Sunday

Continuous Violence Against the Family

Continuous Violence Against the Family

Domestic assault is usually a misdemeanor offense in Texas, but alleged offenders who have been previously convicted of assault family violence can be charged with a felony family violence charge if accused of committing a new domestic assault.
The crime of continuous violence against the family is defined as committing two or more domestic assaults within a period of 12 months. According to the statute, members of the jury are not required to agree unanimously on the specific conduct in which the alleged offender engaged that constituted assault involving family violence. Instead, a jury only needs to unanimously agree that the alleged offender engaged in conduct that constituted assault family violence two or more times in a period of 12 months or less.
Lawyer for Continuous Violence Against the Family in Houston, TX
If you were arrested in the Houston area for continuous violence against the family, it is in your best interest to immediately retain experienced legal counsel. James G. Sullivan and Associates aggressively defends clients accused of domestic violence offenses all over the Greater Houston area, including Katy, Cypress, Jersey Village, Tomball, Spring, Humble, Pasadena, and many other nearby communities.
Houston criminal defense attorneys James G. Sullivan and Associates can fight with the goal to get these criminal charges dismissed or reduced. Call (281) 546-6428 today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.
Continuous Violence Against the Family Charges in Harris County
Under Texas Penal Code § 25.11(a), a person can be charged with continuous violence against the family if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to any person or persons whose relationship to or association with the accused is described by the following statutes:
  • “Dating Relationship” (Texas Family Code § 71.0021) means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • “Family” (Texas Family Code § 71.003) includes individuals related by consanguinity (one is a descendant of the other or they share a common ancestor) or affinity (they are married to each other or the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual), individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.
  • “Household” (Texas Family Code § 71.005) means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.
Continuous Violence Against the Family Punishment in Texas
Continuous violence against the family is classified as a third degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
James G. Sullivan & Associates | Houston Continuous Violence Against the Family Lawyer
Were you recently arrested for continuous violence against the family in southeast Texas? You should always consult with a lawyer before talking with the authorities. Contact James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free, confidential consultation.
James G. Sullivan and Associates are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Houston who represent clients in communities throughout Harris County, Fort Bend County and Montgomery County. They can review your case and explain your legal options. They have a proven history of fighting to get the best result for clients accused of family violence. Call (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation.

Family Violence Charges

Family Violence

Family violence in Houston is a very serious matter that can result in severe consequences to alleged offenders. By the end of September, the Houston Police Department has received almost 24,000 reports of domestic violence so far in 2019. Since taking office in 2017, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has increased the number of family violence cases that prosecutors file from about 9,000 a year to almost 12,000 cases a year—a 33 percent increase in charges against a family member or someone in a dating relationship!
Obviously, many accusations of family violence or domestic violence are not true. Alleged victims often will falsely accuse someone they are in a dating relationship with or a family member of domestic violence. These serious and false allegations frequently arise from anger, jealousy, divorce or child custody disputes.
If you have been accused of a domestic or family violence crime, it is important to consult an experienced and reputable criminal defense attorney in Houston to defend you.
Houston Family Violence Lawyer
If you have been accused of family violence or domestic violence in the Greater Houston area, including Katy, Cypress, Jersey Village, Tomball, Spring, Humble, Pasadena, and many other nearby communities, contact James G. Sullivan and Associates.
Attorney James G. Sullivan will fight the allegations against you and strive to help you avoid serious consequences and punishments to your alleged offense. Call James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your family violence charges.
Definitions of Family Violence in Harris County
Often, domestic violence or family violence cases involve legal terms that are unfamiliar to most people. These terms are defined in Chapter 71 of the Texas Family Code and are listed below.
  • Family Violence is often more commonly referred to as domestic violence, domestic abuse or dating violence, and is defined as an intentional act or threat by one family member against another that causes physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault.
  • Dating Violence is defined as an intentional act or threat by a person in a dating relationship against a person they are currently in a dating relationship with or were previously in a dating relationship with that causes physical or bodily harm.
  • Family Member is anyone who is related by blood, related by marriage, a former spouse, parent of the same child, step-parent or foster parent.
  • Household Member is anyone who resides or has previously resided in the same home, including individuals who are not in the same family such as roommates.
  • Protective Order is more commonly referred to as a restraining order, protection against family violence, or protection order, and is a court order issued by the judge if the judge determines family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again.
  • Protective Order Hearing is a hearing in which the judge determines whether or not family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future after both sides present evidence and any witnesses. If the judge determines family violence has occurred, the judge will issue a protective order
Family Violence Offenses in Houston
Some of the most commonly charged family violence offenses in Harris County can include, but are not limited to, the following—
According to Texas Penal Code § 22.01, an individual can be charged with domestic assault if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury; threaten; or, physically contact a family member, household member or person they are in a dating relationship with in a manner in which the other person would regard as offensive or provocative.
As defined in Texas Penal Code § 22.02, an individual can be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit assault with a deadly weapon against a family member or cause serious bodily injury to a family member, household member or person they are in a dating relationship with.
As defined in Texas Penal Code § 25.07, a violation of a protective order is cause by an individual knowingly or intentionally violating the terms of a protective order against them. This can include communicating with the family member who requested the protective order or going to their home or place of employment.
As defined by Texas Penal Code § 42.072, stalking is defined as repeatedly and knowingly engaging in conduct targeted at a specific person—
  • They will perceive as threatening,
  • that causes them to be afraid they will be seriously harmed, and
  • that would cause a reasonable person to fear injury or death to herself or her family members.
This offense can also include cyberstalking, which is defined as communicating with another person through e-mail or other electronic means strictly to harass that person.
According to Texas Penal Code § 22.04, an individual can be charged with injury to a child (child abuse) or injury to the elderly if they intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence cause any type of bodily injury to a child or elderly adult.
Houston Punishment for Domestic Violence
Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code defines the general penalties to many family violence offenses in Houston. However, these penalties can vary, depending on whether the victim was elderly, disabled or a child, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, the degree of domestic violence, whether bodily injury or death resulted from the offense, and whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal history.
  • An individual charged with a Class C misdemeanor domestic assault offense can result in a fine up to $500 (although we do not handle Class C misdemeanor offenses).
  • An individual convicted of a Class A misdemeanor domestic assault offense can receive a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • An individual charged with a Class A misdemeanor violation of a protection order can receive a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • A conviction for a felony of the third degree domestic assault, violation of a protective order, stalking, or child abuse offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual charged with felony of the second degree domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, stalking or child abuse offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a first degree aggravated domestic assault or child abuse offense can receive a prison term from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
Additionally, anyone who commits Continuous Violence Against a Family or household member can be convicted of a third degree felony offense, according to Texas Penal Code § 25.11. Continuous violence is defined as committing a family violence offense two or more times within a 12 month period.
James G. Sullivan and Associates | Houston Domestic Violence Attorney
Contact James G. Sullivan and Associates today at (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation about your family violence charges throughout Harris County in Texas. James Sullivan is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston who will make every effort to help you achieve the best outcome for your case.

Monday

Attorney for Continuous Violence Against the Family | Houston Harris County Texas

Continuous Violence Against the Family

Domestic assault is usually a misdemeanor offense in Texas, but alleged offenders who have been previously convicted of assault family violence can be charged with a felony family violence charge if accused of committing a new domestic assault.
The crime of continuous violence against the family is defined as committing two or more domestic assaults within a period of 12 months. According to the statute, members of the jury are not required to agree unanimously on the specific conduct in which the alleged offender engaged that constituted assault involving family violence. Instead, a jury only needs to unanimously agree that the alleged offender engaged in conduct that constituted assault family violence two or more times in a period of 12 months or less.
Lawyer for Continuous Violence Against the Family in Houston, TX
If you were arrested in the Houston area for continuous violence against the family, it is in your best interest to immediately retain experienced legal counsel. James G. Sullivan and Associates aggressively defends clients accused of domestic violence offenses all over the Greater Houston area, including Katy, Cypress, Jersey Village, Tomball, Spring, Humble, Pasadena, and many other nearby communities.
Houston criminal defense attorneys James G. Sullivan and Associates can fight with the goal to get these criminal charges dismissed or reduced. Call (281) 546-6428 today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.
Continuous Violence Against the Family Charges in Harris County
Under Texas Penal Code § 25.11(a), a person can be charged with continuous violence against the family if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to any person or persons whose relationship to or association with the accused is described by the following statutes:
  • “Dating Relationship” (Texas Family Code § 71.0021) means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • “Family” (Texas Family Code § 71.003) includes individuals related by consanguinity (one is a descendant of the other or they share a common ancestor) or affinity (they are married to each other or the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual), individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.
  • “Household” (Texas Family Code § 71.005) means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.
Continuous Violence Against the Family Punishment in Texas
Continuous violence against the family is classified as a third degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
James G. Sullivan & Associates | Houston Continuous Violence Against the Family Lawyer
Were you recently arrested for continuous violence against the family in southeast Texas? You should always consult with a lawyer before talking with the authorities. Contact James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free, confidential consultation.
James G. Sullivan and Associates are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Houston who represent clients in communities throughout Harris County, Fort Bend County and Montgomery County. They can review your case and explain your legal options. They have a proven history of fighting to get the best result for clients accused of family violence. Call (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation.

Accused of Indecent Exposure? Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help

Indecent Exposure

A conviction for indecent exposure in Houston can lead to serious consequences and repercussions. Under Texas laws, an indecent exposure offense is generally considered a misdemeanor offense which can result in a criminal record. If that happens, it will appear on background checks for jobs, educational opportunities and even housing applications. Furthermore, this crime can lead to jail time, fines, and a possible requirement to register as a sex offender.
Keep in mind that indecent exposure charges do not necessarily have to result in a conviction. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed every element of the offense. With reputable criminal trial attorneys, this can be a very difficult burden to meet, and if the jury has any doubt, you could be found not guilty at trial, or the prosecutor could dismiss the charges prior to trial. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult with reputable Houston criminal defense attorneys to assist you to develop your best legal strategy for your particular situation.

Houston Indecent Exposure Attorney

If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Houston, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Spring, Cypress, Jersey Village, Humble, Katy, Sugar Land, Pasadena or Deer Park, contact James G. Sullivan and Associates.
James Sullivan is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ sex crime laws and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 about your alleged indecent exposure offense.

Indecent Exposure in Harris County

According to Texas Penal Code § 21.08, a person can be charged with indecent exposure if they expose any part of their genitals or anus with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and are reckless about whether another person is present who would be offended or alarmed by the act.
According to Texas law, a person acts recklessly if they commit some act, and they are aware the conduct can cause the result of their actions or conduct, but consciously disregard the possibility the result will occur.
Some of the most common examples of indecent exposure in Houston include:
  • Urinating in public,
  • Mooning, or exposing your buttocks to someone else in public,
  • Flashing, or exposing any sexual organ to someone else in public, or
  • Sunbathing topless and/or exposing female breasts.
However, a mother breastfeeding her child or baby in public is not considered indecent exposure for criminal purposes.

Offenses Similar to Indecent Exposure in Houston

According to Texas Penal Code § 21.07, a person can be charged with public lewdness if they knowingly engage in any of the following acts while in a public place:
  • Sexual intercourse, which is defined as the penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.
  • Deviate sexual intercourse, which is defined as any contact between any part of the genitals, or sex organs, of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, or the penetration of the genitals or anus of another person with an object.
  • An act of sexual conduct, which is defined as any touching of the anus, breast or genitals of another person with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any person.
  • An act involving contact between the alleged offender’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal.
Under Texas law, a person acts knowingly if they commit some type of conduct and they are aware their conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result of the conduct or the act.
Furthermore, a person can be charged with public lewdness if they engage in any of the following acts, and is reckless about whether another person who is present would be offended or alarmed by the act:
  • Sexual intercourse,
  • Deviate sexual intercourse,
  • An act of sexual conduct, or
  • An act involving contact between the alleged offender’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal.

Houston Indecent Exposure Punishment

The penalties for Houston indecent exposure offenses are defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. Many nudity offenses in Houston can result in a misdemeanor conviction. The penalties for nudity offenses, such as indecent exposure in Houston, are as follows:
  • Criminal charges for an indecent exposure offense can result in Class B misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
  • Criminal charges for a public lewdness offense can result in Class A misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • Under Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a person convicted of a second indecent exposure offense is required to register as a sex offender with a local law enforcement authority of the county where they reside for a period of ten years.

James G. Sullivan and Associates | Harris County Indecent Exposure Lawyer

Contact Attorney James Sullivan today for a consultation about your indecent exposure charges in Harris County, Texas. James Sullivan is an aggressive Houston criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to get you the best result in your case.
Contact James G. Sullivan and Associates at (281) 546-6428 for a free and confidential consultation about your alleged indecent exposure charge throughout Harris County and the surrounding counties of Montgomery County and Fort Bend County.
James Sullivan graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, the most selective and prestigious trial advocacy program in America. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas. This is one of his many client reviews on AVVO:
I hired James Sullivan to represent my 17 year old grandson who was charged with public lewdness after he and his girlfriend were caught fooling around at their high school. I could not be happier with the result. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case in exchange for my grandson taking a decision making class and performing 6 hours of community service. Sullivan is extremely efficient and professional. We only had to go to court twice. Sullivan was responsive to my phone calls and emails and always available to answer questions. I would recommend him to any of my family or friends that might need the services of a criminal or juvenile defense attorney.
~Posted by Debbie on May 24, 2018

Sunday

Arrested for Leaving Your Child in a Vehicle in Harris County | Attorney James Sullivan Can Help

Leaving a Child in a Vehicle

You’re in a hurry to get to work. You’re exhausted because you haven’t slept well. The newbie wakes you up once or twice during the night for feeding. You’re burning the candle at both ends, and now it’s your turn to drop the baby off at daycare. You forget. You continue to work. You park in your usual parking space. You get out. You go to your job. And then the unthinkable happens…
The National Safety Council reports that each year, on average, 38 children under the age of 15 die from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle. Since 1998, almost every state has experienced at least one death, and in 2018, a record number of 52 children died after being left in a hot vehicle.
Over the past 20 years, between 1998 and 2018, 119 children in Texas and 792 children nationwide have died in vehicles as the result of heatstroke, according to statistics compiled by Jan Null, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and Lecturer at the Department of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State University, for the website No Heat Stroke.
The website provides statistical trends and patterns into the 792 deaths of children during that time period. Specifically, 54 percent of the children died as the result of caregivers simply forgetting about the children, and of those forgotten children 44 percent were on their way to childcare or preschool. In almost 19 percent of deaths, the children were knowingly left in a vehicle, and in 26 percent of deaths the children gained access to unattended vehicles.
Currently, 19 states including Texas make it a criminal offense to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. A person can face serious felony charges if a child suffers injury or death as a result of such an act.
Defense Attorney for Those Arrested for Leaving a Child in a Vehicle in Houston, TX
Were you arrested for leaving a child unattended in a vehicle in Harris County, Texas? Before talking with the authorities, contact the attorneys at James G. Sullivan & Associates.
Houston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan defends clients charged with crimes involving children in Cypress, Katy, Spring, Sugar Land, Humble, Pasadena, Conroe, The Woodlands, Richmond and many other cities in and around Greater Houston. Call us at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation with an experienced attorney.
At James G. Sullivan and Associates the attorneys understand that mistakes happen. We are dedicated to defending our clients and providing the best possible result. Getting your criminal charge dismissed or reduced may be possible. Contact us for a free consultation. An experienced trial lawyer will talk with you about your charges, the potential consequences, and any defense theories that may apply. James G. Sullivan and Associates represents clients in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.
What Are the Legal Elements of Leaving a Child in a Vehicle in Texas?
Texas Penal Code Section 22.10 defines the crime of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. According to this law, to find someone guilty of this crime the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
  • A person leaves a child in a motor vehicle for more than five minutes;
  • the person does so intentionally and knowingly;
  • the person knows that the child is younger than seven years of age; and
  • the person knows that the child is not under the supervision of another person in the vehicle who is at least 14 years old.
Leaving a child in a hot car can lead to additional charges of child endangerment or worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s important for parents, caregivers, or even bystanders to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults. The body temperature of a child rises three to five times faster than that of an adult. When left in a hot vehicle, a child’s temperature can rise quickly and could lead to death. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees. A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal. In 2018, 52 children died of vehicular heatstroke.
Punishment for Leaving a Child in a Vehicle in Harris County
Leaving a child in a vehicle is a class C misdemeanor. If found guilty of this charge, you could be fined up to $500. Class C misdemeanors do not include the possibility of jail time as punishment.
Parents face felony charges if the child suffers injury or death from being left in a vehicle.
If you leave a child in a car for a long period of time, you could be charged with Abandoning or Endangering a Child under Texas Penal Code Section 22.041. Under this statute, “abandon” means “to leave a child in any place without providing reasonable and necessary care for the child, under circumstances under which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child of that age and ability.”
If you intentionally abandon a child younger than 15 years of age under circumstances where the child is exposed to an unreasonable risk of harm, you could be charged with a state jail felony punishable by a term of incarceration between 180 days and two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
If a child suffers injuries, you may be charged with Injury to a Child under Texas Penal Code Section 22.04. Under this statute, it is a state jail felony if you recklessly cause bodily injury to a child or cause serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury as the result of criminal negligence.
If you abandon the child without intending to return for the child, you could be charged with a third degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If you intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to a child, you could be charged with a third degree felony. If you recklessly cause serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, you could be charged with a second degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If you intentionally or knowingly cause serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, you could be charged with a first degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If the child dies while left alone in the vehicle, you could be charged with criminally negligent homicide under Texas Penal Code Section 19.05.
Houston Defense Lawyer for Leaving a Child in a Vehicle
If you were arrested for leaving a child in a vehicle in southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to retain experienced legal counsel. James G. Sullivan & Associates represent individuals throughout Harris County, Montgomery County and Fort Bend County.
James Sullivan graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, the most selective and prestigious trial advocacy program in America. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.
James Sullivan is an experienced criminal defense trial lawyer in Houston who understands that many people accused of this crime simply had a lapse in judgment and no criminal intent. Sullivan will fight for the best result. Call us at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation and evaluation of your case with an experienced attorney.