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Austin, TX Drug Crime Defense AttorneyIn 1971, President Richard Nixon introduced a national initiative to stop the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal drugs. The so-called “war on drugs” has led to increased police efforts to stop the spread of illicit substances throughout the country. Undercover drug busts and sting operations are two tactics police may use to find and arrest individuals who manufacture and deliver drugs. If you or a loved one were arrested on drug charges after being part of an undercover police operation, it is important to understand and assert your rights.

Can Police Lie About Being Police?

Police may use sting operations in an effort to catch criminal suspects red-handed. In the context of an undercover drug bust, this usually involves police officers masquerading as drug dealers. Contrary to popular belief, police officers do not have to tell you that they are police. They are fully permitted to lie about their identity in the execution of a sting operation. Many sting operations involve a police officer posing as a drug seller. When the unsuspecting subject of the sting operation hands over cash in exchange for the drugs, officers drop the act, announce that they are police, and arrest the individual.

What is the Difference Between a Sting Operation and Entrapment?

However, there are some circumstances in which an undercover police operation crosses the line into “entrapment.” Entrapment occurs when law enforcement persuades or forces someone to commit a crime that he or she would otherwise not commit. Police officers may pretend to be drug dealers and offer drugs for sale. However, they cannot entice someone to commit a crime that the person was not already predisposed to committing. It is often hard to know the difference between a lawful sting operation and illegal entrapment. If you were arrested for a drug crime as a result of an undercover operation or sting operation, speak to a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away.  If your attorney can prove that your drug charges were a result of entrapment, the charges may be dropped, and your case dismissed.

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Austin, TX Criminal Defense LawyerBeing served with a protection order or restraining order can be a shocking experience. Often, restraining orders are issued when someone has been accused of domestic assault or another form of family violence against a current or former romantic partner, child, family member, or household member. The protection order may require the subject to relinquish possession of firearms, attend a domestic violence prevention program, and even prohibit the subject from entering his or her own home. If you have been served with a protection order in Texas, it is crucial that you understand your rights and obligations under the law.

What is a Protection Order?

A protection order is intended to protect victims of abuse and stalking against further mistreatment. However, it is possible for someone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence to find themselves the subject of a protection order.

Through a protection order (PO), a judge may:

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Austin TX criminal defense attorneyYou may have heard the term “sugar daddy” in reference to a wealthy older man who dates younger women. Websites like Seeking Arrangements facilitate these relationships through online profiles. The profiles on websites like these are often less than subtle. It is often heavily implied or even outright stated that the man is looking to exchange financial assistance for sexual contact. Many wonder if this type of exchange may be considered prostitution.

Texas Ranks Among the Top States for Sugar Daddy Arrangements

According to Seeking Arrangements, Texas ranks fifth in the nation for the highest number of “sugar babies” on the website. Although sugar babies may be men or women, the majority are women in their 20s. Many young women are loaded with student loan debt and other financial obligations. Many struggle to meet the financial demands with a typical entry-level job. Drawn by the promise of easy money and glamour, some of these women turn to “sugaring.” Basically, the woman agrees to go on dates with a man in exchange for money, gifts, or help paying the bills. Some insist that the arrangement is strictly about companionship while others admit that the relationship mainly involves exchanging sexual contact for money or property.

Is Being a Sugar Baby Illegal?

Dating partners of all ages often exchange gifts or help each other with financial obligations. This does not break the law. However, many sugar baby relationships do blur the lines between relationships and prostitution. In Texas, it is illegal to offer sexual conduct for money. It is also illegal to pay a fee for sexual conduct. Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to six months in jail. Solicitation, or paying for sex, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

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Austin criminal defense attorneyThroughout the years, there have been many efforts to reduce the number of alcohol-impaired traffic crashes. While many of these programs have succeeded, alcohol-impaired driving remains a problem in today’s world. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 48 percent of all traffic deaths in the U.S. involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 1982, though that number has dropped to 29 percent of all deaths in 2018. Texas law enforcement continues to prosecute those who drive while intoxicated (DWI) to the fullest extent of the law, especially in DWI cases involving injury or death.

Intoxication Assault

If you injure a person while you are committing a DWI offense, you will likely be charged with intoxication assault. This charge applies when you are found to have caused “serious bodily injury” to another person out of the course of operating an aircraft, watercraft or motor vehicle while you were intoxicated. Specifically, “serious bodily injury” means an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious permanent disfigurement. In most cases, intoxication assault is charged as a third-degree felony, meaning it comes with a possibility of 2 to 10 years in prison, along with up to $10,000 in fines.

Intoxication Manslaughter

Intoxication manslaughter is said to have occurred when a person operates a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft while they are intoxicated and causes the death of another person because of that intoxication. In most cases, intoxication manslaughter is charged as a second-degree felony. This means that intoxication manslaughter can come with a punishment of between two and 20 years in prison, in addition to up to $10,000 in fines. The driver will also face a driver’s license suspension of between six months and two years, and may face other penalties such as court-ordered community service.

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Midland criminal defense lawyerIf you have ever heard someone mention the term “federal offense,” they were talking about a crime that is illegal in the eyes of the federal government. These offenses cover a wide range of subjects, from drug charges, like the sale or manufacture of controlled substances, or possibly even more serious charges, such as murder. In some cases, a crime can incur both federal and state criminal charges. Having someone by your side who handles both types of charges is important for success when you have been accused of breaking the law.

Common Factors in Federal Cases

If you have been charged with a crime, you may be wondering how the government determines whether a crime is charged in federal or state court. In typical cases, jurisdiction is first determined by the location of the crime. If a crime takes place in Texas, it will likely be under Texas’ jurisdiction for prosecution. Some crimes violate only Texas state law, however, many crimes violate both state and federal statutes. This leads to the question, “What gives a crime federal jurisdiction?” Some of the most common reasons crimes are charged as federal crimes include:

  • The crime took place in more than one state or across state lines.
  • The crime violated federal statutes.
  • The crime took place on or involved federal property, including National Parks.
  • The crime occurred off land in U.S. maritime jurisdiction.
  • The case involved an ambassador, public minister, or consul.
  • The case involved a citizen of another country.

Facing Both State and Federal Charges

In some cases, a person may face both state and federal charges for the same incident. While some people may think this violates the “double jeopardy” clause in the Constitution, it does not. The Fifth Amendment states that nobody should be subject to charges for the same crime twice. However, since the state and federal governments are two separate governmental entities under the idea of “dual sovereignty,” they both have the right to impose criminal charges under certain circumstances.

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