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Houston Texas Criminal Defense Blog

Man's sentence enhanced to 99 years due to history of drug crimes

There are varying opinions across the U.S. on how harshly repeat drug offenders should be treated by the justice system. In Texas, a man was recently sentenced to 99 years for possessing three grams of meth, a sentence which was enhanced due to his prior criminal convictions. This story shines a light on how drug crimes from repeat offenders may be considered by the justice system in Texas.

At the time of his arrest in 2014, the police found 3.41 grams of meth, several baggies and a set of digital scales. The man's cell phone also had text messages about meth sales, according to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office. Typically, this would lead to a possession of a controlled substance charge which carried a 2 to 25 year sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). 

Texas criminal defense: 6 facing robbery and other charges

Police in Texas recently took six men who were trying to cross the Mexican border into custody. These individuals are believed to have been involved in an ATM robbery that occurred in Laredo. As the charges filed against each of them are quite serious, how they navigate the criminal defense system is really important.

The men -- whose identities have not been released to the public -- are accused of robbing an ATM service worker on Tuesday, Feb. 6. They are said to have gotten away with $88,000 in cash. After the incident, the men supposedly fled in an SUV before switching cars and heading toward the border. A border patrol agent detained the men after allegedly finding the money in the trunk of one of the two vehicles they were utilizing.

Drug crimes with big consequences -- growing or mass producing

Texas residents who stand accused of growing or mass producing illegal drugs may face some serious consequences at both state and federal levels if they are convicted. Illegal cultivation and manufacturing are simply drugs crimes that are not treated lightly. Consequences may include significant fines and time behind bars.

What does illegal cultivation mean? Cultivation is just another word for growing. In some states, it is legal to grow certain types of drugs -- such as marijuana -- if one has a permit or only grows so much for personal use. Texas is not one of those states. Cultivation of any drug will likely be treated harshly.

You have many options for defending yourself against DWI charge

You are dealing with an arrest for drunk driving, and your future flashes behind your eyes. Will you go to jail? And will you be able to keep your job -- or get another job?

Fortunately, just because you face a DWI charge does not mean you are automatically guilty. The government in Texas has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can take place. You have a few options for mounting a strong defense in a DWI case in the Lone Star State.

What does Texas law say about manslaughter?

Were you recently in an accident that caused the death of another person? Did police believe that your actions were reckless and arrest you? If so, you could now face charges for manslaughter.

Other states split the crime of manslaughter into involuntary and voluntary manslaughter, but not here in Texas. In this state manslaughter is one crime, but if certain circumstances exist, additional penalties could apply.

Young man facing drunk driving charges in Texas

Police in Texas recently arrested a young man who is believed to have caused a fatal auto accident. Authorities claim this individual was impaired while behind the wheel. He is now facing drunk driving and other charges as a result.

It was recently reported that, a 20-year-old male was operating his vehicle in the Pasadena area when he collided with a vehicle at a local intersection. This individual is said to have then fled the scene on foot, but a witness stopped and detained him until police arrived. The driver of the impacted vehicle -- a 60-year-old male -- suffered fatal injuries in the wreck.

Texas violent crimes: When harassment goes beyond a civil offense

Harassment comes in many forms. In Texas and elsewhere, some of them are illegal and subject to serious penalties, while others are only thought civil in nature but still subject to civil liability. When harassment claims border the line of violent crimes, those accused of the behavior may find themselves in need of a good criminal defense, as the consequences may be quite harsh.

What is harassment and what is the difference between criminal and civil harassment? Harassment can be defined as targeting a person with the intention to annoy, terrorize or torment. Civil harassment is often thought of as workplace or other discrimination. Those who are victims of such actions may pursue compensation in civil court.

Texas criminal defense: Police arrest 2 robbery suspects

Police in Texas recently arrested two men they believe responsible for a robbery in the Houston area. The charges against them may be quite serious. As such, each of the accused has the right to employ a criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect their best interests.

According to a local news report, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, three men were spotted in an SUV that had been stolen earlier that same day. Officers attempted a traffic stop, but the driver allegedly failed to comply. This led to a car chase and crash in the area of W. Airport and Chimney Rock. After crashing the SUV, the suspects tried to flee on foot. Officers apprehended two of the men; the third individual remains at large.

What is the deal with bail and bonds in Texas?

In the news, you often read about those arrested for alleged crimes leaving police custody after "posting bail" or "posting a bond." What exactly does that mean? How do they get the money? What is the deal with bail and bonds in the state of Texas?

If arrested, bail or bond is money paid in order to secure your release from jail until the completion of your criminal proceedings. This is money obtained after your booking, so some jail time is likely to occur initially. In some cases, a judge may not allow bail or bond at all -- it depends on the crime and a number of other factors.

Texas drug crimes: Possession facts

Texas residents, or even visitors to the state, who are charged with drug possession may find themselves in tough legal spots. While many believe this is the least serious of all all drug crimes, it does not mean it is something that the state treats lightly. This week this column will address the ins and outs of possession.

What constitutes drug possession? By definition, possession is intentionally and knowingly possessing a controlled substance -- whether it is a street drug or a prescription medication without a prescription. The intent or knowledge is what prosecutors have to prove in order to achieve a conviction in criminal court.

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

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