Atascosa County Defense Attorney | Wilson County DUI Lawyer | Frio County
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location1433 3rd St, Floresville, TX 78114

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TX defense lawyerA key element of any driving while intoxicated (DWI) case is the driver’s blood alcohol level. In Texas, a driver is considered intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. While a BAC over the legal limit is not always required to secure a DWI conviction, a driver’s blood alcohol level inevitably plays a major role in a DWI case.

BAC is often determined using a breath test or blood test. However, these tests are not infallible. Multiple issues can occur during testing that invalidate test results. This blog will describe common issues with blood alcohol tests that can be used to defend against DWI charges.

Blood Alcohol Test Results May Be Incorrect

Blood tests are generally believed to be the most accurate way to assess a person’s level of alcohol intoxication. However, these tests must be prepared, administered, and analyzed correctly to yield accurate results.

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TX defense lawyerCrimes against family and household members are often classified differently than offenses against non-family members. In Texas, domestic violence or abuse of a child, spouse, romantic partner, ex, parent, or roommate can lead to criminal charges for family violence.

Family violence charges already carry significant criminal penalties. However, if an individual is accused of family violence several times within a certain period, he or she may face charges for “continuous family violence.” Continuous family violence is a felony offense that carries a long maximum prison sentence and other devastating consequences.

Multiple Charges for Family Violence

Texas law prohibits violence against current or former family and household members. Assault family violence involves injurious or offensive physical contact with another person and is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the defendant has previous convictions for domestic assault or is accused of choking the victim, assault family violence is a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of misdemeanor assault family violence, you face up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000. If you are convicted of felony family violence, you face up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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TX defense lawyerCompared to many criminal offenses, disorderly conduct is a minor offense. Typically, disorderly conduct is penalized with fines and, possibly, probation. However, a conviction for disorderly conduct can still influence a person’s life in many ways – especially if the alleged offender is a juvenile. If you or your child were accused of disorderly conduct, read on to learn more.

What is Disorderly Conduct?

Unlike other criminal offenses such as drunk driving, disorderly conduct is not well defined in Texas law. Disorderly conduct can involve:

  • Getting into a fight or physical altercation with someone
  • Making an offensive or obscene gesture at someone with the intent of starting a fight
  • Using profane language intended to provoke someone
  • Music or other noise that is more than 85 decibels or that violates local noise ordinances
  • Firing or displaying a gun with the intent to upset others
  • Reckless exposure of genitals
  • Spying on someone for lewd or illegal purposes

Something as simple as having a party with loud music or shouting curse words at someone can lead to disorderly conduct charges.

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TX defense lawyerAssault is defined in Texas law as intentionally or recklessly causing or threatening harm to or offensive contact with another person. The terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably. However, these are two different criminal offenses. Battery refers to conduct that results in actual bodily injury. Someone can be charged with assault even if they do not hurt the other person. Verbal threats, threatening gestures, or contact that is offensive, such as poking someone in the chest or shoving him or her backward, may lead to assault charges.

Many people find themselves facing assault charges because they got into a heated argument with a family member or friend. Bar fights or altercations in public can also lead to assault charges. If you or a loved one have been charged with assault, speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you build a strong defense to fight the charges.

Acting in Self-Defense in Texas

People have the right to defend themselves against those who mean them harm. Unfortunately, some individuals find themselves in handcuffs for simply trying to protect themselves. According to the Texas Penal Code, an individual is justified in using force against another if he or she reasonably believes that the force is needed for protection. However, the force must be reasonable considering the circumstances.

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TX DWI LawyerImagine the following scenario: You are driving down the road when you hear police sirens. You look in your rearview mirror and see flashing lights. You pull over and a police officer approaches your window. He suspects you of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and wants you to take an alcohol breath test or breathalyzer.

Do you have to comply? What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer test in Texas?

Clearing Up the Confusion Regarding DWI Arrests and Breath Tests

Breath alcohol tests are used to determine whether a person has been drinking. These tests are often used during traffic stops to provide police with probable cause for an arrest. There are two types of breath tests used in drunk driving cases: The breath test that police officers carry with them and use during traffic stops is a portable breath test. Results from portable breath tests like these are not admissible as evidence in a DWI case. These tests are used to justify a drunk driving arrest and take a driver into custody.

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TX defense attorneyCriminal charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and drug possession are often the result of a traffic stop. Police may see someone weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner and pull the driver over. Once the vehicle is stopped, the police may initiate a search of the vehicle. Sometimes, officers bring in K-9 police dogs who smell the car for signs of drugs or other illicit items.

If you are like many people, you may have questions about how and when police can search a person’s vehicle. Do police need a warrant to search someone’s car? Should I give police permission to search the vehicle if I have nothing to hide? Read on to learn more about your rights regarding police vehicle searches in Texas.

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits “unreasonable search and seizure” of personal property. Police cannot search a person’s property or take property without justification. However, understanding what constitutions an “unreasonable” search is not always easy to determine. Furthermore, the right to be free from search and seizure varies based on the type of property in question.

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TX defense lawyerA criminal record can follow a person for years or even decades, making it hard to find employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Having a criminal record can also damage a person's personal or professional reputation. If you have ever been charged with a crime, you probably know this all too well. Fortunately, Texas law allows certain individuals to expunge or clear their criminal records.

Erasing Your Criminal Record Through Expungement

Many people are surprised to learn that being arrested for a crime results in a criminal record even if the person is never convicted of the crime. When an arrest is expunged, it is completely erased from the person's criminal record. This means that employers, landlords, and the public can no longer view the arrest.

You may be about to get a criminal record expunged if:

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TX DWI lawyerThe power and authority held by police officers are not without limit. Police are bound to certain procedures and rules when it comes to traffic stops, arrests, and interrogations. When police act in violation of these rules, it can have a significant impact on a criminal case.

One potential defense strategy in a Texas DWI case is lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop or the DWI arrest. If police do not have probable cause, evidence obtained by police may be inadmissible during the DWI case.

Police Need Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime to Pull Someone Over

The Constitution and other legislation require police officers to have justification for a traffic stop or arrest. Police cannot lawfully pull someone over solely because of their race or the neighborhood they were driving in. They must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. For example, police may pull someone over if they witness a driver run a red light or weave in and out of lanes or if the driver has a broken taillight. Police must be able to point to the specific reason that they pulled someone over. If they cannot give a valid reason for the initial traffic stop, evidence obtained during the traffic stop (such as breathalyzer results) may be thrown out.

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TX defense lawyerMoney laundering is the process of making money acquired through illegal means appear legitimate. The “dirty” money is transformed into “clean” money in the hopes of avoiding criminal culpability for the illegally obtained funds. Money laundering is a crime punishable by jail time and other serious penalties. However, some people involved in money laundering schemes are not even aware that they are committing a crime. They may believe that they are working a legitimate job or even that they received a stroke of good fortune.

Read on to learn about some of the most common money laundering scams and how people get caught up in these scams.

Fake Lottery Winnings May Be Money Mule Scams

Finding out that you won prize money in a sweepstakes or lottery is great news. Unfortunately, scammers often use fake prize money to manipulate unsuspecting victims. The victims are told that they must pay some type of shipping and handling fee or tax fee before they can collect the prize money. However, the alleged prize money is fictitious and the victims never receive it. In some fake lottery scams, the victims are even tricked into laundering profits from criminal activities by receiving money and sending it to another party.

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TX defense lawyerTexas has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. Penalties for drug offenses are harsh and often include significant prison time. If you or a loved one were charged with drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug delivery, or another drug-related offense, it is important to understand your rights and options fully. Prosecutors often offer a plea deal or plea bargain to criminal defendants charged with drug crimes. Before you accept a plea deal, speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to ensure you make the best possible decision.

Pleading Guilty to a Lesser Charge

People charged with a criminal offense are given the option to plead guilty or not guilty to the crime. Pleading guilty is admitting to the offense. Pleading not guilty means that the person intends to fight the charges at trial. In many criminal cases, the prosecution offers the defendant a plea deal. Essentially, a plea deal or plea bargain is a chance for the defendant to plead guilty to an offense in exchange for some type of benefit. For example, the prosecution may offer the defendant the chance to plead guilty to a lesser criminal offense in exchange for the prosecution dropping the original charges against him or her. The prosecution may also offer a reduced sentence in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea. The defendant may accept the plea bargain or turn down the deal and take his or her chances at trial.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Plea Bargain

When an individual is charged with a drug crime or any other criminal offense, they have certain Constitutional rights. Among these rights is the right to a trial. During a criminal trial, a defendant is given a chance to defend himself or herself against criminal charges. The defendant’s lawyer can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make a case for the defendant’s innocence. The jury considers the evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense and eventually finds the defendant either guilty or not guilty.

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TX defense lawyerIf you or a loved one were arrested for drunk driving, you need to know all of your rights and options. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is penalized harshly in Texas. Depending on the nature of the offense and your past criminal history, you could be looking at serious jail time for a DWI conviction. However, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your DWI charges reduced or dismissed if he or she can prove that the breath alcohol test you took was unreliable or flawed.

Problems With Breathalyzer Tests in DWI Cases

Breath alcohol tests, sometimes called breathalyzers, measure the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath. This information is used to assess the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Essentially, BAC is a measurement of how intoxicated someone is. Having a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered “per se intoxication.” In other words, if your BAC is above this limit, you are automatically considered to be intoxicated according to the law.

However, breathalyzer results are not always accurate. Your attorney may be able to fight your DWI charges by questioning the validity of the breathalyzer results. Multiple issues can cause breath tests to be inaccurate, including:

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TX defense lawyerIf you are a parent, you know how hard it can be to raise children. Despite all of your efforts, your child may make mistakes that land him or her in legal trouble. Some teens and young adults end up in the back of a police car because they make poor decisions. Others simply get mixed up with the wrong crowd or are accused of something they did not actually do.

Whatever your child’s situation, you may understandably be anxious and unsure of how to handle the situation. Read on to learn three tips for parents whose children have been arrested for a criminal offense in Texas.

Remember That Your Child Has Rights

Just like adults, children and teens who are arrested have certain rights protected by the U.S. Constitution and other legislation. Your child has the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. Your child also has a right to an attorney. The best advice you can give your child if he or she has been arrested is to say nothing to the police and wait for his or her lawyer to arrive.

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TX defense lawyerIf you have looked up the potential sentences for the crime you have been or may be charged with, you probably noticed that there is a range. For example, the statutory sentence for a given crime might be “2 to 6 years imprisonment,” or “not more than one year in jail and/or a fine of no greater than $5,000.” This is because no two crimes are alike. Even if two people are charged with the exact same offense, there is still the likelihood that the circumstances of one crime are more serious than the other. One person convicted of assault may have caused greater harm to the victim, for example. Judges have quite a bit of discretion in Texas sentencing. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, there is still a lot a lawyer can do to help you during sentencing.

What Kinds of Factors Suggest that Lighter Sentencing is Appropriate?

Circumstances that make a crime less serious than the charge a defendant is convicted of suggests are called “mitigating factors.” If there are a lot of mitigating factors present, the court will likely opt for a sentence that is at the lower end of the statutory sentencing range. Mitigating factors could be the difference between jail time and probation. These factors include:

  • Genuine remorse - If a defendant shows that they are genuinely sorry for committing the offense and regret their actions, the court may not see a need to throw the book at him.
  • Mental illness - When a mental illness, such as a substance abuse disorder or issues like bipolar disorder played a large role in the crime, the defendant may be seen as less responsible for his conduct and a lighter sentence can be used. This is especially true if the defendant is taking steps like going to rehab or seeking mental health care.

What Kinds of Factors Suggest that Harsher Sentencing is Appropriate?

These are called “aggravating factors.” If there are too many aggravating factors, the sentence might be at the upper end of the statutory range. They include things like:

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TX defense lawyerAssault charges in Texas are divided up into different offense levels, from Class C misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. The general definition of an assault under our state’s law is injuring or threatening to injure another person or making provocative or offensive contact with another person. From there, there can be facts and circumstances that make the offense of assault more serious, or less serious. The exact type of assault you are charged with can depend on any number of things. If you are facing any type of assault charge, it is important that you take the situation very seriously. Having even a less serious misdemeanor assault on your record can close doors. Your first step is contacting a good criminal defense lawyer.

What Are the Types of Misdemeanor Assault?

Misdemeanor assault charges are typically brought when the victim had only very minor injuries or no injuries. Common levels of misdemeanor assault charges include:

  • Class C - The least serious level of assault is charged when either a threat was made, or a provocative or offensive, but not harmful, physical contact was made.
  • Class A - Assault is charged as a Class A misdemeanor when the defendant caused some type of bodily injury, but there are no aggravating factors present. Provocative or offensive contact can also be charged as a Class A misdemeanor if certain circumstances are present, like if the victim is a senior citizen.

While not great to have on your record, these types of assault are treated as less serious.

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TX drug crimes lawyerA conviction for drug possession carries some very negative stereotypes. Even if it is not true, you could be labeled an addict or habitual user. You could have trouble finding rental housing because landlords are reluctant to rent to people they suspect may use or keep drugs in the property. Even if you are only charged with a misdemeanor, a drug conviction could have a serious impact on your life. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies an attorney may be able to use to help you avoid a conviction. If you are facing drug possession charges, it is important to speak to a qualified attorney right away.

What Are Some Defenses Used in Drug Possession Cases?

Just because there were illegal drugs in your vicinity does not necessarily mean that a possession conviction is a sure thing. Some defense strategies your lawyer may use include:

  • Illegal search - The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bans unlawful searches. Any evidence found during an unlawful search cannot be used against you in court. Your lawyer will evaluate the circumstances under which you were found with drugs in your possession to determine whether the police had a legal right to search you.
  • Legal possession - It is legal to possess your own prescription drugs. People with prescriptions for a narcotic are sometimes arrested in error, particularly when they are carrying pills that are not in the original prescription bottle with their name on it. Compassionate Use Program patients have also been mistakenly arrested for lawfully carrying low-THC products.
  • Lack of knowledge - While the “these are not my pants” defense rarely succeeds, there are plenty of situations in which a person may legitimately not know that there is an illegal substance in their vicinity. This is common in vehicles. If your grandma left her prescription painkillers in your backseat by accident, you might not notice until the police find them. If you are driving a borrowed vehicle, you probably did not search it thoroughly first.
  • Improper testing - DUI cases are often dismissed because the police failed to follow proper testing procedures. Drug cases can be dismissed for the same reason. The state must conduct laboratory testing on the alleged drugs to prove that they are actually illegal substances. In one famous case, a man was arrested for possessing “methamphetamine” that turned out to be residue from a glazed donut.
  • Diversion - In some cases, your best option may be to enter a diversion program. In this type of program, you may be required to complete rehabilitation and probation, but the case can ultimately be dismissed.

Call an Atascosa County Drug Possession Defense Lawyer

BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys can defend you if you have been charged with drug possession. Our Jourdanton drug possession defense attorneys are skilled at building strong defenses in drug cases. Call 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.

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Posted on in DWI

TX DWI lawyerPolice officers can sometimes be their own worst enemies when it comes to securing DWI convictions. If they follow the legal procedures as well as their own department’s procedures, it can be difficult to overcome a DWI charge. However, this does not always happen. An error at any point, from when they first spot a suspected intoxicated driver through booking can open the door for a strong legal defense. This is why experienced DWI attorneys begin each case by looking for any mistakes made by law enforcement during the process that could make the case more difficult for the prosecution to prove. If you are facing DWI charges, your best bet is to work with a skilled DWI attorney who is familiar with all the procedures that must be followed during a DWI stop and arrest.

What Types of Errors Can Interfere With a DWI Prosecution?

The most important errors that frequently occur in DWI cases tend to either relate to sobriety testing, or a suspect’s constitutional rights. They include:

  • Illegal stop - The police must have had a legally valid reason to pull you over in the first place. Officers will sometimes claim that they saw you swerving, but without crossing into another lane. This is generally not enough. Nor is simply seeing you pull out of a bar, or driving late at night.
  • Chemical testing steps - There is a strict set of procedures that must be followed during a blood or breath test after a DWI stop. Something as simple as having a radio in the room while you were taking a breath test or opening a test tube for a blood test too early can render the results invalid. There is also a waiting period before a breath test can be administered to ensure that any alcohol present in the mouth does not affect the results.
  • Improper field sobriety tests - You may have been set up for failure during field sobriety testing. For one, some of these tests are very subjective and police officers are sometimes less than truthful about what they observed. The conditions under which field sobriety testing is conducted are also relevant - the soberest person may struggle to balance on one leg during heavy winds or while wearing stilettos.
  • Lawyer denied - If you asked for an attorney at any point and the police refused to allow this or continued their investigation, your constitutional rights were likely violated.

Few DWI cases are as hopeless as they may initially appear.

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TX defense lawyerFinding out that your minor child has been arrested can be terrifying. You may be worried not only about having your child locked up in a juvenile detention center, but also about how this will affect their future. Colleges and trade schools, as well as employers, may consider a person’s juvenile record. No matter which path your child plans to take after high school, a juvenile conviction could get in the way. You should also know that if your child was at least 14 years old at the time of their alleged offense, there is a risk that they could be tried and sentenced as an adult.

Texas does have a program called “deferred prosecution.” This program could provide a way to have the charges ultimately dismissed. There are steps an attorney can take to try to help your child get into this program.

How Does Deferred Prosecution Work?

In general, deferred prosecution allows juvenile offenders to have their charges dismissed after successfully completing probation. It is typically only available to first-time juvenile respondents. When an alleged juvenile offender is accepted into this program, the prosecution against them is paused. The juvenile is not required to enter a guilty plea to be accepted for deferred prosecution, which could protect them later. Should your child successfully complete their period of probation, the charge is dismissed.

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TX defense lawyerYou probably do not want to go to either jail or prison. These punitive facilities are intentionally designed to be unpleasant, to say the least. If you have already been arrested and charged with a crime, then you are probably familiar with jail. Prisons, on the other hand, are exclusively for those who have already been convicted of felonies. Your best bet is to do everything you can to avoid landing in prison, starting with finding an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Are Jails Used For?

Jail is where arrestees are taken and held until they are able to bond out - if they are able to bond out. Generally, people are taken to local city jails, frequently attached to a police station, right after arrest. City jails are generally designed to hold arrestees for very short periods of time - usually, over the weekend until they can see a judge on Monday at most.

However, those who are unable to bond out may be sent to a county jail, which is larger and better equipped to keep inmates for somewhat longer periods of time. There are instances where people have sat in a county jail for years on end waiting to be tried. Quite a few jail inmates have yet to be convicted of any crime and are supposed to be presumed innocent.

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TX defense lawyerSex crimes are widely regarded as some of the worst. No other type of offense leaves you with the same kind of stigma or results in the same kind of potentially lifelong restrictions. Sex offenders are likely to struggle with the consequences of their convictions for the rest of their lives. Depending on the level of the offense, you may be subjected to embarrassing notification requirements or barred from living in certain places. The impact of being registered as a sex offender on your life can be intense.

If you are facing sex crime charges, the importance of finding an aggressive attorney and building the best possible defense cannot be understated. Prison time is just the beginning of the consequences should you be convicted.

5 Facts Sex Crime Defendants Should Be Aware Of

If you are facing felony sex crime charges, there is a lot at stake. Your entire future is in jeopardy. It is important that you know:

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TX defense lawyerBeing charged with a felony is scary. There is a lot more at stake in felony prosecutions - you could go to prison for more than a year, and the social repercussions of a felony conviction can be lifelong. Having a felony on your record can exclude you from educational and career opportunities, and even make it difficult to find housing. Some felonies are fortunately relatively rare, but others are much more common than you may realize.

If you are facing one of these felony charges, rest assured that you are not alone. Seeking out a well-qualified criminal defense attorney would be a wise move. In some cases, felony charges can be reduced to misdemeanors when the case is carefully handled.

Which Felonies Are Most Commonly Prosecuted in Texas?

While a misdemeanor record can certainly cause some problems, a felony conviction will have a serious impact on your life. Some people, after being arrested, are surprised to learn that they have been charged with a felony over what they believed was a relatively non-serious offense. Common felonies Texans are charged with include:

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