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Waco Texas Legal Blog

Do drug courts work?

If you reside in Texas and are currently facing a drug-related charge, you may have justifiable concerns about the possible repercussions you may face, if convicted. Fines, time behind bars and community service are just a few of the many possible consequences you may face for a drug conviction, but rarely do these penalties address what is often the root of the problem itself: your drug addiction.

Drug courts, however, do exactly that, with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals reporting that almost 50 percent of today’s American inmates have genuine, clinical addiction issues. Whether drug court, which is, in some cases, an alternative to imprisonment, will be available to you depends on several factors, among them your criminal history, charge details and geographic location. What is clearer, however, is the positive effects drug courts have on so many criminal offenders fighting addiction.

A community wave of healing after the Gatesville explosion

The explosion at Coryell Memorial Hospital on June 26 sent a shockwave that rattled all of Gatesville. Fifteen employees of Lochridge-Priest out of Waco were badly injured and Michael Bruggman of Rogers was killed. They and their families have been forever changed by the wave of destruction. Our hearts go out to them and we all hope for a full recovery.

After the tragic blast, the community responded quickly. Soon, there was a wave of action from all corners of the area. The injured were cared for and the seniors at the nursing home were relocated. A wave of healing and prayer and love has washed over Gatesville, Waco, and all the towns of the area even more powerful than the deadly blast.

Removing someone from the NSOPW

If one were motivated to search Texas for registered sex offenders, the most appropriate tool for the job would be the National Sex Offender Registry: a website- and app-accessible database of people who were ordered to maintain official records of their residences due to a sex crime conviction. However, that database does not contain everyone who was ever ordered to register. 

The national database might not even include everyone who is still under their initial registration duration order. The reason for this is twofold. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure gives those convicted of a sex crime a chance to have the court perform a risk assessment that attempts to predict an individual's:

  • Chance of recidivism
  • Continuing threat to the community

A traumatic brain injury can be a career-ending condition

The human brain is an impressive, intricate and delicate organ. Its neurons contain all of the information, preferences and memories that make us who we are. Our brains allow us to recall information we need at convenient times and help humans survive and thrive in hostile environments. However, the brain can easily end up injured, affecting its function and the abilities of the person involved.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a profound impact on the life and abilities of the injured person. Informing yourself about these injuries, as well as your rights to pursue compensation from the liable party, can help ensure you make the right choices in the wake of a serious injury.

Convictions with nationwide consequences

Your life could change drastically for a number of reasons, but few events have the lasting consequences of a federal conviction. At Hunt & Tuegel, PLLC., our entire team understands what is at stake when it comes to these cases. That is why we commit ourselves to the fervent defense of each of our clients, whether it is on the national or the state level.

Any federal criminal charges you might face could be damaging, whether you were to be convicted of the crime or exonerated of the accusations. However, whereas a spurious claim of wrongdoing poses a threat of remediable damage to your reputation or your personal life, a conviction could result in overwhelmingly severe consequences, such as:

  • Strict minimum sentencing, often including prison
  • Lifetime, involuntary offender registration
  • Limited employment prospects after release
  • Restrictions on living areas

Five things you need to know about speaking to police

What happens if I get pulled over by the police? What should I say to an officer, either during questioning or during an arrest? These are vital questions that every person in Texas should be able to answer. In the event you are questioned by police, here are five things you should know about what to say to an officer as well as what you should never say.

First, do not lie. You are doing enough by exercising your right to remain silent. Do not feel you have to throw the police off your trail by saying something that is untrue. If you do lie to the police, Findlaw points out that you could be charged with obstruction of justice. In many states, obstruction of justice is a felony offense.

How does Texas rank when it comes to violent crimes?

Violent crimes are those that intentionally cause or can cause bodily harm to another person. They are considered the worst possible crimes and include murder and rape. According to the Amarillo Globe-News, crime figures also include robbery under violent crimes but not burglary. It can be confusing, but in general, violent crimes are the worst crimes that harm people directly and not property. It is not good news when you look into the violent crime rate in Texas.

Based on figures from the FBI, Texas has a fast-growing violent crime rate. It increased by 5.3 percent in 2016 from 2015. When compared with the nation's overall rates, Texas was in bad shape. The nation's growth in violent crime was only at 3.2 percent. Furthermore, per 100,000 people, the nation had 397 violent crimes reported, but Texas had 434. 

Hundreds arrested on allegations of drugs and firearms violations

No state deals with those convicted of drug offenses more harshly than Texas. And no law enforcement agency has more manpower, firepower and funding resources than the federal government.

A recent collaboration between state, city and federal law enforcement agencies resulted in more than 340 arrests on a wide variety of charges, including allegations of drug crimes, assault, robbery and burglary, officials said.

When can police legally enter and search your home?

Protecting your civil liberties requires understanding your rights under the law. One right that confuses many people is the right of freedom from warrentless searches, which stems from the Fourth Amendment. This critical addition to the Constitution protects from unreasonable searches. It specifically states individuals have a right to be secure in their persons as well as their homes.

However, there are many times when you need to invoke your Fourth Amendment rights or risk having them violated. While law enforcement officials will generally avoid overtly violating your rights, they may attempt to manipulate you into waiving some of them. Understanding when it is legal for law enforcement to enter or search your home can help you stand up to your freedom from unreasonable searches.

Even Minor Marijuana Charges Could End Your College Career

For many young people, college is a time to explore the world, get to know themselves and learn by making mistakes and experimenting. Most of the time, mistakes and experimentation result in a hangover or a failed test the next day. These consequences allow students to learn without altering the path of their lives. Sadly, sometimes the consequences for a minor mistake, like experimenting with marijuana, could prove to completely dismantle a student's life plan.

There's a popular saying that the worst thing you can do with marijuana is get caught with it. In many ways, that aphorism is accurate. Unlike alcohol, students don't risk a fatal overdose when experimenting with marijuana. However, if caught in possession of marijuana, students could find that their academic career is over.

  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • The College of State Bar of Texas
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice
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Waco, TX 76701

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