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Longview Criminal Defense Law Blog

How can social media impact a DWI or drug case against you?

Many people have far too narrow of a perspective when it comes to the impact of social media on criminal charges. People may think of crimes that happened on social media, such as cyberbullying or stalking. However, the crime does not have to be digital in nature for someone to get into trouble over it on social media.

For example, the rise in certain social media platforms, like Snapchat, created an incentive for some individuals to brag about dangerous or illegal behavior. Young adults have even made the very questionable decision to live stream crimes, like drunk driving, on social media.

Is the 'war on drugs' racist?

The "Drug War" in America has been raging on for decades, and people keep going to jail on possession charges -- despite every indication that jailing people for crimes of addiction is pointless. Even worse, it is increasingly apparent that drug laws are applied unevenly against people of color.

That isn't something new. The history of drug laws in this country indicates that racist politics were always a guiding force. At the start, however, the racist overtones of many drug laws were much harder to see. Now, the statistical evidence makes it clear that racial bias often comes into play where drug law enforcement is concerned.

Gas Pipe owners acquitted, government wants their property anyhow

The Gas Pipe defendants, a father-daughter duo of shopkeepers who were accused of trafficking synthetic cannabis products (also known as "spice") were recently acquitted in a court of law. We've followed their story in our blog before.

Now, in a new chapter, the father-daughter team has to defend their property and vast holdings -- including millions of dollars in their bank accounts, private planes and a fishing camp -- against the government's attempts to use asset forfeiture laws against them. The government is claiming the right to seize their property under laws that widely allow law enforcement agencies to simply take whatever property they believe is either used in or a proceed of the drug trade.

What crimes are committed through social media?

Many of us post intimate details about ourselves and our lives on social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. These details, however, could be a problem if we are accused of a crime -- particularly if they are publicly available for anyone to see.

However, even if your Facebook or Instagram account is private, you might be surprised to hear that prosecutors could potentially gain access to your Facebook account information -- even the information that's private -- by getting a court order from a judge. Especially if you have been accused of committing a crime on social media or through social media, prosecutors may be able to use your supposedly private information against you.

How does Texas treat marijuana edible possession cases?

The use of marijuana in many forms -- both medicinally and recreationally -- has gained favor throughout the United States. However, its use is still very limited in Texas.

That's bad news if you happen to be heading home from a recent trip to Colorado (where you can obtain just about every kind of marijuana product available) with a bag full of edible marijuana gummies or lollipops. In fact, you need to be aware of the fact that Texas does not treat all marijuana products in the same manner. Those edibles can land you in far more trouble than the raw herb.

What's an expunction? Can you get one in Texas?

If you make a mistake and default on a bill, the record of that mistake can only follow you around for about a decade. Eventually, your good fiscal behavior will earn you a clean record.

Unfortunately, criminal records don't work the same way. Make a mistake that leads to a minor criminal conviction, and it can literally haunt your footsteps for life. For that matter, even if you aren't convicted, just being charged with a crime creates a criminal record that can affect how other people view you.

Senate passes criminal justice reform bill born in Texas

Texas leaders have reason to celebrate: Nearly a decade after it began, a proposal that is designed to reduce drug crime and empty prisons of repeat offenders has passed the United States Senate.

The bipartisan bill known as the First Step Act is designed to change the way that the courts treat many drug offenders. The goal is to give judges more discretion in the way that they sentence some drug defendants. Many mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses would be lowered. Some convicted defendants would also have the chance to gain an early release by obtaining vocational education or job training while they are in prison.

Laboratory testing may help you fight drug charges

Building a strong defense to drug possession charges often requires using legal tools to find weaknesses in the evidence against you. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may have a number of ways to challenge the charges, including questioning the conduct of the arresting officers and disputing your ownership of any illegal substances.

Failing to build a strong defense is never a good option when it comes to drug charges because the sentencing for drug crimes is often much harsher than other non-violent crimes. Even if your charges do not seem serious, they can still result in months or years of jail time, so it is wise to build a defense to keep your rights secure against unfair punishment.

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