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Houston Criminal Defense Blog

Will marijuana legalization play a part in the 2020 election?

In past presidential elections, social issues, such as abortion and gay rights, have divided political parties.

However, 2020's presidential candidates seem to be in some degree of agreement over the once-polarizing issue of marijuana legalization. 

Common reasons for a dismissal of your criminal case

If you face criminal charges, you may wonder whether the charges can be dropped. Many people who have been charged with a crime never go to trial for a variety of reasons: The charges could be dismissed, or a plea deal could be reached.

Some of the main reasons your case could be dismissed includes:

The way we consider illicit drugs is changing

Within a relatively short period of time, this country's attitude toward certain drugs has changed a lot. Some doctors are now prescribing drugs that used to be illegal, while others are discouraging prescriptions that were once commonplace.

Here are just a few examples of how people are changing the way they think about some drugs.

5 Things that could skew a breathalyzer test

Breathalyzers may be incorrect up to 50 percent of the time when compared with the results of an actual blood test, according to the National Motorists Association. Considering that breathalyzers are the main indication police officers use to make a DUI arrest, this margin of error is concerning.

Some sources have even reported at least 23 percent of drivers who are charged with a DUI are arrested on an inaccurate breathalyzer score. Here are five common reasons why breathalyzer tests could be inaccurate.

Florida doctor accused of fatal hit-and-run

A man walking home from work one night in Vero Beach, Florida was struck and hit by a doctor on her way home from the office. Unfortunately, the details of what happened that night needed to be sifted through by a jury who ultimately found the doctor guilty for not stopping to render aid. The female doctor claimed she was unaware that she had hit a person, and thought it was only a traffic sign. However, when jury members saw photos of the vehicle post-accident, it was apparent that a human body was struck with the blood and bone fragments left on the vehicle.

The female doctor driving the vehicle did contact the police after arriving at her home that night. She was informed that she had killed a pedestrian and was taken into custody. Her guilty verdict has resulted in a $25,000 bail amount, confiscated passport, and a first-degree felony on her record. The victim's family have pursued charges against the doctor for their son's wrongful death.

The problems with civil asset forfeiture

The goal of civil asset forfeiture is to deter people who help criminals. If law enforcement seizes property related to criminal activity, it could deter more crime from taking place. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work as planned.

In 2017 alone, Texas law enforcement seized over $50 million worth of assets in criminal and civil forfeiture. While much of this is likely properly obtained, there are several issues that crop up with civil asset forfeiture including:

Opioid addiction in connection to incarceration

Following surgical procedures or in an effort to ease chronic pain, opioid medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine are often prescribed. Though these prescription narcotics tend to help with pain relief, they are known to be highly addictive. For some, this leads to trouble with the law.

Over time, narcotics can cause both physical and emotional problems. As tolerance develops, one might feel the need for an increased dosage, though a refilled prescription may not be medically necessary.

Can you have your criminal record cleared in Texas?

Perhaps you made a mistake when you were younger and now you have a criminal record following you, rearing its head every time you apply for a job or an apartment, or even volunteer. This can even happen without a conviction. You keep waiting for it to go away, but it doesn't. That's because you must request the court clear your record.

Texas has two methods for doing this: expunction (also called expungement) and a petition for non-disclosure. 

It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays

When the holiday season begins, you can always count on noticing a few things: fake cotton snow on window sills, nativity scenes on street corners and, of course, a few more police cars on your commute.

It's no secret that the holidays are a big time for police, with increased incidents of drunk driving and other infractions. What you may not know is that this is a result of a nationally-endorsed strategy called High Visibility Enforcement (HVE). The goal is to deter crime by making sure everyone knows that the police are out in force and you are more familiar with it than you think.

Don't let domestic violence allegations mar the holidays

There is a persistent myth surrounding domestic violence. The media has — falsely — claimed for many years that domestic violence peaks around the holidays. This is not supported by evidence and actually does further harm to the victims, as domestic violence occurs year round.

Which is not to say that incidents of domestic violence don't ebb and flow in relationships. They do, based on myriad factors unique to the relationships.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

Phone: 713-752-2728 | Fax: 713-650-1602
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