Yesterday we had a lunch meeting of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. The Hon. Mollee Westfall of the 371st District Court spoke on a new program that she has started in Tarrant County to deal with probation violations.
The program was started in Hawaii in 2004. It is called Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (“HOPE”). The program identifies probationers who are most likely to violate the conditions of their supervision. It requires frequent and random drug tests. Any violations are met with swift and certain short terms of incarceration.
Where most counties incarcerate violations for a longer time, the data indicates that long term incarceration disrupts the probationer’s life to the point that upon release, they are likely to fall back into their prior bad habits. The sure but shorter terms of incarceration, keep the probationer from losing their jobs, housing and structured lives.
The HOPE program has shown that probationers averaged 48% fewer days then the people outside of HOPE program. With county costs of over $50.00 per day to incarcerate an inmate, the HOPE program could save Tarrant County taxpayers substantial amount of money. This along with better results on rehabilitating offenders, makes great sense for Tarrant County.
Judge Westfall has begun the program in her court and it appears to be working well. They are currently writing a Federal Grant proposal to assist in implementing the HOPE program in all the Tarrant County Courts. If it gets implemented, it will not only be great for our court system, but also the Tarrant County taxpayers.
If you have any questions about you or someone in your families criminal charges, Contact the Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782 or (817)496- 3447 or via email at email@example.com.
Our office is frequently contacted by potential clients who have criminal records of arrest, indictment or conviction. They want these records expunged because the records prevent them from getting into an apartment, better employment or any activity that requires a criminal background check. Expunging criminal records completely wipes them out. However, this is done in limited cases. What most clients really need can be done by a motion for non-disclosure or sealing of juvenile records.
For a person to be eligible to expunge their Texas records of arrest, indictment and/or convictions, they must have had their case dismissed without any finding of guilt, been tried and acquitted by the trial court or convicted by the trial court and subsequently pardoned. Expunged records are totally destroyed and are not available, even to government agencies.
Expunging criminal records does not apply to cases where the defendant pleads no contest or differed adjudication. If the defendant dies prior to having their records expunged, their close family may file to have the records expunged.
If you do not meet the requirements to expunge your record, a motion for non-disclosure will prevent most problems that arise from a criminal background check. If you have any questions about your criminal record or that of a family member, contact the Dallas office of The Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are various naturalization provisions that allow permanent residents also known as (green card holders) to become U.S. citizens. The most common of these provisions is section 316(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which allows a person who has been a permanent resident for at least 5 years to apply for naturalization.
To be eligible for naturalization under section 316(a) of the INA, an applicant must:
- Be 18 or older
- Be a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years, immediately preceding the date of filing the proper forms. Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the application
- Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
- Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization
- Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
- Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law
If you have any questions about citizenship or about immigration, call the Dallas office of The Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782, or reach via email at email@example.com.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In most cases, an applicant for naturalization must be a permanent resident (green card holder) before filing. Except for certain U.S. military members and their dependents, naturalization can only be granted in the United States.
You may qualify for Citizen ship if:
- You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements
- You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen.
- You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
- Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met.
If you have any immigration questions, contact the Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All the staff and attorneys at the Morris Law Firm are fluent in Spanish.
In Texas there are two types of robbery charges, robbery and aggravated robbery. Robbery sometimes referred to as simple robbery is a second degree felony with possible jail time from two to twenty years, with a possible fine not to exceed $10,000.00.
Aggravated Robbery is a first degree felony with the penalty ranging from 5 to 99 years, or life. A possible fine not to exceed $10,000.00
Texas Penal Code § 29.02. ROBBERY.
(a) A person commits an offense if, in the course of committing theft as defined in Chapter 31 and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he:
(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
Texas Penal Code 29.03. AGGRAVATED ROBBERY.
(a) A person commits an offense if he commits robbery as defined in Texas Penal Code 29.02, and he:
(1) causes serious bodily injury to another;
(2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or
(3) causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
(A) 65 years of age or older;
(B) a disabled person.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
(c) In this section, “disabled person” means an individual with a mental, physical, or developmental disability who is substantially unable to protect himself from harm.
If you are in jail or charged with either robbery offense, call The Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782 or after hours at (469)254-4270. Or, contact us at email@example.com.
Theft is not limited to the actual person who removes the item from its location, it may include multiple parties. Theft as defined in Texas Penal Code Section 31.03 constitutes a single offense superseding the separate offenses previously known as theft, theft by false pretext, conversion by a bailee, theft from the person, shoplifting, acquisition of property by threat, swindling, swindling by worthless check, embezzlement, extortion, receiving or concealing embezzled property, and receiving or concealing stolen property.
The charge for theft can range from a Class C Misdeomeaner up through a 1st Degree Felony. As the section indicates, the charge of theft includes: the actual theft of an item, passing bad checks, shoplifting, buying or selling stolen property, etc. If you are accused of theft, not only are you potentially liable for the criminal act, you may be sue in civil court by the victim.
If you have been accused of theft, do not hesitate to contact the Dallas office of the Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.