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San Antonio Criminal Defense Blog

Juvenile computer hacking is more than harmless fun

Parents are often impressed at how adeptly their teens use a multitude of technologies. Their sons or daughters may spend hours gaming or staring at weird-looking code as they scroll through screens and occasionally type in a symbol or two. Teens often speak to their tech-savvy friends in terms that mystify their parents; however, adults accept the geek-speak as part of today's technology-saturated generation.

In general, teens like to experiment with computer hacking. It is fun and an impressive hack scores bragging rights. Adults usually believe teens hack to download proprietary software, or music and videos. Dimly aware of the criminal aspects, parents may nevertheless be impressed. They see a bright future ahead of their junior tech prodigy who will probably end up with top honors at MIT or Carnegie Mellon and score a lucrative career in computer technology.

Learning more about larceny

Larceny may be thought of as a form of theft or its own crime depending on where the crime is committed. As a general rule, larceny is the act of taking someone else's property in Texas without obtaining permission or using force to get it. Other elements of larceny including walking away with an item and doing so with the intent to deprive the property owner.

In some cases, taking possession of an unmovable item is enough to satisfy the carrying away element. It is important to note that if property is taken away for any lawful reason, it is not larceny. For instance, if a lender repossess property, that is not a crime. The same could be true if a person had permission to borrow or otherwise use an item. If an individual was removing his or her own property from another location, that also would not qualify as larceny.

The expungement of your criminal record lets you start over

If you have a criminal record, it will show up when someone performs a background check, and you will usually have to explain the details about your conviction.

However, under certain circumstances, you may qualify to have your record expunged, and you can go on with your life as though your arrest and conviction never happened.

Texas man sentenced to consecutive life terms

A 59-year-old Texas man has been sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus 20 years for helping to run a violent motorcycle gang involved in drug trafficking. The sentences were handed down by a federal judge on Sept. 22. During a three-month-long trial that concluded in May, prosecutors convinced a jury that the man committed his crimes while acting as the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization's national vice president.

Prosecutors told the jury that the man ordered Bandidos members to commit crimes including intimidation, assault, extortion, robbery and murder to increase the organization's influence and extend its reach. The police investigations into the gang's activities intensified in 2006 when a man who had been recruiting members for the Hells Angels motorcycle gang was found murdered. Investigators say that the man ordered the killing during a motorcycle gang turf war. He was also linked to a 2002 revenge killing.

Marijuana busts on the rise despite increasing legalization

Several states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, although Texas is not one of them. Despite this, a new FBI report shows that marijuana busts are increasing across the nation.

According to the report, which was released on Sept. 24, U.S. law enforcement agencies arrest an average of one American every 48 seconds for alleged marijuana crimes. In 2017, that added up to 659,700 busts. In comparison, there were 653,249 busts in 2016. The report shows that almost 91 percent of those arrests were related to marijuana possession, not to pot growing operations or drug dealing. Meanwhile, arrests related to marijuana growing and dealing actually declined.

NFL player facing DUI charges

Texas residents have likely heard many stories about gifted young athletes who placed their promising and lucrative careers in jeopardy by getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. The latest story involves a Los Angeles Rams practice squad player. Media reports indicate that the player was taken into custody by police in California on the evening of Sept. 16 after a breath test allegedly revealed his blood alcohol concentration to be .17 percent. This is more than double the .08 percent legal driving limit in California.

The chain of events that ended with the player's detention began when officers from the Simi Valley Police Department were dispatched to the area of Sinaloa Road and Royal Avenue to investigate reports of a possible drunk driver. According to the SVPD, several individuals had called 911 about a vehicle being driven recklessly that had struck several objects including mailboxes, trashcans and a bus stop sign. Officers say that they observed and pulled over the vehicle in question a short time later on El Monte Drive in the vicinity of El Lado Drive.

Texas man charged in connection with teen's death

A 20-year-old Texas man has been charged with killing his girlfriend just hours after she celebrated her 19th birthday. The woman's badly disfigured body was discovered by San Antonio Police Department officers on Camp Bullis Road at about 12:51 a.m. according to reports. Officers are said to have located the body by tracing the origin of a cellphone call made by the woman to her mother just minutes before she died.

The woman allegedly told her mother that the man had stabbed her after the couple began to argue while traveling to a club with another male who was not identified in initial reports. Police say that the woman's body showed signs of massive trauma. Officers soon concluded that the woman had died after being run over repeatedly by a motor vehicle.

3 benefits of expungement

Anyone who has a criminal conviction on her or his record, no matter how severe the crime or how long ago it happened, should seek expungement. This act will remove the conviction from a person's official record, including all government databases. It can be a long and arduous process, but Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke wants to make the process more accessible to those who have drug charges on their records. 

It is possible to expunge many different crimes from an official record. The process is particularly advantageous for teenagers charged with crimes because one simple mistake can remain with them for the rest of their lives. Here are just a few of the ways people of all ages stand to benefit from expungement:

Nurse at Texas hospital accused of killing and injuring patients

An indictment against a 34-year-old nurse who worked at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler details accusations of murder and assault. Investigators have attributed the deaths of two patients to the nurse and also charged him with two aggravated assaults. According to the indictment, he injected air into the arterial catheters of seven patients. These allegedly intentional acts killed two people and induced vegetative states in two more patients.

The problems began at the hospital in November 2017 and occurred again in January 2018. The police report said that he had not been assigned to the care of the patients. When hospital administrators questioned him in January, he said that he pumped up a pressure bag and quieted a beeping IV machine.

Data shows anti-Muslim hate crimes on the rise

Texas residents may be interested to learn that the number of anti-Muslim assaults rose from 2015 to 2016, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center report. The number of attacks against Muslim men and women in the United States is reportedly tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

In 2016, the FBI noted that there were 127 reports of anti-Muslim attacks. These attacks included simple and aggravated assaults. Comparatively, there were 91 reports of attacks against Muslims in 2015 and 93 reports of attacks against Muslims in 2001, the year the 9/11 attacks occurred.