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Houston Texas Criminal Defense Blog

How do you know you are getting a fair trial?

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you may have a memory of sitting in a high school civics lesson while the teacher explained the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Among those amendments is the Sixth, which your teacher may have summarized as granting the right to a fair trial for anyone accused of a crime.

While the Sixth Amendment may have had little significance in your high school years, it is critical now if you are facing or have recently been a defendant in a criminal trial. What is fair to you may not be fair to someone else. That is why the legal system looks to the guidelines provided in the Constitution whenever someone comes to trial. If you are facing a criminal trial, you can expect certain safeguards to ensure you receive a fair trial.

Home search results in multiple arrests for alleged drug crimes

No one wants to be accused of wrongdoing. It can feel degrading, disheartening, confusing and scary. Still, many people find themselves in situations where authorities accuse them of drug crimes, and the accused parties must fight to defend against such allegations.

Multiple people in Texas are undoubtedly hoping to fight charges recently brought against them. According to reports, authorities conducted a search of a home after obtaining a warrant. Details were not given about when or why the warrant was obtained. Nonetheless, the search of the residence allegedly resulted in the discovery of cocaine, pills, marijuana, ecstasy, methamphetamine and a firearm. There were apparently five individuals at the residence, and they were taken into custody on various charges.

Texas student charged with multiple violent crimes

Authorities recently filed a murder charge against a student at Texas Southern University. He is also accused of robbery in the same incident, and was on bond for a separate aggravated robbery allegation. Facing violent crimes charges such as these is an extremely serious matter, as it can result in significant criminal consequences and jeopardize future personal opportunities.

On April 7, 2019, a man suffering from a gunshot wound was found in his apartment's courtyard. Although emergency responders rushed the man to an area hospital, he did not survive his injuries. Unsure of who might have been responsible for the wound, police began reviewing security footage from the apartment complex. Investigators also recovered some of his personal messages after learning that he may have sold marijuana, and used apps like Snapchat to arrange meetings.

Violent crimes: Teen charged with assault

A teenage boy is facing charges for allegedly assaulting an unconscious girl inside of a vehicle. It appears as if the 17-year-old defendant will face charges as an adult rather than a juvenile. Violent crimes charges are a very serious matter in Texas, and it is possible that authorities may choose to bring additional charges based on claims made by the girl.

Police were first alerted to a possible assault after a video appeared on social media. Originally posted to Twitter, the video spread quickly and was retweeted approximately 10,000 times before it was deleted, as well as the account that originally posted it. The video apparently showed the teen boy punching and slapping a 15-year-old unconscious girl.

Alleged drunk driving accident leads to murder charge

An alleged drunk driver recently struck a patrol car, killing another suspected drunk driver. Two Texas police officers were injured in the apparent drunk driving wreck. The driver accused of causing the wreck was also injured and treated at a hospital, from which he was then released into police custody. This was not his first drunk driving charge, and he has since been charged with murder.

Two police officers had arrested a different suspected drunk driver for a separate accident when they encountered a motorist driving against the flow of traffic. A 39-year-old man was behind the wheel of the wrong-way vehicle, and he slammed into the police vehicle head-on. Reports indicate that both vehicles were completely destroyed from the front bumpers all the way up to the windshields.

Delivery worker arrested for dog theft

A Texas woman accused of taking a dog was recently arrested by police. The alleged theft occurred while the woman was delivering a package to the owner's home. She reportedly tried to sell the dog a short while later.

The 22-year-old woman was working as a driver for Amazon deliveries, and her boyfriend -- a delivery worker -- was with her over the Fourth of July weekend. While passing the owner's home, she apparently spotted a dachshund running around the yard and stopped her delivery van. It is not clear if this was a planned stop for a delivery. After exiting the vehicle, she spoke with a nearby landscaper who apparently told her to whom the dog belonged.

When is deadly force a viable option under Texas law?

There was a time when people never locked their doors. They trusted their neighbors and did not fear that strangers would want to harm them somehow. Sadly, those days are gone.

People lock their doors, but that does not always protect them from violence and harm. Texas law recognizes that you need to protect yourself and others with you as long as the law legally allows you to be present at the location in which the incident occurs. However, you may only use deadly force under certain circumstances.

High school student facing violent crimes charge

Police recently arrested a Texas high school student accused of murdering one of his teachers. The young man's bond was set at $500,000, and he is still in police custody. Although he is still enrolled at his school, it is certainly possible that he might lose out on important educational opportunities because of the violent crimes charge he is currently facing.

The 18-year-old student reportedly used to date one of the teacher's daughters. It is not clear if police believe that this factors into their investigation. However, when interviewing the student about the death of the 49-year-old teacher, he told police that one of his ex-girlfriends was indeed the teacher's daughter.

Criminal defense: Teen charged for viral ice cream video

Ice cream might be an ideal summer food, but police in Texas say that a teenage girl took things a little too far. She could possibly face a felony charge for tampering with a consumer product, but since she is still a minor she will not be charged as an adult. While it is possible that prosecutors could choose to reduce her charge because she is still a minor, creating a criminal defense for a juvenile is different than doing so for an adult.

Police were first made aware of an incident in a grocery store involving a carton of Blue Bell ice cream after an internet video went viral. The video showed a teenage girl licking the top of the ice cream, replacing the lid and then returning it to the freezer shelf. She later posted the video to a social media account, where it quickly spread. The teen's boyfriend who filmed the act could also possibly face criminal charges.

Woman charged in fatal drunk driving accident

A recent Fourth of July fireworks celebration ended in the arrest of a woman who allegedly crashed her vehicle into an area that had been blocked off for the celebration. Accused of drunk driving, the woman is facing two counts for intoxication manslaughter, which is a second degree felony. Two minors were killed in the incident.

According to Texas police, the 36-year-old driver was under the influence when she drove her vehicle through a barricade blocking off the end of a highway road. She then allegedly crashed into a generator light that had been pulled to the area by a trailer. Twin girls were in the area at the time of the wreck because their family was selling fireworks at a nearby stand. The driver is accused of striking both girls during the wreck. The girls were transported to an area hospital where they later died.

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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Houston, Texas 77056

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