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Houston Texas Criminal Defense Blog

Embezzlement is a type of theft

When hearing the word embezzlement, one's mind might turn to cases reported in the news -- typically Ponzi schemes -- where the person responsible bilked unsuspecting clients out of hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Embezzlement is a crime that does not have to be that big, though, and it does not always involve the theft of money. What exactly is embezzlement, and what is needed for prosecutors in Texas to obtain a conviction in an embezzlement case?

The definition for embezzlement is, in short, accessing another's assets and using them for one's own personal gain. This type of theft is often seen in the workplace, though it is not inclusive to such environments. Examples of embezzlement include:

  • The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme
  • Bank tellers or cashiers pocketing money
  • Falsifying records
  • Paying a non-existent employee
  • Taking company property -- such as laptops, phones or cars

Where to turn for support when facing first-degree murder charges

Facing a charge of murder -- particularly first-degree murder -- is one of the most terrifying experiences you may have in your life. Naturally, you may be worried about losing your freedom and potentially spending a significant amount of time away from your family.

Murder in the first degree in Texas refers to unlawfully killing someone in a premeditated and willful way. Fortunately, just because you face accusations of first-degree murder does not mean you are immediately guilty. Your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted and sentenced accordingly.

Man arrested for alleged drug crimes in Texas

Anyone could find him or herself facing a serious legal predicament. When criminal charges for drug crimes are filed against a person, he or she may feel a sense of panic due to not knowing what steps to take. This feeling is not uncommon, but parties in such predicaments do have avenues that could help them determine how they would like to proceed.

One man in Texas was recently charged, and as a result, he may want to become as knowledgeable about his situation as possible. Reports indicated that the man is a Border Patrol agent, and he was taken into custody for allegedly being in possession of an undisclosed controlled substance. Details on what caused suspicions to arise or what led to the man's arrest were not given in the report.

Texas violent crimes: Kidnapping

There are a number of crimes out there that are deemed particularly cruel in nature. In Texas, kidnapping is one of them. Those accused of violent crimes such as this may face a number of significant penalties if they are ultimately convicted.

How does the state define kidnapping? In short, it is purposefully abducting another individual. It could be a child or an adult. Does not matter.

Drunk driving charges filed against man in Houston

An individual in Houston is facing criminal charges following a recent pedestrian accident. This incident is said to have occurred the evening of Oct. 8 in the northwest part of the city. The accused has been charged with drunk driving and fatally injuring the pedestrian.

According to report, at approximately 7:20 p.m., a 44-year-old male was operating his vehicle on West TC Jester when, at around the 900 block, he struck a pedestrian who was not in a crosswalk. Sadly, the victim suffered significant injuries and died before he or she would be transported for medical treatment. No further information about the victim has been released to the public.

Texas criminal defense: Police looking for hate crime suspects

Police in Texas say that a recent hit-and-run accident was the result of a hate crime. The victim of this crime did not appear to suffer any physical injuries as a result of the wreck, but there was significant damage to her property and emotional damage allegedly suffered. The man and woman deemed responsible for the car accident, when found, will likely face a number of charges. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help them fight the allegations made in this case.

According to reports, a 27-year-old woman of color was operating her vehicle in the Summerwood community, on her way to pick up her toddler, when the driver of a truck allegedly pulled alongside her car and began shouting racial slurs and making derogatory remarks. The passenger in the truck is said to also have taken part in the verbal assault. In an effort to get away, the victim made a U-turn; however, the driver of the truck supposedly put his vehicle in reverse, rammed her car and then sped away.

What does aggravated drunk driving mean?

In Texas and elsewhere, driving while impaired by alcohol is a serious offense. The punishments for doing so -- if convicted -- can be pretty significant. Those for aggravated drunk driving can be far worse.

What does aggravated drunk driving mean? Any person found driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit may be charged with DUI. If aggravating factors are believed to be involved in one's case, the charge and associated penalties may be more severe. Some examples of aggravating factors include:

  • Repeat offender
  • Minors in car
  • Driving on a revoked or suspended license
  • Speeding
  • Extreme BAC level

Don't let financial crime charge threaten your security

Being accused of committing a financial crime can understandably be scary, as such a charge can be life-altering if it results in a conviction. The reality is that authorities typically investigate these types of crimes many years before they bring charges, so if you are facing charges, you may feel uneasy about your chances of fighting them successfully.

Fortunately, even though you may face a criminal charge, that does not mean you did the crime in the eyes of Lady Justice. Prosecutors must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can ever happen. One financial crime in particular that carries stiff penalties for those convicted is securities fraud, or investment fraud.

Texas violent crimes: Police looking for man accused of assault

Police in the Houston area are looking for a man who is accused of assaulting a Lyft driver. The alleged incident is said to have occurred on July 21. Authorities have not been able to locate the accused. However, as violent crimes are not taken lightly, he has already been charged with committing a hate crime and causing bodily injury to another individual.

According to a recent news report, a 39-year-old male was riding as a passenger in a Lyft vehicle when he supposedly began berating the driving, saying things about his religion. He then, allegedly, grabbed the driver's hair, choked him and hit him. This is all said to have happened while the car was being operated on the Northwest Freeway.

Jail not appropriate in all drug crimes cases

Texas, like most other states, has a big drug problem. There simply are a lot of people who either use or supply them. Drug crimes are not treated lightly in court; however, lawmakers also are aware that jail is not appropriate in every drug crime case. This is where drug courts come in.

Drug court, what's that? Instead of being prosecuted for a drug crime, certain offenders can have their cases moved to drug court. This is a court supervised treatment program. It is only available to drug users who are considered non-violent offenders. Those accused of distributing or manufacturing will not qualify for this option.

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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