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McKinney Criminal Defense Blog

Don't get caught with marijuana in Texas

Federal laws still classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug. It is an illegal substance without any recognized benefits. States across the country have started to decriminalize the drug, which means that criminal penalties don't apply to certain marijuana charges on a state level.

Texas isn't a state that has begun to decriminalize this drug. Instead, there are still very harsh penalties for all charges related to marijuana.

Blackout Wednesday and Thanksgiving are just around the corner

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it, the start of a busy drunk driving season. With so many holidays between now and the end of the year, it's not unusual for the police to have their hands full.

Fortunately, there are many options for staying out of trouble with the law. Getting a ride home through a ride-sharing service, staying at a local hotel or staying overnight wherever you plan to drink can all keep you out of the way of the law.

This is what happens if you refuse a breath test in Texas

If you live in Texas, you should know that you are required to take a breathalyzer test if an officer stops you and asks you to do so. When you get your license, you automatically agree that you will submit a breath test upon request. This is called implied consent.

If you don't want to take the breath test, there is the option to refuse, but refusing carries potentially negative consequences. If you refuse to take the test, you'll face a civil proceeding in which you could lose your license. Refusing or failing a breath test invokes a mandatory license suspension thanks to the implied consent law. However, you can contest the suspension of your driver's license by requesting an administrative law hearing (ALR), but you must make the request within a certain number of days of being arrested (usually 15 days). Using the ALR driver's license hearing process to fight to keep your license provides an excellent opportunity to collect information about the DWI charge, such as police reports and witness statements. You may also be able to question the arresting officer at the driver's license hearing, which can help you build your defense to the criminal DWI charge. A smart lawyer can use the license suspension hearing to your advantage in the DWI case - even if your license ultimately gets suspended. 

Why you should consider taking a plea deal

There is no easy way to tell a person whether or not to take a plea deal. He or she may believe that he or she is the one who can make that decision, and no one else's say matters. The truth is that your attorney likely has a good idea of whether or not that plea deal is a good one and what you should expect if you don't take it.

No two cases are exactly alike, so it can be difficult to decide what a fair plea deal is. In some cases, going to trial might be preferred, especially if the defense believes the individual will walk away with a not-guilty finding.

Can I refuse a breathalyzer test in Texas?

In a perfect world, drinking and driving would not be an issue. However, despite being a proud and wonderful place, Texas is not a perfect world, nor any other state in the union. The reality of the matter is that good people often make foolish errors and find themselves on the wrong side of a traffic stop.

If you find yourself pulled over and you know that you probably won't pass a breathalyzer test, you might think that simply refusing to take the test is a good idea. In reality, "should I take a breathalyzer test?" is not a simple yes or no question.

What is the crime of money laundering?

Unless you've been living under a rock these past five or six months, you likely have heard or read some as-yet-unproven allegations about key figures close to the president or his administration and money laundering.

Until the full facts are made known, however, it's important to note that the allegations remain unproven and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But what does the crime of money laundering actually constitute anyway?

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Keith Gore, Lawyer
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