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

Criminal defendants have specific rights

When you are facing criminal charges, you are likely going to be given the opportunity to take your case before a jury. It is imperative that the trial is considered fair, but this can often be seen as a broad term with many different meanings. Anyone facing criminal charges should be aware of their legal rights in Texas.

The good news is that you can turn to the Constitution to find out what it means to have a fair trial. This, especially the 6th Amendment and the 14th Amendment, outlines what defendants can count on when they are in the criminal justice system.

Drivers should be extra cautious on holiday weekends

The Memorial Day holiday is one that people often associate with kicking off the nicer summer season. There are a lot of people who travel that weekend to enjoy the lovely weather. Some of these outings involve alcohol, which means that any adult who is going to drink these beverages needs to have a plan for making it back home at the end of the night.

The Center For Disease Control states that an average of 29 people die due to drunk driving crashes each day, and the cost of all drunk driving crashes is around $44 million annually. With these facts in mind, it is easy to see why it is imperative that drunk drivers are kept off the roads. Over holiday weekends, police officers will usually be extra vigilant about watching for signs of impaired drivers.

What is a probation violation and what happens when one occurs?

Potential outcomes of criminal justice cases vary greatly, depending on the circumstances and what happens during the court process. For some defendants, there is an order for probation issued, which means that the person won't have to spend time in prison. Instead, they are allowed to remain in the community, but are supervised by a probation officer.

Probation comes with specific requirements and special conditions that must be followed all the time. The person who is being monitored can face legal troubles if they violate any of the terms of the program, so it is imperative that they know what they are supposed to do and what they must avoid.

Defending your future against drug possession charges

Few things can ruin a promising young life like a drug possession conviction. Although the public perception of recreational drugs continues to shift as injustices in drug-related law enforcement come to light, the current laws we use at a federal level are harsh, and can change a person's entire future trajectory.

If you face drug possession charges, you need to begin building your legal defense immediately. The longer that you wait to build a defense, the more time that you give the prosecution to build its case against you, and the less time you have to understand the evidence supporting the charges. No matter how bad the situation may seem, it is never wise to face drug charges without some form of defense. Your rights deserve protection, and you have more ways to protect them than you may realize.

Crimes related to computer usage are serious matters

Most people get online daily, but they might not realize there are many things that can lead to criminal charges stemming from online activities. It is imperative that anyone doing things online know that they aren't running afoul of the law.

There are state and federal laws that govern the use of computers and online activities in this country. Having a basic understanding of what is forbidden can ensure that you aren't doing anything that will land you in the criminal justice system.

Some criminal accusations are common for juveniles

Juveniles don't always think about what they are going to do. They will often just act or follow their friends without considering what might happen. This can lead them to get into trouble. When that involves accusations of criminal behavior, they have to determine what to do.

A child who is facing the juvenile justice system might be very frightened. They may turn to their parents for guidance and help. The parents might think that their child is the exception, but there are actually some juvenile crimes that are fairly common.

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.

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