Xavier Law Firm
With over 25 years of experience and thousands of successful cases, Harvard Criminal Defense Attorney, Xavier V. Chavez, provides the immigrant community with an unparalleled defense in Texas and California
Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston, TX for the Immigrant Community
Are you a legal permanent resident (LPR) in the United States? Are you perhaps an undocumented immigrant who was brought in as a child? Or perhaps you were born in the States but are a member of the Hispanic community. If any of the above is true for you, and you are facing criminal charges, you will benefit greatly from counsel and representation by an attorney who understands your particular needs as a member of your community. To represent you effectively, your Criminal Defense attorney must understand the individual challenges you face as much as he understands the criminal justice system. Your attorney needs to be intimately familiar with everything you are likely to face so that he can assist you in navigating through the veritable minefield that is today’s criminal justice system.
It may come as no surprise to you that the Criminal Justice System is structured in such a way as to be particularly detrimental to communities of color; this is especially true in southern states like Texas. We want you to be aware of the reasons why the system operates like it does; but more importantly, should you be charged with a crime, we want you to understand how the criminal process works, from the moment you are detained until the day you are tried in a State Court. We will protect your legal rights as a citizen, legal permanent resident, and as a human being.
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Having offices in California and Texas, Xavier Law Firm can help you in either state; with worldwide availability for immigration matters.
Often times linguistic barriers cause misunderstandings. At Xavier Law Firm, we can help you in English, Spanish, French or Italian.
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Criminal Offenses in Texas
There are decisions in our lives that may not always bring good consequences. We are human, after all, and we are prone to err. There are other situations, however, that may be forced on us, situations in which you are truly an innocent party and a victim of prejudice. Once you understand that many states have followed an agenda of discrimination against your community, you do well in seeking the advice of a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney.
The offense of “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI) is nothing less than a curse that plagues the Hispanic community, and one that has been used to weaponize the judicial system against our people. A DWI occurs when you have driven a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and it is of course an extremely common crime, one that many people in the US commit, even without realizing it. While it is possible to receive a DUI penalty for driving under the influence of drugs, driving while intoxicated is a term that is used especially in relation to alcohol consumption.
There is a possibility of getting arrested for a DWI even when you are not actually driving. For example, if the police find you sitting at the wheel, with the key in the ignition, you could be arrested even if you have not actually driven the car!
In general, a driver is considered to be intoxicated if, when performing a breathalyzer test and when blowing, the value amounts to more than 0.08. This applies to any driver who is over 21 years of age. Nevertheless, if someone is under 21, he could receive a DUI penalty if the test result indicated less than 0.08 because then the person is not legally allowed to consume alcohol and, therefore, the test should not give any evidence of alcohol consumption.
Recently, immigration laws have been passed to make a person who has been repeatedly convicted of a DWI, a “security risk” or a “threat to national security”. Why? Well, since many members of the immigrant community are charged with DWIs every year, this is an obvious attempt to toughen immigration measures so that less immigrants can receive immigration benefits such as obtaining a Green Card, citizenship, or DACA. If you are an immigrant, and you have a DWI, make sure you have an excellent immigration and criminal defense attorney by your side.
Having a family and a good marriage has increasingly become a challenge in the world today. A lot of social problems begin in the family, and the media does not foment values that instill in society a behavior conducive to harmony and peace. Widespread divorce and domestic violence have been some of the consequences of many of the changes the world has undergone in the past century. This is also a common problem in the immigrant community.
The state of Texas does not take domestic violence lightly and subjects the defendant to severe punishments. Any physical altercation between people who live in the same household, and are considered to be family, is deemed a violent act. That being said, sometimes people can be accused of a violent domestic crime even if they have not committed a crime. In our experience, sometimes children can call the authorities when there is an altercation at home and get their parents, who may not have a good command of English, in a lot of legal problems. You will need a Criminal lawyer if you ever see yourself in a situation like this.
On the other hand, people sometimes believe that domestic violence is just related to physical violence. This assumption leads to several victims suffering other types of domestic abuse without doing anything about it. In Texas, domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse. It entails more than what is seen on the outside. Please, click here for more information.
Every state in the country has different penalties against drug possession. It is very important to keep in mind that laws regarding controlled substances are very severe in Texas. If you have been caught in possession of drugs, then your best bet is seeking an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Possible repercussions for drug possession, as stipulated in the Texas Controlled Substance Act, include; heavy fines, treatment for drug addiction, driver’s license suspension, probation, or jail term. The penalties for drug possession charges vary depending on the type of drug, presence of drug paraphernalia, how the drugs were stored or concealed, and past convictions. This is why having a legal counsel who works in your best interest can get you a reduced sentence.
In Texas, the crime of “theft” encompasses more than just taking something away from its owner. Whenever you are found in possession of a stolen item even if you’re not the one who stole it, you might be charged with theft. If a person is not capable of proving that the item given or sold to them is not stolen, he will face criminal charges.
For instance, if you buy a car and the person selling it to you does not provide a property executed certificate of title (pink slip), you’re supposed to report to the Texas Department of Motor. Failure to do this will get you guilty of breaking Texas’ law against theft. You are also required to file the county tax collector/assessor in 20 days after receiving the vehicle failure to which you will be charged with theft.
Texas has become well-known for its harsh rulings regarding sex crimes (such acts include rape, possession of child pornography, internet sex crimes, prostitution, sexting, indecency with a child, online solicitation of a minor and aggravated sex crimes, among others.). Even sex crimes allegations can destroy a person’s reputation forever. The majority of these crimes are classified as felonies which can even result in sentences of life in prison. Given the stakes, it cannot be overstated how important it is to have a competent criminal defense attorney by your side.
Oftentimes, a sex crime may involve sexual conduct, which is defined by the state as an crime in spite of consent of the parties involved. For instance, consent is not always grounds for a legal defense. It is important to highlight that laws concerning sex crimes are usually changing in terms of how the prosecution interprets them. Due to the constant change and complexity of the law, you should choose an excellent Criminal lawyer.
The worst place to face homicide charges in the United States is Texas due to the harsh penalties for those convicted. This is why the idea of being accused of criminal homicide could be among the worst experiences someone can go through. You could be sentenced for life or even get the death penalty. A homicide case definitely requires the attention of an excellent criminal defense lawyer, it is no exaggeration to state that your life might depend on it.
A criminal homicide refers to the actions of a person that causes the death of someone else. As per Texas law, there are different types of criminal homicide. The main types are murder and manslaughter. A sentence will vary if the homicide is not intentional but is “reckless” or “negligent”, in which case it would be manslaughter. Some forms of manslaughter could get substantially reduced sentences, especially when compared to murder. A competent criminal defense could get you acquitted, a reduced sentence, or a sentence for a lesser form of homicide.
The Texas Penal Code has codified different kinds of offenses that go by the name of assault. A serious form of assault, or in its aggravated form, is an assault directed to a family member (or someone with whom you have been in a relationship), and it is a first-degree felony. Robbery, for example, is also categorized as a such a felony when it is perpetrated on a government official such law enforcement agent, a bodyguard or the witness of a crime.
If you are convicted of an aggravated assault, you can expect to spend between five and 99 years in prison because it is a first degree felony. You could also be fined for up to $10,000. Needless to say, this can be a very serious threat to your future and freedom. You can be fined up to $10,000. A sentence for an aggravated offense can change your life forever.
The minimum sentence for your indictment is nothing you can walk away free. You can get your freedom if you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston, Tx. At Xavier Law Firm, we have witnessed many members of our community being charged with aggravated assault, when in reality they are either responsible of a lesser degree of assault, or not where there was no offense at all. This is why a solid and competent defense is of paramount importance.
Getting convicted does not necessarily mean the end of the road for your case. Your criminal defense attorney and the judge will make sure you are aware of your right to appeal the decision of the court. Filing for an appeal means that you request a higher court in the judicial system to review the decision made on your case.
A criminal defense attorney who has experience with the laws and procedures related to criminal appeals will know how to submit your application to the Texas Court of Appeals in the jurisdiction where you underwent trial. There are only 14 courts of appeal in Texas.
Appeal cases do not need requirel new witnesses or evidence, They are mostly about reviewing the case for any errors committed during the trial. Such judicial reviews may include the examination of the clerk’s records and the reporter’s notes about your case. Your criminal defense attorney will make these documents available for the court when he or she prepares for the appeal.
Most people at some point in their lives have made some kind of mistake they regret. Sometimes those acts that people regret can leave a mark in their criminal record. The majority of convictions are hard to remove from your criminal record. Nevertheless, Texas law gives people the opportunity to purge some of this information from their record. This is what is called expungement or expunction.
Texas law regarding expungement is allowed in criminal cases records which did not lead to a finding of guilt, or certain class C misdemeanors when the defendant successfully completed deferred adjudication. Getting an expungement can be indispensable if you also have an immigration case.
If you are found guilty or if you pleaded guilty in a criminal case, you will not be eligible for expungement. You will also not be eligible for expunction if your arrest relates to a probation violation warrant or if you abscond from the jurisdiction after being released on bond. The help of a criminal defense attorney might be essential in attaining your expungement.
Charges related to money laundering can be serious and have the potential to damage your life professionally and personally. This can occur as a result of hefty financial sentences or serving a long time in jail.
There are several ways to conceal the source of illegal money but by now you probably know how easy it is to be caught in any money laundering scheme. This is because laws that involve money laundering are updated regularly to keep up with different ways criminal use to make their illegal funds appear legitimate. Texas is the worst place to be facing money laundering charges due to its severe punishment system.
If you are caught up in such charges, the best thing to do is to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has in-depth knowledge regarding the complexities of money laundering charges.
Kidnapping is usually an emotionally delicate situation that mostly has a permanent stigma to the offender as well as the victim. If you are facing kidnapping charges, there is a high possibility that you were acting within your right. Wading through the legal complexities of your case will require the professional help of an experienced attorney from our highly capable legal team.
According to criminal law, kidnapping is the act of taking away or transporting an individual without their consent. It also involves confining the victim or placing them under false imprisonment without the legal right to do so. Kidnapping can also entail forcing another person into a vehicle and transporting them elsewhere, or locking them in a room to prevent their escape.
In order to understand the level of charges and the penalties that you might face from the prosecution, there are two key terms under the Texas legal code that you should know.
People in the juvenile justice system are normally referred to as ‘juvenile offenders’ or ‘juvenile delinquents’. The overall rate of juvenile crimes has grown over the years. You will agree with me that once delinquency in juveniles has started, it is difficult to reverse.
Teens often forget that poor choices can lead to criminal punishments. Juvenile offenders are byproducts of industrialization and urbanization. Prevention programs need to be put in place before a delinquent behavior is reached.
In order to fix this problem, we must first look for the root cause. Social factors such as family structure, education and economic status, drug and substance abuse, domestic violence may lead to juvenile lawlessness. Teenagers are still immature, they are therefore most likely to mess up or commit crimes not fully in their control.
Probation and parole are both alternatives to internment. Probation is a punishment as part of a sentence ordered by the court, to which instead of serving a jail term after conviction, the offender reports to a probation officer as per the set schedule. The offender is allowed to stay in the community on the promise of good/changed behavior.
On the other hand, parole is the conditional release of a person from prison before the completion of your sentence term. When you are on parole, you are still under sentencing but serving it out of confinement. Any violation during parole can lead to you returning to jail. In both probation and parole, the party is supervised and is expected to follow certain guidelines.
Today’s world presents us with a lot of uncertainties, crime being one of them. Crime and violence is prevalent in almost every state in the United States. That is why many feel the need to protect themselves, their family and those around them. It is the right as a citizen of the United States to keep and bear arms for self-defense as stipulated in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
In Texas, a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches and a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches are both considered weapons. This is in accordance with the Texas criminal code and federal law. To purchase a firearm here, you need to be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of Texas. No permit is necessary.
More than 1.2 million residents in Texas are active holders of disguised handguns with no laws accounting for the long guns except for the existing federal restrictions. Texas gun laws regulate the sale, possession and use of firearms in Texas. It focuses mainly on the carrying of guns rather than restricting its ownership.
Whether you, or a close one or a relative, is in need of legal aid on Immigration; or you are a victim of the Judicial system, we can help you. Keep in mind:
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