilege suspended for not less than 180 days or more than two (2) years.

Other

A third conviction for DWI indicates a significant problem with alcohol to the Court or jury assessing punishment. Some type of rehabilitative treatment is therefore mandated in punishment if confinement in the penitentiary is to be avoided. In some cases an in-patient, incarceration program (Substance Abuse Felony Probation SAFP) is ordered. This program requires confinement in a State Facility for alcohol rehabilitation. After successful completion of the SAFP program, the person is then released and placed on probation for a term not to exceed ten (10) years. Another popular condition for habitual DWI offenders is a prescription for a drug named “Antabuse”. This drug will make a person violently ill if any alcohol is consumed. The alcohol can be contained in mouthwash or marinated food and will still have the same effect on the user. If a person has any type of liver problems, this drug can cause liver failure and death.

Texas law does not provide for any increased punishment after DWI, third offense. If a person presents a DWI, fourth offense or beyond, the typical punishment is confinement in the penitentiary from two (2) to ten (10) years without probation being granted. In some cases SAFP may be granted upon proper request and showing that it is appropriate.

Intoxication Assault

Third degree Felony “A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake, while operating a …. motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another” {Texas Penal Code §49.07}. ” ‘Serious Bodily Injury’ means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ”.

Fine

A fine not to exceed $10,000.00.

Jail

Confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division (Penitentiary) for a term of not less than 2 year nor more than ten (10) years.

Community Service

Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 160 hours nor more than 600 hours.

Intoxication Manslaughter

Second Degree Felony “A person commits an offense if the person:

1) …operates a motor vehicle in a public place, and…

2) …is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.”

Fine

A fine not to exceed $10,000.00.Jail: Confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division (Penitentiary) for a term of not less than 2 year nor more than twenty (20) years.

Community Service

Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 240 hours nor more than 800 hours.

NOTE

If a person is involved in an accident where there is risk of death or death, a mandatory blood sample will be taken for analysis and use in the prosecution of either Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program

What is an ALR Hearing?
Many Texas drivers who are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) do not realize that a DWI arrest creates two separate cases, one civil and one criminal.

Specifically, a DWI arrest results in both a criminal charge, and usually initiates a civil proceeding against the arrested driver’s driving privileges called an Administrative License Revocation, or ALR.

An ALR suspension is initiated against an arrested driver when he either refuses to submit to breath or blood testing, or alternatively, fails a breath or blood test. The legal authority to impose an ALR suspension against a driver lies in the Texas implied consent statute.

This law states that each person who operates a motor vehicle on Texas roadways has given his or her implied consent to provide a specimen of breath or blood if arrested for DWI and provided with the applicable consequences of refusing to submit to testing.

Notice of ALR Suspension
Many police officers, after arresting a citizen, will tell the arrested driver that if he does not agree to take a breath or blood test that his license will be automatically and immediately suspended.

This is incorrect. When making an arrest for DWI, peace officers are required to take possession of any Texas license issued by this state and held by the person arrested and issue the person a temporary driving permit that expires on the 41st day after the date of issuance. Further, a request for a hearing to challenge the proposed suspension will delay any ALR sanctions until a hearing takes place.

Hearing Request Provisions
ALR suspensions are automatic unless you request a hearing to challenge the suspension, in writing, WITHIN FIFTEEN (15) DAYS after receiving notice of suspension from the arresting agency on a Department of Public Safety approved form. This document is generally received on the day of arrest.

If a hearing is not requested in a timely manner, the suspension will automatically begin on the forty-first (41st) day after notice was received. If a hearing is requested, no action will be taken regarding suspension until after the hearing has taken place, even if the hearing takes place more than forty days after the arrest.

The ALR Hearing
The burden of proof at an ALR hearing is on the Department of Public Safety. Once a driver or his attorney has made a timely request for an ALR hearing, no suspension may be imposed against the driver until the Department of Public Safety proves the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence at the hearing:

  1. That there was reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the driver;
  2. That probable cause existed that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated;
  3.  That the driver was placed under arrest and was offered an opportunity to give a specimen of breath or blood after being notified both orally and in writing of the consequences of either refusing or failing a breath or blood test; and
  4. That the driver refused to give a specimen on request of the officer, or, that the driver failed a breath or blood test by registering an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.

Suspension Provisions for Adult Drivers
Without any prior alcohol or drug related contacts against the accused driver during the previous 10-year period, your license will be suspended for 90 days if your chemical test result is over a 0.08% or 180 days if you refuse a chemical test. If you have a prior alcohol or drug contact within ten years, your license will be suspended for one year if your chemical test is over 0.08% or 2 years if you refuse a chemical test. In certain circumstances you may be eligible for an Occupational License.

Possible Defenses for DWI Charges

In deciding which defenses could apply in your driving while intoxicated (DWI) case, Houston Drunk Driving Lawyer Charles Johnson will look at all the evidence produced by the police and interview witnesses. Some common defenses seen in DWI cases include:

Driving Observation Defenses
The prosecutor always relies (sometimes exclusively) on the arresting police officer’s testimony about how a DWI suspect was driving, including:

  • Very slow speeds
  • Uneven speeds (very fast, then very slow, for example)
  • Weaving from one side of a lane to the other
  • Crossing the center line of the highway
  • Running a red light
  • Hesitation in going through a green light

A good defense attorney will argue that there are many different explanations for these driving behaviors that don’t have anything to do with being alcohol-impaired.

Behavior Observation Defenses
An officer may also testify as to a DWI suspect’s appearance and behavior when questioned, including:

  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Inappropriate joking or incoherent speech
  • Stumbling or not being able to walk very far
  • Pupil enlargement

Defenses to these observations that don’t have anything to do with being intoxicated may include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Allergies
  • Contact lenses
  • Stress due to personal circumstances
  • Medications
  • Foods recently ingested
  • Nervousness over being stopped by police
  • Physical impairments
  • Field Sobriety Test Defenses

When an officer suspects you may be too intoxicated to drive, he or she will likely ask you to perform what are called “field sobriety tests.” These tests are designed to assess your physical and mental alertness, and can include:

  • Walking a straight line
  • Walking backwards
  • Reciting the alphabet, frontwards or backwards
  • Standing on one leg
  • Officers also sometimes rely on what’s called a “nystagmus” test, in which the suspect is asked to shift eye gaze from one side to the other while the officer shines a light in his or her eyes. The theory is that the gaze of someone who is impaired by alcohol or drugs will be jerky rather than smooth.

The defenses to field sobriety tests are often the same as with officer observations. Medications and lack of sleep can make it considerably more difficult to perform these tests. Many people also have physical impairments caused by injuries – or simply aging -that make it impossible to perform these tasks under ideal conditions.

The Best Houston Lawyer will cross-examine the arresting officer in detail as to whether the officer asked you if you had physical impairments or there were particular circumstances that would make it difficult to perform the tests. He may also point out to the jury that many jury members may have similar difficulties performing the tests, such as by asking the jury if they could recite the alphabet backwards under the best of circumstances.

Blood Alcohol Content Defenses
When you consume alcoholic drinks, the alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream. The level of alcohol in your blood, called the Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) can be measured by different tests. In all states, you’re presumed to be drunk and unable to safely operate a vehicle if your BAC is .08 or greater. This measurement means that your blood contains eight/ one-hundredths percent of alcohol.

All states have lowered the BAC level defining intoxication to .08, and have “zero tolerance” laws that make it illegal for people under 21 to operate a vehicle with little or no amount of alcohol in their blood.

Many states also have more severe DWI or DUI penalties for driving with a high BAC, which is often defined as a level measuring more than .15 to .20.

Your BAC can be determined from a blood draw, which is often automatically taken if you are involved in an accident and there is a suspicion that you may have been drinking. Your blood will also be drawn if you are taken to the hospital because the police are concerned that you may have had so much to drink that you are in danger of alcohol poisoning and should be hospitalized for observation and/or treatment.

Most DWI suspects have their blood tested by blowing into a breath testing device. These devices can be faulty and not well-maintained or properly calibrated. They can register false results based on your consumption of food and other non-harmful substances other than alcohol or drugs.

The Best Houston DWI Lawyer will likely subpoena police records on how the breath testing machine operates and was maintained and calibrated. He may also want to bring in expert testimony that the particular breath testing machine the officer used is notorious for malfunctioning.

Depending on the jurisdiction, another defense to breath testing machines arises when the physical breath tests aren’t preserved as evidence, allowing for independent testing later. Your attorney can argue that there’s no way to know if the machine that was used was accurate, if your breath samples can’t be independently tested.

Many of the defenses against DWI charges require a lawyer’s expertise and experience. If you have been arrested for a DWI offense in Texas, do not try to handle the legal situation yourself. Contact the experienced and respected Texas DWI defense attorneys at the Charles Johnson Law Firm right away to make sure that your rights are protected.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

Arrested for DWI in the Houston Area? Houston DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson
by Charles Johnson

Charged with Sexual Assault? Protect Your Future With the Leading Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer

Charles Johnson: Houston Sex Crimes LawyerUnlike many other types of criminal defense cases, sexual assault defense cases require an extremely delicate touch. Sexual assault is a term which encompasses rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse and battery, molestation, and other crimes.

One of the most difficult aspects of sexual assault defense is the fact that there are rarely ever any witnesses to sexual assault crimes. In addition to the lack of witnesses, there is usually little evidence a rape, attempted rape, molestation, or other sex crime, ever occurred. Taking away evidence and witnesses, what we are left with is one word vs. another – the victim’s claim, and the suspect’s defense, both people’s lives often drastically affected by the severity of the event and the legal outcome.

It is the responsibility of your lawyer to thoroughly research all aspects of your case and assist you with whatever legal facilitation you need through this difficult time.

Don’t Make A Serious Mistake: Make The Right Choice For Your Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of rape or sexual assault, you can’t afford to make a mistake with who you hire as your Houston Sex Crimes Defense Attorney. These types of criminal charges demand an attorney that has defended these types of cases successfully for many years. Our proven results are among the best in the legal profession in Texas. We know how to very aggressively and successfully defend Texas sex crime charges, and we know how to make sure you are legally protected to the maximum extent possible.

Make the wrong move – hire an attorney who only handles these cases “occasionally,” or hire an attorney based on the lowest fee you’re quoted – and you may find yourself in prison for something you may not be legally guilty of doing. If you are in this situation right now, you probably have a hundred questions to ask. Contact Houston Sexual Assault Lawyer Charles Johnson anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577 for your free consultation. Attorney Johnson will help you decide what, legally, you need to do.

What Is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault” is any form of sexual contact or penetration that is committed against another person without his or her consent.  Victims of sexual assault can be compelled to participate through physical force, fear, coercion, deception, or the use of intoxicants such as drugs or alcohol.  Some types of sexual violence that doesn’t involve force or other forms of compulsion are still considered criminal.

Sexual Assault is broadly defined as the full range of forced sexual acts, including forced touching or kissing; verbally coerced intercourse; and vaginal, oral, and anal penetration. Researchers typically include in this category only acts of this nature that occur during adolescence or adulthood; in other words, childhood sexual abuse is defined separately. Both men and women can be sexually assaulted and can commit sexual assault. The vast majority of sexual assaults, however, involve male perpetrators and female victims.

Other examples of sexual assault include:

Date or acquaintance rape which involves non-consensual sexual intercourse committed by a date or someone known to the victim, such as an acquaintance, friend, co-worker, date, or spouse.  This includes incidents where the victim is unable to provide consent (e.g. unconscious, asleep, or under the influence of a substance). Most rapes are acquaintance rapes.

Alcohol-involved rape: Rape in which the perpetrator, the victim, or both are under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

Attempted rape: An act that fits the definition of rape, in terms of the strategies used, but does not result in penetration.

Childhood sexual abuse: Sexual abuse that occurs to a child (the term “child” is generally defined as age 13 or younger). Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of child sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples, etc.) to a child with intent to gratify their own sexual desires or to intimidate or groom the child, physical sexual contact with a child, or using a child to produce child pornography.

Date rape: Rape committed by someone that the victim is dating. Among college students, approximately one-half of all rapes are committed by a date.

Marital rape: Rape committed by the victim’s spouse. Marital rape often is committed in association with verbal and physical abuse.

Stranger rape: Rape committed by someone that the victim does not know. Less than 20 percent of rapes are committed by strangers, although most people believe that stranger rape is the prototypical rape.

Flashing” or “Exhibitionism” involves the exposure of a person’s genitals to cause alarm or fear in another person or to provoke sexual interest in the viewer.

Peeping” or “Voyeurism” is secretively observing someone, without the person’s permission, for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Stalking” or “Cyber stalking” are forms of harassment generally comprised of repeated and persistent following, calling, writing, texting, etc. with no legitimate reason and with the intention of harming, or so as to arouse anxiety or fear of harm in the person being followed or contacted.

Anyone — men, women, and even children — can be sexually assaulted.  Sexual assault is usually defined as sexual activity between two or more people in which one of the people is coerced or threatened with harm.  The sexual activity may include fondling, sexual intercourse, oral sex, and/or anal sex. The sexual aggressor can be a family member, like a husband or father, or a friend, date, acquaintance, or stranger.

Sexual assault is a crime that has become an epidemic problem.  Sexual assault can be an extremely stressful, terrifying event and can severely disrupt the victim’s lifestyle and coping patterns.  During a sexual assault, the victim may have feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty about whether he or she will survive.  Frequently the victim’s life is directly threatened and the victim may be physically injured in a variety of ways.  At the same time, the victim must remain alert, trying to protect him or herself from even more harm. Children who may be present are often threatened, adding to the terror and causing the victim to feel responsible for protecting them.

Studies show that the impact of sexual assault varies from person to person.  Victims may no longer feel safe, may lose self-esteem, feel powerless, and lose the ability to trust others or develop intimacy.  The more terrifying the assault, and the more the person’s life is threatened, the more problems victims usually have afterwards.  Having suffered previous traumatic events can also contribute to greater problems.

Sexual assault of adolescent and adult women has been called a silent epidemic, because it occurs at high rates yet is rarely reported to the authorities. Several reasons contribute to the underreporting of sexual assault cases. Many victims do not tell others about the assault, because they fear that they will not be believed or will be derogated, which, according to research findings, is a valid concern. Other victims may not realize that they have actually experienced legally defined rape or sex­ual assault, because the incident does not fit the prototypic scenario of “stranger rape.” For example, in a study by Abbey and colleagues, a woman wrote, “For years I believed it was my fault for being too drunk. I never called it ‘rape’ until much more recently, even though I repeatedly told him ‘no’.”
Charles Johnson: Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer

Defendants Charged With Sexual Assault

Unfortunately in many of these cases there is a tendency to favor the victim’s claim and assume that he or she is telling the truth, no matter the actual believability of the story. The courts are supposed to be fair and equal, but that is not always the case. This is why it is imperative that you find a lawyer that believes you, is on your side, and will be aggressive in making sure your story is heard while defending your rights and fighting for your freedom.

Whether there is evidence of a crime or not, an effective and experienced criminal defense lawyer should know how the legal system works and how to best defend your rights and your case. Sexual Assault defense requires many resources including precision, experience, knowledge, and dedication, all aspects that you will find when working with our lawyers. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we defend each of our clients with every available tactic, legal technique, investigative research, and more to secure their vindication and release. In short, we will do our best to win your case.

If you have been charged with, or are charging someone with sexual assault of any sort, please protect your rights and contact Houston Sexual Assault Lawyer Charles Johnson anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your case.

Victims of Sexual Assault in Society

Cultural and Religious Issues

Issues having the most profound impact on victims may, in part, be attributed to their cultural or religious backgrounds. For some victims, problems associated with poverty and discrimination, as well as inadequate access to quality health care, already have resulted in a high incidence of victimization. There may exist a general distrust of medical and law enforcement personnel who play vital roles in the aftermath of sexual assault, particularly if there has been a history of unpleasant or disappointing experiences with these professionals.

In some cultures, the loss of virginity is an issue of paramount importance which may render the victim unacceptable for an honorable marriage. In other cultures, the actual event of the assault may be a more significant issue of concern for the family than is the victim’s loss of virginity.

Some religious doctrines prohibit a female from being disrobed in the presence of a male who is not her husband. A genital examination by a male physician also may be forbidden. These practices are often considered a further violation of the victim, the family or both.

The Elderly Victim

As with most other victims, elderly victims experience extreme humiliation, shock, disbelief and denial. However, full emotional impact of the assault may not be felt until the victim is alone, well after initial contact with physicians, police, legal and advocacy groups. During this time, elderly victims must deal with having been violated and possibly infected with sexually transmitted diseases. This is also when the elderly become more acutely aware of their physical vulnerability, reduced resilience and mortality.  Fear, anger or depression can be especially severe in elderly victims who are isolated, have no confidant or live on meager incomes. Fear of losing independence as a result of family members learning about the sexual assault can be a strong deterrent to reporting.  Recognizing that the offender may be a family member, friend or caretaker is also important.

The Victim with Disabilities

Persons having mental or developmental disabilities may be confused or frightened, unsure of what occurred, or they may not even understand that they have been exploited and are victims of a crime. In sexual assault cases involving victims with mental or developmental disabilities, using anatomically detailed dolls has proven to be a successful means of communication. Only those specifically trained in their use should use anatomically detailed dolls. In some cases, offenders may be family members, caretakers or friends who inflict repeated abuse because their victims are not able to report the crimes against them.

The Male Victim

It is believed that the number of adult male victims of sexual assault who report the crime or seek medical care or counseling represents only a very small percentage of those actually victimized. Although many adult males do not seek medical care unless they also have been seriously injured, male child victims are now being seen at hospitals in increasing numbers. This increase, in large measure, is a direct result of public education and more stringent child abuse reporting laws throughout the nation.

The male victim may have serious concerns regarding his inability to prevent the assault. There also may be confusion about the nature of his role as victim/participant because of a possible involuntary physiological response to the assault, such as stimulation to ejaculation. Male victims need reassurance that they were the victims of a violent crime which was not their fault, and that other sexually assaulted males have survived to function normally in every way.

The Child and Adolescent Victim

Children are not small adults either physiologically or emotionally.  Just as the physical examination protocol for children is different from the protocol for adults, the emotional needs of the child are also different. Children require the services of individuals specifically trained to provide the crisis intervention, medical examination and long-term treatment that will surely be needed as a result of acute sexual assault or chronic sexual abuse.

Adolescents are experiencing a transition from childhood to adulthood and show extremely variable reactions which may be a reflection of their individual developmental stage. There is no typical adolescent victim, and the approach to each is a challenge for even the most experienced practitioner.  Acquaintance or “date rape” may be the most under-reported type of sexual assault.  Clearly, access to long-term treatment by specifically trained individuals is essential for all child and adolescent victims.

The Domestic Violence Victim

Sexual assault by a spouse or other familial is a grave indicator of the danger a victim faces and must be taken seriously.  Forced sex is a factor in determining the potential for lethality; a woman who is raped by her partner is more likely to die at his hands. Medical personnel must determine whether the victim is a domestic violence victim so proper services and referrals can be provided.

A victim who has been sexually assaulted by a partner has likely been suffering other forms of violence during the relationship. Many victims keep physical, emotional and sexual abuse hidden from friends and family members for numerous reasons: many religions and cultures prohibit divorce, the victim believes that the abuse is deserved or does not realize a crime has been committed, the victim has no support system, the victim is financially dependent upon the abuser, or the victim fears the abuser will harm or take the children.

The Homosexual Victim

Homosexual male and lesbian victims are often reluctant to seek services for a number of reasons. There is concern of encountering barriers of prejudice or homophobia, as well as fears that the assault will not be taken seriously or even perceived as a crime. Many times the homosexual community in a given area is small; this results in limited access to qualified service providers, and the fear that the entire community will find out about the attack. Another consideration is that the victim’s family, friends or co-workers may not be aware of the victim’s sexual orientation.  Fears of ostracism by peers and family can be more traumatizing for the victim than the attack.

Bisexual and transgender victims are also at high risk for encountering prejudice and ridicule as a result of reporting sexual assault. Recognizing that sexual assault is always a crime and knowing appropriate referrals for victims who are not heterosexual is essential for all involved.

Victimization Involving Alcohol/ Drugs

Alcohol is the drug most frequently used to facilitate sexual assault. Victims often believe that because they voluntarily consumed alcohol, ecstasy or some other drug, they are to blame for the assault. It is important to understand that intoxication and the resulting diminished abilities are not causes of sexual assault; they are tools used to aid in commission of this crime.

Victims who have ingested a drug or combination of drugs may not be aware that they have been sexually assaulted. Victims may experience unexplainable soreness or injuries or a disheveled appearance. Events described as “dreamlike” or that cannot be remembered at all are strong indicators that toxicology screens are warranted and should be discussed.

Victim Reactions to Sexual Assault

After a sexual assault, victims can experience a range of responses.  However, some patterns are especially common.  Some victims report that they have repeated and frequent memories of the sexual assault that intrude on their thoughts and cannot be controlled; flashbacks, or a feeling as if they are reliving the sexual assault; nightmares; and difficulty sleeping.  In addition, sexual assault victims may experience feelings of being “on edge,” having trouble concentrating, feeling the need to continually watch over their shoulder, or being easily startled (for example, jumping at the sound of someone’s voice from behind).  Victims also report that they tend to avoid reminders of the sexual assault, including avoiding places that may resemble the place where they were assaulted; may feel less interested in things that they used to enjoy; and may feel emotionally numb.  Victims may also withdraw from social interaction or settings.  When these problems persist and disrupt daily life, mental health professionals call this group of symptoms posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In addition to PTSD, sexual assault victims frequently find that they feel depressed and hopeless about the future, which can lead to thoughts about suicide.  Many victims also report that they feel like the sexual assault was somehow “their fault,” resulting in feelings of self-blame and self-doubt.  Frequently, sexual assault victims also say that they feel generally unsafe and often have difficulties with trust and intimacy.  It is also common for sexual assault victims to have questions about their physical health and develop problems related to their sexual functioning.  Lastly, sexual assault victims may resort to using drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms.

Women who become victims of sexual assault typically experience the victimization as a traumatic event. There are common reactions to this kind of trauma or shock; but at the same time, each woman responds in her own unique way.

  1. Fear responses:  The most common victim reaction to sexual assault is fear. At the time of the assault, most victims have an overwhelming experience is fear — of being physically injured (beaten, cut, shot, etc.) or even of being killed. Fear responses associated with the assault (to certain sights, sounds, smells, thoughts, etc.) can persists for weeks, months, or even years. Victims who have been assaulted typically avoid anything which reminds them of the assault (places, situations, people, etc.). Some men and women become so fearful that they greatly restrict their activities, even to the point that they are unable to leave their homes or to be left alone.
  2.  Losing control:  After experiencing a sexual assault, many men and women fear that they are losing control over their lives. They have been forced to participate in an act that was against their wills. They lost control over their lives at the time of the assault, and this feeling of loss of control may continue after the assault.
  3. Flashbacks:  Victims may re-experience the assault over and over again in their thoughts and/or in their dreams. When this happens, it is almost as though the assault is actually occurring again. This re­experience of the event is called a flashback.
  4. Trouble concentrating: Sexual assault victims may find that they have trouble concentrating on things. It is as though they cannot keep their minds on what they are doing. This is can be frustrating and add to the sense of loss of control.
  5. Guilty feelings:  The most common source of guilty feelings are the result of self-blame. The victims tells him- or herself such things as, “I should not have been out that late,” or “I should have been dressed differently,” or “If I had been more careful about locking the door, this would not have happened.” Sexual assault victims may also feel guilty about what they had to in order to survive the assault, such as activities the victim felt he or she had to engage in in an effort to save him- or herself from serious physical harm or even death. In some instances, guilty feelings result from the fact that others may have been seriously harmed more than the victim herself. This is referred to as survivor’s guilt.
  6. Feeling “dirty”: Self-image frequently suffers as a result of the assault. Many victims report feeling “dirty” and may take frequent showers in an effort to feel clean.
  7. Depression: Another common reaction to sexual assault is a sense of sadness or depression. There may be feelings of hopelessness and despair, frequent crying spells, and sometimes even thoughts of suicide. A loss of interest in activities and things that previously were enjoyable often accompanies these feelings of sadness and despair. Nothing seems like it is fun anymore.
  8. Disrupted relationships: It is not unusual to see a disruption in relationships with others after a sexual assault. This is, in part, a result of the withdrawn behavior that frequently accompanies sadness and depression. The victim may also feel embarrassment and ashamed about what happened to them. However, the support of friends and family plays a vitally important role in the victim’s recovery from the trauma of sexual assault.
  9. Loss of interest in sex: After an assault it is not unusual for the victim to experience a significant loss of interest in sexual relations. It is understandable that sexual assault trauma would lead to an avoidance of sexual activity. There may be other factors involved, however. For instance, it is very common for people who are depressed to experience a decrease in libido or sexual drive.

Sexual Paraphilias (Sexual Deviations)

Definition: Receiving Sexual Arousal or Gratification in Response to Objects, Situations, and/or Non-Consenting Partners

Sexual paraphilias are commonly referred to as “sexual deviations”. There are four of these disorders, 1) sexual dysfunctions, 2) paraphilias, 3) gender identity disorders, and 4) sexual disorder not otherwise specified.

The essential feature of a paraphiliac disorder is reoccurring sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies generally involving: (1) Non-human objects, (2) the suffering or humiliation of oneselfor one’s partner (not merely simulated), or (3) children or other nonconsenting partners.

For some individuals with a paraphilia, the paraphiliac fantasies or stimuli may always benecessary for erotic arousal and are always included in the individual’s sexual activity (including criminal activity).

In others, it occurs only episodically, i.e. during periods of stress. At other times, the person canfunction sexually without the paraphiliac fantasy or stimuli. In some instances, the paraphiliacbehavior may become the major sexual activity in this person’s life.

It is commonly accepted that when an individual is identified as having one paraphilia, there areat least one or more additional paraphilias. These individuals rarely seek treatment on their own; usually they come to the attention of mental health professionals only when their behavior has brought them into conflict with sexual partners or society (i.e. they get arrested for criminal behavior).

Any or all of the paraphilias may be exhibited by an offender during a sexual assault of a victim (adult or child). The following is a comparison of the recognized sexual paraphilias to criminal conduct:

COPROPHILIA
Feces.
False imprisonment, assault.
EXHIBITIONISM
The exposure of one’s genitals to a stranger.
Indecent exposure.
Disorderly (lewd) conduct.
FETISHISM
Nonliving objects (fetishes). The individual frequently masturbates while holding, rubbing or smelling the object or asks his partner to wear the object.
Burglary, theft, rape.
FROTTEURISM
Touching or rubbing against a nonconsenting (or unknowing) partner.
Assault, battery, sexual battery.
HYPOXYPHILIA (KOTZWARRAISM)
Producing sexual excitement by mechanical or chemical asphyxiation (hypoxia).
Accidental death, involuntary manslaughter.
INFIBULATION
Cutting, alteration, branding, infusion of the genitals (one’s own or another’s)
Assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, sexual battery, mayhem.
KLISMAPHILIA
Enemas.
Penetration by foreign object.
MASOCHISM
The person is aroused by being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer.
Disorderly conduct; prostitution.
NECROPHILIA
Sexual arousal with corpses.
Burglary, unauthorized mutilation, theft.
PARTIALISM
Exclusive focus on part of a body (living).
Sexual battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon.
PEDOPHILIA
Sexual attraction to another who is legally a child (prepubescent child).
Rape, lewd or lascivious acts with a child, oral copulation, penetration by foreign object, sodomy, annoying children, child pornography, kidnapping.
PIQUERISM
Piercing of the body.
Assault with a deadly weapon, sexual battery, mayhem, tattooing.
SADISM
Receiving sexual arousal or gratification inresponse to another’s suffering (physical orpsychological).
Rape, oral copulation, sodomy, penetration by foreign object, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, murder.
TELEPHONE SCATOLOGIA
Talking lewdly, on the telephone, usually to strangers.
Obscene phone calls.
TRANSVESTISM
Cross-dressing, wearing the clothing of the opposite sex.
Disorderly conduct, prostitution, theft, burglary, robbery.
UROPHILIA
Urine.
Assault, false imprisonment.
VOYEURISM
Observing unsuspecting people who are naked or engaging in sexual activity.
Disorderly conduct; “peeping” and prowling.
ZOOPHILIA
Animals.
Sexually assaulting an animal.

Texas law covers a long list of sex crimes, from rape and sexual assault to statutory rape and indecent exposure. They are all serious offenses, but among the most serious is involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Similar to rape, it’s a crime centered around forcible sexual intercourse. Penalties can be severe, especially if a child is involved.

Charles Johnson: Houston Sex Crimes LawyerIf you are facing involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges in the Houston area, contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson, an experienced involuntary deviate sexual intercourse defense attorney in Texas. Call today. It is important to start working on your defense right away.

We Defend All Sex Crime Charges

Our sexual assault defense practice helps people charged with, but not limited to:

  • Child molestation, possession of child pornography, sexual assault
  • Statutory rape, sodomy, rape
  • Deviant sexual assault, sexual misconduct, enticement of minors

A conviction can mean jail or prison time as well as thousands of dollars of fines. A conviction can also require lifetime registration as a sexual offender. These sex offender registrations are open to the public including family members and employers. Failure to register as a sex offender can result in new convictions and incarceration.

Through training and experience we have a unique view and ability to handle theses types of cases. These types of cases have unique and special rules that other types of cases do not. We have experience to deal with those issues such as:

  • Special hearsay rules for child witnesses
  • Dealing with forensic interviews by law enforcement or therapists.
  • Interpreting clinical medical exams such as SAFE exams.
  • Obtaining and using evidence of prior instances of abuse from state agencies.
  • Dealing with the child witness on the witness stand.

No matter what type of sex crime you are charged with, we will respect your dignity and work to protect your reputation.

Hire the Best Sexual Assault Lawyer: Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson

Sexual Assault is a serious, life-changing event and allegation, which is why the courts take the claims so seriously. However, too frequently, there is a lack of evidence and witnesses that helps the criminal defense attorney working for the defendant to win the case. A defendant may sometimes avoid prosecution and punishment simply by just claiming a rape, molestation, attempted rape or other sexual assault act never happened.

Sometimes the prosecutor’s office is so inundated with cases that your personal case may not receive the attention it deserves. With extensive expertise in the area of sexual assault, good criminal defense lawyers are in a unique position to predict the probable legal maneuvers of the defendant’s lawyers and to address and challenge those maneuvers before they become an issue or a possible way for the defense lawyers to win their client’s case.

For this reason it is an extremely smart idea to hire the best criminal defense attorney to ensure your case is given the time and importance it should have. Contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson directly at (713) 222-7577 now to discuss your case. He is available around the clock to take your call.

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Houston Lawyer: Charged with a Methamphetamine Offense?

Whether you are currently under investigation for a drug crime involving Methamphetamine or have already been arrested, it’s important to retain criminal defense representation from a skilled Houston Lawyer. Texas has some of the most stringent illegal drug laws in the country, and the police and prosecutors involved with your criminal case aren’t going to let you off easy. By working with an attorney who has considerable knowledge, expertise, and practice of this type of criminal law, your odds of resolving your case effectively increase greatly. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson will be by your side during this difficult time in your life.

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Methamphetamine is the illegal drug with the fastest growing rate of abuse in the United States. More U.S. counties (48%) report that meth may be the principal drug problem in the country – more than cocaine (22%), marijuana (22%) and heroin (3%) put together. Meth laboratory seizures have increased 577 percent nationwide since 1995. Methamphetamine, also known as “speed,” “crank,” “chalk,” or “ice” among many others, has been hooking people for years. But illegal production and use of the hugely addictive stimulant have exploded in the last few years, spawning what some authorities call America’s first rural drug epidemic. Methamphetamine is a strong stimulant that can cause a high that lasts from six to Twenty four hours. Once favored mainly by West Coast bike gangs, methamphetamine is now spreading across the nation. As outlined by US government surveys, treatment for meth addiction has more than quadrupled since 1993. Greater than 12 million men and women above the age of 12 have experimented with methamphetamine, including one out of 10 adolescents (according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

What exactly is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant that directly has an effect on the pleasure centers within the brain. With repeated use of meth, it turns off the brain’s capacity to produce dopamine which simply leaves the users of methamphetamine incapable of enjoying anything but more methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is usually smoked, injected intravenously, snorted, or perhaps ingested orally. The drug alters mood in different ways, dependent on how it is utilized.

Meth is known to raise the user’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate, a reduction in appetite, sleep, reaction time, and lung function. Extended use of meth can result in a number of conditions for example “meth mouth”, depression, amphetamine psychosis, obsessive scratching, anorexia, unfavorable social behavior, every type of child neglect, neglect of hygiene and property, prenatal exposure, dangerous sexual tendencies associated with the spread of HIV and also STD’s, aggressive behavior, criminal actions, and death from the collapse of the cardiovascular system and/or bleeding in the brain, cardiac arrest or hypothermia. Moreover, there are many side affects related to overdose which include death, brain damage, feelings of flesh crawling bugs connected with compulsive picking and infecting lesions, muscle breakdown producing kidney failure, hallucinations, delusions, along with paranoia. These terrible conditions linked to meth don’t even include the many accidents and deaths that could occur during the cooking process due to fires, explosions, and getting into contact with extremely dangerous chemical substances typically while the user is under the influence.

Forms of Methamphetamine

Meth is known as a central nervous system stimulant with a significant potential for abuse and dependency. A synthetic illegal drug, Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, yet creates increased effects on the central nervous system. The drug’s euphoric effects are comparable to, but longer lasting than those from cocaine. It typically comes in three forms:

Powder: a white, odorless, and bitter-tasting crystalline powder, readily soluble in water or alcohol.

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Crystal: Users will smoke chunks of a very pure form of crystalline Methamphetamine called “Ice”.

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Rock: Big chunks of the drug, typically found in yellow, are usually ingested orally.

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Signs and symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction

Users can become hooked the first time they take meth, and the addiction is probably the most challenging to treat. People who take methamphetamine may become aggressive and paranoid, and the drug may cause heart attacks and death.

Addicts are typically chronic methamphetamine abusers completely preoccupied with avoiding the “crash”, a period of low energy and deep depression occurring after the individual stops using the drug. Throughout the crash, an individual often sleeps, even up to several days at a time, leaving kids unsupervised.

Methamphetamine dependency is quick, and so is the deterioration within the individual’s family and way of life. Drug tolerance to methamphetamine builds up quickly, and the user typically continues his impairment from abusing other drugs or alcohol, an activity referred to as “tweaking”, to ease the extremely unpleasant feeling after a binge. The tweaker is frequently paranoid and experiences a period of delusions and hallucinations during which violent reactions to otherwise harmless stimuli are routine. Frequently, it is children that happen to be in the way.

The horror of meth abuse just cannot be overstated.

Methamphetamine abuse consumes the quality of life and destroys individuals. In the series of photographs below, the female depicted was 38 years of age when she died. Incredibly, she is actually still living in the last photograph. Each photograph represents about Eleven months.

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History of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine was first produced in Germany in 1887, but not for the recreational use that we find nowadays. It was produced to deal with various types of depression, weight control (obesity), narcolepsy, and alcoholism. In the Second World War, Methamphetamine was widely used by Nazi soldiers. Hitler’s troops, aviators, and tank crews received chocolate laced with Meth frequently. Following the war, through the 1970′s, the drug was commonly used primarily for medicinal reasons and one could acquire a legal prescription of Methamphetamine. It was not until the 1980′s that we started to see Meth being produced for recreational uses. By the mid- 1980′s we started to notice meth being manufactured illicitly in Texas, and since then, the illicit manufacturing of meth has spread like wildfire.

Challenges for Law Enforcement

The addictive character of meth generates numerous difficulties for law enforcement. People commonly become addicted from a single use of the drug and discover it almost impossible to later cease using meth. Users, dealers and traffickers often target adolescents to start using meth. The DEA has found evidence of this from the increase in availability of flavored methamphetamine. Flavors including strawberry or “strawberry quick,” cola, and chocolate flavored meth have been found by bodies in California, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, and Minnesota.

Safety factors are also a huge obstacle for law enforcement if they happen to find a covert methamphetamine lab. It is a common practice for small meth lab operators to encircle their laboratories with booby traps, meant to seriously harm trespassers. Many of these booby traps include rigged shot firearms behind doors and refrigerators, traps that release harmful fumes, and even poisonous snakes.

Individuals who violate the law by manufacturing, possessing, or distributing methamphetamine frequently break the law in other ways also – because of or in support of their meth addiction. Many law enforcement agencies will point to the connection between meth manufacturers and meth addicts and criminal acts including: homicide, domestic assault, illegal possession of weapons, theft and identity fraud.

Methamphetamine Defense: Hire the Top Houston Lawyer

Whatever illegal drug charges you are defending, it’s of the utmost necessity that you retain the services of The Top Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer who will battle to avoid the severe penalties that are the consequence of drug-related conviction. Even if it’s your initial criminal offense, you could have to deal with a mandatory jail sentence, as well as considerable fines and a felony on your record.

The attorney you hire to defend you can easily make a big difference in whether you win your court case and steer clear of a life-altering conviction. Nonetheless, in a city like Houston, TX, finding the right Houston Lawyer can be challenging. When looking for a Houston drug defense lawyer to handle your court case, you ought to locate a lawyer who’s experienced, but who can also come up with innovative defense tactics for battling your criminal charges. Ultimately, many lawyers are familiar with what the law states, but Lawyer Johnson is skilled at utilizing his understanding of the law to come up with unquestionably inventive and effective ways to defend his clients against their criminal charges.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for an offense associated with Methamphetamine possession, manufacturing or distribution in Houston, obtain the support of Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson as soon as possible.


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Defending your Felony Crime in Houston

Charles Johnson: Houston Felony LawyerIn the criminal justice system, serious crimes net serious consequences. Being charged with a felony in Houston can dramatically change your life, from lengthy prison sentences to a lifetime of restricted privileges as a convicted felon. Even the mere allegation of criminal activity can cause not only legal difficulties, but also personal ramifications as the accused is eyed with suspicion by co-workers, friends, and even family members. If you have been charged with a Felony crime and need a Houston Attorney to handle your Felony Case, contact Houston Felony Lawyer Johnson directly anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577. In Felony Defense, experience makes the difference.

Felony Crimes in Houston

Virtually everyone has had some experience on the wrong side of the law, if only for a minor traffic infraction. Still others have been accused of misdemeanor offenses such as petty theft or first offense DUI. The most serious criminal offenses, however, are charged as felonies, and conviction of a felony crime often leads to years, even a lifetime, in prison. Even upon parole or release from prison, a convicted felon is subject to extended probation and the loss of rights, such as possession of a firearm or the ability to work in certain professions. Felony sex offenses can lead to lifetime sex offender registration, which severely restricts housing options, employment possibilities, and even recreational activities. Houston Felony Lawyer Charles Johnson will be instrumental in protecting the rights of those accused of felony acts, ensuring a fair trial, upholding justice, and helping the defendant avoid inflated charges and excessive sentencing.

When finding a defense lawyer to handle your felony case, it is important to look for an attorney with specific experience representing defendants accused of serious felonies. Your lawyer should have the knowledge, skill, and determination to uncover evidence to support your case, to protect against illegal police procedures, and to aggressively pursue every option for your defense.

Houston Felony Lawyer Charles Johnson has experience defending clients charged in criminal matters. He provides legal counsel and defense for those accused of serious felony crimes anywhere in Texas.

With criminal penalties ranging from just over a year to life in prison, fines reaching tens of thousands of dollars, and a criminal record of a felony conviction that can limit your potential for a lifetime, a felony charge should be taken seriously by the defendant and the Houston felony lawyer handling the case. Professional and diligent, Attorney Johnson is committed to providing assertive, quality defense for clients charged with felony acts across Texas.

Houston Felony Defense

Far too often, those accused of felony crimes or investigated for involvement in felony acts do not understand their Constitutional rights. They may hesitate to hire a Houston felony lawyer, feeling that seeking legal counsel makes them appear as if they have something to hide. They may speak freely with police, investigators, and legal authorities, feeling that this cooperation will help “clear things up.” However, speaking to investigators without the counsel of a qualified Houston felony attorney is perhaps the most critical mistake one can make in defending against felony criminal charges.

Miranda rights proclaim that anything you say can and will be used against you. Your words may be misconstrued. False or inaccurate confessions may be wheedled from the accused through manipulative interrogation. Hiring a Houston felony lawyer is not an indication of guilt; it is a right deemed so important that it is upheld in the Constitution. Do not speak with police, do not consent to questioning or a search, do not say anything about your case to anyone until you have had a chance to speak with Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson.

Attorney Johnson will not only offer sound legal advice on how to proceed when confronted with questioning, but will protect you from illegal search and seizure and other improper police procedures. He will pursue every avenue for your defense, making sure that you are allowed every option for a positive outcome to your case.

Contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson anytime night or day to discuss your case. You can speak with him directly by calling (713) 222-7577. If in fact you or a loved one think you are suspected or arrested for a Felony Crime, don’t wait to contact a lawyer you can trust. Rest assured that The Charles Johnson Law Firm will zealously defend you against any type of Felony Charge.

This table contains information on offenses in Texas statutory law punishable as felonies. The table includes the statute citation for each offense (“Code” and “Section Number” columns), a brief description of the offense (“Offense” column), and the penalty category of the offense (“Felony Category” column).

Many of the offenses included in the table are punishable in multiple felony categories based on certain circumstances of the offense (e.g., the offense is a subsequent offense or a certain amount of money or controlled substance is involved). If an offense is punishable in multiple categories, each felony category connected to the offense has a separate entry in the table. Although a number of the offenses are also punishable as misdemeanors, the table addresses only punishments categorized as felonies.

Code Section Number Offense Felony Category Punishment (nonstandard)
Agriculture Code 14.072 Operating a public grain warehouse without a license 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.073 Fraud by a public grain warehouse operator 2nd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.074 Unlawful delivery of grain out of a public grain warehouse 2nd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.075 Fraudulently issuing a scale weight ticket or receipt 2nd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.076 Changing a receipt or scale weight ticket after issuance 2nd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.077 Depositing grain without title 2nd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.078 Stealing grain or receiving stolen grain 2nd Degree   
Agriculture Code 14.079 Interfering with sealed grain warehouse or Texas Department of Agriculture inspection or investigation 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 59.046 False or fictitious written statement relating to the procurement of financial assistance or to a property transaction under the farm & ranch finance program 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 59.047 Fraud relating to the farm & ranch finance program 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 63.157 Purchase of ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate material with the intent to manufacture an explosive device 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 76.202 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of pesticides & herbicides 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 134.023 Unlawful acquisition of or control over certain cultured species of aquatic animals with intent to deprive the owner 3rd Degree   
Agriculture Code 144.127 Reproduction or destruction of tattoo mark on livestock without the owner’s consent N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than 12 years
Agriculture Code 144.128 Purchase, sale, or transportation of tattooed livestock without the owner’s consent N/A imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than 12 years
Agriculture Code 147.061 Failure to file or maintain bond required of livestock commission merchants N/A  Fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, imprisonment for not less than one nor more than two years, or both
Agriculture Code 147.064 Appropriation of proceeds of sale made by a livestock commission merchant for a purpose other than remittance to the appropriate person or depository N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than four years
Agriculture Code 161.141 Movement of certain livestock, fowl, & other animals in violation of quarantine N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than five years & a fine of not more than $10,000
Alcoholic Beverage Code 54.12 Shipping alcohol without a permit State Jail   
Alcoholic Beverage Code 101.31 Alcoholic beverages in dry areas State Jail   
Alcoholic Beverage Code 103.05 False report by a peace officer regarding the seizure of illicit beverages N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years & not more than five years
Alcoholic Beverage Code 109.532 Unlawful release or disclosure of criminal history information received by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 2nd Degree   
Alcoholic Beverage Code 206.06 Forgery or counterfeiting of an alcoholic beverage stamp, permit, license, signature, certificate, evidence of tax payment, or other instrument N/A Imprisonment for not less than two nor more than 20 years
Business & Commerce Code 15.22 Certain offenses relating to monopolies, trusts, & conspiracies in restraint of trade N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both
Business & Commerce Code 16.31 Certain offenses relating to the filing of trademark documents (effective until September 1, 2012) State Jail   
Business & Commerce Code 17.461 Pyramid promotional scheme State Jail   
Business & Commerce Code 251.004 Warehouseman issuing warehouse receipt without control of goods N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both
Business & Commerce Code 251.005  Warehouseman issuing duplicate or additional warehouse receipt N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both
Business & Commerce Code 252.004 Agent issuing fraudulent bill of lading N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or less than two years
Business & Commerce Code 252.005 Agent issuing order bill of lading in duplicate or set of parts N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than five years & a fine not to exceed $5,000
Business & Commerce Code 252.006 Fraudulently inducing issuance of bill of lading N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than five years or less than two years
Business & Commerce Code 252.007 Fraudulently negotiating or transferring bill of lading N/A Imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years
Business & Commerce Code 504.002 Using crime victim or motor vehicle accident information for solicitation or sale 3rd Degree   
Business & Commerce Code 522.002 Certain offenses relating to the theft of protected health information by electronic device (effective on September 1, 2012) State Jail  
Business & Commerce Code 621.251 Certain offenses relating to contests & gift giveaways 3rd Degree   
Business & Commerce Code 641.053 Unauthorized operation of recording device in motion picture theater 3rd Degree   
Business & Commerce Code 641.053 Unauthorized operation of recording device in motion picture theater State Jail   
Business Organizations Code 4.008 Filing a false instrument State Jail   
Code of Criminal Procedure 62.102 Failure to comply with registration requirements of the sex offender registration program 2nd Degree   
Code of Criminal Procedure 62.102 Failure to comply with registration requirements of the sex offender registration program 3rd Degree   
Code of Criminal Procedure 62.102 Failure to comply with registration requirements of the sex offender registration program State Jail   
Code of Criminal Procedure 62.203 Failure of individuals subject to civil commitment to comply with requirements of the sex offender registration program 2nd Degree   
Education Code 37.125 Exhibition of firearms on school property or on a school bus 3rd Degree   
Education Code 37.152 Personal hazing offense that causes death of another State Jail   
Education Code 44.051 Interference with operation of foundation school program by tampering with a governmental record 2nd Degree  
Education Code 44.051 Interference with operation of foundation school program by tampering with a governmental record 3rd Degree   
Education Code 1001.56 Unauthorized transfer or possession of certain driver education certificates N/A Imprisonment for a term not to exceed five years
Election Code 2.054 Coercion against candidacy 3rd Degree   
Election Code 13.006 Purportedly acting as agent for a voter registration applicant 3rd Degree   
Election Code 13.145 Unlawful delivery of voter registration certificate by voter registrar 3rd Degree   
Election Code 61.006 Unlawfully divulging vote 3rd Degree   
Election Code 64.012 Illegal voting 2nd Degree  
Election Code 64.012 Attempting to vote illegally State Jail  
Election Code 84.0041 Providing false information on application for early voting ballot State Jail   
Election Code 86.0051 Carrier envelope action by person other than voter State Jail   
Election Code 86.006 Offense relating to the method of returning a marked ballot 2nd Degree   
Election Code 86.006 Offense relating to the method of returning a marked ballot 3rd Degree   
Election Code 86.006 Offense relating to the method of returning a marked ballot State Jail   
Election Code 86.010 Failure to meet requirements relating to assisting a voter State Jail   
Election Code 253.003 Unlawfully making or accepting contribution 3rd Degree   
Election Code 253.094 Unlawful contributions by a corporation or labor organization 3rd Degree   
Election Code 253.101 Unlawful contribution or expenditure by a political committee 3rd Degree   
Election Code 253.102 Coercion by certain entities to influence an election or assist an officeholder 3rd Degree   
Election Code 253.103 Offense relating to corporate loans to candidate, officeholder, or political committee 3rd Degree   
Election Code 253.104 Violation of restriction on contribution to political party during a period beginning 60 days before a general election for state & county officers & continuing through election day 3rd Degree   
Election Code 257.004 Violation of restrictions on contributions during a period beginning 60 days before a general election for state & county officers & continuing through election day 3rd Degree   
Election Code 276.001 Retaliation against voter 3rd Degree   
Election Code 276.003 Unlawful removal of voted ballots from ballot box 3rd Degree   
Election Code 276.010 Unlawful buying & selling of balloting materials State Jail   
Family Code 2.102 Offense relating to parental consent for marriage of underage applicant 3rd Degree   
Family Code 2.202 Conducting certain marriage ceremonies 3rd Degree   
Family Code 160.512 Falsifying genetic evidence in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage 3rd Degree  
Family Code 162.421 Certain offenses relating to disclosing & securing information with regard to a voluntary adoption registry 2nd Degree   
Family Code 162.421 Making a false statement relating to the operation of a voluntary adoption registry 3rd Degree  
Family Code 261.107 False report of child abuse or neglect 3rd Degree   
Family Code 261.107 False report of child abuse or neglect State Jail   
Family Code 261.109 Failure to report child abuse or neglect of certain children State Jail   
Family Code 262.102 Failure to meet requirements relating to removal of alleged perpetrator of child abuse 3rd Degree   
Finance Code 33.108 Concealment, removal, destruction, or falsification of certain bank records & other offenses by a member of the board or by an officer, employee, or shareholder of a state bank 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 33.109 Bank officer or director participation in or approval of certain prohibited state bank transactions with management & affiliates 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 59.002 Slander or libel of a bank State Jail  
Finance Code 122.251 Defamation relating to the financial condition of a credit union 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 122.254 Concealment, removal, destruction, or falsification of credit union records, reports, statements, or other documents 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 151.708 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of money services businesses, including falsification of records or applications & engaging in money transmissions or currency exchanges without a license 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 183.108 Certain offenses relating to the concealment, removal, destruction, or falsification of state trust company records 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 183.109 State trust company officer or director participation in or approval of certain prohibited state trust company transactions with management & affiliates 3rd Degree  
Finance Code 199.001 Slander or libel of a state trust company State Jail  
Government Code 302.034 Legislative bribery relating to the election of speaker of the house of representatives N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than five years
Government Code 305.031 Payment or acceptance of fees to influence legislation or administrative action that are contingent on the outcome of the legislation or action 3rd Degree  
Government Code 406.017 Representation as an attorney by a notary public 3rd Degree  
Government Code 411.017 Unauthorized acts involving the Department of Public Safety name, insignia, or division name 3rd Degree  
Government Code 411.085 Unauthorized obtaining, use, or disclosure of criminal history record information maintained by the Department of Public Safety 2nd Degree  
Government Code 411.153 Disclosing to an unauthorized recipient certain confidential information relating to the Department of Public Safety’s DNA database system State Jail  
Government Code 414.009 Misuse of information by a Texas Crime Stoppers Council member or employee or a person who accepts a report of criminal activity on behalf of a crime stoppers organization 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.303 Sale of a state lottery ticket by an unauthorized person 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.305 Offenses relating to group purchase arrangements of state lottery tickets 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.306 Altering or forging a state lottery ticket when the prize is greater than $10,000 2nd Degree  
Government Code 466.306 Altering or forging a state lottery ticket 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.307 Influencing or attempting to influence the selection of the winner of a state lottery game when the prize is greater than $10,000 2nd Degree  
Government Code 466.307 Influencing or attempting to influence the selection of the winner of a state lottery game 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.308 Claiming a state lottery prize by fraud when the amount claimed is greater than $10,000 2nd Degree  
Government Code 466.308 Claiming a state lottery prize by fraud when the amount claimed is greater than $200 but not more than $10,000 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.308 Claiming a state lottery prize by fraud when the claimant has previously been convicted of certain lottery offenses 2nd Degree  
Government Code 466.308 Claiming a state lottery prize by fraud when the claimant has previously been convicted of certain lottery offenses 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.309 Tampering with state lottery equipment 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.310 Certain transfers of state lottery claims when the prize involved is greater than $10,000 2nd Degree  
Government Code 466.310 Certain transfers of state lottery claims 3rd Degree  
Government Code 466.313 Conspiracy with intent that a state lottery offense be committed Other  
Government Code 557.001 Sedition relating to the overthrow, destruction, or alteration of state government or a political subdivision by force or violence N/A Fine not to exceed $20,000, imprisonment for not less than one year or more than 20 years, or both
Government Code 557.011 Sabotage of any property or facility used or to be used for national defense N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years or more than 20 years
Government Code 618.009 Fraudulent placement of a facsimile signature or seal by a public officer or employee N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years or more than seven years
Government Code 811.102 Defrauding the state employees retirement system N/A Imprisonment for not less than one year or more than five years
Government Code 821.102 Defrauding the teacher retirement system N/A Imprisonment for not less than one year or more than five years
Government Code 2161.23 Applying as a historically underutilized business for an award of a state purchasing or public works contract when applicant is not a historically underutilized business 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 81.085 Failure to obey a rule, order, or instruction as it relates to an area quarantine 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 81.089 Offenses relating to the transport of a communicable disease into the state 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 108.014 Certain offenses relating to access or release of data kept by the Texas Health Care Information Council State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 161.459 Certain offenses relating to delivery sales of cigarettes 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 167.001 Female genital mutilation State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 195.003 Falsification of records relating to vital statistics reporting 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 242.045 Disclosure of unannounced inspections relating to convalescent & nursing homes & related institutions 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 311.022 Discrimination in the denial of emergency services committed by an officer, employee, or medical staff member of a general hospital resulting in death of the person denied 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 365.012 Illegal dumping of certain litter or other solid waste State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 365.016 Disposal of litter, dead animal, sewage, or any chemical in a cave 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 382.214 Sale of vehicle in an accelerated vehicle retirement program with intent to defraud 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 431.059 Certain offenses under the Texas Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 436.038 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of molluscan shellfish under the Texas Aquatic Life Act Parks & Wildlife Code  
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years & a fine not to exceed $100,000
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years & a fine not to exceed $250,000
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years & a fine not to exceed $250,000
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.112 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.113 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years & a fine not to exceed $100,000
Health & Safety Code 481.113 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.113 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.113 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.114 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years & a fine not to exceed $100,000
Health & Safety Code 481.114 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.114 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.114 Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4 State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years & a fine not to exceed $100,000
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years & a fine not to exceed $250,000
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.115 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1-A State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than five years & a fine not to exceed $50,000
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2 State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2-A N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than five years & a fine not to exceed $50,000
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2-A 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2-A 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.116 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2-A State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.117 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than five years & a fine not to exceed $50,000
Health & Safety Code 481.117 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.117 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.118 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 4 N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than five years & a fine not to exceed $50,000
Health & Safety Code 481.118 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 4 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.118 Possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 4 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.120 Delivery of marihuana N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years & a fine not to exceed $100,000
Health & Safety Code 481.120 Delivery of marihuana 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.120 Delivery of marihuana 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.120 Delivery of marihuana State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.121 Possession of marihuana N/A Imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than five years & a fine not to exceed $50,000
Health & Safety Code 481.121 Possession of marihuana 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.121 Possession of marihuana 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.121 Possession of marihuana State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.122 Delivery of controlled substance in certain penalty groups or marihuana to child 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.124 Possession or transport of certain chemicals with intent to manufacture controlled substance 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.124 Possession or transport of certain chemicals with intent to manufacture controlled substance 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.124 Possession or transport of certain chemicals with intent to manufacture controlled substance State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.125 Possession or transport of anhydrous ammonia; use of or tampering with associated equipment 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.125 Possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.126 Illegal barter of property, expenditure, or investment of funds derived from the commission of certain offenses under the Texas Controlled Substances Act 1st Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.126 Illegal barter of property, expenditure, or investment of funds derived from the commission of certain offenses under the Texas Controlled Substances Act 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.127 Unauthorized disclosure of information submitted under the official prescription program State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.128 Certain offenses under the Texas Controlled Substances Act committed by a registrant or a dispenser of a controlled substance State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.129 Diversion of controlled substance by registrants, dispensers, & certain other persons 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.129 Diversion of controlled substance by registrants, dispensers, & certain other persons State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.129 Fraud as it relates to the Texas Controlled Substances Act 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.129 Fraud as it relates to the Texas Controlled Substances Act 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.129 Fraud as it relates to the Texas Controlled Substances Act State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.131 Diversion of controlled substance property or plant State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.134 Certain offenses committed in a drug-free zone Other  
Health & Safety Code 481.136 Unlawful transfer or receipt of chemical precursor 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.136 Unlawful transfer or receipt of chemical precursor State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.137 Transfer of precursor substance for unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.138 Unlawful transfer or receipt of chemical laboratory apparatus 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.138 Unlawful transfer or receipt of chemical laboratory apparatus State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 481.139 Transfer of chemical laboratory apparatus for unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 481.140 Use of child in commission of certain offenses under the Texas Controlled Substances Act Other  
Health & Safety Code 481.141 Manufacture or delivery of controlled substance causing death or serious bodily injury Other  
Health & Safety Code 482.002 Unlawful delivery or manufacture with intent to deliver a simulated controlled substance State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 483.042 Unauthorized delivery or offer of delivery of dangerous drug State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 483.043 Unauthorized manufacture of dangerous drug State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 485.032 Delivery of an abusable volatile chemical to a minor State Jail  
Health & Safety Code 508.004 Failure to obey a rule, order, or instruction relating to an area quarantine for an environmental or toxic agent 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 535.014 Certain offenses relating to fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain certain support services administered by the Health & Human Services Commission (See Chapter 198 (H.B. 2292), Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, for further in 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 781.403 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of personal emergency response systems 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 822.005 Attack by dog causing death 2nd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 822.005 Attack by dog causing serious bodily injury 3rd Degree  
Health & Safety Code 841.085 Certain offenses relating to a civil commitment requirement by a sexually violent predator 3rd Degree  
Human Resources Code 12.002 Unlawful use of Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services or Texas Department of Family & Protective Services funds (See Chapter 198 (H.B. 2292), Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, for further information regarding health & h N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or more than seven years
Human Resources Code 32.0391 Certain offenses relating to the medical assistance program State Jail  
Human Resources Code 33.011 Certain offenses relating to food stamp benefit permits or authorizations 3rd Degree  
Human Resources Code 35.012 Certain offenses relating to fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain support services for persons with disabilities 3rd Degree  
Human Resources Code 42.0447 False report alleging noncompliance with state standards by certain facilities or homes that provide child-care services State Jail  
Human Resources Code 48.052 Failure to report the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of certain elderly or disabled persons in certain living centers, institutions, or facilities State Jail  
Insurance Code 101.106 Unauthorized practice in the business of insurance 3rd Degree  
Insurance Code 544.401 Certain discriminatory practices in the business of insurance State Jail  
Insurance Code 823.501 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of insurance holding company systems N/A Imprisonment for a term not to exceed five years, fine not to exceed $10,000 per violation, or both
Insurance Code 823.502 False statement on a written instrument required to be filed with the insurance commissioner N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, fine not to exceed $10,000 per violation, or both
Insurance Code 846.107 The receipt of money or a thing of value by a board member, officer, or employee of a multiple employer welfare arrangement for negotiating, procuring, recommending, or aiding in certain transactions 3rd Degree  
Insurance Code 883.703 False statement or misappropriation relating to certain mutual insurance companies N/A Imprisonment for not less than five years or more than 10 years
Insurance Code 4005.15 Acting as insurance agent after license suspension or revocation N/A Fine not to exceed $5,000, imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or both
Insurance Code  (Not Codified) 21.47 False statement in certain written insurance instruments 3rd Degree  
Labor Code 61.019 Failure by an employer to pay wages owed to an employee 3rd Degree  
Labor Code 418.001 Fraudulently obtaining or denying workers’ compensation benefits State Jail  
Labor Code 418.002 Fraudulently obtaining workers’ compensation insurance coverage State Jail  
Local Government Code 232.036 Certain offenses relating to subdivision platting requirements in a county near an international border State Jail  
Local Government Code 352.022 Failure by an owner or occupant to comply with an order relating to a fire or life safety hazards inspection or review State Jail  
Local Government Code 392.042 Certain offenses relating to interested commissioners of a housing authority 3rd Degree  
Local Government Code 392.043 Certain offenses relating to interested employees of a housing authority 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 40.251 Fraudulent claim or report of information relating to unauthorized discharge of oil 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 85.389 Unlawful conduct for the purpose of controlling or limiting operation of a gas or oil well or associated equipment 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 88.0531 Violation of provisions relating to accurate measurement of oil or gas 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 88.134 Violation of certain provisions relating to control of oil property N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years nor more than four years
Natural Resources Code 91.143 False applications, reports, & documents & tampering with gauges relating to certain oil & gas wells N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or more than five years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both
Natural Resources Code 113.250 False information in report relating to alternative fuels research & education 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 114.102 Certain offenses relating to cargo manifest documents for oil tanker vehicles 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.052 Unauthorized harvesting of standing timber 1st Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.052 Unauthorized harvesting of standing timber 2nd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.052 Unauthorized harvesting of standing timber 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.052 Unauthorized harvesting of standing timber State Jail  
Natural Resources Code 151.105 Unlawful use of trust money by a timber purchaser who is a trustee of trust money 1st Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.105 Unlawful use of trust money by a timber purchaser who is a trustee of trust money 2nd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.105 Unlawful use of trust money by a timber purchaser who is a trustee of trust money 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 151.105 Unlawful use of trust money by a timber purchaser who is a trustee of trust money State Jail  
Natural Resources Code 161.401 Offenses relating to false instruments in writing in connection with certain transactions involving the Veterans Land Board N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years nor more than 10 years, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or both
Natural Resources Code 161.402 Offenses relating to false instruments in writing in connection with certain purchases, sales, & resales of land involving the Veterans Land Board N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years nor more than 10 years, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or both
Natural Resources Code 161.403 Defrauding a veteran or the state N/A Imprisonment for a term of not less than two years nor more than 10 years, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or both
Natural Resources Code 201.014 Unauthorized altering or defacing of a state-owned cave State Jail  
Natural Resources Code 201.041 Vandalism of cave 3rd Degree  
Natural Resources Code 201.041 Vandalism of cave State Jail  
Natural Resources Code 201.042 Unauthorized sale of speleothems State Jail  
Occupations Code 102.001 Solicitation of patients for or from a state-licensed, certified, or registered health care professional 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 102.006 Failure to disclose certain information regarding a solicitation to solicited patient 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 165.152 Practicing medicine in violation of provisions relating to the regulation of physicians 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 165.153 Practicing medicine without a license or permit & causing physical or psychological harm to a person 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 165.153 Practicing medicine without a license or permit & causing financial harm to a person State Jail  
Occupations Code 165.154 Performing surgery while intoxicated State Jail  
Occupations Code 201.605 Practicing chiropractic without a license 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 201.606 Providing chiropractic treatment or services while intoxicated State Jail  
Occupations Code 204.352 Acting as or holding one’s self out to be a physician assistant without a license 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 205.401 Practicing acupuncture without a license 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 264.151 Certain offenses related to the practice of dentistry, dental surgery, & dental hygiene without a license 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 266.303 Offenses relating to certain dental laboratory services 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 301.554 Certain offenses relating to the unauthorized acquisition of a nursing license & to practicing without a nursing license 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 455.352 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of massage therapy State Jail  
Occupations Code 901.602 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of accountants 2nd Degree  
Occupations Code 901.602 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of accountants 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 901.602 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of accountants State Jail  
Occupations Code 1701.55 Appointment, employment, or retention of certain law enforcement officers with certain convictions State Jail  
Occupations Code 1702.38 Falsification of certain documents in an application for a private security license 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 1702.39 Unauthorized contract with or employment by bail bond surety State Jail  
Occupations Code 1702.39 Certain offenses relating to execution of capias or arrest warrant State Jail  
Occupations Code 1702.39 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of private security 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 1956.040 Selling stolen regulated metal material State jail  
Occupations Code 1956.040 Selling stolen regulated metal material 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 1956.040 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of metal recycling entities State Jail  
Occupations Code 2001.55 Unlawful conduct or promotion of bingo 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 2001.55 Fraudulent award of bingo prizes 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 2051.5 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of athlete agents 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 2153.36 Obtaining a license for a coin-operated machine by fraud 2nd Degree  
Occupations Code 2153.36 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of a coin-operated machine 3rd Degree  
Occupations Code 2302.35 Certain offenses relating to the regulation of salvage vehicle dealers State Jail  
Parks & Wildlife Code 31.127 Failure of a watercraft operator to render aid & provide identification information following certain collisions or accidents Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 43.111 Violation of provisions or regulations relating to permits to manage wildlife & exotic animals from aircraft Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 61.022 Taking wildlife resources without consent of landowner Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 61.022 Taking wildlife resources without consent of landowner Parks & Wildlife Code State Jail  
Parks & Wildlife Code 62.013 Certain hunting offenses Parks & Wildlife Code State Jail  
Parks & Wildlife Code 62.107 Violation of provisions relating to unlawful controlled killing of or attempting to injure dangerous wild animals Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 63.104 Illegal possession, transportation, receipt, or release of a live wolf Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 66.012 Taking of fish by electric shock Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 66.012 Unauthorized introduction of fish, shellfish, & aquatic plants Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 76.040 Theft of oysters from private bed or interference with buoys or markers Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 76.118 Certain oyster license offenses Parks & Wildlife Code  
Parks & Wildlife Code 76.118 Taking oysters from restricted areas Parks & Wildlife Code State Jail  
Parks & Wildlife Code 66.023 Fraud in fishing tournament 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 12.42 Penalties for repeat & habitual felony offenders on trial for first, second, or 3rd Degree felony Other  
Penal Code 12.425 Penalties for repeat & habitual felony offenders on trial for state jail felony Other  
Penal Code 12.43 Penalties for repeat & habitual misdemeanor offenders Other  
Penal Code 12.44 Reduction of state jail felony punishment to misdemeanor punishment Other  
Penal Code 12.47 Penalty if offense committed because of bias or prejudice Other  
Penal Code 12.48 Certain offenses resulting in loss to nursing & convalescent homes Other  
Penal Code 12.49 Penalty if controlled substance used to commit offense Other  
Penal Code 12.50 Penalty if offense committed in disaster area or evacuated area Other  
Penal Code 12.51 Authorized punishments for corporations & associations Other  
Penal Code 15.01 Criminal attempt Other  
Penal Code 15.02 Criminal conspiracy Other  
Penal Code 15.03 Criminal solicitation Other  
Penal Code 15.031 Criminal solicitation of a minor Other  
Penal Code 16.01 Unlawful use of criminal instrument or mechanical security device Other  
Penal Code 16.01 Unlawful use of criminal instrument or mechanical security device State Jail  
Penal Code 16.02 Unlawful interception, use, or disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 16.02 Unlawful interception, use, or disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications State Jail   
Penal Code 16.03 Unlawful use of pen register or trap & trace device State Jail   
Penal Code 16.04 Unlawful access to stored communications State Jail   
Penal Code 16.05 Illegal divulgence of public communications State Jail   
Penal Code 19.02 Murder 1st Degree   
Penal Code 19.02 Murder 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 19.03 Capital murder Capital   
Penal Code 19.04 Manslaughter 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 19.05 Criminally negligent homicide State Jail   
Penal Code 20.02 Unlawful restraint 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 20.02 Unlawful restraint State Jail   
Penal Code 20.03 Kidnapping 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 20.04 Aggravated kidnapping 1st Degree   
Penal Code 20.04 Aggravated kidnapping 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 20.05 Smuggling of persons 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 20.05 Smuggling of persons State Jail   
Penal Code 20A.02 Trafficking of persons 1st Degree   
Penal Code 20A.02 Trafficking of persons 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 20A.03 Continuous trafficking of persons 1st Degree Imprisonment for life or for not more than 99 years or less than 25 years
Penal Code 21.02 Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children 1st Degree Imprisonment for life or for not more than 99 years or less than 25 years
Penal Code 21.11 Indecency with a child 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 21.11 Indecency with a child 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 21.12 Improper relationship between educator & student 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 21.15 Improper photography or visual recording State Jail   
Penal Code 22.01 Assault 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 22.01 Assault 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 22.011 Sexual assault 1st Degree   
Penal Code 22.011 Sexual assault 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 22.02 Aggravated assault 1st Degree   
Penal Code 22.02 Aggravated assault 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 22.021 Aggravated sexual assault 1st Degree   
Penal Code 22.04 Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual 1st Degree   
Penal Code 22.04 Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 22.04 Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 22.04 Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual State Jail   
Penal Code 22.041 Abandoning or endangering child 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 22.041 Abandoning or endangering child 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 22.041 Abandoning or endangering child State Jail   
Penal Code 22.05 Deadly conduct 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 22.07 Terroristic threat 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 22.07 Terroristic threat State Jail   
Penal Code 22.08 Aiding suicide State Jail   
Penal Code 22.09 Tampering with consumer product 1st Degree   
Penal Code 22.09 Tampering with consumer product 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 22.09 Tampering with consumer product 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 22.11 Harassment by persons in certain correctional facilities & harassment of a public servant 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.01 Bigamy 1st Degree   
Penal Code 25.01 Bigamy 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 25.01 Bigamy 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.02 Prohibited sexual conduct 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 25.02 Prohibited sexual conduct 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.03 Interference with child custody State Jail   
Penal Code 25.031 Agreement to abduct from custody for remuneration State Jail   
Penal Code 25.04 Enticing a child 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.05 Criminal nonsupport State Jail   
Penal Code 25.07 Violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in a family violence case 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.071 Violation of protective order preventing offense caused by bias or prejudice 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.08 Sale or purchase of child 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 25.08 Sale or purchase of child 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.09 Advertising for placement of child 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 25.10 Interference with rights of guardian of the person State Jail   
Penal Code 25.11 Continuous violence against the family 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 28.02 Arson 1st Degree   
Penal Code 28.02 Arson 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 28.02 Arson 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 28.02 Arson State Jail   
Penal Code 28.03 Criminal mischief 1st Degree   
Penal Code 28.03 Criminal mischief 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 28.03 Criminal mischief 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 28.03 Criminal mischief State Jail   
Penal Code 28.07 Interference with railroad property 1st Degree   
Penal Code 28.07 Interference with railroad property 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 28.07 Interference with railroad property 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 28.07 Interference with railroad property State Jail   
Penal Code 28.08 Graffiti 1st Degree   
Penal Code 28.08 Graffiti 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 28.08 Graffiti 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 28.08 Graffiti State Jail   
Penal Code 29.02 Robbery 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 29.03 Aggravated robbery 1st Degree   
Penal Code 30.02 Burglary 1st Degree   
Penal Code 30.02 Burglary 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 30.02 Burglary State Jail   
Penal Code 30.04 Burglary of a vehicle State Jail   
Penal Code 31.03 Theft 1st Degree   
Penal Code 31.03 Theft 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 31.03 Theft 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 31.03 Theft State Jail   
Penal Code 31.04 Theft of service 1st Degree   
Penal Code 31.04 Theft of service 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 31.04 Theft of service 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 31.04 Theft of service State Jail   
Penal Code 31.05 Theft of trade secrets 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 31.07 Unauthorized use of a vehicle State Jail   
Penal Code 31.16 Organized retail theft 1st Degree   
Penal Code 31.16 Organized retail theft 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 31.16 Organized retail theft 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 31.16 Organized retail theft State Jail   
Penal Code 32.21 Forgery 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 32.21 Forgery 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.21 Forgery State Jail   
Penal Code 32.23 Trademark counterfeiting 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.23 Trademark counterfeiting 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.23 Trademark counterfeiting 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.23 Trademark counterfeiting State Jail   
Penal Code 32.31 Credit card or debit card abuse 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.31 Credit card or debit card abuse State Jail   
Penal Code 32.32 False statement to obtain property or credit or in the provision of certain services 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.32 False statement to obtain property or credit or in the provision of certain services 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.32 False statement to obtain property or credit or in the provision of certain services 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.32 False statement to obtain property or credit or in the provision of certain services State Jail   
Penal Code 32.33 Hindering secured creditors 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.33 Hindering secured creditors 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.33 Hindering secured creditors 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.33 Hindering secured creditors State Jail   
Penal Code 32.34 Fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.34 Fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle State Jail   
Penal Code 32.35 Credit card transaction record laundering 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.35 Credit card transaction record laundering 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.35 Credit card transaction record laundering 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.35 Credit card transaction record laundering State Jail   
Penal Code 32.43 Commercial bribery State Jail   
Penal Code 32.441 Illegal recruitment of an athlete 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.441 Illegal recruitment of an athlete 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.441 Illegal recruitment of an athlete 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.441 Illegal recruitment of an athlete State Jail   
Penal Code 32.45 Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.45 Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.45 Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.45 Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution State Jail   
Penal Code 32.46 Securing execution of document by deception 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.46 Securing execution of document by deception 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.46 Securing execution of document by deception 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.46 Securing execution of document by deception State Jail   
Penal Code 32.47 Fraudulent destruction, removal, or concealment of writing State Jail   
Penal Code 32.48 Simulating legal process State Jail   
Penal Code 32.51 Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information 1st Degree   
Penal Code 32.51 Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 32.51 Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 32.51 Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information State Jail   
Penal Code 32.53 Exploitation of child, elderly individual, or disabled individual 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 33.02 Breach of computer security 1st Degree   
Penal Code 33.02 Breach of computer security 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 33.02 Breach of computer security 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 33.02 Breach of computer security State Jail   
Penal Code 33.021 Online solicitation of a minor 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 33.021 Online solicitation of a minor 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 33.05 Tampering with direct recording electronic voting machine 1st Degree   
Penal Code 33.05 Tampering with direct recording electronic voting machine 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 33.07 Unauthorized online impersonation 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 33A.02 Unauthorized use of telecommunications service 1st Degree   
Penal Code 33A.02 Unauthorized use of telecommunications service 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 33A.02 Unauthorized use of telecommunications service 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 33A.02 Unauthorized use of telecommunications service State Jail   
Penal Code 33A.03 Manufacture, possession, or delivery of unlawful telecommunications device 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 33A.04 Theft of telecommunications service 1st Degree   
Penal Code 33A.04 Theft of telecommunications service 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 33A.04 Theft of telecommunications service 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 33A.04 Theft of telecommunications service State Jail   
Penal Code 33A.05 Publication of telecommunications access device 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 34.02 Money laundering 1st Degree   
Penal Code 34.02 Money laundering 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 34.02 Money laundering 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 34.02 Money laundering State Jail   
Penal Code 35.02 Insurance fraud 1st Degree   
Penal Code 35.02 Insurance fraud 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 35.02 Insurance fraud 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 35.02 Insurance fraud State Jail   
Penal Code 35A.02 Medicaid fraud 1st Degree   
Penal Code 35A.02 Medicaid fraud 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 35A.02 Medicaid fraud 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 35A.02 Medicaid fraud State Jail   
Penal Code 36.02 Bribery 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 36.03 Coercion of public servant or voter 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 36.05 Tampering with witness Other  
Penal Code 36.06 Obstruction or retaliation 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 36.06 Obstruction or retaliation 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.03 Aggravated perjury 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.09 Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 37.09 Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.10 Tampering with governmental record 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 37.10 Tampering with governmental record 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.10 Tampering with governmental record State Jail   
Penal Code 37.101 Fraudulent filing of financing statement 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 37.101 Fraudulent filing of financing statement 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.101 Fraudulent filing of financing statement State Jail   
Penal Code 37.11 Impersonating public servant 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.13 Making, presenting, or using a record of a fraudulent court 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 37.14 False statement regarding child custody determination made in foreign country 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 38.03 Resisting arrest, search, or transportation 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.04 Evading arrest or detention 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 38.04 Evading arrest or detention 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.04 Evading arrest or detention State Jail   
Penal Code 38.05 Hindering apprehension or prosecution 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.06 Escape 1st Degree   
Penal Code 38.06 Escape 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 38.06 Escape 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.07 Permitting or facilitating escape 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 38.07 Permitting or facilitating escape 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.09 Implements for escape 2nd Degree   
Penal Code 38.09 Implements for escape 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.10 Bail jumping & failure to appear 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.11 Relating to prohibited substances & items in a correctional facility 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.111 Improper contact with victim 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.113 Unauthorized absence from community corrections facility, county correctional center, or assignment site State Jail   
Penal Code 38.12 Barratry & solicitation of professional employment 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.122 Falsely holding oneself out as a lawyer 3rd Degree   
Penal Code 38.123 Unauthorized practice of law 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 38.14 Taking or attempting to take weapon from peace officer, federal special investigator, employee or official of correctional facility, parole officer, community supervision & corrections department officer, or commissioned security officer 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 38.14 Taking or attempting to take weapon from peace officer, federal special investigator, employee or official of correctional facility, parole officer, community supervision & corrections department officer, or commissioned security officer State Jail  
Penal Code 38.151 Interference with police service animals 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 38.151 Interference with police service animals State Jail  
Penal Code 38.152 Interference with radio frequency licensed to government entity State Jail  
Penal Code 39.02 Abuse of official capacity 1st Degree  
Penal Code 39.02 Abuse of official capacity 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 39.02 Abuse of official capacity 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 39.02 Abuse of official capacity State Jail  
Penal Code 39.04 Violations of the civil rights of person in custody & improper sexual activity with person in custody 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 39.04 Violations of the civil rights of person in custody & improper sexual activity with person in custody State Jail  
Penal Code 39.06 Misuse of official information 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 42.06 False alarm or report State Jail  
Penal Code 42.062 Interference with emergency telephone call State Jail  
Penal Code 42.072 Stalking 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 42.072 Stalking 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 42.09 Cruelty to livestock animals 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 42.09 Cruelty to livestock animals State Jail  
Penal Code 42.091 Attack on assistance animal 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 42.091 Attack on assistance animal State Jail  
Penal Code 42.092 Cruelty to nonlivestock animals 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 42.092 Cruelty to nonlivestock animals State Jail   
Penal Code 42.10 Dog fighting State Jail  
Penal Code 42.105 Cockfighting State Jail  
Penal Code 43.02 Prostitution 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 43.02 Prostitution 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 43.02 Prostitution State Jail  
Penal Code 43.04 Aggravated promotion of prostitution 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 43.05 Compelling prostitution 1st Degree  
Penal Code 43.05 Compelling prostitution 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 43.23 Obscenity 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 43.23 Obscenity State Jail  
Penal Code 43.24 Sale, distribution, or display of harmful material to minor 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 43.25 Sexual performance by a child 1st Degree  
Penal Code 43.25 Sexual performance by a child 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 43.25 Sexual performance by a child 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 43.251 Employment harmful to children relating to obscenity 1st Degree  
Penal Code 43.251 Employment harmful to children relating to obscenity 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 43.251 Employment harmful to children relating to obscenity 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 43.251 Employment harmful to children relating to obscenity State Jail  
Penal Code 43.26 Possession or promotion of child pornography 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 43.26 Possession or promotion of child pornography 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.02 Unlawful carrying weapons 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.03 Possession of weapon where prohibited 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.035 Unlawful carrying of handgun by handgun license holder 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.04 Unlawful possession of firearm 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.041 Unlawful possession of metal or body armor by felon 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.05 Possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of prohibited weapons 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.05 Possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of prohibited weapons State Jail  
Penal Code 46.06 Unlawful transfer of certain weapons State Jail  
Penal Code 46.09 Possession of components of an explosive weapon 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.10 Possession of deadly weapon while confined in penal institution 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 46.11 Offense committed within a weapon-free zone Other  
Penal Code 46.14 Firearm smuggling 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 46.14 Firearm smuggling 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 49.045 Driving while intoxicated with child passenger State Jail  
Penal Code 49.07 Intoxication assault 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 49.08 Intoxication manslaughter 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 49.09 Enhanced offenses & penalties relating to intoxication Other  
Penal Code 71.02 Engaging in organized criminal activity Other  
Penal Code 71.022 Coercing, inducing, or soliciting membership in a criminal street gang 2nd Degree  
Penal Code 71.022 Coercing, inducing, or soliciting membership in a criminal street gang 3rd Degree  
Penal Code 71.023 Directing activities of certain criminal street gangs 1st Degree  
Penal Code 71.028 Offenses committed in gang-free zones Other  
Property Code 162.032 Misapplication of trust funds of $500 or more with intent to defraud 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 151.703 Failure to pay limited sales, excise, & use taxes collected 1st Degree  
Tax Code 151.703 Failure to pay limited sales, excise, & use taxes collected 2nd Degree  
Tax Code 151.703 Failure to pay limited sales, excise, & use taxes collected 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 151.703 Failure to pay limited sales, excise, & use taxes collected State Jail  
Tax Code 151.707 Falsification or fraudulent alteration of a resale or exemption certificate in connection with the limited sales, excise, & use tax 2nd Degree  
Tax Code 151.707 Falsification or fraudulent alteration of a resale or exemption certificate in connection with the limited sales, excise, & use tax 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 151.708 Failure to produce certain records after using resale certificate 2nd Degree  
Tax Code 151.708 Failure to produce certain records after using resale certificate 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 151.71 Making a false entry or failing to enter in records relating to the limited sales, excise, & use tax 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 152.101 Signing a false statement or certificate relating to taxes on the sale, rental, & use of motor vehicles 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 152.104 Failure to remit the motor vehicle sales tax 1st Degree  
Tax Code 152.104 Failure to remit the motor vehicle sales tax 2nd Degree  
Tax Code 152.104 Failure to remit the motor vehicle sales tax 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 152.104 Failure to remit the motor vehicle sales tax State Jail  
Tax Code 154.517 Certain cigarette tax offenses 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 154.520 Certain offenses relating to counterfeit stamps & the cigarette tax N/A Imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than 20 years
Tax Code 155.213 Certain offenses relating to the cigar & tobacco products tax 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 159.201 Possession of taxable controlled substance on which the tax is unpaid 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 159.202 Certain offenses relating to counterfeit tax payment certificates & the controlled substances tax 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 159.203 Certain offenses relating to previously used tax payment certificates & the controlled substances tax 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 162.405 Certain motor fuel tax offenses 2nd Degree  
Tax Code 162.405 Certain motor fuel tax offenses 3rd Degree  
Tax Code 171.363 Certain offenses relating to wilful & fraudulent acts relating to the franchise tax 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 24.011 Failure to properly register aircraft 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 24.012 Failure to clearly display aircraft identification numbers on an aircraft 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 24.013 Operating an aircraft with noncompliant fuel containers 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 501.109 Certain offenses relating to nonrepairable & salvage motor vehicles State Jail  
Transportation Code 501.151 Placement of serial number with intent to change identity of a motor vehicle 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 501.155 False name, false information, & forgery in connection with a certificate of title for a motor vehicle 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 502.410 Falsification or forgery in relation to the registration of vehicles 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 503.094 Unauthorized reproduction of temporary motor vehicle tags State Jail  
Transportation Code 521.456 Delivery or manufacture of counterfeit driver’s license, personal identification certificate, or other instrument 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 521.457 Conspiring to manufacture counterfeit license or certificate 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 521.457 Conspiring to manufacture counterfeit license or certificate State Jail  
Transportation Code 545.066 Passing a school bus State Jail  
Transportation Code 545.420 Racing on a highway 2nd Degree  
Transportation Code 545.420 Racing on a highway 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 545.420 Racing on a highway State Jail  
Transportation Code 547.614 Certain offenses relating to the installation, alteration, or manufacture of airbags 2nd Degree  
Transportation Code 547.614 Certain offenses relating to the installation, alteration, or manufacture of airbags 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 548.603 Making or possessing a fictitious or counterfeit inspection certificate or insurance document 2nd Degree  
Transportation Code 548.603 Making or possessing a fictitious or counterfeit inspection certificate or insurance document 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 548.604 Fraudulent emissions inspection of motor vehicle State Jail  
Transportation Code 550.021 Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury 3rd Degree  
Transportation Code 550.021 Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury N/A Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for not more than five years or in the county jail for not more than one year, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both
Utilities Code 15.030 Certain offenses relating to the Public Utility Regulatory Act 3rd Degree  
Utilities Code 105.024 Certain offenses relating to the Gas Utility Regulatory Act 3rd Degree  
Utilities Code 186.032 Fraudulently obtaining telecommunications services N/A Fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment for not less than two years & not more than five years, or both
Vernon’s Civil Statutes  Art. 179e, Sec. 14.01 Touting or making a false statement or conveying false information about a greyhound or horse race State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.05 Wagering on a horse or greyhound race conducted on Indian lands 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.06 False statements material to a Texas Racing Commission action relating to a racetrack license 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.06 False statements relating to an investigation or the exercise of authorized discretion under the Texas Racing Act State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.08 Forging pari-mutuel ticket 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.10 Unlawful influence on racing, use of prohibited device or substance 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.10 Unlawful influence on racing, possession of prohibited device or substance State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes  Art. 179e, Sec. 14.11 Bribery & corrupt influence relating to a horse or greyhound race 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.11 Bribery & corrupt influence relating to a horse or greyhound race State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.15 Pari-mutuel racing without a license State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 14.16 Conducting a horse or greyhound race without a racetrack license 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 179e, Sec. 15.01 Violation of a penal offense of the Texas Racing Act with no specific penalty State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Certain offenses relating to dealing in securities or rendering services as an investment adviser or investment adviser representative 1st Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Certain offenses relating to dealing in securities or rendering services as an investment adviser or investment adviser representative 2nd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Certain offenses relating to dealing in securities or rendering services as an investment adviser or investment adviser representative 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Dealing in securities without being a registered dealer or agent 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Dealing in certain unauthorized securities 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Violating certain cease & desist orders issued by the securities commissioner 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Making a false or misleading statement in a filed document or proceeding under the Securities Act 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Rendering services as an investment adviser or investment adviser representative without the required registration 3rd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Making a false statement or representation concerning a Securities Act registration or exemption State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Making an offer of a security not in compliance with applicable requirements State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 581-29 Making an offer of a security prohibited by a certain cease publication order State Jail  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 1446a, Sec. 5 Sabotage of public utilities N/A Imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not less than two years nor more than five years
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 1446a, Sec. 5-a Conspiracy to sabotage public utilities N/A Imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not less than two years nor more than five years
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 5190.14, Sec. 11 Bribery as it relates to certain sporting games & events, including the 2011 Pan American Games & the 2012 Olympic Games 2nd Degree  
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 6215 Offenses relating to the payment of certain pensions N/A Fine of not less than $100, imprisonment in the county jail for not less than three months, or imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one year
Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 8656 Entering into or assisting in making certain contracts of sale for the future delivery of cotton, grain, stocks, or other commodities, or maintaining a bucket shop N/A Imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding two years
Water Code 7.155 Falsification of a record or report concerning the prevention or cleanup of a discharge or spill of a hazardous substance into state waters 3rd Degree  
Water Code 13.415 Certain offenses relating to water rates & services 3rd Degree  
Water Code 26.3574 Certain offenses relating to the delivery of certain petroleum products 2nd Degree  
Water Code 26.3574 Certain offenses relating to the delivery of certain petroleum products 3rd Degree


Houston Felony Lawyer

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Facing Allegations of Credit Card Fraud? Houston White Collar Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson Can Protect Your Future

Best Houston White Collar Crimes Lawyer

Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is an intricate crime, which is aggressively prosecuted by authorities. An accusation of credit card fraud can have serious negative consequences for individuals and businesses. If you are facing allegations of bank card fraud, you may be facing  jail time and significant fines if found guilty. In addition, if you are a business owner, you may lose what you have worked so hard to build. If you are under investigation for credit card fraud or if you are facing charges of credit card fraud, you need the support of a knowledgeable and experienced Houston White Collar Crimes Lawyer.

Credit Card Fraud is rather common all over the United States, as is the prosecution rate for such crimes. Any form of credit card fraud or abuse — even the possession of someone else’s credit card with the intention of committing fraud or theft — can be charged as a felony and lead to jail time and significant fines upon conviction. Whether you are accused of “borrowing” a friend’s Visa to pay for gas or you actively opened an account in someone else’s name and engaged in thousands of dollars of purchases, if you have been charged with fraud then you need experienced legal counsel.

It is possible to simply be accused of credit card fraud or for there to be circumstances in the case that constitute reduced charges, which means reduced penalties. No matter the case, it is important to have a Houston Credit Card Fraud Attorney to help you from the time you are accused until the end of the case.

If you are investigated for a credit card fraud crime in Houston, do not discuss anything with detectives. Even if you believe that you are innocent of the accusations or think that you can simply “explain what happened” so that the the problem is resolved, it is not wise to say anything to an investigator. Always insist on talking to an attorney first. If you have been arrested for Credit Card Fraud in Houston, TX, take fast action with a skilled and resourceful Houston Criminal Lawyer. Contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm immediately anytime night or day for a free phone consultation at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your case.

Overview of Texas Credit Card Fraud Laws

Performing a variety of fraudulent acts in connection with a credit card amounts to the crime of credit card fraud in Texas. Prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant had an intent to receive some type of benefit by the following means, the most common of which are:

  • Using a credit or debit card the defendant knows is not his own;
  • The card has expired, been revoked, or cancelled;
  • Using a fictitious card, or the pretended number of a fictitious card
  • Receiving any benefit that the defendant knows has been obtained by violation of this law;
  • Stealing a credit or debit card with the intent to use it, sell it or transfer it to anyone but the cardholder;
  • Buying a credit or debit card from someone the defendant knows is not the issuer of the card;
  • Selling a credit or debit card;
  • Inducing the cardholder to use his/her card to obtain property for the defendant’s benefit when the cardholder is financially unable to pay for it;
  • Possessing a credit or debit card that is not the defendant’s own and having the intent to use it.

Credit card fraud is a problem that affects the entire consumer credit industry. It is one of the most common types of fraud and also one of the most difficult to prevent. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit-related complaints have consistently ranked among their top 10 complaints for many years. In fact, some organized crime rings and even drug dealers have shifted criminal career paths to engage in this simple, lucrative, and relatively safe form of crime.

Credit card fraud can occur in person or via the Internet. Most consumer action groups, police departments, retail stores, and agencies, such as Better Business Bureaus (BBB) and the FTC, routinely release information for consumers on how to avoid credit card fraud and identity theft. Nevertheless, there are numerous forms of credit card fraud that are committed by enterprising thieves, organized rings, business owners, and even otherwise legitimate cardholders.

One method of obtaining account information or even an actual credit card is through postal theft. Other methods that have proven surprisingly effective in obtaining personal information include impersonating a card or application verifier via telephone, obtaining copies of past bills, or utilizing on-line directories. In some situations, offenders are also able to take advantage of contacts within the various credit bureaus to obtain legitimate bankcard account information for counterfeiting or telephone order purchasing. After having illegally obtained legitimate cards or account information, offenders then create fictitious identification including driver’s licenses, social security cards, and other materials to aid in the commission of credit card fraud.

Once the information is obtained, there are several forms of fraud that can occur. One popular type of credit card fraud is the advance payment scheme. This scheme utilizes counterfeit or stolen credit cards. The offender either makes an advance payment on the card or overpays an existing balance with a fraudulent check. Since the account is credited upon receipt of payment, cash advances can be immediately withdrawn before the payment check has cleared. Through numerous payments on numerous cards, an offender can realize large profits within a relatively short period of time.

Another type of credit card fraud involves the illegal counterfeiting of credit cards. New technology has aided criminals in producing exact replicas of existing cards and in creating fraudulent cards including the so-called “hidden” counter-measures. Illegal counterfeiting may be primarily responsible for the overall upsurge in credit card fraud.

Counterfeiters also buy and sell magnetic strips to produce fraudulent credit cards. The magnetic strips are essential because they contain names, account numbers, credit limits, and other information for legitimate or contrived Visa/MasterCard holders. By using a desktop computer system, source material, and peripheral equipment, a counterfeiter can produce a fraudulent bankcard with relative ease. As technology has improved, counterfeiting credit cards has become a multi-step process. These steps can often include using desktop computer systems and peripherals such as laminators to produce more realistic looking cards. The counterfeited cards come complete with a hologram and fully encoded magnetic strip. Most of the supplies used to manufacture counterfeited bankcards, including the plastic cards and Visa/MasterCard holograms (the Visa dove and the MasterCard interlocking globes) are smuggled into the United States from the Far East.

Costs and Statistics

  • It is estimated that the global rate of credit and charge card fraud is seven cents for every $100 transaction. Illegal credit card purchases totaled $788 million in the United States alone for the year 2004, representing 4.7 cents of every $100 worth of total purchases.  Similar estimates have been reported in Great Britain, where it is estimated that £535.2 million were lost due to credit card fraud in 2007.  In addition, Australia loses an estimated 4 cents per every $100 transaction to fraud.
  • According to estimates, over 229 million records containing individuals’ identifying information have been compromised by data breaches since 2005, Although it is difficult to estimate or predict the number of compromised records that will be or may have been utilized for perpetrating fraud, the sensitive nature of the information contained within these records harbors the potential for increasing credit card fraud losses. Estimates of monetary amounts lost from data breaches can reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The Federal Trade Commission reports that victims’ information was used to perpetrate credit card fraud in 23% of the cases brought to the attention of the Identity Theft Clearinghouse in 2007.Of online credit/debit card fraud, the Internet Crime Complaint Center(IC3) reports that this type of fraud ranks 4 in the types of fraud committed over the Internet, compromising 6.3% of complaints reported to the IC3 in 2007.
  • A report issued by Cybersource shows that, according to a 2007 survey of both small and large online businesses, 1.4% of all online revenue was lost due to payment fraud, with an estimate of $3.6 billion in losses for 2007.  Additionally, the survey found that 1.3% of all accepted orders resulted in fraud losses.  The median fraudulent order was $200 versus a median of $120 for legitimate purchases.  Those retailers which also accept orders not located with the U.S. or Canada reported that international orders were rejected at a rate approximately 2.5 times higher than U.S. and Canadian orders due to suspicion of fraud.  Overall, merchants rejected 4.2% of total orders on suspicion of fraud.

The Response/Current Efforts

Merchants are more at risk from credit card fraud than are consumers. Regardless of whether the transaction occurred in person or on-line, the consumer generally only has to face the hassles of reversing a fraudulent charge, canceling their lost or stolen card, or paying the first $50 of the loss (although most credit card companies waive this fee). In contrast, a merchant loses the cost of the product sold, must pay numerous credit card charge-back fees, and even faces the possibility of having their merchant account closed.

Many methods of safeguarding credit card purchases exist. Credit card companies started using holograms in 1981 to identify genuine cards at the time of purchase. At the same time, large-scale hologram counterfeiting operations developed in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. A separate market emerged for these holograms, which sell for between $5 and $15, depending on the quality of the hologram. In 1994, the Canadian Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the Combined Forces Asian Investigation Unit arrested members of a Chinese syndicate that produced approximately 300,000 counterfeit holograms and had distributed 250,000 of them. Based on the quantity delivered and using an estimate of $3,000 lost per card, Visa and MasterCard estimated that their combined losses caused by this group approached $750 million.

The FTC recommends that consumers sign their cards in a manner that requires the user to show photo identification, carry their cards in a separate compartment of their wallet or purse, destroy carbon copies, void incorrect receipts, reconcile monthly account statements, and shred unsolicited credit card offers. These steps will reduce the likelihood of either fraudulent purchases charged to the victims’ accounts or more severe identity theft.

Credit card fraud is a recognized issue of import.  One problem facing the struggle to reduce this type of fraud, however, is the lack of law enforcement resources devoted to this type of crime.  Although law enforcement acknowledges the extent of the crime, resources are often such that many agencies are simply not able to allocate the time and manpower needed to police these crimes.  This is especially true when a fraudulent transaction may only account for $20-50 loss per victim, such as with the recent cases involving the company Pluto Data.  While these fraudulent transactions are noteworthy, they may simply not garner the resources that more salient crimes attract.  Additionally, many credit card frauds may suffer from jurisdictional problems; for instance, many of the fraudulent transactions may take place in a city, state, or country other than that in which the victim is residing.  Due to the lack of consistent law enforcement involvement and jurisdictional issues, ensuring transaction safety often falls to the individual; as a consequence, many, especially merchants involved with online transactions, utilize a variety of methods for ensuring credit card security and safety.

Internet credit card transactions are referred to as CNP (cardholder not present transactions). In order to validate a card, many on-line merchants use cardholder recognition software, validity checks, and red flag order settings. These “red flags” are based on subtle differences in the card’s information that have also proved fraudulent in past purchases. For example, one red flag arises when the shipping and billing addresses are not the same. This is especially true in situations involving PO Boxes and private, rented boxes (e.g., at Mailboxes Etc.). Other types of red flags are purchases of high dollar items or orders in multiples with requests for rush or expedited shipping. On-line criminals generally like to receive their items quickly for resale purposes and, since they have no intention of paying the bill, they do not mind the higher cost for shipping.

One of the latest technological advancements in the race to foil credit card fraudsters is the employment of new chip-based technology in credit cards.  Rather than relying on the standard magnetic strip to divulge card owners’ information, the new technology stores this information on a computer chip embedded within the card which requires a pin to unlock—a practice that is currently underway in Europe and has been going on in France for over ten years, where credit card fraud has dropped 80%.  This system is currently being unveiled in Canada and is also being employed by select card issuers in the U.S.

Also, both Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard currently offer state-of-the-art identity check offerings. Visa U.S.A. invited cardholders to link their cards to passwords that would be required when shopping at participating on-line stores. The service, “Verified by Visa,” is designed to raise the level of security and allay fears of fraud that haunt many merchants and consumers. Verified by Visa is a way to authenticate on-line buyers to on-line sellers in which customers register for a password with the bank that issues their credit card. Merchants are linked back to the card issuer that verifies the cardholder’s identity based on that password.  In addition to programs such as “Verified by Visa”, Visa is also using a new “advanced authorization” system.  By evaluating 40 variable factors (such as whether or not the card being used was part of a known security breach or if items are being ordered at a high-volume quick rate), the system can provide banks with an instant rating of the transaction’s potential for fraud, allowing the issuer to decline the purchase if warranted.  This new system is reported to be able to flag up to 40% of false transactions which may have gone undetected previously.

Additionally, many major credit card companies have banded together to help to ensure safety by issuing what is known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).  This standard requires all merchants to follow the same guidelines of data security.  It is unknown how many retailers are PCI compliant, but Visa estimates that upwards of two-thirds of its large and medium-sized merchants meet requirements as of January 2008.  In order to assist business owners in this endeavor, card companies and payment processors are supplying tutorials and Webinars to business owners in order to help navigate the intricate technology regulations.  The latest version of the security standard is scheduled for release in October 2008.

Recent initiatives in an effort to battle credit card fraud and identity theft have also emerged on a federal level.  A recent amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires consumer reporting companies to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report (including information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy) once every 12 months, at the consumer’s request.  This went into effect on December 1, 2004 in the Western states and is now available nationwide.  This allows consumers the ability to closely monitor their own credit histories without paying charges to reporting agencies.

Defenses to Credit Card Fraud Charges

Police and prosecutors have the technological sophistication to effectively investigate credit card fraud, whether it allegedly occurs via the Internet or in person. The police may be able to follow the trail of an online credit card purchase back to the computer used in the transaction, to find a suspect in an online credit card fraud investigation. For credit card fraud cases occuring inside a store, the police may request security camera footage to show the person who signed for a specific purchase at a specific time.

Houston White Collar Crimes Attorney Charles Johnson will conduct a thorough, independent investigation into the case against you — seeking both exculpatory evidence and possible misconduct by the police investigators.

Contact Houston White Collar Crimes Attorney Charles Johnson

If you are facing charges for credit card fraud, contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson personally anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577. Attorney Johnson will be able to work with you and investigate the case against you, explaining your options along the way.

A defense attorney, who is experienced in this type of law, will be able to look for possible defenses in your case. Sometimes fraud, credit card theft, embezzlement and identity theft are committed due to a drug addiction, psychological issue, or gambling addiction. If you are suffering from an addiction or a mental issue, we may be able to argue for a lesser charge.

Other possible defenses include:

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of intent
  • Mistake
  • Duress (being coerced to perform a crime that you otherwise would not perform)
  • Age (being a minor may lessen the penalty imposed)

If you are facing charges of credit card theft or any other type of fraud anywhere within the state of Texas, we will:

  • Investigate the case against you
  • Investigate possible defenses and options
  • Work with you and explain your options
  • Communicate all charges and information clearly to you
  • Prepare the best defense case for your situation

When you hire an experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney regarding theft charges you face, we may be able to get your charges lessened or see that you get alternative sentencing for your crime.

Penalties and Sentences

There are various punishments for different types of fraud. The sentences normally depend on the nature of the fraud committed. A few of the penalties that could be assessed under Texas law include:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Fines and restitution
  • Loss of a professional license
  • Seizure of property or wage garnishment

It is extremely important that you contact Houston Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Charles Johnson as soon as you are aware of an investigation. Prosecutors often attempt to intimidate ordinary citizens into thinking the state of Texas has a clear cut case against them. Investigators often apply for search warrants in order to look for evidence that a fraud has taken place. These search warrants limit the type of evidence that may be seized, but those who are unfamiliar with how this process works may nonetheless allow law enforcement officers to overstep their bounds when serving one of these warrants.

Hire the Best Houston White Collar Crime Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it is too late to do something about it. Just because you have been charged with a theft crime in Texas does not mean that you will get the maximum punishment for that charge. You have a legal right to hire a lawyer who has experience in criminal proceedings who can help represent you and get you the best possible outcome.

Experienced Houston White Collar Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson represents people on theft and fraud charges including robbery, burglary, petty theft, credit card theft, grand theft, embezzlement, shoplifting, forgery, passing bad checks, and obtaining money by false pretenses. There are many possible defenses for your case. Allow us the time to discuss your case with you and investigate the matter.

The Charles Johnson Law Firm will investigate your case, interview witnesses and present the best possible defense. Don’t let a mistake that you made affect the rest of your life. You may contact Houston Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Charles Johnson at (713) 222-7577 and speak with him directly anytime night or day, 7 days/ week to discuss your case.

Facing Allegations of Credit Card Fraud? Houston White Collar Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson Can Protect Your Future

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Facing False Charges of Child Abuse? Select the Leading Houston Child Abuse Lawyer Charles Johnson

Best Child Abuse Defense AttorneyIf you have been falsely accused of Child Abuse, it is essential that you hire a Houston Child Abuse Lawyer who specializes in these types of cases to protect your legal rights. A conviction for Child Abuse can lead to serious legal consequences, including the loss of your right to be around children, the loss of the right to be with your own children, and time in jail. A conviction for Child Abuse charges can also lead to more personal consequences like embarrassment and a life-long label as a child abuser. Courts, as well as the public, are generally eager to convict and punish an individual who is responsible for exposing a child to abuse. A child’s testimony may have the ability to sway the outcome of a trial, even if their testimony is not accurate. Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson specializes in effectively and successfully defending his clients against Child Abuse charges. You can contact him directly anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your case.

What is Child Abuse?

According to Chapter 261 of the Family Code (recodified in 1995), child abuse is an act or omission that endangers or impairs a child ‘s physical, emotional or mental health and development. Child abuse may take the form of physical or emotional injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, physical neglect, medical neglect, or inadequate supervision.

The law specifically excludes “reasonable” discipline by the child’s conservator, parent, or guardian; corporal punishment is not in itself abusive under the law. An act or omission is abusive only if “material and observable impairment” occurs as a result, or if it causes “substantial harm,” or exposes the child to risk of substantial harm.

Neglect, like physical and emotional abuse, hinges on substantial harm or observable and material impairment. The law excludes from its definition of neglect any failure to provide for the child that is due to lack of financial resources. A child living in poverty is not a victim of neglect under the Texas Family Code except in cases where relief has been offered and refused by the child’s parent, conservator, or guardian .

A person commits abuse if they place a child, or allows a child to be placed, in a situation where the child is exposed to “substantial risk” of injury or harm. The law also clearly states that a person commits abuse if they fail to make a reasonable effort to prevent another person from abusing a child.

If you have been charged with Child Abuse, one of the most important steps you can take is to not speak with anyone other than your lawyer about the details of the case. Often times, defendants incriminate themselves by speaking to the police or engaging in phone conversations where certain statements can be taken out of context.

You need a Child Abuse Lawyer who will treat your Child Abuse defense seriously. Being charged with Child Abuse could have a devastating impact on your life and the lives of your family. Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson will diligently fight for your rights, reputation and future. Contact him now at (713) 222-7577 for expert legal guidance.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse typically occurs when a frustrated parent or caregiver strikes, shakes, or throws a child because of anger. Other forms of deliberate assault that may be physically abusive include burning, scalding, biting, kicking, cutting, poking, twisting a child’s limbs, deliberately withholding food, binding, gagging, choking, or hitting the child with a closed fist or other instrument. If it results in injury, any form of corporal punishment may be abusive.

Physical injuries resulting from child abuse can run the gamut from lacerations, burns, and bruises, to head injuries, broken bones, broken teeth, and damage to internal organs. Context, circumstances, and the exact nature of the wounds usually set apart the injuries resulting from abuse. Specially trained professionals must make the determination whether a child has actually been abused or not.

Due to the delicate and sensitive nature of a child abuse case, it is important to have the advice and the counsel of a professional who is experienced in this type of case. Houston Attorney Charles Johnson specializes in cases that deal with Child Abuse. Don’t take chances with your future. Contact him today.

Unexplained Death of a Child

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant—a child between one month and one year old. It is frightening because it is strikes without warning, and medical science has been unable to determine exactly why it happens.

SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of twelve months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted. Similar to SIDS, SUDC is a diagnosis of exclusion – given when all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out. By definition, SIDS applies only to the death of babies younger than 12 months, while SUDC victims are past their first birthday whose deaths go unexplained even after an autopsy, a death scene investigation and medical history review.

The death of an infant due to SIDS or SUDC is a devastating event that can leave parents feeling sad, guilty, angry, and confused. Although we all do our best to keep children safe, sometimes the worst happens and kids suffer major injuries. If your child has been seriously hurt and you need legal advice, contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson anytime at (713) 222-7577 for a free case review.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

There is a growing trend of misdiagnosed Shaken Baby Syndrome cases occurring in America today. Typically, a parent or caretaker is falsely accused of murdering or injuring a baby by shaking him or her, when the actual cause of the death or injury occurs from another source.

If a child is held by the shoulders or chest and shaken violently, often no external injury is visible. The impact of the brain on the inside of the skull may prove damaging or even fatal, especially if the child is less than two years old or is shaken repeatedly. Symptoms of injury include vomiting and seizures. An infant who is violently shaken may suffer convulsions, permanent brain damage, and death. A young child who survives a severe shaking episode may be blind, deaf, or otherwise disabled as a result. Even less violent shaking of older children may cause neurological deficits, as well as learning and behavioral disorders.

If you have been charged with child abuse involving Shaken Baby Syndrome, it is important to contact an immediately to begin gathering all necessary medical information and begin preparation of your case. If your child or a child you have been caring for has been injured or has passed away, you already have too much to deal with. Do not let overzealous prosecutors portray you as a violent child abuser.

Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse remains, in the overwhelming majority of cases, a crime perpetrated by members of the child’s family and circle of trust. Sexual abuse is defined in the Family Code as any sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare as well as failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child. A person who compels or encourages a child to engage in sexual conduct commits abuse, and it is against the law to make or possess child pornography, or to display such material to a child.

If you are facing potential Child Sexual Abuse charges, it is critical that you use a legal defense team with specific experience and expertise dealing with crimes against children. Call Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson at (713) 222-7577 for a free, confidential initial consultation. Early intervention is critical to obtaining the best results.

Best Child Abuse Defense AttorneySexual abuse may consist of a single incident or many acts over a long period of time. Boys and girls of any age can be victims of sexual abuse. The molester can be just about anyone, but most often, it is someone known to the child. The abuse may escalate over time, particularly if the abuser is a member of the child’s own family. The child’s non-abusing caregiver(s) may be unaware of the abuse or may be in a state of denial.

Child sexual abuse includes fondling, lewd or lascivious exposure or behavior, intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, penetration of a genital or anal opening by a foreign object, child pornography, child prostitution, and any other “sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare.” These acts may be forced upon the child or the child may be coaxed, seduced, and persuaded to cooperate. The absence of force or coercion does not diminish the abusive nature of the conduct, but, sadly, it may cause the child to feel responsible for what has occurred.

It is extremely difficult for a child to report sexual abuse. A very young child may not understand that what has happened is not normal or accepted. More importantly, the abuser almost always discourages the child from telling anyone about the abuse. The strategies for silencing a sexual abuse victim are as ruthless as they are varied. The abuser may be someone whom the child depends upon and trusts; s/he may use the child’s dependency and affection to extort a promise of secrecy. A more brutal perpetra­tor may threaten to harm and even kill the child or other family members or pets. Or the abuser may tell the child that the family will be broken up, the child blamed, or the child taken away from home if the secret becomes known. These are not altogether unrealistic fears for the child, unfortunately.

For many people, an allegation or disclosure of sexual abuse is indeed hard to accept. This is particularly true when the perpetrator is a family member or an otherwise law-abiding, respectable, and seemingly “nice,” “normal” person. Many adults have a tendency to overlook, discount, minimize, explain away, or simply disbelieve allegations of sexual abuse. Yet children rarely lie or invent stories on their own about being sexually abused. The fact that children can sometimes be manipulated or coached should not dissuade anyone from reporting a child’s revelation of sexual abuse. All responsible adults, but particularly those who work with children, should be aware that sexual abuse occurs and should be alert for the opportunity to aid a child who attempts to disclose abuse. The child’s need for support and protection must come first.

Sexual assault by a stranger versus a family member

Sexual assault of a child is a violation of the Penal Code, regardless of whether the perpetrator is a stranger or family member. Assault by a stranger and assault by a family member may involve similar criminal charges. In addition, an assault by a family member, especially one who lives in the household with the child, may be the basis for a civil action such as removal of the child from the home. In fact, assaults by strangers are much less common than assaults by persons known to the child. Perhaps the most common scenario for child sexual assault involves the male partner of a young girl’s mother (the girl is assaulted by her father, stepfather, or her mother’s boyfriend).

Child molesters

The child molester is sexually attracted to children (usually children of a certain age) and assaults them to obtain sexual gratification. While anyone of any age, race, or gender can be a child molester, this person is typically an adult heterosexual male. Most often, molestation is not a “stranger” assault, and may not involve force. Many child molesters relate quite well to children and seek out professions, jobs, or volunteer positions that give them access to children. They often make or collect child pornography.

Their methods of seduction may include bribes and the use of pornography depicting sex between adults and children the age of the intended victim. The relationship with the child may develop over a period of weeks or months, becoming increasingly coercive and invasive. Child molesters repeatedly offend and may molest or attempt to molest literally hundreds of children before being caught. The victims, while frequently befriended by the child molester, are generally not related by blood or marriage.

Molestation is an umbrella term that includes a number of sex offenses against children including, but not limited to:

A person convicted of any of the above acts will suffer extensive damage to their personal, professional, and social life in addition to other serious penalties and punishments including imprisonment, loss of rights, financial reimbursement to the victim, and more.

Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson has a wealth of experience handling sex crime cases and will work diligently to ensure your legal rights and interests are protected every step of the way. His firm is dedicated to thoroughly investigating your case, building a strong defense, negotiating with other parties to dismiss or reduce your charges, and more. If you want someone who is on your side, please contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson today for a complimentary consultation.

Sexual Assault of a Child as Defined by Law

Like all states, Texas protects children from sexual contact short of statutory rape. Like statutory rape, consent is not an issue, the age of consent is 17, and there is an affirmative defense if the two parties are close in age:

§ 21.11. INDECENCY WITH A CHILD.  (a) A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years and not the person’s spouse, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person:

(1)  engages in sexual contact [defined below]with the child or causes

the child to engage in sexual contact;  or

(2)  with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:

(A)  exposes the person’s anus or any part of the person’s genitals, knowing the    child is  present;  or

(B)  causes the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.

(b)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:

(1)  was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex;

(2)  did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense;  and

(3)  at the time of the offense:

(A)  was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register    for life as a sex offender;  or

(B)  was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or    adjudication for an offense under this section.

(c)  In this section, “sexual contact” means the following acts, if committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:

(1)  any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or  any part of the genitals of a child;  or

(2)  any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing,  with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person.

(d)  An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the second degree and an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a felony of the third degree.

Sexual Assault (Statutory Rape)

Forcible rape was a common law offense.  Consensual sex with a child was criminalized by a statute by Parliament, and is thus termed “statutory” rape.   The Texas version is found in TPC sec. 21.011 (2). It provides that an actor commits an offense if he or she

2)  intentionally or knowingly:

(A)  causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;

(B)  causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;

(C)  causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;

(D)  causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person,  including the actor;  or

(E)  causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.

Note that like the forcible rape version, the statute is gender neutral and includes sex acts other than vaginal intercourse.  There is no element of lack of consent .

A child is defined as someone younger than 17 years of age who is not the spouse of the actor.  Because the acts are consensual, there is, unlike in the forcible rape version, a spousal exception. Persons under 17 are presumed incapable of giving a valid consent, except when married.  Age 17 is referred to as the “age of consent,”–the age at which the law assumes a valid consent can be given.

There is a defense of medical care: “(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the conduct consisted of medical care for the child and did not include any contact between the anus or sexual organ of the child and the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the actor or a third party.”

There is also a defense if the offender and victim are close in age, are not close relatives, and the offender does not have certain prior convictions for certain sex offenses.  In these situations it is less likely that there is some form of improper exploitation of a young victim by an older predator.

(e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that:

(1)  the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense:

(A)  was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for

life as a sex offender;  or

(B)  was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section;  and

(2)  the victim:

(A)  was a child of 14 years of age or older;  and

(B)  was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.

The statute does not say that the defendant must know that the victim is under 17, and Texas courts have not created such a requirement.  Thus, (as in a majority of states) mistake of fact about the victim’s age is not a defense.

New Super Aggravated Offenses: Continuous Sexual Abuse Of Young Child Or Children

In response to legal issues regarding notice, election, jeopardy and unanimity, the 80th Legislature added Section 21.02 to the Penal Code, which defines a new offense entitled Continuous Sexual Abuse Of Young Child Or Children. The new statute provides that a person commits an offense if, during a period of time of 30 days or more, the person commits two or more acts of sexual abuse, regardless of whether the acts of sexual abuse are committed against one or more victims, and at the time of the commission of each of the acts of sexual abuse, the actor is seventeen years of age or older and the victim is a child younger than fourteen years of age. § 21.02(b). For purposes of this section an “act of sexual abuse”, includes aggravated kidnaping with the intent to violate or abuse the victims sexually; indecency with a child, other than by touching the breast of a child, or exposure; sexual assault of a child pursuant to section 22.011; aggravated sexual assault under section 22.021; burglary with the intent to commit one of the foregoing offenses; and sexual performance by a child under section 43.25. §21.02(c), P.C.

It is imperative that you contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson immediately when you learn that you are under investigation for this serious offense. You can reach him directly at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your options.

Penalties for Child Abuse and Sentencing

A person charged with child abuse faces a wide range of penalties and sentencing possibilities, depending on several factors. These include the state where the abuse took place, the age of the child, whether the offense involved sexual abuse, whether the child was physically or mentally injured, and the criminal history of the offender.

Sentencing for child abuse and neglect cases is often difficult for everyone involved — especially since child abuse cases are often highly publicized and the potential for a social stigma on the family is great.

In most states, child abuse may be charged as either a felony or a less serious offense depending on the circumstances. The most severe cases of child abuse may carry felony lifetime sentences, while the least serious cases are considered gross misdemeanors with potentially no jail time. Punishment will typically be more severe if the offender has a prior record of criminal child abuse activity and greatly reduced if there is no prior record.

For sentencing purposes, a person charged with child abuse may enter a guilty, not guilty, or no contest plea. In a large number of cases, sentencing will typically include probation or a prison term of up to five years. Sentencing in other, more serious, cases may include a longer prison term.

Other possible penalties and/or consequences may include:

  • Lifetime requirement to register as a child sexual offender
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Ruined reputation
  • Criminal record
  • Supervised access to the child
  • Physical or actual loss and enjoyment of a child
  • Continual involvement with a child protective services agency

People who fail to report child abuse or neglect also face penalties and consequences in some states with mandatory reporting laws. In those states, if a person has reason to suspect that someone is abusing a child, they must report it through a hotline or law enforcement agency. Failure to report such cases in a timely manner is considered a misdemeanor in most states and may result in fines, jail time, or both.

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault of a Child Crimes

Felony indictments must be presented within these time limits:

No limitation:

  • Continuous sexual abuse of a young child/children
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child
  • Sexual assault of a child
  • Indecency with a child
  • Sexual assault of an adult if DNA evidence is present

20 years from the victim’s 18th birthday:

  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit sexual offense
  • Burglary of habitation with intent to commit sexual offense

10 years from the date of the commission of the offense:

  • Sexual assault of an adult
  • Aggravated sexual assault of an adult

Sections 21 and 22 of the Texas Penal Code define indecency with a child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and other sex crimes. In these cases, “child” means a person younger than 17 years of age who is not the spouse of the actor.

Possible Defenses for Child Abuse Charges

Defending yourself against a child abuse charge can be difficult especially if it involves the testimony of a child. Combine that with the media’s negative depiction of child abuse offenders and it may seem impossible to overcome the harsh realities of a child abuse allegation.

If you are charged with child abuse – whether physical, emotional, or sexual – a criminal defense lawyer can devise a sound defense strategy and help cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case. Like other crimes, a person charged with child abuse has the same rights as defendants of other crimes, including the right to defend themselves against a criminal charge.

While child abuse laws aim to protect children, the justice system is set up to vindicate those who are wrongfully accused. Below are some of the most common (and some not so common) defenses that a person may assert on a child abuse charge:

False Allegations of Child Abuse

A common defense to child abuse charges is to say you didn’t do it. False accusations of child abuse are more common than most people think, especially in dysfunctional families or between parents who are involved in a difficult child custody battle. Although sometimes difficult to prove, the best strategy to defend false child abuse charges is to aggressively counter-attack allegations and show proof of the lie or similar wrongful conduct by the accuser.

The Injury Is a Result of an Accident

Most state child abuse laws do not punish accidents, unless the accident was a result of recklessness or gross carelessness. Examples of true accidents may include pushing your child on a bike and causing him to fall and scrape his knees or unknowingly slamming your toddler’s hand in the door. When a child’s injuries are a result of an accident, a person may raise this as a defense against child abuse charges but courts are split as to whether to prosecute parents who accidently cause harm to a child when acting with negligence (such as leaving a sleeping baby in a car alone on a hot day).

The Injury Is a Result of Something Other Than Child Abuse

Sometimes parents are falsely accused of child abuse based on non-accidental situations, such as when a child fights with another child and injures himself or when a child has a pre-existing medical condition that contributes to her own injuries. For example, one type of disease called “brittle bone disease” has been raised as a defense to show that one’s injuries were the result of a disorder that causes a child’s bones to break easily, and not a result of child abuse.

Parent’s Right to Discipline

Parents are generally free to discipline their children in any manner they choose, so long as the discipline is reasonable and causes no bodily injury. The question of how a parent disciplines a child (such as through spanking or threat of spanking), however, is often the subject of many child abuse cases. In certain circumstances, a parent, or one standing in “loco parentis “(such as a teacher), can raise the defense of “parental privilege” and claim that they had the right to reasonably discipline a child under their authority. However, if a child’s injuries are more serious than minor bruising as a result of the discipline, the parental privilege may not apply.

Religious Beliefs or Exemption

Even though it’s hard to grasp the thought of a child dying from an easily treatable illness, parents may claim an exemption to child abuse for religious reasons when a child dies because of a parent’s failure to seek medical care for their sick child. Although controversial, this religious exemption is a defense in all but a handful of states, and allows parents to escape charges of child abuse if they choose to pray for their sick children rather than take them to a doctor.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

In rare cases, an individual accused of child abuse may raise the little-known defense called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP). MSBP is used to describe incidents in which a child caregiver, usually the mother, either lies about or promotes illnesses in their children in an attempt to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. This defense usually requires proof of psychological or medical data.

There may be other defenses available depending on the circumstances in your particular case. If you need assistance with defending charges of Child Abuse in Houston, Attorney Charles Johnson can help you understand your rights with respect to child abuse laws in your state. You can contact him directly day or night at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your case.

Hire the Best Houston Child Abuse Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

The abuse or neglect of a child can have devastating effects on children and their families, as can false allegations, underreporting, and lack of knowledge. Child abuse is often zealously prosecuted and certain people are required by law to report instances of child abuse believed to have taken place.

Best Child Abuse Defense AttorneyWhen very small children are involved, the statements of the children themselves can be manipulated by the investigator. When older children are involved, the child’s behavioral or emotional problems can result in false accusations or manipulation of the investigator’s sympathy. In many cases, a child may simply tell the investigator what he or she thinks the investigator wants to hear.

The goal in a child abuse prosecution is to protect you from the criminal penalties that would follow a conviction and to protect your professional and family interests. Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson knows how to challenge the findings of a CPS investigation and broaden the inquiry to cover circumstances that show you in a better light as a parent or child care professional.

Child abuse is, of course, a very sensitive issue and Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer Charles Johnson will address your case with this firmly in mind. Any children who are involved in the case will be engaged in the proceedings as little as possible in order to shield them from this litigation. When their involvement is necessary to improve the chances of a positive outcome, they will be treated with the utmost care and respect. Attorney Johnson is well versed in all areas of domestic violence and abuse cases and is ready to assist you in your legal matter. Contact him directly around the clock at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your case.

 

Houston Child Abuse Lawyer Charles Johnson

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Related News Stories – Child Abuse Charges in Houston, Texas

Arrested for Federal Drug Charges? Get Expert Counsel From Federal Drug Lawyer Charles Johnson

Best Federal Drug Defense AttorneyFederal Drug Lawyer Charles Johnson represents clients who have been charged or are about to be charged with drug charges in Federal Court. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has earned an international reputation as one of the top Federal Drug Law Firms.

Regardless of the federal or international drug charge, Federal Drug Lawyer Charles Johnson has the drug defense experience to handle your case. He has successfully handled sophisticated drug defense cases that included Trafficking, Importation, Distribution and many others. When faced with a federal drug crime there is absolutely no substitute for experience. If you have been charged with drug crime and need a Federal Drug Defense Attorney, contact Attorney Johnson directly anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577. In Federal and International Drug Defense, experience makes the difference.

Federal Drug Crimes Overview

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, also known as the Controlled Substances Act, classifies narcotics, marijuana and other drugs into five categories, or Schedules. Besides establishing requirements relating to manufacture and distribution of drugs, the law also defines penalties for violations of the Act. Depending on the nature and quantity of the substance involved, as well as the presence of sentence-enhancing factors, the criminal penalties can be severe. If you are facing federal drug charges, call Houston Federal Drug Crime Lawyer Charles Johnson for advice on the law, your rights and how to proceed. He is available around the clock to take your call.

Offenses at the Federal Level

Federal drug offenses differ from those at the state level, even though the conduct in question might be the same. In defining crimes, Congress’ authority comes from its Constitutionally-granted powers over the areas of commerce, taxation and the postal service.

Some of the drug crimes under the Controlled Substances Act include:

  • Drug trafficking: manufacturing, distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute illicit drugs
  • Manufacturing: operating places for the purposes of manufacturing, distributing or using illicit drugs, or endangering human life while so doing
  • Continuing criminal enterprise crimes: trafficking in illicit drugs by a person in concert with five or more other persons
  • Conspiracy: involves attempts and the promoting and facilitating of manufacture, distribution or importation of illicit drugs
  • Protected location offenses: distributing illicit drugs to persons under age 21 or within a school or playground zone; employing persons under age 18 in drug operations
  • Simple possession: possessing controlled substances without a valid prescription from a licensed medical practitioner (unlike trafficking, simple possession does not involve intent to distribute the drugs)

Other drug offenses under the Act include investing illicit drug profits in businesses affecting interstate commerce and unauthorized importation of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces the federal controlled substances laws and regulations.

In addition, drug crimes at the federal level may include violations of tax law, such as tax evasion, or engaging in activities prohibited by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Federal drug laws specify minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment, based on the type and quantity of drug involved. Likewise, under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, these factors are taken into account, along with:

  • Whether the offense involved injury to another person
  • Whether a weapon was possessed or used
  • The defendant’s criminal history

While judges have discretion to depart from sentencing guidelines, they must still stay within the mandatory minimum and maximum terms specified by statute. Where the offense occurs in a school or other protected zone, penalties may be enhanced.

Hire the Best Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Drug crimes can be charged and prosecuted under federal law, state law or both. Because federal drug crimes can carry significantly harsher penalties, it is important to contact a knowledgeable lawyer who is familiar with both federal and state drug laws. If you are facing either federal or state drug charges, call Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson now at (713) 222-7577. He can explain the intricacies of both systems and vigorously represent your interests.

Charged with a Federal Crime? What To Expect

The following is a short summary of what you can expect if charged with a Federal Crime.

SILENCE

By the time you read this material, you or your loved one will have already entered the Federal Criminal Justice System. Whether you are in custody or in the “free world”, one firm rule applies: Do not discuss your case with anyone but your lawyer. Anything you say can and will be used against you. This is true whether you talk to a police officer, a person you just met in a holding cell, or a “friend”.

RELEASE OR DETENTION

The first thing to worry about is whether you are going to be released while waiting for trial. There is no bond set automatically in federal court. Your family cannot simply pay a bondsman to get you out.

Court Appearance: If you were arrested and taken into custody, you will soon appear before a United States Magistrate Judge.  This is not the District Judge that will hear your trial.  This Magistrate Judge will decide if there are any conditions that would allow your release.

Pretrial Report: In order to assist the Magistrate Judge, a Pretrial Services Officer will interview you and give the Magistrate Judge a written report about your background and criminal history. The Officer will not ask you about the facts of your case and you should not volunteer any information. If you lie to the Officer, it will hurt you later on.

Chance for Release: You are most likely to be released if you have little or no criminal history, if you have solid employment and family ties in your community, if you are a United States Citizen, and if you are not charged with a serious drug trafficking offense or crime of violence. Even if you are not a good risk for release, the Magistrate Judge must still hold a hearing and find reasons to keep you in custody. The only time this hearing is unnecessary is when you are being held in custody for other reasons — such as a sentence in another case, a parole warrant, or a probation revocation warrant.

YOUR LAWYER

When you are facing criminal charges, your choice of legal representation is a critical issue. You must ensure that you have legal representation from a proven attorney with a record of successfully defending difficult cases.

In order to protect your rights and to fight a possible Federal drug conviction, it is very important to hire the Best Federal Lawyer you can find. Your future is at stake, and this is not a time to cut corners. A knowledgeable Drug Crime Defense Lawyer will be able to sort out the details of your drug crime charges and diligently work to provide evidence that will benefit you. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we have been successful at lowering or dismissing charges against our clients and will look to do the same for you. To counteract the aggressive investigation and prosecution from the federal government, you will need an equally aggressive criminal defense attorney. Federal Drug Crime Lawyer Charles Johnson understands federal drug crime cases inside and out and will provide an unmatched dedication, commitment and an aggressive approach when defending your case.

Honesty: Defendants often believe it is better not to tell their lawyers the truth about their case. This is not a good idea. Everything you tell your lawyer is privileged and cannot be told to others. The best defense is one that prepares for all the bad evidence the prosecutor may present against you at your trial. Your lawyer must know all the facts. It is foolish to ignore the dangers and simply hope everything will turn out all right. That is the sure way to be convicted.

Bad Advice: If you are in custody, you will probably get a lot of free advice from other inmates. Unfortunately, much of that advice will be wrong. Many of the other inmates are in state custody and know nothing about federal criminal law. Even the ones facing federal charges may give you bad advice; they may not know any better, or they want to mislead you.

Respect: Treat your lawyer with respect and that respect will be returned to you. Lawyers are human beings who tend to work harder for clients who do not mistreat them.

YOUR RIGHTS

When people talk about “rights” in the federal criminal justice system, they are usually talking about the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution. These rights include freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to remain silent, the right to legal counsel, due process of law, equal protection under the law, protection from double jeopardy, a speedy and public trial, the ability to confront one’s accusers, subpoenas for witnesses, no excessive bail, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

Caselaw: There are many books and thousands of cases that discuss what these rights mean. The law is always changing.  A court opinion written in 1934 by a Montana court of appeals is probably no help in your case. Your case will mostly be affected by recent published opinions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Application: Not all of these rights apply in all cases.  If you never made a statement to the police, then it will not matter whether you were told of your right to remain silent. If you consented to a search of your car, then it will not make a difference whether the police had a search warrant.

CUSTODY

There are no benefits to being locked up. Jail has many rules and regulations. Some of those rules are made by the jailers. Some of these rules are made by the United States Marshal.

Clothing: You can get clothing two ways. The way to get underwear, tennis shoes, socks, etc, is to buy them through the jail commissary. Despite what others tell you, your lawyer cannot simply bring you these items. In most instances, trial clothing can be brought to the U.S. Marshal’s office shortly before your court appearance. You will be allowed to change in the holding cell at the federal courthouse.

Other Possessions: Sometimes the jail may allow you to receive magazines by subscription or books mailed from a store. It depends on the jail’s rules. Most other items need to be purchased through the commissary. All jails prohibit your lawyer from bringing you any items, such as cigarettes. You may keep legal documents in your possession.

Visits: Your friends and relatives must follow the jail’s rules when making appointments to visit you. You must put the names of these persons on your visitation list.

ARRAIGNMENT

At some point you will come to court for an arraignment. This is the time when you enter a plea of “Not Guilty”.

Indictment: Before the arraignment, you will have been indicted by a Grand Jury. Neither you, nor your attorney, has a right to be present at the Grand Jury session. A Grand Jury decides if there is enough evidence to have a trial in your case. If there is not, then the case is dismissed. If there is, the Grand Jury issues an Indictment. An Indictment is the document that states what the charges against you are. The Grand Jury sessions are rarely transcribed, so it is usually not possible to receive a transcript of their sessions.

Hearing: The arraignment takesplace before a Magistrate Judge,notthe DistrictJudge who will hear your case. The Magistrate Judge will ask you several questions:

  1. Do you understand what you are charged with?;
  2. Do you understand the potential penalties if you are convicted?; and
  3. How do you plead to the charges?

Since you will have discussed the case with your lawyer by this time, you will be able to answer the first two questions “Yes”. Your answer to the third question is “Not Guilty”. You cannot plead “Guilty” at an arraignment. Pleading “Not Guilty” will never be used against you.

Discovery: Federal law provides only limited access to the government’s evidence against you. Under local rules, you and your attorney are permitted to have copies of only certain types of documents in the government’s file. The rules of discovery must be strictly adhered to, and your attorney will discuss these rules with you more thoroughly as your case progresses.

Motions: Before or after investigating your case, your attorney may feel it appropriate to file a motion(s), which may be heard before or at trial. You should never file your own motions without fully discussing the proper procedures with your attorney. If you have ideas about specific motions that could be filed your case, you should discuss with your attorney whether those particular motions would be appropriate or beneficial to your defense.

SPEEDY TRIAL

Many defendants want a quick trial. This is usually for two reasons. First, defendants who are in custody want to get out of the county jail as soon as possible.  Second, defendants believe that if they are not tried within the Speedy Trial Act’s 70-day time limit, then their cases will be dismissed.

Pretrial Detention: There is no question that conditions in the county jail are not good. However, a defendant is rarely ever helped by going to trial as soon as possible. The prosecutor is prepared to try the case when it is filed. Your lawyer is only then beginning to investigate the case. Your lawyer does not have access to offense reports of the law enforcement officers that have already investigated the case. Also, “aging” a case has other benefits — the case becomes less important over time, witnesses’ memories fade, etc.

Dismissal: There are many exceptions to the Speedy Trial Act. Generally, a prosecutor can get a continuance of the trial whenever requested. The usual reason why a prosecutor requests a continuance is because there are co­defendants who have not been arrested yet.  The speedy trial deadlines do not begin to run until all charged defendants have appeared in court. Also, any time any of the defendants file motions, the time until those motions are decided is not counted toward the speedy trial deadline.

TRIAL

A felony trial in federal court is decided by twelve jurors. The jurors only decide if you are “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” of the charges in the Indictment. Jurors do not decide punishment. The District Judge decides punishment.

Jury Selection: The trial begins with the selection of the jury. A panel of potential jurors is called to court from voter registration lists. The District Judge, the prosecutor, and your lawyer talk to the panel and ask questions. The lawyers are allowed to keep certain members of the panel from sitting on the jury. The first twelve of the remaining panel members become jurors.

Opening Statements: Before the evidence is presented, the lawyers may make opening statements.  Opening statements are when the lawyers tell the jury what they believe the evidence will show.

Order of Proof: The prosecutor presents evidence first.  You are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not have to present any evidence or testify. If your lawyer does put on evidence, it will happen after the prosecutor has finished presenting evidence.

Rules: During the trial, the lawyers must follow the rules of evidence and procedure. These rules are complicated. The rules can both help and hurt you. For instance, the rule against hearsay evidence prohibits a prosecutor from calling a witness to testify how he heard about what you did. The same rule will stop your lawyer from introducing an affidavit made by some person who is unwilling to come to court and testify.

Prior Acts: Although you are only on trial for the charges in the Indictment, there are two ways the jury can learn about other accusations against you. First, if you testify then the prosecutor will be able to introduce your prior convictions. Second, the prosecutor can introduce your prior acts –even if they are not convictions — if they are similar to the crime you are charged with (for example, prior drug sales in a drug distribution case).

Final Arguments: After all the evidence has been presented, the lawyers argue the facts to the jury.

Jury Deliberations: Jurors are usually average working people from the community. They are not specially trained in law. They use their common sense when deciding the case. Although the District Judge will instruct them about “the presumption of innocence” and “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, jurors rely on many things in coming to a decision in a case. Jurors often rely on things such as: the appearance of the defendant, the defendant’s character, and their own biases and prejudices. They cannot be questioned about how they reached their decision.

Verdict: If you are found “Not Guilty”, you will be released. If there is a “Guilty” verdict, then the District Judge will order the Probation Department to prepare a Presentence Investigation Report to assist the District Judge at sentencing. It takes approximately two months between a conviction and sentencing.

Release: If you were previously on pretrial release,the District Judge may continue thatrelease until sentencing, unless you were convicted of a crime of violence or a serious drug trafficking offense.

GUILTY PLEAS

Statistics show that most defendants plead guilty. You make the decision to plead guilty. That decision is never simple. Some possible benefits of a guilty plea are that:

  1. the prosecutor may dismiss some charges;
  2. the prosecutor may not file new charges;
  3. the prosecutor may recommend a favorable sentence;
  4. you may get credit for accepting responsibility, etc.

Plea Agreement: Any promises the prosecutor makes for your guilty plea will be stated in a written plea agreement. That agreement is signed by you, your lawyer, and the prosecutor.

Plea Hearing: You must enter a guilty plea in court before the District Judge. The District Judge must ask you many questions so the record shows you understand what you are doing. During the hearing, the prosecutor will briefly tell the District Judge the facts of the case. You must agree to those facts for the District Judge to accept your guilty plea.

Effect of Plea: Once the District Judge accepts your guilty plea, you are just as guilty as if a jury returned that verdict. Once you are convicted of a felony, you lose certain civil rights, including the right to vote; the right to sit on a jury; and the right to possess firearms.

After Plea: The procedure after a guilty plea is the same as after a conviction at trial. A Presentence Investigation Report will be ordered and you will either be released or detained until sentencing (see “Trial” section).

COOPERATION

Some defendants give prosecutors information against other persons for the possibility of a reduced sentence. There is no guarantee that a defendant will get a lower sentence for “giving people up”. Cooperation usually requires a defendant to testify in court or before a Grand Jury.

OTHER CHARGES

Many times, federal defendants are first arrested by state officers on state charges. Sometimes, even when federal charges are filed, the state charges are not dismissed. It is possible to be convicted of both state and federal charges for the exact same offense. This is not “double jeopardy”. It is also possible to receive “stacked time” (a consecutive sentence), by pleading guilty to an unrelated state or federal case before being convicted in your federal case. Be careful not to do anything about your other cases without telling your attorney. If you are summoned to “jail call”, do not agree to plead guilty to your state charge in exchange for “time served” without telling your lawyer. Despite what the state prosecutor may tell you, this conviction will affect your federal sentence.

SENTENCING

Sentencing takes place approximately three (3) -six (6) months after you have been convicted by a jury or guilty plea. The District Judge decides the sentence. Unlike state court, you cannot simply agree with the prosecutor to serve a particular amount of time or probation.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines: The District Judge decides your sentence based upon a book called the “Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual”. That book works on a point system. You get points for the seriousness of the offense and your role in the offense. Points may be subtracted if you accept responsibility for the offense or if you were only a minor participant. The Manual also considers your criminal history.  Your criminal history is the record of your prior convictions in state and federal courts. A chart at the back of the Manual determines your sentencing guideline range, based upon your criminal history points and the points you received for the offense conduct.

Mandatory Minimum Punishments: Some drug and firearms cases have mandatory minimum punishments. These minimum punishments apply even if the Federal Sentencing Guidelines would otherwise give you a lower sentence. For instance, anyone possessing over 280 grams of crack cocaine after August 3 2010, with the intent to deliver it, must receive at least ten (10) years in prison; even if that person is a first offender.

Departures: If the District Judge sentences you to more or less time than your sentencing guideline range, it is called a “departure”. Departures are unusual. The District Judge must have a good legal reason for a departure. The District Judge cannot depart downward below a mandatory minimum punishment, unless the reason is that you have provided substantial assistance to the government in the prosecution of others or you qualify for the “safety valve” provision as a first offender. Only drug cases qualify for the “safety valve”.

Presentence Investigation Report: Before the sentencing hearing,the District Judge will review a Presentence Investigation Report prepared by a Probation Officer. That report summarizes the offense conduct, your criminal history, and other relevant background information about you. Most importantly, the report calculates a range of punishment for the District Judge to consider in your case. The Probation Officer creates the report based upon information from the prosecutor, independent investigation, and an interview with you in the presence of your lawyer.

Interview: It is important to be honest with the Probation Officer at the presentence interview. If you mislead the officer you may increase your sentence for “obstruction of justice”.  Also, you will not get credit for accepting responsibility unless you talk truthfully about your crime.  Do not talk about any other conduct for which you have not been convicted, unless your lawyer tells you to.

Objections: Before the District Judge gets the Presentence Investigation Report, it will be sent to your lawyer. The probation office will also mail a copy directly to you for your inspection. Review it carefully. If there is anything incorrect about the report, your lawyer can file objections. Some mistakes are more important than others. If the report says your car is red rather than blue, that is probably not important. If the report says you have five (5) prior felonies when you do not, that is important.

Sentencing Hearing: At the sentencing hearing, the District Judge will review your objections to the Presentence Investigation Report and make findings about any facts or legal issues that cannot be agreed upon. Your lawyer will address the legal issues and point out the facts in your favor. District Judges do not want to hear from witnesses who are just there to plead for a reduced sentence. Letters of recommendation and other helpful evidence should be provided to your lawyer well before sentencing so the District Judge can see them before the hearing. Before the District Judge pronounces sentence, you can make a statement.

Concurrent and Consecutive Sentences: No area of law is more confusing to defendants and lawyers than whether multiple sentences (more than one) may be served at the same time (concurrent) or one after another (consecutive).

Present Charges: If your federal Indictment has several related charges, and you are convicted of them, you probably will serve these sentences at the same time. However, it is possible for the District Judge to “stack” unrelated convictions so each must be served before another begins.

Other Charges: Sometimes a defendant is already serving a sentence before being convicted in a federal court. Unless the District Judge specifically orders the new sentence to run at the same time as the previous sentence, they will be stacked and will run consecutively.  You would have to finish your other sentence before the new one begins.  Even if the District Judge runs the new sentence at the same time as your previous sentence, you will not get credit for the time you served prior to sentencing.

VOLUNTARY SURRENDER

If you were on release until sentencing, you may be allowed voluntary surrender. This means about 45 days later you report directly to the federal prison designated for sentence. Otherwise, you would go directly into custody if you received a prison sentence.

APPEAL

An appeal is not a new trial. An appeal is a review of your case by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. You may only appeal after you have been sentenced. A notice of appeal must be filed within 10 days after judgment (your sentencing order) is entered, or you lose that right. Transcripts of all testimony, and all the legal documents in your case, are sent to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals decides whether the District Judge made any mistakes in ruling on the law in your case. If the Court of Appeals decides there were some important mistakes made by the District Judge in your case, the usual remedy is that you will be allowed to have a new trial or a new sentence. That is called a “reversal”. It does not happen often. It is nearly impossible to be released while your appeal is being decided. The decision to appeal should be made only after a careful discussion with your lawyer. The Fifth Circuit is strict about accepting cases that raise legitimate issues. A claim that you received “too much time” will not prevail in the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit will dismiss your appeal if you do not present an issue they consider meritorious. Also, you and your lawyer can be sanctioned (punished) if you present a “frivolous” issue on appeal.

PROBATION

Probation means your term of imprisonment is suspended, you must follow restrictive conditions, and report to a probation officer. Probation is not available for federal drug trafficking crimes. Except for minor fraud cases, most federal defendants do not get probation. “Shock Incarceration” or “Boot Camp” is not probation.  That is a military discipline program followed by time in a halfway house. It is available mostly to young, nonviolent, first-time offenders.

PRISON

Most defendants who are sentenced to prison go directly into custody or continue to remain in custody. Where the sentence will be served depends on several factors.

State Custody: If the reason you first came into custody was a state charge, parole warrant, or probation revocation warrant, then you are in state custody, not federal custody. Neither the United States Marshal, nor the District Judge, has the authority to take you from state custody so that you may begin serving your sentence in a federal institution. This means you will remain in the county jail, or the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, until your State of Texas (or whatever other jurisdiction you owe time) sentence is completely served. Even if you got a federal sentence that is to run at the same time as your previous sentences (see “Sentencing” section), you will do that time in the other jurisdiction’s prison.

Jail Credit: In the federal system, the district judge does not have the authority to award jail credit at your sentencing hearing. See United States v. Wilson , 112 S.Ct. 1351 (1992); 18 U.S.C. §3585(b). Under the statute giving a defendant convicted of federal crime the right to be credited for time spent in official detention before sentence begins, the Attorney General is required to compute credit after the defendant has begun to serve his sentence, rather than the district court at time of sentencing. Statute giving defendant convicted of federal crime right to receive credit for time spent in official detention before sentence begins does not authorize district court to award credit at sentencing.

Federal Custody: You are in federal custody if you  were brought in on a federal warrant. It does not matter that you are being held in the county jail or that state charges or revocations are later filed. It is always better to be in federal custody, because the State of Texas will give you credit for serving your state sentences no matter who has custody of you.

Designation: If you are in federal custody, then a federal institution must be designated for your sentence. This designation takes about one (1) month and is made by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. During that month, you will probably remain in a county jail. The decision about where you will go depends upon the seriousness of the crime, your criminal history, the location of your family, among other things.  A recommendation by the District Judge to send you to a particular place is not binding on the Bureau of Prisons.

Good Time Credit: The Bureau of Prisons can give you up to 54 days a year of “Good Time Credit”.  This is time subtracted from your sentence. The credit is a privilege for good behavior, not a right. It does not begin to be counted until after your first year in prison.

Release: There is no parole in the federal criminal justice system. You will serve the majority of your sentence, minus Good Time Credit. You will receive a term of supervised release that begins after you are released. Like probation or parole, supervised release means you have to follow rules and report back to a probation officer. Violating supervised release can mean going back to prison.

CORRESPONDENCE

You must use your own judgment about writing letters. You should not write about the facts of your case to anyone other than your lawyer. If you have any questions about your case or suggestions about it, you should contact your attorney immediately.

Federal Drug Charges in Houston, TX

Houston is in a unique position because of its convenient location. It is a criminal hotbed for illegal drug activity and because of its reputation, law enforcement; the FBI and the DEA are on high alert when it comes to detecting and convicting those guilty of trafficking or other federal drug crimes. Because drug activity is so rampant in Texas, the state has exceptionally harsh penalties for those who commit federal drug crimes. How one is prosecuted will depend on whether or not they have any priors on their record, the type of drug, and the quantity. A prison sentence for a federal drug crime can be as little as five years or it can be as long as life in prison.

The state of Texas has long been involved in a “war on drugs.” Federal prosecutors in the state of Texas come down hard on criminals involved in selling, distributing and trafficking large amounts of drugs. Not only do you face years in prison if convicted, non-citizens face deportation from the United States. At The Charles Johnson Law Firm, we are here to defend you against Federal Drug Charges.

Contact the Best International Federal Drug Crimes AttorneyHouston Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson comprehends the differential factor between State and Federal drug crimes. If in fact you or a loved one are under investigation for a drug crime, or if you have been apprehended for or charged with a drug crime in Texas or Houston, you could face harsher punishment than you expect. If you or a loved one’s alleged crime is based upon large amounts of illegal drugs, transporting or distributing drugs over state lines or over and across the border, or other specific details, you could face federal drug crime charges rather than state charges.

The significant thing to know pertaining federal drug crimes is that a conviction will carry a much harsher punishment, a longer mandatory at the very least sentence, and the possibility of no bond or bail. Attorney Johnson defends cases at the Federal Level that involve drug crimes such as:

  • Federal drug trafficking
  • Federal drug manufacturing
  • Federal drug sales and distribution
  • Internet drug distribution
  • Federal drug importation and transportation
  • Mailing drugs over and across state lines or national borders
  • Drug smuggling into or out of the United States
  • Other crimes related to drugs and money laundering

Contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson anytime night or day to discuss your case. You can speak with him directly by calling (713) 222-7577. If in fact you or a loved one think you are part of a federal drug investigation, don’t wait to contact a lawyer you can trust. Rest assured that The Charles Johnson Law Firm will zealously defend you against any type of Federal Drug Charge.

Houston Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson

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Charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance? Protect Your Future with the Help of Houston Drug Lawyer Charles Johnson

Hire the Best Drug AttorneyCharges of Possession of a Controlled Substance (POCS) in the Houston area are quite common. Often times the controlled substance charge results after someone has already been arrested. For example, someone is arrested for DWI, public intoxication or an outstanding warrant and the controlled substance is found after arrest or during the process of being booked in to the Harris County Jail. Whether it’s a loose Vicodin pill in your purse or a Xanax pill that your friend gave you, drug charges can be filed.

Conviction for possession of controlled substances can leave you with a large fine, loss of property, or a jail sentence. Conviction for this offense will go down on your record and can affect your chances of getting a job, renting an apartment or home, or hinder your chances of getting an education loan.

If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged for possession of a controlled substance in the Houston area or anywhere in Texas, contact Houston Drug Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson today to get the experienced criminal defense you need and deserve. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has offices located in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio for your convenience. Attorney Johnson will speak to you whenever you need him. He can be reached directly at (713) 222-7577 24 hours/day, any day of the year.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas

Under Texas Health and Safety Code §§ 481.115 – 481.118, an individual can be charged with the offense of possession of a controlled substance (POCS) if they knowingly or intentionally possess any of the substances listed in Penalty Group I-IV without  a valid prescription from a doctor, including drugs, dangerous drugs, chemicals, narcotics, stimulants, prescription pills, medications, synthetic substances and natural substances. Penalties for possession of controlled substances differ based on the type of drug and the quantity you are carrying.  The penalties for possessing any of the above drugs range from 180 days to 99 years in jail. Your license can also be suspended for six months if you are convicted of violating the Texas Controlled Substance Act, and police have the right to seize any property, such as your car or home, that was used or was going to be used in the commission of drugs.

Charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance

It is an offense under both state and federal law to be in possession of any controlled substance and this is the most common charge filed involving drugs.  Possession is defined as the actual care, custody, control or management.  Actual possession refers to actual physical possession of a controlled substance while constructive possession usually is alleged when the controlled substance was found in an area where the person had access to or otherwise exercised control over (such as the trunk of a car or a safe).  This means that while a person can be charged with possession of a controlled substance even if the controlled substance was not actually found on the person, the charges can be challenged on the basis that the person did not exercise care, custody or control over the substance.  The focus in those cases is on whether the government can prove the person had “affirmative links” to the controlled substance.  Experienced Drug Attorney Charles Johnson has successfully challenged a client’s accusation of possession of controlled substance by making the case that there were no “affirmative links” to his client and the controlled substance.

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

It is an offense under both state and federal law to deliver or to have an intent to deliver a controlled substance.  “Deliver” means to transfer, actually or constructively, to another person and includes offering to sell a controlled substance as well.  Therefore, money does not have to actually be exchanged, and the “middleman” who helped arrange the transaction can also be prosecuted under this theory.  Under federal law, the most commonly charged delivery offense is possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.  Under that type of charge, the government does not have to prove that you actually delivered the substance, but only that you had an intent to do so.  Most often, the government will attempt to this intent based on the large quantity of drugs found, or the possession of other indicators including scales, baggies, or cutting agents.

Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance

It is an offense under both state and federal law to manufacture a controlled substance.  Manufacturing refers to the production or creation of drugs and is most commonly prosecuted in cases involving marijuana grow operations or meth labs.  It is also a crime to possess certain drug precursors with the intent to manufacture and pharmacies now vigilantly monitor the sales of commonly used precursors such as certain cold medicines, matches, and lighter fluid.

Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance

One of the most frequently charged drug offenses in federal court is conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, which involves actively planning with others to possess or distribute a controlled substance, regardless of actual possession or delivery.  This is typically the most serious type of drug accusation and usually involves multiple defendants and large quantities of drugs and can be extremely serious and complicated.

Possession of Methamphetamine

Due to the skyrocketing methamphetamine problem, the penalties for possession, delivery and manufacturing of methamphetamine have become extremely severe.  In addition, in Texas, depending on the quantity, there is a 15-20 mandatory minimum sentence if a child younger than 18 years of age was present on when the manufacturing of a controlled substance offense occurred.  In an effort to combat methamphetamine production, many counties in Texas have implemented “Meth Watch” programs which record and monitor over-the-counter cold medicines, prescription drugs, and household ingredients which are used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Possession of Cocaine

It is an offense to possess or distribute even the smallest amount of cocaine.  For example, even if there is a trace amount of cocaine found in a baggie, you can still be charged with possession of a cocaine which is a felony.  In the federal system, the penalties for cocaine base (crack cocaine) are notoriously severe.  In fact, the sentences for possession of cocaine base were so severe, especially in comparison with possession of an equal amount of powder cocaine, that the United States Sentencing Commission recently amended the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to slightly reduce the penalties for crack cocaine offenses.

Possession of Marijuana

It is an offense to possess, distribute or