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!

A man in Houston robbed a bank inside of a WalMart in Harris County early this morning. According to the FBI, the suspect walked into the store and went up to the teller’s window. He handed the teller a note and demanded finances. He threatened the teller, claiming that he had a gun and was willing to use it.

The teller complied with his wishes, and the suspect walked out of the store with cash in hand. He got into a silver Pontiac Grand Prix and sped from the scene. This is not the only time that a Harris County local has robbed a bank in the area in recent days. Some suspect that the same individual continues to rob banks in the area.

Harris County Sheriffs are now looking into the incident. They are still trying to determine how many suspects were inside the bank for the robbery and how much money they fled with. The getaway vehicle was located in a shopping center and there was cash inside the vehicle. It has been recovered, but police are still looking for the offender.

If you have been accused of robbing a bank, then you are going to want a Houston criminal defense attorney on your side immediately. Bank robbery is a serious crime that can result in life-altering penalties and marks on a person’s record. Texas State Law says that a bank robber can be charged with up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Aggravated robbery is robbery that occurs when a suspect causes serious bodily injury to another or uses or exhibits a weapon. This means that the robber doesn’t actually have to use the weapon, exhibiting the gun or knife is enough to constitute aggravated robbery. If you have been charged of this crime and want a defense lawyer on your side, don’t hesitate to hire a professional former prosecutor at The Martinez Law Firm. A
Houston criminal defense attorney at this firm will help you to get the assistance that you need today. Contact the firm right away to learn more!

According to recent reports, a Harris County sheriff’s deputy was recently indicted after claims that he was coercing women with warrants into pleasuring him sexually. Reports show that he told one woman that if she performed an act with him, he would not turn her in. He has been charged with sexual assault and official oppression as a result. According to investigators, he came across a woman who had an open warrant, and then offered not to arrest her in exchange for physical interactions.

Whenever police are arrested and indicted, it can be very serious. Those who are supposed to be maintaining the law are often held to the highest standard, and when arrested and charged with a crime police officers are at risk to serious punishments and guaranteed job loss. If you want to learn more about police crimes, or if you are an officer who has been charged with a serious crime, then you need to talk with a Martinez Law Firm criminal defense attorney today.

Sadly, many police officers are falsely accused of crimes like the one described above. Sometimes angry criminals want to avoid penalties, and will claim false arrests or accuse a police officer of gross misconduct. If you have been accused of a police misconduct crime, and are not guilty, then you need to talk with a Houston criminal defense lawyer at the firm today and set the record straight. At The Martinez Law Firm, Attorney Martinez and his team are here to help you out with your criminal charges. The firm is focused on working to help you with your case and doing all that they can to prove your innocence. Don’t hesitate to call the firm right away to learn more and get the information that you need!

If you were arrested for any crime, you cannot be tried for that crime twice (with some exceptions) according to the federal laws on double jeopardy. Jeopardy protection only applies in certain types of legal proceedings, but it is always important to try and challenge any actions that could possibly violate a double jeopardy statute. Essentially, the defendant protected by double jeopardy cannot be tried again on the same or similar charges following a legitimate acquittal conviction.

This does not apply to when a person commits the same crime again. Instead, this is a protection against being tried for the exact same crime more than once. For example, if a person was caught using drugs and was charged for this crime but won an acquittal, he cannot be retried without an appeal. Double Jeopardy is protected in the Fifth Amendment of the United States where it says that no person shall be subject for the same offense twice to be put in jeopardy of life and limb. There are four distinct provisions which can be identified in the double jeopardy clause. These are:

  • Subsequent prosecution after acquittal is illegal
  • Subsequent prosecution after conviction is not permissible
  • Subsequent prosecution after mistrial is unconstitutional
  • Multiple punishment for the same indictment is unconstitutional

If you have been arrested and tried for a crime, and you are told that you are going to be re-arrested, it is important that you hire a Houston criminal defense attorney to help you and argue Double Jeopardy in your case today. Don’t hesitate to hire a successful lawyer from The Martinez Law Firm to represent you and make sure that you get the treatment that you deserve in your case. Learn more about the double jeopardy protections by talking with an experienced attorney at our firm today!

In Houston, the police have been accused of racial profiling when they arrested two African-Americans and a white teenager after seeing her with the two men and assuming she had been stolen or was a runaway. In reality, the girl was a dancer who was travelling with her dance partner and trainer throughout the United States to head to a hip-hop academy and tape a video.

The police stopped the unlikely trio at a gas station and handcuffed them, putting them all into patrol cars and taking them to the police station. When the police called the 13-year-old blonde girl’s parents, they were shocked by the law enforcement’s tone. They said that their daughter was exactly where they wanted her to be, and they had given her dance instructor a plethora of papers to help prove that they were travelling in a legal fashion.

The parents say that the dance instructor had his student’s birth certificate, insurance card, and every contact number that was necessary. He also had a signed letter from the parents acknowledging that he had permission to care for the teenager. The police eventually let the threesome go, but stirred up a lot of frustrations in the midst of the situation.

Sometimes, police will racially profile individuals and will make assumptions that are incorrect or are even hurtful. If you have been racially profiled by a police officer and accused of a crime based on your race or culture, then you will want an attorney to assist you in your case today. With the right Houston criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to prove that you were racially profiled in arrest and do not deserve the penalties that you are facing.
Contact the firm today to learn more about these types of cases!

For some families, having everyone together under one roof is a joyous celebration. For others, this could be a recipe for disaster. Sometimes, the holidays can remind bitter ex’s of the way things used to be, and can cause a person to become depressed and irrational. Also, some family members may have high expectations for how they want the holidays to play out.

If a holiday does not turn out the way that this individual expected, the added stress and disappointment may send this person over the edge. The National Institute of Justice says that this condition is called familicide. There are certain risk factors which put a person at a high probability to struggle with familicide. For example, if a person has a history of domestic violence, access to a gun, and a prior history of substance abuse this typically puts that individual at a high risk to familicide. Sometimes an uninvited family member can also attend a Thanksgiving celebration unexpectedly, and this can result in altercations that can lead to arrests.

If you are arrested for a domestic violence act this year during the Thanksgiving celebrations, then you are going to want an attorney on your side to represent you. A Houston criminal defense lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm can help you with your case and will represent you in the best light possible. Maybe you were mentally unstable at the time of your action, or you may be innocent. Sometimes bitter relatives will accuse an innocent relative of physical or sexual abuse in order to get even.

If you are accused of any domestic crimes, hire an aggressive Houston criminal defense attorney to come alongside you immediately. You will want someone who can be tactical in helping you with your case and will be able to evidence your innocence.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most popular weeks for DWI arrest within the year. This is because many individuals will enjoy a glass of wine or two with dinner and then consume beer while watching football. In addition, an individual may consume a holiday drink or two over the course of the night. By the time he or she is ready to drive home, the individual may be well over the legal limit. Every year, police forces put out large numbers of patrols to watch for DWI offenders that are making their way home after a Thanksgiving celebration.

Ironically, “Black Wednesday,” which is the day before Thanksgiving, has also become a popular day for drinking. According to the Sun-Sentinel, this has become one of the biggest alcohol drinking nights of the year, second only to New Year’s Eve. Researchers say that Black Wednesday encourages drinking for a variety of reasons. For one, relatives are in town, and for another college students are home. Also, there is no work on Thursday, so individuals decide to drink without worry that they will have to go into work hung-over.

Many restaurant owners and bar owners say that they are specifically preparing for Black Wednesday by offering special deals that night. Yet it is important for these drinkers to remember that they need to be wise when they choose any alcohol. Driving home intoxicated may result in a DWI charge, which will then inevitably result in arrest. If you have been arrested for a Thanksgiving DWI, then you need a dedicated attorney and former prosecutor on your side. At
The Martinez Law Firm, you can trust that you will have the aggressive representation that you need to work through your charges effectively. Call the firm today to learn more!

A shaken woman was shocked when she received a text message to her phone notifying her that she was being watched and that a hitman was paid to kill her. According to the report on KHOU, the woman received an unsettling message on Sunday which essentially said “someone paid me to kill you. I will spare you if you pay me $5,000 in two days.” The victim was told that if she notified the police then she would die. The hitman also warned the victim that she was being monitored. Despite the warning, the victim quickly reported the cryptic text message to the police.

When the woman reported the incident, she was told that she had already received several complaints about similar threatening messages. The FBI has also been getting complaints about texts of this nature. The authorities have determined that this is a “hitman scam” that is taking place at present in the United States. The scammers locate numbers and fabricate hitman situations in order to get money. The messages normally come from foreign numbers and ask the recipient to respond to anonymous e-mails.

The death threat scam can affect individuals in any location. Scammers have resolved to use this tactic because they believe that it can evoke a serious emotional response in the victim and they will get their money as a result. If you want more information about hitman scams, then you need to talk with a lawyer today. If you have been accused of participating in a hitman scam of this nature, you could face serious penalties if convicted. You may be charged with sending death threats as well as participating in a scam. If you need to defense for these crimes, then contact a Houston criminal defense attorney today to learn more.

As this year comes to a close I hope that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office decides to go back to the refusal of filing felony charges for trace amount of cocaine possession. As late as last year the Harris County District Attorney’s Office was telling police that she should file the same charges as a misdemeanor. They new administration made a political decision to change that policy. I can honestly that this was the right decision to make those cases a misdemeanor instead of a felony charge. After dealing with drug cases for close to 20 years I know that anyone using drugs never wants to leave any drugs behind. Thus, they are never intentionally in possession of the cocaine.

It has been my experience that of all felony charges the trace amount of cocaine charge is the most annoying. Judges dislike seeing them in their court, prosecutors are uncomfortable prosecuting them and juries hate labeling someone as a felony for a miniscule amount.

Forgery is a serious offense and it is punishable as a felony in all fifty states. In most cases, it is penalized as a federal crime. Forgery is the crime of making, altering, use, or possession of false writing in order to commit a crime or fraud. Essentially, if a person fakes another individual’s signature or imitates handwriting on important documents, this can be considered forgery.

When a person commits forgery, the person must intentionally alter a document in a dishonest way. Forgery is not only faking signatures. It can also be altering existing writing if the changing of the material affects a person’s legal rights. Deleting, adding, or changing significant portions of a document can also be considered an illegal or forged alteration.

In order for false writing to be considered forgery, the writing must have apparent legal significant. For example, if a person forges a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued document then this will constitute forgery. A document need not necessarily be a legal or government- issued document. It simply needs to affect a person’s rights and obligations in order to be considered fraud.

In order to be guilty of forgery, the defendant must intend to defraud someone or some entity. As a federal law, forgery is punishable by a fine and up to fifteen years in prison. Federal law also prohibits forms of forgery such as counterfeiting money, or forging immigration documents and military discharge certificates.

If you want to learn more about forgery crimes, or if you have been charged with forgery and now want assistance in your case, then contact a lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm today. With the right attorney there to help you, you will be able to tackle your case with confidence and may be able to avoid serious penalties associated with forgery.

When it comes to your car, you have fewer rights than you do concerning your home. The police may have the right to search your car in some circumstances, but generally you are protected from any unreasonable search and seizure of your property. According to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, if an officer pulls you over he or she may be able to search your car without a warrant. This depends on whether or not the police can see evidence to pinpoint the need for a car search. Cars are technically considered private spaces, but the court is treated differently from your person and home and is subject to less protection.

The Supreme Court allows three different types of searches. The law enforcement can conduct a search incident to arrest, which is a search of the immediate vicinity of the driver inside the car. This is typically the search used when a police officer suspects that an individual was drinking and driving. Police also have the right to conduct an inventory search, which is when the police arrest the driver and impound the car. This can only happen when the police have the cause to arrest the individual already.

Also, police have the freedom to conduct a probably cause search. This is when the police have a reasonable suspicion that there are illegal items in the car, such as a weapon or drugs. If you have had your car searched, and you believe that the search was illegal, then you will want to talk with a Houston criminal defense attorney about the issue right away. At The Martinez Law Firm, a dedicated attorney may be able to help you with your case and assist you in getting the representation that you need. Hire a lawyer today to learn more!

A 23-year-old Houston local has been arrested after Houston police dogs discovered the man who has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes in recent months. He stole these cigarettes from a discount store located in Northwest Harris County, and then led police on a 25-mile chase as they pursued him to recover the goods. The suspect has been charged with felony evading and felony theft. The deputies claim that the offender smashed the windows of a dollar store in the middle of the night and stole the cigarettes in addition to some other merchandise.

Deputies were responding to the emergency call about the burglary when the suspect drove by. Police took off, attempting to stop him, but he sped away. With the help of search dogs, the police were able to locate the offender and bring him to justice. While search dogs can be a helpful tool in police work, they can also make mistakes. The animals may detect a scent erroneously, leading to the arrest of an innocent suspect. If you have been arrested for a crime you didn’t commit because of police dog error, then contact a lawyer at the firm today for more information. The Martinez Law Firm has a host of attorneys who are willing to help you with your Houston criminal defense case!

According to the Texas Penal Code, bribery is the offense of intentionally and knowingly offering a person money or collateral for an illegal action. Individuals can be charged with bribery if they offer, confer, or agree to confer on another for a recipient’s decision about a situation, vote, or another exercise of discretion as a public servant or party official.

Bribery also applies to people who offer benefits to a person for their decision in a judicial or administrative proceeding, such as in a court case. For example, if an individual was charged with a crime, and bribed a judge to have him declare the defendant not guilty, this would be considered the crime of bribery. Also, if a person offers benefits for a political contribution, this can be considered bribery.

All bribery offenses are typically considered second-degree felonies. This also applies to tampering with witnesses in court cases, and to encouraging individuals to lie about the situations surrounding a case. Oftentimes those who commit the crime of bribery do not intend to commit a serious crime. Instead, they may be caught up in working to secure their innocence in a court case, or may be concerned about their welfare and will ask individuals to do them a favor for a reward.

It is best to remember that bribery is a serious crime and to avoid it at all costs. Talk to an attorney today if you want to learn more about bribery or if you need defense in a bribery case. You may be able to claim that you were misrepresented, or that you have been framed and did not intend to bribe anyone. Also, if you can prove that you were misinterpreted, and that in the conversation that allegedly took place you did not actually bribe the individual, then this may help in your case. Talk to a lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm for more information.

In the state of Texas, it is illegal to commit any offense that qualifies as racketeering. Essentially, racketeering is the federal criminal act of engaging in an illegal business act or running an illegal or illegitimate business. RICO is the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization Laws which make it particularly illegal to profit from an illegal business. The goal is to stop the flow of income to criminal organizations that ultimately use the profits to fund their illegal activities.

If you are accused of racketeering in Texas, there are a variety of defenses that you may be able to use to argue your side of the case. For example, if you can prove that you are not a member of the criminal organization that you were affiliated with, then you may be able to avoid any punishment. Also, if you can prove that you didn’t have any knowledge that your actions were furthering the agenda of a criminal organization, then you may be able to avoid penalties. For example, if you were deceived into thinking you were working with a legal organization when you were really working for a criminal operation, you may be able to prove that you were mistaken.

If you are convicted of racketeering in Texas, you will typically be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. In some cases individuals can be charged with a felony, even a first degree felony depending on the nature of the organization. Racketeering can sometimes be an additional crime. For example, if you are affiliated with an organization that supplies hit-men to those wanting to commit a murder, and you commit the murder, then you will be charged with both murder and racketeering. Learn more about this crime by talking with a Houston criminal defense attorney. With the right lawyer on your side you may be able to avoid serious penalties. Contact the firm today if you want to learn more!

People can steal virtually anything and be arrested for theft crimes. Recently, four women were captured on camera stealing an unlikely target: hair extensions. The women tried to use social media to sell the stolen products and were arrested as a result. The offense was captured on a surveillance camera on September 16th at a shop called Mr. Indian Hair. The shop’s owner says that his product is high in demand because of the desire for thick, volumized hair.

The human hair extensions sold at the shop cost between $150-$200 and the average woman purchases three separate pieces in order to add to her full head of hair. The surveillance video shows the four women walking into the store and talking with the one clerk inside. The women asked the employee about a piece of hair that was only stored in the back and the clerk went back into storage to get the piece. At this time, the women grabbed several hangers of hair and a fourth woman ran out to get the getaway car ready.

The store owner says that the women stole about $15,000 to $20,000 worth of hair from the store. He couldn’t identify the thieves using the surveillance video, but there was a break in the case when some individuals informed the man that his products were being sold on the street and vie an Instagram shop.

This tip helped the police identify the four suspects right away. All of them face a felony theft charge for their crime. If you have been arrested for shoplifting theft, then talk to a Houston criminal defense attorney today to learn more. With the right lawyer on your side, you will be able to seek defense in your case and possibly avoid serious charges.

Generally speaking there are two types of evading arrest charges in Texas. The one that gets the most publicity involve long police chases. Everyone can understand when someone drives recklessly throughout Harris County, Texas why felony charges are filed in these instances. What most people do not understand is that not pulling over for a traffic ticket quickly enough could lead to felony charge. For example, I recently, had to defend someone that was less than two miles from their house, knew they had a warrant for his arrest so he just thought he would drive home instead of getting his car towed. To most people that seems reasonable, but not to the police officer who persued him to his house, confirmed his home address with his driver’s license and proceeded to arrest him for felony evading arrest in a motor vehicle. After making his $2,000 bond he thought he could go to court to explain his story to the judge who bluntly told him that he was likely to confess to the crime while the prosecutor took notes of everything he said. Ultimately, he recognized that it would be better to stay quiet, hire a lawyer to defend. That was a good call on his part because I was able to get his case eventually dismissed, kept off his permanent record so the general public could not see the arrest.

Do yourself a favor, try to pull over as quickly as possible when you see the police lights behind your vehicle. If you make the mistake of not pulling over in time for the police officer do not go to court without a lawyer. Getting a felony conviction for any crime will ruin your life!

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.

Texans will want to be extra-cautious on the roads these days after the Texas legislature passed a variety of new driving laws. These laws include stiffer penalties for motorists who don’t change lanes for Texas Department of Transportation workers that are working out on the roads. These workers are often hit by speeding drivers that fail to move away from the lane where the individuals are working.

This has resulted in many tragic fatalities for on-the-job workers. Now, when individuals fail to change lanes to avoid the workers in compliance with the Texas laws, they can be dined with heavier expenses. According to research, in the past ten years seven workers have died after they were hit by drivers.

Those who were originally charged with failing to move over and slow down could be punished with a misdemeanor resulting in a $200 to $500 fine. Now, the individuals can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor that is punishable by up to six months in prison. If the violation results in bodily damage then the full sentence may be imposed on the individual who violated the law.

Also, individuals who pass stopped school buses when the buses are picking up students for school can also be fined with heavier expenses. In the past, an individual who passed a stopped school bus could be dined between $200 and $1,000. Now, the new law increases those fines to range from $500 in the least to up to $1,250 at the most.

It is also illegal for individuals to use cell phones while driving near schools, and they can be fined with stiffer penalties as a result of the new driving laws. If you have been arrested for a traffic infraction of this nature then you need to contact a Houston criminal defense attorney today to learn more!

If you started a fire or explosion and you knew that the property where the fire took place belongs to another person or sits on property belonging to another person, then you can be charged with arson. Also, if you were aware of the fact that the fire you set affected a location that contained property belonging to another person, this is considered arson as well.

In addition, if property is insured against damage and there is a mortgage or lien on a property that is held by someone other than yourself, you can be charged for damage. This is because some individuals will purposefully attempt to burn a home or location in order to get a fire insurance settlement.

The Texas courts also maintain that a person can be charged with arson if he or she recklessly set fire or set off an explosion without any regard to the safety of others or without regards to another’s property. This means that if you start a campfire or play with fireworks in dry woods where a burn ban is put in place, and this eventually causes fire damages, then you could he charged with arson.

Also, if you accidentally start a fire that causes damage while you are trying to create a controlled substance, then this is considered arson. If you smoke and then toss a smoldering cigarette into dry brush, which ignites a fire, then you can also be charged with this crime.

With so many different opportunities to be charged with arson, it is essential that you be cautious when working with fire and avoid every being reckless with it. Arson is considered a second-degree felony and is punishable by between 2 and 20 years in prison. If the fire involves a church, or if someone else is injured or killed, then it can carry a life sentence. Arson in the course of creating a controlled substance is punishable with between six months and two years in jail.

A disabled marine was saddened when he found his car had been targeted by vandals in Houston over the weekend. The individual says that he has battled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder since coming home from the war, and relies on his service dog to help him manage all kinds of stress.

It did not help his stress levels when he discovered that his car was heavily vandalized. The 28-year-old veteran who served in Iraq says that he woke up to see graffiti all over his car. There were racial slurs, spray pain vulgarities, and inappropriate words strewn all over the car. The veteran says that the mirrors were also painted black and the bumpers were busted off of the car. The veteran says that he suffered extreme embarrassment after he says his car so damaged.

The veteran currently lives off of his disability checks. He says that he did his best to clean up his ’96 Ford Escape after the incident but was not able to remove all of the language. Neighbors say that other cars in the Houston area have also been vandalized, purportedly by the same group of teenagers. The Marine believes that without his service dog he may not be able to handle the frustration of the vandalism.

Vandalism of an automobile is a serious offense, and those who are charged with this crime in Houston can face grave penalties if convicted. Oftentimes the Texas courts will charge vandalism as criminal mischief, depending on the extent of the damage, the crime can either be a misdemeanor or a state jail felony. Because most car vandalism cases cost thousands of dollars in repairs, they are typically considered state jail felonies. If you want more information contact a Houston criminal defense attorney today!

<span><p>According to My Fox Houston, a group of activists protesting a pipeline project in downtown Houston this morning were arrested for their behavior. The individuals were expressing their opinion on the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The group organizes outside of the TransCanada headquarters, but police felt it proper to arrest them for misdemeanor trespassing because they were on the property. The police claimed that the act was in civil disobedience.</p>
<p>The Keystone XL Pipeline Project involves an effort to build a pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. Yet activists believe that the pipeline will damage the environment and should be stopped before it’s built. One protestor told news stations that the pipeline is going to brine dirty materials across the United States down to Houston where it can be refined and shipped to Asia to be burned. According to protestors the oil will not be used in America unless it spills.</p>
<p>Regardless of the protestor’s opinions and whether or not they are correct, the police say that trespassing is a <a href=”/Criminal_Defense/Misdemeanor_Charges.aspx”>misdemeanor</a> crime. Depending on the nature of the trespassing it can be charged as a Class A, Class B or Class C misdemeanor. On the other hand, protesting and expressing opinions is a constitutional right.</p>
<p>If you have been silenced for protesting and believe that your arrest violated your rights as stated in the U.S. Constitution, then you need to talk to a <a href=”/”>Houston criminal defense attorney</a> about this immediately. With the right attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid prosecution and prove that you should not have been arrested for your crime in the first place. Talk to someone at The Martinez Law Firm today to learn more about this crime or to develop a convincing defense.</p></span>

<span><p>Early this morning, a former Navy man launched an attack in a building at the Washington Navy Yard. The offender shot office workers in the cafeteria and then rushed into a hallway. Thirteen people were killed in the exchange, including the gunman. Authorities write that they are looking for a second possible attacker who may have been in a military-style uniform.</p>
<p>Investigators say that they have not established a motive for the shooting which happened less than four miles from the White House. The Navy Yard is heavily guarded, so many are wondering who the offenders managed to get in the building in the first place. This is the deadliest shooting at a U.S.-based military institution since the Fort Hood shooting in Texas. The offender in that case, Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death last month. That shooting took place in 2009.</p>
<p>The FBI has already taken charge of this investigation and identified the gunman who died in the midst of the attacks. His name is Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old from Texas. He died after running in a gun battle with the police. A federal law enforcement official says that the shooter most likely got into the Navy Yard using someone else’s identification card. The FBI is still trying to determine if the person with the identification was an accomplice or was unaware of the danger.</p>
<p>About 3,000 people work at the Navy Yard, and many of them are civilians. The Navy reports that Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007 to 2011 and then left as a petty officer in third class. The FBI is still trying to gather information on why he left his position with the military. Prior to the shooting, Alexis was working with a fleet logistics support squadron in Fort Worth, Texas.</p></span>

I was at a get together this weekend when the topic of money laundering came up. Not surprisingly, most people thought that a money laundering arrest involves millions of dollars like it is shown in movies like Scarface or Blow. While money laundering does stem from alleged drug dealing like those films the arrests in Houston, Texas do not involve that much cash. The typical case in Harris County, Texas involves a young person that is carrying a gym bag that is fully loaded while acting nervous around law enforcement, the police. What is surprising to me is that the young person typically gives the police consent to search their bag. In most instances, the police only have a hunch that is something is afoul and get lucky that the person does not know that they have the right to refuse the search. The typical “mule” is carrying $50,000 to $100,000 in cash, is under 30, and receiving less that $5,000 for transporting the money. They are a far cry from Tony Montana or George Jung.

The Houston Police are currently on the lookout for a “wigged bandit” and three other suspects that are responsible for a bank robbery in Heights. The FBI is also aiding in the search to hunt down the men who robbed a local credit union earlier in the week. According to investigators the armed men went into a Texas Dow Employees Credit Union and demanded cash from those behind the counter. They escaped from the scene of the crime unharmed.

One man wore a woman’s wig, and the others concealed their faces with masks and sunglasses. If caught, the Houston Police will press charges against the men and see that they are punished for their actions. If you want information about bank robberies or if you have been arrested for a theft crime and would like an aggressive lawyer on your side, then you need to contact a Houston criminal defense attorney at The Martinez Law Firm today!

A Houston local who has been on death row for 20 years recently won a federal court appeal allowing him to pursue claims that he is mentally impaired and therefore does not qualify for the death penalty. This shocking ruling may have saved the individual’s life. The verdict was decided in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, September 3rd.

The 50-year-old defendant is a former member of the Mexican mafia who was convicted of his crime in 1992 and has been in a federal prison ever since. He was convicted of murder after stabbing his 70-year-old neighbor 25 times during a home break-in. The defendant was on parole at the time that the crime occurred and had already been serving time for another home break-in where he sexually abused a pregnant woman.

The defendant’s attorneys argued that he deserved a court review because a psychiatrist who was present at his previous trial gave a questionable testimony and was later questioned for his methodology and credibility. If a questionable witness was a part of your trial, and you are now seeking an appeal, then you will want to hire a reliable and hardworking attorney to assist you.

Oftentimes the court will reconsider a sentence if a professional witness is proven to be inaccurate or questionable. At The Martinez Law Firm, Attorney Martinez is a former U.S. Chief Prosecutor. This means that he understands both sides of the law, and also understands what types of witnesses are most effective in a case. He can help you to contact the accurate and trusted witnesses that you need on your case to possible even win an appeal. Learn more by contacting the firm for a free case evaluation today!

Presently, the hit and run penalties in Texas are harsh, but not harsh enough to discourage the act in many cases. According to Texas lawmakers, the current penalties set for hit and run accidents are less severe than the penalties for DUI manslaughter. Oftentimes, hit and run offenders are intoxicated individuals who don’t want to be caught while under the influence of alcohol.

As a result, they will flee the scene of a serious accident, hoping that the police will not discover that they were driving drunk when the crash occurred. This way, even if they are caught, these suspects assume that they will be charged with a hit and run, rather than a severe intoxication manslaughter charge.

On September 1st, the Texas state government will pass a new law allowing the courts to heighten the penalties for a hit and run. The new penalties will be equivalent to the penalties for a
DUI manslaughter charge. This way, individuals that are involved in a DUI accident will not have any advantage by trying to flee the scene of the incident.

Texas officials are hopeful that this change in penalty structures will further discourage the practice of hit and runs. Now, individuals who hit another car and cause severe injury or death, and then flee the scene of the crime, can be sent to prison for between two and twenty years. They can also be issued a fine of up to $1,000.

If you are arrested for a hit and run, you will certainly want a Houston criminal defense attorney on your side. With these new laws going into effect on September 1st, 2013 you will want an attorney there to advocate on your behalf and petition for a plea bargain or a lighter sentence. Talk to our team at The Martinez Law Firm today!

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that required mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses would be coming to an end. These highly controversial minimum sentences would no longer be required for nonviolent, low-level drug offenders. This signals a major turning point in state and federal sentencing policy and should have a massive impact on the growing federal prison population.

These mandatory minimums were heavily implemented in the 1980s, although the “war on drugs” dates back to the Nixon era. They were a way for politicians and lawmakers to show that they were tough on crime, but decades later it is difficult to prove that the mandatory minimums did anything more than increase the state and federal prison population. Since the 1980s, federal prison population has increased 800 percent.

Holder noted that shifting policy in this direction has become a bipartisan issue, citing officials from “red” and “blue” states advocating for an end to these minimum sentences for drug offenders. Just about half of the federal prison population is comprised of inmates sentenced for drug-related crimes. Many of these thousands of individuals were sentenced for nonviolent and low-level offenses.

Our attorney general and many others hold to the belief that harsh sentences for these types of crimes do little to keep our communities safer, but actually perpetuate a cycle of incarceration that is far too much the norm in urban areas, particularly among low socioeconomic classes. As an alternative to mandatory minimums, the federal government plans to implement drug rehabilitation and community service programs. In turn, they hope this will help manage our overcrowded prisons while simultaneously helping offenders avoid recidivism.

Some states have already begun to reverse these harsh sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, such as Texas and New York. Even California recently amended its “Three Strikes Law” so it only applies to third violent felony offenses, rather than all third felony offenses. All state prisons in the United States are under court order to reduce inmates, a total reduction of 10,000 prisoners nationwide.

“By reserving the most severe penalties for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers, we can better promote public safety, deterrence and rehabilitation, while making our expenditures smarter and more productive,” Holder said.

The United States imprisons a greater percentage of its population than any other country in the world. Our country holds five percent of the world’s population, and yet nearly a quarter of the world’s total prison population. Holder and others are advocating for massive sweeps in sentencing changes so that the punishment more appropriately fits the crime.

A recent report by Reuters claims that a gunman in North Texas used an explosive device in an attack at two different residencies near Dallas in a revenge rampage that took four lives. The police believe that the attack was a domestic violence situation.

The suspect was hoping to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend. While his name has not yet been revealed, various sources report that the man was a former special education teacher who was angered when his girlfriend broke up with him. The FBI is investigating the situation to get further details, but reports show that the shooting began at a home in Dallas and ended at another home about seven miles away.

The victims have not been identified as of yet. Two boys ages 11 and 13 were also shot and survived. They are now being treated in local hospitals. Two other wounded victims have been injured and unidentified at present. Sources say that the shooter was a special education teacher that resigned on his own accord. He was never terminated from his position. The individual will most likely be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, and murder if he is confirmed as the shooter.

If you have been accused of these very serious crimes, the most important decision that you will make is the lawyer that you will hire to represent you in your case. If you hire an attorney that is only adequate, then you will have a lower chance of reducing your charges or avoiding penalties. Instead, you need to hire a dedicated, experienced, successful lawyer who will do that entire he or she can to work in your favor. At The Martinez Law Firm, a Houston criminal defense attorney can do everything possible to represent you in your case. Hire a lawyer today!

At Border Patrol checks in the state of Texas, many arrests are taking place. Yet many of these arrests aren’t targeting illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the United States. Instead, recent data suggests that many of the arrests at these Border Patrols in South Texas have been Americans smuggling drugs into the country. Information from 2011 shows that 2,102 individuals were arrested for smuggling illegal narcotics into the United States at only one checkpoint on the border.

Unfortunately, the cost of arresting and then prosecuting all of these low-level offenders has become excessive and increasingly unaffordable. Because of this, the federal government has allowed many of the low-level offenders to go free without a trial. The Texas counties have expressed frustrations about the amount of criminals left without punishment, but the governments of these small counties all agree that they do not have sufficient funds to pay for the jailing and the costs of prosecution for these individuals.

An article published on NPR suggests that for every dollar that comes to the county from handling the federal border crimes and seized assets, it costs about $2 to detain, prosecute, and process offenders. This doubling of costs makes it almost impossible for the counties to keep up with the steady stream of defendants.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Texas, this issue may work to your advantage. You will want to talk with a professional and hardworking Houston criminal defense attorney at the Martinez Law Firm for more information. Attorney Martinez is a former U.S. prosecutor, so he understands criminal law from both sides and can use his experience to best combat the prosecution in your case.
Hire the firm today to get optimal representation in your case!

If you are a teenager, then you can get a fresh start on your life by filing a petition in court and seeking expungement of a juvenile court conviction. Most of the time, expungement will make it so that employers, landlords, licensing agencies and others will never know that you have been arrested or convicted of a crime. Expungement is not the same as erasing the crime from your record, because it can still serve as a strike against a harsher punishment for repetitive behavior in the future.

The person that is seeking the sealing must be an adult in almost all states. This means that you must be 18 years old to seek an expungement. Also, in order to receive an expungement or seal your criminal records you will need to wait for a specified amount of time to pass. For example, to seal a juvenile court ruling the defendant will need to wait until five years have passed from the date of the offense or the end of the court proceedings. Also, states have the right to place limits on the types of offenses that can be expunged from a juvenile record.

Many states don’t allow people to expunge serious or violent offenses from a record. Any offense that would be a felony in an adult criminal court is normally supposed to remain as public record. Also, if you have an offense on your criminal record that resulted in later criminal arrests or convictions as an adult, then you may not be able to seal your juvenile record. If you believe that you qualify for expungement, then your first job should be to hire a professional Houston criminal defense attorney to help you argue for the record sealing. You will want an attorney there to prove to the court why the expungement is necessary. Talk to the Martinez Law Firm today for more information!

<span><p>In the city of Houston, crime is somewhat common. In data collected from
2011, there were 198 murders in the city of Houston, meaning that there
were 9.2 murders per 100,000 individuals in the city. There were also
771 cases of rape that were reported that year, and 8,054 robberies. There
were 765 cases of arson, which is the act of setting fire to buildings
deliberately to cause damage. As well, there were 12,281 auto thefts and
11,869 reported cases of assault. The most common crime in the city of
Houston in 2011 was theft in general, with 68,596 reported cases.</p>
In 2010, there were more murders than in 2011, and there were less rape
cases. As well, there were more robberies, more
<a href=”/Criminal_Defense/Assault.aspx”>assaults</a>, more burglaries, more
<a href=”/Criminal_Defense/Theft_Crimes.aspx”>thefts</a>, more auto thefts and more
<a href=”/Criminal_Defense/Arson.aspx”>arson</a> cases. This shows that the Houston police department and other authorities
are working very hard to reduce the crime rate in this city. While this
is a noteworthy accomplishment, crime is a terrible thing and the government
continues to fight to reduce the numbers for this year and years to come.
That means that sometimes law enforcement can be over-zealous to find
offenders, and may falsely arrest Houston citizens.
If you have been charged with a crime, you want an aggressive
<a href=”/Attorney_Profile.aspx”>Houston criminal defense lawyer</a> on your side right away. Attorney Martinez is a former prosecutor who
knows many individuals in the Houston court system and understands both
sides of the law. He is more than willing to take on your case and help
you work through the charges that you are currently dealing with. Don’t
wait to get help, contact the firm right now and receive a
<a href=”/Case_Evaluation.aspx”>free initial consultation</a> where you can discuss the details of your case confidentially.

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!

In some states, individuals cannot be punished for failing to put on a seatbelt. Yet this is not true in every situation. In some states, individuals can be fined for failing to buckle up when they get on the road. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that there is some sort of mandatory safety belt law in every single state except for New Hampshire. Yet only 28 states permit police officers to fine a person for failing to buckle up in the back seat.

Belt laws in 33 states and the District of Columbia are called primary seat belt laws. This means that a police officer is permitted to pull a driver over solely based on the fact that that individual is not wearing a seatbelt. In other jurisdictions, the police need to stop the vehicle for another reason, such as speeding or an expired license, before they can discuss the issue of the seatbelt and impose a fine.

If you are caught without a seatbelt, and want to contest the violation, then you can contact a local criminal defense lawyer to help you. You may think that it is overdramatic to hire a criminal defense attorney to help you with something as simple as a traffic infraction, but there are times that this investment can save you a lot of money and possible license revocation.

When you are slapped with another traffic violation, your insurance could go up, and you may be forced to cope without a license for a set amount of time. You can attempt to avoid these penalties by discussing your case with an attorney at our Houston criminal defense firm today. Hire a lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm and work hard to fight the prosecution and avoid a sentence that could cause difficulty in your life!

In the state of Texas, the police maintain a zero tolerance law. This means that individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to drive with any alcohol in their system because it is illegal for these individuals to even consume alcohol. Interestingly enough, the “zero tolerance” policy in the state of Texas isn’t actually set at 0.00%. In some states, any teen or underage drinker that registers with any alcohol in his or her system can be arrested.

In Texas, the underage drinker has to register at 0.02% to qualify for charges and arrest. This is a very low BAC that most individuals can reach with one or two beers. This means that most of the time teens will be charged with underage drinking and driving if they have had any substantial alcoholic drinks in the recent past. Yet the 0.02% buffer protects any underage individuals who may have only had a few sips of Mom’s wine at dinner or had a couple sips of an older friend’s beer.

The National Highway Systems Designation Act of 1995 originally mandated that all states consider a 0.02% BAC for under-21 drivers. All states were required to set this limit in order to qualify for Federal Aid Highway Funds. All states eventually agreed to this rule, but many states set their limit as a per se offense. This means that the police don’t actually have to prove intoxication as long as the driver is above the stated limit.

Some states decided to go even further and set their limit at 0.00% as later recommended by the federal government. Texas remained at the 0.02% limit, and continues to operate with this law in place today. This means that if you were arrested for an underage DWI and are being prosecuted on a zero tolerance 0.00% policy standard, this may not be in accordance with the state laws. You will want a Houston DWI attorney at The Martinez Law Firm to assist you if you need more information or want to battle your charges.

In many states, loitering is illegal. Loitering is typically the action of wandering form place to place without any apparent business. Normally, the court must prove that the loiterer posed some sort of threat to society or public safety in order to charge that person with the crime. If a police officer sees a person that is loitering, normally that officer can demand identification and an explanation of the persons’ personal activities. If the person fails to comply, then the office can arrest him or her on loitering charges. Laws are very specific that an officer must have observed that an individual was loitering before asking for identification.

Many people argue that officers use loitering laws to clear neighborhoods of homeless or undesirable people who tend to congregate on the streets. Some courts believe that loitering laws are unconstitutional on the grounds that they are discriminatory against the poor people. The safest place to challenge the validity of a loitering law or loitering arrest is in the court room. You will want a hardworking Houston criminal defense attorney to assist you if you believe that you mistreated on the grounds of loitering and want to set the record straight.

With a Houston criminal defense lawyer from The Martinez Law Firm on your side, you may be able to show that your arrest was discriminatory, unconstitutional, or unwarranted. You may also be able to show that you were not loitering, and were in a specific place for a specific reason. If you were not granted the right ot remain silent during your arrest, and were taken into custody because you failed ot answer an officer’s questions, then you can also argue that this is a violation of you Miranda Rights. Contact an attorney at The Martinez Law Firm to discuss your specific case in detail with a trusted professional!

An arraignment is the first time that you appear before a judge and enter the plea of guilty or not guilty of the crime for which you have been charged. This arraignment normally happens shortly after your arrest. While you are free to ask a lawyer to attend your arraignment, the presence of a lawyer is not necessary. It may benefit you to have an attorney there with you from the beginning of your case so that he or she can inform you as to how to respond to the judge’s questions.

At the arraignment, the judge will normally set a date for the next court appointment in your case, and will consider any bail requests that make or any bail requests by the prosecutor. If you don’t have a lawyer and don’t plan to hire your own attorney to help you tackle your case, then the judge will appoint a lawyer for you at your arraignment and may ask you to waive time.

Even though a lawyer is not required at this appointment, it is always better to have legal representation whenever you enter a court case. You will want to consult with your lawyer before your arraignment and will want to discuss the details of your case so that the attorney you are working with can help you to strategize the best defense.

At The Martinez Law Firm, there are dedicated attorneys ready to help you. Attorney Martinez will start your case with a free initial consultation, and will use his 15 years of experience to help you work through your case. Attorney Martinez is a former prosecutor, so he understands both sides of Texas criminal law and can use this unique experience to best serve you. Don’t hesitate to hire this Houston criminal defense attorney as soon as possible!

Many men and women choose to take steroids so that they can bulk up their muscles and have the fit body that they have always wanted. Unfortunately, anabolic steroids are illegal under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, meaning that those in possession of these drugs can be arrested or fined. If a person knowingly possesses these steroids, law enforcement will charge the offender with a Class A misdemeanor for any amount less than 28 grams. Those who have more than 28 grams of anabolic steroids may be charged with a third degree felony. This means that the possession crime will go on the offender’s record at conviction and may affect that person’s reputation or ability to get a job in the future.

Anyone who has over 200 grams of anabolic steroids can be charged with a second degree felony, which comes with serious penalties including jail. People who possess over 400 grams of anabolic steroids can be imprisoned from five years to life. The amounts are counted in units, and one pull, capsule or tablet is conserved one unit. 0.5 grams of liquid also counts as one unit of steroids.

In most states, the state and federal laws prohibit the use of anabolic steroids and Texas is no exception. This means that people can be prosecuted in both federal and state courts for this crime. Most of the time, the agency that made the arrest will determine whether you will be tried in federal or state court. On the federal level, possession of any schedule III substance including anabolic steroids can be punished by one year in prison and a minimum of $1,000 in fines.

A second offense at the federal level can lead to a mandatory imprisonment minimum of 15 days with a maximum of two years and a minimum fine of $2,500. The third offense is a mandatory 90 days in jail with up to three years and a minimum of $5,000 for possession of almost any amount of steroids. If you want more information about anabolic steroid abuse and offenses, or if you have been charged with steroid possession and want defense in court, a Houston criminal defense attorney at The Martinez Law Firm can be of use to you. Contact a lawyer at the firm today for more information.

A new immigration bill claims that immigrants that are in the United States
illegally should not be removed from the nation until they are convicted
of a crime that they were arrested for. This means that if you are an
immigrant and you are arrested for a
DUI manslaughter case, then you cannot be forced to leave America until you are proven
guilty of your crime.

After this, there is still not a set rule that will mandate deportation.
Individuals who are convicted of crimes like manslaughter may be able
to remain in the United States if they can prove that it will be a hardship
to their family members if they are sent back to their country of origin.
For example, if a man is arrested for an assault charge, and then convicted,
but has a wife and children in California, he can prove that it would
be difficult for his family if he was sent away.

As a result, the individual may be able to serve a short sentence in the
United States so that he can resume his responsibilities to his family.
If you are an illegal immigrant that is facing criminal charges, the suggestions
in this bill could have serious implications for your future. You cannot
even be asked to leave the country until you are convicted of a violent
crime, so your first step to battle deportation is to locate a reliable
Houston criminal defense lawyer.

You need to hire a lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm if you want someone
that you can rely upon to tackle your case. Attorney Martinez is a former
prosecutor so he understands both aspects of criminal law and can use
his background to develop a defense for your case.
Call him today if you want more information!

Last week, the Supreme Court weighed in on a case where the defendant claimed
that his Fifth Amendment rights were violated because his silence was
used against him in the case. The defendant was originally called in as
a witness on a
murder case, and was responding to officers’ questions when they asked him
if his shotgun shells would match the shells found at the scene of the
crime. At this time, the man who had been open to talk before clammed
up and would not answer any more questions. He refused to respond to law
enforcement, shuffled his feet, and displayed signs of extreme discomfort.

The man was arrested for his incriminating behaviors, and eventually convicted
as the murderer in a case in Texas. His defense attorney then appealed
the case, claiming that because his silence was used as evidence of guilt,
the case was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court looked at the situation,
and justices decided that the man should be found guilty for murder and
that his silence could be used to prove this fact.

They say that this is because the man was not under arrest at the time
that the interview took place. Instead, the defendant was in the middle
of a witness interview. He had not been arrested, and had not been read
his Miranda Rights. Now, the Supreme Court claims that before an arrest
or before Miranda Rights are read, law enforcement can use a person’s
silence as evidence that they are guilty of a crime.

This has far-reaching implications for criminal cases in every state. If
you have been arrested for a crime and your silence was used against you,
you need to get a
Houston criminal defense lawyer involved right away. With the right criminal defense attorney on your
side you may be able to challenge your case and receive a reduced sentence
or a dismissal!

Road rage is the act of driving angrily and aggressively without any regard to other motorists out on the road. Those who are struggling with road rage tend to speed, cut other off, tailgate, and do a variety of other dangerous or foolish acts. If a driver who is displaying road rage ends up in a fatal accident, then that man or woman can be arrested and may be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This is because the witnesses may be able to evidence that the driver was operating his or her vehicle with reckless intent.

If you have been arrested for vehicular manslaughter stemming from road rage, then you need to hire a local criminal defense attorney to help you combat your crimes. Without a hardworking lawyer on your side, you may be convicted of this serious crime and may eventually be jailed as a result. Even if you merely injured a person in a car accident due to road rage, it could still lead to a charge and a conviction for vehicular assault. This is especially true if you were angry at the driver and then bumped his or her car or facilitated an accident out of anger.

Many times, road rage accidents may be the result of a DWI. Some intoxicated individuals become excessively angry, and may even cause accidents as a way to vent their anger at drivers out on the road. Even a driver who does not have an illegal BAC above the 0.08% threshold can be arrested for this crime and charged with vehicular assault or manslaughter if the alcohol caused aggressive and irritable behavior. Those who are driving with a BAC above 0.08% may be arrested for dual crimes. Talk to a
Houston criminal defense attorney today if you want more information about how aggressive driving or road rage can affect a case and how to combat accusations.

In Texas, the authorities take weapons crimes seriously. Carrying a concealed handgun without a license can result in serious punishments that can lead to heavy fines or jail time. According to Senate Bill 321, those who carry handgun licenses have the right to transport and store firearms and ammunition in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle. Employers are not allowed to prevent employees from keeping these concealed guns within their vehicle in a workplace parking lot unless the employee meets certain exceptions which could make him or her exempt from the law.

The Texas Penal Code also mandates that a person is in violation of the state laws if he or she intentionally and knowingly carries a handgun when not on his or her own premises or premises under the person’s control. People are also allowed to carry their handguns inside of a privately owned motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person. There are times that the law rules that a person who carries a handgun onto a boat or into a car and keeps that handgun in plain view can be prosecuted. Also, if a person is engaged in a criminal activity other than a Class C misdemeanor if the person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm and still has one in his or her possession, this can result in prosecution.

If you have a license to carry a concealed handgun, then you will want to make this clear to the court if you are arrested for a weapons offense. If you do not have a license and are not permitted to legally carry a handgun, then you need to contact a lawyer to help you during your trial. With the right attorney on your side, you may be able to evidence that you were acting in ignorance or that you did not commit a crime. Talk to a Houston criminal defense attorney today for more information!

If you are a Texas resident, there are specific laws on cell phone use
that you need to adhere to. With the exception of drivers in school zones,
most drivers do not have any restrictions on their cell phone use while
they are driving. Also, Texas law restricts novice drivers from talking
to their phones while they are on the road. For the first 12 months after
receiving a license, a driver is considered a novice. These drivers cannot
text or call another person on their phone during this time or they can
be fined. In some situations, a police officer may even restrict the driver’s
license as penalty for disobeying the law.

Also, bus drivers are not permitted to use their cell phones when their
bus in in motion and is transporting any children under the age of 17.
In some cases, disobeying this law can be termed child endangerment and
can lead to severe punishments. Bus drivers are held to a high standard
because they transport youth on a regular basis. Despite these strict
rules, most drivers in the state of Texas are allowed to use their cell
phones, and cannot be arrested if they are caught with the device in hand.
In Amarillo, Austin, and El Paso there are city ordinances that restrict
cell phone use, but these are not honored at the state level.

This means that if you are arrested for cell phone use or ticketed for
this offense, you may be able to fight the charge in court. Whenever you
are falsely accused of a traffic violation, you will want a Houston criminal
defense lawyer on your side.
Attorney Herman Martinez understands how to tackle a case because he is a former prosecutor. Talk
to him today if you want more information about battling an undeserved
traffic violation!

Most states have sex offender registries which allow them to list those convicted of sex crimes. Rapists, sexual assaulters, child pornography offenders, and others are listed on this registry for the public. The registry is a public shaming, and many individuals will steer clear of
sex crimes in order to avoid being put on the state list where anyone can learn about their past offenses. Now, Texas has created a new registry of similar nature for those that are
domestic violence offenders.

Every year, thousands of individuals are battered and harmed by family members. In fact, the Texas Department of Public Safety reports that in 2011, 177,983 people reported incidents of domestic violence. 40% of these incidents were against a spouse, and about 16% of the acts of violence were against children. 44% of all domestic violence acts involved violence against an immediate family member.

Because of this, the state has decided to list all persons convicted of domestic violence or domestic abuse on a registry. The registry will show their names, birth dates and even mug shots. If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, you will want an attorney there to represent you in court. If you fail to prove that you are innocent of your crime, you may be placed in this registry where your reputation will be damaged. Currently, the registry is reserved for individuals with three or more domestic violence convictions.

An attorney at The Martinez Law Firm can help you if you have been accused of a violent crime against a family member. Many times, domestic violence cases are over-exaggerated or can be fabricated by a bitter family member. Commonly, women will report that their partners or husbands abused them, even if this is not true. The courts tend to believe women over men in these situations, and an innocent husband or father may be jailed as a result. If you’re looking for the best Houston criminal defense attorney available, then you should contact The Martinez Law Firm today!

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that police are required to obtain a search warrant before they can gather a blood sample from a driver in many DWI situations. This has thrown a massive roadblock into DUI enforcement, though attorneys say the warrant requirement is necessary and legal to protect citizens of the United States. Many attorneys say this ruling is in line with Americans’ constitutional rights. One attorney told Houston News that there is no reason by a police officer should need a warrant to search a home, but be allowed to invade a person’s body using a syringe without permission. Eight of nine justices upheld a previous Missouri Supreme Court decision that blood alcohol dissipation does not authorize officers to conduct a warrantless blood draw.

The case, which was taken all the way to the federal level, started with a case in Missouri when a man was stopped for speeding on a rural road. According to reports, the driver failed several field sobriety tests, and his blood-alcohol content was 0.154 percent, meaning he was driving illegally under the influence. Instead of getting a warrant and taking a blood sample from the offender, the police officer took the man to the hospital and a technician drew the blood while the suspect was handcuffed. The Missouri Supreme Court declared that the evidence in the case needed to be tossed because the blood test was taken without a warrant. This was an unreasonable search and seizure.

Prosecution argued that the natural dissipation of the alcohol in the blood is enough cause to void a warrant. The prosecution claimed that officers may need to take the blood sample quickly, and getting a warrant may take too much time. Still, the court did not agree. They officials declared that officers need to get a warrant unless there are extenuating circumstances in order to protect an American’s fourth amendment rights. About half of the states authorize warrantless blood draws when there are not pressing circumstances, but the Supreme Court’s ruling may reduce the amount of warrantless blood draws in the United States while encouraging officers to respect the citizens’ rights in the event of an arrest.

If you have been arrested for a DWI and the officer demanded that you submit to a blood test even though the law enforcement officer did not secure a warrant, then you may be able to get your case dismissed. You will need a hardworking and reliable Houston criminal defense attorney on your side. Talk to a Houston DWI lawyer at the Martinez Law Firm today if you want to protect your rights as an American and ensure you are not convicted of a DWI based on a warrantless blood sample!

Under current laws, sexual contact with minors that are under the age of
17 is considered a crime of indecency in Texas. A caveat in this law allows
teenage couples to avoid prosecution if they are in a consensual relationship
and are both over the age of 14 and within three years of age of each
other. Still, this law specifically states that this law is only available
to couples of the opposite sex. For example, if a 17 year old and a 21
year old of opposite sexes engage in a consensual amorous relationship,
then neither party can be prosecuted in connection with the crime.

If the same situation were to happen but between two homosexuals, current
law would not allow for both parties to avoid prosecution. That is why
a new law has been proposed. This new law would make it possible for individuals
with homosexual lifestyles to have the same protections as their heterosexual
peers. The bill is currently going through the state legislature and claims
that Texas should revise their definition of indecency with a minor to
remove any implications that the law only has to do with heterosexual
couples. In many states, sex offender relationships that are consensual
and between those that are close in age have been treated with leniency.

Texas is one of the only states that distinguishes that both partners in
one of these situations must be of the opposite sex in order for a consensual
relationship to take place. This intriguing discussion on gay rights could
affect some criminal law cases, so if you have been accused of sexual
indecency with a minor, then make sure to mention this pending legislation
to your attorney. Hire a
Houston criminal defense lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm to assist you if you need help with your
sex crime allegations today!

If you have been charged with assault in Texas, you may be terrified. Maybe you were simply playing around when you accidentally struck someone with a heavy object, and they accused you of being abusive and trying to assault them. On the other hand, maybe you were being reckless and this created an injury, but you never intended to cause harm.

There are a variety of different defenses that you may want to discuss. Whenever you are charged with the crime of assault, the person who accused you will need to prove that you caused bodily harm based on three different components. In court, the prosecution will need to declare that you committed the crime knowingly. This means that you purposefully harmed another person with full intent to do so.

You can also be convicted of assault if the prosecution can prove that you did the act intentionally. This means that witnesses will need to testify that you meant to harm the person that was injured by your actions. If you can argue that you did not mean to harm that person, then you may be able to obtain a case dismissal. For example, if you were toying with a gun and accidentally shot it off, then this would be a viable reason to declare that you were not intentional in your actions. As well, if you committed the crime recklessly, you can be convicted of assault.

When discussing reckless crimes, the prosecution will need to prove that you were reckless with a disregard for those around you and were not concerned about causing harm to them when you committed assault. The prosecution can also prove you guilty if they can evidence that you intentionally or knowingly threatened someone else including your spouse. IF you want more information about assault laws or your options for defense, then you need to talk to a lawyer today at The Martinez Law Firm.

One of the most serious allegations that can ruin a person’s name, reputation and career is child pornography.

False allegations of child pornography can be due to a number of valid reasons such as not knowing a person was underage, being accused by someone seeking to harm your reputation or seeking revenge, someone else using your unsecured Wi-Fi to download child porn or even coming across child pornography on the Internet by accident. While this is a very serious charge, not everyone is indeed guilty of the charges but it is a very difficult situation to overcome without the help of an attorney that is knowledgeable in this area.

One of the most important things to know is to not speak to law enforcement until you have hired a criminal defense attorney. As soon as an accusation has been made, this should be your first order of business. This can protect you against further damage and get you started on working to have the charges dropped and protect your reputation. By seeking the advice of a knowledgeable attorney, you can protect your rights and have all areas of defense covered.

Since the mere possession of child pornography has dire consequences, you could be facing a minimum of five years and up to 20 years of imprisonment as well as having to register as a sex offender. That is why it is of the utmost importance to start as soon as possible on covering all of your bases with a lawyer that has experience in these types of cases.

Recently, a domestic violence fight erupted at a girl’s 16th birthday that ended in the tragic death of both of her parents. According to KHOU, the parents began arguing as the party, and the argument escalated when a gun was pulled. The father, Kelly Suckla, shot his wife Kristi near the door of the home at about 10:00 p.m. After realizing what he had just done, the enraged father turned the gun on himself in the front yard and committed suicide. While the couple had been estranged for years, they were still married and were allegedly on amicable terms. Both had chosen to get together for their daughter’s birthday to make it a special day for her. Kristi allegedly moved into her parent’s home two months before her death and was hosting the Sweet 16 at this residency.

Neighbors were speechless when they heard about the shocking deaths. They say that this is relatively a quiet neighborhood that is full of families and laughter. The family members at the party were aware that both husband and wife would be at the party together, and the violence was not anticipated in the least. Family members who were there at the time of the death include the couple’s daughter and son. Though they did not witness the shooting, both children say that they hear the screams and the gunfire.

Tragically, this is not the only domestic violence murder that has taken place in Texas in recent years.

In fact, in recent days the number of murders has more than doubled. There were 26 murders related to a domestic argument in Dallas alone last year, which is saddening when there were only 10 the year before. The spike in abuse cases may be related to the unemployment levels in Texas. Many researchers say that when spouses aren’t employed it can be unhealthy for their relationships and may cause tension that can lead to abuse. In Texas, officers are now prioritizing domestic abuse cases above others to tackle this extreme and saddening problem.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you may be facing serious sentences for your crime. If you need someone to advocate for you in court to prove your innocence, then The Martinez Law Firm may be the right firm for you.

A former Massachusetts state representative and police officer, Jose L. Santiago, was charged on Monday with violating a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend. Last Thursday night, Santiago allegedly hit the woman, and then told her that no one would believe her because he was so well-known. He also allegedly threatened the woman that if she broke off the relationship, she wouldn’t be with anyone else. According to the Eagle Tribune, Jose has a history of restraining orders with three other women. Despite the woman’s allegations and the history of domestic violence, Santiago was released on personal recognizance. He was ordered to have no further contact with the woman. The judge warned that if he violated the protective order, he would immediately be put in jail for 60 days.

Santiago was also involved in a controversy surrounding the Mayor of Lawrence, William Lantigua, and a former public works officer, Thomas Sapienza, as detailed by the Boston Globe. The mayor recently fired Sapienza, who was on unpaid leave to help his terminally-ill wife, and replaced him with Santiago. Sapienza’s wife died last Thursday after battling with cancer for almost 2 years. Other allegations of corruption in the public works sector have begun to arise, such as Lantigua supposedly hiring his friends as temporary workers and then illegally put them on the payroll. In light of the mayor’s careless conduct, Lawrence residents arecalling for mayor to step down from office as the claims are being investigated.

If you have been charged with violating a protective order, then you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. For the first offense, you might be charged with a class A misdemeanor, but a subsequent offense could be a felony.