Some Texas Jails are Overcrowded Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

posted on 2/22/21

Six inmates and two employees have died from COVID-19 in an overcrowded Houston jail. The overcrowding in many Texas jails has led at least one Sheriff to ask for help from federal judges to make room. One Houston jail’s population increased to over 9,000 people recently. Some Texas prisons have stopped accepting new inmates. Additionally, most Texas counties had not held criminal jury trials since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Defendants are Getting Stuck Waiting for Their...

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Jury Trials Continue to Prove Challenging in Texas

posted on 2/15/21

Judges, attorneys, and defendants must learn how to adapt to jury trials during the coronavirus pandemic. Between March and June, Texas courts held zero jury trials due to the coronavirus. Some counties postpone jury trials even longer, resulting in a statewide backlog of criminal cases that might take years to overcome. Some Texas counties began opening back up for in-person jury trials. However, critics are raising concerns about the risk of contracting coronavirus in the courtroom. One man had been...

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The Difference Between DWI and DUI in Texas

posted on 2/8/21

At Abal Law Firm, we have represented many clients in DWI and DUI cases. Sometimes our clients are not sure whether DUI and DWI charges are the same thing. DWI is short for Driving Under the Influence. DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. These are two different types of criminal charges. However, both of these charges criminalize driving a vehicle in public while intoxicated. The difference between DUI and DWI charges in Texas revolves around the driver's age. DUI Charges...

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Bail Enforcement Employees Accused of Burglary After a Shootout

posted on 2/1/21

Three bail enforcement company employees are facing charges related to a shootout at a home in Cypress, Texas. Prosecutors have brought felony burglary charges against the men. According to the authorities, the men were acting as bail enforcement officers, armed with guns, when they approached the front door of a man’s house. The homeowner got his gun, stating that he did not know who the men were and thought they were trespassing on his property. At some point, the bail...

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Texas SWAT Team Shoots Defendant Accused of Armed Robbery

posted on 1/25/21

A suspect is now in police custody after a standoff with a Texas SWAT team. The 23-year-old male has been charged with armed robbery, and the standoff occurred at a hotel in Austin. After officers tried to get the suspect to surrender, he barricaded himself in the hotel. Law enforcement shot the suspect, injuring him, but nobody else was injured at the scene. Law enforcement officers had previously arrested the suspect in 2019 and 2020 on assault charges for causing...

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Authorities Plan to Address Violent Crime in Texas

posted on 1/18/21

Federal and state law enforcement agencies have announced their plans to prevent violent crimes in Texas. Law enforcement officials have announced that they will engage in “Operation Undaunted” to prevent violent crimes, including shootings, gang violence, and robberies. Law enforcement officials discussed the increase in violent crime due to defunding the police and relaxed enforcement of criminal laws. Law enforcement and prosecutors will focus on prosecuting the following types of violent crimes: Kidnapping Assault and battery with a deadly weapon...

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Texas Teenager Charged With Murder Claims She is a Sex Trafficking Victim

posted on 1/11/21

A Texas teenager faces murder charges connected to an incident that happened when she was 16 years old. She is one of three defendants charged with capital murder for the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old victim shot in a Texas apartment in 2019. One of the other defendants confessed to shooting the victim and shooting and injuring another man during the attempted robbery. She faces criminal charges as an adult even though she was 16 years old at the time...

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What to Do if You Were Arrested for a DUI/DWI Over the Holidays

posted on 1/4/21

Law enforcement officers throughout Texas focused on cracking down on DWIs and DUIs during the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's often result in a higher number of drunk driving-related car accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation provides local law enforcement with additional funding for Impaired Driver Mobilization Grants to locate, identify, and arrest drunk drivers over the holidays.  As a result, police officers frequently increase their DUI checkpoints to arrest drunk drivers before they are involved in fatal accidents....

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Plano Burglary Results in $50,000 of Stolen Jewelry

posted on 12/28/20

A family-owned Plano jewelry store experienced a burglary last month. The suspect used a rock to break open the glass and enter the store. The burglar stole $50,000 worth of rings and left on foot. Unfortunately, the business owner’s insurance will only cover 10% of the jewelry store’s losses. Law enforcement is investigating the case, which is unusual considering there have not been any other recent burglaries in the area. Despite the store’s cameras and alarm systems, the suspect still...

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The Difference Between Drug Possession and Drug Distribution in Texas

posted on 12/21/20

How does Texas law define drug crimes? The Texas Controlled Substance Act outlines all of the types of crimes related to illegal drugs. It also outlines which types of substances are “controlled,” or restricted under the law. Drug possession and drug distribution charges are distinct crimes under the Texas Controlled Substance Act. Each substance in the Act is classified based on how dangerous it is to users and society. There are several significant differences between drug possession and drug distribution...

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Understanding the Texas Sex Offender Registry

posted on 12/14/20

If you have been charged with a sex crime, you could be placed on the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program if you are convicted. Texas’ public notification and sex offender registration laws were enacted to protect members of the public from sex offenders. Those convicted of certain sexual offenses must register with their local law enforcement agency. Below, we will address some of the common questions our clients have about the Texas sex offender registry. Who Maintains the Sex Offender...

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