J. Michael Price II
J. Michael Price II - Criminal Defense
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  • Criminal Law Specialist certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification
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Understanding the law regarding homicide charges in Texas

When a person is arrested for any crime in Texas it is important to do whatever is possible to avoid a criminal conviction. This is especially true when the allegations involve violent crimes. Homicide charges are viewed as among the worst kinds of crimes that can be committed against a person. Knowing the laws of the state and how these acts are classified is important when facing criminal charges. The acts that fall into the category of criminal homicide are murder, capital murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.

There are numerous subsets of the crime of murder, with varying accompanying punishments in the event of a conviction. There are two categories of murder under Texas law including adequate cause and sudden passion. Adequate cause refers to instances in which the circumstances would create a degree of rage, anger, terror, anger or resentment in a person whose temper would be considered "ordinary." The reasons for the crime could be judged as sufficient to leave the accused's mind incapable of cool reflection. Sudden passion refers to the accused having been provoked by the individual who was killed, or another who was with the person killed, with the passion arising at the time of the act, and it isn't the sole result of prior provocation.

Federal charges for Texas man over alleged false claims

The federal government has its own criminal justice system that operates alongside of Texas' criminal justice system. The federal courts have their own rules of evidence, criminal charges and penalties.

One Texas man is facing federal charges for an alleged real estate scam. According to reports, the 40-year-old man is accused of lying to potential real estate clients about a plan to open up a Disney theme park in north Texas. Prosecutors claim that the man used rumors of a potential Disney park to entice people to purchase land. The man allegedly told people that Disney had plans to open a park called "Frontier Disney" in Texas.

Texas law when it comes to sex crimes

Texas takes sex crimes very seriously, and those who are arrested and charged need to understand the details of the law, when charges can be filed and why. If there is a conviction for a sexual assault charge of any kind, the person who is arrested can face prison time, damage to reputation and other long-term ramifications that don't simply go away. Sex crimes are viewed more harshly than other criminal acts by sheer connotation of what's occurred. This is especially true when children are victimized.

The laws on sex crimes are clear. If a person knowingly or intentionally penetrates the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another without consent, or if the sexual organ of another is forced to penetrate someone else without consent, it is a sexual assault. If this occurs with children, it is also a sexual assault. It will also be considered a criminal act in the event that the alleged perpetrator uses force or violence; threatens force or violence; commits sexual acts on the person while he or she is unconscious and cannot resist; if the victim suffers from a mental issue or defect and cannot resist; if the alleged perpetrator knows that the other person has not consented; or if the perpetrator is a public servant who uses coercion to garner the other person's participation.

Two drivers arrested on drunk driving charges in one incident

Drivers in Dallas need to be aware of the penalties that come with an arrest and conviction on drunk driving charges. Given the seriousness with which driving while intoxicated is treated, a driver who is subject to a police stop and the subsequent investigation for these acts can have his or her entire life turned upside down. Law enforcement is always on the lookout for drivers who might be under the influence. In some cases, the driver inadvertently comes to them.

While law enforcement officers were investigating a driver whom they believed to have been driving while intoxicated, another vehicle crashed into an empty police vehicle; the driver of that vehicle was arrested for being drunk, along with the first driver. This incident happened at about 3:00 a.m. Another vehicle then crashed into a different empty police car, but that driver was not under the influence, so he was only ticketed

What acts will lead to assault charges in Texas?

When a person is arrested and charged with assault in Texas, it's imperative that he or she understands what it was that happened that led to the accusations in order to formulate a strong defense. State laws are clear as to what constitutes an assault and the various levels that can lead to lesser and more significant charges and penalties. A person will be charged with assault under a number of circumstances. One is if he or she commits bodily injury to another person recklessly, knowingly or intentionally. Another is if the individual threatens imminent injury or causes physical contact with another when it can be viewed as provocative or offensive. This includes acts involving spouses.

The acts listed above are a Class A misdemeanor. If, however, the act is committed against a public servant performing an official duty, a person who meets the criteria of the state family code and if there was a prior offense or that offense was committed recklessly, knowingly or intentionally and breathing or circulation was stopped via blocking of the mouth or nose or pressuring the throat, it will be a third-degree felony. Other instances leading to a felony will be if the person is contracted by the government to perform certain services under the law and it happens while the person is engaged in performing the service under terms of the contract or if it is in retaliation of an employee's performance.

What are Texas laws regarding possession of drug paraphernalia?

When people are considering the potential problems from drug charges in Texas, they are often under the misconception that they only relate to actual drugs being in their possession. In truth, the possession of drug paraphernalia is also illegal in the state and could lead to charges being filed. Even if a person doesn't have actual drugs, the state laws are specific as to what constitutes illegality with possessing drug paraphernalia. While the following post is for general informational purposes only, it should provide readers with a better understanding about the laws regarding drug paraphernalia in Texas.

When discussing drug paraphernalia, knowing what the term means is paramount. It references products, equipment or materials that are utilized or the intention is to utilize them to prepare, test, analyze or package drugs, among other activities. Included in this law is possessing a kit that is used to grow, harvest, plant or cultivate a plant that yields a controlled substance. It also includes compounds, mixtures, materials, kits or items to prepare for use to manufacture, compound, convert or produce a controlled substance.

Important facts about drunk driving charges in Texas

Drivers in Texas who are facing drunk driving charges need to understand the basis upon which those charges will be filed. If a law enforcement officer stops a vehicle for suspicion of DUI, tests will be conducted to determine whether or not the driver surpasses the legal limit of alcohol in the system. There are various factors that go into how much alcohol a person can consume before they will be above the legal limit. The state takes the act of DUI very seriously and has the accompanying rules and costs for those who are above the legal BAC level and convicted for it.

Many issues go into how much alcohol affects an individual. The amount of drinking that has occurred, whether there is food in the stomach, size and body weight all contribute. A person with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or above will face drunk driving charges. Fines will be assessed if there is an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and this applies to drivers and passengers. Drivers who have a child -- under the age of 15 -- as a passenger, there will be harsher costs than for a simple DUI.

Man arrested for allegations of having sex with teen

Being arrested in Dallas can cause numerous problems for the person who is facing prosecution no matter what the charges are. When the charges involve sex crimes, there is a stigma attached to the mere allegations even before the trial commences. If the charges involve children with accusations of child sexual abuse, the damage to reputation and potential of a destroyed personal life can be so long-lasting that the person's existence will never be the same. This is why it's important to lodge a strong defense.

A 39-year-old man was arrested for sexual assault after allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a teenage girl. The man was living in the girl's home with her and her family and is accused of having sex with her over a six month period in 2013 when she was 15. After he moved out, the girl stopped going to school and ran away to be with him. They lived together in various locations for a year. The now-17-year-old became pregnant and had the man's baby. The girl returned home and the man was arrested.

Remember your constitutional rights if arrested in Texas

Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in the state of Texas vigorously pursue drug charges. Unlike many other states, Texas does not recognize the legality of medical marijuana.

Every Texas resident has constitutional rights that protect them in certain situations. Concerning many drug arrests, both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution are applicable.

Texas woman released after spending 7 years in jail for murder

There is a famous saying in criminal law which points out that it is better to let ten guilty people go free than to send one innocent person to jail. Called Blackstone's formulation, this saying is tied to the presumption of innocence, which urges courts across the nation -- including here in Texas -- to consider innocence over guilt when hearing evidence during criminal trials.

This saying could prove applicable in a case out of Nueces County in which a Texas woman was convicted of capital murder for the death of her foster son despite her insistence of innocence. As some of our Dallas County readers may know already, the 37-year-old woman was convicted back in 2007 for the death of the 4-year-old foster boy. Although prosecutors accused her of feeding the child a mixture that ultimately led to sodium poisoning, she was instead "found guilty of neglecting to seek help quickly enough."