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Recent Blog Posts

Four Things You Didn't Know About Field Sobriety Tests

 Posted on December 13, 2017 in Criminal Defense

In order for law enforcement to arrest you and charge you with driving under the influence, they must establish “probable cause” which is a legal standard for a confirmed suspicion that a crime (driving under the influence) has actually been committed. Many people know about field sobriety tests, but few people actually truly understand them and what they mean. It turns out these sobriety tests are far from perfect and that means they could actually work to your benefit in your DUI case. Here are four things you probably didn’t know about field sobriety tests.

You Don’t Have to Take Them

You’ve probably heard of the “implied consent” law which states you agree to consent to a BAC test, however what most people don’t realize is this law doesn’t apply before you’re arrested. Field sobriety tests are entirely optional, and you may decline to participate in them. However, just because you decline doesn’t mean officers can’t establish probable cause and won’t choose to arrest you anyway.

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DWI Checkpoints: What You Need to Know

 Posted on November 27, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Because December is full of holidays, law enforcement will be putting up checkpoints to prevent people from driving while intoxicated (DWI). DWI checkpoint use continues to be a hotly-debated issue, with 38 states allowing the checks and 12 states not allowing them. Texas is a state that doesn’t allow DWI checkpoint use, meaning an officer can’t arrest you for a DWI based on a roadblock or sobriety checkpoint.

In states that do allow checkpoints, they usually set up a bottleneck through which drivers must travel. They funnel through one car at a time, checking licenses and asking drivers questions. By looking at the driver and chatting with him or her, an officer can determine whether or not the driver might be intoxicated.

If you were arrested for a DWI at a checkpoint in Texas, you could easily contest the charges against you. However, if you were arrested for a DWI after being pulled over by a police officer who has probable cause to believe you might be inebriated, you will have a harder time defending yourself.

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How to Prove a Sex Assault Allegation Is False

 Posted on November 08, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Sexual assault is one of the crimes that can be particularly difficult to prosecute and to defend. Often these cases turn into battles of he-said-she-said because sexual assaults usually take place in private places with no other witnesses to the crime but the defendant and the victim. Because of the nature of the scant evidence, a false sexual assault allegation is just as nebulous as a true allegation.

Likewise, the stakes are high in these cases for people falsely accused of the crime. People accused of sexual assault can not only face lengthy prison sentences but will often experience negative impacts on their careers and reputations.

When people are accused of sexual assault, police will investigate the case and follow the facts. Complaints investigators gather evidence relevant to the allegations and assess the evidence against established standards of what constitutes sexual harassment in the state of Texas. If the allegation has merit, it will be substantiated by the evidence.

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Worst Crimes Committed by NFL Players

 Posted on October 26, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Throughout NFL history, a high number of players have been charged with utterly heinous criminal offenses. While many players have subsequently been acquitted or had the charges dropped, others have been sentenced to prison for long periods of time—even for the remainder of their lives.

The following is a list of five NFL players who were charged or convicted of horrendous criminal offenses:

  • Aaron Hernandez – On April 15, 2015, Hernandez was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for the homicide of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player. Furthermore, the investigation of the Lloyd case also uncovered evidence incriminating the former New England Patriots tight end in the July 16, 2012 murders of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado that occurred in Boston. On April 2017, Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell after an apparent suicide.
  • Rae Carruth – The former Carolina Panthers wide receiver hired a friend to murder Cherica Adams, who was eight months pregnant with Carruth’s child at the time. While the woman passed away, the child survived. He went on the run after the killing, but was captured a month later on December 15th, 1999. Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and received an 18 to 25-year prison sentence.

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What to Expect After Getting a DWI

 Posted on September 14, 2017 in Criminal Defense

There are various reasons why someone would decide to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. However, before you think twice about operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you must understand the things that will happen right after you get pulled over and arrested for a DWI.

The following are the things to expect after getting a DWI:

  • You will be arrested. If you decide to submit to a breathalyzer test, or a field sobriety test, and fail, you will be arrested and booked at the police station on suspicion of a DWI.
  • You will be obligated to appear in court. As soon as you are arrested, you will receive a summons to appear in court. During your court appearance, the evidence against you will be presented and you will be required to make a plea – either innocent or guilty.
  • Your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. License suspension is mandatory for all drunk drivers; however, the time you will serve varies. There might be a chance to obtain a hardship or restricted license, but you must drive with an ignition interlock device.

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Helpful Tips for Party Guests to Avoid Getting a DWI

 Posted on August 15, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Whether it’s someone’s birthday or a national holiday, there is always something to celebrate. One of the main ingredients of any party or gathering is alcohol.

Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol consumption and driving once the party is over can result in a dangerous situation for party guests. Traffic deaths caused by driving under the influence occurs more frequently around major holidays.

If you plan on hosting a party where alcohol is involved, consider following these helpful tips to ensure your intoxicated guests do not get behind the wheel:

  • Arrange rides home. Consider renting a van for the night or requesting rides from either Uber or Lyft. These are all safe alternatives to drunk driving.
  • Invite your guests to sleep over. Offer intoxicated guests your couch or guest bed for the night. Not only will you have the peace of mind that your guests are safe, but you won’t have to hear the news that one of them was arrested for a DWI.

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About Medical Marijuana Laws in Texas

 Posted on July 20, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Senate Bill 339, also known as the “Compassionate Use Act,” was signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot on June 1, 2015, which legalized the restricted use of cannabis extract for severe epilepsy. This law permits the use of oils high in cannabidiol (CBD) to treat intractable epilepsy.

While CBD is naturally found in the marijuana plant, it is important to understand that this substance doesn’t produce the euphoric “high” due to its low concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive molecule in marijuana which causes the high sensations when cannabis is consumed.

A person may be prescribed CBD or low-THC cannabis if:

  • He or she is a permanent resident of Texas
  • He or she is diagnosed with intractable epilepsy
  • He or she has been previously treated with at least two other epilepsy drugs without success
  • A qualified physician weighs in the risk of the medical use of CBD and low-THC cannabis by a patient and considers the potential advantages for the patient

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Five Common Cyber Crimes

 Posted on June 28, 2017 in Criminal Defense

The Internet has done wonders for connecting our society in ways we never had before. It’s also opened a whole new world for criminal activity, and today there are thousands of different laws and regulations on the books to try to cut back on the amount of fraudulent or illegal activity performed online. Some common cyber-crimes are well-known while many others are actually somewhat surprising. Let’s take a look at five of the most common types of cyber-crime and discuss what the law has to say about them.

Gambling on Sports

Pretty much wherever you find sports, you’ll find someone placing bets on them. Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and other casino hotspots have made a fortune off sports books, but you won’t find them online. Gambling on sports via the internet is actually against the law, nationwide. However, other forms of gambling, such as online poker or slots, are legal in some places, provided local and state laws allow it.

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The Legal Difference Between Murder & Homicide

 Posted on June 09, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Are you a fan of crime dramas or court TV shows? While some of them have been lauded for their ability to show what life is like on the police force, others have unquestionably taken a few creative liberties with the process in order to up the entertainment value. We often find this leads to some myths about the nature of criminal law, such as the terms “murder” and “homicide,” which we find some shows use interchangeably. This is a mistake: there is a difference between these terms, and that difference could radically change your case should you ever find yourself facing charges.

Homicide

In a legal sense, the term “homicide” indicates any situation in which someone’s action directly causes the loss of life of another. This can include everything from drunk and reckless driving causing a fatal car accident to a robbery gone south and a victim being killed in the escape attempt to a police officer acting in the line of duty and shooting a suspect who is threatening to harm others.

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When Can You Appeal Your Conviction?

 Posted on May 22, 2017 in Criminal Defense

You’ve gone through your trial and despite your best efforts, a jury of your peers has found you guilty of your charges, and your judge has sentenced you to jail, fines, and other penalties. However, there’s one flaw: you’re innocent and you know it. This is an obvious misapplication of justice, so what can you do to protect your rights? Are you doomed to suffer the consequences?

Not necessarily. Provisions exist which allow you to petition for a new trial, known as an appeal. This allows you to have your case re-tried, often with the inclusion of new evidence, new arguments, and hopefully a better opportunity to prove your innocence. Not everyone qualifies for an appeal, however. Let’s take a look at the limitations on appeals or new trials in more detail.

New Evidence

A motion for a new trial can be filed within ten days of the entry of conviction, meaning you only have a short time to actually petition for an appeal, so you and your attorney should move quickly to file your petition and start assembling your appeals case. However, this limit may not apply if your appeal is based on new evidence that was not known prior to the trial. In this instance, you could possibly petition the court for a new trial long after your conviction was entered.

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