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fort worth criminal defense lawyerOver the past decade, the use of marijuana has become more and more acceptable in the United States. For many, this drug is similar to alcohol in that it has enjoyable effects without causing problems for a person’s overall health. In fact, it may even provide health benefits for some, and its use as a medical treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety or physical problems such as chronic pain has become more common. Because of these changing attitudes, several states have either legalized or decriminalized marijuana, and the drug may be available for medical use or even for recreational purposes in many areas. However, the state of Texas still considers marijuana to be an illegal drug, and residents of the state will need to be aware of the potential penalties they could face if they are arrested and charged with possession of marijuana or THC.

Possession of “Marihuana” in Texas

The Texas Health and Safety Code refers to marijuana as “marihuana,” and it states that a person can face criminal charges if they intentionally or knowingly possess any usable amount of the drug. These charges may apply even if marijuana was purchased legally in another state and brought into the state of Texas. The penalties that a person can face for possessing marijuana plants, seeds, or other compounds containing marijuana will depend on the amount of the drug found in a person’s possession. These penalties include:

  • Up to two ounces: Class B misdemeanor

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fort worth drivers license reinstatement lawyerIf your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction on DWI charges or for any other reason, you know how hard it is to manage modern life without being allowed to drive. Public transportation is available in North Texas, but if we are being honest, riding a bus or train is nowhere near as convenient as driving yourself.

There is no excuse for driving on a suspended license, and getting caught doing so will leave you subject to serious criminal penalties. Texas law, however, gives you the option of applying for an occupational license—also called an “essential need” license—so that you can keep up with your life despite your license suspension.

Understanding the Occupational Driver’s License

There are consequences for breaking the law, and sometimes those consequences include the suspension of your driving privileges. However, Texas lawmakers have recognized that it is not necessarily in the public interest to enforce a license suspension if it means that the offender will not be able to work or care for his or her family. With this in mind, the state’s occupational driver’s license program offers a way for the state to balance punitive measures against an offender and the needs of the people who depend on the offender, including his or her employer and family members.

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tarrant county crimnal defense lawyerWhen you have been arrested and accused of committing a crime, it can feel like you have no control over your situation. The Texas criminal justice system can be confusing, and the penalties for a conviction can be harsh. While you cannot control most of your situation, you do have certain rights that cannot be violated by the police, prosecutors, or the court. Many of these rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution to ensure that all citizens are afforded due process of law. If you or a loved one were charged crime, read on to learn about some of the rights that criminal defendants have when facing prosecution.

The Presumption of Innocence and Reasonable Doubt

Being charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. In the state of Texas, the burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime for which you are being charged. It may surprise you to learn that the presumption of innocence is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. However, it is explicitly stated in Section 2.01 of the Texas Penal Code, and the idea has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

The Right to Remain Silent

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that no person shall be forced to testify against himself or herself. This right begins as soon as you begin interacting with law enforcement. Before you can even be questioned by police, the police are required to remind you of this right as part of your “Miranda” warnings. You are not required to answer questions or make any statements to the police, and you cannot be forced to testify against yourself at trial. The finder-of-fact in your case—namely, a judge or jury—cannot use your silence to infer your guilt.

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north texas criminal defense lawyerIncidents of family violence are responsible for an alarming number of injuries and deaths each year, spanning across all classes and races, regardless of income and education levels. Family violence—also known as domestic violence—usually begins manifesting itself with a pattern of threats, insults, or jealousy, and gradually becomes more frequent and severe over time. The abuser tends to utilize these tactics to essentially isolate, overpower, and control the victim.  

What Does Family Violence Look Like?

While the behaviors described above comprise the typical abuse cycle, family violence can look very different from one case to the next. There are multiple kinds of abuse—all of them capable of causing long-term emotional, mental, and physical damage. Here are five general categories of domestic violence and the behaviors that define them:

  1. Physical abuse - This is usually one of the first categories we think of when we think of domestic violence. Inflicting any kind of physical harm on a partner, such as hitting, kicking, slapping, punching, or forcing them to use drugs or alcohol classifies as physical abuse. 

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DUI versus DWI in Texas

Posted on in DWI

fort worth criminal defense lawyerWhile you are probably familiar with the abbreviations DUI and DWI, it is not always apparent that the two have different applications—and they are not necessarily interchangeable under Texas law. When you are using the words in everyday conversation the difference is not likely to be important, as most people understand that they are talking about driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated. However, in the Texas justice system, there are several very important differences between the two.

Age and BAC

The charges of DUI and DWI differentiate by age, mostly. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for under-aged drinking and driving. Anyone drinking before they reach the age of 21 and then drives may face charges for DUI, regardless of their alcohol level. If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is equal to or greater than 0.08%, even those under-aged can face the harsher DWI charges. A driver who is over the legal drinking age of 21 who is legally intoxicated while driving on a public road may be charged with DWI.

In this context, “intoxicated” does not mean simply having a drink. To be intoxicated, one must either:

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