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Houston Texas Criminal Defense Blog

Exercise your right to remain silent

With the holidays approaching, you are likely making plans for office parties, family gatherings and festive celebrations with friends. This probably means driving to and from the event, which may place you at risk, especially if you plan to be drinking.

Law enforcement agencies typically increase their presence at this time of year, and you have a higher chance of an officer pulling you over under the suspicion that you are driving while impaired. Whether you know you have had too much, consumed one beer hours earlier or have not touched a drop of alcohol, your rights are on the line as soon as the officer approaches your vehicle. Understanding your right to remain silent is critical.

Felony drunk driving charges filed against teen driver

A teenage driver in Texas was arrested after allegedly causing a serious accident in which multiple people were injured, including himself. Charged with intoxication assault -- a felony -- he was first treated at a hospital before being taken into police custody. He has since posted a $10,000 bond and is likely considering possible approaches to his drunk driving charges.

According to police, the 17-year-old driver was intoxicated and speeding at the time of the accident. An accident reconstruction expert estimated that he was traveling at approximately 69 mph in a 30 mph zone when he struck a vehicle driven by a 24-year-old. Both the driver and the passenger in the second vehicle were injured. Both the victims and the alleged intoxicated driver were all transported to the same area hospital for treatment.

Texas men charged with enhanced drug crimes

Two Texas men were recently arrested for allegedly running a drug operation out of a suburban home. Both are facing enhanced drug crimes charges because of the home's proximity to a drug free zone. The two supposedly admitted that the drugs were theirs, and have since posted bond.

In mid Nov. 2018, local authorities executed the search warrant they had for the house. Two 23-year-old men were apparently living there at the time, and police say they found over a pound of marijuana, 70 grams of which belonged to one man while around a pound belonged to the other. It is unclear if either used these drugs, but both were allegedly engaged in selling it. Neighbors told police that they had seen several different people who did not live in the neighborhood coming to the house, staying for a couple of minutes and then leaving.

Man accused of drunk driving with children in vehicle

A man was arrested after a recent three-vehicle accident in which four people -- including three minors -- were injured. The man is facing drunk driving charges on two counts for intoxication assault and is also charged with evading arrest. He is currently in Texas police custody, and his bond was set at $185,000.

A witness told police that the driver was initially stopped at a green light somewhere along U.S. 183. Another vehicle honked its horn in an apparent effort to alert the driver to the green light. The witness then reported that the previously stopped car took off at a high rate of speed and quickly passed her.

School bus driver preparing criminal defense after arrest

School bus drivers are responsible for the safety of dozens of children at one time, and sometimes they are forced to make split-second decisions. However, those decisions do not always turn out as some drivers might hope. Texas police recently arrested a bus driver who they say endangered a child's life when he drove through flood waters. It is unclear if he has any concrete criminal defense plans yet.

On Oct. 16, 2018, the 57-year-old bus driver was transporting a single student when he approached a flooded road. According to reports, police had erected a barricade that was meant to prevent vehicles from attempting to cross the rushing flood waters. However, they claim that video recovered from the bus's dash cam show the driver maneuvering around the barricade, pause and then proceed into the waters.

Hour-long police chase leads to drunk driving charges

An alleged drunk driver sparked a vehicle chase with police when he apparently refused to pull over for a traffic stop. Texas authorities claim that the man was intoxicated at the time, and have since charged him with drunk driving. He is also facing charges for aggravated assault.

It is not clear why police first tried to initiate the traffic stop, but the driver of the 18-wheeler would not pull over, and instead continued trying to evade police by sometimes driving at speeds of upwards of 80 mph. The chase went on for about an hour, during which time they traveled about 38 miles and crossed multiple county lines. Police say the only reason the driver stopped was because the truck's front bumper fell off.

Criminal defense: Texas couple charged with embezzling millions

A Texas couple was recently arrested for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars from retirement accounts. Charged with wire fraud, identity theft, conspiracy and more, both individuals could face potentially severe consequences. When decades of jail time is on the line, careful criminal defense planning is essential.

The 53-year-old husband and 58-year-old wife jointly owned Vantage Benefits Administrators. Their company provided third-party management for a variety of retirement accounts, including 401(k)s. The criminal charges involve the embezzling of funds from approximately 1,000 of the accounts they were supposed to be managing. It is unclear if this is all of their accounts or only a portion.

Appropriate actions when police want to search your car

You may never willingly relinquish your rights, especially when your freedom may be on the line. However, the quickest way to unknowingly waive your rights is to fail to understand the rights you have.

One of the most basic rights citizens of Texas and across the country enjoy is the right to protection from unreasonable or unwarranted searches by police. Law enforcement may take advantage of the fact that many do not know enough about this right to invoke it at a critical moment.

USA Gymnastics' former chief executive facing criminal charges

A Texas grand jury recently indicted the former chief executive from USA Gymnastics. Steve Penny served as the organization's chief executive for 12 years before he resigned amid the molestation scandal that made national headlines. He is now facing criminal charges for allegedly destroying and concealing materials related to the scandal. 

The Karolyi Ranch is located in Texas and served as a training ground for USA Gymnastics. A doctor who worked at the ranch was recently sentenced to 125 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to charges of molesting 10 of the gymnasts. However, when Penny was made aware of the investigation in Nov. 2016, he allegedly ordered that documents pertaining to these accusations be removed from the facility. The documents were supposedly taken to the out-of-state headquarters for USA Gymnastics and, at last update, were still missing. 

Telenovela actress charged with theft

Telenovela fans in Texas might be most familiar with Danielle Stefani Arellano for her dramatic portrayals on screen, but more recent headlines focused on the star's arrest. Arrellano is faced with a theft charge for allegedly stealing several items from an area discount designer store. The allegedly stolen items were apparently all clothing. 

It is claimed that the 52-year-old was seen removing various clothing items from their hangers and then placing them in one of the store's bags. It is not clear how she obtained the bag. After concealing the items, she approached the cashier and exchanged what were apparently previously-purchased items. She did not, however, pay for the clothing she had taken off the hangers. 

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
4900 Woodway Drive, Suite 745
Houston, Texas 77056

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