Criminal Offense Overview
Federal vs. State Offenses
Criminal offenses encompass various criminal matters and can be charged as a state crime or a federal crime. State crimes can include offenses such as robbery and traffic violations. Federal crimes can include offenses committed in federal property or actions such as human trafficking. If you are facing criminal charges for a state or federal offense, it is important to understand that they are different procedures that must be followed.
Procedures & Prosecution
Federal crimes are investigated by a federal agent or officer, such as DEA agents. The prosecutors are often U.S. Attorneys, and the president appoints the judges. Furthermore, the procedure for federal cases includes the burden of proof, pretrial, trial, and sentencing. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the U.S. Attorney or the government. That is to say that the government must show evidence that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” As a result of the government having to prove that the defendant is guilty, the federal court can have various discoverable material, and they might involve other law enforcement agencies. Due to all the evidence that they have to consider, the prosecution can be lengthy.
On the other hand, in state crimes police officers or county sheriffs are the investigators, the prosecutors are state district or city attorneys, and the judges are typically appointed by governors. In addition, the steps in Texas’ criminal justice system in a criminal case include arrest, indictment, plea bargaining, trial, and post-trial. Generally, prosecutions are quick compared to federal court.
Some criminal offenses are under state prosecutions because they are a violation of state laws. Similarly, some criminal acts are offenses under federal law because it is a federal or national issue (i.e., crimes committed on federal property). Nevertheless, there are criminal offenses that can fall under both federal and state laws, and therefore, the defendant can be prosecuted in either federal or state court.
If a defendant conducts a criminal offense that violates state and federal laws, the defendant can face criminal prosecution in both state and federal courts. Many individuals tend to believe that the Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects them from being charged for the same criminal offense in state and federal court. However, this is not the case. Although the clause does protect any persons from being tried twice by the same sovereign for the same offense, there is an exception known as the “separate sovereigns doctrine.” This is important because the states and federal government are separate; thus, a person can be tried in both state and federal court for the same criminal offense. See Gamble v. United States, 587 U.S.__(2019)
Texas state courts handle criminal and civil cases. Texas’ criminal justice system is meant to protect the people, and that includes the accused. If you are a defendant, the Texas criminal justice system must ensure that you are treated equally in legal matters. Crimes can be categories as felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. A felony is the most serious crime and has severe penalties. Being convicted of a felony can include serving time in jail or state prison. The punishment in a felony charge varies depending on multiple factors, such as the nature of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. Being charged with a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony; however, they should not be taken lightly. Common penalties for misdemeanor offenses can include hefty fines, probation, and/or having to serve jail time if convicted. Infractions are an offense typically done while operating a motor vehicle and are usually punishable with a fine such as receiving a speeding ticket.
Various factors affect your penalty in a criminal case, for example, the nature of the crime committed. The penal code for a criminal offense can be complicated because there are many variations and exceptions in classifying criminal behavior. For instance, felonies are divided into categories, and misdemeanors are divided into classes such as class A misdemeanor or class B misdemeanor. Usually, punishments for criminal offenses in state court can include having to serve a sentence in prison or state jail, paying a fine, and/or community supervision.
- Felony – Generally, felonies are more serious crimes, and if the defendant is found guilty of committing a felony, he or she may have to serve time in either county jail or state prison. However, with some state felony convictions, the defendant would only serve half their actual sentence in state prison.
- Misdemeanor –A person who is found guilty of a misdemeanor, he or she can be fined or sentenced to serve up to one year in jail (depending on the offense), or both. In some cases, the defendant can be offered community service and/or probation.
- Infractions – The least serious crime and is punishable with a fine.
Generally, most crimes are violations of state laws, and the state has jurisdiction. If the crime is a state offense, the state has the power to decide the case, and it can be tried in state court. Likewise, if the criminal offense falls under the federal jurisdiction, then the federal government has the power to decide the case.
If you are facing federal or state criminal charges, it is imperative that you retain professional legal assistance. The federal justice system has an abundance of resources and highly qualified, knowledgeable prosecutors. It is crucial to act immediately if you are under investigation or facing federal charges because your future depends on it. In federal criminal cases, there is always the potential of various problems arising, therefore the sooner you are able to obtain an attorney, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.
Below are instances in which the federal government would have jurisdiction on a criminal offense:
- Crime that takes place on federal property – For instance, murdering a person in a government-owned building.
- Any crime that involves federal agents/officers – A criminal act against a federal agent such as assaulting a DEA agent falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
- Committing a criminal offense that crosses state lines – This can include kidnapping a person and crossing state lines.
- A criminal offense where the criminal act crosses state lines – For example, when a person commits internet fraud, many people are affected throughout multiple states.
- Custom violations – This can include smuggling (e.g., drugs, weapons), violating importing duties (e.g., canceling the origin of the import and value to evade paying import taxed, importing child pornography), violating exporting regulations (i.e., many products are subject to limitations and restrictions), and making false statements during custom provisions.
Below are a few potential problems that can arise in a federal criminal case:
- Obtained Evidence Illegally – When a federal agent violates the constitutional rights of a suspect or defendant, any evidence that was obtained as a result of a violation is illegally-obtained. Furthermore, evidence that has been illegally-obtained is inadmissible in federal court; however, there are limitations and exceptions. (See Exclusionary Rule)
- Conspiracy Against the United States – If a person conspires to either commit any offense against or to defraud the United States, they can be fined or imprisoned. In other words, if a federal prosecutor can argue that you were part (formally or informally) of an agreement to a federal crime or that there is “proof of an overt act,” the case can be prosecuted in federal court (See 18 U.S.C. § 371).
- Multiple Charges for Related & Unrelated Crimes – Some federal statutes have severe penalties for acts that are done in conjunction with specific criminal conduct or further the activities of specific criminal behavior (See Kellett v Superior Court (1966) 63 Cal.2d 822).
A sentence for a criminal offense can include one or some of the following: having to serve time in federal prison, paying a fine, and/or restitution to be paid to the victim of the offense. Moreover, the court enforces conditions as part of the sentence, for example, having the offenders attend substance abuse treatment programs, job counseling, or having mandatory substance abuse test and alternative detention options such as being confined at home.
The following federal law enforcement agencies are responsible for investigating federal crimes: The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, and the Secret Service. If a federal law enforcement agency investigates the offense or if the offense falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the case will fall within the federal court’s jurisdiction. In addition, if the verdict is guilty, federal judges consider several sources to make the sentence for the defendant. The judge considers the U.S. Sentencing Commissions guidelines, which establishes the maximum and minimum punishment for certain crimes (See 2018 Guidelines). Other sources the judge takes into consideration are the evidence produced during the trial, relevant information provided by the U.S. Attorney, the defense attorney, the pretrial service officer, and statements from the victims, and defendant. Moreover, the judge may also consider a variety of other factors, for example, prior criminal offenses, if the defendant expresses remorse or regret for their crime, and the crime that was committed.
In a federal court case, many factors can negatively impact the outcome of your case, such as having multiple charges for related or unrelated offenses. Therefore, the penalties for an offense can increase. For instance, in the case of child pornography possession, the defendant is already facing severe punishment. Nevertheless, the sentence can increase for various reasons that are part of the underlying offense. The relationship between the defendant and the child in the case can affect the defendant’s final sentencing. If convicted of a federal offense, the defendant will have to serve their sentence in federal prison.
Regardless of the situation, retaining an attorney should be your first choice. Federal sentencing and penalties are much harsher and sever. Having an experienced, qualified, and assertive lawyer represent you is in your best interest.
Type of Criminal Offenses
The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC represents people facing misdemeanor or felony charges for such criminal offenses as:
- Crimes against the environment:
- Environmental Crimes – According to Health & Safety Code § 365.012(a), it is illegal to dump waste or litter anywhere that it is not an approved waste site. If a person is convicted of illegal dumping the penalties range from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor depending on the weight amount. For example, waste that is more than 5lbs but less than 500lbs or has a volume of more than 5gal, but less than 100 cubic feet is a Class B misdemeanor can be punishable with a fine of up to $2,000 or having to serve time in jail.
- Crimes involving federal offenses:
- Drug Trafficking – 21 U.S.C. § 841 states the federal laws for manufacturing, distributing, or possession of a controlled substance or counterfeit substance. Drug offenses/trafficking can fall under both federal and state jurisdictions because you are crossing state lines.
- Human Trafficking – 22 U.S.C. § 7102 pertains to trafficking in persons as a crime under federal law and that involves exploiting a person for labor, commercial sex, and services. Also, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA) deals with prevention, protection, and prosecution.
- Federal Weapons Charge – Federal prosecutors are extremely knowledgeable and aggressive. Therefore, if you are facing federal weapon charges it is crucial that you consult with an attorney. Federal weapon charges can encompass a broad variety of federal crimes such as possession of unregistered firearms (26 U.S.C. § 5861), possession of a stolen firearm (18 U.S.C. § 922(j)), etc. Consulting with an attorney can help you find the best legal options based on your particular circumstances. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our qualified attorneys are dedicated to their clients and making sure that their rights are protected.
- Crimes involving Juvenile Offenses:
- Fake I.D. – The use of Fake I.Ds is addressed over various statutes in Texas Legislature. However, for juveniles and minors using it to purchase alcohol is addressed as the use of misrepresentation of age under Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.07 and can result in a Class C misdemeanor. Furthermore, another statute that addresses the use of Fake IDs for the purpose to purchase or possess alcohol is Tex. Transportation Code § 521.451, which states that a person may not possess or present a driver’s license or certificate not issued to himself/herself. If your child was caught using a Fake I.D. it is important to their future that they have legal representation. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we specialize in juvenile offenses, let us help you.
- Criminal Mischief – The act of criminal mischief is done knowingly and purposely. Per Penal Code § 28.03, the person commits the offense if he/she damages or destroys the tangible property of the owner, if he/she tampers with the tangible property of the owner and causes a loss or inconvenience to the owner or a third party, or if the person is inscribing or marking someone else’s property. The offense can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Criminal mischief by a juvenile is a severe offense, having legal representation is important.
- Minor in Possession – If a minor in possession of alcohol is against Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05, however, there are exceptions such as if the minor was in his/her place of employment when the act occurred. If you or someone you know has been charged with minor in possession, obtaining an attorney as soon as possible is in your best interest. Minor in possession can have severe penalties.
- Crimes involving drugs and narcotics:
- Cultivation or Delivery of Marijuana – The cultivation of drugs is a violation of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. According to Health & Safety Code § 481.112(a), an individual commits an offense of manufacturing or delivery of controlled substances or drugs if the person “knowingly manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1.” If you are facing charges for cultivation or delivery of marijuana, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel.
- Felony Possession of Marijuana – Health & Safety Code § 481.121(a) states that “a person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a useable quantity of marihuana.” In other words, it is illegal for anyone to possess marijuana knowingly, and the penalty for the crime depends on the amount of the drug found in your possession. If you are facing charges for felony possession of marijuana, retaining legal counsel is vital. Repeated offenders face strict punishment, and often, cases are altered from a potential state jail felony or third-degree felony conviction to a second or first-degree conviction. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we have years of experience working with clients who’ve face gruesome marijuana charges.
- Possession with Intent to Deliver – Per Health & Safety Code § 481.112 a person can be charged with possession with intent to deliver if they are aware that their actions are part of a delivery transaction. The penalties for possession with intent to deliver are harsh and severe, and it can be aggravated to a higher offense if it involves the presence of a child per Tex. Health & Safety Code § 481.1122(1). That is to say, if the offense was committed in the presence of a child younger than 18 years of age, the punishment specified in § 481.112(b) and (c) are increased by one degree. If you are facing charges, your best plan of action is to retain an experienced attorney. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we will work tirelessly on your behalf and represent your best interest.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance – If you think you might be charged with possession of a controlled substance, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our criminal defense department is invested in criminal defense cases, and we make sure to seek out our client’s best interest. Any possession of a controlled substance can result in severe consequences such as having to serve time, pay fines, etc. Health & Safety Code § 481.102 shows the specific chemicals in Penalty Group 1, § 481.1021 shows the controlled substances categorized under Penalty Group 1-A.
- Possession & Delivery of THC Concentrate – Since THC concentrates are considered to be more dangerous than regular form of cannabis, it is categorized under Penalty Group 2 ( Health & Safety Code § 481.103).
- Crimes involving Weapon – Penal Code § 46.02, states that carrying a weapon is against the law except when you are on your own premises, inside of your property, or on the way to your vehicle (§ 46.02(a)(2)). Also, it is against the law to have a handgun in plain view, “unless you are licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code,” and it’s being carried in a shoulder or belt holster. The charges involving carrying a weapon can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony depending on factors such as where were you when you were carrying the weapon. Under Tex. Penal Code § 46.03, individuals are prohibited from carrying a weapon in certain places (e.g., a school).
- Felon in Possession of a Weapon – Per Penal Code § 46.04 if a person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm in any location other than their residence, or following conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the release from incarceration/probation/parole. If you are facing these charges it is crucial to retain an attorney. If found guilty of possession of a weapon as a felon, you will be charged with another felony offense. Furthermore, if you are a repeat or habitual felony offender the penalties can be harsher.
- Indecent Exposure – It is vital for your freedom and reputation to retain a criminal defense lawyer if you are charged with any sex crime, including indecent exposure. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our legal team is dedicated to providing an in-depth analysis of each case.
- Public Lewdness – Penal Code § 21.07, states that a person engages in public lewdness when the individual has sexual intercourse, makes sexual contact with the intent to arouse or sexually gratify the desire of another person, or commits the action of a variation sexual intercourse, whether it is either in public or non-public (with a person present) without any concern of who is being offended by their actions.
- Child Sexual Abuse – It is imperative that you consult with an experienced attorney. A child abuse charge can have a detrimental impact on your personal and professional life. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our skilled and experienced attorneys earn the trust of their clients by keeping them informed of the process, providing honest feedback, and most importantly by listening to the clients’ concerns. If you are a suspect of child sexual abuse, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
- Improper Relationship – Penal Code § 21.12, states that it is illegal for an employee of a public or private school to engage in sexual contact, intercourse, or any action of sexual activity with a student enrolled at the school where they work. Furthermore, the laws governing improper relationships apply to all publics and private school employees.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault – Although aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault involve intentionally sexual acts, aggravated sexual assault involves other factors such as the victim was under thirteen (13) years old, the defendant was armed, the victim was related to the defendant by blood or affinity to the third degree, and many other aggravating factors.
- Child Pornography – 18 U.S.C. § 2251 states the federal laws on child pornography. Allegations of child pornography should be taken seriously. Prosecutors are ruthless to defendants accused of crimes related to child pornography. A child pornography case can be prosecuted in state and federal court. If the child pornography offense can fall under federal jurisdiction if it occurred in interstate or foreign commerce. For example, if the defendant used U.S. Mail to distribute child pornography across state or international lines. Also, if the defendant used the internet to commit a child pornography violation, they can still be prosecuted by the federal government. This is because although the image did not cross international borders or across state lines, federal law can be implicated if the material (i.e., computer being used to commit the crime) traveled in interstate or foreign commerce.
- Indecency with a Child – Penal Code § 21.12, establishes that the person commits the offense, if the child is younger than seventeen (17) years of age, regardless of the sex of the child and whether the person knew the age of the child at the time of the offense. It is crucial that you obtain legal representation if you are facing charges. Indecency with a child by contact is a second-degree felony and a conviction can be punishable with having to serve time in prison and a fine.
- Exposure – 3rd Degree – It is crucial to obtain an attorney. In Texas, indecency with a child can lead to felony convictions if found guilty. Consult with an experienced attorney at The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC. We will use our experience, resources, and knowledge to fight on your behalf.
- Touch – 2nd Degree – In Texas State, the age of legal consent is seventeen (17) according to Penal Code § 21.11 and Tex. Penal Code § 22.011. Therefore, engaging in sexual contact with a child younger than seventeen (17) is considered indecency with a child and if convicted it is a second-degree felony. The felony is punishable by fines and having to serve up to 20 years in prison. If you feel hopeless, do not because consulting with a legal professional can help you determine your options.
- Online Solicitation of a Minor – It is in your best interest to retain a criminal defense lawyer. If you are suspected of online solicitation of a minor, you could face state and federal Under Tex. Penal Code § 33.021, it is a second or third-degree felony. Per 18 U.S.C. § 2423 and 18 U.S.C. § 2422, it is illegal to use interstate or foreign commerce to solicit a minor for sexual acts. In addition, it is illegal to travel state lines to engage in illicit activities with a minor. The convictions under these crimes have harsh penalties and it is possible for the federal government to persecute for the same offense.
- Prostitution – Per Penal Code § 43.02, an individual commits the offense of prostitution if he/she knowingly offers or agrees to receive or pay a fee from another person to engage in sexual acts, or solicits another person in public to engage in sexual conduct for hire. If you are being investigated for prostitution or solicitation, consult with an experienced sex crime attorney from The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC.
- Sexual Assault – If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault you can face harsh consequences in all aspects of your life. If convicted the social stigma of being a sex offender can tarnish your reputation and prevent future opportunities. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys are experienced with sex-related cases, and we will fight to defend your rights.
- Super Aggravated Sexual Assault – This is the terms prosecutors use to describe aggravated sexual assault of a child. If you are under investigation for super aggravated sexual assault it is imperative to acquire an attorney. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
- Crimes involving Violence:
- Assault Family Member – The first offense of domestic assault if charged and convicted is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. If certain aggravating factors are met the charge can be elevated. It is important to have a lawyer by your side because the offense cannot be expunged from your records, therefore the conviction can negatively impact your life by affecting your ability to receive loans, find employment, etc.
- Murder / Homicide – Under Penal Code § 19.01, establishes the different types of criminal homicide. Tex. Penal Code § 19.02, states that a person commits murder if he/she knowingly or intentionally causes the death of an individual or intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act that is dangerous to human life and causes the death of an individual. If you believe that you could be under investigation or if you are under investigation having a legal defense is important. Consulting with a legal professional can help you identify your options. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our criminal defense lawyers are prepared to defend your rights. It is in your best interest to not make any statement to authorities until you have legal counsel.
- Vehicular Manslaughter – Motor vehicle accidents happen and the worse possible outcome that can result from a motor vehicle collision is the death of an individual. Even if the death was not intentional the person can still be charged with vehicular manslaughter. If you are arrested or you know someone who is arrested or you think that you are under investigation for vehicular manslaughter, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation.
- White-Collar Offense:
- Credit Card / Identity Theft – Per Penal Code § 32.32, indicated that it is a crime to make false or misleading statements to obtain property or credit. Having an attorney is crucial because the penalties include having to pay a fine and/or confinement.
- Crimes involving Theft:
- Burglary – Under Penal Code § 30.02, burglary is entering a building or premises without the owner’s permission or legal authority with an intention. You should seek legal counsel as soon as possible, penalties for burglary include having to serve time in prison or jail and hefty fines.
- Shoplifting – If you are accused of shoplifting contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC to consult with an attorney. By having legal representation, your lawyer can create a plan of action to defend you against authorities and help you understand your legal options based on the facts of your case. Do not wait until you are charged, having an attorney by your side at the earliest stages of your case is important.
- Robbery – Penal Code § 29.02, establishes that a person commits the act of robbery if in the course of committing theft and with the intention to obtain or maintain control of the property the person intentionally or recklessly caused bodily harm to another or the person intentionally or knowingly threatens another person of bodily injury or death.
- Crimes involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – In Texas, driving is a way of life. However, driving while intoxicated or under the influence is an offense and a conviction has steep consequences. Under Penal Code § 49.04(a) an individual commits the offense of a DWI/DUI if the individual is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public space.
- First DWI Offense – If you are facing your first driving while intoxicated offense, seek a criminal defense attorney. The consequences of a conviction depend on how the crime is classified (i.e., either Class B misdemeanor or Class A misdemeanor). Per Penal Code § 49.04(b) a first-time arrest for a DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, the minimum penalty is confinement for 72 hours. Nevertheless, per Tex. Penal Code § 49.04(d) the crime can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on trial that the analysis of the alleged offender’s alcohol concentration level was 0.15 or higher at the time the analysis was performed.
- Second DWI Offense – The penalties for a second DWI offense are harsher than the first conviction. It is imperative that you seek legal representation. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to defending our clients. Under Penal Code § 49.09(a) if it is shown on trial of the offense that the offender had previously been convicted of an offense related to driving while intoxicated (an offense under §49.04) is a Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of 30 days confinement.
- Third DWI Offense – If convicted you can be facing harsh penalties. A third DWI offense is usually classified as a third-degree felony. Additionally, the offender may be fine up to $10,000 and possibly have to serve time in prison. Per Penal Code § 49.09(b) if it is shown on trial that the offender has been previously convicted of Intoxicated Manslaughter (§ 49.08) or has had two previous offenses relating to DWI/DUI it is classified as a felony of the third degree.
- Felony DWI Offense – Driving is part of our daily lives, whether we do it as a way of commuting or as a source of income. Being convicted of a DWI felony is a serious offense that can negatively impact your life. A conviction can disqualify you from certain rights. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys are experienced with felony DWI charges in Houston, Texas. Retaining a skilled criminal defense lawyer is in your best interest so that your rights are protected, and the most favorable outcome is achieved for your specific situation.
- Intoxicated Manslaughter – According to Penal Code § 49.08, a person commits the offense of intoxicated manslaughter if the person operated a motor vehicle in a public space while intoxicated and because of being under the influence causes the death of another. An offense under § 49.08 is classified as a felony of the second degree.
- DWI with Child Passenger – Penal Code § 49.045 states that any person intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public space and the vehicle is occupied by a passenger that is younger than 15 years old the charge is state jail felony. It is important to obtain legal representation; a conviction of a felony offense can have collateral consequences that can impact your life after you have served your time. You may lose privileges if convicted as a felon, also charges of DWI with a child passenger can potentially involve Child Protective Services. Under Tex. Fam. Code § 261.101(b) law enforcements are required to report any instances of abuse (§ 261.001(1)) or neglect (§ 261.001(4)).
- Boating while intoxicated (BWI) – Operating a watercraft while intoxicated is a BWI offense under Penal Code § 49.06, also the offense is classified as a Class B misdemeanor with a minimum confinement of 72 hours in jail. Moreover, the penalties can be aggravated if this is not the alleged offender’s first offense. The offense can escalate to a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged offender has a previous conviction of another offense involving intoxication (§ 49.09(a)). As stated in Tex. Penal Code § 49.09(b)(1) an offense of DWI, BWI, flying while intoxicated, or operating/assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on trial that the offender has had a previous conviction of intoxicated manslaughter. If you are caught boating while intoxicated, contact a legal professional as soon as possible. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys have the experience necessary to tackle charges involving intoxication.
- DWI with Property Damage – If the DWI ( 49.04(a)) involves property damage then the alleged offender could be charged with reckless damage or destruction. Under Tex. Penal Code § 28.04, a person commits an offense when said person recklessly damages or destroys the property of the owner.
- Crimes involving family violence:
- Abandoning a Child and/or Endangering a Child – If you are under investigation of any crime involving children, most people would assume that you are guilty. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys have years of experience defending clients of child abuse.
- Domestic Violence – If you are arrested for domestic violence, it is in your best interest to remain silent and retain legal representation. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys represent individuals facing domestic violence charges.
- Protective Orders – Usually in domestic or family violence cases protective orders or restraining orders are issued. Protective orders are meant to prevent future violent acts and protect the alleged victim from having contact with the alleged offender. If you need assistance obtaining a protective order the attorneys at The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC can help you.
- Other types of criminal defense:
- Pre-Charge Investigation – Before having the right to a trial or before being formally charged, there has to be an investigation. It is important to seek legal counsel immediately. Having an attorney at the earliest stages is important because an experienced criminal defense lawyer can play a significant role in defusing the suspicions made against you.
- Restraining Orders – There are various types of restraining orders. A violation of a restraining order can include having to serve time in jail or prison and being subjected to a fine. You should seek legal counsel if you have violated a restraining order. The violation can lead to criminal proceedings.
- CPS Investigations – An investigation does not necessarily mean that your child would be taken away. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we understand the importance of family and unity. If you are under CPS investigation, having an attorney present when dealing with CPS can be helpful.
- Post-Conviction Writs – If you, a loved one, or an associate had been illegally confined then consult with an attorney to know your options. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we treat every case with vigilance and provide our clients with quality service. It is imperative that you retain an experienced attorney because you will be burdened with proving that your constitutional rights were violated.
- Expungement – At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys believe that people deserve second chances. However, not every offense is eligible to be sealed or expunge. At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we can help you through the process, so that you can have more opportunities.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Houston, TX
You may be feeling overwhelmed, fearful, or confused about your charges, penalties, and process. A qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney can ease your concerns by reviewing your case and providing you with a strategy. Our criminal defense lawyers can fight to defend your rights. We take the time to consult with our clients and provide them with the attention and resources they need to get the most favorable outcomes out of their case.
In the case that you are being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies (state and federal officers) for the same criminal offense, retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. An investigation does not necessarily mean that you will be prosecuted by both the state and federal law. Nonetheless, having an experienced and qualified professional at the earliest stages of your case can be of the essence.
At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we represent individuals in the greater Harris County area, including the cities of Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood, and many others. Our criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to our clients, and we will work tirelessly to represent your best interests. Let The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC review your case and answer all of your legal questions. Call (832) 530-4070 or complete an online contact form at the bottom of the page to schedule a free initial consultation.