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Criminal Law Blog

Diversion Programs in Texas

In Texas, both the state and federal systems of criminal justice offer opportunities for individuals to be “diverted” from the standard route of conviction, sentencing, and imprisonment into any one of a number of alternatives.  Collectively, these are called “diversion programs.” They are voluntary: the state cannot force anyone to participate in them. What is…


Texas Continuous Violence Against the Family:  TPC §25.11

On September 1, 2019, prosecutors in the State of Texas were given greater power to charge and convict individuals based upon allegations of domestic violence when HB1661 became law.  In the House Committee Report, lawmakers explained the purpose of the new legislation as follows: “It has been noted that prosecutors are unable to pursue charges…


Parental Kidnapping in Texas: When Taking Your Child is a Felony

Back in 1996, our Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex was the first place in the country to use a widespread broadcasting alert to help find missing children in a system that has come to be known around the world as the “AMBER Alert System.”  Today, phone notifications, flashing highway signs, and breaking news stories share information about…


Child Sex Trafficking Arrest in Texas: Criminal Defense Overview

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) defines Child Sex Trafficking as “… a form of child abuse that occurs when a child under 18 is advertised, solicited or exploited through a commercial sex act.  A commercial sex act is any sex act where something of value – such as money, drugs or a place to stay…


Intoxication Manslaughter:  Texas Penal Code §49.08

It is undisputed that intoxicated drivers can be dangerous and deadly hazards behind the wheel.  In fact, Drunk While Intoxicated (“DWI”) accidents are reported to be the cause of someone dying every nine (9) hours and six (6) minutes in the Lone Star State, according to August 2021 statistics provided by  the Texas Department of…


Manslaughter: When Killing Someone Does Not Mean Murder – Texas Penal Code §19.04

Tragedies happen every day here in Texas, where someone dies because of the actions or failures to act of another person.  Sometimes, these deaths are criminally culpable and sometimes they are not.  It is when someone dies because of another person’s intentional, knowing, or reckless action or as a result of their criminal negligence that…


Indecency with a Child Arrest in Texas 

In Texas, it is possible for the testimony of a minor to result in the conviction of an adult for a felony sex crime involving child sex abuse.  This can come with extended prison time as well as the serious social stigma for the accused (and his loved ones) that comes with being labelled as…


When Dating Leads to Arrest in Texas:  Dating Violence Under Texas Family Code §71.0021

In Texas, romance that erupts into physical violence between two people who are married or live together is considered domestic violence that can form the basis of some serious criminal assault charges.  For more, read our earlier discussions in: Family Violence in Texas: Crimes based upon Domestic Violence – It’s More Than a Fight That…


Plea Bargaining and Making Deals in Federal Felony Cases: Criminal Defense Overview

In both Texas prosecutions and federal criminal matters, many – if not most – arrests do not end up as a criminal conviction with formal sentencing after a full trial before a judge or jury, but instead are resolved out of the courtroom in what is called “plea bargaining.”  This involves attorneys representing both the…


Felony Charges under Texas and Federal Law: Criminal Defense Overview

No action, or failure to act, is a crime for which someone can be arrested in Texas unless the government has defined it to be an illegal act.  This is the freedom at the core of our constitutional rights.  Crimes have to be defined by either state or federal law.  If the crime isn’t on…