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Blog

03
Aug

It might surprise many to know that, as of 2015, thirty-three states (including the District of Columbia) have laws on the books authorizing civil commitment for adults who have substance abuse issues—absent any criminal charge. It might be even more surprising to know that Texas is among those thirty-three states. You might assume that, even […]

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15
Jul

My good friend Derek has asked me (several) times if he could shoot someone he believed to be a zombie who was trying to eat him. Since I blogged about self-defense last week, I figured I would address Derek’s question here. Obviously, the answer is “no,” but why is the answer “no”?   First, an […]

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29
Jun

Where felony charges are concerned, two specific provisions of the Texas Penal Code often come up: 12.44(a) and 12.44(b). The title of 12.44 explains the effect of prosecution under such provisions—“Reduction of State Jail Felony Punishment to Misdemeanor Punishment.” Both provisions permit punishment for a state jail felony to be reduced to Class A misdemeanor […]

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15
Jun

Most people are aware (or become aware) that any conviction for a drug offense, or any offense under Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code (where the drug offenses are, generally) will automatically suspend a person’s driver’s license for a period of 180 days. What is less-known, however, is that the Texas Department […]

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11
Jun

Increasingly, driving while intoxicated charges are being filed against people who drive—not under the influence of alcohol—but under the alleged influence of marijuana. Often enough, a warrant is sought for the person’s blood so that it can be tested for the presence of marijuana, drugs, and prescription medication. A blood test showing marijuana metabolites can […]

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27
Oct

In 1976, Texas adopted the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) guidelines, to get detailed, reliable crime statistics. In addition to UCR, there are several additional statistics that police departments must report—family violence, sexual assault, hate crimes, and the like. Of interest here, however, is the mandatory requirement from the Texas Health and Safety Code (481.185) that […]

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13
Oct

There have been some major changes to the laws concerning the possession, sale, and manufacture of controlled substances this year. One major change concerns what level of offense a person can be charged with for breaking into a car or commercial building. Under certain circumstances, explained below, what used to be a misdemeanor or state […]

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27
Sep

Videos of police are prevalent in the news of late, whether it be video related to investigations (officer body-camera video of police allegedly planting evidence in Baltimore when investigating a drug case), traffic stops (Philando Castile video), or during apprehensions (Walter Scott video). In the latter two instances, video was taken by private citizens who […]

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