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Collin County criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

Domestic violence has been a long-standing epidemic for American women and men, especially for Texans. In the past decade, awareness regarding sexual harassment and assault in the workplace has led to major changes when it comes to employee training and discipline, including for those in positions of power. One Texas legislator, in particular, has made it her priority not to just make these changes in the workplace, but also to help those who are victims in their own homes. In 2018 alone, there were 212,885 victims of family violence in Texas, not including the number of victims who go unreported. While 71.6 percent of these victims were female, men are also victims of domestic violence, but they often let this crime against them fly under the radar. Those guilty of domestic violence should undoubtedly be held accountable for their actions, but if you are facing false accusations, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Proposed Bill Calls for Advocacy

Hairstylists, barbers, and cosmetologists work in an environment where their customers come to them with an intimate request--help me with my appearance--and are comfortable chatting about the details of their lives. While clients may only see these individuals every few weeks or months, they build a trusting relationship with them in which they update them on what is currently going on in their life. State Representative Ana Hernandez recognized the intimate role of these professionals; not only do they hear about their clients’ lives from an outside perspective, but they also get a close look at their clients’ bodies or faces while working on them. 

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Collin County criminal defense attorney sexual assault

No matter how much time has passed after a crime has been committed, new evidence can surface and bring the case back into the limelight. In some cases, improved technology can reveal a person’s true role in the crime, while in others, a larger budget can allow law enforcement to conduct a deeper dive into the evidence. Female sexual assault victims from Fort Worth may be on the brink of getting the justice that they deserve after movements were made this past week. But what if they have the wrong person? As the years go by, it can become increasingly difficult to remember your exact whereabouts and activity on the night the crime was committed, making your defense less and less foolproof.

Justice in Fort Worth

This past week, an alleged serial rapist was arrested for attacking women in 2010 and 2011 after detectives found a DNA match linking him to the crimes. Pedro Samarrippas has also been connected to another 2011 Fort Worth case, and detectives have room to believe that he may have more victims spread throughout Fort Worth. Samarrippas was arrested in late February on two warrants for sexual assault. These have remained cold cases until Texas Rangers recently received a grant that allowed them to conduct comparisons of unknown DNA through a database known as the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). This database helped them link the unknown DNA to Samarrippas. These two sexual assault cases, in addition to another sexual assault that occurred in McAllen, Texas in 2002, all contained unknown matching DNA samples that led detectives to Samarrippas.  

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Collin County criminal defense attorney fraud

Although Texas is not often highlighted in the news for its snowstorms, the recent deadly snowstorms throughout the state placed the Lone Star State at the top of the news cycle. Many news outlets reported how a shortage of natural gas left Texans without power in the midst of freezing temperatures and non-stop snow. Coined “Winter Storm Uri,” the Texas snowstorm resulted in numerous tragedies, including one mother’s devastating story of losing her own mother and three children in a fire that was being used to keep them warm during the power outages. With conditions like these, one would think that the state would rally together, but unfortunately, the panic-induced conditions have led to reports of alleged white collar crimes.

Warnings from the FTC

You have likely received numerous unknown calls over the years in which the person on the other line pretends to be informing you of overdue charges, identity theft, and more. Typically, you can pick up on the recorded, robotic voice or notice that the information they are asking you for is financially related. But what about those times when you are caught off guard, such as during a statewide, devastating snowstorm? Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a warning about scammers targeting those without power due to the weather conditions. According to the warning, scammers often use these conditions to their advantage, knowing that you may have had your electricity, heat, or water turned off and pose as your utility company. The person on the other line may apologize for your loss of power and offer you a reimbursement for your most recent payment, first asking for your bank account information. You may also receive an email stating that there is an error in their system and that they need your personal information before turning on your gas again. You can also receive false threats that your utilities will be turned off if money is not sent over immediately. All of these scare tactics, especially in the midst of a statewide emergency, can be convincing enough to leave many desperate Texans with empty bank accounts.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney murder

The U.S. court system is meant to provide every person with a fair trial—everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty—but what happens when that system fails? What if the judge and jury’s verdict is not reflective of the truth? One Texas woman, and many others in the criminal justice system, have experienced this firsthand. She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and later suffered the consequences. For those who find themselves in this exact situation, is there a solution to save them from facing unwarranted penalties for criminal charges in Texas?

Rosa Jimenez Is Set Free

Rosa Jimenez spent the past 18 years behind bars for a crime she allegedly did not commit. After leaving her home in Mexico City for a better life in Austin at the age of 17, Jimenez found work as a babysitter to a 21-month-old child. The child choked on a wad of paper towels and died while in Jimenez’s care. Anyone who has a child knows that children put anything and everything in their mouth, leaving them at constant risk of choking hazards. Though Jimenez claims the child died accidentally, she was charged with murder and sentenced to 99 years imprisonment. She was not an inexperienced caregiver, as Jimenez is a mother of two, yet this accident left her life bound behind prison bars.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney homicide

It is no secret that violent crime is more prevalent in urban areas, and Dallas is no exception. After seven fatal shootings occurred in the city in mid-November, Gov. Greg Abbott saw an urgent need for additional protection for Dallas residents. The city has surpassed its homicide count from 2019, with 220 homicides recorded in this year alone. In order to keep this number from rising as the year comes to a close, Governor Abbott has sent state police into the city for added protection. This is not the first time the governor has opted for these additional measures, and due to past experiences, not all Dallas residents agree with the governor’s tactic for combating crime. 

Operation D-Town

In June 2019, Dallas saw a similar spike in murders and violent crimes, and in response, Gov. Abbott deployed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) into the city to assist the Dallas Police Department in their policing efforts. According to reports from Dallas police, the targeted areas saw a significant drop in violent crimes just two months into the operation. Even with the reduction in crime, a number of residents and community officials claimed that DPS did more harm than good.

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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney

As the last few months of 2020 begin to come to a close, everyone’s sights are set on 2021. This year has been historic, to say the least, with an international pandemic, racial protests across the United States, and a presidential election all happening in a matter of 12 months. With an eventful year like this one, it is no wonder that everyone is looking forward, Texas lawmakers included. The 87th Texas Legislature will not begin their next session until January; however, state lawmakers are already filing their legislative proposals for 2021, some of which touch on criminal law.

Looking Ahead With New Laws

On just the first day in which Texas lawmakers were able to file legislation, over 450 bills were filed in the House and Senate. According to reports from the Texas Tribune, an anticipated 1,000+ bills will be submitted during the legislative session, but only a few will be seen by the governor’s eyes. This session will be especially tough for lawmakers as COVID-19 leaves billions of dollars of shortfalls in its wake. Despite this, Texas legislators have forged ahead by proposing the following notable bills:

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Tarrant County criminal defense attorney DWI

College Station, the home to Texas A&M University, has seen a significant decrease in the number of driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests in the past year. As 2020 has been a unique year in the history of the United States, these reduced numbers may be attributed to the restrictions enacted on Texans since COVID-19 began to surge. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 800 drivers across the state were killed in accidents involving DWI. While this number may not seem particularly significant in such a large state, it only accounts for those who were in fatal accidents, not those arrested or injured. If you are arrested for DWI, it is important to know the severity of the criminal charges that you may face and where to turn for legal guidance.

A Texas Town Considers the Implications of Reopening

In a KBTX news report from October 29, Police Officer Tristen Lopez from College Station, Texas notes an approximate 25 percent decrease in DWI arrests this past year. According to the report, College Station police have made 227 DWI-related arrests this year, compared to 303 arrests in 2019 by this same date. The same is true of DWI-related crashes in the area. COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Texas have left local bars closed for months in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. As of October 14, however, county governments were given the option of allowing their local bars to reopen at 50 percent capacity moving forward. Though these bars may reopen, they are still required to stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m.; the same is not true of restaurants, creating a gray area on which many bars and restaurants can tread. Officer Lopez connected the reduced DWI numbers to local bar closures and noted that the trend will likely change now that the bars have reopened. 

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Dallas criminal defense attorney violent crimes

A small city in East Texas was thrust into the national spotlight in recent days—and for all of the wrong reasons. On the morning of Friday, October 9, police in New Boston, TX, were called to a residence where they found the body of a young woman who had apparently been murdered. To make matters even worse, the victim had been pregnant at the time of her death, and a preliminary investigation indicated that the woman’s unborn baby had been cut from her body. The gruesome scene prompted action by several local and state agencies, looking into the case as both a murder and kidnapping investigation.

Pregnant Woman Found Dead

At a little after 10 a.m. last Friday, New Boston police responded to a 911 call reporting a deceased person. New Boston is a small city of approximately 4,600 people in Bowie County near Texarkana. When the police arrived, they discovered the body of a 21-year-old woman. According to officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the woman was clearly the victim of a homicide. She had also been almost eight months pregnant when she died, and her baby had been cut from her womb, presumably by her killer. Following the horrific discovery, an investigation was initiated by multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the region, including the Department of Public Safety, the New Boston Police Department, the Texarkana Police Department, and the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office.

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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney child endangerment

The public’s opinion of drugs and alcohol has changed dramatically throughout our nation’s history. Alcohol was common in many American homes until the 18th Amendment banned the consumption of liquor, beer, and wine in 1919. Then, the 21st Amendment repealed the ban on the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. Today, marijuana is a subject of great controversy across the United States. Some consider it a dangerous “gateway drug” while others believe that the substance offers significant medicinal benefits. Although the laws surrounding drugs and alcohol are constantly changing, one certainty has remained consistent: Drugs and alcohol should not be consumed by children. Allowing a child to consume drugs or alcohol or consuming an illicit substance in the presence of a child can result in child endangerment charges.

Criminal Charges Can Result from Exposing a Child to Danger

Children are unable to adequately provide for their own safety. Consequently, they are dependent on adults to protect them from harm. When an adult fails to protect a child or allows a child to be in a dangerous situation, he or she may be charged with the criminal offense of child endangerment. One Texas woman was recently arrested and charged with child endangerment after a video surfaced of the woman allowing her 3-year-old brother to smoke marijuana. The video, which was shared on Facebook and quickly shared with Texas police, shows the boy’s 18-year-old sister and another individual actively encouraging the toddler to inhale. Child Protective Services is currently investigating the situation. It is unknown if further criminal charges will be brought against the young boy’s parents. If the sister is convicted of child endangerment, she faces up to two years of imprisonment in a Texas state jail facility.

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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney sexual assault

Because children’s brains are not fully developed and they have not had the same life experiences as adults, it is assumed that children cannot consent to sexual activities. In the eyes of the law, this makes any sexual conduct between a child and an adult non-consensual and therefore unlawful. However, the “age of consent” or age at which a person is considered to be capable of agreeing to sex, varies from state to state. This can make it difficult to know when a sexual relationship is in violation of the law. If you have been charged with sexual assault of a child or accused of statutory rape, you could be facing life-altering criminal consequences. That is why it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Texas Law Regarding Statutory Rape

The age of consent is 17 in Texas. This means that it is unlawful for an adult to participate in sexual activities with someone who is 16 years old or younger. Texas law does not use the term “rape” for nonconsensual sex but instead refers to the act as sexual assault. Many people do not realize that they can be charged with sexual assault of a child even if the underage person agreed to the sexual activity. Sexual activity does not need to be forced or involve drugs such as Rohypnol in order to be a criminal offense. Sexual assault of a child is a second-degree felony in Texas. If convicted, you could be imprisoned for 2-20 years and fined up to $10,000. If you are accused of participating in non-penetrative sexual activities with a person under 17, you could be charged with indecency with a child. This is also a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You will also be required to register as a sex offender.

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Dallas criminal defense attorney child neglect

Parents are legally responsible for providing their children with the care and attention they need to be safe. As children get older, they gradually begin to gain the skills necessary to look after themselves. It can be hard to know when a child is responsible enough to be left alone. If you are like many parents, you may have wondered, “At what age is it appropriate to leave my child at home alone?” Texas law does not state an exact age after which a parent may leave a child at home without supervision. However, there are circumstances in which a parent can face significant civil consequences and even criminal charges for leaving a minor child home alone.  

Texas Laws Regarding Child Neglect

Texas law requires parents and guardians to provide children with adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, supervision, and medical care. Failure to provide these basic necessities may constitute child neglect. A parent may also be accused of neglect if he or she allows a child to be in an unsafe situation that exposes the child to a significant risk of physical or mental harm. Child neglect is a civil offense in Texas, but it is often accompanied by criminal charges. Accusations of child neglect may lead to an investigation from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). If DFPS investigators find evidence of significant neglect or abuse, the child may be removed from the home. 

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Tarrant County criminal defense attorney child sexual abuse

Crimes against children are punished harshly in Texas. If you have been accused of sexually abusing a child, you could face significant criminal charges that result in possible jail time. Most people have a strong emotional reaction to allegations of child sex abuse. They may assume that just because a person is accused of harming a child that the person actually did harm the child. In some cases, the charges may be based on false allegations. This is why is it is crucial for anyone facing criminal charges related to child sex abuse to speak with a skilled criminal law attorney as soon as possible.

Sex Crimes Involving Minors

In Texas, there is no overarching law regarding sexual abuse of a minor. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, a person accused of child sex abuse may be charged with:

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