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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

The drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV), also known as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and big rigs, play an important role in the U.S. economy. From transporting important cargo across the country to keeping online businesses alive, truckers keep the economy going, especially this past year. The job may seem fairly straightforward—drive from one destination to another—but truckers have a large responsibility to uphold to both the companies that they work for and others on the road. Because these 18-wheelers are so large and powerful, the drivers of these massive vehicles are required to obtain a special license, known as a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and run the risk of facing harsher criminal penalties than the average driver for committing traffic violations

CDL Disqualifications

It is no secret that semis take up a large portion of the road and make other drivers nervous due to their large size and fast speed on Texas highways. This fear of CMVs is not unwarranted, as 39,193 crashes involving semi-trucks occurred in 2019 in Texas alone. That year, 613 Texans were killed by these massive vehicles. Law enforcement recognizes that CMVs can easily place other drivers at risk of injury or death as soon as they join the road. In an effort to keep commercial drivers in check, there are a number of traffic offenses that can leave drivers without their CDL, including the following:

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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney homicide

Austin is one of the largest cities in Texas, housing the University of Texas, and seeing a recent growth in population. This up-and-coming city is not typically known for the violence that exists in dark corners, but over the past year, Austin has seen a spike in violent crimes. Similar to many cities across the country, Austin has experienced an increase in homicides and aggravated assaults. Lawmakers and officials have speculated on the cause of this violence and hope that the new year does not follow suit.

Increase or Decrease Police Supervision?

The year 2020 has come with its fair share of challenges, including social unrest from all ends of the political spectrum. Peaceful protests have quickly turned to dangerous gatherings in streets across the country for a variety of reasons. Like many cities, local officials decided to cut a portion of its police department funding, amounting to $20 million. This was done in an attempt to reallocate resources and responsibilities away from the police to other parts of city government so officers could focus on fighting crime, thus increasing public safety throughout Austin. Despite these efforts, 45 homicides were reported by mid-December of 2020 which is a significant jump from the 29 total homicides in Austin that occurred during the previous year. Additionally, aggravated assaults have risen 12 percent in the past year. Based on these numbers, Austin now ranks 43rd in the country in homicide rates among U.S. cities.

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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney DWI

Attending holiday parties is often the highlight of the year. Whether you are celebrating with coworkers, seeing distant family members, or enjoying yourself at home, alcoholic beverages are bound to be present and potentially consumed in excess. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the holiday season, some drivers may place others at risk by drinking before getting behind the wheel. Holiday gatherings look a bit different this year; some have opted to cancel their gatherings, others have reduced the number of people invited to the party, while many have decided against joining the annual party altogether. Because large gatherings have been strongly cautioned or completely off-limits for almost a year now, the opportunity to have some fun may lead to overindulgence and poor decisions. The Texas Department of Safety (DPS) recognizes the annual holiday threat of speeding and intoxicated drivers, especially during these unprecedented times, and is honing its focus on keeping roads safe. 

Unfortunate Holiday Statistics

Holidays have consistently been a high time for severe accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were a total of 24 fatalities within a 30-hour period surrounding New Year’s in 2019—not counting the additional accidents that lead to injuries rather than death. Surprisingly, Memorial Day and Fourth of July racked up the most fatalities when compared to other holidays throughout 2019. This year, law enforcement is on high alert as the pandemic reduced the number of parties throughout the year, leading to even more anticipation—and likely celebrating—in the upcoming winter holidays. According to news reports from December 22, Austin surpassed the total number of people killed on area roadways in 2019, with 89 fatalities before the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations this year. 

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Wilson County criminal defense attorney felony

Anyone found guilty of committing a crime may see their life flash before their eyes. Whether you have to pay exorbitant fees, are concerned about how your criminal record will impact your future, or have been sentenced to time in prison, it can quickly feel as if your future is spiraling out of your control. This is especially true for those who have the possibility of facing the death penalty, which is still a sentencing option in Texas. However, one legislator is fighting to abolish it. Depending on the decision made by the government, those found guilty of crimes in 2021 may not face this sentencing possibility.

Senate Bill 188

This past September, a 25-year-old man named Victor Godinez had a virtual hearing regarding the criminal charges that he is facing. From Hidalgo County Detention Center, Godinez learned that if he is convicted of killing Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez, prosecutors will seek the death penalty for his actions. Godinez is just one of many who are facing this same reality. 

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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney juvenile crime

Similar to parental rules or regulations set by schools, minors have more legal restrictions than those over the age of 18. This is meant to protect the children and keep them on the right track while moving toward adulthood. According to Texas law, there are two types of misconduct that can place a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision (CINS) cases and delinquent conduct can both leave a stain on the minor’s record. It is important to know the difference between the two and understand what conduct falls within each category to keep your child out of the criminal justice system.

Minor Criminal Offenses

CINS cases include minor criminal offenses, aside from traffic violations, and these offenses will be tried by the juvenile court. There are six types of CINS offenses listed by the Texas legislature, including any fineable offense, running away, inhalant abuse, school expulsion, prostitution, and sexting. As you can see, not all of these offenses would apply to those over the age of 18. Because these offenses are considered relatively minor, the child will face varying levels of probation, but they cannot be sentenced to jail or prison. 

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Karnes County criminal defense attorney drug possession

The legalization of marijuana has historically been viewed as a more liberal approach to drug laws, but more and more states across the country are legalizing the substance in one form or another. After recognizing the medical benefits that cannabis has to offer, as well as the lack of sufficient harm that the drug has on users’ health, many lawmakers have accepted that marijuana may not be as bad as history has painted it. Texas has continued to stand its ground on legalizing recreational marijuana use but has offered some leniency regarding medical marijuana—Democratic State Rep. Joe Moody aims to change that.

Two Bills to Change Texas

Over the past few Texas legislature sessions, Moody has been pushing for the change in regard to drug laws throughout the state. He authored House Bill 63, which aimed to decriminalize possession charges of small amounts of marijuana. Though the bill passed with a supermajority in the Texas House of Representatives, the bill was never taken up by the Senate, not even making it to the floor for discussion. This response did not discourage Moody but led him to file another bill this session that will legalize marijuana if it is passed. House Bill 447 would make recreational marijuana legal for those 21 years and older. The bill would continue to outlaw driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana and would create a taxable market to improve the community. The cannabis products would be taxed by the state at 10 percent, and the revenue would go toward cities, counties, and the Teacher Retirement System. 

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Jourdanton criminal defense attorney

If you have watched crime shows on TV or read about famous criminal cases in the newspaper, you have likely seen the term “bail” with an astronomical dollar amount tied to it. A bail is a form of security given by the accused party that he or she will appear before the court for the alleged crime. Along with bail comes a bail bond or personal bail, each of which requires the accused party to put down a certain amount of money to hold him or her accountable for showing up to a scheduled court date. After showing up to the allotted court date, the defendant will be given his or her bail money back with a small court fee taken out. However, if the accused fails to show up to the listed date, he or she could risk losing that bail amount and face additional charges in Texas.

Bail Bond Violations

When receiving bail, the document will have all of the legal requirements and details enclosed to inform the accused party of his or her rights and restrictions. If the bail is violated, he or she could face a fine of up to $4,000 and/or face incarceration for up to one year. If the act committed is a separate offense, aside from just violating the terms of bail, the prosecuted party will be charged with a separate misdemeanor or felony charge in addition to the violation of the order. The violating party also runs the risk of losing the money that was put down for the bail and depending on where he or she got the bail money as well as how high the amount was, losing bail funds can be detrimental to his or her financial security.

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Jourdanton criminal defense attorney aggravated assault

While all crimes are considered serious in the state of Texas, those that involve inflicting violence against another person are held to an even higher standard. Texas classifies crimes into two categories—property crimes and violent crimes—with property crimes being significantly more common. The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) releases a yearly crime report, and urban areas throughout the state saw a rise in violent crime rates in 2019, including Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Following is a look at the most common violent crimes committed by Texans this past year.

Aggravated Assault

Assault is committed when a person knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causes or threatens to cause physical injury to another person. The charge escalates to aggravated assault when the perpetrator exhibits or uses a deadly weapon during the assault. In 2019 alone, nearly 75,600 aggravated assault offenses were committed in Texas. This offense is charged as a second-degree felony but may increase to a first-degree felony depending on the details of the crime. In Texas, a second-degree felony holds a punishment of 2-20 years in prison.

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Karnes City criminal defense attorney order of protection

An order of protection, more commonly known as a restraining order, is used to protect victims of abuse, abusive threats, stalking, or assault. These legally binding documents require someone to keep his or her distance from the filing party and anyone else listed on the order. This often includes mothers and their children, keeping fathers from speaking or interacting with their kids. In cases where threats or abuse are present, the court-mandated order is warranted to keep everyone safe. However, what about instances when the filing party is simply trying to restrict the kids from seeing their other parent? Unfortunately, these instances do occur, especially after a contentious divorce. In cases like these, our BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys are here to help.

What Must Be Shown to Obtain an Order?

There are a few different types of protective orders in Texas, each of which offers its own level of protection. Depending on the type of order being requested, different types of proof must be shown. For a family violence protective order, the filing party must show that violence occurred and that it will likely happen again in the near future. For those seeking a stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking protective order, they must show proof that any or all of these actions occurred.

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Pleasanton criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Finally gaining the ability to drive is an exciting time in every teen’s life. You have spent the last year or so behind the wheel with your parent in the passenger seat, telling you where to turn, reminding you to slow down, and panicking anytime you have to stop abruptly. Gaining experience behind the wheel with your parents by your side is a right of passage that every teen goes through. When you are finally handed the keys to drive on your own, the freedom is exciting, but can also lead to traffic violations if you are not careful. Coming home with a traffic ticket in hand is most teens’ nightmare. You should know what to do if you ever find yourself being pulled over by an officer to avoid exacerbating the situation.

Talk to Your Parents

It is never a good idea to try to hide the traffic ticket from your parents. Some teens may attempt to do this and wind up making the consequences of the speeding ticket much worse than it would have been if they were honest upfront. It is critical that you discuss the situation with your parents so that they can provide you with guidance on how to move forward. Most may assume that getting a ticket means you are guilty of the listed offense; however, you can challenge the ticket with the help of your parents and an attorney.

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Posted on in DWI

Atascosa County expunction attorney DWI

Getting arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can greatly impact your future, even if you are never charged or found guilty. Because criminal records are accessible to the public, an employer can see these arrests and will often write you off before ever meeting you. This is the purpose of background checks, but you may be wondering why an old arrest that did not amount to a guilty charge can continue to get in the way of your future. This is especially common for those who were arrested for DWI at a young age. Luckily, the Texas law has a solution for those individuals looking to restart their record.

What Is Expunction?

The term “expunction” refers to the removal of information from a criminal record, allowing the individual to deny that the incident ever occurred in the past. Depending on the severity of the incident, Texas law allows individuals to request that information regarding an arrest, charge, or conviction be removed from their permanent record. However, many conviction requests are denied, especially with more severe charges. The following records are eligible for expunction:

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Jourdanton criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Firearms have always been a point of contention. Many value their right to own and carry a gun while others see this Second Amendment right as a threat to society. There are a number of weapon laws that are fairly well known, like needing a license to carry a gun and avoiding particular locations, such as schools or hospitals, while carrying a weapon. However, there are also weapon laws that you may not know about. Being fully informed on Texas gun legislation is critical not only for gun owners but all Texans. By understanding the ins and outs of these weapon regulations, you can exercise your Second Amendment rights while also abiding by the law. Failure to do so can lead to criminal charges and serious penalties, including significant time behind bars.

1. Prohibited Weapons

Just because you have a valid weapons license does not mean that you legally have access to any weapon of your choosing. There are a number of weapons that are strictly prohibited in Texas. Anyone who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, repairs, sells, or transports any of the following weapons is breaking the law: an explosive weapon, a machine gun, a short-barrel firearm, armor-piercing ammunition, a chemical dispensing device, a zip gun, a tire deflation device, a firearm silencer, and an improvised explosive device.

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Wilson County criminal defense attorney

Being convicted of a crime at any age can be a terrifying experience. Not knowing how the court system works or not having a good understanding of the possible consequences of your conviction can make the months of your criminal trial feel like years. For minors, the process can be even more daunting. Your crimes may take you away from your home and family, and in some cases, warrant that you are tried as an adult. The state of Texas allows some juvenile cases to be tried in adult court depending on the details of the charge. No matter the severity of your crime, it is always advisable to work with a reputable criminal defense attorney to be fully informed on the legal process and have a trained defender on your side.

Trying a Juvenile as an Adult

The state of Texas has two separate courts -- juvenile and adult courts. Those who are between the ages of 10 and 17 fall within the juvenile court system. Once minors reach the age of 18, they are no longer eligible to be tried in juvenile court. The age restrictions of these courts, however, are not fully set in stone and those who are 14 years or older may be tried in an adult court if their criminal charge is serious enough to warrant this harsher jurisdiction. Known as a certification or transfer hearing, the Texas juvenile court may waive its right to the minor’s case, transferring the child to stand trial in an adult criminal district court.

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Pleasanton criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Anyone who has a driver’s license understands how easy it is to break a traffic law. Speeding can quickly become second nature, and running a red light may not seem as serious when you are in a rush. The worst thing about it? The more you break these seemingly minor traffic laws without getting caught, the more likely you are to continue doing it. 

Texas is ranked as one of the top five states for issuing traffic tickets and the state has seen its fair share of violations. According to Safe2Drive, the fastest speeding ticket in the world was issued in Texas in 2003, with a recorded speed of 242 mph. Speeding is one of the most common violations that occur, but it is considered minor in the state of Texas. Depending on the risk that the violation poses on the driver themselves and the other drivers on the road, particular traffic offenses can be considered major and come with severe criminal penalties.

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Pleasanton criminal law attorney drug trafficking

With every generation comes new vices and different substances that people use to get a buzz or a high. In many cases, old drugs, also known as controlled substances, reach their peak, disappear, then resurge decades later in a new manner. Over the past decade, the legalization of marijuana has come to the forefront of U.S. policy. In many states, this drug has been legalized for both medical and recreational use, and since its height in the 1970s, marijuana has modernized and become accessible through many different platforms. Various other drugs are following this modern evolution, including a drug known as Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). Gone are the days where obtaining illegal substances was done through word of mouth and the handing off of a discreet package. Now, such exchanges can be done online, leading to increased market size.

What Is GHB?

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid was first synthesized in a lab in the 1960s but saw its recreational heights in the early 2000s. In small doses, this clear liquid creates feelings of relaxation, sexual arousal, and confusion, as well as amnesia and hallucinations, which is why it became so popular as a party drug. GHB’s clear coloring led to its label as a date-rape drug, though it has not been found in many sexual assault cases. The true danger of this drug lies in its overdose symptoms: coma and respiratory arrest, making the overdosed user appear to be sleeping off its effects.

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Pleasanton criminal defense attorney DWI

Getting pulled over, arrested, and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) may leave you assuming that your charges will lead to a conviction. You likely blew into the breathalyzer, received above a 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading, and believe that the prosecutor has an air-tight case against you. While this reading may be enough for some cases, working with a reputable DWI defense attorney can significantly alter the results of your case. Some drivers may presume that this 0.08 BAC means they are automatically guilty and falsely believe that hiring an experienced defense attorney is not worth their time. Regardless of the evidence against you, your criminal defense lawyer’s experience with cases like yours can change your future for the better.

Defense Strategies

What criminal defense attorneys bring to the table is well-thought-out, past-proven defense strategies. These strategies can change depending on the criminal charges and evidence involved in your case. The following are three strategies that a reputable attorney will likely utilize for DWI cases:

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Abogado de defensa criminal del condado de KarnesDesafortunadamente, faltar a la corte es una de las peores cosas que puede hacer en su caso. No es como perder una cita con el dentista que simplemente puede reprogramar. Si el juez lo llama por la mañana y usted no está allí, sucederán dos cosas. Lo primero es que obtendrá una orden de arresto por no aparecer en el caso original. Lo segundo que sucederá es que estará sujeto a un cargo adicional bajo el Código Penal de Texas por la pérdida de la fianza y la falta de comparecencia. Desafortunadamente, si faltó a la corte, ahora ha agravado sus problemas.

¿Cuáles son los castigos por perder mi cita en la corte?

Obtendrá una orden de arresto en su caso original; si ese caso fue un delito menor, obtendrá un cargo adicional por delito menor y si el caso que perdió fue un delito grave, obtendrá un cargo adicional por delito grave.

¿Qué debo hacer si me pierdo la audiencia en la corte?

Entonces si pierde la corte, esa orden será lo que se llama una "orden de detención", y permite que cualquier agente de la ley lo recoja durante una violación de tráfico, lo recoja en su casa, lo recoja en el trabajo. Entonces, si tiene una orden de arresto emitida en su nombre, lo que debe hacer es comunicarse de inmediato con un abogado. Podemos acudir al juez en su nombre, tratar de explicar las circunstancias que rodearon su falta de comparecencia ante el tribunal, tratar de restablecer la fianza, tratar de obtener otro conjunto de fianzas, tratar de hacer cualquier cosa para evitar que tenga que ir a la cárcel.

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Abogado de defensa criminal del condado de atascosa¿Cuál es la diferencia entre un delito menor y un delito grave?

Entonces en Texas, tenemos dos amplias categorías de delitos. Tenemos delitos graves y delitos menores. En general, los delitos graves se consideran más serios que los delitos menores. Los delitos graves se presentan en diferentes niveles, desde el delito de prisión estatal hasta el capital, mientras que los delitos menores van de una clase A a una clase C.

¿Qué cargo es peor? ¿Un delito menor o un delito grave?

De nuevo en términos generales, los delitos graves se consideran más graves que los delitos menores.

¿Cuáles son las diferentes clases de delitos menores y graves?

Por lo tanto, los delitos menores vienen en tres variedades diferentes: Clase A, Clase B y Clase C. Vale la pena señalar que la Clase C suele ser una infracción de tráfico. Entonces, algo como acelerar o ejecutar una señal de alto que solo se castiga con una multa. Un delito menor de Clase A se castiga con un máximo de hasta un año en la cárcel del condado. Compare esto con delitos graves. Los delitos graves van desde un delito en la cárcel estatal hasta un delito capital. Los delitos graves obviamente pueden llevarlo a prisión por el resto de su vida si es declarado culpable.

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Abogado de defensa criminal del condado de WilsonEntonces huir de la policía en Texas se llama "Evasión de Arresto", y puede ser arrestado por ello. Si un oficial intenta detenerlo o arrestarlo legalmente y usted huye puede estar sujeto a este delito. A modo de ejemplo rápido, a veces vemos este cargo cuando se detiene a las personas por una infracción de tráfico menor. En lugar de detenerse, deciden disparar o huir. Ahora, además de lo que de otra manera sería una infracción de tránsito menor, usted recibirá un cargo de evasión de arresto.

¿En cuántos problemas puedo meterme si huyo de la policía?

Entonces eso depende. Si corre a pie, generalmente es un cargo menor. Sin embargo, si corre en un vehículo o en un automóvil, puede obtener un cargo por delito grave. Si corre a pie y luego decide subirse a un vehículo, recibirá un cargo por delito grave. Lo peor que puede suceder es durante la persecución, ya sea a pie o en un vehículo, el oficial se lastime. Definitivamente, hemos visto situaciones en las que un oficial persigue a un individuo, se lastima el tobillo o se lastima a sí mismo en una valla de alambre, de repente tiene un delito muy grave en sus manos.

Si tengo ganas de correr, ¿qué debo hacer?

Honestamente -- no corra. Vas a empeorar todo al final. Mire, si lo arrestan por algo, llámenos, podemos encargarnos de esto y usted hará nuestro trabajo mucho más fácil si podemos decirle al juez, decirle al fiscal que usted es respetuoso, escucha las órdenes y no le da problemas al oficial. Es mucho más difícil cuando el oficial dice que alguien estaba enojado, que era grosero, que era irrespetuoso e incluso peor -- que huyeron.

Posted on in DWI

Abogado dwi del condado de WilsonEntonces en Texas, tenemos algunas variaciones diferentes del estatuto DWI. Tenemos un primer DWI, también tenemos un segundo DWI, y luego un tercer estatuto DWI si previamente ha sido condenado por un DWI. Tenemos un contenedor abierto DWI, lo cual es un delito si tiene una lata de cerveza u otro contenedor abierto de alcohol en el vehículo con usted. Tenemos un DWI con un pasajero menor de 15 años, así como un DWI reservado si tiene una concentración de alcohol en la sangre que es el doble del límite legal.

¿Qué cargo de DWI se considera peor?

En términos generales, al igual que cualquier otro delito, los delitos graves se tratan con más seriedad que los delitos menores. En los estatutos de DWI, los delitos graves serán cosas como un tercer DWI o más, así como DWI con un niño pasajero, así como cualquier cosa que involucre un DWI y lesiones a otro conductor.

¿Debería declararme culpable si me acusan de un DWI?

Entonces, si se le acusa de DWI, es posible que sienta que no tiene opciones, como que tiene que ir al tribunal y debe declararse culpable. No podría estar más lejos de la verdad. DWI es único en el sentido de que es un delito de opinión, lo que significa que puede ser arrestado únicamente según la opinión del oficial que lo arrestó. Pero mire, los oficiales son como todos nosotros. Son humanos; cometen errores; tienen días buenos; Tienen días malos. Si un buen abogado puede señalar las dificultades o quizás algunos de los errores que el oficial estaba enfrentando ese día, eso podría marcar la diferencia en su caso.

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