HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
Houston Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys
Protecting Your Rights & Liberty When You Needed Most!
If you are facing a criminal indictment, charges, or allegations and investigation, you must know your rights and obligations. Under the Texas Penal Code, you are presumed to be innocent and the State must prove beyond reasonable doubt, a standard that is much higher than in a civil case, that you committed the crime. What that means is that, depending on whether the allegation is a misdemeanor or a felony, a jury panel of 6 or 12 jurors must unanimously decided that you are guilty for you to be convicted. That being said, once being investigated, questioned, or arrested and interrogated, you must immediately contact the Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers and the West Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys to determine what your rights are and guide you through the course of your defense. The Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham will provide you with a personal consultation to determine the seriousness of the allegation, the likelihood of the conviction, and whether there is a defense for your action even if you committed the act alleged.
Police officers and law enforcement agencies sometimes step over the line and violate your constitutional rights when arresting and charging you with a crime. The Southwest Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers will also assess whether your constitutional rights have been violated. If such incident exists, you may be entitled to the dismissal of the alleged crimes upon which you were indicted or the evidence that the police wrongfully obtained may be suppressed and will not be able to be used in court thereby bolstering your defense. Because these issues may need to be raised at the onset of the defense, either to use as a negotiation tool or to create a defense, you need to be truthful, detailed and answer all questions truthfully with your Houston DUI/DWI Defense Attorneys and your Houston Drug Possession Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Currently, Harris County, The City of Houston, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, and Fort Bend County Texas do not have an organized “Public Defender Office,” such as in California. As such, indigents who cannot afford their own criminal defense attorneys are allowed to be defended by attorneys who are on the “public defender” roster. These are attorneys who are either volunteers or practitioners looking to gain trial experience. They are often inundated with dozens of cases in which they are under constant pressure to negotiate settlements with the District Attorneys and City Attorneys. The same can be said with federal public defenders. The Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham provide you with personalized attention and explore all possible avenues to protect your rights to be free and to protect your Constitutional rights. The Houston Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Harris County Criminal Defense Attorneys have experience in pretrial diversions skills, such as deferred prosecution or deferred adjudication, or motion practice, including motion to suppress evidence and motion for a new trial to protect your interests. We will go to great lengths to explore all possible avenues to defend your rights.
The Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers will fight to protect your rights as an accused. An accused who faces a serious or violent felony, especially those that are NOT U.S. citizens (permanent residents and non-immigrant visa holders) must vigorously defend against the overzealous and abusive prosecution by Assistant District Attorneys whose primary interest is could be to promote one’s own career as opposed to seek justice Even if the alleged crime is considered a misdemeanor, a conviction may forever change and affect your life, in the following ways:
Affecting your ability to get a job
Causing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to permanently retains a record of your conviction, even if your record is expunged by the State
Facing jail time or a long probation period, which for purposes of immigration status, the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) considers for immigration deportation purposes;
Affecting your parental rights and custody of your children;
Affecting your immigration and naturalization status if you are not a U.S citizen, including a permanent resident alien (green card holder), and the USCIS and ICE may be able to remove you from the U.S.
For all of the reasons above, reasons above, if you are being investigated or accused of any of the following crimes, please immediately contact the West Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Southwest Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers for more information and representation.
Illegal Gambling and Gambling Promotion Crimes
Gambling, in general, is illegal in Texas. There are exceptions to the general rule if the gambling was located in a private place, no one receives money or commission from the gambling activity and the gambling is only based on chance, it is legal. Other legal forms of gambling includes bingo under the Bingo Enabling Act (Article 179d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), raffling under Charitable Raffle Enabling Act (Article 179f, Revised Statutes), the participation in the state lottery authorized by Chapter 466, Government Code, the participation in the state lottery authorized by the State Lottery Act (Chapter 466, Government Code) or the Texas Racing Act (Article 179e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), and the participation in a drawing for the opportunity to participate in a hunting, fishing, or other recreational event conducted by the Parks and Wildlife Department. Please click here to read the full article
Driving Under Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
In Texas, a person who is accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), not only faces criminal liabilities but also faces an administrative hearing by the Texas Department of Public Safety. A person having a blood alcohol level of 0.8 or more is considered legally intoxicated in Texas.
If convicted by the State,
you may be fined up to $2000 and/or have to serve 3 to 180 days in
jail for the first offense. In addition, you will have to
pay $1,000-$2,000 as a condition to obtain your driver's license
again as imposed by the administrative hearing (see below). You may also have a probation period for up to 1
year. Other conditions may also apply, such as a requirement
to attend rehabilitation classes or to make a donation to certain
charitable groups. For second offenders, the person may be fined up to $4000 and/or have to serve from one month to 1 year in jail.
In addition to your criminal charges, you will also face an
administrative hearing by the State. If the person is found guilty under the administrative hearing by the TDPS, which has a standard
of “preponderance of evidence” (less than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard in a criminal conviction), the department could take away one’s ability to drive for 1 year and/or cause you to pay an annual fee of $1000 to $2000 for three consecutive years to drive. For the second offense, you may lose your license for up to 2 years and/or have to pay $1000 to $2000 for three years to maintain a license.
Please click here to read the full article
After being arrested, an accused is entitled to a bond hearing, as a matter of law. Whether the court grants bond, the bond amount, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. The court will t consider various factors to determine whether the person may be a flight risk or a danger to society or to himself. Depending on the crime and the facts, there are four ways in which the accused may be bonded, awaiting court proceedings. If granted, a person may post bond by using cash and deposit into the court’s registry (Cash Bond). A person may also be bonded by a “Surety Bond,” which is the most common types of bonds. A surety bond is a bail bond in which an insured and bonded company (a bail-bond company) will insure that the accused will appear in court in the future. The cost for the surety bond is usually 10% of the total amount of the bond. If the accused does not have the 10% required, then the person or his/her family member, may personally guaranty the 10% of the bond to the bail-bond company, secured against personal property, such as a car, or against real property. This is called a “Property Bond.” The fourth and last way in which a person may be released while awaiting court proceedings is through one’s own recognizance. This is actually not a bond at all. The court would assess the person based on the accused personal background, education, the allegations, job/career, and the likelihood that the person will appear at trial. The West Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham will represent you at your bond hearing and present your case in the best possible light to help you receive the least possible bond and are released while awaiting trial. Please click here to read the full article
White Collar Crimes
Although white-collar crimes are often used to describe corporate crimes that do not involve violent crimes, the State (District Attorney’s Office or the City Attorneys) may charge a person a mixed-bag of various crimes depending on the facts. Typically, however, white-collar crimes concern Security Fraud, Computer & Internet Crimes, Counterfeiting, Bribery and Extortion, Credit Card Fraud, Embezzlement & Misappropriation of Funds, Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud, Perjury, Money Laundering & Organized Crimes (Conspiracy). Despite the name, an accused that is facing any of the above allegations may face serious jail time, at the State level, and may face prison if indicted and convicted in federal court. If you are accused of any of the above crimes, contact the Houston White-Collar Crime Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham immediately for a consultation. Please click here to read the full article
Drug Possession Crimes - Controlled Substance
A drug possession charge may be a simple Class B misdemeanor or a felony crime depending on the type of possession. In Texas, the state can charge a person with drug possession with the intent for personal use, to sell, or for trafficking purposes. Despite the general belief, under the conspiracy theory, a person that does not have drugs or paraphernalia in one’s person (the wrong place wrong time victim) may also be charged with a drug possession crime if he or she was present at the location where drugs are found, such as a car or a home. Therefore, it is important that an accused provide as much information as possible to the Houston Drug Possession Criminal Defense Attorneys regarding the ownership of such drugs and paraphernalia. The West Houston Drug Possession Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham will use such information to negotiate and provide the best possible defenses should the case proceed to trial. Please click here to read the full article
Assaults & Family Violence
Depending on the fact of each case, an assault offense may range from a Class C Misdemeanor to a Third Degree Felony. Under the Texas Penal Code, a person committed an assault if he/she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another. Such offense is a Class A misdemeanor and may be a third degree felony if the offense was committed against a peace officer or emergency worker. A person has committed a Class C misdemeanor Assault if the person intentionally or knowingly threatens bodily injury to another or causes offensive contact to another and may be a Class A misdemeanor if it is a repeated offense. Sentencing is dependent on the classification of the crime and past criminal record, if any. Any assault conviction is a violent crime and may have serious consequences. This is especially important if the accused is not a US citizen. A plea of “Guilty” or “Nolo Contendre” for a deferred adjudication may be sufficient to show that the alien has a criminal record and may, therefore, be removed from the U.S. Please contact the West Houston Assault Defense Attorneys or the Champion Houston Violent Crime Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham prior to making any negotiation or plea with the District Attorney’s office. Please click here to read the full article
The Texas Penal Code defines “Burglary” as entering a habitation or a building that is not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault. Thus, if a person was drunk or under the influence unknowingly entered a dwelling without an intent to commit theft, assault, or a felony, may not have committed a burglary. Because burglary is considered a violent crime, based on the inherent danger associated with such crime, it is important to consult our Houston Burglary Defense Attorneys to develop defenses based upon the facts of each situation. Please click here to read the full article
Robbery & Aggravated Robbery
Robbery is a theft with the intent to knowingly threaten or cause bodily injury to the victim. An aggravated felony is a robbery that uses a deadly weapon or the threat of imminent harm or death to the person of another or if the robbery causes injury to the body of an elderly person. Robbery and Aggravated Robbery are a Class A Felony offense and the sentencing is dependent on the facts surrounding the alleged crime and the accused’s background. As with Burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery are intentional crimes. Thus, if the person did not knowingly or intentionally committ the act, he/she cannot be convicted of the crime. Please click here to read the full article
A crime that is committed by children from the age of 11-17 are considered a “delinquent” and not a “criminal violation.” The intent of the court is to reform children who commit delinquency. However, please do not mistake the seriousness of a delinquent allegation. If handled improperly, the crime can be transferred and the child could be charge as an adult. In addition, many people mistakenly think that a juvenile crime will not be in the child’s record after the age of 18 or 21. The fact is, many of the juvenile delinquent crimes may affect your child’s criminal record. Such record could affect your child’s ability to attend a University and college, and may also affect your child’s ability to get a job. Please contact the West Houston Juvenile Criminal Defense attorneys for a personal consultation.
Please click here to read the full article
Sex Offenses may originate out of false accusations from your spouse or former spouse or from unintended circumstances involving the public. Regardless of what the accusation is, any sex offense is a serious crime, especially when it involves a lewd act, involves a child, or prohibited sexual contact/act. Such offense not only carries jail time, but the convicted person may have to register as a sex-offender for the rest of his or her life. Any such conviction would also greatly affect one’s personal and professional life. If you have been accused of a sex crime, please contact our Houston Sex Crime Attorneys and our Southwest Houston Sex Offenses Lawyers immediately. Please click here to read the full article
Expungement of Criminal Records
In some circumstances, you may have your criminal record expunged (destroyed and erased) from State record. If you committed a juvenile delinquent crime or completed a deferred adjudication, you may be eligible for an expungement. Our Houston Criminal Record Expungement Attorneys may file a Motion to Expunge your record if it has been at least 5 years from the date in which you completed your probation or community service under deferred adjudication of a misdemeanor crime, or after 10 years for a felony crime. Expungement is NOT a right; but rather, it is a privilege. Therefore, you must demonstrate that the expungement for such criminal conviction is in the best interest of the public. Please click here to read the full article
Under the Illegal Immigrant Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), pronounced “IRA IRA,” a foreign national who committed a crime of aggravated felony or a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) will be removed from the United States. IIRIRA applies to all non-U.S. citizens, including permanent residents (green card holders) and is retroactive. That is, the law can apply to all past criminal convictions, including crimes that were committed by foreign nationals prior to the enactment of the Act in 1996. The list of crimes including aggravated felonies and under CIMT is expansive. If you are not a U.S. citizen and are facing a criminal allegation, please immediately contact the Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Houston Immigration Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham. It is essential that your criminal defense attorney have immigration defense experience to go through the immigration quagmire and avoid a conviction that will result in your deportation. Sometimes, only in 1 day of jail time or length of probation period will make a criminal conviction one that would result in your deportation. Lastly, it is important to remember that a Deferred Adjudication is determined as Guilt under US Immigration law. You should always contact the West Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys, working in conjunction with the Houston Immigration Lawyers, at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham when facing a criminal allegation. Please click here to read the full article
Every case is unique and requires a personal consultation to assess the allegations and determine your defenses. You should NOT rely on information in this general site to replace a personal consultation with an experienced lawyer. There may be legal issues, depending on the facts and circumstances, of which you may not be aware until after your consultation. Please feel free to give us a call at 713-517-6645, or to contact us online, for more information. Call the Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Online Contact Form.