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Hidalgo County Personal lnjury And Criminal Law Blog

Criminal charges can lead to your removal

No matter your reasons for coming to the United States, by now you have built a life for yourself. Perhaps your visa provided you with a good job or an opportunity to study at a Texas university. Maybe you obtained a green card through a family member. In any case, you certainly understand the importance of appreciating your rights and protecting your status, especially in the current political climate.

Nevertheless, things happen. You make a mistake or find yourself in the wrong place or with the wrong people. You may have had little control over the circumstances that lead to your arrest, but the cold fact is that your status in the U.S. is now at risk.

Think you can afford a DWI?

A night out may be something you look forward to during a long, difficult work day. Your idea of such a night may be taking a six-pack to a friend's house or singing karaoke at your favorite bar. As the evening continues, you can feel your stress fade away.

Unfortunately, if you get behind the wheel after a night of drinking, you may be dealing with more stress than you can imagine. If police arrest you and charge you with driving while impaired, you face the possibility of harsh penalties that may include fines and jail, if convicted. However, the financial impact of a conviction may be something you deal with for many years to come.

When an unexpected death occurs in a Texas collision

If you are among those in Texas who understand what it's like to get a phone call at a random hour informing you that a loved one has been in a car accident, then you may also know what it's like to experience the sudden, unexpected death of a spouse, child or other immediate family member. There is no replacement for the loss of human life. When your loved one died, you may have felt as if someone ripped the ground out from underneath you.

At the same time, you understood that your life will go on without the one you love and that you must somehow pick up the pieces and move on. In the days and weeks that follow the collision that took your loved one's life, such goals may seem impossible. However, there are several things that might help you cope, which other people who have suffered similar tragedies say have proved helpful in their situations.

That drowsy driver in the car next to you might as well be drunk

Getting a good night's sleep may seem like a pipe dream to many McAllen residents, including you. With the stresses of work and family life, sleep may feel more like a luxury than a necessity.

You probably would never consider falling asleep while driving, but you don't have to in order to increase the risk of having an accident. Fatigue alone can make it challenging to drive safely, and you never know how much sleep the driver in the car next to you got last night.

The ongoing expenses of a traumatic brain injury

A car accident that results in head trauma may mean little more than a week-long headache, or it can drastically alter the course of your life. If your loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may already know how different your world will be from the one you had planned. Suddenly, your primary focus is the health and improvement of your loved one.

The brain is a complex and delicate organ that controls the functions of the entire body. Doctors and scientists don't really understand how it works, so they have limited knowledge of how to repair it when damage occurs. The methods of recovery from traumatic brain injury are often experimental and frequently expensive.

Outdoor hazards could put you at risk of fall injuries

When you get up in the morning, you may already have a plan for your day. If you need to go out somewhere, you may have the desire to get up early, get to your destination, complete the intended task and get back home. Of course, even the most organized and determined person cannot account for unexpected events that may happen during the course of the day.

One of the most serious unexpected events that could occur is an accident that leads to you suffering injuries. Even if your outing does not involve any activities that you would consider particularly dangerous, you could end up hurt even just walking from your car to a store.

Implied consent and no-refusal DWI

Your legal rights during a traffic stop are always on the line. If you are not aware of the limits to which law enforcement can go to gather evidence of your guilt, particularly regarding the suspicion that you have been drinking alcohol, you may unwittingly surrender important rights.

One area in which this commonly happens is when police ask you to submit to a blood alcohol test to determine how much alcohol you have consumed before getting behind the wheel. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in Texas and most states is .08, but do you know if or when you have the right to refuse to submit to the test?

Detainers are requests that do not legally require compliance

As a Texas immigrant, you likely encountered numerous challenges when you first arrived and began to adapt to life in the United States. In fact, even though you've been here for some time, living, working and raising your family, you may still experience situations where you feel anxious or stressed regarding some aspect of your legal status or some other immigration-related issue.  

If you have faced conviction for a misdemeanor or other criminal offense, and the judge overseeing your case sentenced you to jail, you may be worried about immigration detainers. There's definitely no shortage of stories in the news regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arresting people scheduled for release from local jails. The more you know about detainers, as well as what your rights are and how to protect them, the better.  

Texas intersections: How to improve safety while driving

If someone were to ask you how many motor vehicle collisions typically occur at intersections, what would you say? If your answer was at least half, then you are correct. In Texas and all other states, approximately 50 percent of collisions occur at crossroads; this amounts to approximately 20 percent of accidents that result in fatalities.  

Intersections often involve multiple traffic lanes, so it is important toward your own safety, as well as the safety of pedestrians and other motorists nearby, that you always make certain you are in the correct lane before approaching a crossing. You may suffer injury if a negligent driver suddenly cuts across a lane. There are several other defensive driving techniques that can lower your risk for an accident.  

Were there issues with the traffic stop that led to your DUI?

When facing DUI charges, you understand the importance of defending yourself and fighting to protect your future interests. Even first-time DUI offenders in Texas can face serious consequences if convicted, and it is beneficial to start building a strong defense as soon as possible. One important element of a strong defense strategy is to examine what happened in the initial DUI traffic stop.

As part of developing your defense strategy, it can be helpful to evaluate the circumstances of the original traffic stop. Law enforcement needs specific reasons to pull a driver over, and failure to have valid grounds for a traffic stop could invalidate the entire case against you. There are also regulations in place for how they can deal with suspected drunk drivers and administer sobriety tests.

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