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Houston Lawyer: Answers To Questions You May Have If You’ve Been Arrested

Finest Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been arrested?

The following are important answers to 50 questions that you may have at this moment. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson WILL help you reach a resolution to the legal problem that has arisen in your life. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we want you to know what you are facing and that we can help you through this challenging time. Give us a call today. We are available 24/7, rain or shine.

 

How Are Criminal Charges Filed?

Criminal proceedings take place in a series of stages. Usually, the police are responding to a citizen’s complaint that a crime has been committed. Sometimes, the police observe suspicious activity. Once they are called, or see something suspicious, the police investigate, take statements from witnesses, and prepare a report on their findings. At times, they will arrest people during the course of their investigation. At other times, they will complete their report and submit it to the prosecutor’s office for evaluation, and a prosecutor will decide whether charges should be filed against any suspects named in the police report.The exact procedure for how charges are filed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions give the police greater discretion in charging defendants with specific crimes, while others place more power with the prosecutor’s office. After being stopped by the police, a person may be ticketed for a “civil infraction,” may be ticketed or arrested for a “misdemeanor,” or may be arrested for a “felony.”While it is common to speak in terms of being “charged by the police,” in many states this is not entirely accurate. The exact procedure for how charges are filed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and, although the police may arrest a person and may recommend a specific charge, in many jurisdictions criminal charges is chosen solely by the prosecutor’s office.

What happens if I am stopped by the Police?

Generally, the police may stop a person for committing a traffic violation, for suspicion of being engaged in criminal activity, or to arrest the person for a criminal act. After being stopped by the police, a person will typically be questioned.

Can The Police Stop And Question People Who Are Not Under Arrest?

Yes. The police can stop a person, and ask questions, without “arresting” the person. Upon seeing suspicious activity, the police may perform what is called a “Terry Stop,” and may temporarily detain people to request that they identify themselves and to question them about the suspicious activity. The scope of a “Terry Stop” is limited to investigation of the specific suspicious activity, and if the police detain people to question them about additional matters, the stop can turn into an “arrest.” For their own safety, the police can perform a “weapons frisk” on the outside of a person’s clothes (sometimes called “patting down the suspect”) during a “Terry Stop.” During this frisk, if they feel something that may be a weapon, they may remove it from the suspect for further examination. However, they are not entitled to remove items from person’s pockets that do not appear to be weapons, even if they believe that the items are contraband.

When Is A Person “Under Arrest”?

Many people think of an arrest as being a formal declaration by the police, “You are under arrest,” followed by the reading of the “Miranda rights”. (As seen on TV: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you.”)Reality is a bit more complicated. An arrest occurs when a person no longer reasonably expects that he is free to leave. A “Terry Stop” is not an arrest, even though the person can’t leave during the investigatory questioning, as the detention is of short duration and is limited in its scope. (A “Terry Stop” may involve little more than a short series of questions, such as, “What is your name? Where do you live? Why are you here?”) However, if a person is not allowed to leave the scene for an extended period of time, the person may be considered to be “under arrest,” even though those words are never used. If a person is handcuffed, is locked in the back of a police car, or is otherwise restrained from leaving, the person will ordinarily be considered to be “under arrest.”

If The Police Ask To Search Me, My House, Or My Car, Do I Have
To Say “Yes”?

No. You can refuse the police permission to conduct a search. Remember this – the only reason the police officer wants to perform a search is for evidence of criminal activity, and the fact that he is asking reflects an expectation that he will find some. You are entitled to say “No.” If the police officer has the legal authority to perform the search, he will do so whether or not you agree. However, if he does not have the legal authority to perform a search, your consent gives him that authority.During an investigative stop, or a traffic stop, a police officer may ask if he can search you or your car. However, if you give the police officer permission, he can perform the search even if he otherwise had no legal authority to do so. Some people don’t know, or forget, that they have an “open” bottle of liquor in the car – a bottle with the seal broken, whether or not the cap is off. Sometimes, people have knives or other weapons which can be classified as illegal “concealed weapons.” Sometimes, people forget that they have contraband in their cars, such as illegal drugs, or find to their chagrin that their teenaged child dropped a marijuana cigarette in the car. Unless you are the only person with access to the interior of your car, you may be in for a surprise if you grant permission for a search.

Do The Police Have To “Read Me My Rights” When I Am Arrested?

The police have no obligation to formally announce the arrest when it occurs, or to read a suspect his “Miranda Rights.” Typically, at some point the police will inform a suspect that he has been arrested. However, many defendants never receive their “Miranda Rights,” which relate to the validity of police questioning of suspects who are in custody, and not to the arrest itself.

What Is The Difference Between A “Terry Stop” And An “Arrest.”

While a “Terry Stop” can be made upon “reasonable suspicion” that a person may have been engaged in criminal activity, an arrest requires “probable cause” that a suspect committed a criminal offense.

Can the Police Arrest Me Without A Warrant?

For most misdemeanor offenses, a police officer can only make a warrantless arrest of a suspect if the offense was committed in the officer’s presence. Officers can arrest people for felonies based upon witness statements, or where a warrant for the person’s arrest has been issued.

What Happens If I am Arrested Without Legal Cause?

It is important to note that an “illegal arrest” does not mean that a person can’t be charged with a crime. If a person is arrested illegally, and is searched or questioned by the police, evidence gained through the search or questioning may be declared inadmissible. However, there are circumstances where that evidence will be admitted into court despite the illegality of the arrest. Further, if a person has outstanding warrants for other charges, he may be detained on those charges, even though his initial arrest was illegal.

If I Am Arrested, Can The Police Search Me?

The police have the authority to perform a search of a suspect and his immediate surroundings, “incident” to the arrest of the suspect. If the police arrest a person who was driving a car, they ordinarily get the authority to search the entire passenger compartment of the car – and will usually also be able to search passengers for weapons. If the car is impounded, the police may perform an “inventory search” of the entire car, including the contents of the trunk.

What Can The Police Charge Me With?

A person who has been stopped by the police may be ticketed for a “civil infraction,” may be ticketed or arrested for a “petty offense” or “misdemeanor,” or may be arrested for a “felony,” or may be released. It is possible for the person to later be charged, when the police complete their investigation.Sometimes, the person will be informed that charges have been filed, and will be asked to present himself at the police station by a particular date and time.At other times, a “warrant” for the person’s arrest may be entered into the state’s computer system, informing police officers to arrest the person if they find him. If the charges are serious, the police may go out to arrest the person.

Civil Infractions

A “civil infraction” is not a crime, although it is a charge filed by the state. The state has to prove that you committed a civil infraction by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is to say; that it is more likely than not that you committed the violation. This is a much lower standard than the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in civil cases. The typical civil infraction is decided by a judge or magistrate, without a jury, in what is typically a short proceeding.

Petty Offenses

Some states have a class of “petty offenses,” where the defendant may be tried without a jury before a judge or magistrate. Typically, the only punishment for a “petty offense” is a fine. However, these offenses may be of a criminal nature. If you are not sure whether you are charged with a criminal offense or a civil infraction, consult a lawyer.

Misdemeanors

A “misdemeanor” is a criminal offense, and conviction ordinarily results in a criminal record. Misdemeanors are technically less serious offenses, although the consequences of conviction can nonetheless be quite severe. Possible punishments for misdemeanors include imprisonment, probation, fines, and at times driver’s license sanctions. Some misdemeanors are classified as “sex crimes” and require that a convicted person be registered as a “sex offender”, and keep the police informed of his place of residence — a requirement that may continue for life.

Felonies

Felonies are the most serious offenses that can be charged. Sometimes, the distinction between “felonies” and “misdemeanors” seems arbitrary. However, all of the most serious criminal offenses (such as murder, sexual assault, embezzlement, burglary, robbery, arson, and treason) are felonies.

How Do I Know If I Am Charged With A “Civil Infraction” Or A Crime?

Typical “civil infractions” include “moving violations”, such as “speeding” and “failure to yield.” Sometimes people get confused, when they are charged with a traffic misdemeanor, such as having invalid license plates or driving an uninsured automobile, and think that they are being charged with “civil infractions.” Traffic misdemeanors are criminal offenses, and will result in a criminal record. Many traffic misdemeanors also carry “points” which will be added to the defendant’s driving record, and some require the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. If you are ticketed for a “misdemeanor,” the ticket will likely reflect the nature of the charge, and you will be required to appear in court. If the charge is a “civil infraction,” you typically will not have to go to court if you pay a fine by mail. Read the ticket carefully.

Do Defendants Have The Same Rights When Facing Misdemeanor
And Felony Charges?

A defendant charged with a misdemeanor has fewer legal rights than a defendant charged with a felony. If the defendant will not face imprisonment as a result of conviction, he has no right to an attorney. There is no right to indictment by grand jury, or to a “preliminary examination” to review the basis of the charges filed. In some states, misdemeanor charges are tried before six person juries, whereas felonies are ordinarily tried before twelve person juries. Most other rights are the same, for both felonies and misdemeanors.

If I Have Not Been Arrested, How Do I Find Out If I Am Charged
With A Crime?

If there is reason to believe that you have been charged with a crime, you may wish to have an attorney contact the police or prosecutor to find out if a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Many people who have been charged with criminal offenses do not find out about the charges until they are stopped for traffic violations. The police, while checking their identification, find “outstanding warrants” for the person. Sometimes, the warrants have a “limited pick-up radius,” or the police officer does not believe that an immediate arrest is necessary, and the officer will simply inform the driver that a warrant has been filed and that the driver should report to the police agency that requested the warrant. At other times, the officer will make an immediate arrest, and will take the person into custody.

What Happens After I Am Arrested?

After being arrested, a person is “booked” by the police. Ordinarily, the police obtain identifying information from the suspect, such as his name, address, telephone number and driver’s license number. The person is checked for outstanding warrants for other offenses. Usually, the police take the suspect’s photograph and fingerprints. They make a record of this information, along with the nature of the crime charged, and usually an assessment of the suspect’s physical condition. If a person is under arrest at the time he is booked, he will ordinarily be thoroughly searched. If the arrest was legal, any evidence found in this search can be used as evidence in court.

Should I Consult An Attorney Before I Am Charged?

Yes, if possible. Unless you were arrested on an outstanding warrant, the fact that you have been arrested does not necessarily mean that charges have been authorized. An attorney can advise you of your rights, and how to handle contacts with the police. It can be very helpful to have an attorney intercede on your behalf before a warrant has been issued, as he may be able to influence the prosecutor’s “charging decision.” Sometimes, an attorney will be able to convince a prosecutor to charge a less serious offense, to send the complaint back to the police for more investigation, or even to refuse to authorize a warrant. However, once a warrant is issued, it is very difficult to get a prosecutor’s office to change the charge.

Do I Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Any person who is facing a criminal charge, no matter how minor, will benefit from consulting a competent criminal defense lawyer. Even if the lawyer is not retained to provide representation in court, a consultation will help a criminal defendant understand the nature of the charges filed, available defenses, what plea bargains are likely to be offered, and what is likely to happen in the event of conviction.For serious charges, it will be a rare defendant who does not benefit from having a competent criminal defense lawyer assist with the negotiation of a plea bargain, or to prepare a case for trial.A criminal defense lawyer should also be able to identify important pretrial issues, and to bring appropriate motions which might significantly improve a defendant’s situation, or even result in the dismissal of charges.

How Much Will My Defense Cost?

The cost of a criminal defense lawyer can vary significantly depending upon the jurisdiction, and the nature of the charges which have been filed (or which are expected to be filed) against the defendant. A lawyer will typically require a greater retainer for a complex case than for a simple case. The amount of a retainer will also typically increase with the severity of the charge filed against a defendant. Sometimes, though, a relatively minor charge can require a higher retainer, where the attorney expects to have to engage in extensive motion practice, or where it will be necessary to utilize expert witnesses.In a misdemeanor case, although as previously noted the typical fee will vary significantly between cities, counties, and states, it is not unusual for a lawyer to request a retainer of several thousand dollars. For felony cases, retainers often start at $5,000 – $10,000, and can be $25,000 or more for serious or life felonies, such as sexual assault cases or homicide. The anticipated cost of expert witnesses can also significantly increase a retainer.Be wary of entering into a retainer agreement which calls for additional payments if the case will go to trial. It is not unusual for appellate lawyers to hear clients recite that they entered into guilty pleas after they were unable to come up with the necessary funds to pay their lawyers to proceed with a trial. If you do decide to enter into an agreement whereby you will pay an additional retainer if your case goes to trial, make sure that it is an amount you can afford.

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It is unfortunately not always easy to find a good criminal defense lawyer. Here are some suggestions:Referrals– It may be possible to find a criminal defense lawyer from somebody who is familiar with the lawyer’s practice. For example, if you regularly work with a lawyer or law firm, that lawyer may be able to suggest a competent criminal defense lawyer in your area. If your county is served by a public defender’s office, sometimes a defender’s office will be willing to suggest a competent are defense lawyer. If you have a friend or family member who has been in trouble with the law, that person may be able to make some suggestions.

Courtroom Observation

– You may wish to sit through some public sessions of court while criminal cases are being argued. If you find a particular lawyer’s performance to be impressive, you may take note of the lawyer’s name and later contact the lawyer about the possibility of representing you.

State versus Federal Charges

– There are additional factors you may wish to consider when hiring a federal criminal defense attorney.

After you have located one or more attorneys whom you wish to consult about your case, call them to schedule appointments. (Find out at that time if they offer a free initial consultation, or if you will be charged for the meeting.) Try to speak with the criminal defense lawyer over the phone before scheduling the appointment. Ask about the lawyer’s general experience with criminal defense, and any specific experience with cases like yours.

Trust your instincts – if you aren’t comfortable with an attorney you consult, try a different office. You do not have any obligation to hire a lawyer merely because you consulted with that lawyer. If your lawyer is promising you that your case is easy, or makes promises that you won’t go to jail, speak to other lawyers before signing a retainer agreement – some lawyers misrepresent the gravity of a defendant’s situation or the complexity of a case in order to entice the defendant to pay a retainer, and then blame the judge or prosecutor when the rosy scenario they initially promised turns out to be a nightmare.

Read the entire fee agreement with the lawyer before you sign it, and make sure you get a copy for your own records.

Private Defense Counsel or Appointed Counsel?

People who are charged with felony offenses, and many individuals who are charged with misdemeanors, may be eligible for appointed counsel or for assistance through a public defender’s office. When a defendant petitions for a court-appointed lawyer, the trial judge will typically make an assessment of the defendant’s resources to determine if the defendant will qualify for an appointment of a criminal defense lawyer. When an appointment is made, although the defendant may be ordered to repay certain attorney fees following a guilty plea or conviction, there will not ordinarily be any fee in the event of acquittal or dismissal of the charges.Some people assume that a court appointed criminal defense lawyer will offer services which are inferior to a privately retained lawyer. While it is certainly true that some public defenders, some appointed lawyers and some private attorneys will prove to be insufficiently skilled or dedicated to their work to provide an effective defense, it is generally asserted that the average public defender will provide better representation than the average private criminal defense lawyer. The primary reasons for this include experience, as a professional public defender will typically have much more experience with criminal cases than a private lawyer, the ability to collaborate with other experienced lawyers within the office, and also due to the resources and systems available to a typical public defender’s office. Many private criminal defense lawyers take appointments – meaning that if you are charged in a jurisdiction that appoints private lawyers to represent criminal defendants, many of the lawyers you might otherwise retain will be among those to whom a court might assign your case. And even if you are ordered to repay legal fees, the cost of an appointed lawyer is almost always significantly lower than the cost of a retained lawyer.In short, if you can hire an effective criminal defense lawyer you should not hesitate to do so. But, if your means are limited, you should also not hesitate to request an appointed defense lawyer, and should not fear that you will receive inferior representation just because your lawyer was appointed.

Changing Lawyers

It is important to note that your constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel relates almost exclusively to the performance of appointed counsel. It is virtually impossible to convince an appellate court that the incompetence of counsel of your own choosing constitutes an error requiring reversal. If you are not comfortable with the competence of your lawyer, retained or appointed, consult with a second lawyer to have your situation reviewed. It may well turn out that your lawyer is competent – but it is you who could go to prison, not your lawyer, if the lawyer is inept.

What Happens When I Go To Court For The First Time?

Typically, a criminal defendant’s first court hearing is an “arraignment” before a judge or magistrate. An “arraignment” is an appearance in court where charges are formally read to a defendant. The judge or magistrate may also evaluate whether there was probable cause for an arrest, and may compel the prosecutor to allege additional facts to support the arrest. If probable cause is not established, the defendant must be released.If bail has not previously been set, it is often set at the same time as the arraignment. Bail (or “bond”) is often granted in a standard amount, depending upon the crime charged.In some jurisdictions, there is a subsequent “formal” arraignment, where the formal charges (“indictment” or “information”) are presented to the defendant. These charges are drafted by the prosecutor, and may vary from any original charges that were drafted by the police.

Do I Enter A Plea At The Arraignment?

At arraignment, the defendant is offered the opportunity to enter a formal plea. Sometimes, a defendant will plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” In some circumstances, the defendant may enter a “no contest” plea, which is treated by the court in the same manner as a guilty plea. Sometimes, the defendant will “stand mute,” and a “not guilty” plea will be entered by the court on his behalf. If a “not guilty” plea is entered, the court will ordinarily advise the suspect of his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney. If a defendant is indigent, he will usually be given the opportunity to petition the court for an appointed attorney.Usually, a defendant should speak to an attorney (even if only for a free consultation) before deciding whether or not to enter a plea of “guilty” or “no contest.” There is no need to rush into a plea to “get it over with” — particularly given that a bad decision can haunt you for the rest of your life.

Can I Get Released From Jail?

If bail is granted, and the defendant posts the required bail, he will be released. Sometimes, a defendant will be released on his own recognizance — his promise that he will appear for the next court hearing. Sometimes, bail is set in a very high amount. A defendant who is accused of very serious crimes may be denied bail, or have bail set in the millions of dollars. A defendant who is released on bail must attend all subsequent court hearings, or risk having his bail forfeited. (Keep this in mind — if you put your house or your car up as collateral for somebody else’s bail, you risk losing it if that person does not appear in court.)

What Happens After The Arraignment?

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, the next hearing is likely to be a “pretrial,” where the case is scheduled for trial. Sometimes, a defendant will enter a plea at the pretrial. At other times, the case will be scheduled for a “bench trial,” “jury trial,” or “plea hearing.”If a defendant is charged with a felony, but has not been “indicted” by a “grand jury,” the next step will likely be a “preliminary examination” where the prosecution must demonstrate to the satisfaction of a judge that there is reason to believe that a crime was committed, and that the defendant was the person who committed the crime. The defendant is allowed to question witnesses at this hearing. While the defendant ordinarily can present evidence, and may choose to testify, most defendants choose not to do so. If the Court is satisfied by the prosecutor’s evidence, the felony charges will be approved. Depending upon your state’s rules of criminal procedure, a defendant may be transferred to a different court for all further proceedings. He may be arraigned again, after the preliminary examination, and subsequently will have a pretrial.

What Do The Attorneys Do Between The Arraignment And The Trial?

During this time, the prosecutor and the defense attorney will likely demand “discovery” from each other. Often, this means nothing more than that the prosecutor gives the defense a copy of the police report, and perhaps some laboratory reports if the case involves drugs or drunk driving. While defense attorneys may differ, many prosecutors argue that this meager discovery fulfills their duties. The prosecution is obligated to provide the defense with the names and addresses of all relevant witnesses, and with copies of written or recorded statements made by the defendant or by co-defendants. The prosecution may be compelled by statute or court rule to provide additional information upon request, such as copies of witness statements, and reports from expert witnesses. The specific materials and information that must be exchanged will vary from state to state. Increasingly, the defense is required to provide certain information to the prosecutor, including witness lists, and may also be required to provide expert witness reports. In some states, the parties can conduct depositions of witnesses, where the witness testifies under oath before a court reporter, prior to trial. However, most states do not allow for depositions in criminal cases.Depending upon state law, a defendant will have to notify the prosecution if he plans to bring certain defenses to the criminal charges, such as an alibi defense, an insanity or diminished capacity defense. The purpose of the notice requirement is to allow the prosecutor to prepare for the defense, and to collect evidence and interview witnesses to challenge the defense. A defendant who is claiming insanity will ordinarily be examined by a state psychiatrist, and the refusal to submit to examination will usually prevent the defendant from raising that defense.

What If I Can’t Find A Witness?

The defendant generally has the right to request that the prosecutor’s office assist him in procuring witnesses for trial. Indigent defendants usually receive the greatest assistance, which may include issuance of subpoenas. However, due to the prosecutor’s access to information and police assistance that is not available to the defendant, the prosecutor is ordinarily obligated to help any defendant locate a missing witness.

What Is Involved In Pretrial “Motion Practice”?

Prior to the trial, either the defendant or the prosecutor may file motions with the trial court. Typical motions include motions to suppress evidence, motions in limine, and motions to dismiss. A motion to suppress evidence asks the trial court to exclude evidence from the trial, usually on the basis that it was collected in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. For example, if the defendant is arrested illegally, and is searched after his arrest, the evidence found during that search may be inadmissible. Similarly, a defendant may seek to exclude a statement or confession that he made to the police. A motion in limine asks the court to limit the issues or evidence at trial. For example, a defendant may wish to ask the court to exclude certain inflammatory allegations about him, which are not related to the charges against him, or portions of the defendant’s criminal record which are not properly admitted under the rules of evidence. The prosecutor may also wish to introduce evidence which cannot properly be linked to the defendant or the alleged crime, due to the circumstances or manner in which it was collected. A motion to dismiss asks the court to dismiss the charges against the defendant, usually on the basis of a procedural deficiency. A motion to dismiss may be filed following an illegal arrest, where all of the evidence presented by the prosecution was found as the result of that arrest.

What Is A “Diversion Program”?

At times, prior to trial, a defendant may be found eligible for a “diversion” program. These programs are not available in all communities. Typically, they are aimed at young offenders who have no significant criminal records. If a person successfully completes the conditions of a “diversion” program, which may include such requirements as counseling, attendance of “crime impact” classes, and regular attendance at school, either no charge is filed, or the charge is dismissed. If the defendant violates the terms of the diversion program, the charges are reinstated.

What Is The Significance Of My “Speedy Trial” Right?

A defendant has a constitutional right to a “speedy trial.” The meaning of “speedy,” and the benefits of demanding a “speedy trial,” varies from state to state. In some states, most defendants have to waive their right to a “speedy trial” in order to get sufficient time to prepare their defenses. If a defendant demands a “speedy trial,” he cannot later claim that he did not have time to prepare his defense. However, if a defendant demands a “speedy trial” and the prosecutor is not prepared to proceed to trial, the charges against the defendant may be dismissed.

What Is The Difference Between A “Bench Trial” And A “Jury Trial”?

A case that goes to trial will be heard by a judge in a “bench trial,” or by a judge and jury in a “jury trial.” In a jury trial, the judge decides the law, while the jury decides the facts. In a bench trial, the judge decides both the law and the facts. Both the prosecutor and the defendant have the right to demand a jury trial, although prosecutors are usually happy to consent to bench trials.

What Is “Jury Selection” And “Voir Dire”?

If a case is scheduled for jury trial, the parties engage in “jury selection.” During jury selection, a panel of jurors is questioned by the judge, by the attorneys, or both, in a process called “voir dire.” The purpose of this hearing is to determine if the jurors will be fair and impartial, and will decide the case based upon the evidence presented in court. Both the prosecution and defense can challenge jurors “for cause,” claiming that the jurors are prejudiced against their side. The judge determines if there is valid cause to exclude a particular juror from hearing a case. Both the prosecution and defense also receive a limited number of “peremptory challenges,” which allow them to remove jurors without any reason or explanation.

What Happens At Trial?

Typically, at the start of a trial the jury will be given preliminary instructions. The jury is instructed at this time that the defendant is presumed innocent, and that the presumption of innocence does not change until the jury begins deliberations. Jurors are not supposed to abandon the presumption of innocence before hearing all of the evidence in the case.Next, the attorneys will present opening statements. Witnesses are presented first by the prosecution, and next by the defense. At times, the defense will not present any witnesses, either because the prosecution called all of the relevant witnesses during its case, or because the defense wishes to argue that the prosecutor’s case is insufficient to justify conviction. The defendant cannot be compelled to testify against himself, but he has the right to testify in his own defense if he chooses to do so.At the conclusion of the defendant’s case, the prosecutor may present “rebuttal” witnesses to respond to arguments or evidence introduced by the defendant. Sometimes, the defendant will be allowed to present “rebuttal” to the prosecutor’s “rebuttal.”After all of the testimony has been taken, the attorneys will present their closing arguments. The jury is then given additional instructions, and commenced deliberations. Sometimes the defense attorney will request a “directed verdict” of not guilty, meaning that the judge will instruct the jury that the only verdict it can return is “not guilty.” These motions are commonly made, but are rarely granted. If the jury cannot reach a verdict, the judge will eventually discharge the jury. The prosecutor must then decide whether to dismiss the charges or to seek a new trial.

What Happens If The Jury Acquits The Defendant?

If the jury acquits the defendant, finding him not guilty, the case is usually over. (In the United States, the prosecutor cannot appeal an acquittal. However, in some other nations, the prosecutor has a limited right to appeal.)

What Happens If The Jury Convicts The Defendant?

A jury can also return a verdict of guilty. If a defendant is charged with more than one offense, the jury may convict the defendant of some charges while acquitting of others. At times, the jury will choose between related offenses. For some offenses charged, the jury may convict of a “lesser included” offense. For example, if a defendant is charged with “open murder,” the jury may convict him for first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, or negligent homicide. (Please note that the names and elements of the various homicide offenses may vary from state to state.)After being convicted, a defendant may file post-trial motions, such as a motion for a new trial. These motions are rarely granted. The defendant may also file an appeal.

What Are The Possible Sentences For A Criminal Offense?

After sentencing, a defendant may simply be ordered to pay fines and costs, and be released. A defendant may also be ordered to participate in community service, or to spend time on a work crew. A defendant may be placed on probation, and may even be placed on “house arrest,” while wearing a “tether,” an electronic monitoring device. A defendant may also be sentenced to jail or prison. Courts can combine these various options, in fashioning a sentence for a defendant.

What Happens If I Am Placed On “Probation”?

A defendant may also be placed on probation. A defendant on probation will ordinarily meet with his probation officer monthly and at times more frequently. Sometimes, a defendant will be placed on “non-reporting” probation, where he does not meet with a probation officer.Typically, at the end of his probation, such a defendant will be asked to demonstrate that he complied with the terms of probation (such as by submitting attendance records from court-ordered Alcoholics Anonymous meetings), and his record will be checked for any further criminal activity. Sometimes, a defendant will be allowed to report by mail. This usually happens in cases where a defendant has been on probation without any problems for a long time, but his probation officer still wants periodic information on his activities.A defendant who has been convicted of a drug conviction may have to report to the probation office frequently for drug testing. A court may also order drug or alcohol counseling, or attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcaholics Anonymous meetings. During probation, a probationer must typically seek permission from his probation officer before moving or changing jobs. He may be restricted from leaving the state without his probation officer’s permission.

How Long Does Probation Last?

Probation usually lasts between one and three years, but can last longer depending upon the offense committed and state policies. Some states have “life probation” for certain drug offenses, where a person is placed on probation indefinitely. After a probationer has paid off his fines and other court assessments, and has completed other requirements of his probation (such as community service), a probation officer will sometimes consider an early discharge from probation. However, most probationers complete their entire terms of probation. Many, upon violating the terms of their probation, are in fact ordered to report to probation more frequently. If violations are of a serious or repeated nature, a probationer can be charged with violating his probation, and be ordered to appear before a judge for a hearing.

What Is A “Tether,” or “Electronic Monitoring”?

Tethers are increasingly sophisticated devices. A typical tether has a portable unit which is strapped to the probationer’s leg, and a “base unit” which is connected to the probationer’s telephone line. The portable unit sends a constant signal to the base unit. The base unit keeps a record of when that signal is interrupted, and transmits that information by telephone to the probation office. The probationer on “house arrest” is placed on a strict schedule, and must account for any absences from his home that are not pre-approved by his probation officer. If a probationer is not home at the times he is supposed to be, the probation officer may contact the probationer to inquire why he was not at home, or may contact the police and have the probationer arrested.

What Happens If I “Violate” My Probation?

A probation officer has the discretion to give a probationer a warning, or to make him appear before a court for a “probation violation” hearing. If you go to a hearing, the probation officer will typically ask that you face additional punishment, usually involving incarceration. There is no “hard and fast” rule for what type of probation violation will result in a probation violation hearing. One violation that is almost always considered serious is failing to appear for scheduled meetings with the probation officer. Being caught in possession of illegal drugs, or being arrested for another crime, will also typically result in a hearing before a judge. At times, the seriousness of the violation may depend upon the facts of the underlying offense — for example, if a person is convicted of being involved in a gang-related offense, the violation of probation through “association with known criminals” may be viewed more seriously than if the person is on probation for driving a car while his driver’s license was suspended.

What Are My Rights At A “Probation Violation” Hearing?

It is important to note that probation violations are typically tried under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, where the prosecutor must show only that it is more likely than not that the probationer violated the terms of his probation. There have been many cases where a person’s probation was violated for engaging in new criminal activity, despite the fact that he was acquitted of the new charge, or was in fact never charged with a new offense.

What Happens If I Am Convicted Of A Probation Violation?

If a person is convicted of a probation violation, sometimes the court will extend his probation, or impose additional terms. Often, the court will sentence the probationer to a period of time in jail, followed by the continuation of his probation. Sometimes, the probationer will be resentenced to jail or prison, or will be ordered to complete a term that was previously “suspended.”

When Are Defendants Sentenced To Jail?

If the court feels that a more serious punishment is required than a term of probation, the offender may be sentenced to jail. “Jails” are typically run by County governments, and are used to house defendants prior to trial, and to punish people who have been convicted of less serious crimes. Although the exact terms vary from state to state, typically the maximum jail sentence is one year. At times, the offender will simply be sentenced to jail, while more typically the defendant will have to serve a term of probation after completing his jail sentence.

What If The Judge Thinks That Jail Is Not Enough?

If the defendant’s offenses are more serious, most states have a “boot camp” programs, which are intense, military-style facilities. Incarceration typically lasts about ninety days. Participants may be cautioned that if they drop out of the program, or are kicked out, they will be sent to prison. Some states reserve these programs for young offenders. As these programs can be physically strenuous, some people cannot participate in “boot camp” programs due to health conditions.If all else fails, the defendant will be sentenced to prison.

What Happens If I Go To Prison?

The most serious punishment for most crimes involves sentencing the defendant to prison, the “state penitentiary.” Following serving his “minimum term,” a portion of his sentence that varies from state to state, a defendant who is in prison will usually qualify for parole. Many defendants who are incarcerated can earn “good behavior” or “good time” credits, which allow them to qualify for an earlier release date by behaving. The idea is that model prisoners are less likely to re-offend, and that prisoners will behave better if they have an incentive not to cause trouble. Some prisoners will not be eligible for “good time,” due to the nature of their offenses. Often “habitual offenders” are not eligible for “good time” credits. Some jurisdictions have abolished “good time” for all prisoners.

Do All Prisoners Get Parole?

Parole is a privilege, not a right, and many prisoners are refused parole when they first apply. Parole boards expect to hear a prisoner admit responsibility for his crimes. They also expect that the prisoner will take advantage of the programs made available in prison, such as, if appropriate, GED programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, and vocational training. They will also look at the prisoner’s conduct during incarceration, and whether the prisoner has been cited for misconduct. (Typically, prisoners will be “ticketed” for their violations of prison rules, with offenses classified as “major” or “minor.” A prisoner who was involved in a fight would likely be ticketed for a “major” offense, while a prisoner who yelled at a guard might be ticketed for a “minor” offense, depending on the circumstances. These “tickets” can be challenged through administrative hearings, but are usually upheld as valid.) They may also look at the prisoner’s age, the amount of time he has served, the remaining time in his sentence, and his mental health. The exact criteria for parole vary from state to state.Perhaps the most important assessment that the parole board attempts to assess is the likelihood that the prisoner will re-offend. Parole boards have no interest in releasing people into society who will commit more crimes, particularly given that the media will sometimes hold the parole board as responsible as the criminal in such cases. Increasingly, potentially dangerous offenders, such as sex offenders, are finding that they are never granted parole, even in states where they are eligible.Some prisoners are not eligible for parole, either because of state policy, or because of the crime they committed. Some crimes carry a flat term of years, which must be completed without the possibility of parole. A defendant who is sentenced to “life” in prison will either be sentenced to “parolable life,” or to “non-parolable life.” If a person serving a “life” term is eligible for parole, he typically must serve fifteen or twenty years of his sentence before he can request parole. If a person is serving non-parolable life, he never becomes eligible for parole.

How Long Are People Kept On Parole?

The length of the parole will depend upon the nature of the crime committed, the length of the defendant’s sentence, and how well the defendant performs while on parole. A defendant who repeatedly gets into trouble or breaks the conditions of his parole may find that he is returned to prison. (Many states have jail-like facilities for “technical rule violators,” where they can send parolees who violate the terms of their paroles, but not to the level that the parole board wishes to return them to prison.) In most states, after a long enough period of good conduct, it is possible for a defendant to be discharged from parole.

Are Prisoners Simply “Released” From The Prison When They Receive Parole?

Release into the community may occur in stages. First, as the criminal nears his release date, he may be moved into less secure prison facilities. If he abuses the privileges at the less secure prison, he will be returned to a more secure facility. Prisoners in less secure facilities are sometimes allowed to work outside of the prison, either through a state program or sometimes through a private employer. If the prisoner continues to behave well, he may eventually qualify for placement in a half-way house, a residential facility where he can have a job, and may even qualify for day or weekend passes where he is free to do what he wants. If a prisoner successfully completes a term in a half-way house, he is usually paroled into the community.

What Happens After A Prisoner Is “Paroled Into The Community”?

A prisoner on parole is not without restriction. Sometimes, the prisoner will spend time on a “tether,” an electronic monitoring device that allows his parole officer to monitor his movements, and be restricted from doing much other than going to work. A parolee will typically not be allowed to move without permission from his parole officer. Sometimes, it will be a parole violation to get fired from a job. Parolees are typically restricted from associating with known criminals. If the parolee has drug or alcohol problems, he may be subjected to periodic testing for use. If the parolee has mental health problems, he may be ordered to participate in counseling or to obtain psychiatric treatment. (Increasingly, prisoners with mental health problems are refused parole, and simply serve out their time in prison.) Parolees may be surprised to learn how much control their parole officers exercise over their lives, and, depending upon the state, the extent of the parole officer’s powers to search the parolee or his residence upon suspicion that the parolee has engaged in illegal activities. Parolees often cannot move or change jobs without permission.

If I Am On Parole, Can I Leave The State?

Parolees are typically not permitted to leave the state without permission from their parole officers. Permission may be granted for short trips out of state, for example to attend funerals, or for longer trips, such as to assist a sick relative. However, some parolees are surprised to learn that, due to the nature of their offenses or a perceived risk of flight, their parole officers refuse to allow them to leave the state. If a parolee wishes to move to another state, and is granted permission to do so, his parole will typically continue, and will typically be transferred to the Department of Corrections in his new home state.

What Happens If A Person “Violates” His Parole?

If a parolee is accused of violating his parole, he is typically given the opportunity to challenge the accusation at an administrative hearing before the parole board. There will typically be two hearings, the first to determine if the parolee should be held in custody pending the full hearing, and the second to determine if the parolee violated the terms of his parole. Parolees who fail to report for meetings with their probation officer, who are caught with illegal drugs or concealed weapons, who associate with known criminals, or who are arrested on new criminal charges, are particularly likely to be returned to prison. It should be noted that being arrested can be enough to violate a person’s parole, even if no charges result from that arrest.

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

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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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 cultivate marijuana.  Depending on the quantity, possession of marijuana can be charged as a misdemeanor of felony in both state and federal court.  Under state law, possession of less than four ounces is a misdemeanor; however, you must have possessed a “usable quantity” to be charged with possession of marijuana.

Possession of Illegal Prescription Medications

It is an offense under both state and federal law to possess a prescription drug if you are not the valid prescription holder or to deliver a validly issued prescription drug to another person.  It is also a crime to forge or alter a prescription.  Prescription drug cases are prosecuted as aggressively as controlled substance cases and the penalties can be just as serious.

Possession of Paraphernalia

Under Texas law, it is a crime to possess or deliver drug paraphernalia.  Depending on the circumstances, what constitutes drug paraphernalia is very broad and can include pipes, lighters, plastic baggies and rolling papers if the government can show that there was an intent to use the items to use drugs.  In addition, it is also a crime to possess any items with the intent that they be used to cultivate a controlled substance which could include gardening equipment and fertilizers.

Penalties and Punishment for Possession of Controlled Substance in Texas

The penalty for Possession of a Controlled Substance is set out in the Texas Health and Safety Code, which vary upon various factors that generally include the type of the controlled substance and the amount of the controlled substance. The Texas Health and Safety Code creates five penalty groups that controlled substances are classified under:

Penalty Group

Examples of Drug/Controlled Substance

1

Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Codeine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Rohypnol and GHB

1A

LSD

2

Ecstasy, Amphetamines, Mushrooms, PCP and Mescaline

3

Valium, Xanax and Ritalin

4

Compounds containing Dionine, Motofen, Buprenorphone or Pryovalerone

Penalty Group 1

Weight

Charge

Range of Punishment

Less than one gram

State jail Felony

180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000

1 gram or more, but less than 4 grams

Third-degree Felony

2 to 10 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

4 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

Second-degree Felony

2 to 20 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams

First-degree Felony

5 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-degree Felony

10 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine up to $100,000

Penalty Group 1A

Units

Charge

Range of Punishment

Fewer than 20 units

State jail Felony

180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000

20 units or more, but less than 80 units

Third-degree Felony

2 to 10 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

80 units or more, but less than 4,000 units

Second-degree Felony

2 to 20 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

4,000 units or more, but less than 8,000 units

First-degree Felony

5 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

8,000 units or more

Enhanced First-degree Felony

15 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine up to $250,000

Penalty Group 2

Weight

Charge

Range of Punishment

Less than one gram

State jail Felony

180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000

More than 1 gram, but less than 4 grams

Third-degree Felony

2 to 10 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

More than 4 grams, but less 400 grams

Second-degree Felony

2 to 20 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-degree Felony

5 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $50,000

Penalty Group 3

Weight

Charge

Range of Punishment

Less than 28 grams

Class A Misdemeanor

Up to 1 year in county jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000

28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

Third-degree Felony

2 to 10 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams

Second-degree Felony

2 to 20 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-degree Felony

5 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $50,000

Penalty Group 4

Weight

Charge

Range of Punishment

Less than 28 grams

Class B Misdemeanor

Up to 180 days in county jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000

28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

Third-degree Felony

2 to 10 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams

Second-degree Felony

2 to 20 years in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-degree Felony

5 to 99 years or life in a state prison and a fine not to exceed $50,000

Additional penalties may include the suspension of your driver’s license or the possibility or seizure and forfeiture of any property if the property was used or was going to be used in the commission of a drug crime.

Possible Defenses for Possession of Controlled Substance Charges

There are many ways to defend a possession of a controlled substance charge. One of the primary defenses to possession of controlled substance cases is to examine the search and seizure process. The fourth Amendment protects citizens from unlawful searches of property. Was there probable cause? Did the officials read you your rights? In some cases the drugs aren’t illegal and the person had a prescription and right to possess them. The element of possession is crucial in a possession of a controlled substance case.

It must be proven that you actually exercised a great degree of care, custody, control or management of the drug. Since many drug arrests in Texas involve finding drugs in a home or car it can be unclear who actually possessed or controlled the drugs. The individual must have full knowledge of possession — if they are unaware, then no crime has been committed. This could happen when an individual borrows a friend’s car only to be pulled over and charged with possession when marijuana is found in the glove box.

Keeping the above items in mind, according to Texas law the offense of drug possession occurs when a person has knowledge that they have a controlled substance within their control and have the intent to possess that substance.

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, contact Houston Drug Lawyer Charles Johnson immediately. In many cases, he can get your case dismissed or reduced and avoid having a felony conviction on your record.

Attorney Johnson can examine and review the circumstance surrounding your possession arrest and develop a defense that is unique to the circumstances surrounding your case.

The Charles Johnson Law Firm combines the experience of a criminal defense attorney with a seasoned support staff and professional investigators. Investigations start immediately by securing documentation involving witness statements and police reports. Police labs are put on notice to verify the alleged illegal substance and its true quantity.

After the facts are assembled, we will pursue the best outcome by negotiating a reduced punishment or pursue a trial in court. Options also exist that encompass counseling and rehabilitation programs for addiction problems.

Possession of a Controlled Substance: Hire the Best Houston Drug Lawyer

Possession of marijuana is in a separate drug offense category in Texas but is still extremely serious with the potential of being charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the amount possessed. All charges in Texas for drug possession are quite serious. This is not the time to hide your head in the sand and hope for the best — you need an aggressive attorney who will fight hard to get your charges dismissed or possibly reduced. A drug conviction on your record will follow you for the rest of your life, so take it very seriously and hire an attorney who does the same.

Contact Experienced Houston Drug Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson if you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance. An arrest for possession of controlled substance in Texas can have devastating consequences and severe repercussions that can in all probability be avoided if you select the right lawyer. Call Attorney Johnson anytime day or night at (713) 222-7577. He is available to discuss your case whenever you need him.

 

Possession of a Controlled Substance

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Houston Lawyer: Arrested For Child Pornography?

Top Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson aggressively defends clients charged with a sexual offense. He handles all sexual offense charges, whether in state or federal court, and whether the sex crime allegations are against children or adults.

Parties in contentious divorce or custody proceedings have been known to encourage children to say the other parent “touched” them a certain way or otherwise imply molestation. Child care workers, pastors, teachers, coaches, and others are frequently falsely accused. Parents have even been known to target individuals for extortion by coaching children. They may be coached by well-meaning social service and health care professionals, law enforcement officers, and prosecuting attorneys who want to make sure they obtain a conviction regardless of the truth.

Allegations of sex crimes are taken very seriously in Texas, and across the nation. With more stringent penalties being imposed, a false claim unchallenged or a single error in judgment can require you to be a lifelong member of the sex offenders’ registry and database. Before your reputation is devastated, invoke your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent. Contact Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson for a free phone consultation when you are under investigation for sex crimes or if charges have been brought against you for anything from possession and distribution of child pornography to sexual assault and rape.

How is Child Pornography Defined?

Federal and state laws make it a crime to produce, possess, distribute, or sell pornographic materials that exploit or portray a minor. Increasingly, child pornography laws are being utilized to punish use of computer technology and the Internet to obtain, share, and distribute pornographic material involving children, including images and films.

Under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), child pornography is defined as any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where

  • the production of the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  • the visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  • the visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.Federal law (18 U.S.C. §1466A) also criminalizes knowingly producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture or painting, that
  • depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene, or
  • depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex and such depiction lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Sexually explicit conduct is defined under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256) as actual or simulated sexual intercourse (including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex), bestiality, masturbation, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.

Who Is a Minor?

For purposes of enforcing the federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), “minor” is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Is Child Pornography a Crime?

Yes, it is a federal crime to knowingly possess, manufacture, distribute, or access with intent to view child pornography (18 U.S.C. §2252). In addition, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws criminalizing the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography. As a result, a person who violates these laws may face federal and/or state charges.

Where Is Child Pornography Predominantly Found?

Child pornography exists in multiple formats including print media, videotape, film, CD-ROM, or DVD. It is transmitted on various platforms within the Internet including newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat (chatrooms), Instant Message, File Transfer Protocol, e-mail, websites, and peer-to-peer technology.

What Motivates People Who Possess Child Pornography?

Limited research about the motivations of people who possess child pornography suggests that child pornography possessors are a diverse group, including people who are

  • sexually interested in prepubescent children or young adolescents, who use child pornography for sexual fantasy and gratification
  • sexually “indiscriminate,” meaning they are constantly looking for new and different sexual stimuli
  • sexually curious, downloading a few images to satisfy that curiosity
  • interested in profiting financially by selling images or setting up web sites requiring payment for access

Who Possesses Child Pornography?

It is difficult to describe a “typical” child pornography possessor because there is not just one type of person who commits this crime.

In a study of 1,713 people arrested for the possession of child pornography in a 1-year period, the possessors ran the gamut in terms of income, education level, marital status, and age. Virtually all of those who were arrested were men, 91% were white, and most were unmarried at the time of their crime, either because they had never married (41%) or because they were separated, divorced, or widowed (21%).3

Forty percent (40%) of those arrested were “dual offenders,” who sexually victimized children and possessed child pornography, with both crimes discovered in the same investigation. An additional 15% were dual offenders who attempted to sexually victimize children by soliciting undercover investigators who posed online as minors.4

Who Produces Child Pornography?

Based on information provided by law enforcement to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Child Victim Identification Program, more than half of the child victims were abused by someone who had legitimate access to them such as parents, other relatives, neighborhood/family friends, babysitters, and coaches.

What is the Nature of These Images?

The content in these illegal images varies from exposure of genitalia to graphic sexual abuse, such as penetration by objects, anal penetration, and bestiality.

Of the child pornography victims identified by law enforcement, 42% appear to be pubescent, 52% appear to be prepubescent, and 6% appear to be infants or toddlers.

Possible Punishment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography

If the photographs include children who are fourteen (14) years of age or younger, it is a Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) and carries a very severe penalty. A first offense carries the following punishment for each and every conviction: ten (10) years minimum in prison; seventeen (17) years presumptive in prison; twenty-four (24) years maximum incarceration.

If convicted of one previous predicate felony (which includes a prior DCAC, among other serious felonies), the range of punishment increases to a minimum twenty-one (21) years, presumptive twenty-eight years (28), and maximum thirty-five (35) years. Because this is a DCAC, 100% of the prison time must be served before being eligible for release. In addition, if the person is convicted of two (2) counts, they must be run consecutive to each other (i.e., the minimum is now twenty (20) years in prison, and all other ranges double). This is why these charges are sometimes referred to as “life enders”.

The maximum penalty on a Sexual Exploitation charge actually carries more time than the maximum penalty on a Second Degree Murder charge. A conviction will require you to register as a Sex Offender for the rest of your life, and you are not allowed to have any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen (18) (this includes your own children), without going through numerous testing procedures and only with the consent of your Probation Officer.

If the child was ages fifteen – seventeen (15-17), it is not sentenced pursuant to the DCAC statute. A first offense class two (2) felony, carries punishment of probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

Possible Defenses for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography

The critical defenses to Child Porn charges involve showing that the person did not “knowingly” possess, receive, or do any of the listed actions with the images. One way of asserting this defense is by presenting evidence that the defendant was not the person who accessed the images. If it can be shown that there were multiple users who had access to the computer, and who did in fact use the computer often, then it is much more difficult for the State to prove the defendant actually accessed the images, rather than some other person. This defense is especially appropriate when the defendant lacks any other sexual crime convictions. In order to assert this defense, we need to present a variety of our own evidence to contradict whatever has been presented by the prosecution. Typically, the State would normally have executed a search warrant and confiscated the computer involved, then searched for the “IP address” and passwords that were used to trace the activates to a particular time, date, and user. Before they do any of this they will have “cloned” the hard drive in order to avoid any accusations that they have somehow tampered with the computer by adding images.

Another typical defense is that the defendant inadvertently came across the images on his computer, and thus it was not a “knowing” exchange. It is an affirmative defense to Child Pornography charges if a person timely reports that they have received unsolicited images on their computer. Usually, reporting within three (3) days of discovering the child pornography is considered to be “timely reporting.”

At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we handle a very high percentage of “Sex Crimes” cases. We have one of the largest libraries with research materials devoted to challenging accusations involving sex crimes. Registering as Sex Offender has drastic consequences and leaves a black mark on your record; do not underestimate the potential severity of this charge.

Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Texas, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements.

In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.

Do Not Make Statements. Obviously, the best defense begins before a defendant is ever charged. Often, in a misguided attempt to help law enforcement, defendants make statements that are twisted and turned into prosecutorial evidence. It is important to remember not to allow yourself be interviewed government agencies without an attorney present.

Any interview will be sent to the police and the county attorney’s office and can be used against you. An obvious corollary is do not let yourself be interviewed again by the police without your attorney present.

Computerized Evidence. Internet child pornography is a growing offense across the nation. Often files can be downloaded to a computer without the user knowing the content of the download. In such cases the electronic file will often include tell tale electronic evidence about the file, where it came from and its date of download. Using this evidence or challenging law enforcement’s sloppy investigation and acquisition of potentially exculpatory information is the best way for a defense lawyer to prove actual innocence.

Examine Prosecution Expert’s Background. An important part of every case is the ability to counter the reports and testimony of computer professionals, caseworkers and “experts” who examine pornographic evidence. To effectively counter a prosecution expert, the defense attorney must be well educated on the expert’s education, work history, published works and testimony in prior cases.

Use a Polygraph. When it is advantageous to the defense against a sexual assault, defense attorneys should obtain a credible polygraph examination from a respected professionals.

Texas Sex Offender Registration

In addition to the prison terms and fines one can face when convicted of any of these offenses, you may be required to register as a sex offender. This means you will be tracked for the rest of your life.

Knowing where to turn when facing charges as dark as these can be difficult. You have likely already seen people turn their backs on you because of the charges and you haven’t even gone to trial. You need someone in your corner fighting for your good name.

You are innocent until proven guilty. With my help we will see to it that you get the best possible results on your day in court.

Houston Child Pornography Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Attorney Charles Johnson defends against sexual assault allegations throughout Texas, no matter how small or large the city. He has developed a unique understanding of the dynamics of these very serious cases. His competent, aggressive and thorough representation has made him a leading criminal defense attorney in dealing with sex and pornography related criminal charges.

Defending in these areas is a very specialized area of criminal defense. Unfortunately, the very accusations themselves are often treated as conclusive proof of criminal activity. If Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson is retained at an early stage in the investigation, he is sometimes able to avoid charges altogether. At a minimum he is often able to avoid the trauma and embarrassment of his client being arrested at home or at the workplace by contacting law enforcement and the court in order to make the necessary arrangements.

Depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you, Houston Child Pornography Lawyer Charles Johnson will work to help you beat a false accusation or try to lessen the punishment. We understand your freedom is at stake and that a conviction of possession of child pornography may result in lifetime registration as a sex offender. To protect your rights and liberty, we conduct thorough investigations to prepare for trial or to minimize the consequences or sentence.

Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson 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 Child Pornography? The Leading Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer Offers a Powerful Defense

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Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer: Coping With Domestic Violence?

Top Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Each year thousands of domestic violence cases are filed. While most of the cases have merit, there are many instances where defendants are falsely accused. Domestic Violence is an issue that affects every town, city, country and nation. Domestic Violence covers a broad spectrum of abuse between couples, spouses, family members or other people who live together. Family Violence allegations are quite severe. In the event you are found guilty, you could face prison time and various other criminal penalties. A conviction will not only destroy your reputation, but your future as well. You could be refused future employment, housing, academic loans and worse, access to your home and children. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we see our clients falsely charged with Domestic Violence all the time. Whether you are innocent or guilty, Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer Charles Johnson will battle aggressively on your behalf in order to help protect your rights and your future. Get in touch with us Around The Clock, 7 Days /week for a no cost consultation.

All too frequently the news bombards us with news about a high-profile Domestic Violence case, where a man or woman is suspected of murdering their husband or wife, with or without a prior history of domestic abuse.

Violence. How can a individual turn from loving and living with a person to beating them up or murdering them? What kind of an individual resorts to Domestic Violence against their spouse or domestic intimate partner? What kind of individual thinks it is okay to continually humiliate or talk down to their life intimate partner? What kind of an individual has sex with their partner without the need of the person’s consent and desire to participate?
A common pattern of domestic abuse is that the perpetrator alternates between violent, abusive behavior and apologetic behavior with apparently heartfelt promises to change. The abuser could possibly be very pleasant the majority of of the time. Therein lies the perpetual appeal of the abusing partner and why many individuals can’t seem to leave the abusive relationship.

Domestic abuse is most often among the following:

  • child abuse
  • abuse of a spouse or domestic intimate partner
  • elder abuse

In this article, we explore domestic abuse between spouses and intimate partners: the types of domestic abuse, signs and symptoms, causes, and consequences. Domestic Violence and abuse are popular. The initial step in ending the misery is recognition that the situation is abusive.

How is domestic abuse between intimate partners defined?

Domestic abuse between spouses or intimate partners is when one individual in a marital or intimate relationship tries to control the other person. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation and may very well threaten to use or could possibly actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called Domestic Violence.

The victim of domestic abuse or Domestic Violence may be a male or a female. Domestic abuse occurs in traditional heterosexual marriages, as well as in same-sex partnerships. The abuse may occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. Family Violence may even end up in murder.

The key elements of domestic abuse are:

  • intimidation
  • humiliating the other individual
  • physical injury

Domestic abuse is not really a result of losing control; domestic abuse is intentionally trying to control another individual. The abuser is purposefully using verbal, nonverbal, or physical means to gain control over the other individual.
In many cultures, control of women by men is accepted as the norm. This article speaks from the orientation that control of intimate partners is domestic abuse within a culture where such control isn’t the norm. Today we see many cultures moving from the subordination of women to increased equality of women within relationships.

What are the kinds of domestic abuse?

The types of domestic abuse are:

  • physical abuse (domestic violence)
  • verbal or nonverbal abuse (psychological abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse)
  • sexual abuse
  • stalking or cyberstalking
  • economic abuse or financial abuse
  • spiritual abuse

The divisions between these types of domestic abuse are somewhat fluid, yet there is a strong differentiation between the various forms of physical abuse and the various types of verbal or nonverbal abuse.

What is physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?

Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the individual, or puts the person at risk of being injured. Physical abuse ranges from physical restraint to murder. When a person talks of Domestic Violence, they are quite often referring to physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner.

Physical assault or physical battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside a family or outside of the family. The authorities are empowered to protect you from physical attack.

Physical abuse involves:

  • pushing, throwing, kicking
  • slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
  • pinching, biting
  • holding, restraining, confinement
  • breaking bones
  • assault with a firearm including a knife or gun
  • burning
  • murder

What is emotional abuse or verbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?

Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse may be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. While physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep. Studies show that verbal or nonverbal abuse might be much more emotionally detrimental than physical abuse.
Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner may include:

  • threatening or intimidating to obtain compliance
  • destruction of the victim’s personal property and assets and possessions, or threats to accomplish this
  • violence to an object (such as a wall or piece of furniture) or pet, in the presence of the intended victim, as a way of instilling fear of additional violence
  • yelling or screaming
  • name-calling
  • constant harassment
  • embarrassing, making fun of, or mocking the victim, either on your own within the household, in public, or in front of family or friends
  • criticizing or diminishing the victim’s accomplishments or goals
  • not trusting the victim’s decision-making
  • telling the victim that they are worthless on their own, without the abuser
  • excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family
  • excessive checking-up on the victim to make certain they are at home or where they said they would be
  • saying hurtful things while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and using the substance as an excuse to say the hurtful things
  • blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels
  • making the victim remain on the premises subsequent to a fight, or leaving them somewhere else subsequent to a fight, just to “teach them a lesson”
  • making the victim feel that there isn’t any way out of the relationship

What is sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a spouse or intimate partner?

Sexual abuse involves:

  • sexual assault: forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity
  • sexual harassment: ridiculing another individual to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
  • sexual exploitation (most notably forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)

Sexual abuse quite often is linked to physical abuse; they may occur together, or the sexual abuse could very well occur following a bout of physical abuse.

What is stalking?

Stalking is harassment of or threatening another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally in a repetitive and devious manner. Stalking of an intimate partner can take place during the relationship, with intense monitoring of the partner’s activities. Or stalking can take place after a partner or spouse has left the relationship. The stalker may possibly be trying to get their partner back, or some may wish to harm their partner as punishment for their departure. Irrespective of the fine details, the victim fears for their safety.

Stalking can take place at or near the victim’s home, near or in their workplace, on the way to the store or another destination, or on the Internet (cyberstalking). Stalking can be on the phone, in person, or on the web. Stalkers may possibly never show their face, or they can be everywhere, in person.

Stalkers employ a number of threatening techniques:

  • repeated phone calls, sometimes with hang-ups
  • following, tracking (possibly even with a global positioning device)
  • finding the person through public records, online searching, or paid investigators
  • watching with hidden cameras
  • suddenly showing up where the victim is, at home, school, or work
  • sending emails; communicating in chat rooms or with instant messaging (cyberstalking: see below)
  • sending unwanted packages, cards, gifts, or letters
  • monitoring the victim’s phone calls or computer-use
  • contacting the victim’s pals, family, co-workers, or neighbors to find out about the victim
  • going through the victim’s garbage
  • threatening to injure the victim or their family, buddies, or pets
  • damaging the victim’s home, car, or various other property

Stalking is unpredictable and should always be regarded as dangerous. If someone is

  • tracking you,
  • contacting you when you do not wish to have speak to,
  • attempting to control you, or
  • frightening you,

then seek assistance as soon as possible.

What is cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is the use of telecommunication technologies most notably the Internet or email to stalk another individual. Cyberstalking may be an additional form of stalking, or it may very well be the only method the abuser employs. Cyberstalking is deliberate, persistent, and personal.

Spamming with unsolicited email is different from cyberstalking. Spam doesn’t necessarily focus on the individual, along with cyberstalking. The cyberstalker methodically finds and contacts the victim. Much like spam of a sexual nature, a cyberstalker’s message may be disturbing and inappropriate. Also like spam, you can never stop the contact with a request. In fact, the more you protest or respond, the more rewarded the cyberstalker feels. The very best response to cyberstalking is not to respond to the contact.

Cyberstalking falls in a grey area of the law. Enforcement of most federal and state stalking laws requires that the victim be directly threatened with an act of violence. Very few law enforcement agencies can act if the threat is only implied.
Regardless of whether or not you can get stalking laws enforced against cyberstalking, you must treat cyberstalking seriously and protect yourself. Cyberstalking sometimes advances to actual stalking and to physical violence.

How likely is it that stalking will turn into violence?

Stalking can end in violence whether or not the stalker threatens violence. And stalking can turn into violence even if the stalker does not have any history of violence.
Women stalkers are just as likely to become violent as are male stalkers.
Those around the stalking victim are also in danger of being injured. For example, a parent, spouse, or bodyguard who makes the stalking victim unattainable could possibly be hurt or killed as the stalker pursues the stalking victim.

What is economic or financial abuse of a spouse or domestic partner?

Economic or financial abuse involves:

  • withholding economic resources most notably cash or credit cards
  • stealing from or defrauding a partner of cash or assets
  • exploiting the intimate partner’s resources for personal gain
  • withholding physical resources most notably food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from a partner
  • preventing the spouse or intimate partner from working or choosing an occupation

What is spiritual abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?

Spiritual abuse involves:

  • using the spouse’s or intimate partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them
  • preventing the partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs
  • ridiculing the other person’s religious or spiritual beliefs
  • forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the partner has not agreed to

How do I realize if I am in an abusive relationship? What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship?

The more of the following questions that you answer Yes to, the more likely you are in an abusive relationship. Examine your answers and seek assistance should you find that you respond positively to a large number of the questions.
Your inner feelings and dialogue: Fear, self-loathing, numbness, desperation

  • Are you fearful of your partner a large percentage of the time?
  • Do you avoid certain topics or spend a lot of time figuring out how to talk about certain topics so that you do not arouse your partner’s negative reaction or anger?
  • Do you ever feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
  • Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your partner?
  • Do you in some instances wonder if you are the one who is crazy, that maybe you are overreacting to your partner’s behaviors?
  • Do you in some instances fantasize about ways to kill your partner to get them out of your life?
  • Are you afraid that your partner will likely try to kill you?
  • Are you afraid that your partner will try to take your children away from you?
  • Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for assistance?
  • Are you feeling emotionally numb?
  • Were you abused as a child, or did you grow up with Domestic Violence in the household? Does domestic violence seem normal to you?

Your partner’s lack of control over their own behavior

  • Does your partner have low self-esteem? Do they appear to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate within the world, although they are outwardly successful?
  • Does your partner externalize the causes of their own behavior? Do they blame their violence on stress, alcohol, or a “bad day”?
  • Is your partner unpredictable?
  • Is your partner a pleasant individual between bouts of violence?

Your partner’s violent or threatening behavior

  • Does your partner have a bad temper?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to injure you or kill you?
  • Has your partner ever physically injure you?
  • Has your partner threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to leave the relationship?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?
  • Has your partner threatened you at work, either in individual or on the phone?
  • Is your partner cruel to animals?
  • Does your partner destroy your belongings or household objects?

Your partner’s controlling behavior

  • Does your partner try to keep you from seeing your buddies or family?
  • Are you embarrassed to invite close friends or family over to your house mainly because of your partner’s behavior?
  • Has your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
  • Does your partner try to stop you from going where you need to go outside of the house, or from doing what you want to do?
  • Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been, as if checking up on you? Do they accuse you of having an affair?

Your partner’s diminishment of you

  • Does your partner verbally abuse you?
  • Does your partner humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
  • Does your partner quite often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions?
  • Does your partner always insist that they are right, even if they are obviously wrong?
  • Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior, saying that your behavior or attitudes cause them to be violent?
  • Is your partner often outwardly angry with you?
  • Does your partner objectify and disrespect those of your gender? Does your partner see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

In my workplace, what are the warning signs that an individual is a victim of Family Violence?

Domestic Violence often plays out in the workplace. For example, a husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend might make threatening phone calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker could very well show injuries from physical abuse at home.

In the event you witness a cluster of the following warning signs within the workplace, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse:

  • Bruises together with other signs of impact on the skin, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Depression, crying
  • Frequent and sudden absences
  • Frequent lateness
  • Frequent, harassing phone calls to the person while they are at work
  • Fear of the partner, references to the partner’s anger
  • Decreased productivity and attentiveness
  • Isolation from pals and family
  • Insufficient resources to live (cash, credit cards, car)

If you do recognize signs of domestic abuse in a co-worker, talk to your Human Resources department. The Human Resources staff will be able to assist the victim without having your additional involvement.

Who abuses their spouse or intimate partner?

Domestic abuse knows no age or ethnic boundaries.
Domestic abuse can occur during a relationship or after a relationship has ended.
The majority of psychological, medical, and legal specialists agree that the vast majority of physical abusers are men. Nonetheless , women can also be the perpetrators of Domestic Violence.
Virtually all stalkers are also men stalking women. Nevertheless stalkers can also be women stalking men, men stalking men, or women stalking women.

Houston Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

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 an expert lawyer who is familiar with your local court system. Seek the counsel of a highly qualified Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to learn more about what you can do to assert and protect your rights.

Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson 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.

Houston DWI Lawyer » Charged With Driving While Intoxicated? What You Must Know About ALR Hearings

Leading Houston Criminal Attorney

HAVE YOU BEEN CHARGED WITH A DWI IN HOUSTON?

Houston DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson protects his clients from the consequences of DWI charges.  CONTACT US ONLINE right now, or call us anytime at 1-877-308-0100. Charles Johnson is available 24/7 and will provide you with a free case consultation.

What is an ALR Hearing?

Many Texas drivers who are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) do not realize that a DWI charge creates not one but two separate cases, one civil and another criminal.

Specifically, a DWI charge results in both a criminal charge, and typically 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 will not 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 all 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 inform the arrested motorist that if he does not agree to undergo 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 that 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 obtain 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 criminal arrest.

If a hearing isn’t 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 produced 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 likely 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 10 years, your license is going to 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.

Houston DWI Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

If you have been arrested for DWI, it is important to contact a DWI defense attorney immediately. Having an experienced attorney on your side will greatly increase your chances of saving your driving privileges at the ALR hearing. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has represented hundreds of individuals, and have been successful in saving their driving privileges. When you retain our services, we personally conduct an investigation into your case, help you to schedule your hearing with the DPS, find witnesses and evidence to use in your favor, and represent you at the hearing. Moreover, Criminal Defense Attorney Johnson provides all of his clients with the personalized attention and compassionate legal care they deserve.

Houston Lawyer » Can’t Locate Employment Due To A Criminal History?

Finest Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

In the event you have been found guilty of a criminal offense, you might wonder if you will be able to find job opportunities. Employers have become increasingly interested in finding out whether or not applicants have criminal records. Part of the concern stems from recent jury decisions which have been rendered against employers for negligently employing individuals with criminal backgrounds who consequently caused problems for other people whilst at work. An additional concern for employers concerns whether or not they’ll need to divulge the criminal conviction. For instance, in cases where a business is attempting to raise capital, it might need to create particular disclosures to a bank. Will the business need to reveal that an employee has a criminal conviction for money laundering or embezzlement?

The laws about which criminal history records an employer should or might access, what an employer might ask a would-be employee and what the job applicant should reveal vary widely among states. In the event you have a criminal history and are searching for a job, it’s in your greatest interest to contact the Best Houston Lawyer at the Charles Johnson Law Firm to ensure that you go into the employment search completely informed of your legal rights.

Contradictory Public Policies

On the one hand, the public would like to reintegrate into society individuals with criminal histories, rehabilitated and productively employed. A routine schedule and normal income reduce the likelihood that an individual will reoffend, however an individual with a criminal history might encounter prejudice within the job application process. However, it’s essential to safeguard the public from contact with past offenders who might have propensities to re-commit. For instance, convicted sex offenders must not work with kids or vulnerable adults.

Just How Much to Reveal

Based on the state guidelines, an applicant might not need to reveal potentially detrimental info, like arrests not leading to convictions or convictions for minor matters. A few states have procedures to judicially “erase” a criminal history. Houston Criminal Attorney Charles Johnson can certainly help figure out whether or not you might be eligible to have a conviction sealed, expunged or legally minimized.

Suggestions for Employment Re-entry

  • Be truthful. Employers are interested in workers they are able to trust, and nearly all of the information on a job application may be checked and verified. Even if it might close the door to particular positions, revealing the truth will be the greatest method to receive a job that the applicant can retain over the long haul. Keep in mind, in many states not all convictions need to be revealed nor can would-be employers ask for particular info.
  • Begin the job search with loved ones, pals and acquaintances that might be more likely to take a chance on employing somebody they are familiar with, in spite of a criminal background.
  • Don’t anticipate the very first job following a conviction to be your perfect job. It’s much more essential to get started somewhere and produce a track record, because employers realize that a great indicator of future job performance is prior job performance. Think about temporary or entry-level positions to develop your résumé.
  • Recognize where the employer is coming from. It must balance its legal and ethical obligations to you, to it’s workers and towards the public.
  • Investigate career services. A good number of states have public agencies that administer programs to assist individuals with discovering their perfect career, and some were created specifically for those with criminal histories.
  • Stay away from alcohol & drug use. Many employers call for employee drug testing.
  • Think about the nature of your earlier criminal offense. Apply for jobs where that type of criminal offense is much less likely to be an matter of concern.
  • Hire the Finest Houston Lawyer. Don’t take any chances.

    Completing a jail term or paying a fine may be just part of the cost of a criminal conviction. The conviction may also impact post-conviction occupation opportunities. However, there are employers that would like to give those with criminal records a chance in a suitable environment. Just one job – any type of job – may be the very first step toward rebuilding a career and a new life. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can advise you about numerous choices and provide suggestions on preparing for the future.

    Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson 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.

Houston Lawyer: Unjustly Imprisoned? File a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Leading Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

In many countries, the government can take citizens and imprison them for months or even years without charging them for a criminal offense. Incarcerated individuals do not have any legal means by which they can protest or even challenge the incarceration. The framers of the U. S. Constitution needed to prohibit this sort of occurrence in the new United States Of America. As a result, they incorporated a clause within the Constitution that allows courts of law to issue Writs Of Habeas Corpus.

What is “habeas corpus?”

Habeas Corpus is Latin for “You have the body.” Precisely what does that have to do with me and you? In human rights terms, “You have the body” is shorthand for “You have a prisoner in your custody. Produce him, and clarify your reason for retaining him. If the explanation is valid, we will begin a court trial to discover whether or not he is guilty or innocent, to ensure that, in either case, he is able to get on with his or her life.”

Habeas corpus is regarded as the most fundamental insurance of individual freedom we have as United State citizens. Without it, police officers could possibly handcuff you on the street, put you in jail, and then leave you there for days, weeks, months, or perhaps years without charging you with a criminal offense. That is the type of account that Hollywood creates movies about – films that occur in scary foreign countries around the world where things like that may happen to naive Americans.

Where did habeas corpus originate?

In England in the late 1600s, King Charles II had been abusing and incarcerating Catholics without legal cause. The public spoke out against these injustices, and Parliament answered them by adopting the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, to increase the liberty of the King’s subjects. Knowing a great thing when they saw it, the framers of the U.S. Constitution wrote habeas corpus into Article 1, Section 9. It is the only civil right mentioned directly within the Constitution. All others had been added as amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Does habeas corpus increase our liberty?

It really is our liberty. Without it, Americans would live our lives in the constant fear of being unjustly imprisoned. Each of the laws that safeguard Americans once we have been charged with a criminal offense — the right to legal counsel, the right to a fair trial, and so on — would be moot if habeas corpus didn’t exist.

The U.S. Constitution states a couple of exceptions under which habeas corpus might be revoked. The first is “cases of rebellion,” which was used for a time during the Civil War. The other is “invasion during which public safety may require it.”

What is the process for filing a Writ of Habeas Corpus?

Defendants who are thinking about challenging the legal basis of their incarceration or the conditions in which they are being incarcerated may seek respite from a court by filing an application for a “writ of habeas corpus.” The writ of habeas corpus is known as a court order to a person or agency holding a person in custody to deliver the incarcerated person to the court issuing the order. Many states recognize writs of habeas corpus, as does the United States Constitution. The United States Constitution specifically forbids the federal government from suspending proceedings for writs of habeas corpus except under extraordinary circumstances, such as in times of war.

Convicted defendants have numerous methods of challenging guilty decisions and/or for seeking out remedy for violations of constitutional rights, including motions, appeals, and writs. Remember that convicted defendants must initially have sought relief from the available state courts before they may be allowed to seek relief in federal courts. Therefore, defendants need to consult an attorney to find out which remedies are available to them. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has on staff Texas’ most prolific appellate and Habeas Corpus attorney who can efficiently guide you through this legal process.

Houston Habeas Corpus Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Struggling with the appeals process is challenging and time consuming. An experienced attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas can help you plan your next move. Contact the Most Dedicated Houston Lawyer today for a free initial consultation.

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.

 
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