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Dallas Criminal Defense Blog

Man sentenced to 20 years for stalking girl and assault

On Aug. 14, a 23-year-old Texas man who was convicted for stalking a teenage girl received a prison sentence of 20 years. According to the report, the man, who was asked to stop the stalking by the girl's father, shot the father three times.

During the trial, prosecutors claimed that the man was extremely obsessed with the girl and had tattooed her name at least 11 times on his body. The man, who testified on his behalf, claimed that his judgment was impaired because he was high on a number of drugs that included heroin, Xanax and PCP, among others. He was found guilty on charges of stalking and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

How we can help you avoid sex offender registration

Someone who is charged with a sex crime may find themselves facing embarrassment and shock, and the effects of such an accusation can be detrimental and far-reaching. A jail or prison sentence could be handed down, and one might have to register as a sex offender both nationally and within the state of Texas, possibly for life. Even cases that result in deferred adjudication probation could require sex offender registration.

Because the Texas and National Sex Offender Registry is available to the public, this can cause problems in not only someone's personal life but also his or her professional life. However, someone who has been accused of a sex crime could potentially form a defense against the charges.

2 alleged drug manufacturers criminally charged

Authorities in Texas detained two alleged drug manufacturers in Cherokee County after executing two separate search warrants. Both of the searches were conducted in part by the county SWAT team. Texas Department of Criminal Justice officers and their K-9 unit assisted with executing the first search warrant. The second search included members of the Jacksonville Police Department Narcotics Division.

The first of the two searches took place on Aug. 8. Police charged a 51-year-old man with drug possession and three counts of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance after they supposedly seized several items from his home. Police allegedly found crack cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, six firearms and other items that police believe were being used for the purpose of drug manufacturing.

Woman loses appeal of life sentence for felony DWI

On Aug. 1, a Texas woman lost her appeal of a court ruling that had sentenced her to life in prison for her third felony DWI. The ruling in the 2012 case was upheld by the 3rd Court of Appeals despite the defendant's argument that the sentence was cruel and unusual punishment. The defendant had reportedly disputed the sentence on the grounds that it was grossly disproportionate to her crime and a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

According to the three-judge panel that voted unanimously not to overturn the sentence, the woman's three DWI arrests in four years demonstrated a dangerous pattern of placing her life and other people's lives in jeopardy. The Austin judges also pointed out that the woman's lawyer had not properly objected to the sentence during the trial.

What are the penalties for DWI in Texas?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, on average, someone in the state dies every 20 minutes from a car accident involving alcohol. On its website, the state agency reminds motorists that impairment starts with the first alcoholic drink. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the state of Texas is .08 percent. The severity of the DWI penalties often depends on that figure in addition to the number of prior DWI convictions a person has on his or her record.

Motorists charged with their first DWI offense may lose their license for up to 12 months, be subjected to fines up to $2,000 and serve three to 180 days in jail. People charged with a second DWI offense could face $4,000 in fines, up to a year in jail, a two-year license suspension and fee ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for a span of three years in order to retain a driver's license. Motorists with three DWI offenses may be faced with up to $10,000 in fines and sentenced to 10 years in jail. A conviction might also include a two-year license suspicion.

What are the laws regarding drug trafficking in Texas?

Drug trafficking is the illegal distribution and delivery of controlled substances. While Texas does allow some individuals to transfer and sell controlled substances, these individuals must be licensed professionals. The act of legally transferring controlled substances from one area or person to another is called "dispensing." However, even those who are legally allowed to dispense controlled substances must follow strict rules regarding them or face stiff penalties.

Controlled substances are divided into four drug groups. Marijuana is listed in its own drug group. Penalties depend on the controlled substance in question and the amount of the substance. Texas has some of the harshest penalties in the country for drug use. In Texas, the offense of delivering or possessing with the intent to deliver less than 1 gram of heroin is a state jail felony. The same offense with more than 1 gram but less than 4 grams is a second-degree felony.

2 college men face rape charges

A female student at the University of Texas at Austin claimed that she was raped in June, and two football players were taken into custody in connection with the alleged attack in late July. They were released from the team pending the outcome of the sexual assault investigation but freed from incarceration on their own recognizance after they were booked and processed.

The defense attorney for one of the men insists that his client is completely innocent and said that he has already been judged for his actions even though he has not yet been found guilty. He elaborated that the player's reputation has been tarnished since he was kicked off the team, kicked out of school and lost his scholarship. An attorney for the other student said that he would eventually be vindicated after he is proven innocent. The school plans to thoroughly investigate the incident and has a plan in place to prevent sexual violations.

Criminal defenses for drug possession

The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies four groups of drugs with marijuana in a fifth group by itself. The state has strict laws regarding drug possession, but a defense lawyer has some options for providing a focused defense for a client who faces drug charges. One of them is that the defendant might not have known that he or she possessed the drug in the first place.

Additionally, if the defendant was aware of the drug's presence, it might have been in the defendant's possession for use on animals or for another purpose, not for human consumption. The drug might also be pending approval for possible medical use, or the defendant might not have been in possession of enough of the drug for authorities to press charges. Finally, medical marijuana and other prescriptions in the client's name are also other valid defenses for drug possession.

Commissioner Price indicted for bribery and fraud

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was detained and indicted on various federal charges on July 25. According to reports, federal agents were waiting for Price at 7 a.m. when he arrived at his office. Price's assistant and his political consultant were also indicted on federal charges. That afternoon, Price and the other two individuals pleaded not guilty to all charges.

An investigation into the alleged fraud began in 2011. The indictment claims that between the years 2001 and 2011, Price and his alleged co-conspirators knowingly agreed to give and receive illegal payments. Price allegedly received payments of cash, cars and land in return for unscrupulous benefits regarding Dallas County business transactions.

Domestic violence laws in Texas

Residents living in Texas may be aware of domestic violence but may not necessarily be aware of what constitutes it. In Texas, domestic violence consists of the use of force against a person living within the same household, a relative or a significant other that causes bodily harm, threatens bodily harm or could be considered offensive.

The charges for domestic violence can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a second-degree felony and can carry penalties up to a fine of $10,000 and up to 20 years of incarceration. The penalties imposed can vary depending on whether the defendant had past convictions of domestic violence, the relationship of the accuser to the defendant and whether suffocation or strangulation was involved.

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