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The potential impact of a guilty plea on your career

It only takes a moment for a simple mistake to leave you facing serious criminal allegations. Anything from choosing to get behind the wheel after a business dinner with drinks to a case of mistaken identity could leave you dealing with criminal charges and the various consequences that come with them.

As a professional, you, no doubt, want to take proactive steps to mitigate the impact of these pending charges on your current and future career opportunities.

Using crime lab analysis to defend against drug charges

These days, fighting drug possession charges is more important than ever, as different parts of the country use competing, often incompatible, approaches to drug law enforcement. Here in Texas, the punishments for drug possession are severe compared to other parts of the country. Simply receiving charges within these state lines can mean years behind bars.

If you face drug possession charges, you cannot afford to wait another day to begin building your defense. Police and prosecutors are already working on their case against you, and if you do not use all the defensive tools that you have available, your future may take a bad turn that you may never overcome.

Understanding domestic violence laws in Texas

Just like in other areas of the country, a domestic violence charge in the Dallas-Fort Worth vicinity is a serious matter. Furthermore, a conviction can carry consequences like jail time and expensive court fines. However, to win a case, the prosecutor has to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged perpetrator intentionally committed an act of domestic violence.

In general, domestic violence includes actual bodily injury, the threat of injury or other kinds of contact that the individual on the receiving end considers offensive. While many domestic violence cases involve people in a romantic relationship, it can actually apply to members of the same household regardless of the relationship. Here are few other things you should know about domestic violence laws in Texas.

Reselling stolen items could lead to Texas theft charges

Theft takes many different forms in modern Texas society. The most common form of theft is probably shoplifting or petty theft from friends and family. The most visible and frightening forms of theft are armed robberies or muggings.

However, there are many other kinds of things that fall in between these examples. Some individuals who benefit from thefts but never actively engage in them could find themselves facing theft or larceny charges eventually.

What is the difference between extortion and theft?

If you're facing criminal charges, it's important to know exactly what charges are pending against you and what they mean. Even when they seem similar or when popular culture often confuses them, they may be very different.

Take, for example, the difference between assault and battery. People often use these words incorrectly, from a legal perspective. Battery means that someone suffered physical harm. Assault may just mean that the alleged perpetrator threatened the victim. If the victim thinks it is an honest threat with the potential to lead to physical harm, that's assault, in many cases, even if the perpetrator never touches the victim.

Possessing medication prescribed to someone else is a crime

There are countless reasons why you could come to possess someone else's medications. Perhaps your friend felt like they were becoming dependent on a medication prescribed by their doctor, and they asked you to hold on to them to keep them out of the house. Maybe you used a similar medication in the past, and your friend or family member generously agreed to give you the remainder of an unused prescription.

You could even have a neighbor or coworker who worries that their children or spouse will abuse the medication if it gets left in their home. There are many possible scenarios in which you could wind up with someone's medications for perfectly innocent reasons.

Domestic violence charges often oversimplify complex issues

Cohabitating with someone can often lead to conflict that is difficult to resolve. Even the healthiest of relationships and happiest of couples can experience conflict. Everyone handles interpersonal conflict differently, but some people find themselves in loud, even physical arguments with their spouses or partners.

Sometimes, when that conflict becomes physical or too loud, law enforcement gets involved. Neither you nor your partner may have chosen to call police. Neighbors, children or passersby could have contacted authorities out of concern. Regardless of why law enforcement arrived, they may feel the need to allocate responsibility for what happened to one of the individuals involved.

Threats you make online can have real world consequences

The internet seems to have a way of bringing out the worst in certain people. People often use extreme or inflammatory rhetoric to grab attention and provoke responses from their viewers or readers. Internet communication often tends to be self-centered and exaggerated. This can lead to people saying things online that are quite different from how they communicate face-to-face.

Trolling is a common practice, which involves saying mean or ridiculous things just to get a reaction from someone else. Other people live to start online arguments with strangers, while still others use the internet to harass, stalk or abuse people they know in real life.

Alcohol use may lead to crime

After going out drinking, have you ever woken up wondering what you did last night? Maybe you made some posts on social media that make you cringe. Maybe you called someone you vowed never to call again. Maybe you got into an argument with a friend and now you have to mend fences.

It happens. Odds are you have woken up with some regrets about what you did while under the influence. It's well known that drinking can impact your decision-making abilities and your inhibitions. This can lead to some serious mistakes.

Joyriding can be anything buy joyful once you get caught

The term joyriding is misleading. It seems to imply an action that is frivolous and fun with no significant consequences. However, joyriding refers to the practice of taking someone else's vehicle or even boat and driving it without permission. Often, joyriding involves teenagers or individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The end result can be serious property damage to the vehicle and other property, as well as injuries to the individuals engaged in joyriding or people they encounter on the road. Texas law enforcement officers and courts do not have a lenient or forgiving attitude toward anyone accused of joyriding. Even teenagers could find themselves facing felony criminal charges, potentially as an adult defendant.

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