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Texas criminal defense attorneyTexas law defines manslaughter as an offense that occurs when one person recklessly causes the death of another person. In contrast to homicide, in which a killing is deliberate or even premeditated, manslaughter is more akin to an accident—albeit a very serious accident in which the guilty party should have known better. Add a car or other vehicle to the situation, and you have vehicular manslaughter—although in Texas, vehicular manslaughter is just called “manslaughter.” 

The consequences of a conviction for manslaughter are serious. If you have been charged with manslaughter, it is important to learn more about the topic and then get the help of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney. 

What Is an Example of Vehicular Manslaughter? 

Any action in which one person’s recklessness behind the wheel of a vehicle kills another person could be vehicular manslaughter, giving authorities wide leeway when bringing vehicular manslaughter charges. Examples of behaviors that may allow for vehicular manslaughter changes include: 

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Plano criminal defense attorneyChild custody disputes are often heated affairs and one or both parents frequently disagree with the outcome of custody negotiations. Furthermore, the terms of a custody agreement may sometimes be unclear, leaving parents with questions about what is allowed in terms of taking children out of town, whether for vacation, relocation, or other purposes. 

While kidnapping laws in Texas are meant to protect children from abduction and other dangerous situations, parents can actually be charged with kidnapping in certain circumstances. This may seem offensive and hard to believe, but parental kidnapping charges are real and carry serious consequences. If you have been accused of or charged with kidnapping, abduction, or unlawful restraint without consent, contact a Texas criminal defense attorney right away. 

Interference with Child Custody

It is a crime in Texas for a parent to take or restrain a minor child when there is an existing custody order that contradicts the parent’s movements. This includes those rare situations in which one parent takes a child out of the country without the permission of the other parent. It also includes a much more common situation: When one parent has filed for divorce and the other parent takes a child out of the court’s jurisdictional area to prevent the court from making decisions about custody or the child’s welfare. This is true even when the parent does not remove the child himself, but rather entices the child away from their other parent. 

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Plano abuse of a child defense lawyerFor perhaps most of human history, spanking has been a discipline most parents have used with their children. As recently as thirty years ago, few people thought twice about manually spanking and even using instruments like belts or switches. But norms about child discipline have changed dramatically in recent years and many people now have strong feelings about whether certain types of physical discipline cross the line into abuse. In Texas and many other parts of the United States, this can lead to phone calls to the police for behaviors that can surprise the parent on the receiving end of abuse accusations. Some of these calls even result in criminal charges. 

Texas has strict laws in place to protect children from domestic violence, endangerment, sexual assault, and other forms of child abuse. Because of this, it is useful to know when spanking may be considered child abuse in Texas, as well as the potential penalties for physically abusing a child. If you have been charged with abusing a child, even if you are confident that you are innocent, get legal help right away. 

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse? 

All parents must discipline their children, but in Texas, the force a parent uses to discipline must be reasonable. Reasonable can be somewhat subject to interpretation, but the general idea is that if other reasonable people would find the discipline to be excessive, the discipline can be considered child abuse even if the parent disagrees. 

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Texas criminal defense attorneyRaising children is never easy, but for some parents, the process is harder than others. We live in a time where the expectation of accountability for sexual crimes is the highest it has ever been, and while this is a good thing, it also opens the possibility that false accusations will be made and readily believed. A false and completely unexpected accusation that a parent committed childhood sexual abuse against their own child is every parent’s worst nightmare. These types of accusations are often as fantastical as they are offensive. If your adult child has made a post on social media, told their therapist, or confronted you with false accusations of sexual abuse you allegedly committed in the past, seek legal help right away. 

How Often Are Sexual Assault Complaints Falsified? 

While it is true that both men and women have been sexually assaulted and failed to obtain justice for their suffering, it is also true that people use allegations of sexual assault to obtain vengeance and control, or because of mental illness. It is difficult to obtain accurate estimates of false sexual abuse complaints, but estimates range from two to eight percent of all reported claims.  

Sometimes false accusations are intentional and other times alleged victims really believe the abuse happened. Certain types of leading questions by therapists and psychologists have been found to trigger false memories of sexual assault, causing a person to create “repressed” memories of sexual abuse where none really exist. 

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Plano criminal defense attorneyAs marijuana continues to be legalized in many states and the idea of legalization becomes increasingly popular in others, it may seem like owning, growing, or selling weed is not a big deal. But, according to Texas state law – and federal law, for that matter – the  possession of marijuana is still very much illegal. Oddly enough, Texas does not have a specific law against growing marijuana, per se; however, because any type of possession is illegal, growing weed even in your own backyard can get you into serious trouble. 

Is Private Marijuana Cultivation Illegal in Texas? 

Growing, cultivating, and harvesting marijuana are all considered forms of possession, whether it is leaves, buds, or entire plants, regardless of whether a person is using marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. The only people who can legally possess marijuana in Texas are those who have a medical cannabis card. For everyone else, knowingly possessing marijuana is completely off-limits. 

What are the Consequences for Possessing Marijuana in Texas? 

The seriousness of the charges and the resulting consequences depend on how much marijuana is found in a person’s possession and whether they have a previous criminal history. If a little marijuana is found in your backpack, for example, and you have no previous criminal record, a judge may be more lenient in your sentencing. The law allows penalties for marijuana possession that include: 

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