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UPDATED July 18, 2019

Possession of Brass Knuckles will be legal on September 1, 2019

For years, the Texas penal codes prohibited possession of “brass knuckles” (including plastic self-defense keyrings often shaped like animal heads) and classified the offense as a Class A Misdemeanor. That meant people in possession of brass knuckles faced up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000. But many people argued that in a state that allows open carry of firearms and other weapons, that punishing brass knuckles seemed disproportionate.

After the bill allowing the possession of brass knuckles was carried unanimously in the state House of Representatives and state Senate, Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 446 into law this May. Republicans and Democrats reached across the aisle to make the bill a reality, citing the importance of self-defense and personal protection and the history of Texas encouraging this freedom.

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Roadside oral indicator tests are commonly used across North America and around the world to determine whether someone has drugs in their system, but what do they really show?

When you’re pulled over driving your vehicle and the police officer or trooper thinks you may be under the influence, a breath analyzer test could be used in conjunction with sobriety tests to determine what level of alcohol you have present in your system and whether or not you have an impaired ability to drive. As the legalization of both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana continues across North America, more and more law enforcement agencies are looking at ways to combat drug driving or drivers driving their vehicles under the influence of marijuana. However, detecting drugs in someone’s system isn't the problem. It’s determining whether the levels of drugs in someone’s system have impaired their ability to operate a motor vehicle. Roadside saliva tests don’t tell you how much of a particular drug you have in your system, how high you are, whether you’re impaired or how impaired you may be. They are just an indication that drugs are present at some level in your system.

When these roadside drug tests return a positive indication, people are then charged, and a blood test may be taken to determine how much of a substance is present inside their system. The problem is that this system could be fundamentally flawed.

What Are They Testing For?

The psychoactive compound inside cannabis responsible for getting you high is known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is one of the two main cannabinoids found in marijuana and is responsible for the euphoric high many people experience when they consume or smoke cannabis.

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How Much Are Bail Bonds in Texas?

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A New Proposed Bail Law in Texas

In recent years, the bail process in Texas has faced increased scrutiny. Critics call the way Texas judges decide bail amounts arbitrary and say it puts a higher burden on poorer defendants, who are often unable to “bail out” of jail during the duration their criminal case.

The Current Bail Bond Law in Texas

In Texas, as with most other states, bail is a way of ensuring defendants will return back to court for hearings after being charged with a crime. Instead of keeping a defendant in jail until their case is resolved, they may pay money to the court (a “bond”) as a promise to return for future court proceedings. If the defendant fails to appear for future hearings, they forfeit the money to the court. In Texas, all crimes except for capital murder are considered eligible for setting bail, though the judge has discretion as to the amount to be set for the case.

How is the Proposed Bail Bond Law Different?

A new law proposed in the Texas legislature would change the way judges decide how high to set bail, or even whether to set it at all. The law would implement a system that looks at past criminal history to determine threats to public safety and whether or not the defendant is a high flight risk, rather than just looking at the charge itself. This would help alleviate the issue of poorer defendants having to stay in jail, while their wealthier counterparts accused of similar crimes are allowed to remain free in society during their criminal case proceedings. Similar proposals have been introduced in recent years to no avail, but this year, legislators are hoping for a different outcome.

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In an effort to end increasing incarceration of “minor” offenses, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office announced this week that they will reform office policies to end prosecution of certain crimes ( Dallas News). Perhaps the most progressive of these reforms include declining to prosecute future theft of personal items under $750 unless the theft was for financial gain. Thefts of items such as diapers or food considered to be essential are some of the crimes that will fall under this new proposition, but stealing nonessential items or theft for the purpose of resale, for example, would still face prosecution.

In Tarrant County, however, theft of items over $100 up to $750 are still prosecuted as a Class B Misdemeanor. Class B Misdemeanors can be punished by up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both. For theft under $100, usually, only a citation will be issued unless the accused has a prior history of theft charges.

Misdemeanor Theft charges can be time consuming and expensive. It is important that if you or a loved one is facing this type of charge in Tarrant County that they find representation that is familiar with the Tarrant County Court System. Craig Dameron has experience with theft cases in Tarrant County and can advise those facing theft charges of their best legal course of action. If you have been charged with Misdemeanor Theft, call attorney Craig Dameron at 817-222-0624. Let Craig help guide you through the legal process.

If you’re curious to learn more about cannabis and some of the common marijuana terms, then keep reading while we give you a rundown of some of the more mainstream cannabis related definitions!

Marijuana or cannabis. Whatever you call it, there are some common terms and definitions that everyone should know. While some terms are more common regions or states, we’ll check out some of the more mainstream marijuana definitions.

  • Bong or Bubbler – A marijuana pipe which contains water that filters the marijuana smoke and cools it before being inhaled.
  • Bud or Buds – This is the flowering part of the cannabis plant. This is the part of the cannabis plant which most cannabis users utilize.
  • CBD or Cannabidiol – CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the two main cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant. CBD is found in both the marijuana plant and also the hemp plant. CBD has no psychoactive properties, won’t get you high and is currently being used in several medicinal products across the country.
  • Cannabinoids – There are over 113 cannabinoids inside cannabis. The two main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is spread throughout the body. Many health professionals believe the ECS is responsible for maintaining balance and harmony throughout the body.
  • Concentrates – Concentrates are marijuana buds which have been processed and reduced. Concentrates are used in edibles and dabbing. Common concentrates are budder, waxes, oils, shatter, hash and honey.
  • Dabbing – Dabbing is when you smoke cannabis concentrates on a heated nail or bowl.
  • Edibles – There are hundreds of different cannabis edibles. Common edibles are gummies, cakes, brownies, drinks, and suckers. They contain concentrated amounts of THC.
  • Hash – Hash is compacted and processed cannabis which is much more potent than regular marijuana buds.
  • Hemp – Hemp is a type of cannabis plant which contains almost no THC or CBD. Hemp can be used for paper, cloth, rope and a variety of other products. There is currently a federal ban on growing hemp across the United States unless you have a commercial or research exemption.
  • Hybrid – A hybrid is a cross between the two most common strains of marijuana, Indica and Sativa.
  • Indica – A strain of the cannabis or marijuana plant. Indica strains of cannabis result in a heavy body and head high that is used for pain and sleep relief.
  • Joint – A joint is a rolling paper filled with cannabis which is then smoked.
  • Medical Marijuana – Medical marijuana is marijuana which has been prescribed to treat a medical condition.
  • Pot – Pot is another term for cannabis or marijuana.
  • Recreational Marijuana – Recreational marijuana is marijuana which is being used for recreational purposes.
  • Sativa – Sativa is one of the two main cannabis strains. Sativa marijuana gives the user an energetic and uplifting high.
  • Terpenes – Terpenes are the small crystals on the marijuana bud or flower which are responsible for the aroma of the buds.
  • THC – One of the most well-known cannabinoids in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the high many user's experiences when they smoke or ingest marijuana.
  • Vaping – Vaping or vape pens are electronic devices which are used to vape dry marijuana buds and cannabis concentrates. There are hundreds of different variations which use different heating methods that avoid the combustion associated with traditional smoking methods.

A huge thank you to marijuana author Ben Jackson for submitting this excellent explanation of marijuana terms! If you have been arrested for any marijuana-related offense, please contact Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Craig Dameron at 817-222-0624.

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