Monthly Archives: April 2020

Can I Get a Passport if I Have a Felony Conviction?

By Peek & Toland on April 6, 2020

Generally, a felony conviction does not categorically bar you from obtaining a passport. This document simply identifies you as a U.S. citizen and does not contain any indicators about your criminal background. There are, however, specific situations in which individuals with felony convictions will be unable to get a passport. For instance, if you have a conviction for drug trafficking that you committed while in another country, federal law would prohibit you from getting a passport.

Furthermore, if you are on supervised release, probation, or parole for a criminal offense and one of its terms prevents you from leaving the country, you will be unable to obtain a passport. You also will be unable to get a passport if you are currently participating in a supervised release program for a felony conviction for possession or distribution of a controlled substance.

Can I Get a Passport if I Have a Felony Conviction?

If you currently are under federal arrest or subject to a federal subpoena, you also cannot get a passport to travel outside the country. Likewise, if the federal government has identified you as a severe threat to national security, or a judge otherwise has forbidden you from leaving the country, a passport will be unavailable to you.

Even if you already have a passport, the U.S. government can revoke it at any time if you fall into one of these categories of people. If your passport is flagged, you could encounter difficulties if you attempt to leave or re-enter the U.S.

Finally, many countries, including Canada and Mexico, will not admit individuals with a felony conviction in their country for any reason. In this case, even if you have a valid passport, you may not be able to travel anywhere using that passport.

An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and explore your options. We then can help you make the decisions that are mostly like to be beneficial to you, based on your situation. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Uncategorized

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Health Insurance Proclamation for Immigrants

By Peek & Toland on April 3, 2020

As one of its latest attempts to limit eligibility for public benefits for legal immigrants, the Trump Administration recently announced a new hurdle for prospective immigrants. Under the new rule, immigrants will not qualify for family-based immigration visas unless they can show proof that they will have insurance coverage within 30 days of coming to the U.S. Alternatively, they can show evidence that they have sufficient funds to pay for their medical needs. Immigrants can purchase qualifying insurance policies through their employers or individually, but they cannot use Medicaid or subsidized policies purchased using the Affordable Care Act.

The Associated Press is reporting that in response to this new rule, seven U.S. citizens filed suit in Portland, Oregon, against the federal government with the assistance of the Justice Action Center, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Innovation Law Lab. All these citizens are seeking to bring family members to the U.S., including some trying to bring their foreign spouses to live with them.

The rule provides no standards about the amount of money or the type of proof that immigrants must show to prove that they can afford to pay for their medical care. As a result, the plaintiffs claim that the rule would block almost two-thirds of all prospective immigrants from coming to the U.S. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs also contend that the policy would drastically reduce or even eliminate the family-based immigration system as it currently exists.

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Health Insurance Proclamation for Immigrants

Other efforts by the Trump Administration to limit the use of public benefits by legal immigrants have run into roadblocks as courts have blocked those rules from going into effect. Nonetheless, the Trump Administration continues to seek other ways to achieve its goal of moving the current family-based legal immigration system to a merit-based immigration system.

This rule had met a similar fate as the other rules involved in ongoing litigation by early November. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon granted a nationwide temporary restraining order that prevented the rule from going into effect on November 3, 2019. In his ruling, Simon found that the Trump Administration likely had overstepped its executive authority in issuing the rule because it conflicts with the Immigration and Nationality Act in determining which immigrants are eligible to apply for available visas.

The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the immigration cases of countless individuals and businesses facing immigration-related issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the outcome that you are seeking. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys.

Posted in Immigration Reform

What is the Difference Between Robbery and Aggravated Robbery?

By Peek & Toland on April 1, 2020

Under Tex. Pen. Code § 29.02, individuals commit robbery if they commit theft and intend to obtain or maintain control over the stolen property, and in doing so, they:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to others
  • Intentionally or knowingly threaten or place others in fear of imminent bodily injury or death

Some common actions that are likely to constitute robbery under state law include purse snatching, muggings, carjackings, and home invasions. Individuals can face a robbery conviction even if they do not complete or carry out the theft of the items that are the focus of the robbery.

Robbery is a second-degree felony under Texas law. A conviction for a second-degree felony such as robbery can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In contrast, aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony in the state of Texas. Tex. Pen. Code § 29.03 provides that aggravated robbery occurs when individuals do any of the following in committing robbery:

  • Causes serious bodily injury to others,
  • Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon, or
  • Causes physical harm to others or threatens or places them in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, and the person is 65 years of age or older, or disabled

Under this section, a disabled person is one who has a mental, physical, or developmental disability who is substantially unable to protect himself or herself from harm.

What is the Difference Between Robbery and Aggravated Robbery?

The prison sentence for a person who is convicted of aggravated robbery can be between five and 99 years if the person has no prior criminal history. Individuals convicted of this offense also can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000.

A felony robbery or aggravated robbery conviction also can have other repercussions. Even after you have served your sentence, you face the loss of some civil rights, such as the right to carry firearms. You also will have a permanent felony conviction that can make finding employment and housing far more challenging.

When you are facing any criminal charges in the state of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.

Posted in Criminal Defense

How Can We Help You?

Our team is standing by to help. Call us at (512) 474-4445 or complete this form to send a message about your legal situation.