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Collin County Criminal Defense LawyerNearly every week, we publish blogs covering a variety of topics related to criminal defense. Our goal is to provide readers with helpful information about the types of charges people may face, including in state and federal courts, as well as the potential defense strategies that may be available. Our firm works to protect the rights of defendants and help them resolve criminal cases successfully. We wanted to highlight the most-read blogs from 2021, and we plan to continue covering similar topics in the months and years to come.

  1. Can a Parent Face Charges for Leaving a Child Home Alone in Texas? - We look at how Texas law addresses these situations and when parents may be accused of child neglect or charged with offenses such as child abandonment or child endangerment.

  2. What Actions Can Lead to Charges of Credit Card Fraud? - We describe the situations that could lead to fraud charges based on the illegal use of credit cards or financial accounts while also looking at the penalties for fraud under Texas laws and federal laws.

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Fort Worth Child Abduction Defense LawyerChild custody disputes can be very contentious. When parents get divorced or break up, they may disagree strongly about where their children will live and when they will spend time in each parent’s home. Ongoing conflicts between parents may lead a person to take action to try to keep their children with them or prevent a child from spending time with the other parent. While parents may be aware that attempts to do so may affect child custody proceedings, they may not realize that these actions could potentially lead to criminal charges for kidnapping, child abduction, or interference with child custody.

What Is Interference With Child Custody?

Texas law specifies that taking a child in violation of a child custody order is a criminal offense. This charge may apply if a parent knowingly takes a child under the age of 18 in violation of the terms of a court order, including temporary orders put in place while a couple’s divorce or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) is pending. In cases where custody has not yet been decided, a parent may face charges if they take a child out of the geographic area where they currently live in an attempt to prevent legal child custody proceedings from taking place. A parent may also be charged with a crime if they take the child out of the United States in order to deprive a parent who is entitled to custody of access to the child. 

Interference with child custody may be charged in situations where a parent forces a child to leave the other parent or when they persuade or entice a child to come with them in violation of a child custody order. This offense is a state jail felony, and a person who is convicted may be sentenced to between six months and two years in prison.

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Tarrant County Criminal Defense LawyerWhile all criminal charges can be serious, certain types of offenses can lead to especially harsh sentences that can affect a person for the rest of their life. These include sex crimes, and a person who is convicted of these types of offenses may not only be sentenced to prison and required to pay large fines, but they can face restrictions that affect nearly every aspect of their lives. When a person is required to register as a sex offender, this may limit where they can live, what types of jobs they can hold, their ability to pursue education or obtain loans, and their personal relationships. By understanding when sex offender registration will be required and the restrictions that this will place on a person, a criminal defendant can determine the steps they can take to avoid or minimize the consequences of a conviction.

Reportable Convictions and Adjudications

Sex offender registration is required for anyone who has a “reportable conviction or adjudication,” including those who plan to live in Texas after being convicted of certain sex crimes in another state. Crimes that require sex offender registration include:

Tarrant County Criminal Defense AttorneyThere are multiple types of controlled substances that are regulated at the state and federal levels, and people who use or sell these drugs without authorization may face criminal charges for drug possession or drug distribution. While most people may think of drug crimes as involving “hard drugs” like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamines, more and more of these cases are related to prescription opioids. These drugs can be highly addictive and dangerous, and law enforcement officials may investigate and prosecute those who are suspected of issuing illegal prescriptions or engaging in other types of drug trafficking.

Opioid Possession and Distribution Charges

Prescription opioid painkillers have been used for multiple decades, but the use and abuse of these drugs has exploded in recent years. These drugs include:

  • Morphine

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Tarrant County Criminal Defense AttorneyThere are a variety of situations where a person may be accused of committing crimes against children. These offenses may be classified into multiple different categories, and many of the most serious offenses involve sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or child abuse. However, a person may also face criminal charges in other situations where they are accused of causing injury to a child. By understanding when these charges may apply and the potential consequences of a conviction, a person can determine their best options for defense.

Texas Charges for Injury to a Child

The Texas Penal Code details the criminal charges that a person may face if they are accused of causing a child (defined as a person under the age of 15) to suffer a bodily injury or a serious mental injury or impairment. The specific charges and penalties will depend on the severity of the injury and whether a person acted intentionally, recklessly, or negligently. Charges may include:

  • Causing a serious bodily injury - If a person intentionally caused a child to suffer serious bodily harm, meaning that the child suffered a disability or disfigurement or was placed at substantial risk of being killed, the person may face first-degree felony charges. In these cases, a conviction may result in a prison sentence of between five and 99 years. If a child was injured because a person acted recklessly, meaning that they were aware of substantial risks but consciously chose to ignore these risks, they may face second-degree felony charges. A second-degree felony conviction may result in a prison sentence of between two and 20 years.

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