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TX DWI lawyerDriving while intoxicated is a criminal offense in Texas. If convicted of DWI, an individual faces major consequences, including jail time. If an individual causes an accident in which someone is injured while under the influence, he or she can face charges for intoxication assault. DWI involving bodily injury or intoxication assault may involve drunk driving, drugged driving, or intoxicated operation of a boat or airplane. DWI resulting in serious bodily injury is a felony offense in Texas. If you or a loved one were charged with intoxication assault, speak to a criminal defense lawyer for help right away.

Drunk Driving That Results in Serious Bodily Injury

Alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Because of this, states have passed legislation prohibiting intoxicated driving. DWI is punishable by three to 180 days’ incarceration, probation, community service, and steep fines for a first-time offense in Texas. However, if an intoxicated driver causes a crash in which someone is seriously hurt, the penalties are much more severe.

Per Texas law, intoxication manslaughter occurs when, as a result of intoxicated driving, someone causes serious injury to another.

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TX defense lawyerAs the school season ends and summer break begins, many high school and college-aged students are faced with a difficult decision: Do they wait until they are of legal age to drink, or do they drink alcohol before age 21?

Many young people find themselves at summer parties or events where alcohol is served to underage individuals. They may even have an older friend or family member who is willing to purchase alcohol for them. The temptation to drink before it is legal is something many people have experienced; however, the consequences of underage drinking can have profound consequences.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol

In the majority of cases, individuals under age 21 may not possess or consume alcohol. If a minor is caught in possession of alcohol in violation of Texas law, he or she can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. Texas penalties for minors charged with alcohol possession are not focused on punishment but instead helping the minor avoid reoffending in the future. Alcohol possession is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and up to 12 hours of community service. If the minor has a driver’s license or learner’s permit, his or her license may be suspended for up to 30 days. Often, minors charged with alcohol-related offenses are required to participate in an alcohol education course.

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TX injury lawyerTruck drivers, bus drivers, and other commercial drivers provide invaluable services to Texas communities. If you have a commercial driver’s license, you probably know that CDL holders are subject to special regulations and requirements. Commercial drivers are held to very high standards under Texas law. Violating Texas law by driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to the suspension or revocation commercial driver’s license. Losing your license is especially devastating when you need your driver’s license to make a living. It is imperative that CDL holders understand their legal options after being accused of drunk driving.

Legal Limit for Commercial Drivers in Texas

For non-CDL holders, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Texas is 0.08 percent. However, the legal limit is only 0.04 percent for CDL holders. Many commercial drivers are shocked when they realize just how little alcohol it takes to push their BAC beyond the legal limit. For an average-sized adult male, it only takes two drinks to reach 0.04 percent BAC. Women who weigh less than 120 pounds can have a BAC over 0.04 percent from consuming a single alcoholic drink. CDL holders who have a few drinks and then drive may find themselves facing criminal charges for DWI.

Criminal Penalties and Administrative Consequences for CDL DWI

CDL holders face severe consequences for DWI convictions. Failing a breath alcohol test or blood test can not only result in the typical DWI penalties, but it can also result in the disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. A first-time DWI is penalized by a one-year license suspension. A second DWI may result in the permanent loss of your CDL license. In addition to license suspension or revocation, individuals convicted of DWI face steep fines, probation or community service, and jail time.

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Tx defense lawyerHaving a criminal record can affect nearly every aspect of a person's life. Finding a job or apartment may be difficult or nearly impossible with criminal charges on your record. It can also be embarrassing for details of an arrest or other legal matter to be publicly available for friends, family, or neighbors to see.

If you have a criminal record, you may be interested in expunging or erasing your record. Texas law does allow for expunction and orders of nondisclosure. However, record clearing is only in certain situations. Read on to learn more.

Expunging Your Record in Texas

Being arrested for a crime is not the same as being convicted or found guilty of a crime. However, many people are shocked when they realize that merely being arrested for something results in a criminal record – even if the charges were dropped or the person was found not guilty. Fortunately, people in this situation may be able to get their arrest records expunged.

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TX defense lawyerMany people have been in a fight at one point or another. Some fights consist of little more than name-calling and light shoving. Other fights escalate into serious physical altercations in which multiple parties are injured. Individuals who were involved in a fight may find themselves facing criminal charges for assault or family violence.

Criminal Penalties for Assault and Domestic Violence

Violent criminal offenses are penalized harshly in Texas. Even if you were only acting in self-defense, you may be charged with a criminal offense for participating in a fight. In Texas, assault causing bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties for assault can include up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4000. Domestic violence or family violence is penalized the same as assault causing bodily injury unless the person has a prior conviction for assault against a family member. If so, the charge is elevated to a felony.

Assault may also be a felony crime if the victim was a child, elderly person, disabled person, or public servant. Aggravated assault may also be charged if there was serious bodily harm or if the alleged perpetrator used a deadly weapon during the assault.

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TX defense lawyerWhen someone is suspected of a criminal offense, police usually handcuff that person, place them under arrest, and take them into police custody. For a misdemeanor offense like driving while intoxicated (DWI), the individual is held in police custody until they can attend a hearing before a magistrate judge and have their bond set. Once the person pays the bond, he or she is free to leave. He or she will be expected to return to court for his or her first appearance.

Unfortunately, the time between being arrested for DWI and the bond hearing can be 24-48 hours. For those with jobs, children, and other important responsibilities, waiting in police custody for two days while awaiting magistration is impractical and can even lead to serious repercussions like being fired.

If your loved one was recently arrested for drunk driving, you may be able to get them out of police custody almost immediately by securing an attorney writ bond.

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TX defense lawyerMillions of people all over the world have been following the Johnny Depp defamation case recently. Depp was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard, but Depp claims that the opposite was true. He claims that he was the victim and that Heard was the abusive one.

Of course, the only two people who really know what happened in this situation are Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard. However, the case has sparked a nationwide conversation about how we view male domestic violence victims and female domestic violence victims. Do courts assume that men are the aggressors and females are the victims? Do gender stereotypes influence criminal cases involving family violence?

Gender Stereotypes and Family Violence Arrests

Men are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes like assault or domestic abuse. Women are more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence. However, not every situation aligns with these statistical patterns. In fact, the CDC reports that approximately one out of three men have been the victim of intimate partner violence (including stalking) at some point in their life. Gender stereotypes may make it difficult for legitimate male victims of family violence or assault to get the help they need. In some cases, a male abuse victim may even be the one who is arrested and charged with family violence.

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TX DUI lawyerDriving while intoxicated by alcohol can lead to administrative and criminal penalties in Texas, including a mandatory ignition interlock device (IID). Once the IID is installed in a vehicle, the driver must blow into the device and prove that he or she has not been drinking to start the car. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start. Many people wonder if there is any way to cheat or hack the device. Read on to learn more.

Tricking a Breath Test or Ignition Interlock Device

The purpose of an IID is to ensure that an individual is not under the influence of alcohol while driving. The device is like a breathalyzer. To use it, you blow into the device’s mouthpiece. The device calculates the alcohol content of the breath sample. If the sample contains alcohol, the ignition will not engage and the car will not start. If there is no alcohol on the person’s breath, the car will start normally.

Some people try to cheat the IID so they can drive regardless of their intoxication level. However, these alleged “hacks” do not work. Some common methods for trying to cheat an ignition interlock device include:

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TX defense lawyerThe term “kidnapping” may conjure images of someone taking a child and attempting to keep him or her from his or her home. However, kidnapping can involve children or adults. Furthermore, the circumstances that can lead to kidnapping charges may surprise you. Disputes about child custody or even family or romantic disagreements can sometimes lead to kidnapping allegations. Kidnapping is usually a state-level offense, but it is also possible for kidnapping to be a federal offense.

If you or a loved one were charged with kidnapping, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away.

What Constitutes Kidnapping?

In order to convict someone of kidnapping, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person intentionally deprived another person of his or her personal freedom by:

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TX DUI lawyerTexas law prohibits individuals from operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If police officers see someone driving erratically, ignoring stop signals, or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner, the police may pull the person over and ask them to take a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests involve completing some type of physical task while officers watch for signs of alleged intoxication. While field sobriety tests are generally considered to be reliable methods of determining a driver’s intoxication, there are many different issues that can cause a sober person to fail a field sobriety test.

Obesity and Physical Health Problems

A significant portion of the population has a body mass index that puts them in the “obese” or “morbidly obese” category. For these individuals, completing field sobriety tests may be difficult or even impossible. The most common field sobriety tests include the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn test, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. The one-leg stand and walk-and-turn tests are supposed to assess the driver’s ability to balance. However, being significantly overweight or obese can make it much harder for people to balance and complete these tasks correctly.

Physical disabilities, medical problems, and injuries can also make it difficult to complete the task – even while sober. For example, someone who recently suffered a torn ACL may be unable to put weight on that foot because it is too painful.

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TX drug lawyerIf you are like most people, you probably have questions about the legality of cannabis and cannabis-related products in Texas. Public opinion on cannabis has changed dramatically in the last several decades and more and more states are decriminalizing or fully legalizing marijuana products. In some states, only individuals with a valid medical marijuana card are permitted to possess and consume cannabis. In other states, any adult may possess a moderate amount of marijuana flowers, edibles, or other marijuana-containing products. Delta-8 products and CBD products are considered to be different substances than traditional cannabis. However, the legality of these products has also been subject to controversy and confusion.

What is the Difference Between CBD, Delta 8, and Delta 9?

Cannabis is a plant that contains over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the component of marijuana that produces the psychoactive effects, or “high” marijuana is known for. However, other compounds in marijuana and hemp plants do not produce any psychoactive effects. CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown to help with certain medical conditions without producing the “high” of THC.

Currently, CBD products are legal in Texas. However, THC-containing products are almost entirely illegal. The Compassionate Use Program allows certain individuals with severe medical problems to consume marijuana products with low levels of THC.

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TX defense lawyerThe way we shop for groceries, household items, and other goods has changed dramatically in recent years. Before the technological advances of the last few decades, shoppers paid cashiers directly with either cash or credit cards. Self-checkout kiosks started gaining popularity in the 90s and early 2000s. Now, many stores have a greater number of self-checkout systems than human cashiers. Shoppers also have multiple ways to pay for their items including contactless credit cards and smartphone applications.

It can be hard to keep up with all of these changes. Sometimes, a person may think that they paid for all of their items when they actually failed to pay for an item or underpaid for an item. In some cases, a simple mistake like this can even lead to criminal charges for shoplifting.

Is it Possible to Shoplift by Accident?

Consider the following scenario. A busy woman struggling to shop with her two young children uses a self-checkout machine to scan and pay for her items. As she is scanning items and placing them into the bags, she accidentally skips an expensive makeup palette. Not realizing her mistake, the woman places the items in the bags, pays for her items, and walks out of the store. As soon as she has exited the store, she is confronted by loss prevention staff and accused of stealing the makeup palette. Did the woman steal the makeup if she did not actually intend to leave the store without paying for it? Can the woman face legal consequences for shoplifting because of a simple mistake?

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TX defense lawyerIf you have been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be facing criminal and administrative consequences that dramatically impact your life. DWI is typically a Class B misdemeanor offense punishable by fines, 3-180 days in jail, driver’s license suspension up to two years, and other serious consequences. However, certain circumstances can heighten DWI penalties and lead to increased jail time.

As someone accused of drunk driving, it is important to understand the defense strategies you may use to decrease or eliminate the consequences you face. In this blog, we will describe how the nature of blood alcohol content may be used as a valid defense against DWI charges.

Understanding How Alcohol Levels Rise and Fall Over Time

The amount of alcohol a person has consumed can be measured by evaluating the amount of alcohol in their body fluids or breath. The term “blood alcohol content” or BAC is the standard unit of measurement used to describe how intoxicated someone is. Having a BAC over 0.08 percent is considered legally intoxicated.

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TX defense lawyerCriminal defendants have rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. Among these rights is the right to know the charges laid against them. When someone is arrested for a crime, he or she is processed at booking. Next, the defendant goes to court for magistration. During magistration, the defendant’s bond is set. Unfortunately, the time period between an arrest and the meeting with the magistrate judge can take up to several days.

An attorney writ bond allows a defendant to bypass the process of meeting with a magistrate. This can expedite the process of getting the defendant out of police custody. Only licensed attorneys may obtain an attorney writ bond.

A Writ Bond Gets the Defendant Out of Jail Sooner

Most individuals accused of crimes have jobs, children, or other responsibilities. They do not have time to spend time in police custody waiting to see a magistrate. One of the greatest benefits of an attorney writ bond is that it gets the accused individual out of jail sooner. For example, if someone is arrested on a Friday night, he or she may not see a judge until Monday morning. An attorney writ bond can speed this process up so that the defendant does not have to wait. With an attorney writ bond, a defendant may only have to wait a couple of hours instead of a couple of days.

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TX criminal lawyerAlthough work-from-home opportunities have increased after the pandemic, many adults still need to drive for their job. In the Collin County area, public transportation may not be sufficient for workers’ transportation needs. Consequently, losing your driver’s license can be a huge hindrance. If you lost your license due to charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and you work outside the home, you may be tempted to drive anyway. However, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license is considered a criminal offense punishable by heavy fines and a longer suspension period.

Fortunately, many drivers charged with DWI are eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License or “essential needs license” which enables them to drive lawfully.

Regaining Driving Privileges After a Drunk Driving Charge

Many people with suspended driver’s licenses are unable to fulfill their responsibilities without driving. If you lost your license but you need to drive to get to school or work, you may be able to get an Occupational Driver’s License. This license enables you to drive for up to 12 hours a day for specific purposes. You can apply for an Occupational Driver’s License by submitting a petition to the court. You will also need to fill out and submit a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate to prove that you are insured. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may also need to submit your driving record and appear in court in front of a judge to get an Occupational Driver’s License. You will need to demonstrate to the court why you need this license to fulfill your personal or professional responsibilities. A DWI defense lawyer can help you gather the necessary paperwork, submit a petition to the court, and argue your case in front of the judge at your ODL hearing.

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TX defense lawyerBeing charged with a crime can be confusing and overwhelming. If you or a loved one are facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI), drug possession, or another offense, you may have many questions. One issue that frequently arises in criminal defense cases is interpreting legal jargon and unfamiliar phrases. You may have heard that police need “probable cause” to make an arrest but are unsure exactly what this phrase means. Whether you are the person facing charges or a family member has been arrested, it is important to understand the rights afforded to criminal defendants.

Fourth Amendment Protections for Individuals Accused of a Crime

The U.S. Constitution offers many legal protections to criminal defendants. The Fourth Amendment establishes the “probable cause” prerequisite for arrests, searches and seizures, and search warrants. Probable cause means that officers have a reasonable belief that the law is being broken. Police and other government officials cannot conduct a traffic stop, arrest, or search without a good reason for doing so. Police may not assume that a person has committed a crime based on the way he or she looks or the neighborhood the person is in. Arrests cannot be made on a hunch or guess. Searches, seizures, arrests, and traffic stops must be justified.

How Does the Probable Cause Standard Influence Criminal Cases?

Ultimately, the party who decides whether the probable cause standard was met is the judge presiding over a criminal case. If a criminal defense attorney can demonstrate that police did not have probable cause to take certain actions, the case could even be dismissed.

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TX defense lawyerAcross the nation, many states are adopting marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes. However, marijuana use is still illegal in Texas. Furthermore, it is strictly against the law to drive while intoxicated by marijuana or cannabis. Marijuana can worsen a driver’s coordination and ability to concentrate. The drug also increases reaction time which means that it will take longer for the driver to react to dangerous conditions on the road such as a stopped vehicle or fallen truck cargo. For these reasons, driving while high on marijuana is against the law. Individuals who do drive high can be charged with driving while intoxicated and subjected to significant penalties.

Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana

When we think of DWI charges, we usually assume that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. However, you can also get a DWI for drugged driving. For alcohol, the legal limit is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). However, there is no legal limit when it comes to marijuana. Having any amount of marijuana in your system while operating a car can lead to DWI charges.

How Do Officers Know if a Driver Has Consumed Cannabis?

Many drivers wonder how an officer can tell that they have used marijuana or cannabis products like edibles. When determining if a driver is impaired by drugs, law enforcement may look for signs such as:

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TX DWI lawyerIn Texas, a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to significant penalties that have a considerable influence on the offender’s life. Even a first-time DWI conviction involves a three-day mandatory jail sentence. Second, third, or subsequent DWI charges can lead to even harsher consequences, including up to a year or more in jail. Driver’s license suspension, mandatory DWI education classes, probation, and a mandatory ignition interlock device are also potential consequences of a DWI conviction.

If you or a loved one were charged with drunk driving in Texas, contact a DWI defense lawyer for help. You may be able to avoid conviction by presenting a compelling defense founded upon supporting evidence.

Fighting For Your Freedom Using Strong Evidence

To convict someone of driving while intoxicated, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was drunk driving “beyond a reasonable doubt.” One of the best defense strategies is to demonstrate that there is reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt. Examples of evidence that may be useful in a drunk driving defense case include:

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TX defense lawyerIn Texas, a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is often a misdemeanor offense. Unless certain aggravating circumstances are present, most first-time DUI offenders face a minimum of three days in jail, fines, and other penalties. However, if a DWI offender causes injury to death to another person while under the influence, the charges are much more severe. Intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter are felony offenses that have the potential to change your entire life. If you or a loved one were charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, retain qualified legal counsel as soon as possible. You could be facing significant prison time.

Intoxication Assault Charges in Texas

When someone is harmed in connection with a DWI case, the driver may be charged with intoxication assault. Hitting someone with your vehicle or causing a car accident in which someone was seriously injured can lead to intoxication assault charges. Texas prosecutors often pursue intoxication assault cases fervently and advocate for long prison sentences.

Per the Texas Penal Code, intoxication assault occurs when someone suffers “serious bodily injury” as a result of intoxicated driving. Serious bodily injury is defined as injury which has the potential to be deadly or injury that causes permanent loss of function or disfigurement. Intoxication assault or DWI with serious bodily injury is punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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TX DUI lawyerThere are many different situations where drivers may be pulled over by police officers because they are suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI). An officer may believe that a person was driving erratically or exhibiting other signs of intoxication, or they may pull a person over for committing a traffic violation, and their observations of the driver may lead them to suspect that the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, before an officer can arrest someone for DWI, they must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that the person is intoxicated. To establish probable cause, an officer may ask a driver to submit to different types of field sobriety tests, and based on their observations during these tests, they may determine that the driver is intoxicated and perform an arrest.

What Officers Look for in Different Types of Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are meant to determine whether a person is unable to operate a motor vehicle safely because they are under the influence of intoxicating substances. There are three types of tests that are considered to be “standardized” field sobriety tests that have been validated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Two of the three standardized field sobriety tests are known as “divided attention” tests, and they may be used to determine whether a person is able to pay attention to multiple tasks at once, which is a necessary skill for driving. The “walk and turn” test will require a person to take a certain number of heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turn around, and take the same number of steps to return to their original position. The “one-leg stand” test will require a person to stand with one foot raised off the ground for 30 seconds.

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