Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
  1. 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:

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.


    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.

  5. 5 Texas Criminal Law Changes from the 87th Legislature

    The 87th Texas Legislature was held from Jan 12, 2021 to May 31 of that same year. This included both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. A number of issues were discussed, but some of them led to a “mixed bag” of new criminal laws. Here are some of the new changes that resulted from this legislative session.

    criminal law changes

    #1: Constitutional Carry

    Starting September 1, any Texans over the age of 21 can carry a handgun in public without having a license or training. Also called HB 1927, it eliminated the need to have a license to carry if they’re not prohibited from having a gun in their possession by state or federal law. This piece of legislation also made a number of other changes and additions to the Texas Penal Code with regard to firearms. Some of them included the following:

    • Making it a crime to carry a firearm while you’re intoxicated, which is a Class A misdemeanor that can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
    • Making it a crime for gang members to carry a firearm while they’re inside their vehicle, which is a third-degree felony that can result in 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

    The law will allow a peace officer to disarm someone at any time if he or she believes it to be necessary for the protection of that person, the officer, or some other individual. The officer must, however, give the handgun back before leaving the scene if it was determined that the person in question was not a threat and didn’t break the law. It will also allow people who had convictions for unlawfully carrying a weapon before September 1, 2021 to have their records expunged.

    #2: Obstructing Emergency Vehicles

    HB 9 made it a state jail felony to knowingly block any emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens on. It also made it illegal to knowingly block access to a hospital or health care facility. This crime is classified as a state jail felony that’s punishable by six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Anyone who is convicted of this crime must spend at least 10 days in jail, even if he or she was given probation. The bill was passed in response to protestors who were blocking roadways during the nationwide protests against police brutality.

    #3: Financial Abuse of the Elderly

    HB 1156 created a new offense with regard to the financial abuse of the elderly. People commit this crime if they “knowingly engage in the wrongful taking, appropriation, obtaining, retention, or use of money or other property of an elderly person” in any way. This includes any type of financial exploitation. This type of crime can have a range of punishments from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony (depending on the amount of money or property that was taken), and it was passed in response to the growing number of Texas seniors who fell victim to scams, frauds, and exploitations every single year.

    #4: Impersonating a Private Investigator

    HB 1400 made it illegal to impersonate a private investigator who is licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety and deals with highly personal and sensitive issues. People commit this crime if they do it with the intention of inducing someone to submit to the person’s pretended authority or to rely on his or her pretended actions. They also commit this offense if they knowingly exercise any function as a licensed investigator. Impersonating or purporting to be a private investigator is considered a Class A misdemeanor that can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

    #5: Soliciting Prostitution as a Felony Offense

    The State of Texas had made no previous distinction between prostitution and the soliciting of prostitution. Prostitutes and what are called “Johns” could both face misdemeanor charges, so they faced equal punishments. All of that changed in September 2021 with HB 1540, which was signed on June 16. It made Texas the first state to make soliciting prostitution a state jail felony. This new law means that “Johns” could face harsher punishments than those who are offering sexual services.

    A state jail felony is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. This new law was part of a number of legislative measures that were taken in an effort to crack down on human trafficking. In addition to raising the penalties for soliciting prostitution, HB 1540 implemented a series of other measures. One of them was making human trafficking a first-degree felony if the person performing the action recruited, enticed, or obtained the victim from a shelter or treatment center for runaways, foster children, and the homeless (among others).

    If you’re facing criminal charges in Texas 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.

  6. A trial date has been set…

     A trial date has been set in the civil suit seeking the removal of Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez.

    Read the full article

    kris 6 news

  7. Insurer Can’t Duck Bail Money Coverage Suit, Court Told

    A shrimp company told a Texas federal court that its insurer cannot duck its bid for coverage of losses it says it incurred when an attorney misappropriated bail money meant for…

    Read the full article here:

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  8. What is the Difference Between Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance?

    While both sound like something that the IRS would frown upon, tax evasion and tax avoidance are two different things. Tax avoidance refers to the use of legitimate methods to reduce your tax liability, while tax evasion involves the use of deception and other fraudulent activities to do the same. While some taxpayers knowingly perform tax evasion, others fall for the promise that a “third party” can reduce the amount of taxes they owe. The IRS often catches people involved in these schemes and will sometimes find their clients to be guilty of evading their taxes.

    tax evasion vs tax avoidance

    Tax Avoidance as a Legitimate Way to Reduce Tax Liability

    The process of “tax avoidance” involves the use of tax deductions, credits, and adjustments for which you are legally eligible. Most taxpayers do it, and there’s nothing wrong with it. The government created these methods to help qualified taxpayers to lower their tax liability.

    Tax deductions can be used to lower your taxable income. So when you take them, you can reduce the amount you will have to pay. Some of the common tax deductions can include but may not be limited to:

    • Contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts (such as a 401(k) or IRA).
    • Contributions to a health savings account (HSA)
    • Some business expenses.
    • Mortgage taxes.

    You can also choose between an itemized deduction or taking the standard deduction.

    Tax credits can help you to lower your tax bill “dollar-for-dollar.” Taking them will reduce the amount of tax you owe on your income. Some of them are also referred to as “refundable,” which means that they can increase your tax refund if the amount of the credit is greater than the amount of remaining taxes you owe. There are a number of tax credits related to children and dependents that are commonly used (such as the child tax credit). There are also tax credits related to education, student loan interest, and even green energy.

    Tax Evasion is Illegal and is Considered a Form of Tax Fraud

    When it comes to tax fraud, most people think of large corporations that cheat on their taxes or identity thieves who file fraudulent returns, but the same is true for tax evasion (which refers to the intentional and illegal attempt to not pay or underpay taxes). You may not even realize you’re evading your taxes. If you have a nanny, housekeeper, or yard maintenance person that you pay in cash, you may have to send them a W-2 every year for the purpose of tax reporting. Otherwise, it could be considered a form of tax evasion if their wages are considered to be payroll tax payments.

    You can also get in trouble by ignoring overseas income. It doesn’t matter where you earned your money. If you’re a US citizen (or even a US person), the IRS always gets a cut. Any money you earned abroad (such as wages, tips, consultancy fees, alimony, capital gains, rental income, and gambling winning) can be taxed. Even if you have a foreign bank account that’s earning interest, you need to report it to the IRS. Not paying it can lead to your passport being revoked.

    One of the most common forms of tax evasion is claiming deductions and credits for which you’re not legally eligible, but it can also involve the following:

    • Establishing a fake religious organization to keep from paying taxes by claiming tax-deductible “donations.”
    • Fraudulently filing a tax return that claims zero income for the year or under-reporting your income.
    • Allocating income to a relative in a lower tax bracket.
    • Claiming personal travel expenses (such as souvenirs, personal meals, or upgrades to first class) as business travel expenses.
    • Omitting cryptocurrency gains from your tax return.

    If you knowingly or mistakenly under-reported your taxable income, you can file an amended return for previous years. If you have already corrected the problem, the IRS is less likely to pursue you for tax fraud. Some taxpayers could end up being guilty by association if they worked with a tax preparer who got arrested for tax evasion.

    Tax evasion is considered a criminal offense that can come with severe penalties, which can include time in jail. You never want to claim benefits for which you don’t qualify, and you want to make sure that anyone who prepares your taxes uses honest methods to reduce your taxable income. The IRS also knows the difference between a mistake and an act of fraud, so you don’t have to worry if you made an error. Before they can charge you with tax evasion, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division has to prove that you willfully committed the offense.

    If you’re facing tax evasion charges 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.

  9. DA Mark Gonzales Trial News On KIII

    County commissioner talks next steps in lawsuit against Nueces County District Attorney

    Judge threatens change of venue in case seeking to remove Nueces County District Attorney

    DA Gonzalez files motion to dismiss the petition to remove him from office

    Mark Gonzalez responds to petition to oust him, calls it ‘hearsay’

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  10. DUI and the Effects of Blood Alcohol

    Approximately 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving accidents every single day, which is one person every 45 minutes. In 2020, 11,654 people died in an alcohol-related traffic accident, which was a 14% increase from 2019. all of them could have been prevented. Driving a car is an important part of modern life. But when people drink before they get behind the wheel, it can become a serious crime. DUI-related accidents take the lives of thousands of people every year, but it can also lead to steep fines and even jail time.

    police sobriety test

    Important DUI Statistics in the State of Texas

    Some of the important DUI statistics in the State of Texas include the following:

    • It has more fatal drunk driving accidents than any other state in the U. S.
    • It has more than 1,000 DUI-related accidents every year.
    • 23.2% of Texans admit to driving drunk at least once in their lives.
    • More than 90,000 people in Texas have been arrested each year for DUI charges.
    • At least 38% of all fatal vehicle crashes in Texas involve a drunk driver.
    • Approximately one-third of DUI fatalities in Texas have affected someone aged 21 or younger.

    In Texas, someone gets hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident approximately every 20 minutes. This illustrates how serious the problem is and why it’s so important to educate people about it. Driving after having a few drinks may seem like a casual mistake, but it can literally be a matter of life and death.

    The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

    Alcohol can lower the function of the brain. This can impair your thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. All of these abilities are important for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. As alcohol levels rise in your system, the negative effects it can have on your central nervous system will increase. It’s absorbed directly through the walls of your stomach and small intestine. It then moves into your bloodstream, where it will accumulate until it’s metabolized by the liver.

    A person’s alcohol level is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a specific volume of blood. This number is called Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).  When it gets to .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter (g/dL) of blood, your risk of getting into a crash will increase exponentially (which is why it’s illegal in all 50 states). But even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability.

    Here is a breakdown of all the BAC levels and how it can affect you:

    • .02 BAC — You start to experience some loss of judgment, a feeling of relaxation, a slight body warmth, and an altered mood. You will also start to see a decline in your visual function (specifically in your ability to rapid track a moving target) and a drop in your ability to do two things at the same time (what is often referred to as “divided attention”).
    • .05 BAC — You will start to exhibit some exaggerated behavior, and you may have a loss of small-muscle control (such as in focusing your eyes). Your judgment will also be impaired (usually with a good feeling), as well as a lowering of your alertness and your inhibitions.
    • .08 BAC — Your muscle coordination becomes poor (which will affect your balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing). It will also be harder to sense danger as your judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired.
    • .10 BAC — You will experience a clear deterioration of your reaction time and control. You will also have slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking. Driving at this state will reduce your ability to maintain lane position and to apply appropriate braking.
    • .15 BAC — You will have much less muscle control than normal, and vomiting may occur (unless the level has been reached slowly or you have developed a tolerance to alcohol). You will also experience an extreme loss of balance and substantial impairment in vehicle control. You will lose your ability to pay attention to different driving tasks, and you will lose the necessary visual and auditory information processing needed to operate a motor vehicle.

    Driving after consuming alcohol is deadly, but it keeps happening across the United States. If you drive while you’re impaired, you could get arrested. You may even be involved in a traffic accident that will lead to serious injury or death.

    If you’re facing DUI charges 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.