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Sally G. Goodman

Dallas Texas Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Is a hate crime a federal or state offense?

Most crimes in the U.S. are prosecuted on the state level under state laws. This includes hate crimes and each state has its own version of hate crime legislation. There are also federal hate crime laws, but unless the circumstances are extraordinary, federal officials usually defer to their state counterparts.

Hate crimes themselves are considered “penalty enhancements” in which state and federal prosecutors can charge a person with an additional penalty that adds to the punishment. For example, a misdemeanor assault can be elevated to a felony charge with greater punishment if prosecutors add a hate crime charge.

What are the laws on weapons in Texas?

Texas is known for its relatively unrestricted laws regarding gun control and the possession of weapons. However, there are still limits to what types of weapons are legal to own or carry.

It is vital that any weapons owner who is in the state of Texas, whether residing there or driving across the state line, understand the restrictions regarding gun and weapon control.

Will I go to prison if I have violated parole?

If you are on parole in the state of Texas, it is likely that you will be worried about violating your parole and going to prison as a result. If you have been accused of violating your parole or you want to know what will happen if you are accused of violating it in the future, it is important that you understand how the law works in the state of Texas.

The terms of parole will vary significantly from person to person. However, it is very important that you stick to these terms if you do not want to face severe consequences. Just because you are accused of a parole violation, however, does not mean that you will be automatically convicted.

What do you have to do when a cop talks to you?

Whether you have done something wrong or not, it is always a little intimidating to be spoken to by the police. A combination of nerves and potentially aggressive questions often leads to people giving more information than is necessary, effectively forfeiting their rights.

Knowing your rights is crucial because if law enforcement unlawfully makes an arrest, it can lead to a defendant’s case being dismissed and other benefits. It can also prevent an individual from incriminating themselves. Below are the basics of what you are and are not required to do when interacting with a peace officer that has not made an arrest.

What will happen after I am threatened with deportation in Texas?

If you are threatened with deportation in the state of Texas, it is very likely that you will be worried about your future, and unsure about what will happen next. If this threat was made by the federal government, it is important that you take this threat very seriously and take the appropriate action as soon as possible.

A person can face deportation, otherwise known as removal, for a number of reasons. The reason will almost always relate to the violation of a criminal or immigration law. If you are not actually guilty of the law violation you have been accused of, you will be able to take action in order to defend your right to remain in the state of Texas legally.

Dealing with an accusation of domestic violence

Domestic violence is often thought of as abuse that is perpetrated by one person and aimed at their romantic partner. While this is an example of domestic violence, there are many other examples. Generally speaking, domestic violence is classed as any type of abuse or violence that takes place in the family dynamic or within a household.

If you have been accused of domestic violence in the state of Texas, it is important that you take this accusation very seriously indeed. Being charged with domestic violence can lead to far-reaching, long-term consequences, and it could lead to losing custody of your children, as well as potential jail time.

What qualifies as a probation violation?

Sometimes the rules surrounding probation can be confusing, as can the process that surrounds probation violations. This is why it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific terms and conditions of your probation, so you are less likely to violate your probation by mistake. It may also be advantageous for you to understand what may happen after a probation violation and what your rights are in that situation.

It is considered a probation violation if you do not abide by the terms or conditions of your probation. Some examples of probation violations may include:

  • Committing crimes or offenses
  • Getting arrested for any offense
  • Not reporting to your probation officer
  • Missing a scheduled court appearance
  • Not paying fines or restitution
  • Traveling out of state without permission

Understanding federal drug laws for cocaine

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and this is why it has been made illegal under federal law. If you were found to be in the possession of cocaine in the state of Texas, it is important that you understand both the federal and state laws on cocaine. By doing so, you will be prepared to adequately defend yourself.

The severity of the consequences for having cocaine on your possession will depend largely on the amount of the drug that you were found to have. The amount found can also change your charge from a drug possession charge to a drug sales charge based on the assumption that you were selling the drug.

Understanding child kidnapping charges in Texas

Kidnapping can occur in many contexts, from a parent taking a child away from the other custodian, to an adult forcibly holding another adult hostage for personal gain. In the vast majority of cases, those accused of kidnapping may be able to use the law to show that the situation was different from how it was perceived by another party.

For example, a parent may have a good reason for taking the child away from the other custodian. Perhaps he or she had reason to believe that they were in danger, and in taking the child, they believed that they were doing the responsible thing. They may be facing a kidnapping accusation regardless and will then need to defend themselves.

Police use drug identification tests with high margins of error

The New York Times recently covered a story about a Georgia woman who spent three months in jail after police pulled her boyfriend over and misidentified melted cotton candy for methamphetamine. This situation highlights an ongoing problem: field drug identification test errors. It is for this reason that you should not rush to accept a plea deal if accused of drug possession charges. Police have misidentified chocolate chip cookies, tortillas, breath mints, and Tylenol as illegal drugs. If the substance is not verified in a laboratory setting, you could be living with a felony conviction for a crime you did not commit.

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Sally Goodman Law

325 North St. Paul Street
Suite 2030
Dallas, TX 75201

Phone: 469-709-1573
Fax: 214-748-3236
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