Restitution and Criminal Punishment in Texas: How Do They Work?
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY EXPLAINS RESTITUTION FOR CRIMINAL LAW CASES
Many crimes carry financial losses. Victims are often the ones forced to endure these financial losses, including the loss of personal property, medical costs after an assault, or lost income. Under the Mandatory Restitution Act of 1996, the courts can determine whether restitution is warranted, and the amount of restitution the criminal defendant must pay to the victim or the victim’s family in criminal law in Texas.
WHAT DOES RESTITUTION CONSIST OF?
Restitution in the criminal justice system refers to the funds that the defendant must pay to the victim for any financial harm caused by their actions. The court has the discretion and authority to force a defendant to pay restitution as part of his or her criminal punishment under criminal law. Some crimes carry a mandatory restitution, but this depends on the state. The high courts have backed the decision to order defendants to pay restitution. In fact, a case in 2010, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state correctly ordered restitution, proves such in criminal law.
Usually, violent felony offenses include restitution, but other cases can involve restitution if there are severe financial losses. Restitution might cover the out-of-pocket costs for the victim under criminal law, including:
Insurance deductibles and copays
Costs related to the criminal law case (e.g., travel, child care, etc.)
Lost or damaged property
Restitution is different from personal injury compensation. A victim will not receive pain and suffering or any form of compensation for his or her emotional distress. Instead, these damages only apply to what the victim physically paid for; usually, a receipt or bill is necessary to show the courts that the amounts are justified under criminal law in Texas.
WILL RESTITUTION BE ORDERED IN MY CRIMINAL LAW CASE?
It is hard to predict what the courts will do, but restitution is more likely in two situations:
The victim has substantial proof of financial losses. If the victim has evidence of financial losses, and he or she can justify every loss claimed, the courts might order restitution to recover those costs.
A violent crime has occurred, and the request for restitution ordered. Sometimes, the courts wait for the prosecution to issue a request for restitution. Other times, the courts offer mandatory restitution in extremely violent cases. For example, the brutal beating of a victim could result in restitution automatically – regardless of whether the prosecution submits a request under criminal law.
FULL VERSUS PARTIAL RESTITUTION
When restitution is ordered, the courts look at the defendant’s ability to pay. Obviously, if the accused has no way to pay the losses, it is hard to force them to do so. So, the court might reduce the amount until the offender can pay in full. Sometimes, the courts will still issue restitution in full but set monthly payments so the offender can pay off the balance in a specific amount of time under criminal law.
You should note that, if you are on probation or parole and have a restitution payment schedule, missing a payment could result in a revocation of your probation or parole. Typically, timely payments are part of your release conditions in criminal law.
CONSULT WITH A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY ABOUT POSSIBLE RESTITUTION
Restitution is ordered upon conviction, and is part of your criminal punishment. Therefore, you may have jail time and other penalties in addition to restitution. To avoid these harsh penalties, speak with a criminal defense attorney.
Exploring the Common White-Collar Crimes in the United States
EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE FOR WHITE COLLAR CRIMES
White collar crimes are committed throughout the USA annually.
They are also massively underreported in most states. White collar crimes are often thought of as “innocent” crimes, but they are no such thing. Often these crimes leave people financially devastated. That is why the punishments for white collar crimes are much harsher than defendants realize.
WHERE DID WHITE COLLAR CRIMES COME FROM?
White collar crime is a term coined in 1939. It was a crime initially committed by a respected person of society that had a high regard in their occupation.
Today, white collar crimes are broad and take over any crime that is done for financial gain. They could be commercial but are often done by government officials, business people, and professionals. White collar refers to the area of professionals that person has, such as wearing a suit or business attire. Today, white collar crimes are not even in person. Most are done over the Internet.
THE MOST COMMON WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES
White collar crimes are a comprehensive category. However, some types of white collar crimes are more often committed in the United States than others. These include:
Insurance Fraud – Insurance fraud can include automobile insurance, but also medical insurance and homeowner’s insurance policies. Filing false claims or amounts on the claims can also constitute insurance fraud.
Insider Trading and Stock Crimes – Stock market and financial crimes, like securities fraud, insider trading, hedge fund fraud, and manipulation are all crimes.
Computer Fraud – Computer fraud includes wire fraud, and sometimes adds mail fraud.
Identity Theft – Identity theft involves taking another person’s identity for financial gain. Such as taking loans or credit cards out in their name.
Bribery – Bribing a person requires money in return for an act or omission.
Tax Evasion – It is a crime to avoid paying taxes to the state or federal government purposely. If you purposely avoid paying taxes or you move assets and hide funds to avoid taxes, then you are committing tax evasion.
Embezzlement – Another common type of white collar crime is embezzlement. Embezzlement is the act of stealing funds from a trusted position, such as a CEO stealing money from their company or a broker stealing from his or her clients.
THE TRUE EFFECT OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME
White collar crime is not victimless. Instead, it affects businesses and the victims for years. A person could have their entire life savings gone in a moment. Moreover, the widespread tactics used often affect hundreds of people. Businesses might have to file for bankruptcy because of a criminal act, and the toll of these crimes for the United States averages $3 billion per year.
CHARGED WITH A WHITE-COLLAR CRIME? YOU MUST CALL AN ATTORNEY
White collar crimes carry harsh punishments and could constitute a felony charge. To avoid the penalties of the federal government, you must contact an attorney with experience in these types of cases.
Criminal Trespassing Laws in USA Everyone Should Know
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS FIGHTING CRIMINAL TRESPASSING CHARGES THROUGHOUT THE USA
While the act of trespassing is easily understood, many people commit the crime without realizing it. The USA has several laws regarding criminal trespassing; therefore, it is important that you know what these laws entail, and how a trespassing charge could be added to a series of criminal law charges – all carrying significant penalties.
WHAT DOES THE USA CONSIDER CRIMINAL TRESPASSING?
In the USA, you are guilty of trespass if you enter or remain on a person’s property without authorization in criminal law.
There are numerous ways for a person to break this criminal law, including:
Remaining on private property. Being on private property without the owner’s permission is trespassing. If you stay on the private property after being asked to leave, that is also trespassing in criminal law.
Entering posted private property. If the property has a “private property” sign on the exterior or around the perimeter, and you enter that property anyway, you are trespassing in criminal law. The only exception to this rule is if you have written permission from the owner or the property is open for hunting.
Entering despite public notice. Private property with signs displayed for the public indicating private ownership is off limits. If you choose to get into that property, you are committing the act of trespass in criminal law.
State lands and entering without permission. State lands are protected. While they might not have fences around their entire perimeter if you knowingly enter or remain on state lands without permission, you are trespassing in criminal law.
IT IS A CRIME TO REMOVE THE “NO TRESPASS” SIGN TOO
You might be surprised to find that removing a “No Trespassing” sign on private property is also a crime. While it is a petty misdemeanor, you could still be forced to pay the damage of the sign, and you will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Also, you could go to jail for this “petty” crime, while it might be less than one year. Depending on the circumstances, the judge may impose the minimum or maximum in criminal law.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR TRESPASSING?
Knowingly trespassing is a misdemeanor offense. If you violate the law in conjunction with fishing or hunting licenses, then you also forfeit your license, and you will not be permitted to receive another for up to three years by the state game commission in criminal law.
TRESPASSING CAN TIE TO OTHER SERIOUS CHARGES
Criminal trespassing is the least of your concerns. Sometimes you could be accused of other offenses in addition to the act of trespassing.
For example, if arrested for breaking and entering, you could also be accused of trespassing. Burglary or the intent to burglarize along with trespassing is another common combination of offenses. These offenses carry harsher punishments than the act of trespassing alone. You could face a third-degree felony if convicted of invasion burglary, while aggravated robbery charges involve a second-degree felony in criminal law.
SPEAK WITH A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR YOUR TRESPASS CHARGES
Whether you are accused of trespass or a combination of criminal offenses, it is in your best interest to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
5 Facts Every Defendant Should Know About the Criminal Process
EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL PROCESS ATTORNEYS SERVING ALL OF THE USA
The criminal process, also known as the criminal procedure, is a standard set of rights and rules that law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges must follow for criminal law.
While this can be an in-depth topic, particular facts are more important. These facts help you identify your rights and prepare you for the trial and process ahead. If you do not know your rights, you may not find out when they have been violated. Therefore, review these facts.
Also, realize that the process is the same whether you are a first-time offender, facing misdemeanor charges, or you have a serious felony pending in criminal law.
WHAT 5 FACTS SHOULD EVERY CRIMINAL DEFENDANT KNOW?
There are safeguards for federal and state-level crimes. These safeguards protect your rights and ensure you receive not only a fair trial but what the Constitution provides you with being an American citizen.
1. THE FIFTH AMENDMENT OFFERS MORE PROTECTIONS THAN YOU REALIZE
The Fifth Amendment is notoriously referenced as the anti-self-incrimination right. However, did you know that the Fifth Amendment also protects you from certain acts in the death penalty, protection from double jeopardy, and offers you the right to due process in criminal law?
2. THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT ENSURES BAIL IS NEVER EXCESSIVE
Via the Eighth Amendment, you are protected from a bail amount that is “excessive.” Also, you have protections against excessive fines for your crimes, and that cruel and unusual punishment is not used as a penalty for your crime in criminal law.
3. THE SIXTH AMENDMENT PROTECTS YOUR RIGHTS AT TRIAL
The Sixth Amendment is there to offer you a speedy and public trial. However, fast in the eyes of the public justice system is not always as quick as you might like.
4. YOU CANNOT BE CHARGED EXCESSIVE FINES OR BAIL
The amendments, specifically the eighth, were designed to ensure that federal prosecutions could not use excessive bail or impose burdening fines. However, the Fourteenth Amendment also bars the state from depriving you of your life, liberty or property without due process and says that the state must provide you with the same protections under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments in criminal law.
5. YOU HAVE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
In a criminal law case, you have basic rights, including the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, the right to an attorney, the right to protect yourself against self-incrimination, and so forth. To protect these rights, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney. Not all your protections apply every time you deal with law enforcement. In some cases, you must be under arrest for certain rights to activate in criminal law.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS BY WORKING WITH A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one has been arrested, the first step is to contact an attorney for assistance. Our attorneys are here to protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair trial for your alleged crime in criminal law.