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Longview Criminal Defense Law Blog

School bus could be considered a deadly weapon in DWI case

A Harris County school bus driver could be facing extraordinary charges related to driving while intoxicated (DWI) after driving so erratically that she nearly flipped her bus over on the road.

A 911 caller alerted the police to the 55-year-old female bus driver's dangerous driving just after she had dropped off the last of her students to a prep school. Police caught up with her near Aldine Westfield Road and Hirschfield Road around 2:15 in the afternoon on May 30.

Meth is making a comeback

For a while, oxycontin and other prescription drugs were the hot items among both dealers and addicts. Now, in the wake of the opioid crisis and the crackdown on doctors who overprescribe, an old-but-familiar drug is making a comeback. Methamphetamine (commonly known as meth), which was once the most popular street drug, has been increasing in popularity once again.

Data provided by the federal government indicates that meth seizures have spiked 142% between 2017 and 2018 alone. Whatever is being seized is likely just a drop in the bucket of what's really available out there.

How can social media impact my criminal drug case?

Social media connects us all the time. You have apps on your phone that you can access in seconds. You share information readily. You may use these apps as your main form of communication with friends, family members and co-workers.

Then you get arrested on drug charges. You don't feel like the police have much evidence against you, but they seem intent on taking it to court. What you start wondering is if they're going to use your social media accounts against you. Can they?

Facing a drunk driving arrest? Don't make these mistakes

A drunk driving arrest can happen to anybody. All it takes is a simple traffic mistake and an officer's belief that you're impaired (and, contrary to popular belief, you don't even have to fail a Breathalyzer for the officer to proceed with an arrest).

If you had a drink or two at dinner, and you still got behind the wheel of your car because you were absolutely sure you weren't over the legal limit to drive and weren't impaired, you need to keep the following things in mind:

Texas man gets life sentence for drug conspiracy

A 58-year-old Texan is now facing life behind bars in a federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. This is the most recent sentence stemming from a long-running investigation into drug activity that ran from Mexico to Tennessee.

Back in early 2017, federal agents received a tip from a confidential informant about drug activity in a Tennessee home. Police ultimately raided the home and recovered a vacuum sealer, a money counter and about $500,000 in cash -- all signs that heavy drug distribution operation was taking place.

New law prompts Texas to drop many marijuana cases

On June 10, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325, which effectively creates a legal distinction between hemp products and marijuana. The new law has had an unintentional effect, however. It has thrown the offices of numerous prosecutors into disarray. Many have been forced to drop charges against hundreds of Texans accused of marijuana possession in cases where the quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a product is unknown.

What's the problem for prosecutors? The new law makes any cannabis product with a concentration of THC of 0.3% or less "hemp." This includes many cannabidiol (CBD) oils and other products that -- up until now -- have been illegal to possess in Texas.

You could face charges even for your own prescribed medicine

Controlled substances laws are confusing for most people, especially because they're different in different states. However, most states' controlled substances laws closely align with federal statutes. That includes the state of Texas.

Different drugs receive a schedule placement based on medical knowledge about the effects of that active ingredient. Substances that receive the Schedule 1 classification, for example, have no acknowledged medical benefits or pose incredibly high risk of abuse or addiction. Schedule 2 substances, which include some prescription medications, have medical applications but still pose a risk of abuse or addiction.

Recall stands to affect 1,700 DWI cases in Texas

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas -- but the prosecution may have trouble proceeding with about 1,700 cases in the Houston area. That's how many are estimated to be affected by a nationwide recall on the equipment that is used to hold blood sample evidence.

According to the Houston Forensic Science Center, a lab that works with both the police and Harris County District Attorney's Office, the company that provided the tubes used to store blood has issued a nationwide recall of about 240,000 tubes. Approximately 100 tubes are known to be defective, but the entire manufacturing lot is being recalled as a precaution.

Can the police force you to unlock your phone?

Your smartphone has a potential gold mine of information on it for the police. In any situation where you face police scrutiny, you can absolutely bet that the police would love to get a peek into your emails, text messages, geo-location tracking and photos.

Naturally, you probably don't want to simply hand all that information over to the police. And -- at least for now -- you aren't required to do so.

An ignition interlock device is possible after a Texas DWI

A significant portion of the individuals who commit a particular crime will eventually commit the same crime or a similar one again in the future. In the justice system, this phenomenon is known as recidivism. Courts attempt to combat recidivism with policies that increase penalties for second and third offenses. They also sometimes order counseling or similar services to help.

Impaired drivers are often individuals who repeatedly violate the law. After all, driving while impaired (DWI) charges are frequently associated with alcohol dependence or addiction that an individual does not currently have under control. Simply pleading addiction will not protect you from the legal consequences of a DWI.