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San Antonio Criminal Defense Law Blog

Texas authorities charge teacher with sex offenses

Crimes in which minors are the victims are taken seriously by Texas authorities, and, in some instances, the news of a suspected incident may spread quickly throughout a community. While the extra care that police appear to give to crimes against minors is most likely a comfort for many who are following a story, it can sometimes create an unfair presumption of guilt against the accused. A local case that involves a teacher now charged with sex offenses is a reminder of the importance of the presumption of innocence.

The teacher has been accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student in April 2014. At the time, the teacher was 23 years old. These accusations came to light after a resource officer at the school somehow received information about the alleged relationship. In turn, the proper authorities were notified, and an arrest warrant was issued. 

Football player at Texas AM suspended re misdemeanor charge

A football player at Texas A&M was recently suspended from participating in team practices or games, but it wasn't for the theft citation that he was issued. Instead, the charge that garnered him the suspension was for failing to identify himself to an officer. Although the charge could have been a felony, authorities decided that only a misdemeanor charge was sufficient.

The initial incident that led to the charge occurred at Wal-Mart. One of the employees at the store believed that he saw the football player take a bottle of lotion without paying for it. He subsequently notified the police. The bottle of lotion in question retailed for less than $15, and the responding officer determined that issuing him a citation for a theft of less than $50 was the appropriate course of action. However, when asked his name for the citation, authorities claim that the man gave his brother's name rather than his own.

DWI charges not always based on legal stops

A drunk driving conviction has the power to permanently alter the course of a person's future. Unfortunately, it may sometimes appear that the Texas justice system treats those accused of a DWI as guilty before even going to court. It is imperative that defendants are still treated justly under the full breadth of the law.

While we understand that getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is a serious issue, it is entirely possible for overzealous law enforcement to act out of line when trying to prevent this from occurring. Some police officers pull drivers over without any reason or suspicion to do so, which is illegal. Other than at a DUI checkpoint, officers must have a reasonable suspicion that a driver may have broken a law before initiating a traffic stop.

Texas men arrested for possession with intent to distribute

Federal authorities arrested two Texas men following an investigation of an alleged drug ring that helped move drugs across the southern border and into the United States. They have since been accused of possession with intent to distribute as well as conspiring to launder money. As the investigation that led to their arrest was conducted by both the IRS and DEA, the charges that they face are federal.

Although apparently no longer active in smuggling, authorities believe that these Texas men -- both 47 years old -- may have played an important role in the drug ring in question from 2011 to 2013. It is suspected that, during this period, they may have entered Mexico to retrieve marijuana. They then allegedly transported the marijuana into Texas to be sold.

Man admits starting fire, now facing felony charge

The circumstances surrounding a fire that destroyed part of a Texas Islamic community center are in question following the arrest of a suspected arsonist. Charged with arson -- a felony charge -- the man claims that the out-of-control blaze was far from intentional. The man's confession helped ease worries some had who feared the fire was a hate crime.

The blaze broke out on Feb. 13, causing damage to a warehouse at the community center. At the time it was used for storing various supplies, such as books and furniture that were not in use, and all of these items were presumably destroyed, along with the warehouse. No one was injured, and the adjoining school and mosque were not damaged by the fire.

Attempt to pay property tax ends in state crime charges

A Texas man was arrested during the course of attempting to pay off his property tax. He is facing multiple state crime charges, including resisting arrest for allegedly pulling away from the arresting officer. However, the circumstances surrounding his arrest may leave some feeling confused about the charges.

The man reported to his local county courthouse in order to pay the $600 that he still owed for property taxes. According to officials, he only brought dollar bills to pay off his debt. Authorities further claimed that each dollar was folded and that workers somehow had to spend six minutes to simply unfold a single bill.

Federal crime charges need the right kind of representation

The assumption that most criminal charges are about on par with one another may not be an uncommon idea in Texas, but it is untrue. For instance, consequences vary between misdemeanors and felonies. Moreover, how federal crime charges are handled differs greatly from how state charges are managed. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what a serious impact the distinction between state and federal charges can make.

There may be some confusion about what prompts a charge at the federal level, which is understandable. Typically, alleged crimes that violate the federal government's penal code -- also known as Title 18 of the U.S. Code -- may result in federal charges. Common examples that some people may already be familiar with include mail fraud, interstate crimes, robbing a bank or smuggling a controlled substance into the country.

Jockey Roman Chapa facing felony charge after Texas race

Accusations of cheating in horse racing are not taken lightly by the Texas Racing Commission, and some of the most recent allegations of unsportsmanlike conduct have actually led to legal action in the state. Roman Eric Chapa, the jockey at the center of the investigation, has denied accusations that arose shortly after he won a $50,000 race. Despite his objections, he now faces a felony charge.

Suspicions of possible misconduct were raised by a photograph that was snapped just before Chapa and his horse, Quiet Acceleration, crossed the finish line at Sam Houston Race Park. The picture appears to show a small object partially concealed by the man's hand. Some believe that the small object is actually a device that is designed to administer electric shocks to the animal, which apparently causes the horse to run faster.

Female shopper says she was victim of sexual assault at Big Lots

A shopper at the popular Big Lots store claimed that a man touched her inappropriately before she followed him outside to confront him. Using her cell phone, she recorded the man as she accused him of sexual assault. Allegedly shown on the video is the man threatening the woman if she did not stop recording him. Texas police were subsequently notified, and they arrested the man a short while later.

The incident apparently began when the woman felt what she first believed to be an accidental brush against her backside. She also reported that the man who she believed accidentally touched her began to mutter to himself, which unnerved her. She then began to move away from the back of the store where she had previously been shopping.

Texas men face drug charges for alleged oxycodone distribution

A multi-agency investigation resulted in the arrest of two Texas men on multiple charges. Accused of illegally distributing prescription medications, they now face drug charges in Texas, although police also believe that the pair mailed some of the medication to other states. In addition to their charges for allegedly distributing controlled substances, one of the men also faces charges for money laundering, while the other has been accused of committing health care fraud. 

The men involved both work in fields related to health care. As a doctor, one of the two would supposedly receive upward of $240 for office visits, during which he would write a prescription for either hydrocodone or oxycodone. After the first in-office visit, the doctor is accused of telling his patients that they could receive additional prescriptions every 30 days without showing up, but they would still need to send in money for a visit.