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HOW DO WE DEFINE “POSSESSION” IN TEXAS?

Many criminal offenses in Texas have to do with “possession” of an item—Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, just to name a few. In Texas, the Penal Code defines Possession as “actual care, custody, control, or management” (Texas Penal Code Section 1.07(a)(39).  Given that definition, there are many circumstances where a person can… Read more

No Refusal Weekend—What Does It Mean?

No Refusal Weekend—What Does It Mean? Ah, summertime—scorching hot Texas days, time spent by the pool with a drink in your hand.  Holiday parties for Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, Fourth of July.  Summer in Texas can be great fun, but those good times can be brought to a screeching halt by an arrest for Driving While Intoxicated.  In Tarrant County and many other counties throughout the State, law enforcement agencies enact “No Refusal… Read more

DFW Airport Offenses

There is a heightened sense of security on the part of law enforcement officers at airports across the United States. DFW airport is no exception. Most people understand the need for tighter security given the climate we live in today. But completely innocent people can find themselves on the other end of the law at an airport. Dr. David Dao of Elizabethtown, Kentucky found out the hard way when he… Read more

Non-Disclosure

The Texas Legislature changed the law with regard to Nondisclosures for offenses committed after September 1st, 2015. In order to get a nondisclosure under the new law, you must fall into one of five categories.   1. Nondisclosure for certain misdemeanors (often referred to as “automatic” nondisclosure) – This is a major change from the old law. Certain nondisclosures are no longer discretionary.… Read more

Self-Defense

Ronald Gasser recently made the news for his recent manslaughter arrest in Louisiana. Gasser is alleged to have shot and killed ex-NFL player Joe McKnight in a road rage dispute. According to authorities, Gasser made a statement that included him being fearful and defending himself. These statements indicate Gasser laying the ground work for a self-defense claim. Self-defense is a common term in our… Read more

Probation Violation

There are two types of probation in Texas for any criminal offense (We will not discuss “shock probation” which is a variation of a straight probation). Community Supervision (often times referred to as “straight probation”) and Deferred Adjudication. They share similar qualities. Both provide for a maximum length of probation of 2 years, in the case of a misdemeanor and 10 years in the case of a felony… Read more

Stop and Frisk

During this political season, you may hear the terms “Stop and Frisk” mentioned by the two candidates for President of the United States. This term as it is used by the candidates refers to the practice implemented by the New York Police department that began in 2002. A Federal judge ruled this practice unconstitutional in 2013. The ruling hinged largely on this practice being a form of “indirect racial… Read more

Why Pleading the 5th Does Not Always Work

Can you go to jail or prison even if the alleged victim of a criminal offense is uncooperative or even unwilling to testify? The answer is yes, in fact, a Houston woman found out you can even go to jail if you are the witness in a criminal offense as well. The State of Texas has a very powerful weapon in its arsenal to “compel” witnesses, alleged victims, and even family members of the accused to… Read more

What Would Happened if Lochte Gate Occurred in Texas

Millions watched the drama unfold in Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics. We witnessed two of the all-time greats in Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps wrap up their historic Olympic careers. The drama continued to unfold late at night for a few of our American swimmers. Ryan Lochte was at one point seen as a victim of an armed robbery, but that was just not the truth. In our line of work we see half-truths… Read more

Tarrant County Imposes Serious Penalties for Driving While Stoned

The governor of Illinois recently signed a new law that would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil matter. The new statute also clearly defines what it means to drive under the influence of marijuana. The law states that drivers who have five nanograms of THC in the blood or ten or more nanograms of THC in their saliva will be deemed intoxicated for purposes of driving under the influence.… Read more