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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 BWI defense attorneyNow that we are easing into the springtime and soon into summer, more people will be out enjoying the warm weather. Many Texans enjoy spending time out on the water on their boats or other watercraft when the weather is nice, but what starts as a good time can turn into a serious problem if you are drinking while you are operating your boat. Just like driving while intoxicated (DWI), boating while intoxicated, also referred to as a BWI, can carry serious implications. Anyone facing a BWI charge in Texas should consult with a knowledgeable lawyer to discuss their options.

What Constitutes a BWI Charge?

Everyone has heard at some point that the legal limit for the amount of alcohol in your blood is 0.08 percent. If you have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above this limit, you are considered to be intoxicated. The same limit also applies to those who are operating a boat. You will be considered to be boating under the influence if you have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, or if you have lost your normal mental and/or physical capabilities because of an intoxicating substance.

Unlike with motor vehicles, the open container law does not apply to boats and other types of watercraft. This means your passengers can have open containers of alcohol aboard the boat while it is in operation -- you simply cannot be under the influence if you are operating it.

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San Antonio DWI defense attorneyIn recent years, more focus has been placed on catching those who choose to drive while intoxicated (DWI) and preventing it from happening in the first place. In Texas, one of the programs that has been implemented as a deterrent for people to avoid drinking and driving is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program. Like in most other states, you can lose your driver’s license in Texas through an administrative process if you are arrested for DWI under certain circumstances. If you are facing administrative penalties relating to a DWI, sometimes known in other jurisdictions as a DUI, a DWI defense attorney can help you understand your options. 

The ALR Process and Implied Consent

If a police officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving, he or she will likely pull you over and request that you perform a series of field sobriety tests. If one of these tests involves a preliminary chemical breath test, you have the right to refuse the test without facing consequences. However, once you have been arrested, you are subject to implied consent. This means you must submit to chemical testing or face the consequences set forth by the state of Texas, which is a driver’s license suspension. Since you have not yet been convicted of DWI, this is not a criminal charge, but rather an administrative process that is separate from the criminal element of your case.

How Does the ALR Process Work?

Once you have been placed under arrest, the police officer will ask you to provide a sample for chemical testing to determine your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). You will be subject to an administrative license revocation if:

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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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San Antonio DWI defense attorneyTo many people, the assumption has always been that being pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) was almost always the result of driving after drinking one-too-many alcoholic beverages. While that might be the most common reason for being charged and even convicted for DWI, the truth is that there are plenty of other legitimate reasons you might be pulled over for DWI and yet not have to deal with a breathalyzer or another blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level test, among other things. That is because the most critical element of a DWI arrest is proof of impairment, and impairment is not just caused by alcohol. Here are some other reasons you might be pulled over for DWI due to impairment.

All the Ways You Might Be Impaired While Driving

A recent NHTSA report suggests that nearly 20 percent of all drivers might be impaired by any number of substances at any given time. For example, in addition to alcohol, you might experience some type of impairment if you are using any one or a mix of the following substances:

  • Marijuana—While marijuana use for adults is legal in some states, it still causes some types of impairment. This is contrary to popular misconceptions that suggest marijuana can actually make you a better driver. This is clearly untrue; marijuana has been shown to cause:
    • Lack of coordination
    • Poor judgment
    • Slow reaction times
    • Trouble multitasking
  • Cocaine and methamphetamine—These two stimulants, which are illegal, lead to the following impairments:
    • Aggressiveness
    • Recklessness
  • Prescription drugs and Over-the-Counter Medications—While these are not by any means illegal (unless you obtain them illegally), they do cause many impairments depending on how your body reacts to them and the dosage. For instance, some of these medicines might cause the following:
    • Excessive drowsiness and sleepiness
    • Substantial dizziness
    • Whichever other side effects the medicine label warns about that could impair your driving
  • Mixing any drugs with each other or alcohol—Doing this often creates an even larger effect, accentuating all the impairing side effects that make driving so dangerous when using them.

Contact a San Antonio DWI Lawyer

As you can see, being pulled over for DWI due to any type of impairment—and not just excessive alcohol consumption—can lead to charges and a strong case against you. That is why you need to retain representation from a skilled San Antonio criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock at 888-726-5625 for a free consultation about DWI to learn more about how this experienced team can win your case. 

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Bexar County

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