Russell D. Hunt Sr., Attorney at Law
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Waco Texas Legal Blog

Criminal defense: A kidnapping charge may mean harsh consequences

Both the citizens of Texas and law enforcement personnel consider kidnapping to be a particularly heinous crime. This is so even when a parent takes their child out of fear for their safety. You can bet that if the authorities arrest you and charge you with kidnapping, the prosecution will work very hard to secure a conviction.

Texas lawmakers define kidnapping as the unlawful and purposeful abduction of another individual. It does not matter if the person taken is a child or an adult. The consequences upon conviction will be the same, and they will be quite significant. Without a proper criminal defense, a defendant may face time in prison as well as a costly fine.

Can you use education to deter gun violence?

In the last several years, reports of gun violence in Texas and all around the nation seem to be growing at an unsettling rate. What may come as a concern to parents like yourself is the chance that your child is involved in a shooting of some kind. Teaching your children about the dangers of guns and educating them about the proper use and purpose of a gun is critical to keeping them away from any interest in using a gun for the wrong reason. 

If you or someone in your family owns guns, you can put restrictions on when and where they are used, implement security measures to ensure they are stored and secured properly and teach your children about the importance of handling a gun responsibly. However, it is equally as important to have educational discussions about the negative consequences of guns when they are not used for their intended purpose. Conversations about such a sensitive topic should be taken seriously and you should ensure that your content is fitting for the ages of your children. 

Restitution is a secondary risk for those convicted in Texas

Facing criminal charges in Texas can be incredibly expensive. You may have to pay for an attorney, as well as for court fees, even if you avoid conviction. If you wind up convicted, there could be even more expenses. A conviction could result in thousands of dollars in fines and fees depending on the criminal charges you face.

There is yet another potential expense that many people don't consider when facing criminal charges in Texas. If the charges stem from a situation that left a victim with either injuries or property damage, the courts could order you to pay restitution to the victim. Depending on the specifics of the case, that restitution could be thousands of dollars.

Who benefits from a plea bargain?

In Texas, if you are facing criminal charges, you may be given the option of accepting a plea bargain or plea negotiation. Just what is this? Is it worth taking the bargain, or are there perhaps hidden downsides that you may not know about?

FindLaw discusses the benefits of plea bargaining in a straightforward way. Plea bargains can be used in a variety of situations and usually involves you willingly pleading guilty to a crime that is categorically considered "less severe" than the charges you may currently be facing. For example, first degree vehicular assault may be reduced to a lesser degree. This allows you to avoid more serious penalties associated with heftier crimes, though it also comes at the cost of admitting guilt in any capacity.

Laws inhibit action and justice after mass shootings

For residents in Texas, the recent mass shooting is something they may never forget. Experiencing an event like this in their home state brings the issues associated with such incidents to a very personal level. Many people wonder how justice can be sought after a mass shooting, knowing that there is no way to bring back the people who were killed.

As explained by Time magazine, grieving family members around the country have been struggling for many years now in their efforts to seek some sort of justice or compensation after losing their loved ones in mass shootings. While many people might think it seems logical to focus legal action on the gun manufacturers, that is essentially not an option at this time. In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed by Congress.

Indictment targets 17 defendants

People in Texas who are arrested can understandably feel scared and unsure of what to expect. Even though the law indicates that every person is innocent until proven guilty, it can seem to a defendant that the public may already view them as guilty simply on the basis of their arrest. Reading media reports about arrests makes this evident as such reports rarely focus on the potential for a person to be found innocent

There are today 17 different people who might fall into the category of feeling all but convicted by public opinion despite the fact that their cases have yet to be tried. According to a report by KVUE, the 17 individuals have been charged with various offenses related to their alleged participation in a drug ring. Together, the group is said to have conspired to distribute heroin and methamphetamine in multiple cities across Alabama and Texas. The activity is supposed to have been underway since sometime last year.

Can a court order you to attend rehab?

When you have drug charges on your record, a Texas drug court may sometimes order you to get treatment. You may wonder if you have to accept this treatment and what these rehab programs might be like.

Courts might suggest treatment for many drug offenses. DrugRehab.com says courts might order treatment if your charges include drug possession or theft to obtain money to purchase drugs. Additionally, courts may require you to go through a rehab program if you have fewer than three drug charges on your record or if officials suspect you have an addiction.

Can my personality traits be used against me in a criminal trial?

Being a defendant in a criminal trial can be emotionally grueling, not only because there is so much at stake. As a defendant, even the most private details about your personal life may be brought to light in front of the courts.

Everyone has personality flaws and everyone has done foolish things that they regret. But unfortunately, when you are on trial as a defendant in a criminal trial, these things will be analyzed, and may even be used as evidence to argue that you committed the crime you are accused of.

What is consent in Texas?

If you are a Texas resident, it is important to know your state’s sexual assault laws surrounding consent. Sex acts may become rape when consent is lacking, and the definition is not always intuitive. The following are several situations that affect whether someone has consented to a sexual act.

Many consent laws in Texas are centered on a person’s awareness of what he or she is doing. For instance, someone may be unable to consent if he or she is unknowingly given a substance affecting his or her ability to appraise the situation, has a mental disease diminishing the ability to assess the circumstances, is unconscious, or is otherwise unaware the sexual assault is happening to him or her.

Domestic terrorism not a specific crime in the U.S.

In the wake of the most recent mass shootings in the United States, one of which took place in the state of Texas, residents everywhere are closely watching what will happen next in the legal proceedings involving the alleged shooters. While the man in Ohio accused of killing multiple people died himself, the man who is said to have opened fire and killed several people in El Paso is alive and may be charged with federal hate crimes.

The choice to charge the defendant with a federal hate crime may surprise some people when they also hear references to him as a domestic terrorist. They may, understandably, wonder why he is not being charged with a crime of domestic terrorism. As explained in a report by Vox, domestic terrorism is not actually a crime under the law in the United States today. 

  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • The College of State Bar of Texas
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice
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Russell D. Hunt Sr., Attorney at Law

425 Austin Avenue
Suite 1202
P.O. Box 726
Waco, TX 76701

Phone: 254-304-6354
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