Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Talks About Human Trafficking

August 31st, 2017

The idea that people are being transported illegally into the United States for financial gain is something that stirs compassion in many people’s hearts. People want to come to America so badly that they endure dangerous traveling arrangements and risk falling prey to false promises of what they will have when they get here. Human trafficking also stirs up strong feelings against the people who exploit people that want to come to America, individuals who treat immigrants like things instead of people, and who subject them to danger and abuse. As if human trafficking isn’t bad enough on its own, sometimes immigrants die while they are being transported into the United States.

Recently, ten people died in a tractor trailer that was transporting people into the United States from Mexico illegally. The driver of the truck is charged with illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain resulting in death,  the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegally transporting immigrants resulting in serious bodily injury, and conspiracy to transport immigrants illegally, resulting in death. These charges can carry grave consequences for the driver if he is convicted. It is possible that he could even get sentenced to death.

The conditions that the people inside the trailer of that driver’s truck got subjected to were horrific. At least thirty-nine people got packed inside the trailer for the one hundred and fifty-mile journey from Laredo to San Antonio. The refrigeration system on the trailer was broken, so the temperature inside the trailer was dangerously high. Some of the people who were in the trailer who did not die had to be hospitalized for a while before they could be released

There are various reasons why human trafficking is such a big problem in Texas. Agricultural operations looking for low-cost labor sometimes get their workers through illegal smuggling operations. Illegal immigrants are also often employed as domestic servants, and some immigrants find their way into the United States through illegal smuggling operations. Also, Mexican drug cartels often engage in trafficking illegal immigrants, in addition to illegal drugs.

In addition to the dangers of being transported like cargo in tractor trailers, the victims of human trafficking often endure forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in various forms.  Statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimate that over twelve thousand illegal immigrants get trafficked into the country through Texas. Since human trafficking is seldom a solo operation, conspiracy charges often accompany trafficking charges when truck drivers or other people transporting illegal immigrants get caught in the act.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Steadfast Assistance for Texas Defendants

The penalties for human trafficking can be severe, especially if the people that were getting transported got hurt or killed in transit. If you got charged with a  crime related to human trafficking, do not despair.You might be able to work with an attorney to find an outcome that meets your needs better than you might expect. To learn more, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499 or connect with us through our online contact form.

 

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses Reconciliation

August 3rd, 2017

Divorce is a process; it’s not just an event. For any divorcing couple, some length of time passes between the filing of divorce papers and the date that the divorce becomes final. The length of time that it will take for a couple to divorce depends upon a few factors, including the laws of the state where they are divorcing. Each state has a timetable for divorce proceedings. The length of a couple’s divorce also depends on the couple, and whether they work through the process quickly without having to discuss much, or whether they battle hard and delay the process by being unable to work out an agreement on the issues in their case instead of going to trial. There are also situations where divorce proceedings get put on hold or even abandoned completely because a couple decides to try to reconcile or does indeed reconcile.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently announced that they are taking a break from their divorce proceedings. While the two are not back together, they are working on some of the things that contributed to the demise of their relationship, and they have decided to pause the proceedings to see where things go. Other celebrity couples have done similar things, with some continuing to divorce and some letting the initial divorce filing fade into the background while remaining married, for better or for worse, sometimes for a long time and sometimes for just a few months or years before finally deciding to call it quits.

If celebrities are pausing divorce proceedings to consider reconciliation, you can be sure that many other people who are not celebrities are doing it, too. If you are divorcing and the thought of taking a break to work on things or think about things seems like it might be a good idea, there’s no harm in exploring the possibility. You can always forge ahead if you get the feeling that the divorce should continue. Of course, if the mere mention of the word reconciliation or taking a break to work on things makes you feel angry inside, then don’t do it. Many people put a lot of thought and effort into working through things before they file for divorce and once they have gotten to that point they are sure that it is the right choice for them. If that’s you, keep on moving through your divorce with confidence,

One of the ways that a couple can explore the idea of reconciliation is through couples counseling. Counseling can be beneficial regardless of whether the two of you decide to divorce or stay together. It can help you talk through some things that could make divorce proceedings go more smoothly, or it could make you realize that divorce isn’t really what either of you wants or needs.

If you are considering divorce and you have questions, call our office at (903) 753-7499 today to plan an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. If you prefer, you can visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Shares Three Top Relationship Woes

July 22nd, 2017

Divorce begins with marriage, a marriage in which something has gone so wrong that the divorcing spouses believe it to be beyond repair. Divorce attorneys learn a lot about relationships as they help their divorcing clients navigate the legal process that ends their marriages. One of the things that divorce lawyers learn through working with their clients is that although there are many reasons that marriages fail, there are a few reasons that stand out as common marriage busters. If you are considering divorce and you recognize one of these common culprits as the reason why it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether you and your spouse might invest in your marriage by exploring the issue before investing time and money into getting divorced. When spouses realize that their marriage is in trouble and they start to talk about why they gain information about whether there’s a possibility for the marriage to be saved or whether the two of them are past the point of no return and moving forward with divorce is the healthiest option for them.

Children are undoubtedly a source of great love and joy to their parents. Unfortunately, spouses who have kids also have the potential to experience a marital breakdown in a way that couples without kids do not. It has very little to do with the children themselves, but it does involve each spouse’s beliefs and expectations regarding the care and upbringing of their kids. Raising kids takes a lot of time and effort, and disputes often arise from a difference in expectations regarding how spouses divvy up parenting time and responsibilities. Disagreements about family rules and discipline are also often cited as a major source of marital stress.

All couples could potentially fall prey to a ruined marriage due to a lack of communication. While people differ in how they communicate and the amount of communication that they prefer, it’s easy to see that little to no communication within a marriage can quickly become a deal-breaker. Communication within the context of marriage involves many things, from daily responsibilities and scheduling to beliefs, values, and feelings. We are not designed to read minds should we be expected to “know” what each other is doing or feeling. This is why when couples don’t talk, misunderstanding and resentment build and build until one or both spouses becomes angry and fights rather than conversations become the couple’s default method of communication.

A lack of intimacy, both the sexual variety and the non-sexual closeness that couples can maintain through their words and actions, can bring a marriage to its demise. Humans are made for closeness, and the physical and emotional connection that a couple can experience within their marriage is unique to that relationship. When one or both spouses stop reaching out to each other in an affectionate way, their bond becomes weaker and weaker until they feel more like roommates instead of spouses. If a couple is unwilling or unable to reconnect with each other, the marriage is likely to fail.

If you are considering divorce, call us at (903) 753-7499 today to arrange an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. If you prefer, visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.

 

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Says Recent Prison Closures Reflect Both a Decrease in Criminal Activity and Improved Outcomes for Individuals Who Get Charged With Crimes

July 12th, 2017

Texas will close more prisons in 2017 than it has in any other year in history. The prison closures are possible because of a decrease in crime as well as an increase in options for resolving criminal cases without resorting to incarceration. Four prisons will get closed this year, which brings the total amount of closures to eight facilities over a period of six years.

The decrease in crimes being committed in Texas has been taking place gradually over the past decade or so. During that same time frame, lawmakers have brought about changes that give some individuals who get charged with crimes other options besides going to prison. Programs like diversion not only help Texans stay out of prison, they help them address the underlying issues that landed them there in the first place and give them the support and skills that they can use to choose different paths for their lives. For individuals that get charged with criminal behavior that is likely the result of a mental illness, mental health services provide a chance for a better life, instead of just passing the time behind bars only to be troubled by the same issues while they get incarcerated and after they are released. Legislative changes also contributed to a reduction in criminal charges and therefore a reduction in the amount of prison beds that the state needs. Property crime laws got overhauled in 2015, relieving the state of laws that doled out felony punishments to people who stole items that were worth very little. Reforms in other areas of the law have gotten proposed, but they have yet to pass, so it is unclear which, if any initiatives like changes to drug crime laws and modifications to age requirements for incarceration, will eventually become law.

The closure of Texas prisons started with the massive Central Unit in Sugar Land, followed by the Jesse R. Dawson State Jail and a pre-parole unit in Mineral Wells. Some of the facilities that got closed were state-run facilities and others, such as a privately operated intermediate sanctions facility in Houston that got closed last year. The decrease in the number of available prison beds had not created a shortage of beds, though, because the number of people who are getting sent to jail continues to drop. When prisons get closed, inmates get brought to other facilities and staff are also reassigned to other facilities, which has alleviated some of the problems that those facilities had been having with hiring and retaining good employees.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Strong and Confident Assistance for Texas Defendants

Texas defendants might not know just how many options they might have for resolving their criminal cases. If you got charged with a crime, you might be able to work with an attorney to find an outcome that meets your needs better than you might expect. To learn more, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499 or connect with us through our online contact form.

 

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses Intoxication Manslaughter Verdict

July 2nd, 2017

One potential outcome that can result from driving while intoxicated is getting charged with intoxication manslaughter. No one who drinks and drives expects to get into a wreck while they are driving, and they do not intend to kill anyone. Unfortunately, alcohol use increases accident risk, which not only endangers the safety of the driver who has been drinking but also increases the chance that they will get in an accident and hurt or kill other people.

A man just got sentenced to fifteen years in prison in connection with the deaths of two people. The man got sentenced to fifteen years for each of the two people who died in the crash, but the judge ruled that the sentences will run concurrently. The man is also required to pay a five thousand dollar fine.

The fatal wreck happened in 2015.  The crash occurred as the man was speeding down a road and went over some railroad tracks, which sent his car flying through the air. The car landed on top of a motorcycle, killing a man and his wife.

The families of both the driver and the couple who died in the crash were present in the courtroom for the emotional conclusion to the man’s intoxication manslaughter trial. Members of the man’s family attended the hearing to show their love and support for him. People from the family of the deceased couple attended the hearing to try and gain closure for the untimely loss of two people who they loved very much.

When a person is charged with any DWI crime, including and especially intoxication manslaughter, they need strong support as they face their charges. A DWI and any related offenses that go along with it can significantly alter the course of a person’s life, as the case mentioned above illustrates. An experienced DWI defense attorney can help you understand the nature of the charges against you, including the possible penalties, and they can develop a defense strategy that takes all of your circumstances into account. For example, in the case discussed above, a significant portion of the defendant’s defense strategy involved educating the judge and jury about the defendant’s mental state. The man suffers from a mental disability that affects his learning ability and his overall level of functioning. The defense attorney also expressed his client’s deep remorse for what had happened and extended condolences to the victims’ family on behalf of his client.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Uncompromising Support for DWI Defendants

If you face DWI charges or other charges that are related to a DWI, it is essential that you get help from a Texas DWI defense attorney. A knowledgeable defense attorney can help you understand the charges and the potential effects of your DWI case on each area your life.  You can plan for an initial consultation with Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today, by calling our office at (903) 753-7499. Alternatively, you can arrange an initial consultation with us through the online contact form on our website.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Reminds Parents to Keep Children Safely Supervised this Summer

June 19th, 2017

The school year is over, and parents will be spending much more time with their kids than they do during the school year. When you are enjoying this summer with your kids, remember two key words – safety and supervision. When parents do not keep their children safe by providing adequate supervision, there is a risk that the children could be harmed, or even worse, killed.

A Texas mother faces child endangerment charges in connection with the deaths of her two young children. According to reports from officials, the woman initially claimed that the girls might have gotten sick after smelling and perhaps eating wildflowers at a local park. Upon further investigation, authorities found that the children had been left in a vehicle for fifteen hours with no water or food, in temperatures that could have been upwards of ninety degrees during some of that time.

Someone allegedly heard the girls, who were one and two years old, crying and asked whether they wanted to go inside. The children’s mother allegedly assured the person that the girls would cry themselves to sleep. A friend of the children’s mother may also have spent some time with them out in the car. The mother of the two little girls took them out of the vehicle around noon the next day and gave them baths before taking them to the hospital. The children may have been unresponsive but alive when they arrived at the hospital, but both girls later died in the hospital. The Bexar County Medical Examiner is investigating the deaths and report that no final determination of the manner and cause of death will be available for up to twelve weeks.

Children, especially very young children, require adult supervision to stay safe. Each child has supervision needs that grow and change as they become older and more mature. Some areas in which parents may have difficulty understanding or make inappropriate choices regarding their children’s supervision needs include leaving children alone in a car and leaving them at home alone. There is no “legal age” when it comes to staying home alone, but there are many factors to consider including the child or children’s ages, emotional maturity, nd overall capability as well as the location and design of the home. The number of children, the amount of time that they are alone, and the ability of the child to contact a responsible and available adult are also important things to consider.

Under Texas law, it is a crime to leave a child who is under seven years old in a vehicle for longer than five minutes if someone who is fourteen years of age or older is not in the vehicle with them. It is not recommended that anyone leave a child unattended in a vehicle for any length of time because it is just too dangerous, especially in hot weather, and it can only take a few minutes for a child to develop heat stroke or heat exhaustion which could result in death or permanent disability.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Experienced Assistance for Texas Defendants

If you get charged with a crime in Texas, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499 or connect with us through our online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Says Parents Are Disappointed at Failure of Equal Custody Bill

June 15th, 2017

During the last legislative session, a bill that would have made 50/50 custody agreements automatic in most divorce cases failed. Disappointed parents rallied to express their disappointment in the failure of a bill that they feel would have protected the health and well-being of the children of divorced and divorcing parents.

House Bill 453 was authored by State Representative James White (R-Woodville), wrote the bill, which would have meant a departure from the traditional divorce custody model where the mother would be given full custody of the couple’s children to a model that would automatically give divorcing parents 50/50 custody. Many divorced parents whose children spend less than half of their time with them lament their current custody arrangements and feel that the lack of adequate time spent with their children negatively affects their children’s relationship with them. The bill was similar to proposals that are under consideration in at least four other states, and it is worth noting that in nearly twenty other states, shared custody is required or at the very least expected in the absence of a compelling reason for a different arrangement.

The parents at the rally felt that the value system that underlies the primary-custody-to-mother custody model has changed, which means that the courts should change their custody model to acknowledge the shift away from father-as-breadwinner/mother-as-homemaker families towards the more typical dual career family. In addition to and perhaps even more important than keeping with changing times, shared parenting is beneficial for both children and parents. It preserves the psychological role of each parent as equal to the other, which creates less distress for the children during and after the transition into two households. Parents who get equal parenting time are also less likely to have conflict. This is not to say that there’s a complete absence of conflict, only that the overall level of tension and conflict gets drastically reduced which benefits everyone. Shared parenting also allows for economic equality, and in situations where child support goes from one parent to the other, there is much less discussion of it or resentment of it when parents get to spend equal time with their kids.

There are some situations in which 50/50 parenting is not a beneficial situation for parents or children. Some examples include high levels of persistent and unresolved conflict, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Conditions that would make shared parenting physically or emotionally unsafe are not the only circumstances which would make 50/50 custody less than desirable. The careers and desired location of the parents can also be a reason for parents to choose a custody arrangement that does not provide for equal parenting time. The children’s’ ages and emotional needs are also essential considerations in any discussion and determination regarding custody.

In light of the failure of the bill that would mandate 50/50 custody in most divorces, it is critical that parents remember that they are free to design a custody arrangement that will work well for themselves and their children instead of having the court decide who gets how much parenting time. If you have custody questions related to your Texas divorce, call  (903) 753-7499 today to schedule an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. Alternatively, you can visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Talks about the Problem of Child Marriages

May 13th, 2017

Did you know that Texas has the second highest child marriage rate in the country? Between 2000 and 2014, four thousand Texans got married before their eighteenth birthdays. In 2014 in Texas, 6.9 out of every 1000 people who were between the ages of 15 and 17 got married. Presently, approximately two thousand Texas youth get married every year. Under current law, individuals who are sixteen or seventeen years of age can legally marry if they have permission from one of their parents, and people who are under sixteen can also marry if a court gives them permission to do so. Fortunately, this could change soon if lawmakers decide to increase the minimum age for marriage to eighteen years of age by passing Senate Bill 1705.

When very young people marry, in Texas and elsewhere, it isn’t always about love. Some parents force their children to marry early, often to older spouses, so that the children will be “taken care of.” Unfortunately, far too many of these unions become abusive, and the younger spouse often feels completely powerless to stand up against the older spouse upon whom they may have become financially dependent.

Former child brides provided compelling testimony in support of raising the minimum age for marriage. One woman was only fourteen years old when she married someone who was twenty-six. She became a mother shortly after that. As she looks back on how her life unfolded, she realizes that she was not at all prepared, either physically or psychologically, for either of those major life changes, let alone both of them so close together. Her marriage lasted four years, and during that time the woman felt powerless because of her age, and she got abused emotionally, physically, verbally, and psychologically. During her marriage, she asked her mother if she could go back home, and she was told “no.” She had been permitted to enter a marriage that she was not legally old enough to make a decision to end. Fortunately, she did divorce her husband when she was able to do so – other child brides remain trapped in abusive marriages because of poverty or the effects of abuse on their psychological well-being that make them feel as though they are unable to leave their marriages.

If the age for marriage gets raised to eighteen, couples who want to marry can get emancipated and then they can marry, or they can wait until they are of age. The protective effects on Texas youth that could result from raising the minimum age for marriage far outweigh the effects of any additional efforts, such as waiting until age eighteen or getting emancipated before then, that couples who were determined to marry would endure on their way to the altar. Since minors would have to get emancipated before they could marry, they would be legally able to divorce if they ever needed to.

In Texas, marriage and divorce laws do occasionally change. If you have any questions about your Texas divorce, a family law attorney can help you find the answers that you need. Call our office at (903) 753-7499 today, to arrange a consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. You can also visit us online to complete a convenient online contact form.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Reports Expansion of Record Sealing Legislation Possible

May 5th, 2017

The Texas Senate recently approved legislation that would allow individuals who are convicted of single-offense, nonviolent misdemeanors to have a “second chance” by asking a court to seal their criminal records. The bill, House Bill 3016, returned to the House so that the House may consider some changes proposed by the Senate.

If House Bill 3016 passes, it applies retroactively, to any person who ever got convicted of any single-offense nonviolent misdemeanor. Sealed records are just that, records that are hidden from public view. When a person’s record gets sealed, doors are open to them that would have remained closed while their offense was publicly visible on their criminal record. Sealed records are visible to police, and to others who are involved in sensitive industries like education and banking. This legislation is important for Texans because criminal convictions hold people back in many areas of their lives, limiting employment opportunities, housing options, and more. If the legislation passes, it will clear the way for many people who made one-off mistakes to move forward in areas of their lives where the consequences of those mistakes have been holding them back.

The “second-chance” provisions of House Bill 3016 apply to class C misdemeanors, and to DWI convictions where the driver’s blood alcohol level was under 0.15. If the bill becomes law, qualifying DWI defendants could ask a court for an order of nondisclosure after only six months of compliant usage of an ignition interlock device. Alternatively, an order of nondisclosure would be available to qualifying defendants after five years has passed since the time that they completed whatever sentence they got for their DWI. The opportunity for record sealing is not available to defendants that get convicted of crimes that the judge has determined to be sexual or violent in nature, even if it is their first offense. House Bill 3016 is not unique in its purpose. It is designed to build on to legislation that got passed in 2015, which applies to Class A and Class B misdemeanors that are nonsexual in nature and which do not involve family violence.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Standing Up for the Rights of Texans Accused of Driving While Intoxicated

If House Bill 3016 passes, it could help you recover from the adverse effects that your DWI conviction has had on your life. If you face DWI charges in Texas, the best thing that you can do is get help from a Texas DWI defense attorney. Your attorney can help you find the answers to the questions that you have about how to proceed with your case, how to minimize the impact of your DWI case on your life, and help you find any other information that you seek.  Arrange for a consultation with Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today, by calling or office at (903) 753-7499. Alternatively, you can set up an initial consultation by submitting an online contact form through our website.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Says Cattle Rustling Isn’t Just a Historical Crime

May 1st, 2017

Recently, a man got charged with a crime that many people think exists only in legends from days gone by. The man is charged with cattle rustling, stealing cattle. Since the animals that the man got charged with stealing belonged to his very elderly stepfather, it is possible that if the man is convicted, he will receive an enhanced penalty because his stepfather is ninety-seven years old. If the victim of a crime is sixty-five years old or older, any offense against them is a crime against the elderly and eligible for an enhanced penalty.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is the agency that has authority to investigate cattle rustling cases. When the Special Ranger who was assigned to investigate the case looked into whast had happened, he found that the man took some of his stepfather’s cattle to be auctioned at a cattle market. He sold some of the cattle on behalf of his stepfather but he sold other cattle under his own name and profited more than seven thousand dollars from those sales.

The case above is not a unique occurrence. Special Rangers who work for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association investigated over seven hundred agriculture-related cases last year, many of which involved the unauthorized sale of livestock. The incidence of livestock theft follows the price of meat – when the price of beef is up, more cattle get stolen. When prices fall, there is less incentive to steal cattle, so fewer people do it. Fortunately, unlike the people who were responsible for tracking down cattle rustlers in years past, the Special Rangers have modern tools and technologies to assist them in their quest to catch cattle crooks. Digital databases track every head of cattle sold in Texas. The ear tags that have been used to mark cattle for years have been updated to include tracking devices that are so sophisticated that they are capable of sending notifications to their owners’ smartphones or email addresses. DNA evidence helps prove whether cattle are stolen or not by providing information about their genealogy. Stealing cattle involves a high risk of getting caught, but, unfortunately, that does not deter all would-be cattle thieves. The Rangers report that the people who commit the crime of cattle rustling are often individuals who work on farms and ranches because handling cattle and getting them to market involves both access to cattle and skilled knowledge. Modern cattle thieves don’t operate in a standard manner, sometimes it is just a few head of cattle that get stolen, at other times, massive thefts occur.

The penalties for cattle theft vary, depending upon the amount of head of cattle that get stolen. For example, if fewer than ten head of cattle is involved, the person or people who took the cattle may be charged with a third-degree felony which carried a penalty of up to ten years in jail. If the victim or victims of the crime were over sixty-five years old, additional penalties might get imposed.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Strong Representation for Texas Defendants

If you get charged with any crime, it is essential that you talk with a Texas criminal defense attorney about what to do. The choices that you make now affect how your criminal case affects your life. If you’ve got a Texas criminal law question, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or connect with us through the online contact form on our website.