This Blog Posts All Posts Directory Listings Articles

On the Clock: Time Limits to Try a Juvenile as an Adult

02/17/2017 11:00:10 AM

Time Requirements on the State’s Power to Certify a Juvenile as an Adult Texas Family Code Section 54.02 gives the juvenile court the power to transfer its exclusive jurisdiction over... The post On the Clock: Time Limits to Try a Juvenile ...

The Admissibility of Juvenile Statements When Taken By Police

02/09/2017 06:00:46 AM

The juvenile justice system in Texas is a hybrid system which incorporates major elements of the adult criminal system, while maintaining separate rules and procedures to ensure that juveniles are... The post The Admissibility of Juvenile Statements ...

Texas Occupational License Restrictions and Requirements (and why they matter)

02/06/2017 08:00:58 AM

What You Can, Should, and Must Do While You are Driving on an Occupational Drivers License in Texas If you’ve received an occupational license related to a DWI ALR suspension... The post Texas Occupational License Restrictions and Requirements ...

Community Caretaking Function: Police May Stop without Reasonable Suspicion

01/27/2017 08:00:43 AM

In November of 2015, we wrote about State v. Byram, a DWI case out of Tarrant County. In Byram, the 2nd Court of Appeals held that a “hunched over” passenger... The post Community Caretaking Function: Police May Stop without Reasonable Suspicion ...

Is Fire a Deadly Weapon in an Arson Case?

01/25/2017 10:00:52 AM

Defendant’s Arson Charge was Enhanced when Fire was Alleged as a “Deadly Weapon.” Pruett v. State (2nd Court of Appeals – Fort Worth, 2016) ***UPDATE – This case was REVERSED... The post Is Fire a Deadly Weapon in an Arson Case? appeared ...

An Introduction to Juvenile Probation in Tarrant County

01/25/2017 09:29:22 AM

Many people have the perception that the juvenile system is simply a slap on the wrist for kids, regardless of the offense. The reason for this belief is the fact... The post An Introduction to Juvenile Probation in Tarrant County appeared first ...

Probation Revoked for Violating an Unconstitutional Law…CCA Overturns

01/23/2017 09:17:24 AM

Punishment for a Man Convicted of Child Pornography Held Facially Unconstitutional Ex Parte Lea (Tex. Crim.App. 2016) What happens when an old criminal law is rendered null and void? Do... The post Probation Revoked for Violating an Unconstitutional ...

BHW Completes Full Renovation of Fort Worth’s Historic Atelier Building

01/19/2017 20:05:32 PM

Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC recently completed a full renovation of the historic Atelier Building (1905) in downtown Fort Worth. The Atelier Building is one of the oldest buildings in... The post BHW Completes Full Renovation of Fort Worth’s ...

For Parents: Keys to Success in the Juvenile Justice System

01/10/2017 09:00:30 AM

The following article is from Christy Dunn, former juvenile prosecutor in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – Juvenile Division: _______________________________ As parents, we want the best for our children.... The post For Parents: ...

Juvenile Sex Offender Registration in Texas

01/04/2017 07:00:04 AM

In Texas, the law governing sex offender registration contains several provisions that apply specifically to juveniles. This means that sex offender registration works differently in juvenile cases than it does... The post Juvenile Sex Offender ...

Murder Conviction Reversed for Prosecutor’s Use of Racial Slur

11/04/2016 12:33:50 PM

Texas Prosecutor Uses the “N” Word During Closing Argument. Court of Appeals Reverses the Conviction. In December of 2014, Appellant Luis Miguel Hernandez was convicted of the murder of Devin... The post Murder Conviction Reversed for P ...

The Juvenile Justice Intake Process in Tarrant County, Texas

11/02/2016 11:24:59 AM

In Tarrant County, the Juvenile Probation Department is the intake agency for the county. This means that when a police officer files a case against a juvenile, it goes to... The post The Juvenile Justice Intake Process in Tarrant County, Texas ...

Can You Burglarize Your Own Residence?

10/31/2016 16:22:04 PM

Can a Roommate Who is Not on the Lease be Convicted of Burglary of His or Her Own Residence? The Court of Criminal Appeals recently held that a roommate, who... The post Can You Burglarize Your Own Residence? appeared first on Fort Worth Criminal ...

Does the Emergency Aid Exception Apply to Vehicle Stops?

10/26/2016 10:48:42 AM

Officers Are Justified in Stopping Vehicles to Render Emergency Aid Making Evidence Found in the Process Fair Game The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down an opinion dealing... The post Does the Emergency Aid Exception Apply ...

Help When You Need It Most: Tarrant County Juvenile Drug Court Program

10/24/2016 14:02:37 PM

Last week I wrote about things that every parent needs to know about kids and drugs. Today, I want to share with you a valuable resource to use if your... The post Help When You Need It Most: Tarrant County Juvenile Drug Court Program appeared ...

Pretext Phone Calls in Sexual Assault Investigations

10/14/2016 09:00:13 AM

Did you ever get the feeling like someone is recording your conversation? Texas is a one party consent state meaning your conversations can be recorded and listened to by third parties... The post Pretext Phone Calls in Sexual Assault Inve ...

Drugs, Kids, and Juvenile Justice in Texas

10/12/2016 08:00:53 AM

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Drug Crimes and the Juvenile Justice Process One of the most common way for teenagers to run afoul of the law is with... The post Drugs, Kids, and Juvenile Justice in Texas appeared first on Fort Worth Criminal ...

Do Drugs Found in a Car Automatically Belong to the Driver?

10/10/2016 14:13:31 PM

Between the Driver and Two Passengers, who is in Possession of the Drugs Found in the Middle Compartment in Plain View? The Court of Criminal Appeals recently handed down an... The post Do Drugs Found in a Car Automatically Belong to the Driver? ...

Dallas Oil Family’s Dismissal for Vindictive Prosecution Upheld on Appeal

10/07/2016 09:00:12 AM

How Far Does the Trial Courts Discretion Go in Determining Whether to Hold a Pretrial Evidentiary Hearing? On September 21st the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a decision on... The post Dallas Oil Family’s Dismissal for Vindictive ...

Hold Your Fire…Don’t Shoot the Clowns! Yet.

10/05/2016 10:16:20 AM

Recently, a friend asked me if it was legal for individuals to dress as clowns and scare the public. He also wanted to know what would happen if he were... The post Hold Your Fire…Don’t Shoot the Clowns! Yet. appeared first on Fort Worth ...

Juvenile or Adult? The Juvenile Certification Process in Texas

10/04/2016 09:00:55 AM

The Nuts and Bolts of the Juvenile Certification Process The juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction over offenses committed by juveniles (children ages 10-17)  in Texas. The only exception to this,... The post Juvenile or Adult? The Juvenile ...

Reasonable Suspicion to Stop and Frisk Upheld | Furr v. State (2016)

09/30/2016 09:00:25 AM

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds a Stop and Frisk Case Furr v. State (Tex. Crim. App. 2016) On September 21st the Criminal Court of Appeals decided Furr v. State.... The post Reasonable Suspicion to Stop and Frisk Upheld | Furr v. State ...

Which Crimes Require Sex Offender Registration in Texas?

09/28/2016 10:04:20 AM

It’s no secret that there are certain offenses that require individuals to register themselves on the sex offender registry. However, what are those offenses? How long is a person required... The post Which Crimes Require Sex Offender Registration ...

Project SAFeR: Juvenile Sex Crime Diversion Program in Fort Worth

09/26/2016 09:00:21 AM

Treatment without Labels: An Effective Program for Juveniles Charged with a Sex Crime in Tarrant County Imagine this: You receive a call out of the blue from a detective telling... The post Project SAFeR: Juvenile Sex Crime Diversion Program ...

“Excessive Bail Shall Not Be Required”| Bail is Not Intended to be Punishment

09/21/2016 10:33:36 AM

Just the other day, I read something written by one of our local mayors calling for bail reform because a certain person had been released on what she believed was... The post “Excessive Bail Shall Not Be Required” | Bail is Not Intended ...

Juvenile Detention Hearings: What are They and What Happens at Them?

09/19/2016 08:00:41 AM

If a juvenile (a child between the ages of 10-16) is arrested, that person is taken to a juvenile detention center instead of jail. In the juvenile justice system, there... The post Juvenile Detention Hearings: What are They and What Happens ...

Hate Crimes in Texas | Statistics and Impact of Texas Hate Crimes

09/16/2016 09:27:50 AM

Texas Hate Crimes One of the highest-profile hate crimes in the nation to occur in recent years involved the unprovoked massacre of a historic South Carolina church carried out by... The post Hate Crimes in Texas | Statistics and Impact of Texas ...

Statute of Limitations in Texas | How Long Does the State Have to Bring Charges?

09/07/2016 12:45:44 PM

How Long Does the State Have to Bring a Criminal Case Against Me? Texas law sets out the statute of limitations, the period during which formal charges must be brought... The post Statute of Limitations in Texas | How Long Does the State Have ...

The Lautenberg Amendment Federal Gun Ban on Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases

09/06/2016 12:48:09 PM

What is the Lautenberg Amendment? The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act enacted in the Fall of 1996 provides that those with a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of... The post The Lautenberg Amendment Federal Gun Ban on Misdemeanor ...

Challenging the Probable Cause Affidavit | Franks Hearing Requirements

09/03/2016 12:51:50 PM

Problems with Probable Cause: Law Enforcement Allegedly Used Conflicting Third Party Statements as the basis for a Search Warrant Evidence obtained by a valid search warrant can be used at... The post Challenging the Probable Cause Affidavit ...

Can One Spouse be Forced to Testify Against the Other?

08/30/2016 20:59:46 PM

Can My Spouse be Forced to Testify Against Me in a Criminal Trial in Texas? Everyone knows (or should know) of the attorney-client privilege which prohibits the calling of an attorney... The post Can One Spouse be Forced to Testify Against ...

Should I Pay My Red Light Camera Ticket?

08/23/2016 09:00:44 AM

Anytime someone gets a ticket in the mail from a red light camera, the same questions run through their mind. Do I really have to pay this ticket? Is that even... The post Should I Pay My Red Light Camera Ticket? appeared first on Fort Worth ...

May I Legally Refuse Field Sobriety Tests if Stopped for DWI?

08/19/2016 08:00:25 AM

Yes. You may legally refuse field sobriety tests in Texas. This article explains why you should consider refusing. Field Sobriety Tests Can Be the Best Evidence for the State in... The post May I Legally Refuse Field Sobriety Tests if Stopped ...

What Can Happen if I File a False Police Report in Texas?

08/18/2016 08:00:54 AM

If You Lie or Exaggerate in a Police Report or File a False Report, You Could be Charged with a Class B Misdemeanor As Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys, we... The post What Can Happen if I File a False Police Report in Texas? appeared first ...

What is the Age of Consent in the United States?

08/13/2016 22:16:52 PM

Is There a Uniform Age of Consent for all 50 States in the United States? No, there is not a uniform age of consent. The “Age of Consent” is the... The post What is the Age of Consent in the United States? appeared first on Fort Worth Criminal ...

Is It a Crime to Use a Fake Gun or Toy Gun in Texas?

08/10/2016 07:30:28 AM

How Do Toy Guns or Fake Guns Fit Into the Criminal Justice System? In the wake of the recent rise in gun violence, Apple made a big announcement last week... The post Is It a Crime to Use a Fake Gun or Toy Gun in Texas? appeared first on Fort ...

2016 Scholarship Winners | Veteran Law Student & Military Dependent

08/09/2016 13:38:46 PM

The post 2016 Scholarship Winners | Veteran Law Student & Military Dependent appeared first on Fort Worth Criminal Defense DWI Attorney.

Enhancement for Crimes Committed Deportation Illegal Reentry into the US

08/04/2016 13:16:55 PM

What happens when someone who illegally enters the country commits a crime? Further, does it matter is that person was previously deported from the United States? Does federal law provide for... The post Enhancement for Crimes Committed Deportation ...

License to Carry a Handgun After Arrest or Criminal Charge in Texas

07/28/2016 11:59:39 AM

There are many consequences for persons arrested and charged with a crime in Texas.  One of the often overlooked considerations is whether and to what extent a criminal accusation impacts one’s authorization... The post License to Carry ...

Defining “Felon in Possession (of a Firearm) in Furtherance of a Crime”

07/27/2016 09:21:05 AM

5th Circuit Holds that Prosecutors need not provide evidence for each one of the Ceballos-Torres ‘Felon in Possession in Furtherance of a Crime’ factors. US v Walker (5th Circuit 2016) At... The post Defining “Felon in Possession (of ...

New Law To Increase Penalties for Violence Against Police Officers

07/19/2016 11:24:51 AM

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, Proposes Police Protection Act, Which Would Stiffen the Punishment for Violence Against Law Enforcement On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott called on both citizens and Texas lawmakers... The post New Law To Increase ...

Controlled Substance Analogue Ratio Equates to Higher Federal Sentence

07/14/2016 13:04:27 PM

Synthetic Cannabinoids became popular in the 2000’s when they were first marketed as “legal herbs.” In 2008, chemical analysis revealed that these designer drugs were more than just herbs.  The military, in particular,... The post ...

Understaffing of Police Cannot Create the “Exigency” to Justify a Warrantless Blood Draw

07/07/2016 12:01:57 PM

In a Warrantless DWI Blood Draw Case, State Offers “Understaffing of Police” as an Exigent Circumstance. Bonsignore v State (2nd Court of Appeals – Fort Worth, 2016) After traveling eighty miles... The post Understaffing of Police Cannot ...

“Reckless” Domestic Assault Now Qualifies for Federal Firearm Restrictions

07/03/2016 15:06:01 PM

“Firearms and Domestic Strife are a Potentially Deadly Combination,” says the Supreme Court Voisine v. United States (US Supreme Court, 2016) Voisine v. United States consolidates two domestic violence-related cases from... The post ...

Defense of Third Party Not Allowed in Fort Worth Domestic Violence Case

06/30/2016 08:00:22 AM

This week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals released Henley v. State. In a 4-3 decision the divided court held that the defendant was not allowed to offer “defense of... The post Defense of Third Party Not Allowed in Fort Worth Domestic ...

Movie Plot Defense Opens the Door to Evidence of Other Crimes

06/28/2016 07:23:47 AM

The Fugitive, The Doctrine of Chances, and The Texas Rules of Evidence Collide: CCA Reviews a “Movie Plot” Defense Strategy Dabney v. State (Tex. Crim. App. 2016) Have you ever seen... The post Movie Plot Defense Opens the Door to Evidence ...

Warrantless Blood Draw Case Turns on Defense Failure to Preserve Appellate Issue

06/23/2016 09:00:43 AM

Court of Criminal Appeals Considers Whether Defense Failed to Preserve Appeal Smith v. State (Tex Crim. App. 2016) Warrantless Blood Draw Provides Evidence of DWI William Smith was stopped by police... The post Warrantless Blood Draw Case Turns ...

US Supreme Court Allows Evidence From Illegal Police Stop in a Shocking Decision

06/21/2016 10:21:02 AM

In a 5-3 Split, Utah v. Strieff Causes Strife for the Supreme Court: What Happens When an Illegal Stop Leads to the Discovery of an Outstanding Warrant? Utah v. Strieff (United... The post US Supreme Court Allows Evidence From Illegal Police ...

Is Deferred Adjudication an Authorized Sentence if Victim is 3 Years-Old?

06/20/2016 07:45:36 AM

Trial Judge Properly Imposed Deferred Adjudication in Sexual Assault Case, says CCA Anthony v. State (Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 2016) Note: This article contains sensitive subject matter dealing with... The post Is Deferred Adjudication ...

Satanic Cell Phone Images Admitted as Relevant Character Evidence

06/15/2016 08:31:38 AM

Second Court of Appeals Holds that Satanic Cell Phone Photos Were Relevant Character Evidence in Punishment Phase for Attempted Capital Murder Case   Pantoja v. State (2nd Court of Appeals –... The post Satanic Cell Phone Images Admitted ...

Is Driving Around a Water Barricade a Criminal Offense?

06/04/2016 09:40:01 AM

Rules of the Road During Flood Season in Texas For two years in a row, Texas has experienced significant flooding due to unusual amounts of rainfall. Many people have lost their... The post Is Driving Around a Water Barricade a Criminal Offense? ...

When a Criminal Accomplice Exceeds the Scope of the Agreed Plan

06/02/2016 07:43:57 AM

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men: What Happens When a Robbery Accomplice Goes Rogue? Davis v. State (2nd COA, 2016) Davis v. State is a case about two... The post When a Criminal Accomplice Exceeds the Scope of the Agreed Plan appeared first ...