Recent Blog Posts

What Are the Penalties for an Open Container in a Vehicle in Texas?

 Posted on April 12,2022 in Criminal Law

San Antonio DWI defense lawyerYou are heading out for the night and one of the passengers in your car decides to crack open a beer or take a quick swig from a bottle of liquor. What is the risk to you, even if you have not been drinking? Under Texas law, the driver of a vehicle could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if there is an open container of alcohol in your car, even if you have not been drinking. When an open container is combined with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge, the penalties can be even steeper.

Open Container Violations in Texas 

To avoid charges, there cannot be an open container of alcohol within the passenger area of the vehicle. Open contains means that the bottle or can that the alcoholic beverage is in has been opened, has a broken seal, or has contents that have been partially removed. The vehicle does not even need to be moving for you to be charged. If you do have to transport alcohol that has already been opened, it can legally be stored in a locked glove compartment, your trunk, or in the area behind the last row of seats if your car does not have a trunk. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Alcohol can be consumed in vehicles such as a bus, a taxi, or a limousine. They can also be enjoyed in the living quarters of a motor home or recreational vehicle.

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How Do Texas Gun Laws Apply at an Airport?

 Posted on March 29,2022 in Criminal Law

San Antonio weapons violations lawyerIf you are planning a fun-filled vacation or just picking up a friend, it is important to know your rights to carry firearms in and around a Texas airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that the number of firearms found at airports more than doubled last year. State and federal gun laws are both enforced at the airport, so it is best to know your rights and plan ahead for a lawful trip. At Law Offices of Sam H. Lock, we represent clients charged with all state and federal gun crimes.

Where Am I Allowed to Carry at a Texas Airport?

Under Texas law, you are allowed to open carry a handgun in a belt or shoulder holster or concealed on your person, as long as you are in an unsecured area of the airport. This includes the main airport lobby, pick-up and drop-off areas, parking facilities, and the baggage claim area. Once you attempt to enter a secured area, such as through airport security, federal law applies. If you are planning to fly with a firearm or otherwise enter a secured area, you should follow the following steps to avoid a serious fine and/or jail time. Firearms, both handguns and long guns, ammunition, and all firearm parts except for scopes must be declared at the luggage counter. They must be unloaded and secured in a locked, hard-sided container and placed in checked luggage. This includes replica firearms, including replicas that are toys. Only rifle scopes are allowed in carry-on baggage. To be safe, check with TSA Guidelines before packing.

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Understanding White-Collar Mortgage Fraud in Texas

 Posted on March 09,2022 in Criminal Law

Texas white collar crime defense attorney White-collar crimes refer to various criminal behaviors typically committed by business professionals. One widespread example of a white-collar crime is mortgage fraud, which is any misstatement of information used by a lender when funding a property. Mortgage fraud is becoming increasingly prevalent in Texas and across the United States. It is essential to understand how mortgage fraud is committed, its penalties, and how to prevent prosecution in the event that you are accused.

Ways Mortgage Fraud is Committed

Individuals can commit mortgage fraud in a variety of ways. A homebuyer, seller, real estate agent, or lender can misrepresent information at any stage of the process of obtaining a mortgage. In the most common type of mortgage fraud, an entity involved in the mortgage process may choose to omit financial information, misrepresent costs, or falsify a buyer's ability to apply for a mortgage. Prosecutors can find fraudulent statements in:

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Can I Defend Myself Against a Motion to Revoke My Probation in Texas?

 Posted on February 24,2022 in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_227599924.jpgAfter being charged with a crime in Texas, some offenders will be released under a period of supervision called probation. Probation is used to ensure that a person previously sentenced for a crime is following the law. A probation officer is assigned to an individual to monitor his or her progress after incarceration or probation may be used as an alternative to incarceration for a crime. When that individual fails to maintain the probation order and breaks the law, the state of Texas can make a motion to revoke the probation. However, individuals who feel they had their probation revoked unjustly may have a case to defend themselves and maintain their probationary period. 

Reasons Probation May Be Revoked

If an individual violates their probation, the state of Texas will file to have the probation removed. The process is done by filing a formal document called the Motion to Revoke Probation, which includes the incident that led to the revocation. Typically, any law-breaking activity can result in a loss of probation. Some of the most common reasons probation is revoked include:

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Can I Get a DUI For Drinking and Boating in Texas?

 Posted on February 04,2022 in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1996925273.jpgIt is common knowledge that drinking and driving is illegal and can lead to a DUI. But what are the drinking laws related to boating? In the state of Texas, drinking and boating can lead to a BWI (boating while intoxicated). As the excitement of spring lingers and Texans prepare for warmer weather, it is important to understand the drinking laws while boating in Texas. 

What is a BWI?

Just like a DUI charge (driving while intoxicated), a boating while intoxicated, or BWI, charge has similar consequences including license suspension, fines and even jail time. However, there are important differences to remember between drinking laws in a motorized vehicle and a watercraft. 

In a car, it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol. A driver can be arrested in Texas for having open alcohol in his or her car. But this law does not apply to boating. You can have open alcohol on the boat as long as the boat driver is not over the legal limit of intoxication when driving. Texas law considers someone legally intoxicated when their blood alcohol level (BAC) reaches 0.08 percent or above. A breathalyzer test can be administered on the water by a policing boat to determine a boater’s BAC. 

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Understanding Intoxication Manslaughter in San Antonio, Texas

 Posted on January 19,2022 in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_110787524.jpgBeing charged with DWI/DUI is very serious, but an intoxication manslaughter charge in Texas is considered the most severe of toxication-related offenses. Intoxication manslaughter occurs when someone operating a motor vehicle is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident, resulting in the death of another. This type of occurrence can be life-altering for all parties involved. Hiring an experienced attorney that can help you understand the circumstances stemming from such a severe charge is imperative because of the penalties and fines you would likely face.

What Does Intoxication Manslaughter Mean?

Even if there was no intent to harm anyone and the car wreck was purely accidental, you could still be charged with intoxication manslaughter. There are a variety of charges that can be filed when an impaired driver causes an accident involving a serious injury or death, including:

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Beating a DWI Charge in Texas

 Posted on January 07,2022 in Criminal Law

texas defense lawyerBeing charged with a DWI or DUI is never an ideal situation to be in, but understanding your legal rights and hiring the right DWI/DUI defense attorney can help you build a strong defense. Your lawyer will make sure that the traffic stop was justified and may challenge the accuracy of any field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests. Even though these tests are commonly used by police, there are instances where they are given under unreliable circumstances. Being placed under arrest and charged with DWI can turn into a battle that lasts for months or even years, but following the correct steps could help pave the way for proving your innocence.

Illegal Traffic Stops

A police officer cannot pull over a vehicle unless he or she has probable cause to do so. For example, police may witness a traffic violation or see possible evidence of intoxicated driving like weaving between lanes.  Police also need probable cause to arrest a suspect. If the police do have a valid reason to pull you over, they still cannot perform an illegal search of your vehicle. Police are prohibited from searching a suspect or their vehicle over a minor traffic offense probable cause. Any evidence collected without the driver’s consent or probable cause is not admissible in court.

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Understanding Drug Free Zones in Texas

 Posted on December 20,2021 in Criminal Law

texas drug crime defense lawyerTexas takes the illegal buying and selling of controlled substances very seriously. A drug crime conviction carries harsh penalties, including prison time, mountainous fines, and reputational damage that is difficult to repair.

However, not all drug crimes are the same. The location of the crime impacts the penalties, with Texas law punishing offenses that occur in “drug free zones” more harshly.

What Places Are Considered Drug Free Zones?

In the State of Texas, the following locales are considered drug free zones:

  • Any area within 1,000 feet of a place frequented by children
  • Daycare centers
  • Elementary schools
  • Secondary Schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities
  • Playgrounds

Additionally, drug free zones are also any area within 300 feet of:

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Felony Assault vs. Misdemeanor Assault in San Antonio

 Posted on December 06,2021 in Criminal Law

texas assault defense lawyerMost people are familiar with the crime of assault. When they hear the word, they often imagine a victim being punched, hit, or inflicted with some kind of physical blow. Although this constitutes one kind of assault in Texas, other kinds of assault exist, some of which involve no physical contact. The nature of the assault determines whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. The circumstances of the alleged assault also influence the defendant’s sentence.

Misdemeanor Assault

  • Class C Misdemeanor Assault: A defendant may face a class C misdemeanor charge if the alleged assault victim suffers no bodily harm. Threats of imminent physical harm and offensive physical touching without consent may result in class C misdemeanor charges. The maximum penalty for this offense is a $500 fine.
  • Class B Misdemeanor Assault:  Class B misdemeanor assault charges may result from physical attacks against athletes and coaches by spectators. The maximum penalty for a class B misdemeanor assault charge is a $2000 fine and six months in prison.   

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How Does Texas Define Stalking?

 Posted on November 23,2021 in Criminal Law

texas defense lawyerDomestic violence can take many different forms; in fact, it does not even require physical contact. Sometimes, simply a person’s presence is enough to constitute the crime. Stalking is one example of this.

In the State of Texas, a person may be convicted of stalking if their behavior causes someone to fear for their safety.

Stalking Charges in San Antonio 

Stalking encompasses a wide range of behavior and could include verbal communication, trespassing on the victim’s property, and repeatedly following the victim. If these actions make the victim fear there is imminent danger to themselves, their family, or their property, the actions may constitute stalking. 

Examples of stalking include:

  • Repeatedly sending threatening text messages
  • Frequently appearing near someone’s house or residence

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Bexar County

In the historic King William District

1011 S. Alamo,
San Antonio, Texas 78210