Indecency With a Child By Exposure Texas Law

In Texas, indecency with a child by exposure is a serious criminal offense outlined in Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code. This crime involves exposing one’s genitals to a child under in a manner that is considered lewd or sexually explicit. A child is a person under the age of 17. The prosecution does not have to prove the defendant touched the child. Just exposing one’s genitals or anus in a sexually explicit manner is all they need to make an arrest.

Under Texas law, indecency with a child by exposure is a felony offense, classified as a third-degree felony. However, the severity of the offense can be increased under certain circumstances, such as if the defendant has a prior conviction for a similar offense or if the act involves aggravated circumstances.

A conviction for a third-degree felony offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, individuals convicted of this offense are required to register as sex offenders for 10 years.

Defenses to charges of indecency with a child by exposure may include mistaken identity, lack of intent, or lack of evidence to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. However, individuals accused of this crime should seek the guidance of an experienced criminal attorney to understand their legal rights and possible defenses.

Overall, indecency with a child by exposure is a serious felony offense in Texas that carries significant penalties. Prosecution of this crime is vigorously pursued to protect the welfare of children and hold offenders accountable for their actions. That is why it is so important to hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Lawyer Richard Hibey Known for Representing High Profile Cases Clients.

Lawyer Richard Hibey known for representing high profile clients and controversial cases died February 19, 2024. Hibey represented ousted Philippines ruler Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda, spy Jonathan Pollard and former CIA Chief Clair Davis. Hibey felt it was a criminal lawyer’s duty to represent his client zealously no matter how unpopular his was client was with the American public. He believed the Amercian Justice system was an adversary process. He once said, “I figure if I do my job well then justice would be served. I think that is a moral position and it allows me to be able to represent people who are considered by others to be among the sleaze bags of the 20th century.”

This is a position every criminal attorney should agree with and follow. Although the American Justice system is not perfect it is by far the best in the world. It is the best system because it is adversarial. To work right both sides must do their best. The criminal attorney has a duty to defend his client no matter the strength of the evidence or the type of charge.

At some point in time every criminal defense attorney gets asked ” How can you defend criminals?” Most people that ask that question have never had a family member or close friend face a criminal charge. I have had many clients tell me, ” Until I was arrested, I thought everyone is guilty who was arrested by the police.” Once they are charged, they realize an innocent person can be arrested and the government is powerful force to fight against.

If you have been arrested by the police find an experienced criminal attorney and make sure that attorney believes in Richard Hibey’s philosophy in defending citizens.

Texas Riot Charges

Texas Riot charges are rarely brought by Texas law enforcement. Due to arrest made in protest over George Floyd’s death Dallas Police have arrested numerous protesters for Texas Riot charges when the protest turned more violent. Most of the charges are likely to be for Class B misdemeanors which have a penalty range up to 6 months in jail.

Under Texas law a riot is defined as seven or more people assemble and the resulting conduct creates immediate danger to property, injury to persons, substantially obstructs law enforcement, or by force deprives a person from enjoying a legal right. If you participate in the riot you can be arrested and prosecuted.

Under this statute a person can face a much higher range of punishment if a more serious offense was committed during the riot and the offense was committed in furtherance of the assembly and it was an offense that should have been anticipated as occurring during the assembly. For example 27 bikers were indicted for first degree felonies for Texas Riot charges in Waco in 2018 stemming from the Twin Peaks shooting. The prosecutors theory was that the bikers should have anticipated their assembly at the Twin Peaks could result in the murder of other bikers. The charges were dismissed by the subsequent District Attorney.

It will be interesting to see how the Dallas County District Attorneys Office handles these cases. If they all remain misdemeanors they may be settled by negotiated dismissals if the defendants have no serious criminal records. I doubt the DA wants to have trials over these cases that stem from protest of George Floyd’s tragic death.

Abbott’s Executive Order Blocks Release of Inmates on PR Bonds

Governor Abbott issued an executive order Sunday which will have tremendous consequences for person’s charged with pending violent felonies or have been convicted of violent felonies in the past. Abbott’s Executive order does not allow persons who are in jail on crimes of violence or with a criminal history of violence to be eligible for a personal recognizance bonds which are also called PR bonds. Judges sometimes grant PR bonds to defendants which allows them to be released from jail without posting any money.

In recent weeks Judges in Texas have been under pressure due to the Corona virus to release as many inmates from county jails as possible. One way of doing this is by granting a PR bond. In Harris County a District Judge released an inmate charged with Murder when the inmate complained that he was afraid of catching the Corona virus in jail. Abbott’s Executive Order now takes that tool away from Texas Judges.

Criminal defense attorneys will no doubt fight back by alleging the Executive Order is a violation of the defendant’s Constitutional Rights. The Corona virus has already shut down court dockets and caused Judges to cancel trials and reset cases. Some defendant’s have been waiting over a year in jail for a trial. Now with Abbott’s Executive Order they will have an even longer wait.

Dallas Domestic Violence Arrest Increase

Dallas domestic violence cases have been on the increase according to news reports. Since more people are stuck in their homes due to the corona virus there has been a spike in 911 calls. As a result the Dallas police are making more domestic violence arrest.

Jail is bad place to be, especially when the corona virus is spreading. The first thing to due if you are arrested for domestic violence is call a criminal lawyer. A Dallas criminal lawyer will know the best way to get you out of jail as soon as possible. A case is always easier to defend if you are out of jail.

Once you get out of jail meet with your criminal attorney as soon as possible. Your criminal attorney needs to know all the facts so he or she can advise you how to proceed. You need to provide your criminal lawyer with all text, emails, recordings and any other communication you have had with the accuser. This information will be vital to your defense.

Many criminal cases are being delayed due to the courthouses being shut down. Arrest are down for some crimes but not domestic abuse. The Dallas Police and other police departments will continue to make arrest for domestic violence cases. The Dallas District Attorneys office will continue to aggressive prosecute Dallas domestic violence cases. Get a good criminal lawyer to defend you rights.

Governor’s Disaster Declaration Increases Punishment Range for Some Texas Crimes

Governor Abbott declared a state of disaster for Texas because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Most people don’t realize that when the Governor of Texas declares a state of disaster there are serious implications under the Texas Penal Code. Punishment increases by one degree for certain crimes if the evidence proves the offense was committed in an area that was at the time of the offense subject to the state of disaster.

Normally the state of disaster is confined to a particular geographic area that was hit by a natural disaster like a hurricane, flood or tornado. This situation is different because it covers the whole state. This statue covers crimes like arson, burglaries, theft, robberies and assaults.

So if you go to the grocery store and get into a fight over toilet paper and punch your neighbor in the face you may get charged with a State Jail Felony rather than Misdemeanor Class A Assault. That would mean you would be facing 180 days to two years in a State Jail rather than up to one year in the county jail if the same assault had been committed under normal circumstances. You would also expect to get hit with higher bond since the charge is a felony.

This section of the penal code also applies when the President declares an area of Texas as a State of Disaster. So during the Coronavirus State of Disaster prosecutors have two ways to prove the enhancement portion of the criminal charge.

When Should I Talk to the Police?

People who are under criminal investigation always ask, ” When should I talk to the police?” People have a natural inclination to want to talk to the investigating detective in order to clear their name. The only correct answer to that question is ” When your lawyer tells you to talk to the police.”

Some individuals who are under investigation and feel that they have done nothing wrong and won’t even sit down and discuss their situation with a criminal attorney. They mistakenly believe that the very act of consulting with a criminal lawyer will be interpreted by law enforcement as a sign of guilt. Most experienced police investigators actually don’t hold it against a person for talking with an attorney. Believe me, if a police officer comes under criminal investigation, they immediately seek counsel with a criminal attorney.

The fact that an individual under investigation and consults or hires a criminal attorney can’t be used as evidence in a criminal trial against the defendant. The courts recognize that people have an absolute right to legal representation and won’t allow a prosecutor to use that as evidence against them in a criminal trial.

In the end it is the criminal attorney who must make the decision whether a client should interview with law enforcement. That decision can only be made after the criminal attorney has had time to investigate the case and then decide what is in the client’s best interest. If the criminal lawyer decides the client should speak the police, he will always come with the client and be present in the interview room. That way the attorney can stop the interview at any point he feels it’s in the client best interest. 

Other times after interviewing the client and investigating the case the criminal lawyer will advise the client not to interview with the police. He may have determined the police don’t have enough evidence to g0 forward with an arrest and an interview with the client might provide the police with that evidence. The client should lawsy follow the lawyers advice in this area.

Robbery or Burglary: What’s the Difference?

Ordinary citizens often confuse the words robbery and burglary when describing a personal experience they have had as a victim of a crime. For example a person may say “My house got robbed” when describing a residential break in. It’s a common mistake but under Texas law they are very different crimes.

I once heard a judge describe the difference perfectly during jury selection. He said, “People get robbed. Houses get burglarized.” Robbery is the theft of property from a person by force. If the victim is threatened with a gun, knife, or other deadly weapon then the crime becomes Aggravated Robbery.

Burglary is when a person enters a house or building without the owners consent to commit theft, assault or a felony. The house or building doesn’t have to actually be broken into to qualify as burglary. Entering without the owner’s consent to commit a crime is the key.

Both crimes are very serious felonies under Texas law. If you are ever accused or investigated for either of these criminal offenses consult with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. Do so before you consent to an interview with the police.

Engaging in Organized Crime Parole Consequences

A conviction for engaging in organized crime has severe consequences. The Texas Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity statute, better known as Engaging in Organized Crime, is a powerful tool used by law enforcement and prosecutors. Charging criminal activity under this statute enhances the punishment range and also allows prosecutors greater latitude in presenting extraneous offenses to prove the criminal case.

There is another powerful aspect to the statute that isn’t as well publicized but can have dire consequences to the defendant who is in danger of being sentenced to a prison term. Release from prison from a conviction for Organized Criminal Activity requires the defendant to serve half the prison sentence before they can become eligible for parole.

This type of parole requirement typically occurs in aggravated offenses such as Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Sexual Assault and Murder. Other felony prison sentences for crimes such as theft or burglary don’t require a defendant to serve half the prison sentence before parole eligibility and a defendant can expect to get released long before half their time is served. However, if the same defendant were convicted of Engaging in Organized Crime, and the underlying offense was burglary or theft, the defendant would be required to serve half the time prison sentence before parole eligibility.

The danger of serving aggravated time for conviction under any scenario of the Engaging in Organized Crime Statute should be carefully weighed by the criminal defense attorney when they are in engaged in plea negotiations with the prosecution.

Should I Talk To The Police?

Should I talk to the police? That’s the first question a citizen who has come under police suspicion has for the criminal defense […]