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Passenger is Killed in Suspected Fort Worth Drunk Driving Crash

Texas has one of the highest DWI fatal crash rates in the nation. Earlier this year, a passenger was reported to have died in a Fort Worth drunk driving crash. The crash in August led to the death of a passenger in Boat Club Road in Fort Worth, reported the Star-Telegram. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office reported that Seth Lyde Esquivel, 34, of Fort Worth, was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of blunt force injuries about two hours after the wreck. Police said Esquivel was riding in a car with a 22-year-old… Read More

DPS Reverses Course on Charging for Crime Lab Testing

State crime labs perform tests vital to the administration of justice like DWI and DNA testing. However, a proposal by the Texas Department of Public Safety to start charging for these labs earlier this year provoked an outcry. The DPS shocked the law enforcement community in July when it announced in a letter that it would start charging local agencies for the use of state crime labs. This service was previously free. The department said the Texas legislature had forced the change on it. However, just over a month later Governor Gregg Abbott announced the state was dropping the proposals… Read More

Texas is Ranked 13th Toughest State in the Country for DWI penalties

Texas is tough on DWI offenders. A new study suggests it’s one of the toughest states in the nation. A study in WalletHub ranked Texas as the 13th toughest state for DWI charges in the country in a 2017 drunk driving list. In compiling the study, experts ranked the 50 states on 15 factors related to penalties and prevention. Pertinent factors include the requirement of Texas for defendants to spend a minimum of three days in jail after the first DWI offense and 30 after the second. Texas is also one of the few states which always consider prior convictions… Read More

Are Defendants Receiving Fair Trials from County Court Judges in Texas?

Concerns that a lack of expertise among county courts judges in Texas is impacting defendants have been expressed by a leading academic. Lawrence Karson is an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston-Downtown. In a recent essay in The Houston Chronicle he called for a sweeping change to the county court system in Texas. Karson is concerned county court judges who preside over cases in more rural areas lack training. In the August issue of the Journal of Criminal Justice and Law, he examined the expertise of judges in Texas’ remote counties. These officials perform a wide range… Read More

Outlining Aggravated Crimes in Texas

Aggravated crimes are treated more seriously than other crimes and carry higher sentences on conviction in Texas. To be charged with an aggravated crime, a defendant must have committed an act that rendered the offense more dangerous. For example, if you break into a house, you would likely to be charged with burglary. However, if you were brandishing a loaded gun or a knife, the offense would likely be upped to aggravated burglary. You don’t need to threaten anyone with the gun to be hit with an aggravated burglary charge in Texas. Having a gun at the burglary scene can… Read More

Claims of Intellectual Disability Halt Execution of Texas Child Killer

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has halted the execution of a convicted child murderer from Dallas County who claims an intellectual disability leaves him ineligible for the ultimate punishment in Texas. Steven Long, 46, was set to die in August for the 2005 rape and killing of an 11-year-old girl in Dallas County. In the past, his claims of intellectual disability were rejected by the courts. However, the standards Texas previously used to determine intellectual disability were invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. In March, the nation’s highest court considered the case of Bobby Moore, a… Read More

Police Shortages in Dallas and Houston Threaten Criminal Justice

It has been described as a “perfect storm” but it occurred before the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Police shortages in both Houston and Dallas made local media headlines amid concerns falling manpower will impact criminal justice. As Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers, we are well aware that a shortage of police officers puts those who remain under additional pressure. There’s a temptation to cut corners and to fail to carry out proper procedures that can impact defendants. The Texas Tribune reported Houston police identify many property crime cases that are solvable but there are no officers available to… Read More

Dallas Cowboys Players Charged With Crimes

Dallas Cowboys players are no strangers to trouble with the law. Over the past few years, a series of players have been charged with crimes. Over the summer Lucky Whitehead became the latest player to make headlines for all of the wrong reasons. The 25-year-old player was arrested in Prince William County in Virginia on June 22 for allegedly shoplifting from a convenience store. Whitehead was charged with shoplifting/petit larceny under $200. According to media reports, he was ordered to appear in court on July 6 but didn’t show up. A warrant was issued. He was ordered to appear in… Read More

Most Wanted Man Accused of Armed Robbery in Texas is Arrested in Michigan

When an alleged criminal appears on a most wanted list, agencies across the country are alerted. Recently, one of the most wanted fugitives in Texas was arrested more than 1,000 miles away from the scene of his alleged crime in Michigan. Recently ABC 13 reported 22-year-old Samuel Steel was taken into custody in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was wanted in connection with an armed robbery at an apartment complex in Coryell County in Texas a year earlier in 2016. Investigators claim Steel was one of a group of men who robbed several victims held at gunpoint at the Texas complex. Steel… Read More

Ban on Large Knife Carry is Overturned in Texas

Texas relaxed restrictions on firearms recently by allowing open carry of guns. The state is doing the same with large knife carry after enacting legislation this summer. On Sept. 1, a bipartisan bill repealing the state’s ban on Bowie knives and other large blades, came into law. The bipartisan measure removing restrictions on the carry of knives. HB 1935, passed the House 131-1 and the Senate 30-1 in the summer before being signed by Governor Gregg Abbott in June, noted Guns.com. The language of HB 1935 removed the carry of illegal knives such as “Bowie knives, dirks, daggers, stilettos, swords, poniards,… Read More