Larry P. McDougal
Larry P. McDougal - Attorney at Law
Richmond, Texas
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Sugar Land Criminal Defense Law Blog

Think carefully about a few options for drunk driving defenses

The season of bonfires and nights out with friends is a time when there might be alcoholic beverages involved. This opens up people who are out having fun to the chance that they will face drunk driving charges. Knowing how to handle this situation can reduce your stress, but you should make sure that you still give the case the attention it deserves.

There are a few different ways that you can handle a drunk driving charge. Looking into the circumstances surrounding the case is the first step toward setting up your defense strategy.

America's opioid crisis must be properly addressed

People facing drug possession charges are often in the throes of an addiction to the drugs with which they are found. Opioids are one of the major problems that this country is facing. These drugs are highly addictive and can lead to a quick downfall for the people who become addicted. Often, their entire life will revolve around obtaining and using these drugs.

As a nation, the economic burden of opioids is around $78.5 billion annually. This includes involvement in the criminal justice system, lost productivity, health care and addiction treatment. More than 130 individuals pass away from opioid overdose each year.

Some domestic violence cases proceed with help from the victim

Domestic violence cases demand defendants work hard to show that they didn't do what they were accused of. This isn't always easy but it is better than the alternative of going to prison or facing other penalties without trying to battle against the charges.

One thing that might help is to understand a few basic points about domestic violence and how cases are handled. For example, many cases involve physical attacks, but there are other ways domestic violence can occur. Financial, sexual and emotional abuse are all possible.

Could you face felony charges for driving under the influence?

Some people inaccurately believe that misdemeanor criminal charges don't really matter. This can lead them to have a flippant attitude toward violating the law, especially if they believe they will face misdemeanor charges. Individuals who live in Texas may be under the false impression that any offense related to driving under the influence (DUI) will result in misdemeanor charges.

However, this simply is not the case. There are a number of different circumstances in which a driver charged with a DUI in Texas could actually find themselves facing felony charges rather than a misdemeanor. This can mean more severe penalties after a conviction or a guilty plea, as well as a more serious criminal record that could impact your ability to secure housing or a decent job in the future.

Understanding how juveniles are charged with crimes

The definition of a juvenile varies from state to state, but in Texas, it is defined as a person who is between the ages of 10 and 17 when they committed the act that they are accused of. If they are considered a juvenile, they may also have committed an act that would be considered a criminal offense if executed by an adult.

If your child is in trouble with the law and is under the age of 17 but at least 10 years old, they will need to deal with the juvenile court system in Texas. As their parent, it is important that you take the time to understand how this court system works. By doing so, you will be better equipped to help them prepare for the coming challenges.

Why are criminal convictions a factor in some custody cases?

Many factors can come into the picture when you are facing legal charges. Sometimes, cases in different court systems overlap. This can be difficult to handle, so you have to be prepared. Sometimes, there can be a criminal complaint for domestic violence and a family law case, involving a divorce or child custody, for example.

In a child custody case, the court will consider the best interests of the children. Because of the nature of domestic violence, this could become a central factor. Other criminal convictions might also be at the heart of these cases.

What is drugged driving? How is it detected?

Driving under the influence is a big problem in this country. The problem is that many people don't realize exactly what the charge entails. It is possible for some people to commit this crime without knowing they are doing it.

There are many different things that might lead to a person driving under the influence. One of the obvious is that the person was taking illegal drugs, but that might not be what's happening in all cases. Some people face this problem due to prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications.

What constitutes retail theft?

People in Texas should ensure they are paying for merchandise that they leave the store with. This can help to prevent them from being accused of retail theft, which is a very serious matter. There are many factors that can impact this type of charge. Knowing a bit about the laws here can help you to better understand this crime so you can avoid charges.

Some individuals think that retail theft has to do only with trying to walk out of the store without paying for things. While this is a common form of the crime, there are other situations that might lead to a retail theft charge.

Understanding the finer points of white collar crimes

White collar crimes are associated primarily with workers who are in a position that has to do with finances or who are in control of company assets. This can include executives, bankers, loan officers, appraisers, cashiers and people in similar positions. Individuals facing these types of charges are looking at the possibility of time behind bars, fines and other penalties.

Understanding what comprises a white collar crime can help some people to avoid them. For those who are already facing one, knowing a few points ahead of time can help as they set their defense strategy to answer the charge.

DWI charges in Texas come with serious penalties

With Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Eve on the way, people intending to attend parties need to ensure they have a plan in place to make it home safely if they are going to drink alcohol. Failing to make suitable arrangements can lead to criminal charges if you have to drive yourself home while you are intoxicated.

There are several points you should know about drunk driving in Texas. A person will face a driving while intoxicated charge when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher. This only applies to people operating a personal vehicle. People who have a commercial driver's license have a lower limit.

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