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How an Out of State DWI Can Affect Your Texas License

How an Out of State DWI Can Affect Your Texas License

Each state maintains a department or agency that oversees the driving privileges of state residents. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) holds that role in the lone star state. The DPS even handles Texas DWI license suspensions and could take similar actions against your license if you receive an out of state DWI or DUI.   An Interstate Agreement   The Interstate Driver License Compact (DLC) facilitates record sharing between states that are members of the compact, including Texas. This means, essentially, that another state’s licensing agency could notify the Texas DPS of a DWI conviction you picked up while traveling in another...

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Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Anyone who has faced an expensive Texas traffic citation has wondered just where does that money go? And how do all the extra fines, fees and penalties add up so quickly? Are traffic tickets simply revenue producers? For anyone who has had to break the bank for a traffic offense, understanding the breakdown of the true cost of a traffic ticket can shed light on the best method of dealing with tickets when they arise.   The Cost of Traffic Violations in Texas   Texas traffic tickets can be expensive, both in direct and indirect costs. A ticket for not having insurance could incur...

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The Acquittal Outlook

The Acquittal Outlook

Every criminal defendant heads into trial hoping for an acquittal. If acquitted, the defendant walks away with a clear name. Acquittal is the official finding that the defendant is not guilty of the charge as defined by the law. But acquittals are relatively rare, and most people have one primary concern when they are considering trial; what are my chances of being acquitted?   While answering this question with any level of accuracy would take an in-depth review of the facts of your case with a Texas criminal trial attorney, below are some of the factors that can influence your chances of...

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Street Patrol: iWatch Dallas and Mobile Crime Tipping

Street Patrol: iWatch Dallas and Mobile Crime Tipping

Community Watch and Mobile Crime Tipping   The population of Texas is currently estimated at a little over 28 million. And with roughly 77,800 licensed law enforcement officers in the State, it’s easy to see how many who commit crimes get away because law enforcement didn’t become involved. Mobile crime tipping, however, is changing that.   Texans can now report crimes as quickly as they can send a text. No more waiting on the non-emergency lines for hours. No more trips to the sheriff’s office. Today, you can report a crime by sending a quick text to a mobile crime tipping line. iWatch Dallas...

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How a Family Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Career

How a Family Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Career

When Your Job Is on the Line   Many criminal convictions can potentially affect your career prospects or even cause you to lose your job. Family violence (i.e. domestic violence) convictions, in particular, can wreak havoc on your professional life. They tend to carry a greater stigma than other convictions and raise more red flags in the eyes of employers. And in some fields, you can even lose your professional license due to a family violence conviction.   If you are facing family violence charges in Texas, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the ways a conviction can affect your career before you make...

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Drug Possession Penalties: Does the Substance Matter?

Drug Possession Penalties: Does the Substance Matter?

Penalties for a drug possession conviction in Texas are—across the board—more severe than in other states. No matter the substance, you could potentially face steep fines, jail or prison time, a license suspension and even mandatory substance abuse treatment. And the greater the quantity, the greater the penalties.   While possession of a controlled substance is a single type of offense in Texas, it does not fall under a single statute under the Texas Health and Safety Code. Rather, the type of substance you were allegedly in possession of will determine—in part—the specific penalties you face. The quantity you possessed is the...

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Pros and Cons of Breath and Blood Tests

Pros and Cons of Breath and Blood Tests

In most cases, law enforcement will ask you to submit to a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test when arresting you for a DWI in Texas. Typically, the arresting officer must inform you of the consequences if you refuse a breath test, including a mandatory license suspension and the potential of a warrant to take your blood by force. Increasingly, people are refusing the breathalyzer test in favor of the blood test because they’ve heard the breath test is the less reliable of the two. Unfortunately, neither the blood or breath BAC tests are foolproof, but each has its pros and...

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Insurance, License Reinstatement and Record Cleaning After a DWI

Insurance, License Reinstatement and Record Cleaning After a DWI

Your Criminal Record   In the past, a Texas DWI (even a first offense) would stay on your criminal record indefinitely. You would be required to disclose your conviction every time an employer, a landlord or even a lender asks for the rest of your life. With the recent passage of HB 3016, however, certain first-time DWI offenders may petition the court for a Nondisclosure after an applicable waiting period (usually 2-5 years).   Petitioning for a Nondisclosure is a complicated legal process, however, especially if the court challenges it, meaning you will need to work with an attorney on this step. And, for...

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Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion

Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion

An Inconvenient Consequence   License suspensions are an unavoidable reality for all those with Texas DWI convictions. Perhaps the most life-altering consequence of a DWI, a license suspension can make it difficult if not impossible to get to work or school or take care of your family. Even when you reinstate your license after your suspension, the judge could order you to install an ignition interlock device in your car.   The Ins and Outs of IIDs   Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are inconvenient and highly invasive. They work essentially as a breathalyzer, which is wired into the car’s ignition system. The motorist must blow into...

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What Happens if You Can’t Pay Your Court Fines?

What Happens if You Can't Pay Your Court Fines?

In 2016, 95% of warrants Texas courts issued arose from unpaid court fines. While being in debt is not a crime in and of itself, failure to pay court fines can effectively land you in jail. If you are facing court fines, fees and penalties, being able to pay is a top concern. But if you can’t pay, what happens?   Facing the Penalties   When the court fines you for a traffic citation or a low-level offense, paying that fine is a penalty for your conviction. Like community service or jail time, you must pay those fines to satisfy the requirements of your...

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