While there is no specific law prohibiting
individuals from making prank phone calls, these calls can constitute
harassment in some circumstances. Under Tex.
Pen. Code § 42.07, unlawful harassment occurs when
individuals take the following actions, among others:
Making obscene or threatening phone calls
Calling people and falsely telling them
that a person has suffered bodily injury or death
Making repeated phone calls anonymously or
in a manner designed to harass, offend, alarm, or annoy others
Intentionally failing to hang up the phone
or disengage the connection when making a call
Permitting their phones to be used for the
purposes of harassment
Harassment is generally a Class B
misdemeanor under Texas law. However, the offense increases to a Class A
misdemeanor if certain aggravating factors exist, such as individuals who have
a prior harassment conviction. A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor can
result in a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. For a
Class A misdemeanor, the potential jail time increases to a maximum of one year
and the fine to a maximum of $4,000.
Furthermore, it is a specific criminal offense under Texas law to prank call 911 services. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 42.061, individuals break the law when they call 911 and knowingly remain silent or make abusive or harassing comments to the person answering the phone. Individuals also violate this code section when they allow their phones to be used for this purpose. Making silent or abusive calls to 911 service is a Class B misdemeanor under Texas law.
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.
immigration attorneys fed up with the massive backlog in the processing of
immigration applications are increasingly turning to litigation for relief. In
many cases, delays in processing are lasting up to seven years, which is a
historic high. Lawyers are complaining not only of the long delays that are
harmful to their clients, but also of their inability to resolve delays quickly
and informally, as they had been able to do in the past.
lawyers waited to file suit on behalf of their clients when their applications
or petitions went unprocessed longer than expected wait times. Now, however,
the expected wait times are so long that they have no recourse but to
immediately file suit. Wait times are particularly lengthy for employment-based
petitions, although all types of visa petitions are now subject to lengthy
instance, applications seeking classification as a regional center under the
EB-5 immigrant investor program now take between 30 and 85 months to be
processed. Foreign investors applying for green cards under the same program
now are looking at a wait of 27.5 to 49 months.
petitions for H-1B specialty occupations visas are taking at least two months
and often more than eight months to process. Petitions to extend existing H-1B
visas may take as long as 13.5 months to process.
extreme delays also have resulted in scrutiny by Congress, who convened a House
Judiciary Immigration and Citizen Subcommittee hearing over the summer. At that
hearing, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
testified to a 91% increase in average overall processing times. She also
testified that the FY 2018 backlog of immigration cases of 5.69 million was a
69% increase over FY 2014.
immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that
you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration
laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case,
evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your
situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your
goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn
how we can assist you through this complicated situation.
to a recent
report from the American Immigration Council, various
community organizations have filed a lawsuit in federal court regarding attempts
by the Trump Administration to greatly expand a fast-track deportation program
known as “expedited removal.” These organizations brought their lawsuit on
behalf of their members who may become subject to immediate deportation under
the program, which is designed to quickly deport immigrants, often without the
chance to consult an attorney or see a judge. In the lawsuit, the organizations
are requesting that the federal government be prohibited from applying
expedited removal to a broad range of immigrants, as it has proposed.
the federal government applied expedited removal to only a small group of
immigrants, or those who arrived in the U.S. within the past two weeks and were
detained within 100 miles of a U.S. border. Recently, however, the Trump Administration
announced its intention to apply the expedited removal process to immigrants
whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrest anywhere in the
U.S. and who cannot prove that they have been physically present in the U.S.
for two or more years.
removal is far more likely to result in wrongful deportations, as deportation
effectively can occur within hours of an immigrant’s arrest. The removal can
occur with no opportunity for the immigrant to even make a phone call, let
alone see an attorney or judge. Those whom ICE has wrongfully detained could
end up deported with no recourse other than attempting to prove that their
deportation was wrongful while in another country with no resources or
The only exceptions to expedited removal would be those who are claiming asylum, or a well-founded fear of persecution on various bases if returned to their home countries. However, even these individuals only receive a cursory review, which is unlikely to exempt them from expedited removal.
No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case successfully.
new Texas law recently went into effect that offers broader protections for
customers of rent-to-own companies who fall behind in their payments.
Previously, rent-to-own companies routinely had customers prosecuted if they
failed to make their payments as agreed. Although rent-to-own companies still
may proceed in pressing charges against customers who abscond with the rented
furniture and electronics that they failed to pay for, but they cannot press
charges against those customers who simply are unable to pay.
of the previous law pointed out that it allowed the unconstitutional
prosecution of individuals for debts, which really is a civil matter. The
loophole in the law essentially created a debtor’s prison for low-income people
who tend to be customers of rent-to-own companies.
“theft of service” statute made it easier for these individuals to be subject
to arrest warrants, criminal convictions, and time spent in jail. Furthermore,
the previous statute created a presumption that customers intended to steal the
goods if they didn’t return the goods that they rented or respond to a certified
letter from the rental company after failing to make a payment. There was no
requirement that the rental company even prove that the customers received the
letter; the fact that they sent the letter was adequate to create the
presumption of intentional theft.
newly enacted law did make some concessions for rental car agencies and
companies renting expensive equipment. The time period in which customers must
respond to letters before the companies can pursue charges against them is
reduced, thus making it easier for the companies to recoup cars and other
Essentially, although it is still possible that prosecution can occur for customers who intend to steal rental furniture or electronics, it is not generally an option in the absence of intent to steal from or defraud the rental company.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. Our goal is to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys.
keeping with its pattern of limiting immigration on all levels and increasing
deportation levels, the Trump Administration has established a new policy for
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that will give the agency more
discretion in deporting crime victims from the U.S.
passed legislation that created the U-visa in 2000. The purpose of the visa was
to encouraged immigrants with no legal immigration status to come forward and
report incidences of substantial physical and mental abuse. In turn, these
crime victims would become eligible to remain in the U.S. under U-visas, with
the understanding that they cooperate with law enforcement officials in
prosecuting their abusers.
this point, however, even applying for a U-visa became a risky proposition. If
denied, individuals could trigger deportations proceedings by calling attention
to their lack of legal immigration status. Furthermore, since it now takes
USCIS about four years to process and decide applications for U-visas, the threat
of arrest while the application is pending is much higher than under past
ICE has reversed one of its internal guidance documents concerning U-visas.
Historically, ICE has looked to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
to determine the likelihood of approval of a U-visa before denying a request
for stay of removal by immigrant crime victims. If USCIS indicated that the
visa application was likely to be approved, then ICE essentially would stop
deportation proceedings until USCIS made a final decision on the application
for U-visa. The only exception was for the presence of specific adverse
factors, such as public safety concerns.
With its latest reversal of policy, however, ICE no longer will consult USCIS before denying a stay of removal. Instead, ICE officials will have the sole discretion to review the “totality of the circumstances” in deciding whether to grant or deny a stay of removal based on potential eligibility for a U-visa. However, many immigration attorneys have reported in recent years that ICE officials were not seeking input from USCIS on U-visa applications anyway, or only would seek input if the individuals were detained.
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.
Pen. Code § 38.04, individuals commit evading arrest or
detention by intentionally fleeing from a person whom they know is a police
officer or federal special investigator who are attempting to lawfully arrest
or detain them. Typically, this offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries
the potential for up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.
For a second or subsequent offense,
however, the offense increases to a state jail felony. Individuals facing a
conviction for a state jail felony can serve six months to two years of
incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
Likewise, the offense may become a
third-degree felony if individuals use a vehicle or watercraft in flight and
they have a previous conviction for the same offense. Individuals also may face
third-degree felony charges if they:
Use a vehicle or watercraft while in
Cause serious bodily injury to others as a
direct result of the attempt by the officer to apprehend the persons in flight
Use a tire deflation device against the
officer while fleeing
Third-degree felony charges can result in
two to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Furthermore, evading arrest or detention increases to a second-degree felony if others suffer death as a direct result of the attempt by the officer to apprehend the persons in flight, or if others suffer serious bodily injury as a result of the individuals using a tire deflation device while in flight. For a second-degree felony conviction, the prison term ranges from two to 20 years and a $10,000 fine. If you or a family member is facing accusations of evading arrest or detention or any other criminal charges, we may be able to help.
As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.
you have a concealed carry license or a regular carry license, you should be
aware of what to do if a police officer pulls you over on a traffic stop. Otherwise,
you put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, as the officers may
assume that you are attempting to shoot them by reaching for a handgun that you
didn’t disclose to them.
does have rules in place for drivers who are legally carrying handguns in their
vehicles when police pull them over. According to the Texas Handgun License
manual, drivers typically should hand the officer not only their drivers’
licenses, but also their handgun licenses. As a practical matter, drivers also
should not show or brandish the weapon at the police officer, or even reach
toward the console or glove compartment to show the officer where the gun is
stored. If insurance information is in the glove compartment, as well, drivers
should advise the officer of that fact before retrieving the insurance
handgun license information is tied in with driver’s license information in the
State of Texas, officers who pull up the drivers in their computer systems also
should see that the individuals are licensed to carry handguns. Nonetheless,
during a handgun, you always should keep your hands in sight, preferably on the
steering wheel, make no quick movements, and never reach for your gun. A police
officer has the right to disarm you during a traffic stop; if the officer
wishes to do so, advise him or her of the location of the gun and follow the
instructions from there.
it comes to long guns and rifles, however, or drivers who are legally
transporting guns without a license, they are under no obligation to disclose
the guns to police during a traffic stop.
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.
to a recent
CNN article, a federal judge in the District of
Columbia ruled that a Trump Administration policy violated the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA). In this policy, the Administration sought to bar
immigrants who had crossed the border without authorization from seeking
asylum. The Trump Administration issued the policy back in November 2018, which
would have limited asylum applications to those immigrants who lawfully
presented themselves at official ports of entry into the U.S. According to the
judge’s opinion, the federal government could not extinguish a statutory right
to seek asylum under the INA simply by issuing a policy.
nationwide injunction that prohibited the policy from going into effect has
been in place since a California federal judge issued it last year. The federal
government appealed the injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the high
Court refused to stay the injunction by a 5-4 vote. So as a practical matter,
the D.C. judge’s decision ultimately follows the injunction already in effect.
policy has been one of many that the Trump Administration has attempted to
enact to significantly restrict the ability to apply for asylum, especially for
Central American migrants. For instance, the Administration has expanded a
policy designed to keep more asylum seekers in Mexico until their cases are
processed. The federal government now has limited the number of asylum seekers
who can enter a port of entry each day for processing of their asylum
applications. The Trump Administration also attempted to deny asylum to all
migrants who traveled through another country to reach a U.S. port of entry and
to require them to first seek asylum in another country before coming to the
U.S. These policies were specifically aimed at individuals traveling through
Mexico from South America.
A California federal district court judge also entered a nationwide injunction regarding the requirement that migrants seek asylum in another country before seeking it in the U.S. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals limited the injunction to California and Arizona. On remand, the federal district court judge reinstated the nationwide ban after making the findings outlined in the Ninth Circuit order. However, most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the injunction pending litigation, which allows the federal government to go forward with denying asylum to this specific group of immigrants.
An experienced Texas immigration attorney can help you with all aspects of immigration law. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and present your options. Finally, we can help you make the decisions that will be most beneficial to you, based on your circumstances. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.
to a National
Public Radio report, the Trump administration is threatening
to end the “parole in place” program. This form of discretionary relief
provides protection against deportation for some undocumented family members of
U.S. military members on active duty. As a result, attorneys for military
members in this situation are wasting no time in submitting applications for
this form of discretionary relief from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
program protects only selected family members of active-duty military members. Relief
is only available for family members who have entered the U.S. without legal authority
and who have no means of adjusting their immigration status. Some family
members would be ineligible for the relief, such as those who entered the U.S. legally
but overstayed their visas.
primary purpose of parole in place is to allow U.S. military members on active
duty to focus on their missions rather than on the risk of deportation of their
family members. Parole in place allows eligible family members to receive
parole and apply for a green card. It is unclear how many individuals have
taken advantage of this form of relief from deportation.
the Trump administration moves forward with ending parole in place, it would be
in line with its actions earlier this year. For instance, the federal
government closed all its international military field offices. The federal
government now also requires that military recruits serve at least 180 days of
active duty before becoming eligible for naturalization. The only exception to
this rule change is for military members who are in combat zones.
Last year, the Trump administration also began discharging immigrant military members who had enlisted in a George W. Bush-era program designed to recruit immigrants with special skills useful to the military. Enrollment in the program brought the promise of an expedited path to citizenship for recruits.
The Peek & Toland immigration lawyers are here to represent your interests and advise you of the best course of action in your immigration case. Set up an appointment to talk to us today and discover how we can assist you with your immigration issue, whether you have an individual concern or a business-related problem.
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents recently carried out a four-day
immigration enforcement operation in Northern Texas and Oklahoma that resulted
in 75 arrests. According to government officials, however, this operation was
not part of the Trump administration’s threatened mass immigration sweeps. Instead,
this raid was a routine operation that focused on immigrants with final removal
orders, which reportedly had been in the works for several months. Nonetheless,
ICE also arrested and detained other immigrants, such as friends and relatives
of the targeted immigrants.
the 75 detainees, 51 were arrested in North Texas and the remaining individuals
in Oklahoma. Charges for these immigrants ranged from unlawful entry into the
country to assault and other criminal offenses.
this raid may not have been part of the Trump administration’s threatened
raids, these smaller operations can frighten immigrant communities. Immigration
advocates cite the raids as another means of creating an environment of fear
Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s promised nationwide immigration raids failed to materialize in early July, aside from about 18 arrests in a planned “family” operation and another 17 collateral arrests. While some isolated routine enforcement efforts continued in selected areas of the country, they were not part of the larger plan. These raids allegedly were scheduled to target some 2,000 immigrants who have final orders of removal and have refused to leave the country. The ACLU also has taken legal action to block the planned raids.
The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals and businesses who are facing immigration issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. As a result, we will strive to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys.
Use of this website, does not constitute, in any manner, an attorney-client relationship between Peek & Toland and the receiver. While the information on the Peek & Toland website is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as substitute for the particularized advice of your own counsel. If you are seeking specific legal advice or assistance, you may contact us through our contact page or the phone number provided above, or you may seek legal advice or assistance through another source. Filling out the contact us form, calling our office or emailing our attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential. Transmission of information from this site or any use of e-mail is not intended to create or establish an attorney-client relationship between Peek & Toland and anyone else.
The information provided on the Peek & Toland website should not be relied on as accurate or correct as laws in specific jurisdictions change frequently. Please consult an attorney in your jurisdiction for specific question about the law in your area.