Articles Tagged with “penal code”

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computer small.jpgA 43-year-old man in San Antonio, Texas was sentenced Friday on 22 counts of possession of child pornography to 220 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Each count of possession of child pornography, a 3rd degree felony, carries a maximum range of punishment of 10 years. But, Judge Herr of the 186th elected to run each sentence consecutive to one another, making one of the longest sentences that prosecutors can remember in Bexar County history.

During the punishment hearing, the prosecutors presented two women who testified that they were sexually abused by the defendant when they were very young. The prosecutors told the judge that he was not just possessing hardcore child pornography, but he was a sexual predator who would strike again if he was released in 10 years.

What you do in the privacy of your home may not be so private when it comes to the internet. With the internet making information readily accessible, prosecuting cyber and computer crimes has been pushed to the forefront of the U.S. Attorney’s agenda. Recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made news when he announced that 72 two defendants will be prosecuted in the most expansive possession of child pornography case in U.S. history. U.S. officials used the name Operation Delego to investigate a vast international online community that was allegedly trading graphic images and videos of adults sexually abusing children.
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The regular 82nd legislative session ended on May 30, 2011, and the following House and Senate bills will all take effect on September 1, 2011. The following summary of the laws concerning the criminal justice system will effect the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which can be located at the Texas Constitution and Statutes website. As with all new laws, the changes made apply only to offenses committed on or after the effective date.

Misdemeanor Fines and Costs:
House Bill 27 amends the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 42.15 and 45.041. This bill applies to defendants of misdemeanor cases who are unable to pay the full amount of the court fines and costs in one payment. When a judge declares the sentence in a case, under the old law the judge could either require the defendant to pay the entire amount of the fines and costs at the time of sentencing or require the defendant to pay the entire amount at a later date. Under the new law, the court has the authority to set-up a payment plan for a defendant. For many people, this will help alleviate much of the stress associated with a misdemeanor case.

New Conditions for Defendants Being Placed on Deferred Adjudication:
For defendants who are going to be placed on deferred adjudication community supervision, House Bill 1106 outlines information that the court must supply. According to amended article 42.12, the court must inform the defendant that they have the right to petition for an order of nondisclosure (i.e. sealing of records, as outlined in Government Code 411.081) if the defendant is eligible. The defendant is limited in pursuing a petition of nondisclosure based on the nature of the offense and/or the defendant’s criminal history. In addition, the bill also outlines the information that must be presented to a defendant in the event of a dismissed case. “A judge who dismisses the proceedings against a defendant and discharges the defendant” must provide a copy of the order of dismissal and discharge and inform the defendant of their right to nondisclosure.
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