san antonio criminal defense lawyerStarting next month, Texas will enact a number of new gun laws as they join a growing list of states and localities that are calling themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” While the legislation is largely symbolic, it does limit the reach of federal gun laws in the state of Texas. 

State Rep. Justin Holland filed House Bill 2622, the Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act, in March with the intention of protecting Texans’ gun rights from the federal government, which he called “out-of-touch” on the issue. The measure passed committee votes in both chambers with a majority. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott applauded the legislation as he signed it in June alongside seven other gun bills. He explained the goal was to build a “barrier around gun rights.” 

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texas defense lawyerDWI arrests are considered high priority by state and local jurisdictions in not just Texas, but all across the country. And because of that, the federal government tasked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with creating standards and instructions for training officers on how to investigate DWI cases

According to NHTSA guidelines, a DWI investigation involves three steps: vehicle in motion, personal contact, and pre-arrest screening, i.e., field sobriety tests.  The vehicle in motion stage is like making a reservation at a restaurant, the personal contact stage is like ordering from the menu, and the pre-arrest screening is like dinner rolls at the table. The most substantive part of the interaction is usually the pre-arrest screening. It begs, why are field sobriety tests so important in a DWI case?

Field Sobriety Tests

Contrary to what many believe, you cannot fail a field sobriety test. Instead, police rely on them to uncover indicators of impairment. The three primary tests include the Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. In the first one, you either show nystagmus or you do not, and then the other two require you to follow specific instructions and demonstrate balance and coordination. 

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san antonio criminal defense lawyerWhen you think of a person being convicted of a crime, you also likely think of them being sentenced to prison to serve out their punishment. In reality, many people who have been charged with low-level and non-violent crimes are found to benefit more and show greater rehabilitation when they are in their communities, rather than in prison. Because of this, many judges prefer to sentence these offenders to probation, which is officially known as community supervision in Texas.

What is Community Supervision?

Rather than serving out a sentence in prison, a judge may decide that a person’s sentence would be better spent while they were living in and contributing to their own community. If this is the case, a judge may sentence a person to community supervision. If a person is sentenced to community supervision, they will regularly keep in touch with their probation officers, who will help keep them on the right track. Community supervision often comes with requirements that you must abide by and things that you must not do during your supervision period to complete the sentence successfully.

What Requirements Does Community Supervision Impose?

Requirements for community supervision in Texas are not always the same from person to person. The exact set of requirements for your community supervision period will be determined based on the situation and circumstances surrounding your case. If you are sentenced to community supervision, you will submit to a risk and needs assessment that will allow the judge to better determine what type of requirements should be imposed.  In general, requirements for a period of community supervision often include:

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texas criminal defense lawyerIn 2017, the #MeToo movement exploded on social media, encouraging those who have experienced sexual assault to share their stories. In the years since, the #MeToo movement has sparked a wave of change in many states as to how they define, charge and prosecute sexual assault offenses. In many cases, consent has been a hotly debated issue in sexual assault cases. Most states -- Texas included -- have various laws and stipulations pertaining to what consent means, who can give it, and whether or not it is a defense against sexual assault charges. 

What is Consent in Texas?

According to Texas law, sexual assault occurs when a person intentionally and/or knowingly performs a sex act or causes another person to perform a sex act on a person who does not give their consent. Because consent is such a crucial part of sexual assault cases, it is important to understand what consent means. Texas law states that consent is not given if:

  • The perpetrator makes the victim submit to sex acts through the use of or threat of use of force, coercion, or physical violence

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Texas white collar crime defense lawyerWhereas they were once settled in civil courts, these days white-collar crimes have become increasingly more common as many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the CIA, as well as the general public, seek justice for higher-brow financial crimes in which the accused might be bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars or more from their clients or other victims. In the case of mortgage fraud, both white-collar criminals and the average person might be accused of it.

Mortgage Fraud Defined

Mortgage fraud, a type of financial institution fraud (FIF), is defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as: “Some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission in relation to a mortgage loan that is then relied upon by a lender.” This deceptive practice of mortgage fraud then causes the bank to make a decision about the loan that could be in the favor of the offender even though he/she used deceptive means to influence such a decision.

These significant mortgage decisions include but are not limited to:

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