Blog Posts - Criminal law
Can the Police Search My Car?
Officers may only search private property if they have probable cause. Yes, but the right to search an automobile or other vehicle is not unlimited. In fact, the Fourth Amendment only allows “reasonable” searches and seizures. The legal definition of a reasonable search is discussed below. The punishment for a...Continue Reading
What are the Charges for Assault With a Deadly Weapon?
Under Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code, ADW (assault with a deadly weapon) is normally a second-degree felony. Under state law, a deadly weapon is not just a knife or gun. Instead, a deadly weapon could be almost any object that, if used a certain way and in certain...Continue Reading
Can You Carry a Knife in Texas?
What is a “knife” in Texas, how long can the blade be, and where can you carry a knife? In most cases, the answer to this question is “yes.” Texas is famous, or infamous, depending on your perspective, for its broad weapons-carry laws. These laws are not unlimited, but they...Continue Reading
What Happens During a Juvenile Detention Hearing in Texas?
At a juvenile detention hearing, the judge weighs certain factors and decides if the child should remain in custody before trial. A juvenile detention hearing, which is often the juvenile’s first court appearance, resembles a bail hearing in adult court. Since the pandemic lockdowns ended, crime rates have increased. Many...Continue Reading
What are the Penalties for Public Intoxication as a Minor in Texas?
Our Fort Worth criminal law attorney explains how Texas takes a tough stance on underage alcohol-related offenses and the serious penalties in place for the public intoxication of a minor. In previous generations, underage drinking was viewed as a relatively minor offense. When caught with alcohol in their possession or...Continue Reading
Marijuana and THC Oil Wax Charges
Despite the progressing laws regarding some forms of cannabis, possessing marijuana for recreational use or of THC oil or wax can result in trouble with the law and criminal penalties. Differences in Criminal Charges Between Marijuana and THC Oil/Wax There are many ways that people use cannabis, including smoking marijuana...Continue Reading
Social Media Posts Can Be Used Against You in a Criminal Case
Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys explain how social media posts provide evidence in your case and the increasing role social media posts play in securing convictions. For many of us, posting on social media is a daily part of our lives. We post status updates detailing our whereabouts and...Continue Reading
As Crime Rates in Fort Worth Increase, Prosecutors Pursuing Convictions
If you are facing criminal charges, our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys help you avoid a conviction. Crime rates in Fort Worth and throughout Texas have increased dramatically each year. Police and prosecutors are cracking down on alleged offenders, making more arrests and fiercely pursuing convictions. If you are accused...Continue Reading
Can a Warrant Be Removed?
Arrest warrants do not expire on their own, but you can make the warrant go away by posting bond or appearing in court. In fictional stories, the plot device of a cat-and-mouse game where someone who is suspected of a crime attempts to elude law enforcement never gets old. It...Continue Reading
What are the Consequences of Public Intoxication in Texas?
For a first offense public intoxication case, the consequences are a $500 fine and a conviction on your permanent record, and for subsequent convictions, you can face jail time. Public intoxication is far from the world’s most serious crime. If authorities really did not want you to be drunk in...Continue Reading
Police Body Cameras and Texas Criminal Cases
Police body camera footage of your arrest can provide evidence that can persuade a jury to acquit you, but many controversies and gray areas surround which body camera footage can be shown to the public. Last year, Texas legislators introduced several pieces of legislation intended to prevent police violence; these...Continue Reading
What are the Differences Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in TX?
If you or a loved one was charged with a criminal offense in Texas, it is normal to be stressed out and confused—but you are certainly not alone. According to data provided by the Texas State Records, there were more than 530,000 arrests in the state in 2020 alone. The...Continue Reading
When Can a Juvenile Be Tried as an Adult in Court?
In Texas, when children or juveniles are accused of crimes, their cases are normally tried in juvenile courts and not under the adult criminal justice system. But, in certain cases, the law can sometimes mandate or allow the courts to treat children as adults. In such cases, a juvenile can...Continue Reading
How Can Being a First-Time Offender Affect Your Penalties and Case?
For anyone who’s never had a run-in with the law before, facing a criminal charge for the very first time can be extremely intimidating and terrifying, particularly if they don’t have any idea what to expect. If you are like most first-time offenders, one of your primary concerns is whether...Continue Reading
What is The Consequence of Accidentally Tampering with Evidence in TX?
Evidence serves a crucial role in all criminal cases. This applies to the defense and prosecution since both sides utilize documents, statements, and other physical evidence to challenge false accusations or prove a defendant’s guilt. Because the right pieces of evidence can make or break a case, if an individual...Continue Reading
Are All Police Encounters Videotaped in TX?
No. Not all police encounters are videotaped in TX. While the state has a body-worn camera policy, it is not mandatory. Only seven states currently require the statewide use of body-worn cameras by the police. These states include South Carolina, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut, and Colorado. Texas...Continue Reading
Is There a Penalty for Refusing to Answer Police Questions?
Whether you feel that you can’t simply walk away when the police stop you, or you’ve been imprisoned, detained, or arrested, you are not legally required to answer any questions they ask you. But you can be penalized for refusing to provide the police with your name and other personal...Continue Reading
Are Criminal Records Wiped at 18?
No. Your criminal records will not be wiped, cleared, sealed, or expunged just because you turned 18. Unsealed criminal records can be seen and requested by law enforcement officers, juvenile justice officers, probation officers, educational institutions, and prospective employers, among others. Texas law does allow you to seal your juvenile...Continue Reading
Is Self-Defense a Violent Crime?
Everyone has the right to protect themselves from physical harm. They can act in self-defense and not be liable for a violent crime. However, what exactly is self-defense? Is it punching or kicking anyone who threatens you? Or is it only utilizing force if retreating just isn’t possible? In any...Continue Reading
When Does a Crime Become a Hate Crime in Texas?
Reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate that more hate crimes were reported in a recent year than had occurred in any of the past ten years. Distinguishing a hate crime from other types of offenses is important, as the penalties for a crime can increase substantially based...Continue Reading
Is Hemp Flower Legal in Texas?
In August 2021, a Texas appeals court ruled that products made from hemp flowers in other states could be sold in Texas. In the same decision, the court upheld the existing ban on the processing and manufacturing in Texas of hemp flower products intended for smoking or vaping. The decision...Continue Reading
What is the Difference between Class A, B, and C Misdemeanors?
Texas law divides criminal offenses into two main categories - felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanor offenses are less severe than felony charges, but they are still matters you should take very seriously. Even if you think your charge is simply a “minor” misdemeanor, you can still face lasting consequences, and you...Continue Reading
How Much Can Police Go Through Your Phone When You Are Arrested?
In the vast majority of situations, law enforcement officers must have a legal search warrant to search through the information on a cell phone. The cell phone owner can also give law enforcement officers consent to search through the cell phone, and if this is the case, then a search...Continue Reading
Are All Police Interrogations Recorded?
The Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedures § 130.4 (3), set out by the American Law Institute, states that law enforcement agencies should make a sound recording of “any questioning of the arrested person and any statement he makes in response thereto.” The Constitution Project also recommends that custodial interrogations of...Continue Reading
Stages of Criminal Prosecution in Texas
Like all court systems, the Texas court system has two conflicting goals: they aim to protect the public on one hand and must also protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the criminally accused. To uphold the rights of defendants, all Texas criminal courts and law enforcement authorities should follow specific...Continue Reading
New Texas Firearm Laws for 2021
On September 1, 2021, a new law stemming from House Bill 1927 took effect in the State of Texas. This law overhauled Texas firearm rights and possible criminal penalties, and now, most Texans over the age of 21 can carry a handgun in public - openly or concealed - without...Continue Reading
Can You Carry a Knife on You in Texas?
Texas law regulates the carrying of weapons - not just firearms but also knives. Knives are also deadly weapons, so the law addresses when people may and may not lawfully carry certain types. There are two categories of knives under the law: A “knife” is a hand instrument with the...Continue Reading
3 Reasons Not to Talk to the Police
Regardless of whether you’ve been detained, imprisoned, arrested, or feel like you can’t just walk away from a cop, it’s important to know that you generally don’t have to answer the questions that a police officer is asking you. However, keep in mind that there are specific circumstances in which...Continue Reading
The Federal House of Representatives Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana
For the first time, a chamber of the United States Congress held a vote on whether to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession at the federal level, and the bill passed in the House of Representatives. However, this does not mean that marijuana possession is legal - or that any laws regarding...Continue Reading
Were You a Victim of an Illegal Search During a Traffic Stop?
Many criminal cases begin with a traffic stop. Police officers might pull over a driver suspected of speeding or another traffic violation, and they might end up searching the vehicle. If they find any contraband, such as unlawful drugs or firearms, they can place the driver under arrest. The driver...Continue Reading
It Is Now Illegal to Purchase Smokable Hemp Flower at Stores
In 2019, Governor Abbott signed a law that legalized the production, manufacture, and sale of cannabinoids, known as CBD. This is a low-THC cannabis product derived from hemp, which means it does not result in the “high” of marijuana. In Texas, CBD can be produced and sold in a variety...Continue Reading
TX Jury Trials Have Been Pushed to October Due to New Emergency Order
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many restrictions throughout the State of Texas and the United States in general, and legal proceedings are no different. Specifically, jury trials throughout Texas were suspended until September 1, 2020, and now, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an order extending that date to...Continue Reading
DOJ States Spreading Coronavirus Intentionally is Now a Terrorist Act
There are increases in different crimes in Texas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including fraud, shoplifting, violating state safety orders, and more. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently communicated to all of its U.S. Attorney’s offices that intentionally spreading, attempting to spread, or threatening to spread the novel coronavirus should...Continue Reading
Revenge Porn in Texas
The age of the internet has created new opportunities for people to harass or seek revenge on former intimate partners or other parties. One common way people might seek to hurt others is referred to as “revenge porn,” which involves publishing nude or sexual pictures or videos of someone online...Continue Reading
Take or Not to Take a Breathalyzer Test?
Getting pulled over is always a stressful experience, and your stress levels can shoot through the roof if the officer starts suspecting that you might be intoxicated. The officer might ask you questions, such as whether you have been drinking, where you are heading, and more. If the officer notices...Continue Reading
Infecting Someone with an STD Can be a Crime
Knowingly putting someone else at risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) without their knowledge is morally wrong. However, did you know that you can also face criminal charges for doing so? If someone accuses you of intentionally or recklessly infecting them with an STD and you are arrested, you...Continue Reading
Social Media Posts Can be Used Against You in a Criminal Case
As the internet and social media have become daily parts of our lives, the criminal justice system has adapted to allow evidence from social media sites to be admissible in criminal cases. For this reason, you should always be careful what you post on social media after an arrest. In...Continue Reading
What Does No Refusal Mean in Texas?
No Refusal & DWI As you gear up for the rapidly approaching holiday season, keep in mind that Texas’ “no refusal” program is in effect for Fort Worth and Tarrant County during the week of Thanksgiving through January 2, 2018. If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving...Continue Reading
Texas Second Chance Bill
Texas Second Chance Bill And Nondisclosures Everyone makes mistakes. Usually, we try and learn from those transgressions and move on. When the mistakes involve breaking the law and result in a criminal record, it is more difficult to move forward in life. That criminal record will impact your life now...Continue Reading
Why you should fight back against a first-time DWI
Texas has some of the harshest penalties for drunk driving in the country, and even if it is your first offense, you could face serious administrative and criminal consequences. A conviction is never your only option, and you can fight back against a DWI charge and protect yourself with a...Continue Reading