Criminal Law - Practice area
Criminal Law

DWI, Drugs, Assault, Probation Revocation, Sexual Offenses, Theft, Juvenile Defense. Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses in State and Federal Court

DUI - Practice area
DWI

Driving While Intoxicated, DWI and Your Drivers License Forney, Texas DWI Defense Lawyer.

Juvenile Law - Practice area
Juvenile Law

Sexual Offenses, Drug Offenses, Assault and Violent Crimes, Theft, Truancy/School Related Criminal Charges.

In a recent murder case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant unsuccessfully argued on appeal that the trial court erred in denying his motions to suppress, a portion of the State’s DNA evidence linking him to the murder, and custodial statements made to law enforcement. In 2019, the defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment after entering an open plea of guilty of capital murder. On appeal, the court overruled the defendant’s challenges and affirmed the trial court decisions.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was arrested in 2019 for a murder committed in 1974 after the cold case was reopened. While the defendant was a suspect in the initial investigation, he was released after being given a polygraph test. After the case was reopened in 2019, various items from the crime scene were sent for testing at the Serological Research Institute (SERI) for DNA testing. When no matching profiles were found in the FBI database, the DNA profile was sent to a laboratory in Houston for forensic-grade genomic sequencing (FGGS). The FGGS test resulted in a match with the defendant’s profile.

Following the match, detectives conducted a trash run on the defendant’s home, collecting five bags of discarded trash to test for the defendant’s DNA. The DNA collected from the trash of the defendant matched the DNA profile produced by the FGGS DNA profile of items from the crime scene. The defendant was arrested and he admitted to detectives that he committed the murder, revealing the location of the murder weapon in the process.

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Criminal, statutes in Texas and nationwide have long included specific provisions to address domestic violence offenses. Early statutes were only able to protect spouses from the alleged abuse, but the laws have developed in a way that now includes cohabitating parents, and even dating partners who do not live together and share no children. The recent expansion of the definition of domestic violence under federal law to include “dating violence” may affect the civil rights of Texans who have been accused of domestic violence offenses. More specifically, a conviction may mean that you are prevented from legally owning a gun, despite your Second Amendment rights.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. The Constitution protects the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. Although many challenges to the Second Amendment have failed over the years, the U.S. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government can restrict people who have been convicted of a domestic violence offense from owning firearms. Congress passed such a law in 1968, and it has been used to keep firearms out of the hands of those who have committed domestic violence. Over the years, courts have upheld this restriction on gun ownership, finding that it is a reasonable interpretation of the Second Amendment.

As the definition of domestic violence has expanded under both Texas and Federal law, the application of the federal law restricting gun ownership has become broader. Cases that in the past would not have qualified for a firearm restriction are now serving as the basis of a restriction. The federal law that restricts gun ownership is applied automatically to any person convicted of a state-level domestic violence offense or who is subject to a domestic violence-related protective order.

The severity of charges that are brought for the crime of assault depends on many factors. If a weapon is used in an assault, the type of weapon used can aggravate simple assault charges, possibly resulting in a serious felony conviction and significant jail time for an offender. The Texas Court of Appeals recently released a decision in which they affirmed the defendant’s conviction and subsequent sentence for aggravated assault for an attack involving a pair of children’s scissors.

According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the defendant was a long-term romantic partner of the victim and allegedly attacked her with scissors during an argument, cutting her on the arm and causing her to seek medical attention. Based on the injuries sustained in the fight, as well as threats and other abuse mentioned by the victim, the defendant was charged with aggravated assault. The charge was aggravated based on the relationship between the defendant and the victim, as well as the use of a deadly weapon, namely, the scissors.

The victim did not testify at trial, and the defense argued that the children’s scissors could not be considered a deadly weapon to aggravate the charges against him. The prosecution called witnesses who testified that the scissors could cause serious bodily injury if used with significant strength. It was up to the jury to decide if the scissors were to be considered a deadly weapon. Additionally, the prosecution admitted statements by the victim that the defendant repeatedly threatened to seriously hurt her if she ever reported the abuse to authorities. The jury found the defendant guilty of the aggravated assault charge, and he was sentenced to 40 years in Texas State Prison.

In a recent murder case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant unsuccessfully argued on appeal for the suppression of statements to police officers. Originally, the defendant was charged with and convicted of capital murder based on an incident from 2017. On appeal, the court ruled that the defendant’s rights had not been violated and that his original convictions should be affirmed.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was arrested after he was allegedly involved in a 2017 murder. In a statement to police officers immediately following the arrest, the defendant admitted to conspiring with three other individuals to rob the murder victim. He also admitted that eventually, the situation worsened and the group ended up shooting the victim and discarding him in a nearby river.

The defendant was charged with capital murder. In 2019, he filed a motion to suppress, and he asserted that the incriminating statements to law enforcement should not be entered into evidence. The trial court overruled the defendant’s motion to suppress. He was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. The defendant promptly appealed.

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In a recent firearm case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant appealed his conviction, arguing that the officer that found a firearm in his car did not have the right to pull him over in the first place. Because the officer illegally conducted the traffic stop, argued the defendant, the evidence found as a result of the traffic stop should have been suppressed. The court of appeals disagreed with the defendant, affirming the original conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was driving one evening when an officer pulled him over at a major intersection. The officer informed the defendant that he made a wide right turn, swerving into an adjacent lane as a result of the turn. As the officer spoke to the defendant, he noticed the smell of marijuana and decided to conduct a search of the vehicle.

Upon looking inside the car, the officer found a firearm in the glove box. The officer gave the defendant Miranda warnings, and the defendant admitted that he knew he had the firearm in his glove box. The defendant explained to the officer that he was holding the firearm for a friend temporarily. The defendant was charged and convicted of possession of a firearm.

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Abortion has always been a hot-button political issue in Texas, where state legislators have taken great efforts to restrict or outlaw most abortions whenever possible. The United States Supreme Court issued a legal decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson in June of 2022. This ruling reversed the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed women the right to terminate a pregnancy during the first four months of the pregnancy. With this new decision on the books, the ability for women to have a safe, legal abortion in Texas is at risk

The Texas legislature has already passed what is known as a “trigger law,” which is designed to go into effect to outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Under the law, which is set to go into effect before August 1, 2022, anyone performing or assisting with abortion would be guilty of a felony punishable by prison time. Texas news organizations have reported that abortions have come to a halt in Texas already, with doctors fearing criminal liability for performing abortions even before the trigger law goes into effect.

Although the advocates for the trigger law argued that it was not designed to punish women seeking an abortion, and only doctors performing one, the language of the law could be amended to allow women to be prosecuted for assisting in their own abortion. Although nobody has been charged under this law yet, once it goes into full effect, many Texas healthcare providers may be at risk of criminal liability.

In a recent case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant lost when appealing his convictions for sexually assaulting a child. On appeal, the defendant argued that the victim’s testimony was not enough for a jury to conclude that he was guilty of the assault. The court, however, found the testimony to be both sufficient and credible. Disagreeing with the defendant, the court ultimately denied the appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant began sexually assaulting his stepdaughter when she was twelve years old. At that time, the defendant would regularly find opportunities to be alone with the victim and would subject her to some sort of sexual activity. The child did not question the activity but instead went along with whatever the defendant suggested that they do.

A few years later, the defendant’s sexual abuse had not stopped, and he continued to subject the victim to assault every few weeks. When the victim was a teenager, the defendant divorced the child’s mother. When the victim turned 18 years old, she and the defendant got married, and at that point, the victim began to realize that the relationship between the two individuals was not normal. She went to the police with allegations of sexual assault, and the defendant was charged accordingly.

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In a recent case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant appealed his conviction for possession of child pornography. On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court made a mistake when it denied his motion to suppress incriminating evidence found on his cell phone. According to the defendant, the police officers’ search of his phone was an unconstitutional invasion of his privacy, and the evidence should not have been allowed to come into his trial. The court reviewed the facts of the case and ultimately disagreed with the defendant, denying his appeal in the process.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a police officer that had previously interacted with the defendant in this case secured a search warrant for the defendant’s cell phone in July 2016. The officer had been undercover in a chat room when the defendant sent a message saying that he had cocaine to sell and that he was looking for a buyer. The defendant also wrote that if any of his buyers tried to call the police on him, he would shoot them in retaliation.

The officer carried out a drug-buy bust of the defendant, securing the defendant’s phone in the process. The officer then requested a warrant through the court system, explaining that he thought the phone could provide evidence of additional criminal activity. The officer’s warrant was granted, and upon a search of the phone, the officer found child pornography. The officer then requested a second warrant to specifically investigate evidence of the pornography on the phone. Once that second search warrant was executed, police confirmed their suspicions and the defendant was charged accordingly.

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In a recent drug case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant appealed his conviction of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. In the defendant’s argument, he emphasized the fact that when a local police officer stopped him on the road one evening, the officer prolonged the traffic stop unnecessarily. Thus, the trial court should have suppressed the incriminating evidence that the officer found during the stop. The higher court reviewed the law around searches and seizures but ultimately disagreed with the defendant, denying his appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was driving on the highway when a patrolling officer stopped him for not having a front license plate. The officer conducted a regular traffic stop, asking for the defendant’s driver’s license as well as his insurance information. Instead of a license, the defendant pulled out a Texas ID card and said that his license was “buried under tickets” somewhere in the car.

The defendant admitted a few minutes later that he did not actually have a driver’s license. Over the course of the defendant’s conversation with the officer, he provided jumbled responses when the officer inquired as to where the defendant was coming from and where he was headed. When the officer asked about the defendant’s previous arrests, the defendant mentioned one assault charge; however, upon conducting a computer check, the officer discovered that the defendant had other charges on his record for drug possession.

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In a recent DWI case coming out of a Texas court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed her conviction of driving while intoxicated. Originally, the defendant had been found guilty after a police officer stopped her based on a traffic violation. On appeal, the defendant argued that the officer did not actually have reason to conduct the initial traffic stop, and thus the evidence of her intoxication should have been suppressed. The court, considering the circumstances of the stop, disagreed with the defendant and denied her appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was driving one evening when she passed through a “no through traffic” sign at the edge of a construction zone. A police officer began following her through the construction zone and pulled her over once she had driven from one end of the zone to the other end.

As the officer spoke with the defendant, he smelled alcohol and observed behavior in the defendant that appeared to indicate she was intoxicated. The officer asked the defendant to complete several field sobriety tests, which served as further confirmation that the defendant was intoxicated. The defendant’s blood was drawn pursuant to a search warrant, and her blood alcohol content was .14.

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