Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
361.808.4444
  1. The Process of Mediation and the Role of an Attorney

    Mediation in Texas involves a neutral person (called a “mediator”) who guides both disputing parties through the communication process while also promoting a compromise, settlement, or understanding. Mediators aren’t allowed to express their views or make decisions about the issue being discussed. Their main job is to help both parties come up with an agreement. They’re also not allowed to tell the other party what you have discussed with them unless you permit them to do so.

    This process is different than arbitration, which is where each party and their attorneys present their case to a neutral person (who is called the “arbitrator”). This person will then make a decision about the case based on his or her judgment about the facts being presented. A mediator won’t make a decision, but he or she can help both parties reach an agreement on their own.

    attorney business mediation

    Types of Cases That Can be Mediated

    Most civil cases can be mediated. Some of them can include the following:

    • Family law cases.
    • Cases between a tenant and a landlord.
    • Probate cases.
    • Consumer protection cases.

    If it’s possible for both parties to come up with some type of reconciliation, the courts will encourage them to go through the mediation process before filing a lawsuit. It’s a much less formal setting than the court system. It can also save both time and money. In most cases, mediation can provide a legally enforceable outcome if it’s agreed upon by both parties. So in that sense, it’s similar to going to court.

    How to Prepare for the Mediation Process

    Before going into Texas mediation, you will need to prepare for the session. You can get advice from someone you trust (such as a lawyer) about what you want to accomplish, as well as on what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. You also want to bring any relevant materials that you need to show the mediator, so he or she can help you communicate with the other party about what you want.

    You want to follow all the requirements that have been set by the courts. But within ten days of getting notice of an order for mediation, you can file a written objection to the mediation requirement. If the court has determined that there are reasonable grounds for your objection, you won’t be required to attend the mediation session.

    Mediation in Texas can be helpful if both parties have equal power. They must be able to say what they want without feeling afraid or pressured, but threats and control are common in relationships where one person is abusive. If the abuser is used to being in charge and making all the decisions, there’s a good chance that mediation won’t work. It can also be a problem in divorce or custody cases where the other parent has abused you and you don’t have a lawyer. You are legally allowed to object to mediation in these circumstances.

    The Role of an Attorney in the Mediation Process

    You’re not required to have a lawyer for mediation in Texas, but it would be in your best interests to hire one to “play the game” on your behalf so you can get the best possible result. When you’re thinking about mediation, picture a chess game. The main objective is to make all the right moves to get the best possible outcome, and lawyers can play many valuable roles throughout the process.

    Attorneys won’t speak for their clients in the way they would in a courtroom. They are there to offer guidance and information while also setting a tone that will work toward your benefit. Their job is to support their clients while making sure they understand the risks, benefits, and circumstances of each step in the negotiation process. Attorneys can also help clients manage any opportunities for breaks and private meetings with the mediator while also creating an at-ease environment for their clients.

    It’s up to you to decide if you want to hire an attorney for the Texas mediation process, but doing so will only benefit you in the long run. Having an attorney to help you with the mediation process will give you access to a support system, an advocate, and someone who understands “the game.” So if you want to maximize your chances of resolving your case on the best possible terms, it’s important to get an attorney.

    If you’re looking for a qualified attorney to help you with your mediation in Texas, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.


  2. When Should You Consider Mediation as a Possible Solution?

    If you have been involved in a dispute for a long time and are having trouble coming up with an agreement, mediation can help find a solution. A mediator can help both parties to focus on specific issues that need to be resolved, so they can find some common ground. If you’re dissolving a business and have a situation where neither you nor your partner can agree on how the company’s assets should be divided, a mediator can help you come up with an equitable agreement.

    When Mediation is Appropriate

    For the mediation process to work, both parties must be able to openly and honestly communicate with each other. It’s an appropriate solution if the relationship between each party is strained but they must find some way to keep going. Poor communication is often the cause of these disputes, which is why a neutral third party is needed. It can change the dynamics of their interactions. In many cases, both parties are interested in keeping their control over the outcome.

    Mediation in Texas can be appropriate in the following circumstances:

    • Both parties are having trouble with resolving their dispute because they lack the skills necessary to resolve conflicts.
    • Both parties have a resistance to confronting or being confronted by the other party.
    • There are strong psychological or relationship barriers to negotiating a resolution, which is where mediators can play an intermediary and conciliatory role.
    • Neither party would be otherwise unwitting to meet in person to discuss the nature of their dispute.

    The mediation process can clarify any productive steps for solving the problem and can provide a neutral, non-threatening environment through which the discussion can take place. They’re trained to handle any emotional barriers for settlement, problems of misperception, or poor communication. Finding a mutual agreement to a dispute (where both parties agree to keep control of the outcome) is always better than having one imposed on them by a third party, which is why it often repairs relationships that are important to the success of ongoing work.

    Reasons to Pursue Mediation in Texas

    Some of the reasons why you should pursue Texas mediation include the following:

    • Parties will have an equal say in the process and will be able to decide on the terms of the settlement. There is also no determination of guilt or innocence.
    • It saves time and money.
    • It often happens early in the charge process, and a lot of mediations are completed in one meeting.
    • It’s confidential.
    • All of the involved parties will sign a confidentiality agreement on any information that’s disclosed during the process.
    • It avoids litigation.
    • It costs less than a lawsuit and avoids the uncertainty that comes with a judicial outcome.
    • It fosters cooperation.
    • It takes a problem-solving approach to disputes.
    • Parties can share information, which can lead to a better understanding of issues.
    • It allows you to come up with your own solution.
    • A neutral party is there to help both parties to come up with a voluntary, mutually beneficial resolution.
    • It can help to resolve any issues that are important to each party (not just the underlying legal dispute).

    An independent survey showed that 96% of all respondents and 91% of all charging parties who used mediation would use it again.

    When to Avoid Texas Mediation

    Mediation in Texas can be a great option for resolving civil and divorce disputes, but it doesn’t work in every single situation. Cases of domestic violence, trauma, dominance and control issues, as well as other power imbalances can turn it into a traumatic experience. That’s why every mediation session needs to start with a one-on-one domestic violence screening between the mediator and each party.

    This screening will allow you to tell the mediator what you need to feel safe. It will also give the mediator a chance to determine whether you will be able to voice your opinions as well as your needs and wants. So if you have been the victim of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse (or if you have a hard time saying “no” to your partner), be sure to tell the mediator so he or she can respond appropriately.

    Mediation won’t work if the parties are too far apart on some issues. If one party is demanding to have his or her “day in court” or has decided to take an “all or nothing” approach, mediation is sure to fail. It can only be successful when both parties can give a little on issues that may not be their top priority.

    If you have a case that needs mediation in Texas, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.


  3. ADA Kristi Britt files retaliation, discrimination lawsuit against new DA James Granberry

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Former Nueces County District Attorney’s Office Felony Chief Kristi Britt filed a lawsuit against recently appointed district attorney James “Jimmy” Granberry and the D.A.’s office Sunday, claiming retaliation and discrimination.

    Britt said Granberry demoted her because she is running against him in the 2024 race for the D.A.’s office, creating a “hostile work environment,” in the petition.

    Read The Full Article Here

    kiii logo

  4. What Are Miranda Rights?

    An important part of being an American citizen is understanding your constitutional rights, which includes what’s under the fifth and sixth amendments. Both of them include the Miranda rights warning, which makes sure that law enforcement officers are respecting your rights. While it’s unfortunate, it doesn’t always happen. But if this kind of error has occurred, it may be your ticket out of any legal charges.

    There are few principles within the complex web of criminal law that are as important as Miranda rights, because they protect the rights of people who are being arrested or interrogated. Understanding the importance of Miranda rights is important, especially within the context of Texas criminal cases.

    Miranda Rights

    What is the Miranda Warning?

    The Miranda Warning is under the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution, and it guarantees your right to a grand jury. It protects you from being tried twice for the same crime and from making any incriminating statements against yourself. The Miranda Warning also includes the sixth amendment, which gives you the right to an attorney.

    The Miranda Warning has its origins from a Supreme Court case in 1966, which is referred to as “Miranda vs. Arizona.” The case centered around Ernesto Miranda, who was arrested in Arizona three years earlier. The Supreme Court made a landmark decision, which required suspects to be informed of their rights listed under the Fifth Amendment (specifically about the one that protects you from self-incrimination). Before this decision was made, a lot of people weren’t aware of their rights during police interrogations. This resulted in a number of coerced confessions and constitutional violations..

    These rights must be read to you before you’re taken in for interrogation. If you have ever heard of “pleading the fifth,” these are rights that are referenced in the Miranda Warning. It means that you’re exercising your right to remain silent, and it can be used during your initial interaction with law enforcement up to the time that you’re formally questioned.

    What is Required in the Miranda Warning?

    The Miranda rights were put in place so you can be protected from making any self-incriminating statements during an interrogation. This gives you the right to not answer questions or to wait until your attorney is present. In Texas, this warning can be broken into the following parts:

    • You have the right to remain silent — While it doesn’t mean your charges will be dismissed or can skip the trial, your silence can’t be used against you in court. However, anything you say can and will be used against you. This means that if you choose to answer questions and make self-incriminating statements, anything you say is considered fair game and can be used in court.
    • You have the right to have an attorney present — If you requested the presence of an attorney during the interrogation, it must be stopped. If you’re not able to afford one, an attorney will be provided for you at no cost.

    If you weren’t read the Miranda Warning before you were formally questioned and there wasn’t a valid waiver of these rights, any statements or confessions you made during the interrogations are considered “involuntary” and can’t be used against you in court. The same is also true for any evidence that was collected because of those statements or confessions.

    When is the Miranda Warning Not Required?

    Police officers in Texas don’t have to read your Miranda rights before they arrest you or when they’re questioning you after they have stopped you based on reasonable suspicion, but they must be read to you before you’re taken into custody for formal interrogation. There are five other situations where the Miranda warning isn’t required, which include the following:

    • Public safety issues.
    • Standard booking questions.
    • Traffic stops and violations.
    • Statements obtained through a jailhouse informant.
    • Questioning someone who is not in police custody.

    If you were pulled over for swerving, the police officer doesn’t have to read you the Miranda Warning before asking you if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But if you answered “yes” while admitting to drinking and driving, this statement can still be used against you (even if the Miranda rights weren’t read to you before being questioned).

    If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi to help you come up with an effective strategy for your case, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group. We have a team of people who would be happy to speak with you!


  5. 5 Common Misconceptions About Criminal Defense

    Being charged with a crime can be a terrifying experience. A lot of people feel some uncertainty about what to expect from the criminal justice system and how to navigate the process. It often creates a number of misconceptions and myths about the criminal defense process and criminal defense lawyers, which are often perpetuated by inaccurate depictions of the legal system and a lack of understanding about the details. The criminal justice system consists of a complicated set of laws, procedures, and institutions. So, misconceptions about the system can lead to confusion, fear, and even injustice.

    criminal defense misconceptions

    Here are some of the common misconceptions and myths that people have about criminal defense.

    #1: All Criminal Defense Attorneys are the Same

    A lot of people believe that all criminal defense attorneys are the same, but they come from diverse backgrounds. They will also have varying levels of expertise and experience, which is why finding the right attorney for your case can make a huge difference when it comes to your success.

    Experienced criminal defense attorneys will specialize in different areas (such as DUI cases, drug offenses, or white-collar crimes). They will also have knowledge of specific laws, legal strategies, and negotiating skills so they can advocate for their clients. It’s important for you to find a lawyer with the experience and understanding of criminal law, so you can have the right representation.

    #2: Guilty People Should Not Hire a Defense Attorney

    It’s a common belief that only innocent people should hire a defense attorney, but it doesn’t consider the fact that everyone (regardless of their guilt or innocence) has the right to a fair trial and legal representation. Even if you believe you’re guilty, an experienced defense attorney can help you to navigate the criminal defense system, negotiate plea bargains, and present any “mitigating factors” that can reduce the severity of the charges or the resulting penalties.

    Defense attorneys can also act as “safeguards” that can protect you from a wrongful conviction. They can scrutinize the evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and make sure your constitutional rights are being protected. So regardless of your guilt or innocence, you need to have a qualified attorney by your side. That way, you can get fair treatment within the criminal justice system.

    #3: Defense Attorneys Try to Manipulate the System to Free Criminals

    Another common myth is that defense attorneys are completely focused on manipulating the legal system to help criminals evade justice, but they play an important role in upholding its principles and protecting the rights of their clients. Defense attorneys serve as “advocates” for the interests of their clients. They will also make sure the prosecution follows due process, respects constitutional rights, and presents evidence that follows the right legal standards.

    Their main goal is to make sure the process is fair, that evidence is put to proper scrutiny, and that any mitigating circumstances are taken into consideration while the sentence is given. By making sure the rights of defendants are being protected, defense attorneys can keep the integrity of the criminal justice system intact by making sure justice is served for everyone involved.

    #4: A Public Defender is Less Effective Than a Private Defense Attorney

    A lot of people believe that public defenders (who are appointed to defendants who aren’t able to afford private attorneys) aren’t as effective. While they often have to deal with heavy caseloads and limited resources, it doesn’t mean they’re less competent or effective. Public defenders are skilled professionals with a solid understanding of the criminal justice system, and they often have a great deal of trial experience. So, they can provide competent representation for their clients.

    Private attorneys may have access to more resources, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have a better outcome. Public defenders are motivated by a genuine commitment to justice, and their work plays an important role in making sure people have access to legal representation (especially if they can’t afford private counsel). Effective representation isn’t just determined by the attorney’s employment status. Their skills, experience, and dedication to their clients are just as important.

    #5: Good Lawyers Always Win Cases

    A lot of people believe that good lawyers always win cases, but it’s an oversimplification of the legal process. The success of a case can depend on a number of factors, which can include the following:

    • The strength of the evidence.
    • The strategies being used.
    • The judge’s ruling.

    There can also be a number of other unpredictable circumstances that can affect the outcome of the case. While criminal defense lawyers do what they can to get the best possible outcome for their clients, winning every single case isn’t always feasible because of the complexities within the legal system.

    If you’re looking for a criminal attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas to help you with your case, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.


  6. 8 Mistakes to Avoid After an Arrest

    If you have been arrested, it’s normal to worry about the possibility of a criminal conviction. But most people don’t worry about their immediate future. Anyone who has been arrested is presumed innocent until he or she has been proven guilty. But if you want to improve your chance of getting a favorable outcome, you need to avoid making certain mistakes.

    You may think you know what to do after you have been arrested and that you can continue with your normal activities. You may even have some ideas on how to avoid the legal process, but the consequences of some of these mistakes can make your situation worse.

    woman being arrested

    Here are some mistakes you should avoid once you have been arrested.

    #1: Not Keeping Quiet

    When the arresting officer tells you that “you have the right to remain silent,” you should take it seriously. You have a legal obligation to answer any questions being asked from police officers about personal details (such as you name), but you don’t have to give them any information about the criminal charges of which you have been suspected. As the Miranda line says, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” So no matter what the police ask you about the case, exercising your right to remain silent will always be in your best interest.

    #2: Not Getting a Lawyer Immediately After Your Arrest

    In the 24 hours that the police are legally allowed to keep you in custody without filing criminal charges, you will most likely be questioned because that’s what cops do. Not saying anything at all will be your best strategy, but the police are trained in getting you to say something that they can use against you. That’s why you should never talk to them without having a lawyer present. That way, you’ll have someone to give you advice on the questions you should answer and the ones you should ignore. A lawyer can also question or block any attempt to get you to submit to breath, blood, or DNA tests without a court order. You should never agree to any of these tests unless your lawyer says it’s okay.

    #3: Representing Yourself in Court

    While everyone has the right to represent themselves in court, most people don’t because their knowledge of the law would be superficial at best. If you want to get the best possible outcome, you will need to hire a criminal defense attorney (preferably someone who has experience in cases similar to yours).

    #4: Missing Court Dates

    You should never forget or intentionally miss a court date. You may be out on bail, but a judge can make any immediate order for your re-arrest if you don’t show up, which can hurt your case.

    #5: Showing Any Kind of Disrespect to the Court

    One of the best ways to sabotage your case is to disrespect the court that has been assigned to hear it. There are many forms of disrespect, and being impolite or discourteous to the judge is one of them. Showing up badly groomed and in shabby clothing is another one. If you show any kind of hostility toward the judge, you’ll be charged with contempt of court. You always want to look presentable and be on your best behavior when you’re in front of a judge.

    #6: Saying Too Much on Social Media

    You can post whatever you want on social media, but anything you post on Facebook and Twitter will be used against you. The judge can order you to show any public posts and private messages that may be relevant to your case. It’s a good idea to stay off of social media until your case has been closed.

    #7: Contacting Your Accuser

    You should never call or visit your accuser, because it could be seen as an attempt to intimidate the person who is putting the crime on you. And it can be used against you.

    #8: Getting Arrested Again

    There aren’t too many things that are worse than getting arrested while you’re on trial for another criminal charge. Your most recent arrest may not have anything to do with your current case. But if you’re convicted on the first charge, the judge may consider your second arrest while drawing up your sentence. You may end up missing out on some more lenient penalties (such as diversion programs for first-time DUI offenders), because the judge may not feel compelled to give them to you.

    If you have been arrested for an alleged crime and you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with the Gale Law Group.


  7. DA Mark Gonzalez’s removal hearing set a week after announcement of run against Ted Cruz

    Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez announced he will run against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in a YouTube video Tuesday.

    Read the full story:

    https://www.caller.com/story/news/politics/2023/09/05/nueces-county-district-attorney-mark-gonzalez-announces-us-senate-campaign/70766676007/

    caller times

  8. 4 Main Duties of a Criminal Defense Attorney

    A criminal defense attorney plays an important role in protecting the rights and freedoms of people who have been accused of committing a crime. Criminal defense attorneys are responsible for representing their clients throughout the legal process — from pre-trial investigations to courtroom proceedings. Their main goal is to make sure their client’s constitutional rights are being protected by advocating for the best possible outcome.

    The primary responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney include:

    • Looking at the charges being filed against their client.
    • Analyzing the evidence being presented by the prosecution.
    • Negotiating plea deals with the prosecutions (if necessary).
    • Defending their clients during trials.
    defense attorney duties

    A criminal defense attorney must also be able to communicate with their clients, so they understand the nature of the charges that have been filed against them and what options they have available under the law. The importance of having good legal representation during criminal proceedings can’t be emphasized enough, because it can mean the difference between being acquitted or convicted of a crime.

    Here is a more detailed list of what a criminal defense attorney is responsible for.

    #1: Protecting the Constitutional Rights of Their Clients

    The primary responsibility of a criminal defense attorney is to protect the constitutional rights of their clients by making sure that the authorities respect and abide by these rights throughout every part of the process — from the arrest to the sentencing. He or she must also make sure their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination (which prohibits them from forcing confessions from defendants), as well as their Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel.

    Criminal defense attorneys must know how law enforcement agencies conduct their investigations and collect evidence, so they can find any violations of their client’s Fourth Amendment rights. They must also be able to scrutinize reports and to question witnesses during pre-trial hearings or depositions. The purpose of this process is not only to uncover any exculpatory evidence but to also suppress any evidence that has been gathered through what is referred to as an “illegal search and seizure.”

    #2: Investigating Charges and Analyzing Evidence

    Investigating charges and analyzing evidence is an important responsibility for criminal defense attorneys, which requires a detailed understanding of the legal system and the ability to look at every part of a case with a critical eye. The purpose of this process is to look for any weaknesses or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, so they can be used to get their client a more favorable outcome.

    The first thing they must do it gather any relevant information about the case, which can include but may not be limited to:

    • Police reports.
    • Witness statements.
    • Forensic evidence.

    They must also look for any other documentation that may be available. Once this first step has been completed, they will carefully analyze every piece of evidence for any contradictions or discrepancies before coming up with a defense strategy.

    #3: Negotiating Plea Deals

    A plea deal refers to an agreement that has been made between the defendant and the prosecutor on a specific charge, and being able negotiate them is an important job for a criminal defense attorney. A plea deal will usually lead to reduced charge or sentence for the person being accused. It can be initiated by either party, but they usually involve both attorneys who are discussing options that can benefit their respective clients.

    The advantage of negotiating a plea deal is that it can avoid the uncertainties that can come from a trial, which can include being found guilty or innocent. Trials can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining for everyone involved. If defendants are convicted at trials, the consequences can be more severe. This can include prison time, hefty fines, and a host of other penalties.

    #4: Defending Clients During Trials

    This part of the legal process can be daunting for attorneys and their clients because it involves presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and making persuasive arguments to convince the judge or jury of their client’s innocence. To prepare for a trial, criminal defense attorneys must do an extensive amount of research on the case. They must look at all available evidence, so they can come up with a strong defense. They must also work with private investigators or expert witnesses who specialize in certain areas (such as DNA analysis or accident reconstruction).

    During the trial, criminal defense attorneys are responsible for looking out for the best interests of their clients. This can include questioning witnesses that have been presented by the prosecution, objecting to improper evidence or testimonies, as well as coming up with compelling opening and closing statements that summarize their client’s version of events.

    If you’re looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.


  9. The Impact of Criminal Records: Expungement and Record Sealing

    Having a criminal record can lead to a number of consequences — whether it’s for being arrested, convicted, or both. Employers and landlords will usually ask applicants if they have ever been convicted or even arrested for a criminal offense, and they may not want to hire or rent to you if you answered “yes” to this question. There is, however, some good news. In some cases, you might be able to get this arrest or conviction expunged from your record.

    Expungement refers to the process of sealing an arrest, conviction, and other related records from being viewed by the public, and practically every state has laws that allow people to do this (though the specifics can vary from state to state). Once the arrest or conviction has been expunged, it doesn’t have to be disclosed to anyone (including prospective employers or landlords).

    criminal background check

    Texas Expungement Laws

    There are two ways that you can get your criminal record sealed in the State of Texas:

    • Expunction — The complete removal of your criminal past from public records (including ones from the police and the prosecution).
    • Non-Disclosure — Putting a proverbial “blackout” on any information with regard to past offenses within the public records, which makes them inaccessible to anyone.

    According to Section 55.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures Act, an order to expunge all your criminal records can lead to the destruction of any files that reference a crime, arrest, or punishment. Once it has been expunged, it has been removed from public records. But some agencies (such as the Department of Homeland Security) may still know about the crime.

    A non-disclosure order will seal those records and keep it away from public view, but they can still be accessed by law enforcement agencies. Section 411.081(d) of the Texas Government Code allows a non-disclosure petition to be filed on a deferred adjudication in cases where a guilty plea was entered, but you must have completed your probation to be eligible for it.

    Eligibility for an Expungement in Texas

    Section 55.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure lists the eligibility requirements for expunging your criminal records. You can get an expungement in Texas if:

    • No criminal charges were filed against you.
    • You were charged but were acquitted on an appeal.
    • The charges against you were subject to a later dismissal order.
    • You were found innocent after you were convicted.
    • A grand jury issues a “no-bill” while they were looking at charges against you.
    • You were arrested but were never tried because the prosecutor approved the expunction.
    • You made a successful plea bargain.
    • You were sentenced for a misdemeanor offense while you were a child.
    • You received a pardon from the Governor or President.

    There are some criminal convictions (such as being in prison for a DWI offense) that can’t be expunged, and the same is true for a straight probation. A deferred adjudication is only available for Class C misdemeanors. You can, however, ask for a non-disclosure on Class A or B misdemeanors and felonies.

    Crimes That Aren’t Eligible for Expungement in Texas

    There are a number of circumstances that can disqualify you from an expungement in Texas. With some exceptions, you won’t be able to get your criminal record expunged if you were convicted of a felony (which is one of the many consequences of this type of conviction). But regardless of the situation, there are certain crimes that can’t be expunged from your record.

    Most crimes that involve children, sexual assault, and acts of violence are not eligible for record sealing in the State of Texas. Some of them can include but may not be limited to:

    • Capital murder.
    • Indecency with a child.
    • Aggravated kidnapping.
    • Aggravated sexual assault.
    • Aggravated robbery.
    • Sexual assault.
    • Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled person.
    • Criminal solicitation.
    • Some drug offenses.
    • Use of a child in committing an offense.

    Be sure to speak to a qualified attorney for more information.

    The Process for Getting Your Record Expunged in Texas

    Once you make a petition to have your record expunged in Texas, you will have to appear in court for a hearing that will usually be held one month after you have made your initial filing. The court can give you the expungement, but it can take up to six months for them to make a decision. Once the court has granted the expungement, it usually takes up to 180 days for local, state, and federal agencies to destroy the records.

    If you want to get your criminal record expunged and are looking for the help of a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.


  10. 6 MORE TEXAS CRIMINAL LAW CHANGES FROM THE 87TH LEGISLATURE

    The 87th Texas Legislature (which took place in 2021) included a number of changes to Texas Criminal Law, which was a bit of “mixed bag.” The previous article listed five of them, but here are some more changes to Texas Criminal Law that came from the 87th Legislature.

    Texas criminal law changes

    #1: Homeless Camping Ban

    HB 1925 was signed on June 15 and made camping in an unauthorized public place in Texas a Class C misdemeanor, which can lead to a fine of up to $500. The bill effectively criminalizes homelessness, but it does say that an officer must make a reasonable effort to redirect homeless people to any available resources (such as non-profit agencies) before or at the time he or she issued the citation. If the person is arrested or detained for this type of offense, law enforcement must also make sure that all of his or her property is preserved.

    #2: No Police Reality Shows

    HB 54 was signed on May 26, and it prohibited law enforcement agencies from authorizing a person to accompany and film a peace officer while he or she is acting in the line of duty for the purpose of producing a reality television show. This is also referred to as “Javier Ambler’s Law” in honor of a 40-year-old black man who was tasered by Williamson County deputies. And it bans law enforcement agencies from contracting with shows (such as “COPS” and “Live PD”). It was Live PD that captured Ambler’s deadly encounter with Williamson deputies, but it was never aired.

    #3: Falsely Reporting a Crime or Emergency to Induce a Response

    SB 1056 was signed on June 18 and made it a Class A misdemeanor to falsely report a crime or emergency to elicit a faster response from law enforcement or other emergency responders. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,000. But the crime can be upgraded to a state jail felony, which is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail.

    If you have already been convicted twice for this offense, it will be considered a third-degree felony (which is punishable by 2-10 years in prison). This is especially true if someone has been seriously injured or killed because of the emergency response. The court can also order you to make restitution payments or reimburse any costs associated with the emergency response.

    #4: Flying a Drone Over an Airport or Military Facility

    SB 149 was signed on June 14, and it made it a Class B misdemeanor to fly a drone over airports or military facilities. This bill expanded the definition of what are considered to be “critical infrastructure facilities” to include public or private airports that are recognized by the FAA, military installations that are owned and operated by the federal or state government, or any other government entity. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

    #5: Reckless Driving Exhibitions and Street Racing

    SB 1495 was signed on June 18 in an effort to crack down on reckless and dangerous driving exhibitions and street racing. Lawmakers added the definition of “reckless driving exhibition” to the Texas Penal Code and increased the penalties for people who participate in these types of events.

    Obstructing a highway or passageway by participating in a driving exhibition is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. The crime is upgraded to a state jail felony if any of the following apply:

    • The driver has been previously convicted of this type of offense.
    • The driver operated a motor vehicle while he or she was intoxicated.
    • The driver caused bodily injury to another person.

    The bill also made it a Class B misdemeanor to interfere with a peace officer investigation of highway racing or any reckless driving exhibition.

    #6: Making a False Statement to Buy a Firearm

    SB 162 was signed on May 30 and is also referred to as the “Lie and Try” bill. It is now a state jail felony for someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm to lie on a background check form and is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility. The bill was filed in response to the 2019 Walmart Shooting in El Paso, which led to the deaths of 23 people. The Texas Safety Action Report that was written after the incident said that approximately 100,000 people lie on a firearms background check every single year.

    If you have been charged with any of these crimes and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.