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Texas State Jails or Prisons: Know Where You’ll Go

Texas State Jails or Prisons: Know Where You’ll Go

The three main types of correctional facilities in Texas include county jails, state jails and prisons. You’ll often hear people using the terms jail and prison interchangeable, but, in fact, they are quite different. In Texas, correctional facilities differ in the type of offenders they house. County jails house most misdemeanor offenders, but we’ll focus on state jails and prisons in this post.   Texas State Jails and Texas Prisons   Texas state jails and prisons both house felony offenders. But those facing Texas felony charges might not know where they will go if convicted and sentenced to incarceration. Likewise, they may not know...

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Pressing Charges in Texas: Does the Victim’s Voice Count?

Pressing Charges in Texas: Does the Victim’s Voice Count?

Who Files Family Violence Charges?   In domestic violence cases—also called family violence in Texas—it is not uncommon for the victim to call law enforcement to report the incident. Usually, they think a police officer will come, talk to their partner and help him or her cool down. What they infrequently realize, however, is that once law enforcement arrives on the scene, the series of events that follow are entirely out of their hands.   In Texas, crime victims do not formally “press charges” against the other person. In criminal cases, it is the State, specifically the district attorney’s office that files charges against...

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Explanation or Confession? Think Twice Before You Talk

Explanation or Confession? Think Twice Before You Talk

Telling Your Side of the Story   When dealing with law enforcement, many people don’t know what to do or how to act. Consequently, saying or doing the wrong thing happens all too frequently. One of the most common examples of this happening is when a person provides law enforcement with an “explanation” of what happened. While done in an attempt to avoid an arrest, it usually results in a trip down to the station. It never ceases to surprise us how often people think they can convince law enforcement they are innocent using nothing but a carefully (or, rather, not so...

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Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication in Texas

Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication in Texas

Many first-time offenders are offered deferred adjudication in Texas. Without thoroughly understanding the pros and cons of deferred adjudication, most readily—albeit hastily—accept the offer. Deferred adjudication may help you to avoid a conviction, but you should consider at what cost.   Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication   With deferred adjudication, the judge suspends the conviction and places the defendant on community supervision (i.e. probation). If the defendant successfully completes the term of supervision, the court will not convict him or her. But a conviction is merely a finding of guilt. Records of the original proceedings will still appear on the defendant’s criminal...

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Assault vs. Aggravated Assault: The Difference and Why It Matters

Assault vs. Aggravated Assault: The Difference and Why It Matters

Assault is a common criminal charge in Texas but one that few people understand. Texas has a variety of assault charges categorized by numerous factors, including the facts and circumstances of the offense. Many people are familiar with the term “aggravated assault” but might not know how it’s distinguished from assault. To illustrate the primary differences, let’s take a look at how Texas defines these two offenses.   Defining Assault and Aggravated Assault   Texas defines assault as:   Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, or Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact...

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Boating While Intoxicated: Staying Out of Trouble on Texas Waters

Boating While Intoxicated: Staying Out of Trouble on Texas Waters

Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is dangerous, be it a car, truck or boat. Many Texans enjoy the numerous lakes of the lone star State when summer rolls around. But those who do so can put others at serious risk. Alcohol is involved in half of all boating accidents, some of which are fatal. Consequently, those operating a watercraft while intoxicated can face charges of BWI, or boating while intoxicated. Read on to learn more about BWI charges in Texas and what you should do if you are arrested.   How Does BWI Differ from DWI?   Much like DWIs, BWIs are serious...

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Call 911 in a Domestic Dispute? Here’s Why an Arrest Is Likely

Call 911 in a Domestic Dispute? Here’s Why an Arrest Is Likely

Responding to Domestic Disputes   When responding to reports of domestic disputes (i.e. family violence), law enforcement officers must proceed with caution to protect themselves and the alleged victim. Officers are trained in responding to reports of family violence and know how to secure the safety of the scene. An officer will be mainly concerned with protecting the victim, apprehending the aggressor and collecting information to build the case. The officer will typically arrest someone to accomplish all three of these objectives.   Automatic Arrests?   In the vast majority of domestic dispute responses, one party to the conflict will be arrested. Arresting someone ensures that...

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Facing Drug Possession Penalties in Texas? Follow These First Steps

Facing Drug Possession Penalties in Texas? Follow These First Steps

Drug possession penalties in Texas are severe. One misstep can leave you facing years of incarceration and insurmountable fines. Factors such as the type of drug and the quantity you possessed can mean the difference between a few years behind bars or life. Thus, if you are facing drug possession charges of any kind in Texas, here are some essential first steps you should take. Connect With an Attorney No one facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in Texas should do so without a criminal defense attorney. The potential consequences are too great. You should work with a legal professional...

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Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges

Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges

What Is the Texas Zero Tolerance Policy?   The Texas zero tolerance policy for minors driving under the influence is strict. A minor caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her blood can face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA). Unfortunately, this is the fate of many Texas minors, defined as those less than 21 years of age, who make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after drinking. If you find yourself making the same error, here are five tips that can make or break your case.   Think Before You Speak Minors and adults alike have...

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Texas Nondisclosure Eligibility Requirements

Texas Nondisclosure Eligibility Requirements

Getting the Fresh Start You Deserve   An Order of Nondisclosure prevents certain public agencies, such as the court or police department, from disclosing certain records of your criminal history. Nondisclosures can give those with criminal records a fresh start. But Texas maintains a strict set of nondisclosure eligibility requirements. To complicate matters further, those requirements have recently changed. That said, it’s always best to discuss your case in detail with an experienced criminal defense attorney, but let’s start by going over some basic information about Texas nondisclosures.   Texas Nondisclosures   In Texas, you can petition for a nondisclosure of a specific criminal offense. Please...

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