Thursday

Shoplifting | Houston Retail Theft Defense Lawyer

Shoplifting / Retail Theft

Harris  County Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting is a serious crime. Many teens and young adults may think that shoplifting is a small matter, but shoplifting is a theft crime and a theft conviction can have serious and lifelong consequences. It only takes one brief, impulsive and poor decision to shoplift to ruin your future. In addition to the embarrassment and possible stigma of a theft conviction, other consequences could include:
  • Cannot Get a Job. Most employers will not hire you if you have a theft conviction on your record. If you lie on your job application to obtain employment, you will be fired a short time later. Criminal records can easily be checked by employers online at the website of the Harris County District Clerk. When there is already widespread unemployment due to a slow economy, a theft conviction could make you unemployable.
  • Cannot Return to the Store. If you were caught shoplifting, the store owner may permanently ban you from returning. If the store is the only nearby grocery, then that could be a big inconvenience or worse.
  • A 3rd Shoplifting Conviction Is a Felony. If you get caught shoplifting after having been previously convicted two or more times of theft, you will be charged with a state jail felony.
Houston Retail Theft Offenses
According to Texas Penal Code §31.03, a person can be charged with retail theft or shoplifting if he intentionally and unlawfully takes property from a store, retailer or merchant, with the intent to deprive the store or retailer of the property without their consent.
Houston Shoplifting Penalties
Retail theft penalties vary depending on the value of the property stolen, whether the alleged offender has previous convictions, the kind of property stolen and how the alleged offender committed the act. The basic statutory penalties for shoplifting offenses are as follows:
  1. If the value of the property stolen is less than $100, a class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $500.
  2. If the value of the property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750, a person charged with theft can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000, a  jail sentence of up to 180 days, or both.
  3. If the value of the property stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500, a person charged with theft can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000, a  jail sentence of up to one year, or both.
  4. If the value of the property stolen is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, a person charged with theft can be convicted of a state jail felony, which is punishable by a state jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  5. If the value of the property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, a person charged with theft can be convicted of a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  6. If the value of the property stolen is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000, a person charged with theft can be convicted of a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  7. If the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more, a person charged with theft can be convicted of a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years or life and a fine up to $10,000.
Harris County Retail Theft Defense Attorney
At the Law Office of James Sullivan & Associates, we know what is at risk when our clients face shoplifting charges. Our job is to fight for your rights, freedom and future. Attorney James Sullivan has been fighting misdemeanor and felony charges at trial since 1994, and we will use our extensive experience to get you the best possible result.
Since 1994, James Sullivan has worked to get hundreds of serious criminal and juvenile cases dismissed, including many shoplifting cases.
James Sullivan graduated from Baylor University in 1990 with a degree in Journalism, the ideal degree for investigating, discovering and telling winning stories in court. In 1993, Sullivan graduated from South Texas College of Law, which is nationally recognized as the top law school for trial advocacy.
James Sullivan later graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming. Founded in 1994, it is the most selective and prestigious trial advocacy program in America. The methods taught at TLC are not taught anywhere else. The 1,150 graduates form an extremely unique community of the most accomplished trial lawyers in the United States.
Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your theft charges in Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County and Waller County and throughout Texas.

Tuesday

Houston Burglary Lawyer | Houston Defense Attorney

Harris County Burglary Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with burglary of a habitation, take immediate action and call an attorney. Even if you are being investigated by the police and charges have not yet been filed, you should not wait. An experienced Houston, Texas criminal attorney may be able to fight and win your case at the grand jury level. If that happens, you would have the immediate right to get the criminal records expunged.
If you wait until you are arrested, this option may no longer be available. Also, burglary cases are complex and punishment is severe. The court could impose huge fines. You could lose your freedom. You need the counseling, guidance and defense of an experienced Houston criminal trial lawyer to fight for the best result.
Houston Attorney for Burglary of a Habitation
At the Law Office of James Sullivan & Associates, we know what is at stake when our clients face serious felony charges. Our job is to fight for your rights, freedom and future. We have experience fighting burglary cases at the grand jury level and at jury trial.
Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your burglary charges.
What is Burglary of a Habitation in Harris County?
Texas law defines burglary under Texas Penal Code §30.02 as unlawful entry into (or remaining concealed within) a home, business or any type of enclosed structure with the intent to commit a felony, theft or an assault. Although most burglary cases involve theft, the act itself is not limited to theft. For example, if a person breaks into an apartment in order to attack someone, that person would be charged with burglary of a habitation.
Burglary of a habitation is a second degree felony. You could be sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison. The burglary is enhanced to a first degree felony with imprisonment up to 99 years or life if you entered the habitation with the intent to commit or actual commission of a felony other than felony theft (for example, aggravated assault or sexual assault). In addition, you could be fined $10,000.
Richmond Criminal Attorney James Sullivan has been fighting the State on felony criminal cases since 1994 and gets proven results. With an available team of experienced investigators and experts, Sullivan prepares a strong defense and fights to get you the best result. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, that could include reduced charges, dismissal or acquittal at trial.
James Sullivan & Associates | Harris County Burglary Defense Lawyer
James Sullivan graduated from Baylor University in 1990 with a degree in Journalism, the ideal degree for investigating, discovering and telling winning stories in court. In 1993, Sullivan graduated from South Texas College of Law, which is nationally recognized as the top law school for trial advocacy.
James Sullivan later graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming. Founded in 1994, it is the most selective and prestigious trial advocacy program in America. The methods taught at TLC are not taught anywhere else. The 1,150 graduates form an extremely unique community of the most accomplished trial lawyers in the United States.
Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your burglary charges in Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County and Waller County and throughout Texas.

Houston Sex Crime Defense | Payment Plans Available

The Texas legal system has laws in place to prohibit individuals from engaging in public acts that could be offensive or disturbing to others. Specifically, these laws apply to individuals who are involved in sexually explicit conduct.
If an individual violates these laws, he or she can be arrested and charged with public lewdness.
Public Lewdness Defense Attorney in Harris County
Contact the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates today for a free consultation if you are charged with public lewdness in Harris County, Fort Bend County, or Montgomery County. James Sullivan is an accomplished criminal defense lawyer in Northwest Houston and has successfully defended many clients accused of public lewdness.
Contact the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates at (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation concerning your public lewdness charge in southeast Texas.
Texas Laws Against Lewd Acts in Public
According to Texas Penal Code § 21.07, an individual can be charged with public lewdness if he or she knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place:
  • act of sexual intercourse
  • act of deviate sexual intercourse
  • act of sexual contact, or
  • act involving contact between the person’s mouth or genitals, and the anus or genital of an animal or fowl.
If an individual knowingly engages in any of these acts in a nonpublic place and is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his or her actions, he or she can be arrested and charged with public lewdness.
Definitions of Terms related to Public Lewdness in Texas
According to Texas Penal Code § 21.01, the follow terms relating to sexual conduct are defined as:
  • “Deviate sexual intercourse” means any contact between the genitals of one person with the mouth or anus of another person, or the penetration of the genitals or anus of another person with an object.
  • “Sexual contact” means any touching of the anus,breast, or genitals of another person with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
  • “Sexual intercourse” means any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.
Punishment for Public Lewdness in Harris County
Public lewdness is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. According to Texas Penal Code § 12.21, if convicted of this offense, an individual can be punished by
  • a fine not to exceed $4,000,
  • confinement in jail for up to a year,
  • or both such fine and confinement.
James G. Sullivan and Associates | Houston Public Lewdness Attorneys
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 appreciative of the clients that take the time to write a review.
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. ~Debbie (Avvo review)
If you have been charged with Public Lewdness in Harris County, Fort Bend County, or Montgomery County, contact the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates at (281) 546-6428. The attorneys at the firm each have 25 years or more of criminal defense trial experience. They will make every effort to fight the charges against you.

Monday

Houston Invasive Visual Recording Defense

Harris County Invasive Visual Recording Defense

In June 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the new penal code statute of Invasive Visual Recording to replace the previous statute of Improper Photography which in 2014 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in the case of Ex Parte Thompson struck down as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment the portions of the former statute that criminalized photographing someone not in a private area, without that person’s consent, and with the intent to arouse or gratify any person’s sexual desire. In response, the Legislature made changes and retitled the “up skirt/down blouse” offense to Invasive Visual Recording.

Lawyer for Invasive Visual Recording in Houston, Texas

If you were arrested in southeast Texas for allegedly videotaping or taking photographs of another person without his or her consent, it is important to retain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. The attorneys with James G. Sullivan & Associates fight for clients all over the Greater Houston area.

James Sullivan is an experienced criminal defense attorney who represents clients accused of sex crimes in Houston, Spring, Cypress, Katy, Pasadena, Conroe, The Woodlands, Hempstead, Waller, Richmond, Sugar Land, Pearland and Angleton. Call(281) 546-6428 for a thorough and honest evaluation of your case.

Invasive Visual Recording Charges in Harris County

According to Texas Penal Code § 21.15(b), a person can be charged with invasive visual recording under if the person, without the other person's consent and with intent to invade the privacy of the other person, does any of the following:

  • (1) photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of an intimate area of another person if the other person has a reasonable expectation that the intimate area is not subject to public view;
  • (2) photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room; or
  • (3) knowing the character and content of the photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission, promotes a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission described by Subdivision (1) or (2).
According to this statute, “intimate area” means the naked or clothed genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female breast of a person; “female breast” means any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola; and, “changing room” means a room or portioned area provided for or primarily used for the changing of clothing and includes dressing rooms, locker rooms, and swimwear changing areas.

According to Texas Penal Code § 43.21(a)(5), “promote” means to manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise, or to offer or agree to do the same.

Invasive Visual Recording Punishment in Texas

Invasive visual recording is a state jail felony punishable by:
  • Between six months to two years in state jail; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
James G. Sullivan & Associates | Houston Invasive Visual Recording Lawyer

If you were arrested for alleged invasive visual recording in southeast Texas, it is extremely important to retain legal counsel. The defense attorneys at James G. Sullivan and Associates defend individuals all over the greater Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Waller County.

Harris County criminal defense attorney James Sullivan will work to help you receive the most favorable outcome to your case. Call (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation to review your case and discuss your legal options.

Google Review


I want to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Sullivan, for the care, consideration and respect he showed my family and son, he is truly an answer to our prayers. A few months ago, our 14 yr old son who is kind, funny, caring and who had never been in any trouble EVER, made a poor decision that resulted in him being arrested at school and sent to ALC for 30 days awaiting a court date. Our son heard of some other boys at his school going into the girls bathroom on a dare to see if they could get in and out without getting caught. Due to immaturity and curiosity our son decided he’d try it and was caught by a female student. He had his cell phone out and was accused of trying to film a girl in a stall, a serious invasion of her privacy. Our sons cell phone was taken away, searched and no recordings were found, however the officer scared our son into saying he was trying to film her. The parents of the girl pressed felony Invasive [Visual] Recording charges against our son.

This was a very scary and stressful time for our family, we felt like we were in a nightmare, we were frantic to help our son. Mr. Sullivan has a great reputation working with juveniles, so we met with him. He spent over 2 hours talking to us, getting to know us and our son, asking the why’s, when’s, and how’s of my son’s actions that day. I appreciated the personal stories he had to offer and love the fact that he is a strong Christian man.

I remember his advice to our son about having a strong “moral compass”, how every decision in life is a choice and that a moral compass would guide him to make the right decisions. Mr. Sullivan explained the wisdom of learning from mistakes and staying on the right path in life, and that the wrong path can easily become a “slippery slope” of one bad decision after another leading to painful consequences and a difficult life.

Mr. Sullivan is kind, understanding and non-judgmental and gave our son some powerful words. He calmed our fears by telling us we needed to take care of our son and ourselves and he’d be working hard to get us through this with the best possible outcome. My husband and I tried hard not to worry, but our son’s future was at stake. Mr. Sullivan made us feel confident and gave us wonderful words of wisdom to help us through.

Fast forward to our court date, our son had the real possibility of being convicted of a felony, which would have hurt our son’s life. Mr. Sullivan felt strongly that our son wasn’t a bad or deviant kid but a teenage boy who is immature, didn’t think his decision through and acted impulsively.
Being in the juvenile courthouse and standing with our son in front of the judge was a very overwhelming experience and which I don’t ever want to do again. Mr. Sullivan’s argument to the judge was strong, precise and valid and resulted in an outcome that was better than we could have hoped. Our son received a pretrial diversion, an alternative to prosecution, where our son remains under our supervision with some restrictions and after 6 months results in the felony being dismissed and the opportunity to get his record sealed. Mr. Sullivan then had a very heartfelt conversation with our son explaining the importance of taking the pretrial diversion seriously and successfully completing it and also the dire consequences should he not do so.

As a parent of two great sons, I NEVER imagined that we would ever be dealing with anything like this. I want to thank Mr. Sullivan for not only defending our son in such a professional and kind manner but also how he put himself in our shoes by looking at our situation as if he were the teen in trouble and also the anxious parent! I truly believe this could have gone very bad, but thanks to this brilliant man our son has his future back!

With the deepest respect and appreciation,
Dena T.

Thursday

Harris County Criminal Lawyer Defends College Students

College Student Arrests


In Texas, when college students are arrested and charged with crimes, they have more at stake than just their freedom and reputation, they could also lose out on receiving an education at their institution of higher learning. A college or university may suspend or expel such students if they are convicted of crimes.

Any conviction, even those that result in nothing more than time served in jail and a small fine, can result in painful and unforeseen life-long consequences. Certain crimes can lead to a college student being expelled or denied the opportunity to be licensed in their chosen profession. For any student currently enrolled in college that is charged with a crime, it is vital to have reputable legal representation ready to fight for the best possible result that protects their academic and future professional career.

Criminal Defense Attorney for College Student Arrests in Houston, TX

If you are currently enrolled in a college or university in or around the Greater Houston area, it is important that you hire experienced legal counsel with the knowledge and skill necessary to preserve your future. The lawyers of James G. Sullivan & Associates have a proven record of helping their clients to stay in college and on path to graduate. The lawyers defend students from a wide range of colleges—from two-year community colleges to state and private universities, including medical school and law school.

With our office in northwest Houston, our legal team provides quality legal services to clients throughout the Greater Houston area. Call James G. Sullivan & Associates at (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation.

Common Arrests for College Students in Southeast Texas

Any person can be arrested for alleged violations of state laws. Some of the crimes for which college students frequently face criminal charges include:
  • Theft;
  • Burglary;
  • Drug Offenses;
  • Assault;
  • Misdemeanor Offenses;
  • Criminal Mischief.

Colleges and Universities in the Houston area

The attorneys of James G. Sullivan & Associates represent students from all the institutions of higher learning in and around the Greater Houston area, including:

  • Houston Community College;
  • Lone Star College;
  • San Jacinto College;
  • University of Houston;
  • University of Houston--Clear lake;
  • University of Houston--Downtown;
  • Texas Southern University;
  • Rice University;
  • Houston Baptist University;
  • University of St. Thomas;
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • South Texas College of Law;
  • Baylor College of Medicine;
  • University of Texas Health Science Center.


Find an Attorney for College Student Arrests in Houston, Texas

When a college student is accused of a crime, hiring an experience defense attorney may mean the difference between being able to remain in school and being expelled.

The dedicated Houston criminal lawyers at James G. Sullivan & Associates have the experience, knowledge and resources to help protect the future of you or a loved one. Contact them today at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation.