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Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Law BookFacing criminal charges can be a draining moment. This is because you are either looking at hefty charges or going to prison. Hiring an experienced criminal lawyer in Houston would, therefore, be essential. Although it is not a must to hire a defense lawyer, it is almost impossible to represent yourself in a trial in the best way possible.

Defense lawyers are trained and experienced in this field such that they are aware of what is required in the case process. Defense lawyers perform a wide range of tasks from filing the case, calling witnesses, appearing in the court on behalf of the client and other duties that a layman may not be aware of.

Seek early legal representation

In some cases, the accused delay looking for legal counsel. Instead, they rush to hire a lawyer when charges have already been made. Seeking legal representation before any formal charges have been made is a great idea since your lawyer can seek for a dismissal before trial. But even after charges have been formalized hiring an experienced attorney is also crucial for a positive outcome of the case.

What if you committed the crime?

Ethically, defense lawyers are required to represent all their clients, whether guilty or innocent. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove that the defendant did the criminal act. Unless the prosecutor provides enough evidence, the defendant remains legally innocent. However, if the lawyer is aware that you committed the crime, he cannot lie to the judge, rather he will use tactics to show that the prosecutors fail to prove his or her claims. In fact, the defense lawyer may never know whether the client is guilty or not. The lawyer zealously represents the client for the best possible outcome.

Although a case process can be draining both financially and emotionally, hiring an experienced lawyer can significantly make the process easier. Besides, going through a case process without a legal counsel may cause more harm than good.

Prostitution Laws in The Lone Star State: Potential Penalties

Prostitution Law

Prostitution LawAccording to Texas prostitution laws, anyone is prohibited to provide or offer to provide sexual activities for money or other kinds of compensation. It’s likewise illegal to pay for any form of sexual service and organize or financially benefit from organizing prostitution services. Pandering, in which an individual procures another individual to be prostituted, and pimping, wherein an individual benefits from the earnings of prostitution, are unlawful and common methods for promoting prostitution.

As you’ll see below, the penalties can be extremely harsh so if you’re accused with any prostitution-related offenses, looking up defense lawyers in Houston and getting legal aid is your best bet.

Penalties for Prostitution and Patronizing Prostitution

The offense of prostitution and patronizing prostitution are considered Class B misdemeanors in Texas. These carry a fine not exceeding $2,000 and jail time not exceeding 180 days, or both. However, if an offender has been convicted of the exact offense once or twice before, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by jail time of up to a year and a $4,000 fine, or both.

The charge and penalties become more severe if an offender has been convicted more than two times for the same offense — state jail felony punishable by 180 days of jail time or up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000. It becomes a 3rd degree felony if an offender solicited a minor between the ages of 14 and 18, and includes penalties of two to 10 years of imprisonment and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Further, it can become a 2nd degree felony if an offender solicited a minor under 14 years old, with penalties of two to 20 years of imprisonment and/or a fine not more than $10,000.

Punishments for Promoting Prostitution and Pimping

The punishment for promoting prostitution or pimping, which is a Class A misdemeanor, is up to a year of jail time and/or a fine not more than $4,000. Promotion can likewise be aggravated, which is a 3rd degree felony that carries a punishment of between two and 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Forcing prostitution on an individual over 18 years old is considered a 2nd degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years of prison time and/or a fine not more than $10,000. On the other hand, forcing prostitution on an individual under 18 years old is classified as a 1st degree felony, which is punishable by five years to life imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

The Two Sides of Self-Defense: Perfect and Imperfect


LawWhen you’re charged with a criminal case and plead self-defense, your claim can be considered perfect or imperfect. The former occurs when there is a need to use force (in some other cases, deadly force) to defend yourself from an imminent danger. This involves no wrongdoing on your part, and is usually available for most violent crimes.

The case for imperfect self-defense, however, is a lot different. This involves an unreasonable perception or belief that fatal force is required, or some unacceptable behavior on your part. It is does not excuse you from the crime of using violence, but it can reduce the penalties and charges. Not all states, however, recognize imperfect self-defense.

Unreasonable Perception

In states that allow imperfect self-defense, it only applies if you kill someone, with an invalid perception that there was a threat of death or injury, or force was needed to stop the imminent danger. This means that you believe (although considered unreasonable) that you (or someone close to you) were in great danger, and killed a person because of that perception.

Deadly Force Must be Valid

Criminal defense law firms like notes that if you present evidence, following that there is a need for self-defense, imperfect and perfect self-defense could apply. The defense will only be successful if your belief of using force was valid or reasonable. The jury will determine the validity and reason behind your perception or belief.

Reduction of Criminal Charges

In murder cases, perfect self-defense will likely result in acquittal, while an imperfect claim will lead to reduction of a manslaughter charge or penalties. Perfect self-defense is the only type of claim available in manslaughter cases. When it comes to imperfect self-defense, it is an admission that you committed voluntary manslaughter.

The requirements for the imperfect self-defense claim vary even in those states that recognize it. It is still best to talk to an experienced criminal case attorney. The right lawyer can explain the law and help present your argument.

Seriousness of an Offence: Summary vs. Indictable


LegalIn Hong Kong criminal law, the court may consider an offence summary or indictable. The common distinction between the two lies in the seriousness or weight of the crime. The main difference, however, is the mode of trial between the two offences.

Summary offences are less serious crimes, while indictable offences are serious crimes. Hong Kong criminal lawyers share more about these two types of offences.

Summary Offences

These offences are tried in the Magistrates’ Courts, but may also be applicable in the District Court along with indictable offences. This can happen if the court also charged the accused person with an indictable offence. Common examples of summary offences include careless driving, littering and pretending to be a police officer.

The prosecution limit for a summary offence is within six months of the commission to the offence. For it to be considered summary offence, the legislation creating the offence must indicate that it can be dealt with summarily. If it does not, it is considered an indictable defence.

Indictable Offences

If the offence is upon indictment or on indictment, it is indictable. Most offences like these can be tried in the Magistrates’ Court, the District Court or in the Court of First Instance of the High Court. The location or venue of the trial relies on the prosecution. They will normally consider and evaluate the complexity of the case and likely imposed sentence on the offender upon conviction.

If the likely sentence is two years imprisonment, the Magistrates’ Court can handle it. If it is four years, however, the prosecution will choose the District Courts, as it can impose a maximum imprisonment of seven years. The choice will always depend on the sentencing power of the court.

Serious offences like drug trafficking or shooting another person, however, cannot be tried in the Magistrates’ Court. More serious offences like murder or manslaughter are set out in Magistrates Ordinance Schedule 2, with the Court of First Instance of Power (with jury) handling the trial.