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Houston Prostitution Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Finest Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer for Prostitution
Generally, prostitution is the act of engaging in sexual activity by a person for a fee or a thing of economic value.  But the scope of the crime of prostitution has been widened to include all prostitution related offenses.  Thus a person is considered to commit an offense of prostitution if s/he engages in an act of prostitution willfully, solicits prostitution, or agrees to engage in an act of prostitution.

The parties to the crime usually include: a prostitute and a customer or a third person/pimp.  In addition to engaging in prostitution, soliciting prostitution, agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution, child prostitution, attempted prostitution are other prostitution related offenses.  A person may be guilty of an attempt to commit prostitution when s/he engages in conduct which tends to effect the commission of such crime.  In order to prove attempt, it is necessary to establish that a defendant had the intent to commit a specific offense and that a defendant engaged in some affirmative act to carry out that crime.

Houston Prostitution Defense Lawyer: Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson

The elements constituting an offense of prostitution are that a person has engaged in a sexual activity and has done it willfully.  Sexual activity may be sexual intercourse or any lewd acts that may arouse sexual feelings.  Most jurisdictions make monetary consideration a requisite to constitute prostitution but some jurisdictions do not require it to be an element of the offense.  Consideration need not be in the form of money.

In order to constitute an offense of soliciting prostitution, a person has to solicit another person to engage in an act of prostitution and the act must have been done with specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution.  A prostitute or a customer may be charged for the offense of solicitation of prostitution depending on the circumstances or who began the interaction.  Specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution is an essential element to constitute an offense.  An offer to pay money or other compensation like drugs in exchange for sexual acts may be considered evidence as to the intent of the parties.  Some courts have held that the individual being solicited must actually receive the solicitation in order to convict an accused for soliciting prostitution.

Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution is another prostitution offense.  The elements of the offense are that, a person must have agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person.  It should have been with a specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution and any act in furtherance of prostitution must have had to be performed.  This offense is a continuation of solicitation of prostitution because the person who accepts solicitation will be agreeing to engage in prostitution.

A charge under the offense of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution may be made even if the person who solicited did not have the same intent.  This situation may arise when a person who pretended to be a prostitute was an under cover agent.  In addition to the intent, an act in furtherance of prostitution must have been performed to constitute the offense of agreeing to engage in prostitution.

An act in furtherance of prostitution can be, driving to an agreed upon location where the sexual activity will take place, mere verbal command to undress, giving the payment agreed upon and the like.  The nature of the act is not important as long as it indicates existence of an agreement to engage in prostitution.

Houston Prostitution Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Even though prostitution is (initially) a misdemeanor, a conviction can be devastating. A sex related criminal record can damage a person’s career and family life. If you are facing prostitution or solicitation of prostitution in Houston, Texas, you will find an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Attorney Charles Johnson.

Website: http://houstonlawyer.com

can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
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Arrested for Prostitution? Houston Prostitution Defense Lawyer

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Hire the Best Criminal Lawyer for Domestic Violence Charges in Houston, TX

Domestic Violence Criminal Defense LawyerIf you have been accused of domestic violence, you may be facing an uphill battle. Texas has strengthened their laws on domestic violence, making arrest and prosecution mandatory regardless of what the alleged victim wishes to do. No matter how your state or county handles allegations of domestic violence, it is important to mount a vigorous defense. Speak with an attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to discuss your case and develop a strategy for fighting the charges.

Domestic Violence Defined

Domestic violence is most often an assault or battery against a spouse, intimate partner or cohabitant, but it also can occur against a child, elderly relative or other member of the household or family. Domestic assault is both physical violence and emotional abuse, including threats, intimidation and control.

Domestic Assault Arrest

Although the procedures and policies vary by jurisdiction, domestic assault arrests and charges follow a general pattern. When the police are called to a residence, by an alleged victim or someone else, they will assess the situation and determine whether there is probable cause to arrest the person accused of domestic assault.

At the arraignment, the defendant will learn about the specific charges against him or her, and the defendant’s lawyer will consult with the defendant about what kind of plea to enter. The judge will decide whether the defendant should be granted bail and, if so, how much the bail will be.

In many cases, the defendant will be ordered to have no contact — direct or indirect — with the alleged victim. This means that the defendant cannot go home, if that is where the victim lives, and the defendant must not call or communicate with the victim.

In some jurisdictions, even if the victim decides not to go forward with the charges, the case will continue. Numerous reasons, based on both history and public policy, are behind this practice.

A conviction of felony or misdemeanor domestic assault can result in severe penalties. The defendant may serve time in prison or jail; pay steep fines; undergo anger management or other counseling; and suffer personal consequences like divorce, loss of child custody or an unfavorable property settlement during divorce proceedings.

Domestic assault is taken seriously by law enforcement personnel and prosecutors. It is vital to have a competent, experienced defense attorney on your side.

Houston Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

As the justice system has come to recognize the social and legal effects of domestic violence, the penalties for conviction of domestic assault have become steeper. This is why it is so important to consult a lawyer who is familiar with your local court system. Seek the help of an attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to learn more about what you can do to assert your rights.

can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

Related News Stories – Domestic Violence in Houston, TX

Houston Criminal Lawyer » Fighting A Prostitution Case? The Following Is Your Most Efficient Plan Of Action.

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson

Hire the Most Effective Houston Criminal Attorney!

Generally, prostitution is the act of participating in sexual activity by an individual for a fee or a thing of economic value. However the scope of the crime of prostitution has been widened to include virtually all prostitution related offenses. As a result a person is considered to commit a criminal offense of prostitution if he or she engages in an act of prostitution willfully, solicits prostitution, or agrees to engage in an act of prostitution.

An individual could possibly end up being guilty of an attempt to commit prostitution when he or she engages in conduct that tends to effect the commission of such crime.The parties to the crime often include: a prostitute in addition to a customer or a third person/pimp. In addition to engaging in prostitution, soliciting prostitution, agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution, child prostitution, attempted prostitution are some other prostitution related offenses. In order to establish attempt, it is necessary to determine that a defendant had the intent to commit a specific offense and that a defendant engaged in some affirmative act to carry out that criminal offense.

The Most Effective Houston Criminal Attorney Can Help

The elements constituting a criminal offense of prostitution are that an individual has engaged in a sexual activity and has done it willfully. Sexual activity might be sexual intercourse or any type of lewd acts that can arouse sexual feelings. Most jurisdictions make monetary consideration a requisite to constitute prostitution but a few jurisdictions do not require it to be a component of the offense. Consideration need not be in the form of cash.

In order to constitute an offense of soliciting prostitution, an individual has to solicit another individual to engage in an act of prostitution and the act must have been done with specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution. A prostitute or a customer may be charged for the criminal offense of solicitation of prostitution depending on the circumstances or who began the interaction. Specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution is an essential element to constitute a criminal offense. An offer to pay cash or some other compensation like drugs in return for sexual acts may very well be regarded as evidence as to the intent of the parties. Several courts have held that the individual being solicited must actually receive the solicitation in order to convict an accused for soliciting prostitution.

Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution is another prostitution offense. The elements of the criminal offense are that, an individual has to have agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person. It should have been with a specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution and any sort of act in furtherance of prostitution must have had to be performed. This offense is a continuation of solicitation of prostitution because the person who accepts solicitation will undoubtedly be agreeing to engage in prostitution.

An arrest under the offense of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution may possibly be made even if the person who solicited did not have the same intent. This situation may arise when a person who pretended to be a prostitute was an under cover agent. In addition to the intent, an act in furtherance of prostitution must have been performed to constitute the offense of agreeing to engage in prostitution.

An act in furtherance of prostitution might be, driving to an agreed upon location where the sexual activity will take place, simple verbal command to undress, giving the payment agreed upon and the like. The nature of the act isn’t important as long as it indicates existence of an agreement to engage in prostitution.

Hire the Most Effective Houston Lawyer

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson will treat you and your legal situation with dignity and go to war for you to safeguard your life, loved ones and future. When you or a family or friend are dealing with legal issues or a criminal defense inquiry, you need someone you can depend on to help you.

Even though prostitution is (initially) a misdemeanor, a conviction can be devastating. A sex related criminal record can damage an individual’s career and family life. In the event you are contending with prostitution or solicitation of prostitution in Houston, Texas, you will find an aggressive, skilled, and knowledgeable attorney in the Best Houston Criminal Defense Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm.

You’ve been charged with Assault. What to do now?

Houston Lawyer Charles JohnsonAssault and battery are two separate offenses. Each may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how the crime was allegedly carried out, the nature of the personal injuries that resulted and the laws of the jurisdiction. If you are confronting a charge of assault or battery, contact a knowledgeable lawyer from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to go over your legal rights and remedies.

How are Assault and Battery Defined??

Assault is an attempt to injure a person with force or physical violence. It is also defined as intentionally putting someone in fear or apprehension of such harm. Many jurisdictions include injuring someone in the definition of assault.

Battery is different from assault because it actually results in harmful or offensive physical contact with the victim. Assault can consequently be viewed as an attempted battery.

Typically, battery causes physical injury to the victim. This is not always the case, however. The offensive contact simply might be undesired touching. Usually, though, a defendant is arrested for battery if the alleged victim suffers an injury.

Types of Assault and Battery Penalties

Assault and battery charges can range from misdemeanors to the most serious felonies.

How the defendant is charged can depend on the circumstances of the alleged offense. Many states provide special protection for victims who are members of certain groups that are regarded as more vulnerable. For example, the assault of a child may result in a much longer sentence than the assault of a fellow bar customer. Similarly, assault or battery of the elderly; public servants including firefighters, law enforcement and emergency personnel; educators; handicapped persons; and expectant women might be treated more severely by prosecutors. Assault or battery committed due to the victim’s ethnic background, color, religious beliefs, national origin, gender or sexual orientation are often treated more seriously.

Assault or battery against a spouse or someone with whom the defendant shares a home or romantic relationship can lead to criminal penalties, in addition to a restraining order or protective order preventing the defendant from returning to the home or communicating with the victim.

Assault and battery that occur during the commission of another serious criminal offense will also be treated more harshly. If the defendant is accused of assault while attempting to rob a store, for instance, the punishment is likely to be more severe. Likewise, if the defendant intended to cause serious bodily harm during the assault, the sentence may be longer than if the defendant had not intended serious harm.

Some states have “three strikes” laws, that impose enhanced penalties for habitual offenders (typically those with a third felony conviction). If the assault or battery is charged as a felony, the defendant may be at risk for enhanced sentencing.

Houston Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

A conviction for assault or battery may have some serious consequences, adversely affecting your life far into the future. Each case, however, is different and offers its own defenses. Contact an experienced Criminal Defense attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to discuss a strategy for preserving your freedom.

Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson

Everything You Need To Know About the Appeals Process in Texas


What is the definition of an appeal?

An appeal is a petition to a higher court by the losing party in a court action to overturn a lesser court’s judgment. The basis of an appeal has to be a reversible oversight in the application of the law at the trial court level (i.e., depending on the facts, the court plainly misapplied the law).

In defense cases, a great appeal can target the conviction itself or perhaps the sentencing portion associated with the decision without any regard to the fundamental conviction. For instance, if the defendant is properly convicted of manslaughter but a judge sentences the defendant to a prison term which is beyond the limit of the law, the defendant will undoubtedly appeal the prison term while leaving the actual conviction itself intact.

An appeal can be filed only after a final judgment or order has been reached by the trial court. This is quite simply for reasons of efficiency, so that the court system isn’t bogged down by delays and trials aren’t constantly put on hold while awaiting appeals associated with a judge’s every ruling.

At the conclusion of a trial, the losing party may also construct direct appeals (e.g., motion for a new trial, motion for directed verdict) to the presiding judge to immediately overrule the jury’s judgement, nevertheless these are rarely victorious.

Does an appeal constitute a new trial?

No. In an appeal there won’t be any new issues provided or witnesses designated to testify. The appellate court will only assess the trial’s transcript and evidence offered during the trial to figure out whether there were errors with regard to either procedure or application of the law. Even if there were errors, when they are considered minor – legally designated “harmless error” – the judgment won’t be overturned or a new trial granted.

Can any judgment be appealed?

The short response is no, there isn’t any absolute right to an appeal. Every state has laws which outline the kinds of cases which appellate courts may review. There should be an error of law for an appellate court to review a case. The reality that the losing party did not like the decision is not really enough to sustain an appeal.

That being said, even in administrative courts or lower level courts, if anyone’s constitutional protection under the law have been infringed upon, some may file suit to enforce their privileges and/or to revisit the original case.

What is the definition of the appeals process?

In Texas court proceedings, the appellant or petitioner (the party appealing the judgement) should file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the decision. In federal court, the deadline is 60 days. The filing of the notice of appeal begins the clock running on the appeals process and then there are prescribed deadlines from this point on. The petitioner submits a legal brief detailing the alleged discrepancies of law made by the trial court, and the respondent or appellee (the party that prevailed at the trial) creates a reply.

Once the appellate court acquires both petitioner and respondent briefs, it will assess the arguments and make a determination of whether: a) there were errors of law made by the trial court, and additionally b) if perhaps the mistakes rise to the level of “reversible error” (highly serious errors). As mentioned above, benign discrepancies are likely to be disregarded by the appellate court.

There might not be oral arguments given by petitioner and respondent. If the court chooses to hear oral arguments, the petitioner will present their arguments and additionally field inquiries from the judge(s) and after that the respondent will do the same. In the majority of appeals, this question and answer format may last 10-15 minutes per side.

Whether the appeals court listens to oral arguments or issues a verdict established exclusively on the written briefs, the court will either: 1) affirm the decision; 2) demand a new trial; 3) change the ruling in some way; 4) give consideration to new facts or evidence (seldomly); or 5) in incredibly infrequent cases, may throw out the case completely.

What is the likelihood of a successful appeal?

The number of winning appeals is minimal. Appellate courts offer the trial court great freedom in conducting trials. The law doesn’t necessarily guarantee perfect trials, subsequently appeals courts can only overturn verdicts which contain clear, serious errors of law.

Because of the flexibility appeals courts give trial decisions, petitioners bear a far greater responsibility in proving that errors of law happen to be considerable rather than harmless. If an appellate court can discover any satisfactory argument that the oversight could not have changed the verdict (and is therefore “harmless”), it will refuse to overturn the verdict.

There will most certainly be, certainly, a number of cases where significant errors were made and appeals courts will overturn those verdicts. Particularly serious are charges that the trial court refused the law secured by the constitution, that include due process and equal protection rights.

I lost my trial due to the fact that my attorney made stupid mistakes, can’t I depend on an appeal to correct them?

Don’t rely on appeals to make up for any real or perceived deficiencies at trial. You should put all of your energy into the trial itself, which includes finding the proper lawyer to attempt the case. Successfully appealing a verdict simply because you had a deficient attorney is a difficult proposition. You can’t appeal because you basically had a poor lawyer.

You can appeal on the basis that your attorney was so incompetent that you had been denied your 6th Amendment right to a fair trial (known legally as an “ineffective assistance of counsel” appeal). This occurs nearly exclusively in criminal defense circumstances and the standard for the appeal is really high – courts are incredibly deferential to the competency of attorneys and maintain a strong presumption that the lawyer’s assistance was within professional standards. To put it in perspective, there have been situations where an attorney has fallen asleep during a trial, yet the verdict was not overturned nor the case retried.

Many cases aren’t eligible for appeal since the trial attorney did not object to a ruling during the trial, and therefore didn’t “preserve” that issue for appeal. For example, a written statement from a witness accusing a defendant of robbery is entered into evidence, but the witness does not testify at trial. The defense attorney does not object and the defendant is convicted based solely on the written statement. The Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to face his accuser, a right which, if infringed, could form the basis for an appeal.

Because the attorney neglected to object at trial to the admission of a written statement rather than live testimony, however, the defendant is regarded to have waived this priviledge and an appeal will possibly not be allowed on that issue.

The example sounds absurd; an attorney waives your constitutional priviledge through ineptitude, yet your appeal on the basis of inadequate assistance of counsel fails – but it happens frequently. An appeals court may reason that calling the witness on the stand wouldn’t have had any beneficial effect for the defendant and therefore the decision not to object may possibly be considered a trial strategy. That’s the type of deferential latitude attorneys get in ineffective assistance of counsel appeals as well as the reason why it is important to select your attorney wisely at the beginning of the process and stay involved during each aspect of the trial.

What is a writ?

A writ is a directive from a higher court instructing a lower court or government official to take a specified action in accordance with the law. For instance, if a lower court decides to try a case that is outside of its jurisdiction, one or more of the legal representatives concerned may object and seek a writ of mandamus (writ of mandate) from an appeals court ordering the lower court to transfer the case to another jurisdiction.

How do writs and appeals differ?

Writs are extraordinary court orders and solely issued in cases where a moving party (the one seeking the writ) has no other available alternatives. In the case of the writ of mandamus from above, the moving party had to act quickly simply because the lower court improperly took the case. If the moving party had simply objected at trial and waited to appeal, a remarkable waste of time and money would have occured – and all for nada if the trial court improperly took the case.

Generally, superior courts won’t review choices of a lower court until a final verdict is delivered, for the formerly discussed reasons of efficiency and leeway given to lower courts. Unlike appeals, which need a final verdict, writs are immediate orders and extraordinary in that the ordinary course of a trial is disrupted, potentially causing disorder and delay.

Courts do not necessarily take such events lightly and superior courts do not issue writs often. A court will only issue a writ when a lower court wrongly decided an issue, permanent harm would happen to a party, and there are no other options.

Courts could also issue writs, such as writs of attachment and execution, in order to force compliance with a court order by an unwilling party.

What’s the definition of a writ of habeas corpus?

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be produced to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody.

Literally translated, a writ of habeas corpus is a court order to “produce the body,” and is generally filed by those in prison, though they are also filed by those who have been held in contempt of court by a judge and either imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment. Also known as “the Great Writ,” habeas petitions are ordinarily referred to as the hallmark of the United States justice system. Unlike other countries where the powers that be may throw someone in jail and keep them there indefinitely without filing charges or conducting a hearing, habeas corpus serves as a check on the government and offers prisoners a legal avenue to protest their imprisonment.

A habeas corpus petition can be filed in state or federal court. Before filing in federal court, however, all state options must be exhausted first.

Everyone has the right to challenge illegal imprisonment or inhuman prison conditions. Like all writs, however, courts will insist on clear and convincing evidence in support of a writ and do not issue them frequently.

Houston Appeals Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Dealing with the appeals process is tough and time consuming. An experienced attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas can help you plan your next move. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 
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