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Denton criminal defense attorney

Originally published: July 19, 2022 -- Updated: May 29, 2023

Update: In addition to the potential criminal charges for public intoxication described below, there are several other offenses that you could potentially be charged with in these situations. These may include:


TX defense lawyerThe state of Texas has strict laws concerning domestic violence, which is generally referred to as "family violence" in the state's statutes. If you are accused of family violence, you may face severe consequences, including criminal charges related to domestic assault, sexual assault, child abuse, or other offenses. However, in many cases, the most immediate concerns may be related to protective orders that could affect multiple aspects of your life. If you are worried about how you may be affected by an order of protection after being arrested for or accused of family violence, you can work with a criminal defense attorney to determine how to respond to these issues.

Protective Orders in Texas Family Violence Cases

A person who believes that they or their family members may suffer harm due to domestic violence may apply for an emergency protective order, and they will usually be required to appear before a judge and explain why the order is needed. This is also known as an "ex parte" order, which means that only one party needs to be present at a court hearing, and a protective order may be issued without the person who is accused of family violence being given a chance to defend themselves against the accusations.

If police are called to respond to a domestic incident, and they believe that one party has committed family violence, they may perform an arrest and pursue criminal charges. In these cases, a judge may choose to issue a Magistrate's Order of Emergency Protection, which is similar to an ex parte protective order. Either of these types of orders may place restrictions on the person accused of domestic violence, including prohibiting them from committing any form of abuse, excluding them from their family home, and preventing them from contacting their spouse, partner, children, or others named in the order. An emergency protective order will usually remain in effect for 20 days, and a Magistrate's Order of Emergency Protection may last from 31 to 91 days depending on whether a case involved serious bodily injuries or the use of a deadly weapon.


TX defense lawyerBeing charged with a sex crime is a serious matter, and the consequences that come with a conviction can be severe. In addition to facing lengthy prison sentences, large fines, and periods of probation, a person who is convicted of this type of offense will have to register as a sex offender. Being on the sex offender registry can limit a person's employment prospects, make it difficult to find housing or pursue education, and cause irreparable damage to their reputation and personal relationships. Anyone who has been charged with a sexual offense will need to understand the potential sex offender registration requirements that may apply if they are convicted. By working with an experienced criminal defense attorney, they can determine the best steps to take to avoid these consequences.

Texas Sex Offender Registration Requirements

In Texas, anyone who has a "reportable conviction or adjudication" will be required to register as a sex offender. The offenses that require registration include:

Notably, sex offender registration requirements may apply even if a person was not convicted of a sex crime. An adjudication of delinquent conduct in a juvenile law case or a deferred adjudication may require sex offender registration. Registration may also be required as part of the terms of community supervision (probation). People who were convicted of sex crimes in other states or countries will be required to register as sex offenders in Texas if they will be living, working, or attending school in the state.


TX defense lawyerThere are a variety of different situations in which a person may be charged with theft in Texas. The specific charges for theft will usually be based on the value of the items that were allegedly stolen. However, additional considerations may apply in cases involving retail theft. If you have been accused of shoplifting or charged with retail theft in Texas, it is important to understand the possible penalties you may face. This offense can be very serious, and you could potentially face a sentence in prison as well as large fines. Fortunately, with the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you can determine how to address and defend against these charges.

Specific Charges for Retail Theft and Their Penalties

Retail theft may involve any situations where merchandise is taken from a retail store without the permission of the owner. Many cases involve people pocketing items and walking out without paying for them, but there are other situations in which a person may be accused of taking actions meant to deprive a store owner of merchandise or the money they would have received from customers. For example, people may switch price tags on items or ring up items incorrectly using self-checkouts in order to pay less than the full retail price. These actions may also lead to criminal charges for retail theft.

It should also be noted that Texas law defines the offense of "organized retail theft," which involves any situation in which a person possesses, receives, conceals, sells, or disposes of retail merchandise that they knew was stolen. This means that a person who holds stolen merchandise for a friend or receives and resells stolen items may also be charged with retail theft.


When Can the Police Search My Car?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerIt is not uncommon to hear or read about a person who was arrested for drug possession or a similar crime after being stopped by police for a traffic violation. Situations such as these lead to an extremely important question: How does a traffic stop transform into a search which leads to the discovery of illegal drugs, guns, or other contraband? The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution addresses the rights of citizens regarding searches and seizures. However, the way in which the courts have interpreted the Fourth Amendment over the years has created a deal of confusion for many people.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment promises that the government—which means the police, by extension” shall not violate “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” It goes on to state, “No Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,” and that a warrant must describe where the search is to take place, as well as the items or individuals that are expected to be seized.

Of course, when the Fourth Amendment was ratified in 1789, the automobile was still over 100 years away from being invented. As such, our founding fathers could not have foreseen such mobility for the average citizen. Because cars and trucks are so mobile, the warrant requirement is not exactly very conducive to the efforts of law enforcement, which is why courts around the country have had to review cases of warrantless searches to set precedents that must be followed by law enforcement officers.

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