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Invasive Visual Recording

What is Invasive Visual Recording?

A person without the other person’s consent invades the privacy of the other person by photographing or by videotaping or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of an intimate area of another person if the other person has a reasonable expectation that the intimate area is not in the public view. Or a person photographs, videotapes or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room. Or a person promotes a private photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission described above. The penal code statute is Sec. 21.15. INVASIVE VISUAL RECORDING.

Attorney Eric Torberson

What are some Invasive Visual Recording Definitions?

“Female breast” specifically means any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola. And the “Intimate area” means the naked or clothed genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female breast of a person. Where also the term “Changing room” means a room or portioned area provided for or primarily used for the changing of clothing and includes dressing rooms, locker rooms, and swimwear changing areas. To “Promote” means to manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise, or to offer or agree to any of the above.

What is the criminal penalty for Invasive Visual Recording?

The penalty for this offense is a state jail felony. It is punished by 6 month to 24 months in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine. A probation punishment can be from 2 years to 5 years probation and up to a $10,000 fine. This can be enhanced to a 3rd degree felony if committed with a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or (B) anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. The punishment for a 3rd degree felony is 2 to 10 years prison and up to a $10,000 fine. For probation the range is 2 to 10 years probation and up to a $10,000 fine. 

Criminal Defense Attorney for Invasive Visual Recording charges

Attorney Eric Torberson defends people accused of charges. Call or fill in the contact form on this page or on any of pages on the website https://www.erictorberson.com. With offices in Georgetown and Austin Eric handle cases all over central Texas including counties Williamson, Travis, Milam, Bastrop, Lee, Bell, Hays, Caldwell, Blanco, Lee, and Burnet County. 

Texas Video Recording Laws

It is legal to video record in public places.  More to come. 

Jail Release and Criminal Process

What is Jail Release?

The jailing process begins with either a warrant or an on site arrest. A warrant is the result of a criminal charge from some previous time. An on site arrest is the result of on officer observing criminal behavior presently. Once taken to jail, a bond will need to be put in place in order to obtain a jail release. With a warrant, there is a good chance that a bond has already been put in place. For on site arrests most Texas county’s inmates will need to wait until morning when the magistrate judge has court. 

What is an Arrest Warrant?

A warrant is issued usually after some sort of investigation resulting in a judge signing an arrest warrant. The arrest warrant sits around until it gets served on a person. This can take place by the police coming to search for the person, or the person is stopped for a traffic violation at which point a person is placed under arrest and taken to jail.  

What is a Waiver of Magistrate?

In county jails such as the Williamson County Jail, most people arrested on site for an offense will need to wait until the next morning to be magistrated and given a bond amount. For the inmates who have a bond set earlier, they can use an attorney to do a Waiver of Magistration. This signed form waives magistration and sets a bond amount earlier. See image below.

Waiver of Magistrate

How Much is Bail?

Bail increases with relation to the degree of crime committed. It is higher in a situation where a risk of fleeing might be present. A flight risk to avoid facing charges in criminal court can make bond restrictions complicated. Bondman usually charge 10% of what the bond is to become a surety. If cash is paid for the whole bond amount, then a bondsman will not be necessary. The cash bond paid to the jail will be returned upon the completion of the criminal case. 

What is Bail Jumping?

Penal Ch. Sect. 38.10 Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear

A person lawfully released from custody with or without bail on condition that he subsequently appear intentionally or knowingly fails to appear in accordance with the terms of his release.

Punishment for Bail Jumping is a 3d degree felony if the offence for which the actor’s appearance was required is classified as a felony. Class A misdemeanor if the appearance was for a Class A or B misdemeanor. It is a Class C misdemeanor if appearance was for a fine only offense. 

What is a Personal Bond?

According to the Travis County Sheriff’s website, “in the Travis County Jail for instance, there are personal bonds often. A Personal Bond is a sworn agreement by the defendant that he/she will return to court as ordered and will comply with the conditions placed on his/her release. No money is required at the time of release.”

The site further states, “To post a personal bond, individual defendants cannot post a personal bond themselves. Only Pretrial Services or an attorney may submit a request for release on personal bond to a judge. Only a judge can approve release on a personal bond.” As an Austin criminal attorney who handles cases in Travis County as well as that I am a Williamson County Criminal Lawyer.  You can reach me at https://erictorberson.com

Is Forging a Prescription a Felony?

Yes, it is a felony in most cases. Felony charges will in include schedule 1 through 4 levels. Unless the controlled substance is a schedule 5. Then the prescription fraud is a Class A misdemeanor. 

Changing a Prescription

This is illegal act is common in most criminal cases when a person attempting to obtain the drugs is the person accused. This takes place by possibly changing the prescription somehow to dishonestly obtain prescription medication. An altered prescription is illegal and is described as a crime under Sec. 481.129 (a-1) Obtains or attempts to obtain from practitioner by fraud

How Severely is Prescription Tampering Defined?

There are 3 levels of crimes for prescription tampering. Schedule 1 and 2 are measured as a 2d degree penalty. Schedule 3 and 4 are defined as a 3d degree penalty. Schedule 5 is a Class A misdemeanor.  The 3 levels of crime are listed in Penal Code Chapter 12 Punishments

What is a Forged Prescription Penalty?

The schedule 1 and 2 that are 2d degree felonies can carry up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 fine. The schedule 3 and 4 that are 3d degree punishments can be up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 fine. The schedule 5 is class A misdemeanor and up to 1 year in county jail and up to a $4,000 fine.  

Crime Levels and Punishment For Forging Prescriptions

Sec. 481.129. OFFENSE: FRAUD

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:(1) distributes as a registrant or dispenser a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, unless the person distributes the controlled substance as authorized under the federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.);(2) uses in the course of manufacturing, prescribing, or distributing a controlled substance a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration number that is fictitious, revoked, suspended, or issued to another person;(3) issues a prescription bearing a forged or fictitious signature;(4) uses a prescription issued to another person to prescribe a Schedule II controlled substance;(5) possesses, obtains, or attempts to possess or obtain a controlled substance or an increased quantity of a controlled substance: (A) by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge; (B) through use of a fraudulent prescription form; or (C) through use of a fraudulent oral or telephonically communicated prescription; or (6) furnishes false or fraudulent material information in or omits material information from an application, report, record, or other document required to be kept or filed under this chapter. (a-1) A person commits an offense if the person, with intent to obtain a controlled substance or combination of controlled substances that is not medically necessary for the person or an amount of a controlled substance or substances that is not medically necessary for the person, obtains or attempts to obtain from a practitioner a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, subterfuge, or concealment of a material fact.

For purposes of this subsection, a material fact includes whether the person has an existing prescription for a controlled substance issued for the same period of time by another practitioner. (b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally:(1) makes, distributes, or possesses a punch, die, plate, stone, or other thing designed to print, imprint, or reproduce an actual or simulated trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or device of another on a controlled substance or the container or label of a container for a controlled substance, so as to make the controlled substance a counterfeit substance; or (2) manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver a counterfeit substance. (c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally: (1) delivers a prescription or a prescription form for other than a valid medical purpose in the course of professional practice; or (2) possesses a prescription for a controlled substance or a prescription form unless the prescription or prescription form is possessed:(A) during the manufacturing or distribution process; (B) by a practitioner, practitioner’s agent, or an institutional practitioner for a valid medical purpose during the course of professional practice; (C) by a pharmacist or agent of a pharmacy during the professional practice of pharmacy; (D) under a practitioner’s order made by the practitioner for a valid medical purpose in the course of professional practice; or (E) by an officer or investigator authorized to enforce this chapter within the scope of the officer’s or investigator’s official duties.(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is:(1) a felony of the second degree if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule I or II;(2) a felony of the third degree if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule III or IV; and (3) a Class A misdemeanor if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule V.(d-1) An offense under Subsection (a-1) is:(1) a felony of the second degree if any controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule I or II;(2) a felony of the third degree if any controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule III or IV; and(3) a Class A misdemeanor if any controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule V.(e) An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor. (f) An offense under Subsection (c)(1) is:(1) a felony of the second degree if the defendant delivers:(A) a prescription form; or(B) a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II; and(2) a felony of the third degree if the defendant delivers a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule III, IV, or V.(g) An offense under Subsection (c)(2) is:(1) a state jail felony if the defendant possesses:(A) a prescription form; or(B) a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II or III; and(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the defendant possesses a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule IV or V. Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1100, Sec. 5.02(p), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 2.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 745, Sec. 31, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 251, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by: Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1200 (S.B. 158), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1268 (S.B. 195), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2016.

The highlighted portion above focuses on the crime and punishment for the person trying to use the fraudulent transaction to obtain drugs according to the Texas Health and Safety Code, Texas Controlled Substances Act.  

Other Prescription Fraud Charges

Other forms of fraud listed in the statute above include the prescriber of the drugs to have commited a crime in one form or another to get drugs to a person. It happens but is less common than the fraud being committed by the person obtaining the prescription medication. 

Drug Schedules

The Department of State Health Services website has a list of scheduled drugs. Each schedule number of drugs get weaker with each number of 1 through 5. 

Contact Eric Torberson at https://www.erictorberson.com for more assistance. In the central Texas area Eric handles several counties with numerous satisfied clients. 

Texas Penal Code Criminal Trespass

What is Notice of Criminal Trespass Texas?

Notice is a very important consideration when proving someone is trespassing.  Notice of trespassing in Texas is defined as any one of the following-oral or written communication, fencing, signs, purple painted vertical lines, or crops. 

“Notice” means:

(A)  oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

(B)  fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;

(C)  a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden; 

(D)  the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks are:

(i)  vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width;

(ii)  placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground or more than five feet from the ground;  and

(iii)  placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than:

(a)  100 feet apart on forest land;  or

(b)  1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land;  or

(E)  the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested, or marketable if harvested at the time of entry.

Accused of Texas Criminal Trespass?  Contact me at https://www.erictorberson.com.

CHAPTER 30. BURGLARY AND CRIMINAL TRESPASS

Sec. 30.01.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:

(1)  “Habitation” means a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes:

(A)  each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle;  and

(B)  each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle.

(2)  “Building” means any enclosed structure intended for use or occupation as a habitation or for some purpose of trade,manufacture, ornament, or use.

(3)  “Vehicle” includes any device in, on, or by which any person or property is or may be propelled, moved, or drawn in the normal course of commerce or transportation, except such devices as are classified as “habitation.”

(4)  “Controlled substance” has the meaning assigned by Section 481.002, Health and Safety Code.

(5)  “Wholesale distributor of prescription drugs” means a wholesale distributor, as defined by Section 431.401, Health and Safety Code.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.  Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Amended by:

Acts2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 338 (H.B. 1178),Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 30.05.  CRIMINAL TRESPASS.  (a)  A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land,agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person:

(1)  had notice that the entry was forbidden; or

(2)  received notice to depart but failed to do so.

(b)  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “Entry” means the intrusion of the entire body.

(2)  “Notice” means:

(A)  oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

(B)  fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;

(C)  a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders,indicating that entry is forbidden; 

(D)  the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks are:

(i)  vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width;

(ii)  placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground or more than five feet from the ground;  and

(iii)  placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than:

(a)  100 feet apart on forest land;  or

(b)  1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land;  or

(E)  the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested,or marketable if harvested at the time of entry.

(3)  “Shelter center” has the meaning assigned by Section 51.002, Human Resources Code.

(4)  “Forest land” means land on which the trees are potentially valuable for timber products.

(5)  “Agricultural land” has the meaning assigned by Section 75.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(6)  “Superfund site” means a facility that:

(A)  is on the National Priorities List established under Section 105 of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Section 9605);  or

(B)  is listed on the state registry established under Section 361.181, Health and Safety Code.

(7)  “Critical infrastructure facility” means one of the following, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders:

(A)  a chemical manufacturing facility;

(B)  a refinery;

(C)  an electrical power generating facility, substation, switching station, electrical control center, or electrical transmission or distribution facility;

(D)  a water intake structure, water treatment facility, wastewater treatment plant, or pump station;

(E)  a natural gas transmission compressor station;

(F)  a liquid natural gas terminal or storage facility;

(G)  a telecommunications central switching office;

(H)  a port, railroad switching yard, trucking terminal, or other freight transportation facility;

(I)  a gas processing plant, including a plant used in the processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas; or

(J)  a transmission facility used by a federally licensed radio or television station.

(8)  “Protected freshwater area” has the meaning assigned by Section 90.001, Parks and Wildlife Code.

(9)  “Recognized state” means another state with which the attorney general of this state, with the approval of the governor of this state, negotiated an agreement after determining that the other state:

(A)  has firearm proficiency requirements for peace officers; and

(B)  fully recognizes the right of peace officers commissioned in this state to carry weapons in the other state.

(10)  “Recreational vehicle park” has the meaning assigned by Section 13.087, Water Code.

(11)  “Residential land” means real property improved by a dwelling and zoned for or otherwise authorized for single-family or multifamily use.

(12)  “Institution of higher education” has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

(d)  An offense under this section is:

(1)  a Class B misdemeanor, except as provided by Subdivisions (2) and (3);

(2)  a Class C misdemeanor, except as provided by Subdivision (3), if the offense is committed:

(A)  on agricultural land and within 100 feet of the boundary of the land; or

(B)  on residential land and within 100 feet of a protected freshwater area; and

(3)  a Class A misdemeanor if:

(A)  the offense is committed:

(i)  in a habitation or a shelter center;

(ii)  on a Superfund site; or

(iii)  on or in a critical infrastructure facility;

(B)  the offense is committed on or in property of an institution of higher education and it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted of:

(i)  an offense under this section relating to entering or remaining on or in property of an institution of higher education; or

(ii)  an offense under Section 51.204(b)(1), Education Code, relating to trespassing on the grounds of an institution of higher education; or

(C)  the person carries a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense.

(d-1)  For the purposes of Subsection (d)(3)(B), a person has previously been convicted of an offense described by that paragraph if the person was adjudged guilty of the offense or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in return for a grant of deferred adjudication community supervision, regardless of whether the sentence for the offense was ever imposed or whether the sentence was probated and the person was subsequently discharged from deferred adjudication community supervision.

(d-2)  Atthe punishment stage of a trial in which the attorney representing the state seeks the increase in punishment provided by Subsection (d)(3)(B), the defendant may raise the issue as to whether, at the time of the instant offense or the previous offense, the defendant was engaging in speech or expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 8, Article I, Texas Constitution.  If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the increase in punishment provided by Subsection (d)(3)(B) does not apply.

(e)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor at the time of the offense was:

(1)  a firefighter or emergency medical services personnel, as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code, acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty under exigent circumstances;

(2)  a person who was:

(A)  an employee or agent of:

(i)  an electric utility, as defined by Section 31.002, Utilities Code;

(ii)  a telecommunications provider, as defined by Section 51.002, Utilities Code;

(iii)  a video service provider or cable service provider, as defined by Section 66.002, Utilities Code;

(iv)  a gas utility, as defined by Section 101.003, Utilities Code, which for the purposes of this subsection includes a municipally owned utility as defined by that section;

(v)  a gas utility, as defined by Section 121.001, Utilities Code;

(vi)  a pipeline used for the transportation or sale of oil, gas, or related products; or

(vii)  an electric cooperative or municipally owned utility, as defined by Section 11.003, Utilities Code; and

(B)  performing a duty within the scope of that employment or agency; or

(3)  a person who was:

(A)  employed by or acting as agent for an entity that had, or that the person reasonably believed had, effective consent or authorization provided by law to enter the property; and

(B)  performing a duty within the scope of that employment or agency.

(f)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the basis on which entry on the property or land or in the building was forbidden is that entry with a handgun was forbidden; and

(2)  the person was carrying:

(A)  a license issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, to carry a handgun; and

(B)  a handgun:

(i)  in a concealed manner; or

(ii)  in a shoulder or belt holster.

(g)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor entered a railroad switching yard or any part of a railroad switching yard and was at that time an employee or a representative of employees exercising a right under the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. Section 151 et seq.).

(h)  Atthe punishment stage of a trial in which the attorney representing the state seeks the increase in punishment provided by Subsection (d)(3)(A)(iii), the defendant may raise the issue as to whether the defendant entered or remained on or in a critical infrastructure facility as part of a peaceful or lawful assembly, including an attempt to exercise rights guaranteed by state or federal labor laws.  If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the increase in punishment provided by Subsection (d)(3)(A)(iii) does not apply.

(i)  This section does not apply if:

(1)  the basis on which entry on the property or land or in the building was forbidden is that entry with a handgun or other weapon was forbidden; and

(2)  the actor at the time of the offense was a peace officer,including a commissioned peace officer of a recognized state, or a special investigator under Article 2.122, Code of Criminal Procedure, regardless of whether the peace officer or special investigator was engaged in the actual discharge of an official duty while carrying the weapon.

(j)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.  Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1114, ch. 530, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 27, 1979;  Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2385, ch. 596, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981;  Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 139, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;  Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 308, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991;  Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 24, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993;  Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994;  Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1229, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997;  Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 161, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;  Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;  Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 765, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;  Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 16.002, 21.001(94), eff. Sept. 1, 2001;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1078, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1178, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 14B.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1093 (H.B. 2110),Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1337 (S.B. 9),Sec. 20, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1337 (S.B. 9),Sec. 21, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921 (H.B. 3167),Sec. 17.001(61), eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921 (H.B. 3167),Sec. 17.002(13), eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 (H.B. 2609),Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 (H.B. 2609),Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 (H.B. 2609),Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 (H.B. 2609),Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (S.B. 1303),Sec. 20.001, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 564 (S.B. 701),Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 613 (S.B. 1268),Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1302 (H.B. 3142),Sec. 12, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910),Sec. 40, eff. January 1, 2016.

Acts2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 602 (S.B. 1649),Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 602 (S.B. 1649),Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

                            

Sec. 30.06.  TRESPASS BY LICENSE HOLDER WITH A CONCEALED HANDGUN.  (a)  A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:

(1)  carries a concealed handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent; and

(2)  received notice that entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed handgun was forbidden.

(b)  For purposes of this section, a person receives notice if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.

(c)  In this section:

(1)  “Entry” has the meaning assigned by Section 30.05(b).

(2)  “License holder” has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035(f).

(3)  “Written communication” means:

(A)  a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following:  “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun”; or

(B)  a sign posted on the property that:

(i)  includes the language described by Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;

(ii)  appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and

(iii)  is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.

(d)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that, after entering the property, the license holder was personally given the notice by oral communication described by Subsection(b) and subsequently failed to depart.

(e)  Itis an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035.

(f)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the license holder is volunteer emergency services personnel, as defined by Section 46.01.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1261, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 9.24, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1178, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910),Sec. 41, eff. January 1, 2016.

Acts2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910),Sec. 42, eff. January 1, 2016.

Acts2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910),Sec. 43, eff. January 1, 2016.

Acts2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1143 (H.B. 435),Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec.30.07.  TRESPASS BY LICENSE HOLDER WITH AN OPENLY CARRIED HANDGUN.  (a)  A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:

(1)  openly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent; and

(2)  received notice that entry on the property by a license holder openly carrying a handgun was forbidden.

(b)  For purposes of this section, a person receives notice if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.

(c)  In this section:

(1)  “Entry” has the meaning assigned by Section 30.05(b).

(2)  “License holder” has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035(f).

(3)  “Written communication” means:

(A)  a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following:  “Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly”; or

(B)  a sign posted on the property that:

(i)  includes the language described by Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;

(ii)  appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and

(iii)  is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.

(d)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that, after entering the property, the license holder was personally given the notice by oral communication described by Subsection(b) and subsequently failed to depart.

(e)  Itis an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder openly carries the handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035.

(f)  Itis not a defense to prosecution under this section that the handgun was carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

(g)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the license holder is volunteer emergency services personnel, as defined by Section 46.01.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910),Sec. 44, eff. January 1, 2016.

Amended by:

Acts2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1143 (H.B. 435),Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2017.

Age of Consent in Texas

What is the Legal Age in Texas?

The legal age to sexually consent is 17 years of age. If a child younger than 17 has sex, it is presumed to have been non-consensual on the child’s part. Whether the child’s sexual partner had knowledge of the reasonableness of the child’s age is not a defense. Sec. 22.011. SEXUAL ASSAULT

CHAPTER 22. ASSAULTIVE OFFENSES

Sec. 22.011. SEXUAL ASSAULT

(a) A person commits an offense if:(1) the person intentionally or knowingly:(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or(C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or(2) regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, the person intentionally or knowingly:(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;(C) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;(D) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or(E) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.(b) A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the consent of the other person if:(1) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force, violence, or coercion;(2) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person or to cause harm to the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;(3) the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;(4) the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it;(5) the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;(6) the actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s conduct by administering any substance without the other person’s knowledge;(7) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat;(8) the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;(9) the actor is a mental health services provider or a health care services provider who causes the other person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the actor;(10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser; or(11) the actor is an employee of a facility where the other person is a resident, unless the employee and resident are formally or informally married to each other under Chapter 2, Family Code.(c) In this section:(1) “Child” means a person younger than 17 years of age.(2) “Spouse” means a person who is legally married to another.(3) “Health care services provider” means:(A) a physician licensed under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;(B) a chiropractor licensed under Chapter 201, Occupations Code;(C) a physical therapist licensed under Chapter 453, Occupations Code;(D) a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code; or(E) a registered nurse, a vocational nurse, or an advanced practice nurse licensed under Chapter 301, Occupations Code.(4) “Mental health services provider” means an individual, licensed or unlicensed, who performs or purports to perform mental health services, including a:(A) licensed social worker as defined by Section 505.002, Occupations Code;(B) chemical dependency counselor as defined by Section 504.001, Occupations Code;(C) licensed professional counselor as defined by Section 503.002, Occupations Code;(D) licensed marriage and family therapist as defined by Section 502.002, Occupations Code;(E) member of the clergy;(F) psychologist offering psychological services as defined by Section 501.003, Occupations Code; or(G) special officer for mental health assignment certified under Section 1701.404, Occupations Code.(5) “Employee of a facility” means a person who is an employee of a facility defined by Section 250.001, Health and Safety Code, or any other person who provides services for a facility for compensation, including a contract laborer.(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the conduct consisted of medical care for the child and did not include any contact between the anus or sexual organ of the child and the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the actor or a third party.(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2):(1) that the actor was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense; or(2) that:(A) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense:(i) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or(ii) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section; and(B) the victim:(i) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and(ii) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.(f) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree, except that an offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if the victim was a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5312, ch. 977, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 557, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1029, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 273, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1031, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1286, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1102, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1415, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.829, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 155, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 528, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 2.017, eff. Feb. 1, 2004.Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.02, eff. September 1, 2005.Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 260 (H.B. 549), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 260 (H.B. 549), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 29), Sec. 33, eff. September 1, 2017.Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1038 (H.B. 1808), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2017.

CHAPTER 21. SEXUAL OFFENSES

Sec. 21.11. INDECENCY WITH A CHILD

(a) A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex and regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, the person:(1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or(2) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:(A) exposes the person’s anus or any part of the person’s genitals, knowing the child is present; or(B) causes the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:(1) was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex;(2) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense; and(3) at the time of the offense:(A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or(B) was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section.(b-1) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense.(c) In this section, “sexual contact” means the following acts, if committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:(1) any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child; or(2) any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person.(d) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the second degree and an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a felony of the third degree.Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 472, ch. 202, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1028, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1415, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 739, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.Amended by: Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 260 (H.B. 549), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 29), Sec. 32, eff. September 1, 2017.Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1038 (H.B. 1808), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Legal Age in Texas? 

What about a Close in Age Exemption?

In Texas a child age 14-16 having sex with a partner not more than 3 years older has an affirmative defense for the partner. If there is an accusation and a trial, the older sexual partner need only prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she is 3 years of less older than the child at the time of the sex. 

(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2)…
(A) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense:(i) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or(ii) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section; and(B) the victim:(i) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and(ii) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.

Sec. 2.04. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

(a) An affirmative defense in this code is so labeled by the phrase: “It is an affirmative defense to prosecution . . . .”(b) The prosecuting attorney is not required to negate the existence of an affirmative defense in the accusation charging commission of the offense.(c) The issue of the existence of an affirmative defense is not submitted to the jury unless evidence is admitted supporting the defense.(d) If the issue of the existence of an affirmative defense is submitted to the jury, the court shall charge that the defendant must prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of evidence.Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Is 17 Legal in Texas?

Yes it is. It is considered sufficient age of consent for a person to have sex.  17 is the legal age to have sex in Texas but believe it or not many states have the age of consent to have sex at the lower age of 16. 

Legal Dating Age in Texas

The age of consent does not apply to dating. The Indecency with a Child statute may apply if any touching or exposing of breasts, anus or sexual organs occurs. The child 14-16 years of age must not be more than 3 years younger than the other person of the opposite sex. The three year affirmative defense rule only applies to people of the opposite sex, for the Indecency statute, unlike the sexual assault statute. 

Interfering With Emergency Call

Usually this is an accusation is associated with other charges such as a Texas domestic violence charge known as assault family violence. It is known as Interference with a 911 call or Emergency Call for Assistance. Sec. 42.062. INTERFERENCE WITH EMERGENCY REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

What Happens When You Interfere With an Emergency Call?

Our experience is is that in the heat of the moment and tempers are high a real or not so real need to call 911 arises. The non-calling person knows that this will cause the police to be called to the house or current location. Sometimes a person grabs the phone away from the caller and hides it. Sometimes the phone is damaged by being thrown on the floor or against the wall. Like most statutes, emergency is defined as “a condition or circumstance in which any individual is or is reasonably believed by the individual making a call or requesting assistance to be in fear of imminent assault or in which property is or is reasonably believed by the individual making the call or requesting assistance to be in imminent danger of damage or destruction.” It’s considered an offense if the “individual recklessly renders unusable an electronic communications device.” So it does not necessarily have to be a phone. 


Is Interfering With a 911 Call a Felony in Texas?

The short answer is no. It will be a Class A Misdemeanor -Texas unless a person has been previously convicted of interfering with an emergency call.

Sec. 12.21.  CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.  An individual adjudged guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by:(1)  a fine not to exceed $4,000;(2)  confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year;  or(3)  both such fine and confinement.

If so,  the next accusation becomes a state jail felony charge.  

Interference With Emergency Request for Assistance Texas Now What?

The cases are not alway cut and dried. Seeking experienced legal counsel is the first and most important action to take. Call or contact https://www.erictorberson.com for excellent legal advice. When issues settle down and the smoke clears, often there is a clear road to a resolution that will save a person’s future. 

How Do Stop Someone From Needlessly Calling 911?

The short answer is that you do not if you don’t want to go to jail. Beating the case later in court is a different story. For instance if the caller is hypothetically hallucinating on drugs and thinks you are attacking him or her and you are not, then it would not be a reasonable belief by the individual that they need emergency help. That really will not save a person from going to jail for the night in a lot of cases, unless the officers are experienced and patient in their investigation. They may even need to have dealt with this household or person in the past to know of the unreasonable beliefs. 

Does It Help That I’m Still With My Spouse or Significant Other After Interference with Emergency Communication?

Yes. The alleged victims stance on the matter is important going forward. The case will most likely be set in court for a while and the current relationship can help the case turn out in a more positive manner. The charge of interference with emergency telephone call is not the end of the world and can be work out for the accused. 

Williamson County Attorneys

Eric Torberson

There are a variety of different areas of law people need assistance with. This makes sense because because our state and our nation are built on laws. In order for many of our decisions to be enforceable by law, we need the assistance of a lawyer. There are various legal areas that Williamson County Attorneys work in to help a client in need. This article mentions Williamson County, Texas but certainly can apply to other counties around the state and also country. The county seat for Williamson County is Georgetown, Tx, where the courthouse is located. 

Williamson County Attorney General

The attorney general is not confined to particular counties, but covers the whole state. The AG’s office will assist different counties prosecuting certain crimes and will step in to substitute completely to handle criminal matters. They also have a separate list of crimes that they usually prosecute that Texas counties do not normally handle. The attorney general and local authorities have concurrent jurisdiction over crimes involving state property under Chapter 1 Section 1.09 of the Texas Penal Code. Some cases the AG will be handling in court will be misuse of state or property funds, abuse of office, and offense against juvenile offenders in state correctional facilities. Others are human trafficking, fraud, white collar crimes, and certain violent offenses. 

Williamson County Child Support Attorney

Many family law related interactions with the attorney general’s office revolve around child support. Child support court hearings include paternity and back child support issues. If the father doesn’t maintain payments he can be subject to jail time. Sometimes the father is in possession of the child and the mother is making child support payments. The child support amount can be the issue after a divorce with court ordered child support in the divorce decree. Also child support can be the issue regardless of whether the father and mother were ever married. It can be ordered after The AG’s child support website page claims their mission is to support Texas families by establishing paternity, obtaining court orders for health and support of children, enforce child support orders, promote emotional involvement of both parents and collaborate with state agencies and community organizations to serve Texas families. Hiring a child support lawyer can cost a parent between $100 to $500 dollars per hour. So even an uncontested case can cost $2,500 to $5,000. It can be much more for a contested case. 

Williamson County Criminal Lawyer

The Williamson County Jail has quite a few visitors through its doors. Williamson County has a large law enforcement presence. While driving in Williamson County, a person will frequently see police cars driving around. This gives anyone committing any particular one of various possible violations an opportunity to visit the jail. But it is not just driving laws that bring people to jail. A popular criminal accusation is also assault that may require a Georgetown domestic violence attorney. That offense can take place driving or at home. Once the police arrive, most likely someone is going to jail for this type of accusation. If someone is arrested for drunk driving, that’s when a Georgetown DWI Lawyer will need to be called in to take care of the situation in court. Of course there are drug cases, theft, etc. and the misdemeanor and felony versions of each of these alleged crimes. 

 Family Law Attorney Georgetown Tx

Like any county, Williamson County has family law attorneys. Divorce, child custody, and support issues are constantly happening. The courthouse is in Georgetown, Tx but that does not mean that the family law attorneys all office in Georgetown. Some people have used or prefer a Round Rock family lawyer. Family court in Georgetown is always packed with cases. It does not show that it is slowing down anytime soon. If possible, it is least expensive to try and go with an uncontested divorce. That mean agreeing on EVERY SINGLE ITEM of property that will be divided between the divorcing couple. When arguing about property, custody, or child support begins, that’s where the legal bills start adding up. In Texas property is considered separate or community property depending on when and how it was attained. 

Georgetown Estate Planning Attorney

As with other areas of law, Georgetown estate planning lawyers are needed. Having a will is important. It saves loved ones or friends so much time and effort after a person’s death. A person’s belongings and assets will need to be used to pay off debts before a person’s property can be disbursed. Taxes and debts can consume much of left over property. Funeral expenses can be costly and the type of funeral is often determined by how much is left to pay for them. Many times family is left with just the bare minimum option and cremation is the only way to go with no funeral. The best option is to create a will. A will does not eliminate all of the difficulties in court but it helps the court determine the person’s intentions. When someone dies with a will in Texas, the law requires that the assets be distributed by the executor to the beneficiaries under a court’s supervision. When dying without a will in Texas, the code dictates that property is distributed through intestate succession. The executor, once appointed by the court, must gather all of the deceased person’s assets pay the creditors, debts and taxes. Some assets that do not need to go through probate are jointly owned assets and assets in trust. 

Immigration Attorney

Williamson county is not extremely close to a Federal Courthouse. But immigration still affects the Wilco population. Non citizens are sometimes arrested in Williamson County and are subject to deportation proceedings. It is advisable for criminal attorneys to seek immigration attorney advice or encourage their non-citizen clients to get immigration advice before pleading to a criminal offense. Pleas to criminal offenses can have permanent consequences for people and permanently bar future citizenship. A non-citizen can seek refugee status or asylum if suffered persecution or fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, and/or belonging to a certain social group or political opinion.

Texas Civil Rights Attorney

There are various civil rights issues for lawyer who focus on this area. But the most prominent and breathtaking is the work that the Innocence Project is doing. The project attorneys are getting people who have been in prison and on death row for years out and proven innocent. Many of these people are getting exonerated with DNA testing. “To date, 362 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 who served time on death row.” This is amazing. But it’s even more scary that so many innocent people are in prison. It will make a person wonder just how many innocent people have been executed or died in prison without having the opportunity to be exonerated.  Many of the cases have similar stories of a violent crime occuring. The FBI analyst or an FBI trained analyst will give false testimony of the matching physical evidence. An audit released in 2015 found that in 268 cases where the FBI used microscopic hair analysis to link a defendant to a crime, they were wrong 96 percent of the time. Williamson County has its own historical catastrophe convicting Michael Morton for the murder of his wife that he did not commit. These stories make it critical that there are civil rights attorneys willing to take on these cases. 

Will a Misdemeanor Affect a Background Check?

Criminal defense attorney Eric Torberson

This question on whether a misdemeanor will affect a background check is too vague and needs to be more specific to answer accurately. So maybe the question should be this….

Will Dismissed Charges Affect Employment?

The answer is maybe. At least in Texas an arrest will show up on a background check until it is expunged and erased from a person’s record. I tell my clients to carry a copy of the court order of dismissal with them if the issue arises. Then they should explain that this will be erased from their record very soon assuming that they are pursuing an expunction in the county of arrest. It also depends on what the exact wording in the job application is. Some ask about felonies. Some ask about convictions. Some ask about both and arrests as well. Leaving out what the application is asking for can be negative for the applicant because the employer will expect honesty from a potential employee foremost.

Will Being Charged But Not Convicted of a Felony Affect My Job?

Again it depends on the job. There are many jobs that hire convicted felons to do various work. This question seems to apply to a pending case or one that only has recently been dismissed. Otherwise it would be prudent to get it expunged as soon as possible. Some employers do not want to hire someone with a pending case and need it to be resolved. It depends on company policy and certain liability issues with regard to the criminal charge. Some jobs require driving or being around money. The type of pending case will really determine what the company will want to do assuming they are aware of the charge.

What Do They See on My Criminal Record if not Convicted?

The arrest will show up on most criminal records until it is expunged. Again I tell people to carry the dismissal order to show that it is over and done with. The background check will show the arrest date, charge and where it took place. You will want to contact a local attorney in that town or county in which the arrest happened in order to find out how to get it erased or expunged.

How Long Do Arrests Stay On Your Record?

Arrests will stay on your record forever. Since the modern age of computers has come to be, arrests are in most local computer systems. Those records get sent to the Department of Public Safety’s system and are available to everyone from there. Which is why I send notice to DPS when I do expungements for my clients.

If Charges Are Dismissed Do You Have a Criminal Record?

In a way yes depending on how you define the term criminal record. The criminal history will have unexpunged arrests which may raise eyebrows of potential employers. For instance a bank may think twice about hiring someone with dismissed theft charges on their record. Or maybe multiple theft charges that were dismissed. Someone wanting to work at a daycare may have a hard time getting a job even with a domestic violence charge first offense on their record even if they are dismissed. A future nurse would not want prescription fraud charges and the list can go on and on.

Jobs You Cannot Get With a Criminal Record

There are many jobs that restrict applicants to having a clean record. The military can be extremely selective on who they let in. This especially true in non-war times when troop numbers are being reduced. Law enforcement is very selective. In Texas a peace officer can have a misdemeanor on record but is must be 10 years or more old. Pilots cannot have records including intoxication offenses. Many of the regulated licensing jobs such as teachers, nurses, and lawyers require strict background searches before licensing. It can be especially difficult with a felony in the background.

How a Domestic Violence Charge Ruined My Life

I had a client visit me at my office looking for Austin assault attorneys. He was charged with an assault family violence commonly referred to as a domestic violence charge. He had previously had a domestic violence allegation called in on him by a girlfriend he used to live with. He wanted the case over quickly so he didn’t hire the best attorney and took the probation offer that the prosecutor gave to him in court. He did not know that the conviction would get him fired from his job when they did a background check. While he was unemployed he still have to do 130 hours community service and pay a $3000 fine. He had a concealed handgun license he had to give up as well as not possess guns for 5 years in Texas. Texas has its laws but under Federal Law he can never possess a gun. This is not the worst part. He recently had an argument with a new girlfriend and she accused him of assaulting her. This time is was a 3rd degree felony. Once a person has a family violence finding in Texas the next accusation becomes a felony by enhancement. That means he could potentially face 10 years in prison maximum. Luckily for him I got the case dropped and we expunged it later on. It’s too bad he didn’t have my representation on his first case. It would have saved him from a tremendous amount of stress.

How To Get a Misdemeanor Expunged in Texas

The procedure for expunging a misdemeanor and a felony are the same. A petition and order are filed in the clerk’s office just like any civil lawsuit would be file. The following topic will explain the general process for expunging a case in Texas state court.

How To Expunge a Dismissed Case

A dismissed case or an acquitted trial case can be expunged. The dismissed case may require a waiting period before an expungement can take place. Some prosecutors offices will oppose an expungement until the statute of limitations has expired. Or hopefully sometimes they will agree to an immediate expungement. Once an expungement is ready to begin, an attorney will prepare a petition and order. The documents will contain the critical details about the arrest with data and dates to identify the exact arrest to be expunged. The document gets filed at the clerk’s office just as any civil lawsuit would. A waiting period of 30 days is required before it is set in district court for a judge to examine. Once the judge determines that the expungement paperwork is proper the order is signed. The expungement is then taken to be filed a the clerk’s office. The attorney will then get certified copies for the client. The clerk’s office will forward a copy of the order to the various agencies listed in the order who will have the arrest in their records. This can be the police, jail, court, bondsman, clerks, prosecutors, and the DPS. Other online reporting sites may need to be included as well. They can be hard to reach. This notification time period can take several months. Sometimes the expungement order doesn’t get sent properly to each agency and another copy of the order needs to be sent. It is satisfying for me once I have completed an expungement. I was able to get the case dismissed and then expunged. It means the client can move on with their life to bigger and better things.

Texas Expungement Cost After Acquittal

After a trial by judge or jury, a defendant is entitled to an expungement immediately. For it to be cost free it needs to be done within 30 days for the filing fee to be waived. This doesnt mean the attorney will be doing it for free, the cost should be several hundred dollars cheaper that otherwise.

Eligibility For Clemency and Pardon in Texas

This discussion would not be complete without a discussion on pardons. It is the third and most unlikely way to qualify for an expunction in Texas. Each year the governor pardons a handful of people who are screened and make it through the process. An application is posted on the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Board recommends clemency matters, including pardons, to the Governor as it states on their website. The number of pardons are very few. There were only 10 pardons given in 2013 by former Governor Rick Perry. Governor Abbott pardoned 5 people in 2016. There are different pardons. A pardon for innocence is by far the best pardon to receive. It declares a person innocent wipes the conviction from their record completely. This is only available for felonies. A conditional pardon involves conditions to complete during a time period or the pardon will be revoked by the governor. A full pardon clears the felony or misdemeanor conviction and restores most rights. The person will not be eligible to become a peace officer. A pardoned convict will never be able to become a Texas police officer.

How to Get My Criminal Record in Texas

There are options for people to search their own criminal records. A common site to use is the Texas DPS criminal records search https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DpsWebsite/CriminalHistory.  There are other sites as well that require a small fee. Another way is to look for county website data in the county where there may be possible criminal history. The problem is that many rural counties do not have records posted online and will require a paid manual search that can take quite a bit of time.

Texas Background Check Laws

The Texas Workforce Commission website has some rules regarding employers background checks for employers to obey. Also there are suggestions to employers in order to be fair to someone who may have been in trouble in the far past. They suggest to “try to consider only criminal history that is recent enough to be relevant, given the nature of a particular offense, the nature of the job, and the corresponding level of risk of harm – the remoteness of an offense is a factor in the job.” The EEOC site also has guidelines and suggestions about employers inquiring into criminal background. It might be prudent for a person to read over these suggestions to help understand the employers position and approach to interviewing applicants.

 

What is the Punishment for a DWI in Texas 3rd Offense?

When a person asks about the repercussions of a DWI in Texas 3rd offense unfortunately is means that they already have had previous DWI convictions beginning with a…

DWI in Texas First Offense

A person really wants to avoid the first offense with a strong desire. Once a DWI first offense gets on a person’s record, it follows them around and makes it very difficult to avoid subsequent dwi convictions such as a conviction for…..

2nd DWI in Texas

Once charged with a 3rd DWI in Texas a person will need to bond out of jail. Typically the average bail amount for a felony will be anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the circumstances of the arrest. That will be when you want to contact a…

Texas Bail Bondsman

The bail amount is fairly standardized in each county and will vary. An accident, among other factors, can affect the amount of bond and bond conditions. Once on bond, there will be requirements to complete which is a topic for another post. The court process will take some time to get started. The police will turn in their case to the prosecutor’s office, which is the district attorney or county attorney depending on which Texas county the arrest occurred in. The case will then need to be heard by a grand jury who will either true bill or no bill the case. A true bill means at least 9 of the grand jurors found the evidence sufficient for the charge to be indicted. Whichever court will have the case may have been already been requiring periodic appearances. But once the case is indicted court appearances will begin soon after.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Hopefully by now the driver has hired a criminal defense lawyer. With dwi cases there is a separate drivers license issue that needs attention from a skilled dwi attorney. But with that issue aside, the best drunk driving lawyers would have already been collecting evidence to begin setting up his or her case. There may be breath or blood test evidence that needs to be investigated as well as maybe an accident reconstruction investigation. The court appearances will be where most of the discussion and negotiating takes place between the defense lawyer and the prosecutor.

3rd DWI in Texas Probation

The punishment for a DWI 3rd can be up to 10 years probation or possibly prison time. A major factor during plea negotiations is whether the person has much criminal history on their record. More specifically, the number of previous dwi convictions and also how recent they are. If there are already non-dwi felony convictions on a person’s record, it can be a problem during negotiations as well. If the prosecutor refuses to offer probation and only a prison sentence, the other option is to have a judge or jury decide. This may require a jury trial or a bench trial in front of the judge.

Can a DWI Be Dismissed in Texas?

While working up the case and examining the evidence, the defense attorney may discover problems with the evidence. There is critical evidence that needs to be proven by the state. The first important factor would be whether the person is the driver and whether they were actually operating the vehicle while intoxicated. Other important issues are whether the breath or blood test concludes intoxication. Just because there is a breath or blood test, does not mean it was conducted properly and should be trusted.

Reckless Driving Texas

The next best thing to winning a dwi case in trial or getting is dismissed is getting a DWI reduced to another charge such as reckless driving. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor and has far less negative implications than a DWI conviction. In order to get this charge, the DWI case needs to be dismissed and refiled as a reckless driving charge in court. It takes a diligent and knowledgeable DWI attorney to study the evidence in order to negotiate a reduction in the case.

DWI in Texas 2nd Offense

Another factor in negotiations is to try and reduce the case to a level where it is not a felony conviction. This is a comprise where the driver avoids a felony and the state still gets a conviction for future use if another DWI case should take place. A felony can be very detrimental for certain jobs and employment licensing.

Blood Alcohol Level in Texas

Another factor in negotiations is the blood alcohol level of the driver. If a breath or blood test was done, it will usually produce test result with the alcohol level at the time of the test. The state will then make some assumptions about what the test was at the time of driving based on observations, time passed, and questions answered by the driver to police. In Texas the legal limit is .08 at the time of driving. An extremely high blood alcohol test can complicate plea negotiations for the best possible outcome for the driver.  There is another way to prove the case without an amount based on loss of mental or physical faculties. This route is a much more vague way to prove the case of intoxication.  There are many non-intoxicating factors that can cause a person to appear intoxicated when they are not.

How Much Does a DWI Cost in Texas?

Each lawyer has their own fee that they think is a fair charge for their services. But the cost for a felony DWI will run several thousand dollars in most cases beginning with a bondsman charging 10 percent. There will usually be other bond condition fees such as the ignition interlock device cost. This is a mandatory bond condition in Texas starting with a DWI 2nd offense charge. The monthly bond supervision fee can be around $60 per month paid usually to the probation department. Once the case is over, there will be court cost and fines. These fees will not apply if the case is dismissed or there was an acquittal by a judge or jury. But if there is an agreement in court or a verdict, the court costs can be as much as $500 and a 3rd degree felony fine up to $10,000. The dollar amount of a DWI can really vary in range.

 

Texas Drivers License Suspension

Will I lose My Drivers License With DUI or DWI?

It is very possible that a Texas drivers license will be suspended after a DUI or DWI charge. DUI charged drivers, reserved for people under 21, are looking at a possible 60 days suspension for a first time charge. It is not automatic since there is an option for the person to request a hearing in front of an administrative judge. However, DWI charges can be given to drivers of any age. Times can range from a 90 day suspension for a test failure to a 2 year suspension for a subsequent refusal within a certain amount of time from a previous suspension.  We have won driver’s license suspension hearings based on lack of evidence and for witnesses not showing up. It is not an automatic loss. But if a suspension does occur, there is a legal way to drive.

Occupational License Texas

Texas allows most people to obtain a Texas provisional license that allows a hardship limited license to go to work and other necessities. It can be limited to 4 hours a day with only certain routes to unlimited times and travel with a mandatory ignition interlock device at all times installed. Contact https://www.erictorberson.com for more information.