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Texas DWI Defense AttorneyHoliday parties are in full swing serving your favorite spiked eggnog or toasting the night away with friends and family over many glasses of champagne. Blurred senses and decreased rational thinking usually follow, which unfortunately bring the possibility of an increased number of drunk drivers on the road.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are serious offenses that can damage your reputation and criminal record. Although there is never an excuse to drink and drive, here are five myths you need to debunk if you’re ever pulled over while inebriated.

Myth #1: If I don’t blow hard enough in the breathalyzer, it won’t fully read my BAC.

Failing to breathe into a breathalyzer test will only result in an officer asking you to redo the test until an accurate result is recorded. Drivers who unlawfully refuse to take the test face serious consequences. In Texas, the first offense is 180-day license suspension with up to 2 years for a third offense. It’s also important to note that breathalyzers measure the amount of chemical alcohol content in the breath not the amount in your blood. Taking a blood test is an alternate option you could make if you feel you were cheated by a breathalyzer test.

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Texas Traffic Ticket AttorneySo you just got pulled over and immediately start to panic as police sirens are blaring and lights are vigorously flashing from the rearview mirror. Were you speeding? Broken tail light? Swerving? As the officer approaches your car, you realize a potential high-price traffic ticket will soon follow. Traffic tickets are overwhelmingly frustrating because many people are unsure of the law when it comes to these incidents. We want you to know exactly how they work and what you need to know if you ever have the displeasure of being in this situation in the state of Texas.

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

Reasonable suspicion is what an officer needs to lawfully institute a traffic stop. While this term may lack a definite explanation, small incidents such as failing to use your blinker or incorrectly changing lanes is enough for an officer of the law to pull you over.

Officers need probable cause.

If you’re ordered to step out of your car by an officer, you must comply. However, the officer needs probable cause to enter your vehicle. You have the right to say no to an officer asking to search your vehicle without a search warrant. If an officer proceeds to search your vehicle without a warrant, this act is an illegal search. Call BCP at (830) 769-1010 immediately to handle this case for you.

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Texas Criminal Defense AttorneyThe year is 2019 and you most likely noticed the letters "CBD" boldly labeled across the front of new shops while driving down the street or your local grocery store handing out free samples of hemp-infused treats branded with Cannabis plants. What is this new wave sweeping across the nation? Cannabis is finally legal in Texas, but it’s not what you think. Times are changing for Texas residents, which is why it’s important to understand the regulations surrounding this new bill and how it can affect your use of the substance.

No, don’t start lighting up anywhere you want.

The new bill that was passed by President Trump, known as the Farm Bill, left Hemp sale and production regulation up to state lawmakers, which encouraged several states to take steps to address the legalization of Cannabis and related products – and it’s the same for Texas. To be clear, it is legal to purchase, distribute, and consume Hemp products, but it is still very much illegal to consume Marijuana.

Yes, there is a difference between Marijuana and hemp.

Hemp and Marijuana are two terms used to classify strains of the Cannabis plant. The main difference is that an oil, hemp, is derived from the plant containing less than .3% of THC, while Marijuana contains up to 30%. THC is what is known to give off psychoactive effects or that “high” feeling that is not given when consuming hemp but present in Marijuana. Unlike breathalyzers where you’ll get accurate results on the spot, there is no way to test between marijuana and hemp that is readily available seeing as tests are too costly and time consuming to conduct at the moment.

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Karnes City protective order violation defense attorney

Being convicted of family violence charges is a serious crime, especially if children are involved. Domestic violence can come in many forms, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Many victims will file an order of protection to distance themselves from their abuser before seeking domestic violence charges. Some people who file for orders of protection feel the need to take legal measures to feel safe, whether abuse occurred or not. Orders of protection are not difficult to obtain, and if one is filed against you, it is crucial to know the rules and regulations behind the court order to avoid facing serious criminal consequences.

Who Can File For an Order of Protection?

Orders of protection, commonly known as restraining orders, are set in place by the court to protect the petitioner from someone who has been violent toward him or her or has threatened violence. This is a common security measure taken by those who have been victims of sexual abuse. All of the following must be true to file for an order of protection:

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Pleasanton commercial truck accident lawyer

A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is any vehicle used to transport goods or passengers for profit. CMVs can include pickup trucks, box trucks, semi-trucks, vans, buses, taxis, and trailers. Like any other workplace, drivers of CMVs have certain safety standards to uphold. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is in charge of these inspections to ensure that all drivers are safe, whether they are the ones in the truck or another vehicle on the road. Commercial motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds are strictly regulated by DOT due to their massive size and the potential danger they can pose to other drivers. In some cases, trucking companies are responsible for performing these inspections, while in others, the DOT can inspect the vehicles themselves. A commercial motor vehicle accident can result in serious or fatal injuries

Periodic Vehicle Inspections By the Company

DOT has 13 areas that must be checked on a regular basis to ensure safety and compliance with their regulations. These inspections can and should be scheduled by the commercial motor vehicle company. The following areas must be inspected to adhere to these regulations:

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Karnes County firearms charges defense lawyer

In the midst of tragedies involving gun violence, many states have taken measures to restrict gun rights in an attempt to reduce this ongoing issue. One primary concern that has been addressed by legislators is the right to carry arms in a concealed manner. Some states may have restricted their residents’ weapons rights; however, Texas remains pro-concealed carry. Many gun owners see taking away this legal right as a direct violation of the Second Amendment and a means of disabling people from being able to defend themselves. Regardless of your stance on the matter, it is important to note that Texas residents who wish to carry a concealed weapon have strict laws by which they must abide -- and those who fail to do so can face serious legal consequences, including criminal charges.

The Application Process

Many individuals have the incorrect assumption that anyone can get a license to carry a weapon without realizing the various qualifications that must be met. Concealed carry is legal with a Texas License to Carry (LTC) or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors. Texas is considered a “shall-issue” state with concealed weapons permits, which means that the Department of Public Safety cannot deny a permit to an applicant if they meet all of the legal requirements.

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Jourdanton drug crimes defense attorney

Throughout the United States, the laws regarding marijuana have changed significantly in recent years. After President Trump’s December 2018 Farm Bill left hemp sale and production regulation up to state lawmakers, several states have taken steps to address the legality of marijuana and related products, and Texas is no exception. With all of these recent changes, it can be difficult to keep track of what is and is not legal. That is why it is crucial to stay up to date on all legal changes and contact a drug charge defense attorney if you are facing possible criminal charges.

Texas House Bill 1325

This past June, Governor Abbott signed House Bill 1325 into law, legalizing the commercial production of hemp in the state of Texas. However, before this law can go into effect, the Texas Department of Agriculture needs to submit a “state hemp plan” to the USDA. Farmers hoping to get approval to grow hemp will need to submit growing permits with the Texas Department of Agriculture, which expects to begin accepting applications at the start of 2020. While it seems like the government has a solid plan for implementing this new legislation, lines may become blurred regarding what is considered legal in Texas.

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Jourdanton criminal expunction lawyer

One of the major obstacles that former offenders face is a stain on their permanent record. Whether they went to prison or not, a criminal history can add complications to their personal and professional lives. Individuals with a criminal record can lose custody of their children and have a difficult time finding employment. To help ease the transition, Texas law allows some criminals to expunge their records, but there are specific eligibility requirements that must be met in order to do so.

What Is Expunction?

The term “expunction” refers to the removal of information about an arrest, charge, or conviction from a personal record. In other words, if a person’s record is expunged, the information is removed from his or her record, and he or she is legally allowed to deny that the incident ever occurred. However, this option is not available to most offenders and has certain eligibility requirements that must be met.

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Floresville assault and battery defense attorney

In many states, assault and battery are treated as separate crimes. Assault and battery have different criminal definitions and thus result in distinctive penalties in the states that prosecute them separately. But what about the states that do not separate the two offenses? If they have different legal definitions, what are the consequences for committing them in the states that do not separate the two? For example, Texas does not distinguish between assault and battery. Therefore, it is important to know the distinction between the crimes in the event you or someone you know faces these allegations.   

What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

An action is considered an “assault” if someone threatens another person with “imminent” bodily injury. In other words, no physical harm has to be done in order for someone to be charged with assault in the states that separate the two. For instance, if an individual threw a punch and missed the intended party, the offender could be charged with assault since imminent danger was assumed by the potentially injured party. Battery charges require physical contact, which can be deemed “offensive” or “injurious.” These two offenses are so closely intertwined that Texas penal code 2201 does not distinguish between the two. Assault and battery are classified as one offense, labeled under the term “assault.” 

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Pleasanton driving while intoxicated defense attorney

Everyone has heard of the dangerous consequences that can result from drinking and driving, and sometimes, the warnings about its dangers may start to seem dramatized. However, the potential physical and legal consequences of driving intoxicated should be warning enough. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol approximately every 20 minutes in Texas. Not only do drunk drivers put themselves at risk, but they also place other drivers and pedestrians in danger. There are different charges that Texans can face when mixing driving and alcohol, and it is important to understand the laws to avoid criminal consequences.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

The most well known and common charge related to alcohol use is driving while intoxicated, or DWI. In Texas, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08. In other words, once that level of alcohol consumption is reached, the individual is considered legally intoxicated. While this charge may seem fairly straightforward, there are additional details that some may not know about. Texas law defines this offense as “operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” The term “operating” includes more than just driving. If you are sitting in the driver’s seat while intoxicated, and the car is running, you can still be charged with a DWI. Because you were technically operating the vehicle, the charge remains the same, even if the vehicle was not moving.

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Jourdanton juvenile criminal defense lawyerIt is common knowledge that children make mistakes frequently and often fail to recognize how certain decisions can affect their future. Juvenile delinquency is a significant issue that can become a vicious cycle for those found guilty. Children's mistakes can remain on their records and affect possible job opportunities in the future. According to the most recent data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, there were 3,572 juvenile arrests in 2014. In other words, thousands of children each year are facing possible fines, confinement, and a negative impact on their permanent records.

What Is the First Offender Program?

The First Offender Program is Texas law enforcement’s response to juvenile delinquency. Texas legislators and law enforcement officers recognize that a child’s lack of maturity and mental development can cause them to make a mistake that they do not fully comprehend as “wrong” at the time. The First Offender Program is a minor’s way to start over, even if he or she has committed a crime. Different geographic areas can have their own version of such a program. The program has certain requirements that must be completed, which will allow the child’s first offense to be removed from his or her record. These may include mandatory attendance at group meetings and/or appointments with a caseworker.

Not all children with convictions are eligible for the program. The minor must be between the age of 10 and 16 and be a first offender. Those who have committed Class A & B misdemeanors and state jail felonies may be eligible for the program. However, those who have charges that involved assaultsweapons, or sexual crimes resulting in the requirement to register as a sex offender do not qualify for the program.

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Jourdanton firearms violation defense attorney It is no secret that mass shootings have plagued Texas, along with the rest of the country, over the last decade. According to a recent NBC News report, the shooting in El Paso left at least 22 people dead and 26 injured and falls within the top 10 deadliest shootings in modern American history. These shootings involving firearms have prompted two distinct sides: Those who want stricter gun laws and those who believe access to firearms will keep more individuals safe. The state of Texas recently passed new gun laws, which go into effect soon and will potentially impact many gun owners. 

What Are the New Texas Gun Laws?

In the last session, Texas lawmakers passed nine gun-related bills, a few of which will become laws and go into effect on September 1. There are two gun law changes that affect who can carry guns and where they can carry them. One of the laws allows handgun owners to carry their concealed firearms without a permit for up to one week if a disaster has been declared. Some may say that this new law violates the original law, found in section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code, regarding concealed carry requirements. However, the new law specifies three instances in which section 46.02 does not apply to handgun owners:

  1. The person carries the handgun while evacuating from an area after a state of disaster or a local state of disaster has been officially declared or while reentering the area that he or she just evacuated.

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Karnes City juvenile crime defense attorney

Cyberbullying is the modern version of bullying that, unfortunately, many kids experience while growing up. This term cyberbullying includes any threats, humiliation, or harassment through the use of technology. The constant connection with smartphones and tablet or laptop computers makes this form of bullying much more serious and intense than that which existed before modern technology. Rather than just facing such harassment at school, students now have this form of bullying following them everywhere they go. The perpetrator can also remain anonymous, making it somewhat difficult to pinpoint the source of the student’s bullying. 

What Does Cyberbullying Look Like?

Cyberbullying is constantly evolving and changing as updates are made to technology and social media websites. That being said, there are some common tactics that are used to target individuals:

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Karnes City traffic ticket defense attorney

Seeing the red and blue flashing lights behind you is a situation that every driver hopes to avoid. You slow down, pull over to the side of the road, and hope that you do not receive a high-priced ticket. What many people fail to realize is that paying a large fee is not the only legal consequence of a traffic violation, and in many cases, even those who do not receive a ticket may still face penalties or consequences to their driving records.

What Is the “Point System?”

Every Texas traffic violation is put on record and has “points” attached to it. The more serious the violation, the higher the points. Unlike many states, Texas only has two categories of violations that determine the number of points. Any Texas or out-of-state traffic conviction will warrant two points added to the driver’s record and any Texas or out-of-state conviction resulting in a collision will result in three points. These numbers may sound low; however, even having two points on your record can translate to financial consequences such as higher insurance premium rates. 

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Whether it’s your first day in court or your last day in trial before the verdict is read, there’s just some things you don’t do. Here’s a list of the 10 fashion don’ts that you should remember before you ever set your first foot in a courthouse. The list goes from the most modest to the most outrageous ideas for courtroom apparel. Some of you may think, “No, there’s no way anyone would ever do that.” But these are actual examples, derived from actual people who woke up on the day of their court appearance and thought to themselves, “Hey, you know what might go well with these shoes? A tie that with lights on it under a handcuff necklace. Stay away from these hints for starters. Hope this helps.

1. First Fashion Don’t: No shorts. This is an absolute bar from most courts. You wear shorts, you win a trip into the hallway and a stern lecture from the judge. Just avoid them.

Wilson County criminal defense lawyer

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Charlotte, TX criminal defense attorneyGod help the poor kids who cross the border between Colorado and Texas with hash oil thinking the consequences of getting arrested are minor. Let’s say it was bought legally in some Boulder dispensary and now they’re eastbound and down for San Antonio to share with their friends. If they think that getting caught means a minor misdemeanor and maybe some community service, they’re in for a rude awakening. 

Under the Texas Penal Code, even the smallest amount (under a gram) of hash oil or edibles will get you a felony arrest that could land you in prison for up to two years and a conviction that will tag along behind you for the rest of your life. With standard marijuana, you would need four times the amount to get a similar punishment. If you happen to be carrying four ounces or more of the oil (not a lot) and an officer arbitrarily thinks you’re carrying for the purposes of sale, you’re looking at up to life in prison. To reach that level with standard marijuana, you would need to be carrying over 50 pounds.

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atascosa county dwi defense attorneyDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in all 50 states. Police routinely look for drivers who break the law, sometimes setting up checkpoints to stop motorists. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Atascosa County, you should discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer to see if the charges can be reduced or dropped.

DWI Penalties and Fines

The penalties and fines for a DWI in Texas vary depending on the number of offenses a driver has been charged with. Fines range from $2,000 for a first DWI offense up to $10,000 for a third offense. You can spend anywhere from a few days to 10 years in jail if convicted of DWI. Regardless of the number of offenses, you could lose your driver’s license for up to two years. You may also have to pay an annual fee for a few years to keep your driving privileges. Under Texas law, two or more DWI convictions within a five-year period will result in the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device that prevents your vehicle from operating if alcohol is present in your system.

DWI as a Minor

Anyone under the age of 21 is considered a “minor” when it comes to DWI cases. Minors are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. A first offense can result in fines, probation, mandatory alcohol abuse classes, community service, and more. These penalties increase with subsequent offenses and may include jail time.

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Atascosa County defense attorney

Okay, so it’s not a date, it's an interrogation by a person with a badge either on the side of your car or in a police station interview room. Unfortunately, most people in this situation make the mistake of thinking that the more you talk, the better off you’ll be. It’s natural. It’s normal. And it’s usually a complete disaster.   

First, let’s begin with the basics: You have a right to remain silent. Those words are in your history books, on every TV crime show, and by now, in your very DNA. The officer will sometimes read you that exact line along with your other Miranda warnings. Then he’ll stare at you for a long time and wait for you to speak. Silence begs to be filled.  Other times, he’ll tell you the infamous line uttered in the title: “This will go a lot better if you just talk to me.” Unfortunately, this is only similar to a date in that you two totally want different things out of it. The officer typically wants to confirm his suspicions (or he wouldn’t be talking to you in the first place) and you just want to go home and forget the whole thing ever happened.  

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Atascosa County DUI lawyer

Whether you are arrested for underage DWI, first-time DWI, or multiple DWIs, the penalties and impact on your daily life can be severe. Those convicted of DWI can have a hard time securing the job they want, getting loans, and other difficulties. When facing any DWI charge, it is critical to enlist the services of a skilled DWI lawyer who can fight for reduced or dropped charges.

Depending on your criminal record and the circumstances of your DWI charges, your attorney may be able to arrange probation, which is beneficial in many ways. 

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Pleasanton DWI lawyers

A DWI conviction in Texas can severely impact your life, including your ability to get the job you want and secure financial loans. Even a first-time DWI leaves a significant stain upon your criminal record, along with the potential for up to six months in jail, a two-year driver’s license suspension, $2,000 in fines, and more. Possible penalties escalate substantially if you are arrested for multiple DWIs.

Regardless of your criminal history, you have rights under Texas and federal law. If you believe the police violated your rights, an experienced criminal defense attorney can conduct a full investigation of your case to find out for sure. They can also determine if law enforcement officers failed in any of their other duties during your arrest.

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Testimonials

  • “Barrera was my attorney for a criminal and misterminor case it took almost three years. I couldnt ask for a better attorney. At first I was a little nervous because he is a very quiet man, but when he is up there asking questions and cross examination Stephen is amazing and I knew i would be alright. We won both cases with no plea deals. I would recommend Stephen Barrera to everyone. I wish his law firm many years of success. Thank you Stephen Barrera for helping me keep my freedom.”

    - Laura Egelston

  • “Chris was very professional and knowledgeable of what I was needing taken care of. He handled everything for me and I am so very grateful for his help. I would highly recommend him and his firm. Thank u Chris and Im looking forward to remaining friends. Thanks again, Michael Levick”

    - Michael W. Levick

  • “I was really impressed with Christopher Cavazos and how well he knew the law. On several occasions hes given us valuable legal advice and has been respectful and professional no matter how many questions we had. I recommend him to everyone I know!”

    - Tracy Garcia

  • “Stephen is wonderfully articulate. He has a very organic way of explaining things so that they are clear, concise, and comprehensible to the average person; that coupled with his level of professionalism, empathy, and direct line of communication makes for an easy endorsement and recommendation.”

    - Andrew Sanchez

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