Category Archives: Uncategorized

What crimes do sex offenders commit?

Man tugging at woman's shirt.

Understanding Sex Crimes and Perpetrators

Most crime is unacceptable, but perhaps the most disgusting are sex crimes. Any crime that affects another human being as a victim will stay with them emotionally and mentally for years – perhaps even for life. This is especially true of sex crimes of any level and type.

How are sex crimes definition explained? 

Sex crimes are defined as ‘when violence occurs during a sexual act’ and there is no proof the victim consented to the act. The category of sex crimes also includes sex acts performed with a person that is unable to consent to the act. Those sex crimes are often against children. 

Sex crimes are informally defined by Oxford Dictionary as, “crime involving sexual assault or having a sexual motive.” Additionally, the OED includes in its definition, “steps to control press reporting of rape and other sex crimes”. 

In view of these definitions, any person that is accused of and arrested for sex crimes, and victims of these acts, should seek the experience and services of an attorney. It is recommended that the attorney an individual works with will have experience in this matter. Every state will have different definitions when it comes to this type of crime, and there are federal guidelines that must be followed as well. 

What are sex crimes? 

While victims of sex crimes will have everlasting effects due to this violence, it should be noted it has an effect on the convicted individual, too. The State of Texas has a harsh penalty system for sex crimes. A person arrested for the act of sex crimes can anticipate the following legal system results: 

  • Potential prison time 
  • Steep fines
  • Required sex offender registration

On a personal level, whether convicted or not the things that can be impacted by this arrest include but are not limited to unsurmountable stress, loss of employment, loss of freedom, and the tarnishing of one’s reputation. 

Anyone arrested for sex crimes should seek the help of an attorney experienced in sex crimes defense. Even if found guilty, an experienced attorney can help an individual navigate the system to get the best possible sentencing. 

The Texas Penal codes provide the following as sex crimes examples: 

  • Child sex include continuous sex abuse, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, sex trafficking, statutory rape, child prostitution, sexting, and participating in sexual performance by a child, etc.
  • Online solicitation for sex with a minor
  • Possession and/or distribution of child pornography
  • Indecency by contact with a child 
  • Indecency by exposure with a child 
  • Indecent exposure
  • Improper relationship between student-teacher 
  • Invasive visual recording
  • Public lewdness
  • Voyeurism
  • Unlawful disclosure and/or promotion of intimate visual material
  • Prostitution and promotion of prostitution
  • Obscenity
  • Rape and sexual assault

In the State of Texas, the majority of sex crimes are categorized as felonies. The penalties if convicted can be filed as first degree, second degree, and can carry the punishment of state prison time, fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Do note that every case will be handled differently, which is why it is imperative to hire a sex crimes lawyer with experience in defending charges of sex crimes. 

Are all sex crimes violent?

Sadly, not all sex crimes are reported, and as a result, these constitute just a small fraction of crimes to be categorized in this country as violent crime. In 2005, a survey of crime victims, rape, and sexual assault accounted for less than 4 percent of the violent crimes against individuals 12 years old and older. 

Why are sex crimes underreported?

One of the well-known sex crimes facts is the majority of sexual crimes have a common basis: trust. Often, the crime is committed by someone the victim knows, making it easier for the perpetrator to manipulate them. In fact, in over of the 85% of sex crimes on record, the victims knew their abuser. Other reasons why sexual crimes go unreported include: 

  • Cover-Ups

Perhaps the saddest of all reasons, the cover-up of sexual crimes such as that by the Catholic Church has been headline news for years now.  The church has always been a place of safety, and with random shootings and sexual crimes now occuring, for many of us it seems that is no longer the case. 

  • Least Likely Suspect

Sexual crimes are almost always committed by an individual most people would not expect. It can be somebody you see every day, whether male or female, coaches, teachers or youth leaders, among others. Because this is somebody we’ve come to trust and who we feel safe around, we become vulnerable to their sexual predator objectives. 

  • Stigma Association

There is an unfortunate stigma attached to a person that has been accused of sexual crimes, even if they are found innocent and cleared of all charges. The stigma is there to stay.  This stigma may make some hesitant to make accusations, especially if they know the individual. 

  • Emotional Barriers

The victims of sexual crimes can be scared and because of this, rarely report the matter as they fear reprisal. Victims of sexual crimes often fear their abusers, sometimes while also having an unhealthy affection for the abuser that can be hard to comprehend for others.  

Man in handcuffs.

In Closing

The latest statistics available for sex crimes cases in Texas are from 2018 and 2019. The total number of victims reported in 2019 was just over 18,000, almost a 9% decrease from 2018. The most noteworthy number of sexual assault victim to offender relationships were a little over 16% and over 53% of non-family members and over 46% were related to their attacker. If you need help after accusations of a sex crime, contact ATX Bail Bonds at 512.834.2245 today. 

What is the success rate of probation?

court gavel

What percentage of probationers successfully complete their probation?

What exactly is probation? Probation is a restriction that’s been ordered by a judge of the court system that is imposed on a person that was found guilty of a crime and has been incarcerated. Being given a probation period allows a person to be released into their community but under supervision of a probation officer.

In Texas, it would appear youth is wasted on the young. The older the defendant, the better chance a probation period was successfully completed.  A study in 2017 showed that those between the ages of 17 years old and 21 years old, eighteen percent successfully completed probation, but those between the ages of 22 years old and 25-year-old, over forty percent were successful. At the age of 25, sixty percent completed their probation period with success. 

Those that had lived in foster care were at a higher risk of ending up in the criminal justice system, perhaps proving that family is everything. With almost 70% of young males in foster care are arrested once they leave foster care. That is twenty-three times higher than the common population. 

What is the best way to increase the effectiveness of probation?

Probation isn’t fun, but that isn’t the point of probation, and it is better than the alternative of being behind bars for a longer period of time, or at all. Four primary benefits of being placed on probation versus being incarcerated: 

1. Your Family Won’t Be Separated

Incarceration is hard on the entire family, especially children. For children that go from a two-parent home to a single parent home, their entire world is upset. Often they have to move because one parent can’t afford the household expenses, too often, too many children end up in the foster system. 

2. Keep Working or Attending School

While on probation, you can keep working or going to school. Incarceration can slow your future down, even put the brakes on it for year. 

3. A Safer Situation

Being incarcerated isn’t a safe setting. The jails and prisons can put a person at risk for their health and their safety.

4. Institutionalization Avoided

Too many become accustomed to living an institutionalized lifestyle. Everything is on a calendar and clock, same day, same time. It can be difficult to change back to a ‘normal’ way of living once released from jail or prison. 

What does revoking probation mean?

Revoking probation is the repercussion for not following the terms of your probation. Whether by accident or simply can’t follow instructions, not following your probation is equivalent to breaking the law, and yes, you can be sent back to jail. 

The assigned probation officer has to be the one to file a motion with the courts to revoke probation, or they may decide to handle the matter themselves if it was a simple mistake. They can also extend the probation period longer and add more requirements to the probation. 

Do you automatically go to jail if you violate probation?

As we mentioned above, a minor probation violation, the probation officer may decide to handle the matter themselves. For a first time probation violation, unless it was as serious infraction, will likely be kept between the accused and the probation officer. 

For a felony probation violation, the probation officer is usually required to report the infraction to the court where the judge will make the decision how to handle the matter. Some judges take probation violations more seriously than others, but overall, a violation of not reporting to your probation officer is one that no judge will overlook and will likely send you back to jail. It is to the defendant’s best interest to make every effort completing probation period without any violations. 

Is it true that once probation completed and case dismissed?

No, that is confusing the matter with deferred adjudication. We explain the differences between adjudication and probation: 

  • Probation is a conviction that remain on the defendants your record. Probation is when a judge has found the defendant guilty and are ordered to be ‘supervised’ by a probation officer for a certain period of time. 
  • Deferred adjudication is not a conviction, occasionally the records of a deferred adjudication will be sealed. A deferred adjudication is not finding the defendant guilty, but they must plead guilty before the courts. 

The judge will defer the ruling of guilt, giving the defendant an allotted time adhere to specifics. Once they have met that allotted time and the specifics, then the case is dropped. 

arrested probation

Is there any possibility of completing probation early? 

A defendant can file a petition requesting early termination after they have completed one-third of their probation period. A judge doesn’t not have respond to the request, which make its more important to have the petition filed by a criminal attorney. 

What if you have completed probation but still owe money? Once probation period is completed, any monies still owed or ordered by the court will still need to be paid. Either maintain the monthly payment schedule or pay it in full. Non-payment of these monies owed will create cause for an arrest warrant to be ordered. Call 512.834.2245 today for bail bonds in Austin, TX.

What is the Legal Definition of Assault and Battery?

man battering another person

What is the legal definition of assault and battery?

The description of assault or assault and battery can vary some between states, but the base is the same: it is illegal and serious consequences can result for all parties concerned. What is an example of assault?

Punching, shoving, or slapping a person during arguing in several states is considered a simple assault resulting in misdemeanor assault charges. In Texas specifically, moving or threatening to cause another person physical harm can result in assault charges. An example of this would be waving a knife or threatening a person with your fists. Threatening someone with imminent bodily injury. Intentionally causing bodily injury. In Texas, as general rule, assault is defined when another person fears physical harm by another person, whether that the harm took place. 

In the state of Texas, assault and battery are considered two different crimes, describe as: 

  • Assault is the act of threatening bodily harm to another person.
  • Battery is causing injury with bodily contact. 

 Both are considered a  criminal offense and intentional torts. A victim can utilize this definition to sue the person in civil court that attacked them. In Texas, charges for an offense can be for assault even with battery occurring at the same time. The charge will be met with a hefty punishment that can range from civil fines up to various lengths of prison terms.

Which is worse battery or assault?

The state of Texas sees assault and battery charges as a serious matter, although assault is seen in different in lesser degrees. The end results being a criminal record in addition to the fines. The criminal records can impact a person’s employment, housing, acquiring a loan, or having child custody. In most states a battery charge is worse than an assault charge and is determined if the victim was actually physical harmed by another person.

The difference between assault or aggravated assault is aggravated assault  usually includes a deadly weapon being used during the assault. Aggravated assault includes serious bodily injury using a deadly weapon or having a sexual relations with anyone under legal age.

Is pushing someone assault?

In Texas, pushing a person would be considered family violence, a domestic assault. Grabbing, hitting, pushing, or scratching a person that does or doesn’t result in bodily injury is a Class C Misdemeanor. 

Is yelling at someone assault?

The act of screaming or yelling in another person’s face is not a specific offense in general, but the situation could constitute  it as harassment. For screaming or yelling at a person to be considered  assault, that person would need to be in fear of the yelling person attacking them, like  somebody yelling at a stranger. 

While a verbal assault often involves one person threatening physical violence on another person, aggressive yelling intended as an attack or to offend a person may be constituted as verbal assault. The threats made must be something the accused person is capable of following through giving the victim a fear of danger.

Are assault charges a felony?

The laws in Texas stated that an aggravated assault is a 2nd degree felony that face punishments ranging from 2 years to 20 years prison time. In addition fines may be imposed up to $10,000. When domestic violence is part of the assault, it becomes a first degree felony. Results of this conviction, the punishment can be as severe as life in prison. 

With charges of assault, how many years in jail can you expect? 

If the assault charges are filed as a misdemeanor, the case will be heard by  six jurors. If the assault charges are file as a felony, the case will be heard by twelve jurors. The prosecution will be assigned to prove with beyond a reasonable doubt the accused is guilty. If the accused is convicted of assault, the following sentencing could be set as: 

  • Class C misdemeanor: Up to $500 in fines.
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days imprisonment with up to $2,000 in fines.
  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to 12 months of imprisonment with up to $4,000 in fines.
  • Third degree felony: Up to ten years in prison with up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Second degree felony:  Between two years up to 20 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • First-degree felony: A minimum of five years in prison to life in prison with addition of a fine that is set by the judge.
arrested for assault

Can assault be expunged?

In Texas, there are limited circumstances, but yes, an assault charge can be expunged, if the accused person has been found not guilty or the charges dismissed. In this circumstance, expunged assault charges will be as if the arrest and resulting charge didn’t ever happen. All records are deleted, destroyed, and erased from the accused records. If a deferred adjudication is issued for the assault charge, the records are sealed if a motion for non-disclosure is filed. Call 512.834.2245 today for assault and battery bail in Austin, TX.

What crimes are white collar crimes?

businessman arrested

What are white collar crimes examples?       

White collar crime in criminology is defined as a non-violent crime that has a primary motive of financial gain in nature. The persons found committing White collar crimes are typically in a position of professional power or has a certain level of prestige. Ironically, so it would seem, the white collar crime is committed by person that are well compensated in their position and profession. 

White collar crimes are often committed by corporate executives. They have the behind-the-scenes access to information that is often private in nature and secured by the company they are employed.  They are able to create an elaborate scheme that will result in financial gain. Corporate executives aren’t the only ones guilty of white collar crimes though. Private home nurses or a blue collar contractors have been known to commit white collar crimes as well.

From an high level ranking executive to a blue collar contractor,  white collar crime with examples would be any of the following: 

A private home nurse or a blue collar contractor builds a close bond with a patient/customer. Overtime, they convince the person they are acting in their best interest and “charm” them out of their bank account information and the money in the account, have them listed as a beneficiary in their will, and more. White collar crimes by high ranking executives include the following: 

  • Insider trading
  • Antitrust violations
  • Counterfeiting
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Credit card fraud 

None of these white collar crimes involve violence, however, the impact they leave on the individual victims, can be devastating in other ways. The economy and society are affected as well, with one example being the white collar crimes committed by Bernie Madoff. Madoff was a non-executive of NASDAQ, a financier, investment advisor, and market maker. He was found guilty of and sentenced to prison for a Ponzi scheme he masterminded, worth multibillion-dollars from investment victims.  

What is the most common white collar crime?

Examples of white collar crimes include the following: 

  • Corporate Fraud: This is when financial information has been falsified by high level executives, or their assistants and secretaries, creating and resulting in insider trading, and schemes that were devised to conceal the fraud activities within the company. These actions were found to impede the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and other regulating bodies from conducting inquiries into a company’s financial status.
  • Embezzlement: When an individual has been entrusted by their employer or another person to manage money or property has used that  position and trust to misused funds. One example is an employee discovers a way to redirect company money into a personal bank account belonging to them or a politician spends the campaign fund contributions for personal expenses.
  • Ponzi Schemes: In the 1920s, there was man, Charles Ponzi, that made $250,000 daily with a mail coupon fraud he created. From that time forward, it has been referred to as a Ponzi scheme, which appears on all fronts as an investment  promising those who buy into it  high returns with minimal or no risk. A Ponzi scheme falls apart when the mastermind isn’t getting any new investors and they don’t have any more new investments to “sell”. 
  • Extortion: When an individual or institution is coerced by an individual or individuals to hand over any money, property, or services for exchange of “protection” from others. Or when an individual pays another money to keep them from divulging information, privately within a family or company, or publicly that can damage their reputation and standing.
  • Bankruptcy Fraud: When an individual has occurred an insurmountable debt, they can file for bankruptcy as a relief. Within bankruptcy, creditors are required to accept only a portion of the debt owed them for nonessential assets. Bankruptcy fraud is committed when that person that file for this help has hidden property from the bankruptcy court so that it wasn’t included in the filing. 

Is robbery a white collar crime?

In legal terms, no.  While any of the white collar crimes described above result in the victim(s) feeling as if they were robbed, and the results are traumatic, even debilitating in some cases, they are not considered a robbery. 

The psychology between these white crimes listed and a robbery are different for the perpetrator, being that a robbery is confronting the victim. White collar crimes do not have direct contact with the victim typically. The victims of robbery are often put in physical danger where white collar crimes do not involve physical danger or harm by the perpetrator. 

Why is white collar crime bad?

Even Though white collar crimes are different than street crimes, they create severe results that are devastating on society as a whole, not just an individual like a street crime, even more damaging in many ways. While white collar crimes are not violent, they destroy lives irremediably with loss of financial savings, ruin companies, and have led to victims commit suicide. 

White collar crimes have a network of people, affected hundreds, even thousands of people with  pyramidal schemes. Companies go broke and end up filing bankruptcy, which causes employees of those companies losing their jobs. Those job losses result in less money into the system, and the snowball keeps rolling and growing. 

arrested businessman

What are the characteristics of white collar crime?

There are three characteristics that define white collar crimes: 

  1. The perpetrator has legitimate access to their target based on their position.
  2. The perpetrator separated from the target or victim.
  3. The perpetrator’s actions have a hollow appearance of legality and legitimacy.

White collar crimes are just as devasting as violent crimes, but those that commit them aren’t punished as severely, hence the referral to “country club prison” sentences.  Why a white collar crime not reported is usually from the target or victim may not be aware of the crime, or they settle it outside of the legal system. Call 512.834.2245 today for your bail bonds needs in Austin, TX.

What Does PR Bond Mean?

A Person in Jail.

What does PR bond mean?

When you’re arrested and charged with a crime in Texas, the judge might release you from jail on a personal recognizance or PR bond. This means you aren’t going to have to put up any collateral or pay any deposit on bail because no bail amount is set. Instead, the judge has decided you’re trustworthy enough to release and believes you will return for your court date with no risk of flight.

In Travis County, Pretrial Services issues these types of bonds and the judge checks your references and approves the bond for your release. Other types of bail bonds that can be issued include:

  • Property bonds
  • Surety bonds
  • Attorney bonds

If you aren’t released on a PR bond and need bail bonds in Austin, TX, you can get reliable help from ATX Bail Bonds by calling 512.834.2245.

How does a PR bond work?

As with other bonds, when you’re issued a PR bond you are still required to appear at your appointed court date. These bonds are typically issued to first-time non-violent offenders with an otherwise good reputation in their community. With recognizance bonds, judges typically review evidence such as personal references before approving the bond. These types of bonds are rare.

How long does a PR bond take?

The time it takes to get a PR bond issued usually varies depending on the county in which you’re incarcerated. Travis County tends to expedite the process faster than most counties and through Pretrial Services working the case, it’ll take about 24 to 36 hours to get released. If you have an attorney handle the case, it can take as little as two hours.

Can you travel on a PR bond?

As with other bonds, a PR bond might come with certain restrictions, including travel restrictions. Much of this will depend on the circumstances of the case. Usually, no matter where you intend to go, if you’re traveling outside of your community or county, you will probably have to get permission from a court officer to do so. In-state travel is often permitted and you might have just a few restrictions. With out-of-state travel, you’ll likely have more restrictions and might only be allowed to travel in certain circumstances—a family emergency, a funeral, etc. International travel is usually not allowed.

Can a PR bond be revoked?

All bail bonds, including recognizance bonds, will have conditions set down by the court that you must follow. Conditions could include anything from maintaining employment to taking regular drug tests. What happens if you violate a PR bond? If you violate any of the conditions on a bond, you risk having the bond revoked. This means you might end up going back to jail until your trial. A judge might overlook a minor infraction, but something major like failing a drug test will likely result in the bond being revoked and you returning to jail until your court hearing.

What is PR bond supervised release?

If you see the word “supervised” on your release form when you receive a PR bond, as with all bail bonds, it means that once you sign, you agree to all conditions set forth by the court for your release. If you violate any of those conditions you risk having your bond revoked and returning to jail.

“Supervised release,” however, is not a term typically associated with a PR bond. Instead, it is a term used in the federal court system for a preliminary time of freedom from federal prison. This is also known as special or mandatory parole and the convict is supervised by a probation officer. The convict must follow all conditions of the release or risk going back to prison to serve out the terms set down in the release.

A PR Bond Hearing

How to get PR bond

Who qualifies for a PR bond in Austin, TX? Technically, anybody could qualify for a personal recognizance bond. But, these bonds are very rare. To get one, often you usually need to have an attorney who will request one or request a bond hearing to determine if you should be released on personal bond.

At a hearing, evidence of your character is gathered and presented to the court. Personal and work references will be consulted. In particular the court needs to know that you’re not a danger to the community and that you are not a flight risk. Defendants with a solid work record, no prior criminal record, and with an upstanding reputation within their community stand a better chance of getting a personal bond.

Another way a defendant can qualify for personal bond is to be incarcerated for 90 days without being indicted. If the offense is a misdemeanor, the time is 30 days. This is known as a release because of delay.

If you don’t quality for a PR bond and bail has been set, call ATX Bail Bonds at 512.834.2245 for superior bail bonds services. We’ll get you released as quickly as possible.

What Do You Do If Someone Steals Your Identity?

A Man Discovers He's a Victim of Identity Theft.

What do you do if someone steals your identity?

While movies might make identity theft seem funny, the real thing is far from it. If someone has opened an account in your name, or has filed taxes in your name, or even tried to make a medical claim in your name, you’re a victim of identity theft. If you think you might be a victim of identity theft, you want to act quickly to minimize the damage done by the thief. Acting quickly means taking these steps:

  • Report the theft and make a claim on your identity theft insurance, if available.
  • Alert any company where fraudulent accounts have been used about the theft.
  • Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission because this information is used by law enforcement to catch thieves. The FTC will also provide you with a recovery plan with forms that help you file reports and dispute charges.
  • File a report with your local police. This builds a paper trail and helps law enforcement agencies track down the perpetrators.
  • Alert credit reporting agencies by placing a fraud alert on your credit report and review them for fraudulent accounts.
  • Start credit freeze to prevent access to your credit reports.
  • Have a credit monitoring service check your credit reports for suspicious activity.
  • Shore up security on accounts by changing passwords. Also shred documents with any identifying information.
  • Scan your accounts and statements for unauthorized charges.

Is identity theft a felony?

In Texas, identity theft is a felony. This means, under Texas law, you can’t transfer, obtain, use, or possess another person’s identity and intentionally defraud or harm them. Depending on how many items are found in your possession, the level of the felony charge will vary. With less than five items you’ll be charged with a state jail felony, while more than 50 items will bump those charges up to a first-degree felony. If you’ve been jailed on identity theft or any other kind of theft charges in Austin, TX and need to be bonded out, get reliable help from ATX Bail Bonds. We can be reached 24/7 at 512.834.2245.

What are the four types of identity theft?

Identity theft is usually classified into four types:

  • Medical: Someone uses another person’s identity to get medical care.
  • Criminal: Someone falsely identifies themselves to evade an arrest, conviction, or warrant under their real name.
  • Financial: Some uses another person’s identifying information or bank or credit card account information to make purchases or other fraudulent transactions.
  • Child: Someone uses a child’s identity for fraudulent purposes including getting employment or a residence.

What is the most common form of identity theft?

Of all the different types of identity theft, the most common is financial. Billions of dollars are lost annually to thieves who have stolen others identifying information to gain access to credit card, bank, and other financial accounts. Thieves get into these accounts to make purchases, take money, or they use information like stolen Social Security numbers to open accounts in another person’s name.

What are the first signs of identity theft?

Several warning signs are common for those who have fallen victim to identity thieves. One of the most common signs of identity theft is withdrawals from your bank that you didn’t make or authorize. Purchases on credit cards are often common as well.

Other things to look out for include:

  • Having checks or credit cards declined
  • Getting calls from debt collectors on debts you don’t owe
  • Strange accounts or charges on your credit report
  • Tax filings in your name from companies you don’t work for
  • Denial of claims on health insurance or claims filed on health insurance for conditions you don’t have
  • Notices of compromised data and information on your accounts or at companies with whom you’ve done business

How can I find out if someone is using my identity?

One common form of identity that is stolen is your Social Security number. This number can be used in various fraudulent activities from opening credit card accounts to falsely filing taxes. You can get a statement from the Social Security Administration that will show you the activity in which your number was used for criminal purposes. You can also keep track of bank statements, credit card statements, and credit reports to look for discrepancies.

Who to report identity theft to

If you suspect identity theft there are multiple agencies and organizations you can report it to. One of the first you should report it to is the Federal Trade Commission. They can provide you with information on recovering your information and they track reports and provide information to law enforcement to track down identity thieves. You will also want to report the theft to local police, even if the thief is in another country. This report can help authorities track thieves. Also, report suspected fraud to credit reporting agencies as well as to banks and credit card companies. If you’ve been a victim of medical fraud you can report the theft to Medicare’s fraud office or to your insurer.

Identity theft and social media

While social media can be fun and useful, it’s also a target for criminals. In some cases, criminals steal photos or other information to make fake profiles. You should always avoid giving out any information like phone numbers or email addresses on social media. No matter what you post, you have to be careful about the information you share.

A Person in Jail

Can identity theft be expunged?

If you have been convicted of identity theft in Texas it’s very difficult to get your record expunged because it’s a felony conviction. Usually any felony conviction can’t be expunged unless you are later found innocent or the charges were dismissed.

You can, however, get your record expunged if you were a victim of identity theft and your information was used to commit a crime. The person arrested has to have provided false information at the time of their arrest and the false information appeared on the criminal record because of that arrest and for no other reason.

If you have been arrested for identity theft in Austin, TX and need bail bonds help, you can always rely on the team at ATX Bail Bonds. Call us 24/7 at 512.834.2245 for assistance.

What Makes an Assault Charge Aggravated?

A Man Assaults Another Man.

What makes an assault charge aggravated?

Anytime you threaten to harm someone, you’ve committed a simple assault. But, if you make a serious attempt to cause serious bodily harm to someone with no regard for their life, you’ve committed an aggravated assault. Often aggravated assaults involve weapons, although the weapon doesn’t have to be present or used for the assault to be considered. Weapons don’t necessarily have to be involved at all, only the threat of serious injury need be involved. In most states, a simple assault is elevated to aggravated if an attack or threat of an attack is made against a public servant such as a police officer or firefighter. A person’s mental state can also elevate charges. If a perpetrator intentionally acts to harm someone, the charges are also elevated.

If you’ve been charged with any type of violent crime in Austin, TX and need help with bail, get help from the experts at ATX Bail Bonds. We offer a full range of bail services and other assistance. Call us today at 512.834.2245 when you need immediate help.

Is aggravated assault a felony?

Under the Texas Penal Code, aggravated assault is considered a felony. Normally, it is considered a second-degree felony, but it can be elevated to a first-degree felony if both a weapon was involved and serious bodily injury was caused. In Texas, serious bodily injury is considered any injury that could lead to death or permanent disfigurement. 

What is the difference between aggravated assault and battery?

Because the terms are often used interchangeably, people often confuse such offenses as assault, aggravated assault, and battery. With a simple assault, just the threat of intentional violence can lead to the charge, whereas with an aggravated assault, the perpetrator intentionally injures someone and the injury could lead to death or disfigurement. Sometimes a weapon is involved and the charge becomes an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, even if the weapon was never used in the attack. Battery occurs when any assault causes harm to a person. You can be charged with assault and battery, for instance, if you threaten to punch someone and then follow through with the threat by actually punching that person. If you keep hitting the person with the intent to hurt them and their injuries could disfigure them or cause them to die, then the charge gets elevated to aggravated assault.  

Aggravated assault for a minor

When a minor intentionally seriously harms someone, it’s very likely a judge will consider the offense serious enough that the juvenile will be tried as an adult. This also means a minor could face sentencing as an adult as well if convicted.

Aggravated assault to a police officer

Under Texas law, you commit an aggravated assault if you threaten or attack a police officer or other public servant such as a firefighter or paramedic when that person is acting in their role as a public servant. No harm has to be done or no weapon has to be used for the assault to be elevated to the felony charge. Commissioned security officers are also considered in this case as well. In certain cases, non-commissioned security officers also qualify. 

What can be considered a deadly weapon?

While many people often think of firearms when they think of deadly weapons, in the case of an aggravated assault, several objects, including, but not limited to, those listed below;

  • Knives, including switchblades, daggers, stilettos, and swords
  • Blackjacks
  • Brass knuckles
  • Nunchaku or fighting sticks
  • Shuriken or throwing stars
  • Large rocks
  • Clubs or baseball bats

Depending on which state you’re charged in, almost any type of object that is used in an attack to cause serious injury or even kill might be considered a deadly weapon. The amount of force and type of injury caused is considered. A recent case in Texas, for instance, ruled that a floor could be considered a deadly weapon because a defendant slammed the victim’s head against it. 

Is a Taser considered a deadly weapon?

Tasers and other devices that are considered non-lethal or less-lethal can be considered deadly weapons in Texas. This will depend on how the Taser was used. Although Tasers and stun guns are generally used to subdue or stun people, they can under certain circumstances seriously injure or even kill a person. The intent of the attack and the seriousness of the injury will always be taken into consideration.

Is it illegal for a felon to carry a Taser?

Laws vary from state to state about carrying stun guns, Tasers, and other less-lethal weapons. In many states, a convicted felon cannot carry or possess weapons of any sort, including Tasers. No restrictions like this exist, however, under Texas law. If you are a convicted felon, you may want to check with local authorities in your state about what you can carry or possess when it comes to non-lethal weapons.

A Person in Jail.

Can aggravated assault with a deadly weapon be expunged in Texas?

If you’ve been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas, that assault charge will remain on your record. No assault charges, according to legal experts, can be expunged from court records in Texas unless the person is found not guilty or the case is dismissed. If you are found not guilty your arrest record and charge record can be immediately removed.

While your record cannot be expunged, if you received deferred adjudication on the charge, you can request the record be sealed. When a record is sealed, there is limited access, and the charge will not appear on a background check.

If you’ve been arrested for aggravated assault in Austin, TX and want to get released quickly on bail, let the team at ATX Bail Bonds help you. When you call 512.834.2245 we’ll get to work immediately so you can get released quickly.

How to Verify an Expert Bail Bondsman

gavel book and bail money

How does a bail bondsman work?

To know how to choose an expert bail bondsman, let’s define what is a bail bondsman first. The state licenses a general bail bondsman they operate within to provide bail bonds for anyone that is accused or has been arrested for a crime. That crime can be anywhere between a traffic ticket to murder, robbery, and more. A bail bond is assuring the courts that the accused will appear in court as ordered. 

A bail bondsman is putting up the money to the courts that guarantee the accused is returning. The bail bondsman will require a percentage of the bail amount from the accused. That amount is dictated by state laws. A bail bondsman is a financial professional that furnish bonds or loans. This process requires the bail bondsman to ascertain and determine if a potential client is bondable. 

The most common way an accused can prove they are bondable is to put up money toward the bond, the percentage mentioned earlier, or some type of security. That security can be real estate or any valuable property like jewelry, vehicle, etc. Another option is to have a co-signer on the bond that guarantees the accused will arrive in court as ordered. 

What is a bail bondsmans job?

A bail bondsman works either independently or is a employee of a bond agency. The role of a bail bondsman is to finalize the paperwork necessary to complete bonding for the accused, receive payments from that person, and track that person down if they fail to appear in court.

What does a bailbondsman do?

  • Assessment: Normally, the bond process starts with bail bondsman assessment of the defendant or their representative. They investigate the background to determine if the defendant will appear for the court date, or they are a flight risk. The bail bondsman also assesses the defendant’s ability to pay their bond fee and what financial recourse they have if they fail to make their court appearance.  
  • Paperwork: Once the assessment is complete and the bail bondsman determines the defendant is good to show up in court, they collect the bail fee from them and complete paperwork, which is filed with the court. It is this formal execution of the bond that gets the defendant released from jail. 
  • Communication: Some bail bondsmen will spend time prospecting new “business,” much like a salesperson.  They have a meeting with current clients and paperwork to maintain.  For a bail bondsman, time is of the essence because when they get that phone call, it is a defendant needing bail release as soon as the judge has set bail. 
  • Apprehension: One duty of a bail bondsman is apprehending clients that did not make their required court appearance that the bond ensured the courts they would. The bail bondsman will track the client down, apprehend them, and bring them to the jail or before the court. 

Do you still have to pay the bail bondsman if charges are dropped?

When you’ve been arrested and bail set, then you use a bail bondsman to post that bail for you, the fee you pay for that bond is non-refundable, and you may still be in debt to pay the remainder. For example, if the charges are dismissed, dropped, or reduced, any amount paid by you or for you is non-refundable. If there were a payment arrangement made between you and the bail bondsman, you’d still owe that money. 

Why? Because the bail bondsman performed a service for you, and that fee you paid or agreed to pay was for that service. The service was to get you out of jail, and they did. The only exception to this is if the bond wasn’t posted before the charges were dismissed or dropped. 

Can anyone be a bail bondsman?

Each state has a different requirement to become a bail bondsman, and within each state, the prerequisites could vary between cities and counties.  In Texas, the qualifications and licensing requirements to become a bail bondsmen are

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must reside in the state of Texas
  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Must have a clean criminal background
surety bond documents

What is an expert bail bondsman?

An expert bail bondsman is a person that pays bail for at least five criminal cases in twelve months. An expert bail bondsmen will be currently licensed by the state’s DPS (Department of Public Safety) and able to execute or countersign a bail bond for criminal cases.

When you need to post a bond for yourself or somebody else, it is usually a rush job, and anyone in that position is deciding in a hurry.  While all bail bondsman have the goal to get a person out of jail on bail, not all of them operate in the same way. 

You need to check several out before you sign on to work with them and verify expert bail bondsman that can get you the right bond for the case at hand.  Some pointers on looking for a bail bondsman: 

  1. Give them the total amount of bail needed: The judge decides the bail amount, and the defendant or the jail should be able to give you this information. 
  2. Ask for recommendations or suggestions: Detention officers are located in the court and usually have worked with several bail bondsmen. However, this is sometimes like getting your family doctor to recommend a cardiologist – many are not comfortable making recommendations. 
  3. Hire a lawyer: Criminal lawyers work with bail bondsmen daily and will often have one they work with the most. 
  4. Ask about the required fee: A bail bondsman will charge you a percentage of the bail as a fee to start the bond process. The average is 10%, some are as much as 20%. 
  5. Avoid bail bondsmen with cheap rates: Any bail bondsman that offers a lower rate than others, they are probably a newbie in the industry and won’t have the experience of the bond process.  

When you need expert bail bondsmen for your case, know who to call. ATX Bail Bonds is always here for you. Dial 512.834.2245 today!

What Does it Mean to Have an Active Warrant?

arrested man

Help With an Active Warrant Search

Before we answer that question about an active warrant search, let’s discuss, “What is a warrant?”, and the answers is, there are two different types of warrants in the law environment.

An arrest warrant which gives law enforcement the authorization to detain a person and hold them in custody.

A search warrant gives law enforcement the authority to conduct a search for evidence believed to be linked to a crime.

Essentially, a warrant gives law enforcement, through a judge, to engage in what would be an un-Constitutional activity. A warranty isn’t required for law enforcement to place a person under arrest for any wrongdoing.

So, what does active warrant mean? This means that any of the above warrants has been issued for your arrest or search your property and the action has not taken place. Until the arrest or search has been completed, it remains an active arrest warranty or an active warrant search. For more help with an active warrant search in Austin, TX, connect with ATX Bail Bonds at 512.834.2245.

What does it mean to have an active warrant?

There has been an arrest warrant or a search warrant that has not been completed and closed is considered an active warrant. Search is possible to see if there is an active warrant in your name, which we will address further into this article.

How are you notified of a warrant?

Every state has their own procedures and protocol. In Texas,a defendant shall be served a summons by delivery person-to-person, they may leave the summons at their place of residence, or with another person who knows the defendant and is of legal age and discretion living in the residence. It may also be mailed to the last address on record for the defendant.

If the active warrant search finds a place of residence and the warrant is for a felony charge, law officials have authority to kick down the door if there is no answer or occupants decline to answer the knock. Law officials are not required to have a copy of the warrant on their person when serving the summons.

gavel and handcuffs

How do I find out if I have active warrants?

A person doesn’t have to commit a horrific crime to draw the court’s attention. An arrest warrant can be for something like unpaid parking or speeding tickets, or a missed court appearance, and you may not even know there is an arrest warrant in your name. If you are concerned about an active warrant, search for one in any of the following methods:  

Look on local county websites under courts or sheriff’s department. The smaller the county, the longer it may take for those records to be updated. We recommend it to check frequently until you have found the warrant.  Warrants for violent charges are not always posted.

For a federal active warrant search, contact the federal court in the district the crime occurred.

Bail bondsman often have access to the county database where active warrant search can be productive.

Hire a criminal attorney. They have access to several databases that the public doesn’t. You’ll be required to hire the attorney to represent you, but you’ll have an answer to your active warrant search.

There are third-party websites that offer active warrant searches for a fee. This usually requires a credit card to be kept on file.

Another option to resolve our active warrant search is to call or go in person to a local police station, or have another person make the call for you. There is always the risk of being arrested while at the police station performing your active warrant search.

Is a warrant a public record?

Yes, any active warrant search is open to the public in Texas Criminal records in Texas are generated and distributed by the law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions unless they are marked confidential. There is a Criminal Records Service operated by the Texas Department of Public Safety that serves as the central repository for the state.

How can I check if I have a warrant in Texas Online?

Persons with an active warrant search will find details of arrests, convictions, dispositions, probations, prosecutions, and adjudications through the TDPS online database. However, unlike most criminal record sources that use separate non-standardized digitization processes and protocols, the information may vary between the different jurisdictions and subjects.

cop car coming to arrest someone

Closing Words

If you’ve been curious on how to find an active warrant, this article has provided several options. Hiring a criminal attorney is the best source, because if you have an active warrant out with your name, you will probably need the services of an attorney. Having one from the very beginning of your active warrant search is always excellent advice. For more help with an active warrant search in Austin, TX, give our team a call at 512.834.2245.

What is Domestic Violence?

End of Violence Against Women, Stop violence against Women, Sexual harassment ,International women's day

Get Help With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence come in many forms and can be a heavy weight for all of those involved. When it comes to domestic violence there are certain repercussions that will be given from each state when someone has been reported or arrested. Along with legal consequences, t’s important also to be aware of the different types of domestic violence that are prevalent and how it can affect people involved in the long run. Domestic violence will weigh heavily on the minds of the convicted as well as with family members and should be treated with appropriate seriousness. If you know of someone that is undergoing domestic violence get in touch with legal representation or counseling. Here is some general information regarding domestic violence that may prove enlightening to you.

What is the Domestic Violence Act?

The Domestic Violence Act states that domestic violence involves the act of any violence even if only verbally perpetrated by a household member to another household member and includes any omission that will cause moral or physical harm to another.

Who is affected by domestic abuse?

Domestic violence or abuse can be carried out in many forms from men against women, women against men, and in same-sex relations. The abuse can be given to the elderly, the young, or with common age.

How common is domestic violence in the US?

Domestic violence in the US according to figures from the Office for National Statistics in 2016 showed that one in ten recorded crimes was a result of domestic abuse.

What are the 3 stages in the cycle of violence?

Three stages of domestic violence can include the Tension-Building Phase, the Acute or Crisis Phase, and the Calm or Honeymoon Phase. It’s important to get familiar with the frequency and severity of abuse as it will tend to increase over time without proper intervention. Even over a period of time after intervention or without intervention there can still be changes made to the cycle of abuse. It’s important to consider your options be they with private intervention, family counseling, or any other method that will safely implement changes.

What are the signs and symptoms of abuse?

Domestic violence may show up in the behavior of those who are abused with changes in behavior such as hyperactivity, aggression, anger, and changes in work or school performance. Depression, anxiety, sudden loss of self-confidence, and unusual fears may develop. Usual activities or connections with friends may be something that those who are abused withdraw from as well.

Alcoholic in a family. Brutal bearded sad man sitting in front of the vodka bottle and thinking about his problems while drinking at home

What are warning signs of violence?

  • frequent physical fighting
  • loss of temper on a daily basis
  • significant vandalism or property damage
  • detailed plans to commit acts of violence
  • increase in risk-taking behavior
  • increase in use of drugs or alcohol
  • carrying a weapon
  • announcing threats or plans for hurting others
  • enjoying hurting animals

What happens to first time domestic violence offenders?

Domestic violence for a first-time charge will have varying consequences depending on the court and county your case resides in. There is a possibility that you may be placed on probation, attend and complete anger management classes, or in some cases, jail time can be imposed. 

What is the statute of limitations on domestic violence in Texas?

In Texas, the statute of limitations with domestic violence will depend on the severity of the crime. With domestic assault being a misdemeanor the statute of limitations will be two years. With a charge of continuous violence against a family being a felony the statute of limitations would be three years. 

How long does domestic violence stay on your record in Texas?

Crimes with domestic violence in Texas will stay in the public record with note of you being arrested and charged unless action is taken. This will involve a long process of expungement or removal.

Can you get a domestic violence charge expunged in Texas?

When domestic violence is connected to a family violence offense in the state of Texas than the convicted is not eligible for expungement. The only way to get a domestic violence case expunged is if you’re not found guilty of the alleged crime or if the case gets dismissed.

Seek Assistance Concerning Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence is a serious crime and there are repercussions if you’ve been arrested. If you find yourself or someone you know who needs help with legal procedures or domestic violence bail after an arrest make sure to get in touch with a lawyer or bail bondsman for assistance. Don’t let domestic violence continue and impact your life or those of someone you know. Seek measures of assistance and make a change for the better. There are multiple avenues to take that can have these types of cases handled in a safe and smart way. Don’t let the cycle continue and seek the avenues available to you for help.

If you need help with domestic violence bail in Austin, TX call 512.834.2245 with ATX Bail Bonds!

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