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New Braunfels Law Blog

Do you know what an ignition interlock device actually does?

Perhaps you left that holiday party a bit too soon after having a couple of drinks. Even though you felt as though you were okay to drive, a police officer pulled you over. After putting you through the paces, so to speak, the officer determined that there was enough evidence to accuse you of DUI. As a result, you may face the suspension of your driver's license.

It may be possible to keep your license, but a judge may require you to use an ignition interlock device. You have probably heard about these devices but aren't sure what they actually do.

Processing emotions when faced with a loved one's sudden death

Nothing could have prepared you for the moment you answered the phone and learned that your loved one was involved in a fatal car accident. Only those in Texas and beyond who have suffered similar losses can relate to the utter shock and devastation you experienced in the moments and days that followed that initial call. Picking up the pieces and moving on in life after a sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences of a lifetime. 

You hopefully have strong family support to help you cope with your great loss. Many Texas families who have faced similar situations in the past have found it helpful to reach out for additional support, perhaps by attending community family groups or licensed counseling, or by pursuing consultation with experienced legal advocates, especially if a death was caused by someone's negligence.  

Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

As a parent of a Texas college student, chances are, you instilled wisdom in your son or daughter before he or she left your home with the hope that your child will make smart choices without your direct guidance. For many young people, however, college is a time for experimentation, and that might mean using drugs or alcohol at parties or recreationally. In some cases, drug use can lead to serious consequences that come from both inside and out of the criminal justice system.

While your child may see his or her experimentation with drugs as little more than some innocent fun, authorities may feel otherwise, and if your child ends up facing a possible drug conviction, it could end up costing you considerable money. How? These days, according to U.S. News & World Report, drug convictions can make your college student ineligible for federal financial aid, leaving you to make up the difference if you want your child to continue his or her schooling.

Whose drugs are they?

Facing drug charges in Texas can be a very serious matter. Depending on what type of drug officers accuse you of having and the amount thereof, a conviction could put you in jail or prison for a substantial length of time. But remember, before a prosecutor can convict you of any type of drug charge, (s)he must first prove that you owned or controlled the drugs.

Per FindLaw, a prosecutor has two ways of proving the drugs belonged to you: actual possession and constructive possession. The former is far easier to prove than the latter. In an actual possession case, all the prosecutor must prove is that the officers recovered the drugs from your person, such as from one of your pockets. (S)he proves this through direct evidence, i.e., the testimony of the officer who recovered the drugs from you. Should the jury believe the officer’s testimony credible, your conviction is virtually assured.

The scary facts about aggressive driving

Many motorists in Texas and across the United States have gotten upset with other drivers while trying to navigate busy roadways. In fact, a study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that approximately 80 percent of motorists have felt angry or enraged while driving at least one time within the last year. This road rage has contributed to a number of catastrophic car accidents, injuries and deaths. What is the cause of such rage while behind the wheel? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, delays in traffic and people running late to work, a meeting or an appointment are some of the most common reasons why people get frustrated while driving. Others have a total disregard for the law and may feel a sense of anonymity when traveling in their vehicles.

It is important for motorists to be aware of aggressive driving behaviors, so they can minimize their risk of being involving in a road rage accident. These behaviors include the following:

  • Tailgating or driving too closely behind another driver
  • Obsessive horn honking, using gestures or yelling profanities
  • Blocking another vehicle from changing lanes
  • Erratically switching in and out of lanes
  • Cutting off other vehicles
  • Failing to respond to traffic signals or other drivers’ right of way

Questions and tests are necessary when examining brain injuries

Because your brain is one of the most important organs in your body, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you suffer an injury that affects your head. Brain injuries can happen suddenly, and the severity of the injury may not be obvious at first. As a result, medical staff members often perform a series of tests to determine severity.

Soon after suffering your injury, you may find yourself having to answer numerous questions -- if you have the ability to do so -- and having to undergo various testing. If your injury makes it impossible for you to provide medical professionals with needed information, hopefully, someone who witnessed the injury-causing event will be able to answer questions.

What is the true cost of a DWI in Texas?

If you were stopped and arrested for drinking and driving in Texas, your reputation and your wallet may be at stake. DWIs come with several intangible consequences, including but not limited to difficulty finding gainful employment, tarnished character, interrupted family life and other costs. They also come with a number of tangible consequences, the greatest of which is actual cost. 

According to ABC13, Texas considers driving while intoxicated “drunk driving.” The penalties for drunk driving are severe regardless of how many prior convictions you have. However, they become more severe if you have prior convictions and if you cause serious bodily harm or death.

Make sure you don’t start a road trip tired

You might be staying in your hometown during the holidays, or you could have plans to visit distant loved ones. No matter what your holiday travel plans are this season, our team at the Kyle Law Firm wants you and other Texas residents to stay safe. For most people, this includes getting enough rest before getting behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving is a serious problem that many people don’t pay enough attention to, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite the scarcity of public awareness, thousands of car crashes are attributed to fatigued driving every year in the United States, resulting in tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities. Drowsy driving can occur at any time of the year, but you and other drivers may be particularly at risk during the busy holiday season.

Would you make a good witness for yourself?

Facing criminal charges often results in anxiety, nervousness and frustration. Your natural instinct may be to defend yourself in front of the court. However, doing so may not be in your best interests.

Fortunately, it is up to the prosecution to prove that you are guilty of a certain offense beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. You do not have to take the stand on your own behalf. You may wonder why it could put your case in jeopardy, and this article explores some of the reasons.

Should it be a crime to refuse to open your door to the police?

In March 2016, police were notified of a loud argument at an apartment in Seattle, Washington. By the time police arrived at Solomon McLemore's apartment, the argument had subsided, but police say they heard the sound of glass shattering inside. For 15 minutes, the police engaged in an argument with McLemore about whether he should open the door.

"Open the fucking door," demanded one officer. McLemore refused, explicitly citing his Fourth Amendment rights, which guarantee Americans freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Ultimately, the officers broke down his door. Inside, they found no evidence that anyone had been hurt.

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