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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.

For a police officer to lawfully stop your vehicle, they must have reasonable suspicion that you have broken the law or are a danger to yourself or others. The subsequent search must also be conducted lawfully. If you are caught with an open container, you may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $500. If you are already being charged with a DWI, an open container gives the prosecution strong evidence that you had been drinking while or prior to driving. Your potential jail time also increases from 72 hours to six days.


How Do Texas Gun Laws Apply at an Airport?

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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.

What Are the Consequences?

If you are caught trying to enter a secured area with a firearm, you will be stopped by the TSA and turned over to local law enforcement officials for arrest and prosecution. If you are not a licensed gun owner, you will be arrested. If you have a License to Carry (LTC), you will not be arrested and you will likely be allowed to leave the airport, but may still face substantial federal fines. If you do enter a secured area, you risk federal imprisonment of up to 10 years and/or a fine up to $250,000. Any individual who is facing state or federal charges related to gun laws at the airport needs strong representation. A conviction in state or federal court of unlawful possession will have serious consequences.


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:

  • The application for a mortgage loan
  • The property title
  • Tax or credit forms 
  • Income confirmation 
  • Opinions on the value of the property

Individuals may hide information or misrepresent financial statements to obtain a property they otherwise could not have afforded. This is not uncommon for homebuyers who inflate their income statements to get a home loan, but this behavior can occur for many different reasons. 


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:

  • Failure to pass a drug test


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. 



Bexar County

In the historic King William District

1011 S. Alamo,
San Antonio, Texas 78210
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