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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1148978666.jpgIt can be overwhelming to face criminal charges alone - especially when the charges are for a sex crime. Given the weight that a sex crime carries, this is not a situation that anyone takes lightly. 

One of the most common questions that we hear is, “What are the consequences of being charged with a sex crime?” In order to understand the potential ramifications of a sex crime charge, it helps to first familiarize yourself with what a sex crime entails and what to do if you are charged with one.  

What is a Sex Crime? 

If you are charged with a sex crime in Texas, you may be worried that the outcome of this experience will follow you for the rest of your life. With an experienced attorney on your side, your lawyer may be able to build a case that defends your name and seeks to prevent long-term consequences of the sex crime charge. 

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Fredericksburg DUI Defense AttorneyBeing pulled over by a police officer can be a stressful and troubling experience, regardless of the possible violations that a driver may be charged with. Those who are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving may be looking at serious penalties if they are arrested on DWI charges. A DWI conviction can result in significant fines, time in prison, and the loss of one’s driver’s license. Because of this, drivers may wonder about their options when an officer asks them to take a breathalyzer test that will measure the alcohol in their system. By understanding whether these tests can be refused and the potential consequences of doing so, drivers can make the right decisions that will help them minimize the possible penalties they may face.

Implied Consent, Roadside Breathalyzer Tests, and Other Chemical Tests

Texas, like most states, uses the principle of “implied consent” when addressing permission to take chemical tests of a person’s blood alcohol levels. According to the state’s laws, a person who is arrested based on the suspicion that they have operated a motor vehicle on a public road while they were intoxicated is deemed to have consented to give a breath or blood sample that can be used to determine their blood alcohol content (BAC).

It is important to note that implied consent applies to blood alcohol tests taken after a person is arrested, and not to any roadside tests that a police officer may ask a person to take. In many cases, an officer will ask a driver to blow into a portable breathalyzer to determine whether they are over the legal blood alcohol limit. These devices can provide an estimate of a driver’s BAC, but they are not sensitive enough to give an accurate reading, and their results cannot be used as evidence in a criminal case. Instead, they are used to determine whether an officer can reasonably suspect that a driver has violated the law, and they may provide an officer with probable cause to make an arrest. Drivers are allowed to refuse these tests, as well as any field sobriety tests requested by an officer, with no legal consequences, although that refusal may provide an officer with reasonable suspicion that the driver has been drinking alcohol, and the officer may perform an arrest.

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Llano TX criminal defense attorney

Marijuana has been a popular drug in the United States for decades, and for much of this time, it has been treated as a dangerous controlled substance. Attitudes surrounding marijuana have changed in recent years, and it has been legalized in multiple states. Because of this, residents of Texas may be unsure about how their state treats this drug and whether they may face drug charges for possessing marijuana. By understanding the state’s marijuana laws, Texans can be prepared to address any criminal charges they may encounter.

Possession of Marijuana in Texas

The state of Texas still considers marijuana to be an illegal drug, and a person who is found in possession of marijuana may face criminal charges. However, possession of small amounts of marijuana is a fairly minor offense in most cases. In cases involving less than two ounces of marijuana, a person may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, and if they are convicted, they may be fined up to $2,000 and sentenced to up to 180 days in jail. Possession of between two and four ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction can result in a maximum fine of $4,000 and up to one year in prison. Possession of more than four ounces is a state jail felony that may result in between 180 days and two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Llano County criminal defense attorneyAnyone who has watched a police drama on television is familiar with the phrase “You have the right to remain silent.” However, few people understand the magnitude of these words. When you are facing criminal accusations, staying silent and refusing to answer police questions is often one the best ways to increase your chances of avoiding conviction. This is especially true when you are facing accusations of domestic violence or another violent crime. A conviction for a domestic violence offense can dramatically impact your life. Asserting your constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination is crucial.

Declining Police Questions Until Your Attorney is Present

The U.S. Constitution gives criminal defendants certain rights. Among these important rights are the rights to avoid self-incrimination and consult with legal counsel. These are often referred to as Miranda Rights. Many criminal defendants grossly underestimate the importance of declining police questioning during an arrest or criminal investigation. Some defendants mistakenly believe that asking for a lawyer and then remaining silent will make them appear “more guilty” than if they freely answered police questions. Others assume that answering the questions honestly can only aid in their defense—especially if they are innocent of the crime that they have been accused of.

Unfortunately, talking to police without your attorney present can significantly damage your chances of an acquittal or dismissal. In the moments after a domestic violence arrest, most defendants are flooded with adrenaline. They may be feeling shocked, angry, confused, frustrated, or even betrayed. This is not the time to be making statements to the police.  A defendant could easily say something he or she does not really mean or make statements that harm his or her case. This is why most criminal defense attorneys encourage defendants to calmly ask for an attorney and then simply stay quiet until he or she arrives.

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Llano DWI attorneyThe penalties associated with driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges vary depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. If you were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving for the first time, you will likely be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. A first-time DWI conviction in Texas is punishable by fines up to $2,000, a driver’s license suspension, and a jail sentence of up to 180 days. Unlike many other states, Texas DWIs are punishable by a mandatory three days in jail. Second and subsequent DWI offenses are punishable by even longer jail sentences and higher fines.

If you were charged with drunk driving, it is important to start thinking about your defense. A criminal defense lawyer with experience in DWI cases can help you build a persuasive defense against the DWI charges using one of the following strategies or another approach according to the details of your case.

No Reasonable Suspicion for the Traffic Stop

Most DWI charges result from a traffic stop. Police are not permitted to pull over a vehicle on a whim. There must be “reasonable suspicion” that some type of illegal activity has occurred or will occur. For example, weaving in between lanes or driving well under the speed limit may lead police to suspect that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These examples would likely constitute reasonable suspicion. Police cannot pull someone over because of their race, the type of car they are driving, or the neighborhood they are in. If police cannot point to specific reasons for the initial traffic stop, the reasonable suspicion standard may not be met and the charges may be dismissed.

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