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Houston Criminal Defense Blog

Drug paraphernalia as a gift: What you should know

Drug paraphernalia laws restrict people from possessing items used to take or administer illicit drugs. Many of these items are used for other purposes, but when used for illegal purposes are not legal to own.

Take, for example, a small stirring spoon. These spoons come with gift sets and are found in many baking stores. Despite that, they, when found with scales or baggies, could result in a drug paraphernalia charge.

Is it illegal to boat while drunk?

Hitting the water for a little leisurely relaxation time is a fun hobby for many Texans. When you're out boating with friends or family, it might be tempting to crack open a few cold ones and enjoy some drinks and company. Unfortunately, you could be breaking the law if you do so.

Texas Parks & Wildlife states that anyone operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher can, in fact, be arrested for boating while intoxicated (BWI). A boat is treated like any other vehicle, and operating your boat while drunk can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. This is highlighted by the fact that up to 50 percent of all boating accidents involve alcohol in some way.

Prescription drugs: prevention and penalties

Adults are not the only ones who have succumbed to the nationwide prescription drug crisis; drug use among children and teenagers is also on the rise. Amidst today's tense atmosphere regarding the topic, Texas lawmakers and locals alike have considered a number of approaches to combatting overdose.

Especially in recent years, prescription drugs have reached various demographics through its wide accessibility. President Trump's declaring the issue a national health emergency sparked fresh debate on whether current strategies are as effective as once thought. Despite Trump's failure to request funding for this emergency, many residents are stepping up to the plate and finding their own ways to help battle the crisis. And for those users fortunate enough to survive an overdose, the next looming challenge is the penalties if one is caught in possession.

Drug possession charges in Texas: The basics

Even though other states have been making strides toward legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, Texas still has some very strict laws on its books concerning drug possession. For example, if a Houston police officer pulls you over and sees marijuana in your vehicle, you could end up paying some large fines and possibly spending time in jail if a court convicts you of the crime.

Before you find yourself in a similar position as the above example, it is important to familiarize yourself with the law. To find out more about drug possession laws in Texas, read further.

Penalties for rape in Texas

When people commit rape in Texas, they may not always think about the laws which govern sexual assaults. These laws are important to remember, though, as they determine the severity of the charge, as well as the penalty.

According to FindLaw, a person commits sexual assault if they do not have consent to perform a sexual act. This means that a sexual assault has occurred if someone is not physically strong enough to keep the other person away from them or if a person needed to use violence so the sexual act could take place. Someone may also commit rape if they are in a position of authority as a public servant or health care provider.

Are DUI charges a misdemeanor or a felony?

When Texan drivers like you face DUI-related charges, you're most likely going to be dealing with a misdemeanor charge. However, there are instances in which your DUI charge could actually be considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

While misdemeanor DUI charges are more common, there are several situations in which a DUI may be considered a felony instead. VeryWell.com shows that there are five categories of exemptions. They can be broken down as follows:

  • Injury
  • Endangerment
  • Law-breaking
  • Prior convictions
  • Elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) levels

What is a nystagmus?

If you have been pulled over by a Texas police officer or other law enforcement officer and eventually questioned for suspected drunk driving, you may also have been asked to take a few tests right where you have been stopped. These are commonly referred to as field sobriety tests. It is important that you understand what these tests are designed to measure and how accurate they may or may not be.

According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, none of these tests can or are intended to measure or prove that you are drunk. They can only provide data that may be used to suggest that you might be drunk and this is then used to support an officer placing you under arrest. Each one of the three tests has a failure rate. One of the three tests is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. It is the most accurate yet even still has an accuracy rate of only 77 percent.

Texas set to open first medical marijuana dispensaries in 2018

Three companies are making preparations to open the first medical marijuana dispensaries in Texas as soon as 2018. One company, Cansortium Texas, is already working with Knox Medical on growing a marijuana crop only a short drive west on I-10 from Katy, in nearby Schulenburg.

In 2015, Governor Gregg Abbott signed the Compassionate Use Act into place in order to allow dispensaries to obtain licenses and sell medical marijuana to Texas residents that have a rare form of intractable epilepsy. The state only intends to issue enough dispensary licenses so that medical marijuana is reasonably available to people across the state who are suffering from this rare and severe form of epilepsy. Furthermore, the Texas dispensaries will only be able to provide these patients with cannabidiol, which is a low-THC cannabis.

How serious are false rape accusations?

An allegation for a crime such as rape is always a serious matter. When there is a chance that allegation could be false, a person's reputation, mental and physical state are on the line. Looking for truth in a rape case can be complex, but it is important to know about recent accounts and other information regarding fale accusations in Texas. 

False accusations do not typically reach the public spotlight only to fade into the background within a matter of months. Daily News informed readers of a case in which a Texas teenager faced felony charges for making a false rape accusation against three black men. The 19-year-old had run into a church wearning minimal clothing with cuts; however, rape kits did not show evidence that the woman had been assaulted. Authorities later found that the teen had staged the incident to mask a prolonged and underlying issue of her own self-harm. The consequences included a charge for tampering with physical evidence and tampering with government record. Furthermore, the teen could face up to 10 years behind bars.

Can I beat my drug charge?

When defending clients on drug offenses, they always ask whether or not they can beat the charges. Of course, no attorney worth his or her salt will ever promise a client a certain outcome in court. But that doesn't mean that an extensive review of the evidence can't provide a competent criminal defense attorney with a good idea of a client's chances in court.

All cases are unique

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