Address609 W. Young St. #2, Llano, TX 78643

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Llano sex crimes defense attorneyAn alleged offender recently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 50 years in prison for violating his sex offender registration requirements in Llano County. The man was originally required to register as a sex offender following multiple 1997 convictions in Williamson County for victimizing two young girls over a four-year period. 

Sex crimes often carry serious penalties for alleged offenders, making a stringent defense against the charges even more important. Sex offender registration can be one of the most demeaning and embarrassing aspects of a sex crime conviction, so it comes as little surprise that some people are not terribly active in maintaining their records. There are, however, clear consequences to violations of state law.

Sex Offender Laws in Texas

Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure addresses the Sex Offender Registration Program, and this law states that any person with a reportable conviction or adjudication must register as a condition of parole or release to mandatory supervision, must register as a condition of community supervision, or extra-jurisdictional registrants must register as sex offenders. Reportable convictions or adjudications are defined as convictions or adjudications based on more than 13 different kinds of violations.

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Llano County criminal defense lawyerWhen someone is charged with a crime, he or she is officially accused of committing the crime. If a criminal case goes to trial, the case typically results in an acquittal or a guilty verdict. However, some cases never make it to trial. Criminal charges may be dropped or dismissed under certain circumstances. 

If a criminal defendant's charges are dropped or dismissed, the criminal defendant avoids the stress of a trial. He or she is free to go without threat of jail time, fees, or other criminal penalties. Eventually, the individual may have the record of his or her arrest expunged, so it is no longer visible to landlords, employers, or community members. 

When Are Criminal Charges Dismissed? 

There are several reasons why a judge may dismiss criminal charges. The most common reason is a lack of evidence. If the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge may dismiss the charges. A judge may also dismiss charges if he or she believes the defendant's constitutional rights were violated during the arrest or investigation. For example, if the police searched the defendant's home without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence obtained during the search would be inadmissible in court. As a result, the judge would likely dismiss the charges.

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Llano County divorce lawyerAlmost every aspect of a Texas divorce case involves finances. Divorcing spouses must take stock of their assets and debts and find a way to divide those assets and debts during the divorce process. Alternatively, if the couple cannot reach an agreement, the court will make a determination on their behalf. Child support and financial support are also directly determined by the spouses' financial circumstances. 

When a spouse is dishonest about his or her income, expenses, debts, or property, it can influence the divorce heavily. If you suspect your spouse is lying about money or hiding assets during your divorce, it is important to take action. An experienced Texas divorce attorney can help you investigate the matter and take steps to protect your interests. 

What Does Financial Fraud Look Like? 

Some common examples of financial fraud in divorce cases include: 

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Llano County DWI defense lawyerIn Texas, even a first-time conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to thousands of dollars in fines, mandatory jail time, and loss of driving privileges for up to a year. If you or a loved one were charged with drunk driving, you will want to understand the potential defense strategies a skilled DWI defense attorney may use during the case. Depending on the specific circumstances of the DWI traffic stop, arrest, and chemical BAC tests, it may be possible to avoid conviction or even get the charges dismissed.

Common Defenses Against Drunk Driving Charges in Texas

To convict someone of DWI, the prosecution must prove the elements of DWI beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may use many different strategies to cast doubt on the defendant's guilt.

These include, but are not limited to:

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Small Business Owner Divorce in Texas

Posted on in Family Law

Llano divorce attorneyOwning your own business can be deeply satisfying. Many small business owners appreciate the freedom and independence self-employment provides. They also enjoy the creativity and control they have regarding products and services. But being a small business owner also comes with certain challenges, especially when it comes to divorce. If you are a small business owner who is facing divorce, there are some special considerations you need to be aware of.

Business Assets and Community Property Laws

Texas is a community property state. This means that, in general, any assets or debts acquired during the marriage are considered to be jointly owned by both spouses. This includes the value of a small business. Often, businesses are considered marital property in Texas. This means that businesses are subject to division during divorce, just like any other asset.

However, a business that is classified as separate or non-marital property through a prenuptial agreement is not considered community property. Businesses that were established before the marriage may also be classified as separate property.

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Llano, TX Domestic Violence Defense LawyerDomestic violence is a major problem in Texas. In order to protect victims of domestic violence from their abusers, Texas laws allow acts of domestic violence to have a significant impact on divorce proceedings. While this certainly helps true victims of domestic violence, it also makes it easy for false allegations to completely derail an innocent parent’s chances of getting custody of their kids. If you are getting divorced and facing allegations of domestic violence, it is important to understand how Texas child custody laws work.

How is Child Custody Decided in Texas? 

Child custody is divided into two areas - possession and access, also known as “visitation,” and conservatorship, also known as “custody” or the ability to make important decisions on behalf of the child. 

Both of these areas can be severely impacted by domestic violence. If there is a history of domestic violence from one parent against a child or the other parent, Texas judges are prohibited from allowing parents to share conservatorship. If the abuse towards the child occurred in the past two years, the abusive parent can be prohibited from spending time with the child entirely. 

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Marble Falls, Texas Protective Orders AttorneyResearchers who study domestic violence in Texas estimate that nearly a million women are battered in Texas every year. Battered woman syndrome (BWS), defined as as type of post-traumatic stress disorder, can make a woman feel fearful and afraid to leave an abuser, even as the violence escalates and becomes dangerous to the victim and her children. A woman does not have to be severely beaten by a man to suffer from BWS; threats, coercion, and intimidation can be sufficient in making a victim feel psychologically and physically trapped in a bad relationship.

Because Texas recognizes the seriousness of domestic violence and the difficulty in leaving abusive relationships, victims of domestic violence can get protective orders or restraining orders to make it easier to leave without fearing vengeance from their abuser. Although the terms “restraining order” and “protective order” are often used interchangeably, they are not the same and the right one for you will depend on your situation. A Llano family law attorney can help you assess your living situation and apply for a protective or restraining order if necessary. 

Protective Orders in Texas

When a victim presents clear evidence of present danger of violence, a Texas court can grant a protective order. Protective orders can require an abuser to stop the following:

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Marble Falls The final decision of whether or not to get a Texas divorce is often one of the hardest choices a person can make. There may be good reasons to stay and good reasons to go; you may worry about your kids or whether you can financially support yourself without your spouse. Whether or not you ultimately decide to get divorced, one thing is certain: knowing your options is always a good idea. If you are considering divorce in Texas but are not ready to take the plunge, here are some questions to ask yourself before you make the final decision. 

Can I File for Legal Separation? 

Some states have the option to separate your assets and establish a parenting plan without actually finalizing a divorce. Unfortunately, in Texas, there is no such option available. Instead, you may want to consider one of the following: 

  • Moving out temporarily 

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Llano, TX Child Crimes Defense AttorneyAccusations of child abuse are easy to make but very difficult to fight. No matter how sincerely you believe you are innocent, however, it is necessary to take accusations seriously because an investigation from Texas Child Protective Services can have a seriously negative impact on your relationship with your children. Many people believe that being cooperative with Child Protective Services is the best way to get a case dropped but unfortunately, that is not how it works. Your best hope for fighting unwarranted investigations from Texas CPS is having an experienced attorney who knows how to defend your parental rights. Here are three tips for how to behave if you have just learned that Texas CPS is investigating you. 

Ask What the Charges Are

Social workers will often be intentionally vague about the specific charges against you, but you have the right to know exactly what the details of the accusations are. Do not accept vague charges of abuse or neglect; these are general categories that are not meaningful or specific. You should know exactly what you are being accused of so you can justly defend yourself. 

Do Not Talk to CPS Unless You Have Your Attorney Present

You do not need to let a CPS worker into your home unless they have a warrant. Even if they make threats that your children will be taken away, hold your ground. Ask to see a warrant and if they cannot show you, do not let them in. Do not answer questions because your answers can be misconstrued against you. You may feel as though you have nothing to hide and, as such, should have no problem talking to a social worker. But social workers are often unfairly cynical about parents and may only be looking for evidence that supports their case against you. Only speak to them with an attorney present. 

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llano-county-divorce-modification-lawyer.jpgTo avoid repeated court visits, harassment by ex-spouses, and disruptions to the life of children of divorced parents, Texas courts set strict limitations around when divorce orders can be modified. Certain parts of divorce decrees are easier to modify while others are, practically speaking, next to impossible to change. If you have been divorced in Texas and are wondering whether your divorce order may be modified, read on and then contact a Llano County divorce attorney for help. 

Mistakes in Application of Law

If you believe the judge in your case made a mistake applying the law - for example, if an asset was considered your spouse’s personal property and you are sure it is marital property - you have 30 days to file an appeal. Even if you simply disagree with the judge’s findings in your original divorce decree, you do have the right to an appeal. A higher court will review your case and determine whether the judge in your case made any mistakes, although such a finding is rare. 

Agreement Between Ex-Spouses

If you and your former spouse have agreed to change certain things after the divorce is finalized, such as rearranging your custody schedule or changing spousal maintenance payments, a judge will usually approve it if it meets Texas law guidelines. For example, a parent’s job may change and so a change in the parents’ possession and access order is likely to be approved as long as it is in the child’s best interests. 

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fredericksburg-tx-divorce-attorney.jpgMany a Texas divorce has been triggered by the sudden, shocking revelation that one spouse is having an affair. For the spouse who is victimized by this behavior, finding out that your life partner has been so dishonest can be heartbreaking. If you are in this situation, you may understandably feel angry and betrayed. Your anger may be directed at your spouse, but it may also be equally directed at the person who helped your spouse blow up your marriage. In addition to your spouse’s lover, this could be friends, family members, and even a therapist of your spouse’s who encouraged a divorce or worked to hide the infidelity from you. 

Not so long ago, adultery was illegal in many states and spouses whose partners cheated on them could, at least theoretically, hope that their partner would suffer consequences for their behavior. But adultery is not illegal in Texas and Texas also has legislation specifically abolishing the right to bring an “alienation of affection” lawsuit, in which someone responsible for destroying a couple’s marriage could be sued. So if you cannot do that, is there anything you can do to pursue justice against a spouse who ruined your marriage? 

What is Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress? 

The Texas Supreme Court decided a highly influential case in 1993 that made it possible for spouses to sue each other for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court gave specific guidelines that a spouse must meet to be successful in such a lawsuit. Unfortunately, most common acts of infidelity do not meet the necessary standards of conduct, as a spouse must show that their partner did the following: 

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llano-county-defense-attorney.jpgWhile modern political currents have made it easier for true victims of sex crimes like rape and sexual assault to come forward and seek justice, there has also been an unfortunate increase in false and defamatory accusations based on events that never happened or did not happen according to the alleged victim’s version of the story. All over Texas, young people in college - especially young men - are finding themselves the target of accusations, many of which are false. 

Being accused of sexual misconduct can cause you to feel many things - shock, embarrassment, dismay, and anger being only a few. Unfortunately, a police investigation and criminal charges may only be the beginning; college students accused of sexual assault may also be facing discipline from their university’s Title IX office. 

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? 

Successfully prosecuting sex crimes is difficult because it often comes down to one person’s word against another person’s word. This is especially true in the university milieu, in which young people often engage in sexual behavior while both parties are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What feels like an assault to one person may have been the result of insensitivity or boorishness on the part of the other. Moreover, what started as consensual sex acts may, in the sobering light of the next day, become acts that are seen with so much embarrassment or regret that false accusations of assault are made to compensate. 

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llano-divorce-attorney.jpgDivorcing a hostile spouse in Texas is no easy feat. While most couples are not getting along well by the time they pursue divorce, some people are particularly prone to conflict and actively seek it out. Spouses often get caught up in the emotional highs and lows of the fights they share during divorce, and while getting that perfect one-liner under your spouse’s skin may feel good in the moment, it often leaves you feeling rotten for many days afterward. If you want to put a stop to the hostilities in your communication, the BIFF communication method may be helpful to you. 

What is the BIFF Method? 

BIFF stands for “brief, informative, friendly, and firm.” It is a communication strategy designed by relationship conflict experts who want to help divorcing spouses - and anyone else in a high-conflict environment - minimize angry conversations and turn tense talks into reasonable, effective discussions. The BIFF method uses these four strategies: 

  • Brief - The less you say, the less there is to fight about. While it can be tempting to explain yourself in-depth, especially when you feel the need to justify your actions or thoughts, avoiding conflict is easier when there is less content to react to. Just get your most important point across and leave the rest unsaid. 

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llano-county-dui-lawyer.jpgGetting convicted of the crime of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas can have a major detrimental impact on many areas of your life. While people are encouraged to take their punishment and then get back to living as productive members of society, DWI convictions can make that particularly difficult because living without a driver’s license makes it nearly impossible to do basic activities. Getting to work, grocery shopping, and taking your kids to school are all very difficult without a driver’s license. 

Fortunately, an experienced criminal defense attorney can defend you from DWI charges and, if you lose your license, help you get it back. Here are two common questions about getting a driver’s license reinstated in Texas. 

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Getting my Driver’s License Back? 

DWI convictions are not all the same. A DWI for an adult under 21 years old may result in just a 90-day suspension, but an adult convicted of repeated DWIs or a DWI that caused an injury or death can result in suspensions up to two years. You will have to attend a hearing in which a judge will determine how long your suspension will be. Keep in mind that your driver’s license may be suspended even if you are not convicted of a DWI; license suspension hearings are civil procedures and can continue even if there is no DWI criminal conviction. An attorney can help you present evidence and arguments to try to shorten or eliminate your license suspension. 

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llano-county-divorce-lawyer.jpg

After your Texas divorce is finalized, chances are that you will be happy to avoid contact with your ex as much as possible. However, alimony or spousal support payments often require spouses to stay in contact with each other, even if only to address logistical issues. Fortunately, some spouses will qualify for something called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, which allows them to split retirement benefits in such a way that the receiving spouse gets payments directly from the retirement plan administrator. If you are getting divorced and are wondering how a QRDO might benefit you, read on. 

A QDRO Allows You To Retain Favorable Tax Benefits

QRDOs are legal orders from a Texas family court allowing spouses to change partial ownership of their retirement plan when they split marital property in a divorce. With a QDRO, spouses can continue to benefit from tax deferred retirement plans while still dividing community property at the appropriate time. Unlike a house, which must be sold and have its capital gains taxes paid before the value can be divided, retirement accounts can continue accruing value without tax penalties until such time as benefits are paid out. 

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llano county criminal defense lawyerWhile domestic abuse presents a serious problem for many intimate partners and families in Texas, there is no question that some people abuse the seriousness with which Texas treats domestic abuse by making false accusations. False accusations of domestic violence can result in harmful negative consequences, including criminal charges, restrictive orders of protection, lack of access to your home and children, and damage to your reputation.  

Even worse, temporary restraining orders can be put in place without the input of the person against whom the accusations are made. This can catch the target of the restraining order by surprise and leave them wondering what on earth they should do. If you have been accused of domestic violence and had a temporary or final protective order unjustly issued against you, you have legal options. While it may not be easy, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you fight false accusations and get your life back. 

Does My Partner Have to Prove I Did Something Wrong? 

Mistakes happen and good people make bad decisions in the heat of the moment. During a fight, both partners may say things they do not really mean. However, even the most superficial threat of violence can be taken seriously and a partner may respond to a fight by misinterpreting their partner’s intentions and requesting an order of protection. Other times, partners will deliberately use orders of protection as a power move, a tactic to “punish” someone, or a manipulative effort to keep them away from their children and home. 

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shutterstock_89145889.jpgNothing compares to the excitement and sense of trepidation a man has when he finds out that he is having a child for the first time. Whether planned or unplanned, married or unmarried, fathers play a crucial role in their children's lives. Whenever it would be in the child's best interests, Texas law encourages both parents to be actively involved in a child’s upbringing. For fathers who are not married to the mother of their child, however, getting parental rights can be a little more complicated. If you recently found out that you are, or will be, a father, you probably want to know as much as you can about custody laws in Llano County for unmarried fathers. 

Does an Unmarried Father Have Automatic Custody Rights? 

The short answer to this question is no. Until a man establishes paternity, he does not have a legal relationship with a child, even if he is certain he is the biological father. When parents are married to each other, a father automatically has paternity over any children born to them. But when a couple is unmarried, paternity must be established in one of two ways: 

  • Voluntarily, by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form 

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Texas divorce privacy lawyerRegardless of how confident you feel in your decision to get divorced in Texas, you likely are hoping that the details of your divorce will remain as private as possible. Unfortunately, neighbors, friends, and busybodies are often interested in the details of a couple’s divorce, and this is especially true if the couple has a high net worth or maintains a public profile. 

Because divorce decrees are legal documents that are filed in court with a judge’s approval, they are technically public records which may be accessed by anyone. Nevertheless, with the help of a skilled Texas divorce attorney, there are things you can do to keep your divorce details more private. 

Mark Sensitive Data

When a divorce document contains personal information, such as a driver’s license number or social security number, you can ask the court to keep that record private. The consequences of this information being available can result in identity theft, so courts willingly keep documents with sensitive information out of the public record. 

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Llano criminal defense lawyerEvery parent is familiar with the following situation: You have a couple of small errands to run, and the process will take far less time if you can just leave the kids at home or dash into the post office while the kids are in the car. Buckling, unbuckling, dealing with coats and shoes, and the likelihood of constant whining can make even the most patient parent dread running into the grocery store for milk. 

Many parents choose to leave their children at home alone or in the car for a few minutes while they take care of their to-do list. These parents may be surprised to return to the car to find a concerned observer accompanied by a squad car - and even more surprised when they get charged with a Class C misdemeanor. If you are a parent with young children in Texas and you have been charged for leaving your child alone, consider getting help from a criminal defense attorney. 

When Can I Leave My Child in the Car Alone? 

Texas law explicitly prohibits leaving a child alone in a vehicle for more than five minutes under the following circumstances: 

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shutterstock_558905266.jpgIf you are seeking to establish a conservatorship or you are in the middle of a divorce that involves child custody arrangements, you may find yourself in a situation where a child custody evaluation is ordered. For some parents, this news can be daunting, but when you enter the situation equipped with an understanding of what child custody evaluations entail, you might feel more reassured at the time of the evaluation. 

Child Custody Evaluation Definition 

A child custody evaluation is typically a court-ordered assessment used to look closely at a child's family dynamics and living environment. However, evaluations can also be requested by a parent or parents. Either way, a child custody evaluation can be thought of as a test of reassurance in which the court seeks confirmation that the living arrangements and home environment of a child or children are safe for them. Child custody evaluations are often ordered in situations regarding parenting plans or prior to conservatorship decisions in Texas. 

Other possible reasons for a child custody evaluation may include the following: 

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