Texas can be extremely harsh on criminal offenders who are found guilty in the court of law for their crimes. Once found guilty (if found guilty) the penalty can range from a simply fine to a death sentence depending on the crime, and certain details surrounding the crime. There is never a convenient time to be arrested in Houston and accused of being a criminal. I felt the need to write this post because I have a thing or two to say about criminal justice and law enforcement in the southeast Texas region.
Main Law Enforcement Agencies in the Houston Area
- Harris County Sheriff’s Office
- Houston Police Department
- Baytown Police Department
- Department of Homeland Security
- Metro Police
- Harris County Constables
Keep in mind this is merely a short list of the law enforcement agencies in and around the Houston area. With over 100 municipalities in the area, most of them have their own law enforcement arms. If you are arrested by a police department, depending on the crime, you will be handed over to the State of Texas ala transferred to the county with legal jurisdiction over the locale in which the crime occurred.
Folks Who Normally Get Arrested
Unfortunately, the people who are most likely to be arrested and jailed for a petty misdemeanor offense, or a major capital felony, are the ones least likely to understand or comprehend their rights, and least likely to be able to afford a competent criminal defense attorney. In a number of these cases the offenders are railroaded by the criminal justice system into accepting plea bargains and prison terms. As demonstrated by this story in the Houston Chronicle, even the criminal court judges get in on the action of railroading people from time to time.
This is sad because least sophisticated people in high crime urban areas may see a hustle as a way to make money while overlooking to potential to arrested a criminally charged. Although this isn’t an accused of criminal activity, it is a reason for the court to be more caring with regards to the handling of the defendants who are subjected to it.
Where is the humanity?
Main Criminal Offenses in Texas
The most commonly prosecuted criminal offenses in the court of law are directly related to the “War on Drugs” and the collateral damage left in its wake. Any Texas criminal lawyer practicing law in the Houston region will tell you that the “War on Drugs” has many victims on both sides of the border.
This can include the tarnishing of your criminal background with the appearance of a possession of a controlled substance related criminal charge, on up to an accidental killing caused by a stray bullet launched from the scene of a drug deal gone bad. In that scenario, one would be looking at a capital case with the serious possibility of the death penalty being handed down in the event the accused is found guilty by Texas jurors and sentenced to death during the punishment phase of the trial.
Other Criminal Offenses Related to The War of Drugs
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of or delivery of cocaine
- Manufacture of a controlled substance (normally related to meth cases)
- Meth lab operation.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Houston: A Major Drug & Human Trafficking Hub
Houston, Texas, one of the world’s largest international cities, is also a major drug and human trafficking hub resulting in a number of federal cases every year. There have been busts of bathhouses as a result of human sex trafficking stings, as well as cases where Mexican drug cartels have murder 18 wheeler truck drivers during broad daylight on our city’s freeways. The cocaine and human trafficking situation is real resulting in thousands of felony convictions every years.
Although most of the people who are arrested by law enforcement are guilty, a number of these people are innocent and had nothing to do with the crime they were accused of. If you or someone in your family or close circles are arrested in Houston and criminally charged, I strongly recommend you talk with a board certified criminal lawyer in Houston about your case.