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San Antonio Criminal Defense Blog

Is driving under the influence a risk you are willing to take?

Despite the extensive efforts to curb drunk driving, people all across Texas find themselves arrested for this offense. While you may think you'll be able to go to court, pay a fine and put the whole mistake behind you, the fact is that a DWI can have a considerable impact on your life for many years if you are convicted.

Protections are extended to car interiors and cellphones.

When those flashing lights appear in a rearview mirror, most people feel nervous as they anticipate the penalties associated with traffic violations. Whether you get pulled over for speeding, an expired license or a broken brake light, chances are high that your desire to limit interaction with officers may exceed your need to ensure your privacy rights are protected. Individuals facing a stressful situation may focus only on ending the issue, promoting short-term safety rather than long-term justice.

It is for this reason that many individuals comply with police orders when officers question them at a routine traffic stop. Given the publicized encounters Americans of color have had during traffic stops, a willingness to cooperate is easy to understand. Officers use this fear of arrest to their advantage and may suggest that fulfilling their requests will simplify procedures.

How are the levels of federal offenses calculated?

If you are charged with a federal offense, you need to take the situation very seriously. Federal crimes typically come with stricter, harsher and lengthier penalties thanks to Federal Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines establish minimum sentencing requirements based on the level of offense a person is charged with. The higher the level is, the lengthier the sentence can be.

One thing you need to understand is how the level of an offense is determined. Generally speaking, there are three different elements to assigning the level.

Criminal defense isn't just about guilty vs. not guilty

Every situation involving criminal charges is a situation that must be taken seriously. However, too many people think that they only need legal guidance when a judge or jury is going to be deciding between guilty or not guilty.

This can be a costly assumption to make, and ultimately, it could have detrimental impact on a person's future. Defending yourself isn't just about the criminal charges; it is also about how they have already affected and will continue to affect your life. Because of this, it can be a good idea to consult an attorney regarding the many different issues that fall within the realm of criminal defense.

3 reasons your DWI can be more damaging than you think

Despite the extensive efforts to curb drunk driving, people all across Texas can find themselves arrested for this offense. While you may think you'll just be able to go to court, pay a fine and then just put the whole mistake behind you, the fact is that a DWI can have a considerable impact on your life for many years if you are convicted.

It's not simply a traffic ticket; it's a criminal offense that comes with serious penalties. Below are just a few of the ways a DWI can be more damaging than you might expect.

Will the police automatically arrest you if your spouse makes a domestic violence call?

The Texas statutes concerning domestic violence have dramatically changed over the last few decades. Many of these laws now provide harsher penalties for abusers, but the state has also developed programs to help change the offender's behavior. Although Texas does not have a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence calls, there are some things you should know.

People who have a drug addiction need treatment, not jail time

Many people who commit drug-related offenses are sentenced to jail for a predetermined amount of time, and many of those offenders who go on to become inmates find that their addiction issues remain or even intensify before they return to society. Part of this is likely due to the broad availability of drugs in many prison systems, and part of this can also be attributed to the fact that these addicts-turned-inmates are not getting their addictions treated in the first place.

Theft convictions can have big consequences

In Texas, a seemingly minor theft accusation can still land you in hot water. Even if you think the evidence against you is weak and the alleged theft involves something of little value, your life could be seriously impacted by a conviction. It's important to stay informed about how the Texas legal system defines and prosecutes theft and larceny charges.

Misdemeanors

In Texas, some theft charges are classed as misdemeanors. Class C is the least serious, moving progressively to Class A. The determination usually depends on the value of what was allegedly taken. Class C misdemeanor charges stem from items valued $50 or less; Class B for items valued at between $51 and $500; and Class A for items that $501 to $1500.

3 vehicles struck in suspected drunk driving accident

A serious motor vehicle accident changes lives in the blink of an eye. This is true for everyone involved, including anyone alleged to have caused an accident. A young man from eastern Texas now faces a world of trouble after a terrible accident led to charges of drunk driving.

The accident took place on Oct. 29, 2016 at approximately 2:30 a.m. at the intersection of East FM 1960 and Imperial Valley Drive in Harris County. Three vehicles were waiting at a red light in the westbound lanes of 1960. Two of the vehicles were small cars, and the third was a motorcycle.

Long sentences for repeat DWI offenders becoming the norm

Being arrested for drunk driving is a serious situation. Judges and juries do not take such charges lightly, though sentences are not always severe for a first offence. However, for those with multiple DWI convictions, the courts of the state of Texas seem to be trying to send an extra strong message lately. 

In early Oct. 2016, a 64 year-old San Marcos man was sentenced to 99 years in prison after being found guilty of drunk driving. It was his eighth DWI conviction since 1983. The Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case believed the stiff sentence was the only way to prevent the man from ever driving under the influence again. This recent sentencing was not an isolated incident.