Wednesday

Revenge Porn | Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyers

Revenge Porn

The prosecution of cases involving revenge porn has become more widespread in Texas. The term revenge porn refers to the act of sharing nude photographs or videos of a person without their consent. Recently, revenge porn is in more news stories.
Unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material, otherwise known as revenge porn, is a serious crime. Revenge porn is used by offenders to harass, embarrass, or shame their victims. It is often done by the posting of revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person on the Internet, usually by an angry ex-lover, without the consent of the subject and in order to harm them. It can also refer to an offender threatening a victim with the disclosure of such images or videos in order to obtain a benefit, such as financial gain.
To gain the most exposure, the offender will usually upload the intimate material to popular websites where such material is easily available. To further traumatize the victim, the offender sometimes includes with the material the victim’s identifying information, including their name, address, profession and social media accounts.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the statute that made the unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material a crime. This statute makes revenge porn a felony sexual offense and can result in harsh punishment.

Attorney for Revenge Porn Crimes in Galveston, TX

Criminal charges for revenge porn can ruin your personal and professional life. Not only can you face serious punishment, but you could also be left stigmatized in your own community.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a revenge porn crime in the Greater Houston area, it is important you seek an experienced criminal lawyer.
The defense attorneys at James G. Sullivan & Associates represent clients in criminal cases involving revenge porn. These cases can be difficult to defend. Sometimes the charges require expert witness testimony and a complete understanding of different Internet platforms.
Our lawyers at James G. Sullivan & Associates are experienced in defending sex crimes and criminal revenge porn cases in the greater Houston area. Call us today at (281) 546-6428 for a free initial consultation on any revenge porn case in Galveston County and surrounding counties.

Revenge Porn Defined under Texas Law

Texas Penal Code Sec. 21.16 does not use the term revenge porn. Instead Texas law defines so-called revenge porn as the unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material.
According to the statute, a person commits an offense if:
  • Without the consent of the depicted person and with the intent to harm that person, the offender discloses visual material depicting another person with the person’s intimate parts exposed or engaged in sexual conduct;
  • At the time of the disclosure, the offender knows or has reason to believe that the visual material was obtained by him or created under circumstances in which the depicted person had a reasonable expectation that the visual material would remain private;
  • The disclosure of the visual material causes harm to the depicted person; and
  • The disclosure of the visual material reveals the identity of the depicted person in any manner, including through:
  • Any accompanying or subsequent information or material related to the visual material; or
  • Information or material provided by a third party in response to the disclosure of the visual material.
A person also commits this offense if the offender intentionally threatens to disclose, without the consent of the depicted person, visual material depicting another person with the person’s intimate parts exposed or engaged in sexual conduct and the offender makes the threat to obtain a benefit:
  • In return for not making the disclosure; or
  • In connection with the threatened disclosure.
Lastly, a person also commits this offense if, knowing the character and content of the visual material, the offender promotes visual material described above on an Internet website or other forum for publication that is owned or operated by him.

Possible Punishment for Revenge Porn

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code lists the felony punishment for revenge porn.
Revenge porn is usually charged as a state jail felony. A conviction for such a felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for any term between 180 days and two years, and a fine up to $10,000.

Possible Defenses to Revenge Porn

Now that revenge porn is covered more in the news, the general public has grown more disgusted by the acts of alleged offenders. If you have been charged with unlawful disclosure of sensitive materials, you need a strong legal defense.
These are some possible defenses that could reduce or mitigate the charge:
  • Establishing you had “effective consent” of the depicted person in the sensitive visual material;
  • Refuting that you knew the character and content of the visual material you are accused of promoting online; or
  • Refuting that the disclosure of the visual material caused harm to the depicted person

Finding an Attorney for Revenge Porn Charges in Galveston County, TX

If you or a loved one have been charged with revenge porn or related sex crime, contact an attorney at James G. Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation. Call today at (281) 546-6428 for a free initial consultation on any revenge porn case in Galveston County, Harris County, Fort Bend County and Montgomery County.
Our attorneys advocate zealously for our clients. We work hard to get the best possible outcome for your case.

James G. Sullivan & Associates | Galveston, TX Revenge Porn Lawyer

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.

Aggravated Kidnapping | Galveston Criminal Lawyers

Aggravated Kidnapping


Aggravated kidnapping is a serious felony offense in Galveston County. A conviction for aggravated kidnapping can result in severe punishment, including lengthy prison time and a large fine. Such a conviction can also adversely impact your professional career, personal life, and basic civil rights.

It is important to hire an experienced Galveston County criminal defense lawyer because criminal charges for aggravated kidnapping do not have to result in a conviction and the resulting lifelong consequences. In order to convict you, the state prosecutor must prove to a jury that you committed every element of the felony offense beyond a reasonable doubt. With an experienced trial lawyer defending you, this can be a very difficult burden to meet, and any reasonable doubt in the mind of any of the members of the jury can result in a not guilty verdict or a hung jury. Therefore, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal attorney in Galveston who will fight for your rights, freedom and future.

Attorney for Aggravated Kidnapping Lawyer in Galveston, Texas

If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated kidnapping in Galveston county (Galveston), Harris county (Houston), Montgomery (Conroe), or Fort Bend (Richmond), contact James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free consultation at (281) 546-6428. Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan will fight for your rights, freedom and future.

Texas Penal Code Sec. 20.03 defines kidnapping charges as intentionally or knowingly abducting another person. Texas Penal Code Sec. 20.01 defines “abduct” as to restrain a person with intent to prevent his liberation by secreting or holding him in a place where he is not likely to be found; or, by using or threatening to use deadly force.

A charge of aggravated kidnapping has enhanced punishment because it is considered a crime of violence.

What makes for an Aggravated Kidnapping under Texas Law?


According to Texas Penal Code Sec. 20.04, a person can be charged with aggravated kidnapping if he intentionally or knowingly abducts another person with the intent to:
  • hold him for ransom or reward;
  • use him as a shield or hostage;
  • facilitate the commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony;
  • inflict bodily injury on him or violate or abuse him sexually;
  • terrorize him or a third person; or
  • interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
In addition, the offender can be charged with aggravated kidnapping if he intentionally or knowingly abducts another person and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense.

Punishment for Aggravated Kidnapping in Texas


Aggravated kidnapping carries serious punishment. Aggravated kidnapping is charged as a felony of the first degree.

If convicted of an aggravated kidnapping, the possible punishment range is:
  • incarceration in prison for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years, and a possible fine up to $10,000; or,
  • if at the punishment stage of a trial the offender proves that he voluntarily released the victim in a safe place, the conviction for an aggravated kidnapping is reduced to a felony of the second degree. This charge can result in incarceration in prison for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years, and a possible fine up to $10,000.

Finding a Lawyer for Aggravated Kidnapping in Galveston, TX


Have you or a loved one been charged with kidnapping or related charges in the Greater Houston area? Call James G. Sullivan and Associates today for a free consultation.

Kidnapping is a serious crime that may result in an aggravated felony charge. The punishment for aggravated kidnapping relies heavily on intent, so a strong legal defense is necessary. It is vital that you do not speak with law enforcement before first speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. It could be the difference between prison or exoneration.

If you are stressed out, overwhelmed and need guidance, call the lawyers at James G. Sullivan and Associates. We are dedicated to protecting your rights. We care about our clients and strive to get the best possible result.

We accept clients throughout the Greater Houston area, including Galveston in Galveston County, Conroe in Montgomery County and Richmond in Fort Bend County.

Contact the attorneys at James G. Sullivan and Associates today at (281) 546-6428. Do not let this accusation consume and take over your life.

Sunday

Leaving a Child in a Vehicle | Galveston Criminal Lawyers

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 Galveston, TX
Were you arrested for leaving a child unattended in a vehicle in Galveston County, Texas? Before talking with the authorities, contact the attorneys at James G. Sullivan & Associates.
Galveston criminal defense attorney James Sullivan defends clients charged with crimes involving children in Galveston, 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 Galveston, 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 Galveston 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.
Galveston 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 Galveston County, 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 Greater 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.

Wednesday

Galveston Shoplifting Attorney | Galveston Retail Theft Defense Lawyer

Shoplifting / Retail Theft

Galveston 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.
Galveston 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.
Galveston 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.
Galveston 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 Galveston County, Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County and Waller County and throughout Texas.

Tuesday

Galveston Burglary Attorney | Breaking & Entering Defense Lawyer

Galveston 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 Galveston 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 Galveston criminal trial lawyer to fight for the best result.
Galveston 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 Fort Bend 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 | Fort Bend 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.