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Frisco, TX criminal defense traffic lawyerThere is no doubt that law enforcement officers are a crucial component in a safe and functioning society. However, the U.S. Constitution, as well as other legislation, Limits the authority of police officers and other government officials in order to protect citizens’ rights. If you are ever stopped by police or arrested for a criminal offense, it is crucial that you assert your rights and avoid these common mistakes.

Acting Suspiciously or Aggressively During a Traffic Stop

If you are pulled over for speeding, running a stop sign, or another alleged infraction, it is important to remember that many traffic stops result in little more than a warning or minor fine. The actions that you take during the traffic stop can directly influence how the traffic stop ends. When you see flashing lights, pull over and turn the vehicle off. When the officer walks over to your car, roll down the window and respond politely in a non-aggressive tone. Give the officer your license, registration, and insurance information if asked for it.  

Answering Police Questions Without Your Lawyer Present

Being calm and polite can help prevent a police interaction from escalating. However, this does not mean that you should incriminate yourself by answering police questions. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent and decline police questions without your lawyer present. If the police ask you questions like “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “Do you know how fast you were going?” The best answer is usually “No.” Trying to explain yourself or offering additional information can give the officers more evidence to use against you in any future proceedings. If you are arrested, immediately invoke your right to remain silent and inform officers that you will not answer questions without your lawyer.

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Frisco, TX attorney writ bondIf your friend or a family member has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you may be confused and overwhelmed. You want to help your loved one, but you do not know what to do to help them. Fortunately, individuals arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), possession of an illicit substance, theft, or certain other non-violent offenses can take advantage of an option called an “attorney writ bond.” An attorney writ bond can be used to get someone out of jail – often within hours of his or her arrest.

An Attorney Writ Bond Can Speed Up the Bond Process

When someone is arrested for committing an alleged criminal offense, they are immediately taken to jail. The suspect is eventually taken before a judge who sets the suspect’s bond and the conditions for his or her release. Unfortunately, some suspects must wait several days before they can attend the bond hearing. This is especially common when someone is arrested on a Friday night and must wait until Monday to see the judge. An attorney writ bond can speed up this process considerably. Often, an attorney writ bond can secure a suspect’s release within two or three hours.

How Does a Writ Bond Work?

A writ bond is essentially a promise that the suspect will return to court for his or her hearing. The hearing will be scheduled for a later date. When you contact an attorney qualified to file a writ bond, the attorney goes to jail and gets the subject’s signature on the bond paperwork. The attorney files paperwork with the court. The bond is set and the suspect is released.  Only attorneys licensed in Texas are authorized to file a writ bond in Collin County. 

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Frisco, TX criminal defense attorney unlawful searchIt is not always easy to understand where police officers’ authority ends and citizens’ constitutional rights begin. If you are like many people, you may be unsure of what rights are afforded to you by state and federal law. You may also be unsure of how those rights apply to police searches and seizures. It is crucial for every citizen to know when police do and do not have the right to search personal property. If police officers discover evidence of a crime in an unlawful search, that evidence may be inadmissible or unusable during criminal proceedings.

Rights Protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Fourth Amendment enforces our right to be free of “unreasonable searches and seizures” by government officials like police officers. A government official cannot simply search a person’s home or belongings or take a person’s property for no reason. However, police searches that meet certain criteria are permissible under the Fourth Amendment and other legislation. Our expectation of privacy also varies depending on the type of property in question. For example, police do not have to obtain a search warrant before they search a motor vehicle.

When Can Police Search My Car?

In order to legally search your car, truck, van, or another vehicle, at least one of the following elements must be present:

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TX defense lawyerWhen we think about driving while intoxicated (DWI), alcohol or illicit drugs typically come to mind. However, this is not the only substance that may lead to DWI charges in Texas. Many Texans are surprised to learn that driving after taking a prescription medication can sometimes lead to criminal charges – even if the driver was prescribed the medication by a doctor. The penalties for driving under the influence of a prescription drug are the same as those for drunk driving. If you or a loved one have been arrested for DWI because of driving while under the influence of prescription medication, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.

Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Medicine Can Lead to Criminal Consequences

Over two-thirds of US adults take at least one prescription medication. Understandably, there may be a time when someone who takes prescription medication needs to drive. However, Texas law states that driving while under the influence of any intoxicating substance can lead to DWI charges. Even if you are taking the drug legally for a legitimate medical purpose, you can still face criminal consequences.

Texas law defines “intoxicated” as:

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TX DWI lawyerIn Texas, a driver can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. To determine whether a driver’s BAC exceeds the legal limit, police officers may conduct a field sobriety test or a breath alcohol test such as a breathalyzer. Many Texas drivers have questions about their legal rights during a traffic stop. You may have wondered, “Do I have to take a breathalyzer test?” or “What happens if I refuse a chemical BAC test?”

Preliminary Roadside BAC Tests

The majority of DWI arrests begin with one of two scenarios. The first occurs when a police officer notices that a driver is drifting between lanes, turning with an unusually wide radius, weaving in and out of traffic, or otherwise shows signs of intoxicated driving. The second scenario occurs when an officer pulls a driver over for an offense like speeding or a broken taillight and then notices signs of intoxication such as the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

In either of these scenarios, the officer may ask the driver to take a roadside breathalyzer test. Preliminary breath tests are designed more for portability than for accuracy. Consequently, the results of a roadside breath test are not usually admissible in court as evidence of drunk driving.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney stalking

There are multiple activities and behaviors that can lead to a person facing criminal charges, and sometimes, these can arise out of relationship problems, disagreements between family members, or other situations where a person acts in a way that offends or threatens someone else. In some cases, a person who allegedly commits these types of actions may face charges of harassment, but in more serious situations, they may be accused of stalking. This is a felony offense in Texas, and a conviction can result in severe penalties, so those who have been accused of this crime should be sure to understand the laws that affect them and the best defense strategies against these types of charges.

The Differences Between Harassment and Stalking

The Texas Penal Code defines harassment as actions that are deliberately meant to annoy, torment, abuse, alarm, or embarrass someone else. These actions may include repeatedly calling someone on the phone or sending text messages or emails, as well as messages sent through other types of electronic communication, such as social media. Harassment may also involve threatening to injure or harm a person, their family members, or their property; making false reports that a person’s loved ones have suffered serious injuries or been killed; or any forms of communication that involve obscene comments or requests.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney drug crimes

The so-called “war on drugs” has led law enforcement officials to crack down on anyone who is suspected of possessing, using, selling, manufacturing, or distributing controlled substances. However, drug charges can range in severity depending on the types of drugs involved in a case, as well as the amount of the drugs and whether allegations involve simple possession or the intent to deliver or distribute drugs to others. The most serious types of drug charges involve what are commonly known as “hard drugs,” which are substances that are considered to be highly addictive and dangerous without accepted medical benefits.

Drug Charges for Substances in Penalty Group 1

The Texas Penal Code groups controlled substances into several different categories, and drug charges will depend on which penalty group includes a specific drug. Most hard drugs are included in Penalty Group 1, and the possession, manufacture, or delivery of these substances will result in the most serious charges. Drugs in Penalty Group 1 include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, raw opium, and other opioids or opiates that are not included in other penalty groups. The Texas Penal Code also identifies Penalty Group 1-A, which includes LSD and other similar hallucinogens.

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Frisco TX drug paraphernalia possession defense attorneyDrug use is common in the United States, and there are a variety of drug charges that a person may face if police officers suspect that they have used illegal substances. In many cases, drug possession charges will apply if a person is found to have controlled substances on their person or in their home or vehicle. Those who are found in possession of large amounts of drugs or who are suspected of engaging in the sale of drugs to others may face more serious charges of drug delivery, distribution, or trafficking. However, drug charges may also apply in some situations where a person was not actually in possession of drugs, but instead possessed or sold items related to the use or delivery of illegal substances.

Texas Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Drug paraphernalia may include any items or equipment involved in using, manufacturing, or distributing illegal drugs. Examples may include:

  • Pipes and other devices used to smoke marijuana

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Fairview criminal defense attorney gun charges

There has always been a social battle about the safety of guns — do you feel safer with a gun in your hands or without one? The state of Texas allows gun ownership with the proper training and permits. Most people who own weapons use them for hunting or protection purposes. In fact, many who face gun charges use self-defense as their legal defense tactic. Since it is common for this tactic to be used, Texas law illustrates what is considered self-defense to protect those who were defending themselves while also obtaining justice for gun violence victims when the situation warrants. 

Actions of Self-Defense

Known as “protection of persons” in Texas legislature, anyone who reasonably believes that immediate force is necessary to protect themselves is warranted to use this force against their attacker. The following three elements must be present in order for the situation to be considered a valid concern of threatened danger, thus warranting self-defense:

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Allen criminal defense attorney

Whether you are being arrested for DWItheftassaultdrug possessiongun chargeshomicide, or any other number of criminal offenses, you should always pay close attention to what is happening while you are being arrested. Depending on what the arresting officer does or does not do, your rights may be violated. A skilled criminal defense attorney might gain additional information that can help bolster your defense. In some situations, your charges may be reduced or dropped altogether if the police did not follow proper procedures or engaged in misconduct. 

Proper Arrest Procedures

In many criminal cases, the actions of the arresting officer or other officers involved in your detainment can determine the outcome of the case. This is because there are certain procedures that the police are required to follow by law during an arrest of a suspect in order to ensure justice for all, yourself included. This means you cannot be mistreated or otherwise have your rights withheld or violated. Here are some of the things to be on the lookout for during your arrest in Texas:

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Collin County aggravated assault defense attorney

Arguments between strangers or even family members can often lead to heated disputes that may result in physical confrontations. Statistics show that assault is one of the most common types of violent crimes committed in the United States. Many people think an assault is a physical attack on someone, but it can also just be the threat of inflicting violence. It is important to know and understand the laws concerning assault in Texas, because you never know when incidents might escalate. If you or someone you know is facing assault charges, a skilled criminal defense attorney can ensure your rights are protected in a court of law. 

Assault in Texas: An Umbrella Term

Many states have defined “assault” as merely threatening or attempting to commit harmful acts upon another person. The actual act of harming someone is defined as a “battery” charge. In Texas, the two crimes are combined into one single offense. All of the following actions are classified as assault (in this case, “simple assault”):

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Fairview DWI defense attorney

DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a serious charge in Texas, but DWI with a child passenger can be even more serious, carrying with it particularly severe consequences, both in terms of criminal law and civil law. From jail time and fines to loss of child custody, the effects of these allegations can completely change your life. To better prepare you if you are facing these charges, the following information outlines the legal definition of DWI with a child passenger, as well as the penalties associated with this criminal offense.

What Is DWI With a Child?

If it is determined that you were driving while intoxicated (a BAC of .08 percent or higher), and you had a child under the age of 15 in your car at the time, then you could be charged with DWI with a child passenger in Texas. You can still face this charge even if the child did not get injured or harmed in any way.

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