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Criminal Defense Archives

Court rules man served enough time in federal case

In a case with implications for Texas residents in proximity to the Mexican border, a former weapons dealer who was sentenced to prison for selling guns to be smuggled into Mexico has been given a reduced sentence. The man was first ordered to serve five years in federal prison, but the court later determined that his time had been incorrectly figured. The new sentence was set at slightly more than three years in prison, and he was released to a halfway house.

Texas shooting described as accident

A man who allegedly killed a sheriff's deputy shot his gun because believed that he was the victim of a home invasion. According to the Burleston County Sheriff's Office, the incident took place in the early morning hours of Dec. 19 as the sheriff's deputy and other officers executed a drug-related search warrant on the defendant's residence. On Dec. 23, a spokesperson for the Burleston County Sheriff's Office stated that officers were not wearing body cameras while they executed the warrant, and she did not know how or if deputies announced their presence.

Two Houston residents charged in murder of Pearland resident

Two Houston residents have been taken into custody in connection with the murder of a 51-year-old employee of M.D. Anderson, who was found beaten to death in his home on Sept. 29. Police discovered the body of the deceased after his coworkers reported that he had not shown up for work; officers made a welfare check call to the victim's home in Pearland.

Three men accused of kidnapping and attempted rape in Texas

A Houston man was taken into police custody after allegedly being involved in a kidnapping and attempted sexual assault. He was wanted for questioning for the alleged rape attempt. The criminal case also involves two other men who were charged with kidnapping.

Supreme Court rules for routine DNA sample collection

Texas residents suspected of serious crimes may find themselves linked to another criminal charge by their DNA. The Supreme Court has ruled that the state can collect DNA samples from those who have been detained under the suspicion of a serious crime. The Supreme Court justices were divided on the issue and passed it with a vote of five to four. This ruling will benefit the police but may raise some privacy law concerns. This ruling has reinstated a conviction in a case where a man was convicted for a sexual assault that occurred in 2003 based on DNA evidence that was collected by police during an arrest for an assault charge six years later.

Drug charge tied to validity of traffic stop

A routine traffic stop by a police officer in New Braunfels did not end well for the driver of the vehicle and his passenger. The discovery by the officer of an active warrant for the passenger led to a search of the 24-year-old man and the filing of marijuana charges. The driver did not fare much better. His refusal to stop his car immediately when the officer signaled him to pull over earned him a fleeing charge. The names given to criminal charges can be misleading. Take, for example, the fleeing charge against the driver of the car. Images of a high-speed chase through the streets of New Braunfels come to mind, but a slowly moving vehicle traveling for a block or two is what police allege occurred. A judge or jury will have to decide if the facts as proven by the evidence establish that the driver committed the misdemeanor offense of eluding or fleeing from a police officer.

New regulations for sexually oriented businesses

State and federal law enforcement agencies recently targeted illegal activities at massage parlors in Harris County. Following raids on the establishments, the district attorney's office opened a criminal case against each of the businesses where criminal activity was found to exist.The raids were prompted by new county regulations that require massage parlors to be licensed and submit to an inspection by the fire marshal. The recent raids resulted in citations for 48 violations of the fire code. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said the new county regulations opens the door to joint efforts by various county departments to attack crime in businesses that are sexually oriented.

Criminal case against father has tragic overtones

The emotional trauma of witnessing the death of his two young sons might be the defense an Alvin construction worker relies upon as he faces a criminal charge for killing the drunk driver who ran into them. The dead driver had a blood alcohol level that was twice the 0.08 legal limit in Texas.The accused father of four was pushing his disabled truck toward his home with the aid of his 12-year-old and 11-year-old sons when the driver rammed into the back of the truck. When sheriff's deputies arrived, the driver of the car was dead with a single bullet wound in his head. Investigators did not find a gun, but they recovered a holster and ammunition in a search of the suspect's home.

Man kills wife, commits suicide at Texas birthday party

The recent shooting death of a 44-year-old woman by her estranged husband who then shot himself in the head at their daughter's birthday party happened a week after the mayor of Dallas asked police to focus their efforts on any criminal case involving allegations of domestic violence. In Dallas, homicide cases linked to domestic violence doubled in 2012 as shelters for battered women report an increase in the level of violent crime related to domestic abuse. Police and neighbors were at a loss to explain the homicide and suicide that happened in a quiet neighborhood in Grapevine, Texas. A witness who spoke to the 43-year-old husband shortly before the shooting said he neither saw nor heard anything in their conversation that gave any warning of what was to come. Neither of the couple's two children attending the party was injured in the shooting.

Man guilty in racial bias assault charges in Midland County

The United States Constitution guarantees a person prosecuted on a criminal charge the right to have an attorney represent them. Criminal defense attorneys learn early in their training that regardless of the weight of the evidence against their clients, every individual is entitled to be represented to the best of the attorney's abilities. Sometimes, the measure of success of the defense attorney in representing a client is not in the verdict but is seen in other aspects of the case.An example of this was the recent prosecution of a man on a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Midland County criminal case involved the parking lot assault of a victim selected based on a bias or prejudice because of race. The jury in the case took just 2.5 hours to return a guilty verdict after a trial that began on a Monday and ended on Wednesday.

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