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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.

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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:

Lost wages
Counseling
Prescription
Therapy costs
Medical expenses
Insurance deductibles and copays
Costs related to the criminal law case (e.g., travel, child care, etc.)
Crime-scene cleanup
Lost or damaged property

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Criminal Trespassing Laws in USA Everyone Should Know

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. top criminal defense attorneys

5 Facts Every Defendant Should Know About the Criminal Process

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. probation violation lawyer

Accomplices, Accessories, Aiders, and Abettors 101

Restitution and Criminal Punishment: 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. 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: Lost wages Counseling Prescription Therapy costs Medical expenses Insurance deductibles and copays Costs related to the criminal law case (e.g., travel, child care, etc.) Crime-scene cleanup 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. 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.