Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer


What Am I Facing If Charged With A Sex Crime?

Sex Crimes | Sexual Assault

Texas is known for its tough stance regarding sex crimes. Unlike in other states a person accused of a sex crime such as sexual assault or criminal solicitation of a minor in Texas often is highly likely to face several years in prison as well as long term registration as a sexual offender. Penalties of sex crimes are usually severe and consequences often cause irreparable damage to the offender”s reputation.

Sexual crimes in the Texas Penal Code include:

a) Sexual assault.  In Texas this refers to any sex crime that is committed to an individual who is considered a minor (under 17 years) as well as sex crimes committed against an adult without their consent. Sexual assault includes crimes such as rape and statutory rape.

b) Aggravated sexual assault. This category refers to a more serious crime than sexual assault; aggravated sexual assault usually involves minors under the age of 14.

c) Indecency with a child. Charges under this category are quite severe especially when they involve victims under the age of 17.Indecency with a child is divided into two specific crimes: Indecency with a child by exposure which is exposing without touching and indecency with a child by contact which involves touching. Both charges apply as long as a child younger than 17 years is involved and they include same or opposite sex. Both of these charges are felonies; however indecency with a child by contact is often regarded as more serious. In Texas touching under the clothes or over the clothes is irrelevant.

d) Child pornography. Child pornography charges often result in federal criminal trial although they may also result in state charges. Charges under this category include: Display, sale or distribution of harmful material to minor; Improper photography or visual recording and Sexual performance by a child.

In Texas sex offenders do not just simply serve their time, pay their debt to the society and move on with life like nothing happened. If you are convicted of a serious sex crime your name has to appear in the sex offender registration list together with your address and photo for the rest of your life. This means that you will face restrictions where you live and work .It may also mean that you can be held beyond the end of your sentence in civil commitment in certain circumstances. Sex offender registration requirements depend on the crime and can range from 10 years to life.

Convicts who are accused of sex offenses involving children are often perceived as a threat to society. This stigma follows them throughout their lives and often results in loss of reputation and friendships. At the same time sex offenders also face other consequences that apply to convicts of other crimes in Texas. These sanctions affect: The right to vote; Serving on a jury and Holding public office.

Sex offenders on parole are not allowed to be within 500 feet of any place where children are known to congregate; this is commonly referred to as a Child Safety Zone. Sex crime convicts who are placed on probation may be ordered by a judge to keep away from children.

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Texas Board Certified Sexual Assault Attorney call Madrid Law at 713-877-9400.

Houston Area Teenager Found Guilty of Murder

Murder

A 19 year old teenager has been found guilty of Murder by a Harris Count jury according to this story. The victim was a 17 year old female friend of the defendant. According to the prosecution the defendant killed the victim to keep her quiet about a drive by shooting. The prosecution presented evidence that the defendant, at the request of the victim, had shot at the victim’s ex-boyfriend’s house.

The defendant was set to enter the military. The defendant had heard that the victim was telling other people about the drive-by shooting. The defendant was concerned that the victim was jeopardizing his chance at getting into the military. According to the state, the defendant lured the victim to the woods by telling her that he had hidden some valuables and needed to dig them up. While beginning to dig, the defendant shot the victim in the back of the head, killing her.The state had a star witness who testified that he was present and saw the defendant commit the murder.

The punishment phase of trial will begin and conclude with the jury picking the defendant’s punishment. Murder is a First Degree Felony with a range of punishment of 5 to 99 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.

There is no possibility of a probation for a person convicted of Murder by a jury in Texas. The death penalty is not an option for murder. The punishment of death is only available for Capital Murder cases in Texas. One possible avenue to charge a defendant with Capital Murder under these facts would be to allege that the defendant committed the murder in the course of committing the felony of Retaliation. Texas Penal Code Section 19.03(2) provides Capital Murder occurs when the person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), or (6). Based on the facts of the case and their evaluation the Harris County District Attorney’s Office concluded that the proper charge should be Murder.

If you or someone you know is in need of Murder Attorney in Houston, call Houston Criminal Lawyer Mario Madrid at 73-877-9400.

Deadly Force Can Be Used to Protect Property Under Texas Law

Criminal Defense

You have probably heard of the law of self defense. That is using  force and possible deadly force if reasonable in the situation when the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.

Under Texas law, a person can lawfully use force to defend his property. In certain situations deadly force can also be used to protect property. Even in situations of criminal mischief, if committed at night, a person can use deadly force to protect his property.

The statute to for one’s Protection of Property is listed under Texas Penal Code Section 9.41 and states:

(a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

(b)  A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:

(1)  the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or

(2)  the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

The statute for Deadly Force for Protection of Property is listed under Texas Penal Code Section 9.42 and states:

A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

(1)  if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2)  when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A)  to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(B)  to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3)  he reasonably believes that:

(A)  the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B)  the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

 The law is fairly clear and straight forward. However sometimes people find themselves on the wrong side of the law and find themselves in need of a Criminal Lawyer in Houston. If you or someone you know is need of a Houston Criminal Attorney call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

Houston Area Couple Charged With Injury To A Child

Injury to A Child

A Seabrook couple have been charged with Injury to a Child according to this story. The couple is accused of beating their 11-year-old son with a leather belt and applying vinegar, salt and alcohol to his wounds. Injury to a Child is a felony and can be charged from a State Jail Felony to a 1st Degree Felony depending on the injury and the intent of the accused.

In this case the couple are accused of intentionally causing serious bodily injury which is a 1st Degree Felony. The story states that in addition to the injuries from the beatings, chemicals such as alcohol, salt or vinegar were applied to the injuries almost on a daily basis, and this caused the victim to suffer great pain and disfigurement including severe burn injuries.

If you or someone you  know is in need of a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

Texas Evading Arrest Can Be A Misdemeanor Or Felony

Criminal Defense

In Texas Evading Arrest can be either a Third Degree Felony, a State Jail Felony or a Class A Misdemeanor. The determining factors include how the accused is charged with evading and if the accused has prior convictions for Evading Arrest.

A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him. This is often done on foot. For example, a policeman attempts to detain a suspect walking away from the scene a burglary of a habitation. The suspect runs and the policeman chases and catches the suspect. If t has not prior convictions of Evading Arrest he would be charged with the Class A Misdemeanor of Evading Arrest. If the suspect has a prior conviction of Evading Arrest, the present Evading Arrest will be a State Jail Felony.

In another scenario, if a policeman attempts to pull over a suspect for speeding and the suspect flees (the suspect may have a warrant or drugs in the car and panics and flees) the charge would then be a State Jail Felony of Evading Arrest. If the suspect had a prior conviction of Evading Arrest then the suspect would be facing a Third Degree Felony.

If someone suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight the charge is then a Third Degree Felony of Evading Arrest. If someone dies as  a result of the Evading Arrest the charge is a Second Degree Felony.

Evading Arrest is found in the Penal Code Section 38.04 and reads as follows:

Sec. 38.04.  EVADING ARREST OR DETENTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is:

(1)  a state jail felony if:

(A)  the actor has been previously convicted under this section; or

(B)  the actor uses a vehicle while the actor is in flight and the actor has not been previously convicted under this section;

(2)  a felony of the third degree if:

(A)  the actor uses a vehicle while the actor is in flight and the actor has been previously convicted under this section; or

(B)  another suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight; or

(3)  a felony of the second degree if another suffers death as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight.

(c)  In this section, “vehicle” has the meaning assigned by Section 541.201, Transportation Code.

(d)  A person who is subject to prosecution under both this section and another law may be prosecuted under either or both this section and the other law.

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

Mother Charged With Injury To Child In Death of Daughter

Injury to A Child

According to the Houston Chronicle a 19 year old woman, Emma Cardona, was charged with Injury to a Child in the death of her 2 year old daughter.  The toddler suffered a large brain hemorrhage and bruises all over her body, including a large contusion on her forehead, according to a criminal complaint filed in Harris County District Court on Friday.

The child’s cause of death was blunt force head trauma, records show.

Injury to a Child is a Felony Offense. The charge can be one of four different levels of felony offense, from State Jail Felony to a First Degree Felony depending on the intent of the defendant and the injury sustained by the victim. In the present case the defendant was charged with First Degree Injury to a Child for intentionally causing serious bodily injury.

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Houston criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending an Injury to a Child case, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

0