Sometimes, unruly teenagers or bored adults will repot false emergencies for their own entertainment. Other times, people may pretend that they are about to commit a serious crime in order to get attention and get peers talking. Situations of this nature waste hours of law enforcement officer’s time.

When law enforcement officers could be out fighting crime, they are instead responding to fictitious situations that were invented by individuals looking for a little entertainment. This can be extremely frustrating for the law enforcement, which is why the Texas state department has chosen to increase the penalties for this crime.

According to reports, the state of Texas has increased the penalties for the offense if initiating, communicating, or circulating a false report of an emergency that involves an institution of higher education. The crime of circulating a false report used to be considered a Class A misdemeanor.

Now, the offense is considered a state jail felony. Those that are found guilty may be required to serve time in prison and will have a felony posted on their record. It is important as a citizen of the United States to honor the state code in order to avoid serious penalties.

Many suspects arrested for this crime will need to spend time behind bars simply because they violated the law for their own amusement. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at The Martinez Law Firm if you need assistance in defending yourself against charges of intentional false report.

You will certainly want an attorney to represent you if you truly did believe that there was a threat and circulated the report out of a conviction that you needed to warn law enforcement. In this situation, you will want to prove that you truly were concerned and issued the threat out of a desire to help your fellow man. Talk with a Houston criminal defense attorney if you need help today!

Since the 1950’s, it has been illegal to own or use a switchblade knife in the state of Texas. Carrying or using one of these knives has always been considered a Class A misdemeanor and individuals could be punished with a fine of up to $4,000 and confiscation of the weapon. They could also be given one year in a county jail.

According to the new laws passed in Texas this past September, the knives are no longer illegal and individuals cannot be penalized for using them. Individuals also can’t be penalized for making a switchblade, repairing a switchblade, selling a switchblade, or repairing a switchblade. Previously all of these actions were illegal. This law is covered in HB 1862.

Other knives and weapons are still banned in Texas, and use of them can result in serious penalties. Individuals are required to carry a permit in order to have a concealed handgun. It is also illegal to own explosives such as bombs, bombs and rockets or to possess a machine gun.

People can also be penalized for carrying a zip gun, brass knuckles, shotguns with barrels that are less than 18 inches long, rifles or shotguns that are altered so that the weapon is less than 26 inches long, and more. With the exception of brass knuckles, possession of these weapons is considered a third-degree felony which means that you may get between two and ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you have been arrested for possession of a weapon, then you need to talk to a Houston criminal defense attorney today to learn more. With the right attorney on your side, you may be able to prove that you are not guilty of a weapons crime or cite the recent laws regarding switchblade knives as defense in your case. Hire the firm today to learn more!

The Houston Police Department is often looking for ways to improve safety amongst the individuals of the state and is constantly making the attempt to protect citizens from harm. Recently, they chose to implement advanced license plate readers (ALPR) to assist law enforcement in locating suspects.

The technology was revealed in June, and there are approximately 24 of the readers that are on their respective beats across six county patrol districts. Each district has three patrol cars that have the technology on board, except for in the Woodlands. In this county, there are four cars equipped with the recognition devices. The technology is mostly used to identify stolen vehicles. The ALPR system has already been credited with the recovery of six stolen vehicles. The Houston police have also used the machine to apprehend seven wanted individuals.

The cameras in the cars use infrared illumination to detect the characters off a license plate. The data is then cross-referenced digitally in the Texas Criminal Information Center and the National Crime Information Center. If there are any alerts, the police are informed and then they can pursue the vehicle that has been notified. The system also alerts individuals of any situations regarding sex offenders. For example, if a sex offender’s vehicle is located in a school zone, the system will notify the police so that they can take action.

The system can also be used in house, which allows a license plate number to be manually entered for detection purposes. If you have been arrested after you were detected by the new ALPR system you need to seek representation with a Houston criminal defense attorney promptly. A lawyer may be able to assist you in your case and prove that you are innocent of the crime that you have been charged with. At The Martinez Law Firm, there is a former U.S. Chief Prosecutor that can assist you with your case. Attorney Martinez understands criminal law from both sides, which can be very helpful when you are dealing with a complicated case.

Some states don’t recognize vehicular homicide as its own specific crime, but Texas is one of the states that upholds this specific offense, In the state of Texas, a person who is convicted of vehicular homicide faces between 2 to 20 years in prison. Vehicular homicide is the act of killing another victim in a crash that was partially due to drunk driving.

If the drunk driver survives the accident, he or she can be charged with this very serious felony. Laws in each state vary greatly on the idea of vehicular homicide. Some states take the offense very seriously, and will force individuals to serve up to 99 years for the crime.

Specifically in Texas, vehicular homicide is referred to as intoxication manslaughter. This is normally a second degree felony, and will result in at least a mandatory two years of prison time. Individuals can serve a sentence up to 20 years for this singular crime, but cannot sever more than that. Also, Texas has a $10,000 maximum for fines associated with intoxication manslaughter.

If an offender kills more than one person during a drunken driving accident, then he or she may be sentenced for multiple intoxication manslaughter charges. This can duplicate the sentence, eventually resulting in a life sentence for those who have killed multiple people in a car crash. If you have been arrested for an intoxication manslaughter charge, the best move you can make is to hire a dedicated and hardworking Houston DWI attorney to represent you in your case.

Attorney Martinez is a Former U.S Chief Prosecutor, so he understands both sides of DWI law. If you have been arrested, he can use his intimate knowledge of both sides of the justice system to advocate for your innocence or the dismissal of your case. Attorney Martinez will do all that he can to reduce your charges or eliminate your possible sentences, so partner with the lawyers at this firm today!

Houston, Harris County, Texas criminal courts are using another device against repeat DWI offenders. A second time DWI offender is required to install a guardian interlock device while on bond awaiting the resolution of their case even if they are innocent of the new charges. The guardian interlock device is a mechanism similar to a breathlyzer which is installed in a vehicle’s dashboard. Before the vehicle starts, the driver must breathe into the device.

As aHouston Criminal Defense Attorney I must admit that I was shocked when I heard a rumor regarding the Harris
County District Attorney’s Office implementing a new policy whereby
prosecutors would not offer probation to an accused unless the accused
swore to be residing legally in the United States. One of my close friends,
that is a prosecutor himself, confirmed not only that this is fact, but
there will be a document that a defendant will need to swear to before
a plea agreement is finalized.

This new policy wrong on several levels. It seems to be politically motivated. Pat Lykos, the District Attorney of Harris County, was elected to uphold the law of the state of Texas. The policy may seduce the most steadfast of conservative Republicans in Houston and beyond, but it is misplaced and a subtle form of racism. It is very easy for people to say “He is an illegal get him out of our country.” However, the law states that anyone that is in this country is presumed to be here legally. Also, every person in this country has a 5th amendment privilege regardless of their status. On one hand, by requiring anyone that is undocumented to swear that they are here legally before receiving probation the District Attorney’s Office is encouraging them to commit perjury. On the other hand, if the defendant tells the truth the consequences are twofold. They will not get the probation and they have given the Government evidence to prove that they are committing a Federal Offense. What competent criminal defense attorney would advise their client to do anything other than to remain silent? Thus, the District Attorney’s office is punishing a defendant for exercising their right to remain silent and that is a clear constitutional violation.

Below is a copy of the 5th Amendment. Perhaps, the Lykos administration should give it a read if they have done so in a while.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

With this new policy the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is disregarding Texas law. For example, the law in Texas clearly states that low level felony drug possession for first time offenders is a mandatory probation. The law does not differentiate between those that are here legally and those that are undocumented. The Lykos administration is essentially stating that they will not follow Texas law. Correct me if I am wrong, but the last time I checked our District Attorney was elected to follow the laws of Texas.

More practically speaking, what defense attorney that has a client on bond that is undocumented will enter into any type of plea bargaining when they know that a prosecutor’s hands are tied when it comes to getting probation for their client. A competent criminal defense attorney knows that a jury is not precluded from granting an undocumented person probation. Additionally, any potential juror that can not consider granting probation for someone that is undocumented should be exposed during voir dire and kept from serving on the jury.

My hope is that Harris District Attorney’s Office reconsiders this policy and decides that despite being a hit politically legally it is without merit.