Fighting Back Against Austin Auto-Theft Allegations

Any person in Austin or elsewhere in Texas that steals a vehicle can be charged for an auto theft crime if they use or steal a vehicle without the permission of the owner. They are expected to go to a correctional facility for committing this illegal infraction. The law also states that people might be required to pay fines as well. The following information will provide insight and guidance about Texas laws regarding auto theft. The laws presented here are the latest version of the Texas Constitutions and Statutes. Lawyer Jackson F. Gorski, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Austin, is successful defending people accused of crimes in Travis County. To contact his office with any questions you may have, call 512-960-4646.

Texas has a high crime rate in terms of auto thefts. While Texas isn’t the most prominent place for carjackings to occur, there are a lot of thefts that take place in some key cities like Austin and around Travis County. According to 2016 statistics taken by the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly 70,000 automobiles were stolen inside of Texas. That is very many vehicles for thieves to steal.

By the way, the National Insurance Crime Bureau statistics Ford and Chevy trucks and Honda Civics and Accords are stolen more than any other type of vehicle within the Long Horn State. Thieves usually take these vehicles with ease and the parts can quickly be sold off.

A General Guide for Auto Theft Punishments

People who are charged with an auto theft can be sentenced and fined accordingly. Remember that vehicle thefts that happen under Texas laws are evaluated according to the value of an item and the nature of the property stolen. In other words, more expensive items will receive stiffer penalties. The same is also true for the type of property that is illegally acquired by an individual. Complex items such as machinery, specialized electronics, systems and rare objects are also given consideration for punishment.

Carjackings

When it comes to car jackings, the law classifies this type of crime as robbery. People convicted of this act can be confined for at least 6 months up to 2 years. The fine for this crime is up to $10,000.

Judges can also sentence auto theft criminals from 2 to 10-years in prison. This usually happens when someone steals vehicles that are worth $30,000 or more. There are penalties for different types of auto theft-related crimes. Let’s examine those particular offenses.

Joyriding

This criminal offense is committed by people who decide to lift cars without the intention of stealing it. Instead, they just want to ride around in the vehicle while having fun in it. Once they are done riding around, they return the vehicle.

The law looks at joyriders the same as common car thieves. If people decide to take vehicles but not with the intent of stealing it, Texas law will still require that individual to be punished like robbers. Does the court system always carry through with this action? The short answer is no. However, judges will have to carefully consider the person’s motives to make sound decisions regarding the case.

Failure to Return Rental Cars

Any person that keeps rental cars without the intent to return it, will be charged with auto theft. This, of course, will depend on the vehicle’s value. This could also result in grand theft auto conviction. Once again, judges will carefully evaluate situations to determine if thieves were actually trying to steal some vehicle; or just keep it for an extended period of time.

By the way, if people are given consent to use commercial vehicles (or private autos) and they do not return the car within the specified amount of time; this situation is called the unauthorized use of motor vehicle. It will not necessarily be labeled as theft. However, judges will have to determine the thief’s real intentions in this situation. They will also have to figure out the right type of penalty for this crime.

Selling or receiving stolen vehicles. Any person that sells or receives (purchases) stolen vehicles; they too are guilty of an auto theft crime. This type of situation can be prosecuted by law.

A Look at Texas Auto Theft Punishments

It was already mentioned that defendants can be incarcerated for committing auto theft within Texas borders. Do not forget that auto theft crimes are typically given the same penalties for robbery crimes. These offenses are arranged accordingly:

  • Less than $1,500 – Theft involving less than $1,500 is considered a misdemeanor in most cases, except for those which may involve crimes such as burglary or robbery.
  • $1,500 to $20,000 – Auto thefts that fall within this range for these type of charges, are punishable by 180 days up to a few years behind bars. They can also be charged $10,000 in fines.
  • $20 to $100k – This is considered third-degree felonious act that carries a penalty of jail time. The amount of time for this incarceration is between 2 to 10. Fines are also included. Fines typically start at $10,000 and can go higher according to the nature of the crime.
  • $100k to $200k – Second-degree felonies can be given 2 to 20 behind bars. They can also receives fines. Judges will usually determine the fine.
  • $200k or More – First-degree felonies are automatically given between 5 and 99-year sentence Judges will decide if fines are applicable.

By the way, people who are charged and convicted of killing motorists or using weapons when stealing vehicles, then the crime will significantly change. Not only will they be charged with stealing the vehicle; they can also be charged for things such as manslaughter, murder or aggravated robbery in addition.

People who are guilty of this crime will usually have a public record of their crimes. They will have to report to probation officers once they leave jail. In some instances, felons (for this crime) might not be able to legally drive for the rest of their lives. While auto crimes are not the most serious offenses that people can commit; they are very serious matters.

Austin Lawyers and Auto Theft Crimes

Individuals charged with an auto theft crime, they should receive help from lawyers. People who try to represent themselves will probably be unsuccessful in their effort. It is not wise for any person to deal with the court system without representation. People who cannot afford attorney representation, the courts will appoint them one. Constitutional rights provide charged suspects the right to an attorney. These individuals should take advantage of this service. Paid attorneys and public defenders are made available for court service.

Understanding Criminal Appeals

Losing in court at the end of a criminal trial is not necessarily the end of the rope, so to speak. An experienced criminal appellate lawyer such as Mark W. Bennett can file a criminal appeal on your behalf in an effort to get the court to reverse or adjust its ruling.

If your conviction is reversed, you can get a new trial, or you might be acquitted of the charges against you. Taking advantage of the criminal appeals process affords the appellant a second chance in spite of the conviction or other ruling from the court. Having an experienced criminal appellate lawyer with skill and tact is of immense importance.

Making Your Criminal Appeal Count

The easiest way to get a court of appeal to reverse a conviction is to prove error in the trial. If the defendant had a decent defense lawyer during the trial, any errors made by the court and the judge should be preserved. If these errors aren’t preserved in the court record, the appellant and their criminal defense lawyer will face an uphill battle that they’ll likely lose.

Commons reasons for conviction reversals and sentence adjusts are due to improper sentence stacking, denial of rights during jury selection, and giving jurors incorrect or illegal instructions. A smart criminal defense attorney with a strong knowledge of the law and criminal procedure will have no trouble pointing out errors, and pursuing a corrective resolution to the matter.

Any good criminal defense trial and litigation lawyer needs to know their case-law. The best way to learn case-law is to dig into appeals and work to help individuals who have already been convicted. Make no mistake about it, the criminal justice system is not perfect as judges, jurors, and even criminal defense lawyers make mistakes that the individual charged will be forced to account for. Innocent people are convicted all the time in State & Federal courts around the nation. Even people facing extremely harsh penalties can benefit from the criminal appeals process. If the criminal justice system failed to carry out it’s duty, you’ll have recourse via the appellate process.

It’s important for defendants and their families to realize that a conviction isn’t the last straw, but other options to gain freedom or fair-treatment are available. A good appellate lawyer will want to hear your side of the story, but be advised that no new evidence can be presented via the appeals process. New evidence can only be presented in a new trial, granted that the appeals process was successful and the generating conviction was overturned.

The objective of the criminal appeals process and the courts of appeal are to correct misapplied laws and questionable actions by the court.

Texas DWI Offenses: Dangers and Legal Options

There are a number of a people arrested on a daily basis for driving while intoxicated in the Houston area, and Texas as a whole. Due to the massive number of deaths caused by DWI offenders, local law enforcement officials have stepped up their efforts of contain the problem, identify offenders, and charge them as criminals; whether guilty or not. There are a number of reasons this method of operation by law enforcement agencies is justified. The main reason Texas DWI enforcement is a mainstay of police agencies is because of the many dangers of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

Death, injury, and property damage are the main dangers associated with Driving While Intoxicated. With such a value being placed on preserving life and property, it’s no wonder why so many people in Houston are arrested for drunk driving. With that said, just because you were arrested for DWI doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guilty, it only means you’ve been accused. With an attorney on your side that has experience, you stand more than a fighting chance of beating the charge in the court of law.

Knowing Your Legal Options

According to Tad Nelson’s website, DWI charges are scientific in nature, requiring an expert to review the evidence. What does this tell us? It tells us that an officer not only lacks the qualifications to make a determination of whether or not someone is intoxicated due to ingesting alcohol, but also that the prosecutor and the court may not have the knowledge to make a competent judgement either. This is where having a lawyer that specializes in fighting DWI charges can be a major benefit to a person either rightfully charged with drunk driving in Houston, or wrongfully so.

Finding the Best DWI Lawyer

When you’re looking for a qualified DWI defense attorney it’s best to review their website, credentials, and the online reviews of their clients. This will afford you insight into whether or not a top criminal defense lawyer is best for your DWI case.

Texas DWI Offenses: Dangers and Legal Options

Fighting Texas Drug Charges with Your Lawyer

In many jurisdictions across the country, the “war on drugs” has resulted in serious penalties being placed on criminal defendants caught in its wake. While these lawmakers might have meant well, many law-abiding citizens have been caught in the undertow. If you’re being charged with a drug crime in the state of Texas, one thing should be immediately clear to you: you need an effective criminal defense going forward. An experienced drug defense attorney will ask a number of questions in order to provide a suitable defense for your current legal situation.

Likely Concerns of a Drug Lawyer

First of all, a competent defense attorney is going to ask if it was legal for the police to seize the alleged illicit substance in the first place. The average defendant is literally shocked to learn just how many seizures are subject to motions to suppress simply because they were done without a warrant or on the word of an informant.

Our constitution projects us all from such illegal searches and seizures. (See 4th Amendment)

Creating Reasonable Doubt

Even if the State of Texas can prove that the drugs were lawfully seized, there are other hurdles they’ll need to clear. There are a few more questions we can ask to raise reasonable doubt to a jury. First, can we prove that the drugs were actually possessed by the defendant? Second, can the prosecution establish that the defendant had the intent to distribute the drugs? And finally, if they can establish these two things, is there any type of situation where the damage of a “mandatory minimum” can be mitigated?

The next area that is extremely important would be that of probable cause. Although the threshold for probable cause can create some rather “airtight” cases, an experienced defense attorney will be able to use the idea of “probable cause” to their client’s benefit. For example, just because a search warrant claims that there is ample evidence for a defendant dealing drugs from his dwelling or place of business does not necessarily mean police have the right to search the defendant’s car.

Traffic stops are another area where criminal defense attorneys can be crucial in advising their clients. Remember, just because a police officer tells you to step out of your vehicle, it does not mean that they have the right to search your vehicle. There are an immense amount of people who admit they are carrying drugs, weapons, or other types of contraband simply because they are asked to exit their vehicle. This is unfortunate and has led to many needless convictions.

Finally, if you don’t get anything else from this article it is important to know all of your rights when it comes to police investigations. If you have gotten the attention of a police investigation, contact a lawyer immediately. They will be able to tell you how you should conduct yourself throughout the process. Generally, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chances of having a favorable outcome to your case.

Fighting Texas Drug Charges with Your Lawyer

A Proven Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

When a person is charged with a criminal offense in violation of federal law the stakes are far more extreme than say, a felony criminal charge in Houston, TX. Although every federal criminal case can differ tremendously as far as the details, there are a few things that remain the same, regardless of the criminal charge.

Grand Jury Investigation Proceedings

First off, is the The Grand Jury Investigation. In almost every federal case the first step by the United States Attorney’s office and/or the DOJ is set up this one sided investigation. The Federal Grand Jury has often been viewed as a kangaroo court by onlookers, but that’s a topic for another blogging.

federal-grand-jury

The Federal Grand Jury is a group of people called in to court to review cases. Usually, people aren’t even aware their being investigation. The grand jury process is usually done in secret, without the defendant being the wiser.

If you were served with a subpoena, and need to contact an experienced federal criminal law attorney, contact Attorney Amber Spurlock.

Criminal Charges Amount To Dire Stress

Attorneys know very well the dangers of either self representing yourself, hiring a cheap or inexperienced lawyer, or having a public defender defend a person that’s accused of a serious criminal offense. Felony charges can amount to person serving their whole life in prison. That’s fine if the person is guilty, but a pure fuckjob for a person that’s innocent. And these fuckjobs are common and occur quit often.

To make a long blog post short, a lot of the innocent black men that in jail either had poor attorneys, or were railroaded from the start. Simply put, if a person is poor or under education, felony charges mean nothing less that a dire life changing circumstance.