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Drunk driving punishment intensifies with the circumstances

The DWI laws in Texas, like the laws of other states, provide progressively tougher penalties as the seriousness of the circumstances increase. Thus, for example, those with one or more prior drunk driving convictions on their record will receive progressively increasing sentences, including possible time in jail. Getting in an accident and causing damage to property will generally increase the punishment.

Rent-to-own contracts backfire as renters face felony charges

Consumers who rent furniture and other items in Texas may find themselves unwittingly facing criminal charges if they fail to pay the rental payments. In some cases, this has resulted in gross abuses of the criminal process by arresting consumers on felony theft of services charges, even though they have already paid thousands in rental payments for furniture that is relatively worthless. One woman who rented a bedroom suite worth $2,750 in 2014 thought that the paperwork that she signed gave her ownership rights in the furniture after she paid $3,000.

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips arrested for DWI in Texas town

Some drunk driving arrests in Texas can be marked by unusually belligerent reactions by the suspect. That is why law enforcement officers sometimes include a count for resisting arrest or for some other behavioral violation, such as disorderly conduct. Most arrests for DWI, however, go relatively smoothly and without resistance by the suspect.

Man accused of felony theft of $1.2 million worth of fajitas

Fajitas are a popular food in Texas, but it is hard to imagine a state worker trying to steal $1.2 million worth of them from Cameron County over a multi-year period. Authorities recently fired a juvenile justice department employee and accused him of stealing all those fajitas and getting away with it for nine years. The police have arrested the man for felony theft after getting a search warrant and finding packages of the food contraband in his refrigerator.

Dead woman's ex-husband facing felony charge of murder

The arrival of Hurricane Harvey in Texas was associated with a few criminal charges that seemed eerily tied to the massive storm's wind and rain-making violence. In one case, a woman disappeared on the day that Harvey hit the mainland, and she did not reappear until her corpse was found two weeks later in a marshy woodland in Baytown. Authorities have charged her ex-husband with the felony of killing her, allegedly in a rage of domestic violence initiated by his need to control his ex-wife.  

Court may order expunction of felony or misdemeanor charges

Texas law allows for several instances in which criminal charges may be wiped and expunged from a person's record. Generally, felony or misdemeanor records can be excised where the charges did not result in conviction. The procedure to obtain relief involves the filing of a petition for expunction of criminal records. In some states, a petition for expungement is the preferred terminology.

Rookie running back accused of gun charge, marijuana possession

Cases against sports figures regarding drug usage have become rather commonplace in Texas and nationwide. A recent incident at a state university involved the arrest of D'Onta Foreman, a highly touted rookie running back for the Houston Texans. University police charged him with marijuana possession and the unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Drug charges for possession may qualify for deferred sentence

Texas residents have traditionally faced steep criminal penalties for state or federal violations of the controlled substances laws. Extended jail sentences for drug sales, and sometimes for mere possession, have been structured into the criminal justice protocol for decades since the inception of the war on drugs. Mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug charges have been harshly applied and utilized to bring about the mass incarceration of minority members.

Adult age of 18 still allows transfer for violent offenses

Texas is one of the few states that requires a 17-year-old person to be tried as an adult in the state's criminal justice system. Most states designate 18 as the age of adulthood for purposes of prosecution in the adult court. Of course, young people under 18 are always subject to being prosecuted as an adult if they are charged with violent offenses, such as murder.

Police: Man who saved his fiancee gets felony charge

Sometimes a defendant may be arrested for what appears to be an outlandish reason. When that happens, the defendant may have a strong defense to assert, especially if the dispute is taken to a jury trial for determination. In a recent incident in Montgomery County, Texas, for example, Sheriff's deputies arrested a man on felony gun charges because he shot at two masked men who were attacking and kidnapping his fiancée.

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