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

Ignition interlocks, license suspensions and more stem from DUIs

Drunk driving accusations come with some very serious penalties. This is one of the reasons why it is imperative for officers to make sure they are absolutely certain that the person is intoxicated before they make the decision to make the claim.

It might interest you to know that the penalties you are going to face for drunk driving are going to start before you are convicted of the crime. In some cases, you will have to deal with these penalties and then not even be charged with any crime. Here's what you need to know about drunk driving penalties:

2 types of cases might stem from a drunk driving crash

As the weather warms up, people turn to outdoor activities to enjoy their days. When adults get together, there are frequently alcoholic beverages involved. It is imperative that you take the time to address the need to get home if you plan on drinking.

There is something that you might not realize about drunk driving charges. If you were involved in a car crash because you were intoxicated, there is a chance that you will face more than one court case. Even though you might think this would be double jeopardy, it isn't. Here's some important information that you should know about this matter:

Know your rights when you are a criminal defendant

When most people think about the criminal justice system, they think of defendants in a negative light instead of remembering that people who are facing criminal charges have specific rights. Defendants must be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

In a way, the criminal justice system makes it hard to remember that principle. This is because of the way that bail and the criminal process works. Still, anyone who is facing criminal charges should remember that they do have rights that must be respected. Here are a few of the most notable ones.

Criminal defense strategies must focus on a specific goal

A criminal case can have a significant impact on a defendant's life. These cases are sometimes resolved prior to a trial through a plea deal; however, this isn't always true. Some defendants have to stand trial in front of a jury of their peers, which can be challenging to say the least.

In every criminal case, it is a good idea to start working on the trial defense as early as possible. Even if you are trying to work out a plea deal with the prosecutor, having your defense strategy in the works can help you to be prepared if the negotiations don't work.

Plea deals: Points all defendants must consider

Once you have been charged in a criminal case, you will have to decide how you are going to plead to those charges. Many defendants opt to plead not guilty instead of guilty at the start of the case. This sets the wheels in motion for the case to head toward a trial.

Many criminal cases never make it to trial. Instead, they are resolved prior to the trial through a plea bargain. This possibility has many benefits for the defendant and the prosecution, but it isn't without some controversy. Anyone who is facing criminal charges should explore how plea deals might help them or hurt them.

Getting out of jail when you are facing criminal charges

When a person is arrested on a criminal charge, getting out of jail is the main priority. Most people don't want to remain behind bars from the arrest through the final outcome of the case. The purpose of bail in the criminal justice system is to allow defendants to be released from custody while their cases move through the courts.

There are different factors involved with setting bail in a criminal justice case. Understanding some of those factors affecting the process might help if you are ever in this situation.

A drug conviction can dramatically change your professional life

Some people, especially young adults, might not think that there are lasting repercussions from a drug conviction. The truth is that there are many ways that a drug conviction can impact your life. The ramifications vary greatly, but they usually won't end when the court-imposed sentence is over.

When you are determining how a drug conviction might impact your life, you need to think about several areas but one of the most important is employment.

Cries for help are often muted in juvenile justice

Some people hear the term "juvenile justice" and think that it relates to having to deal with young, misguided people who don't have a chance. They might think that all of these juveniles are "lost causes," but this is a tragic misconception. Many juveniles who are involved in the juvenile justice system don't have to be a "lost cause," but they do need to be given tools to make the changes necessary to move into adulthood as productive citizens.

Juvenile justice deals with various facets of life as a minor. No matter what issues children are dealling with, the court needs to find ways to provide services that can help them. For some, this means offering social support, but for others, it means spending time in a juvenile correctional facility.

No juvenile criminal justice matter is considered a small deal

Juvenile criminal matters are often thought of as minor offenses, but this can't be the thought that parents have when their child is facing these issues. Parents need to realize that when a child is involved in the justice system, he or she needs help getting back on the right path. This is the goal of the juvenile justice system.

When your child is facing this type of legal trouble, it is easy to get discouraged and give up hope. This isn't a good thing to do. Instead, you need to work to ensure that your child's rights are being respected and that your child is getting help.

Expunctions and non-disclosure orders in Texas

A criminal conviction in Texas can have far-reaching consequences. Not only may you have to do jail time, pay huge fines and legal fees, but it could cause problems in other aspects of your life. For example, you could lose your job, have problems finding other employment or even run into issues trying to rent an apartment. Unfortunately, a conviction is not the only thing that will appear of your records. An arrest without a subsequent conviction might also cause you some issues in the future.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your criminal record from affecting your personal life too much. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may qualify for an expunction or a non-disclosure order.

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