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December 2017 Archives

Marijuana diversion program approved by Texas county

Texas has not joined states like California, Washington and Colorado in legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but that has not prevented lawmakers in parts of the Lone Star State from implementing diversion programs that allow those found to be in possession of small quantities of the drug to avoid criminal penalties. Supporters of these programs say that they prevent drug users who pose no threat to the community being stigmatized with criminal records.

Authorities seek to overturn sex assault conviction

On Dec. 18, a Texas judge recommended that a man who was convicted on child sexual assault charges have his conviction be overturned due to mistakes that were made during the criminal investigation process. The man was accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old boy in 2013 at an in-home day care center.

Texas DOT launches holiday drunk driving campaign

Alcohol impairment was a factor in about a quarter of the road deaths in Texas during the 2016 holiday season, and the state's Department of Transportation has launched a campaign designed to draw attention to the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking as part of an effort to reduce the annual holiday death toll. The 'Plan While You Can" initiative features interactive games that remind participants how alcohol consumption affects reaction times and advice for those attending parties and functions.

Being accused of mail fraud

Most Texas residents know that using the U.S. Postal Service or another private or commercial interstate shipping service to commit a crime can result in federal criminal charges. If a person is accused of doing just this, that person will be charged with mail fraud.

Cite-and-release program could cut marijuana arrests

For residents of Texas, there have been some changes made to marijuana and cannabis possession law. In December 2017, the city of Dallas began implementing a program approved earlier in the year by the City Council that would create a "cite-and-release" system for marijuana possession. The change to the law does not legalize marijuana or even decriminalize cannabis possession, and it doesn't impact government behavior outside the city of Dallas. This means that public purchase and consumption could still lead to arrest or other consequences, but the program can help to avoid jail time.