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Texas Attorney Discusses How to Avoid Financial Consequences of DWI Charge

Texas DWI attorneyIt could happen to anyone. A night out for a few drinks turns into a serious situation after being stopped by police. Even if you’ve had only a drink or two and are sure your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is below the legal limit, you may be deemed “impaired” if you happen to fail a field sobriety test or breath test.

Being charged with a DWI in Texas can have a number of legal and financial consequences that could last for months, and possibly years, after an arrest.

Once a police officer determines that you have been driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher, you will likely be arrested and booked. You will then likely be summoned to court on a specific date, where evidence could be brought against you before a judge.

Before appearing in court, it’s critical that you consult with an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney who can help you fight the charges.

What are the financial consequences?

If you are convicted of DWI in Texas, the penalties can be harsh, depending how many previous convictions you have received and other circumstances. These include:

  • First-time offenders could be fined up to $2,000 and lose their driver’s license for up to one year.
  • Second-time offenders could be fined up to $4,000 and lose their driver’s license for up to two years.
  • Third-time offenders could be fined at $10,000 and lose their driver’s license for up to two years.

In addition, those convicted of DWI would have spend a great deal of money before and after getting their driving privileges back. This includes:

  • Legal fees – not including attorney fees
  • Rehabilitation and alcohol education fees
  • Cost of transportation if you can’t drive
  • Driving class and drunk driving school fees
  • SR-22 insurance – which cost more than other insurance policies, is required to reinstate your license and must be purchased for two years
  • License reinstatement fees
  • An annual driver’s license retention fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years
  • Vehicle modification costs – including the installation of an ignition interlock device

Avoid further troubles. Contact a DWI defense lawyer today

If you have been arrested for DWI, you will likely have to pay other unavoidable expenses, such as vehicle towing and impounding and court fees. However, if your DWI conviction was based on inconsistent evidence or a faulty breath test, you may have a strong legal defense.

Either way, it’s best to discuss your matter with an attorney at Amanda Webb – DWI Lawyer. She possesses a wealth of legal knowledge and real courtroom experience helping people convicted appeal their DWI charge and avoid a slew of further legal and financial challenges.

Don’t wait. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.

A Texas Attorney on What You Should Do If You Encounter the Police

Texas DWI attorneyEncountering law enforcement can be a scary ordeal. It can often make innocent people nervous and more likely to self-incriminate.

Even if you’re someone who obeys the law to the best of your ability, it’s likely that at some point you may encounter law enforcement. It’s important to understand how an encounter with police may occur and how it should be handled.

What to do when questioned by police

First and foremost, a law enforcement officer will ask questions. Whether you’ve been pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, or you’re being questioned about a crime that happened in your area, police ask questions to look for incriminating clues that can lead them to a suspect.

Even if you know you are 100 percent innocent, or believe you are helping police, the things you say can be incriminating. Additionally, if you have been accused of a crime you know you didn’t commit, attempting to talk your way out of an arrest can make matters worse.

Luckily, if you’re questioned by police for any reason, you may practice your right to remain silent, even if you are arrested, brought in for interrogation, or issued a subpoena. The only exception that applies is you must provide your name, and/or identification to police when asked for it.

Otherwise, it’s best to calmly tell police that you wish to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions.

What to do when stopped by police

If you are stopped on the street by police, you have the right to walk away or simply ask if you are free to go. If a police officer tells you you’re not free to go, yet you haven’t been arrested, then you are being detained. While this isn’t the same as being arrested, police may pat you down and search for weapons if they suspect that you may be armed.

If you are pulled over in your vehicle, you must keep your hands where police can see them. In addition, you must provide your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance if an officer asks for them. You may be asked to step out of your vehicle, and if you’re with a passenger, you may be separated and questioned. Police are not allowed to search your vehicle unless they have a probable cause that a crime is being committed or you give them consent to do so.

What to do if you’re arrested

If you’re arrested on suspicion of a crime, you are still within your rights to remain silent and request immediate legal representation. After being arrested, you may appear before a judge within roughly 48 hours. That’s why you should consult with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Amanda Webb – DWI Lawyer will launch a thorough investigation and use the details surrounding your arrest to help you build a solid criminal defense.

Don’t wait! Contact us today.

A Texas Attorney Weighs the Legal Ramifications of CBD in Texas

Texas criminal defense lawyerCannabidiol oil is available online and in stores in Texas; however, under the state’s Compassionate Use Act passed in 2016, it is legal only for people with intractable epilepsy, and those suffering from this degree of epilepsy must have a doctor’s prescription to buy it.

Brick-and-mortar stores in Texas offer numerous CBD products, including bath bombs and creams. Nonetheless, if you purchase CBD items without a valid prescription, even online, you may face charges if you’re caught.

You face the most danger if your CBD product contains THC, the active ingredient in hemp, which is related to marijuana. CBD extract or oil doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high. So medical patients get the benefits of the hemp but not the high.

If you do not have a prescription, however, the legal consequences could be severe:

Legal penalties

CBD product that contains THC: The minimum sentence is 2 years in a state jail facility and a maximum of 99 years or Life in prison depending on the weight of the oil. This means:

  • Less than 1 gram is a State Jail Felony
  • 1-4 grams is a 3rd Degree Felony
  • 4-200 grams is a 2nd degree felony
  • Over 200 to 400 grams is a first degree felony
  • Over 400 grams is an aggravated first degree felony with a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison

Contamination

Potential police action is not the only problem a person faces when purchasing CBD products in Texas. For now, there are very few safeguards in place as to the quality of the CBD product you may purchase.

Products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so the purchaser can’t really be sure what’s in them. There’s no quality control as to safety, effectiveness or purity. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that fake CBD oil has poisoned dozens in Utah. In Houston a smoke shop was raided for labeling the drug kush, a kind of marijuana, as a CBD product.

Possible expansion of uses

Some Texas lawmakers are pushing for changes:

Medical: Lawmakers hope to add multiple sclerosis and other diseases with symptoms of spasticity, such as ALS and Parkinson’s disease, to the list of issues covered by the Compassionate Care Act. Proponents argue that many more patients will be able to get relief if this expansion is allowed.

Prescription: Right now, a patient must get a prescription from two doctors in order to obtain CBD products. State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, hopes to change that to just one doctor.

If you have a medical condition and need CBD treatment, let attorney Amanda Webb guide you through the process to make sure you are following the law. If you are facing drug charges, attorney Webb can help you fight the charges. Contact us today to learn more.

Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor: A Texas Attorney Explains

Texas criminal defense lawyerThe old saying that time is money is particularly true when it comes to criminal laws in Texas. Divided into two broad categories, misdemeanors and felonies, the penalties you could face if convicted are either fines, incarceration, or both.

The severity of the sentence depends on the severity of the crime. If convicted of the lowest form of a misdemeanor, you may only face a fine. If convicted of a serious misdemeanor, you may also be incarcerated.

The same is true for felonies, which are considered far more serious crimes. Being convicted of any type of felony usually means you are looking at prison time. If you already have a criminal record, you’ll be looking at an even longer sentence.

Attorney Amanda Webb is an expert on the Texas criminal code and can best help you sort through your case. Your first call should be to Attorney Webb, who knows how to aggressively defend you.

Here’s how things play out according to the Texas Penal Code, Title 3, Chapter 12.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are classified into three categories, according to their severity.

Charges may include:

  • Shoplifting and theft
  • Failure to pay child support
  • DWI (first and second offense)
  • Minor drug possession
  • Driving without license
  • Harassment
  • Assault with injury
  • Jumping bail
  • Carjacking
  • Indecent exposure
  • Speeding
  • Unlawfully carrying of a weapon

Punishments for Misdemeanors

Class A: A fine not to exceed $4,000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or both fine and confinement.

Class B: A fine not to exceed $2,000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both fine and confinement.

Class C: A fine not to exceed $500.

Felonies

Felonies are also classified by categories: capital, first-, second-, third-degree, and state jail felonies.

Charges may include:

  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Arson
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder/homicide
  • Child sex trafficking
  • Aggravated robbery/theft
  • DWI (third offense)
  • Possession of 50 pounds or more of marijuana
  • Improper student-teacher relationship
  • Bribery

Punishments for Felonies

Capital Felony:

  • If the state of Texas seeks the death penalty, then either death, or life in prison without parole.
  • If the state of Texas does not seek the death penalty, life. If the individual committed the offense when younger than 18 years of age, parole is then possible.
  • Mandatory life without parole, if the individual committed the offense when 18 years of age or older.

First-Degree Felony:

  • Prison for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years.
  • In addition to imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Second-Degree Felony:

  • A prison term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years.
  • In addition to imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Third-Degree Felony:

  • A prison term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.
  • In addition to imprisonment a fine not to exceed $10,000.

State Jail Felony:

  • A complex set of punishment depending on whether the person used a deadly weapon, tried to flee, or knew a deadly weapon was going to be used.
  • Broadly, the punishment calls for 180 days to two years imprisonment and no more than a $10,000 fine.

No matter how minor the crime, you need legal representation

Whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges, the consequences can be serious and life-long. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges in court and avoid a lengthy prison sentence and hefty fine. Contact DWI lawyer Amanda Webb to review your case and discuss your options.

Texas Expungement Orders and the Right to be Forgotten

Texas expungement lawyerYou were accused of a crime and arrested. Your attorney successfully fought the charges and the grand jury dismissed your case. However, the arrest still remains on your record. When an employer runs a background check on you, they’re still able to see that you were arrested. You know that you’re innocent. So how do you clear an arrest from your record?

It’s called expungement or the “Right to Be Forgotten” and is a civil suit separate from your criminal case. When a person accused of a crime in Texas is found not guilty, the case is dismissed or they complete a diversion program, they then do not have a conviction.

They can get their record sealed because, after all, the person was not convicted so they should have this chance to maintain a clean record. The arrest, which would normally stay on a defendant’s record, is forgotten.

How expungement works in Texas

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Title One, Chapter 55 spells out who qualifies to have their record expunged and how to go about it. Defendants must petition the court.

Two major categories of prior arrests are now eligible:

  • Misdemeanor cases
  • Certain drunken driving charges for first-time offenders
  • The court can order certain law enforcement agencies to destroy all records of an arrest and prosecution. Records to be destroyed include:
  • (bullet list)
  • Jail records
  • Police reports
  • Prosecution reports
  • Court files

Records must be removed from sites reliant on public records (mugshot websites, background check services). However, this does not include news sites and internet search engines.

Subsection (b), lists what gets expunged and who gets notified of the expungement.

Why you should speak to an attorney

Sometimes good people make one poor decision that can impact them for life. Other times, innocent people are wrongfully accused of a crime. Having an arrest or criminal charges on your record can make it difficult to find employment and enjoy the same rights and privileges afforded to others.

While an expungement sounds palatable, it is only valid if a defendant is cleared of his or her charges. If you have been arrested and accused of a crime in Texas, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Even a record of something as minor as a DWI can have lifelong consequences when left on your record.

Attorney Webb knows how the criminal justice system works in Texas and can work tirelessly to devise a solid defense. Contact us today to discuss your legal matter.