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Harris County Car Accident Lawyer; Montgomery County Personal Injury Lawyer
In Texas one out of five drivers does not carry insurance.  That is twenty percent of Texas drivers.  This statistic may be important to you if you are involved in a car accident and must retain a personal injury attorney to recover for your damages.  When you are injured in an auto, truck, or motorcycle accident you typically have a claim for damages against the driver that was negligent in the accident. The conduct of the other driver usually involves the person being negligent and is therefore a civil claim.  As opposed to an intentional act which would typically be a criminal act.  But what happens when the other person has no assets to pay for the damages?

In the Texas civil justice system, the goal is to have a way that society can settle claims for damages by a peaceful and reasonable means.  In a civil claim the goal is to put the damaged or injured party in a position where they would have been before the other party had caused the damage via the car or truck accident.  Since we are not in a perfect world, problems arise.  Restoring a person to good health can be a difficult task since there is no way to turn back the hands of time.  The Texas legal system thus tries to assign a monetary value on issues such as the loss of physical wellbeing, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, loss of companionship, as well as many other factors.

Sadly, in your case and every other person that is the victim of a car accident that is injured in Texas, there is no way under the law of assuring that you as the injured party can actually collect the money that a jury may award in your case.  In addition, if the injuries are serious, there may not be enough coverage available to cover all of the bills and damages.  So, what can you do to prevent this situation?

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Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
On March 6, 2008,  a caller phoned the police with a complaint of a party that included loud music and illegal activities, at a home in Northeast D.C.  As in Washington, D.C.  A local neighborhood commissioner phoned the police and stated that he knew the home was vacant and had been for several months.  Officers arrived on the scene and interviewed several neighbors.  The neighbors confirmed that the home had been empty.  When the police approached the home, they heard loud music coming from inside.

The officers knocked at the front door.  A man came to the window, looked out, and then ran upstairs.  Okay, a little strange.  One of the occupants then opened the door and the police entered the residence.  Their immediate impression of the inside of the home was that the it was  “in disarray,” and “looked like a vacant property.”  The police smelled sweet cheeba in the air and observed beer bottles and cups of booze scattered around the floor.  In fact, it was noted that one of the partygoers refused to sit on the floor while being questioned because it was so filthy.  Surprisingly, the home did have working electricity and plumbing.  However, the entire downstairs furniture group consisted of nothing more than padded metal chairs.  To the occupants’ credit, there were blinds on the windows, some food in the fridge, and toiletries in the, well…toilet.  But wait, there’s more.

The “living room” had been converted into a strip club.  Women, milling around wearing bras and thongs, were socializing with the patrons.  The scantily clad women had cash stuffed into their thongs and garter belts.  Several women also captivated the audience by giving lap dances.  The patrons had cash and cocktails in each hand.  When the partygoers finally took notice of the police, they “scattered into other parts of the house.”  In other words, they beat feet.

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Car Accident Attorney
Don’t wait for a car accident to learn what your auto insurance policy will cover.   You should know what your policy contains before you get into an accident.  After a crash occurs it’s too late to modify your coverage.  Being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver in a Texas car crash can be devastating.

What Texas Law Requires for Financial Responsibility in Car Accidents

Texas state law requires motorists such as yourself to be financially responsible.   You should, at a minimum, have auto liability insurance to pay for any accidents you cause.  It is required by Texas law.   Know that one third of all Texas drivers do not have auto insurance.  What will happen to you if you are hit by a deadbeat with no auto insurance coverage?

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Montgomery County Drug Arrest Lawyer
An interesting opinion dropped from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this week.  In the case, an undercover police officer was surveilling a sports bar in Houston known for its well documented history of drug busts.  In actuality, under the guise of surveillance, the police officer was probably profiling customers at the local bar.  One unlucky man stopped at the bar and stayed for what the officer stated was in the range of three to five minutes and then left.  The officer followed the man and then called for a marked car to make the bust so as not to blow his cover.  The marked police car then pulled the man over for an alleged lane change without a turn signal.  Before stopping the car, the officer noticed the man making furtive gestures around the console in the vehicle.  This is a ruse officers use to try and make a search.  As if a person in a car behind you can see what you are doing in front of them in your car at night.  Please.  The uniformed officer then arrested the man and searched his vehicle.  In the search, the officer finds two baggies of cocaine.  One in the center console and one between the console and the passenger seat.

The attorney for “citizen accused” filed a motion to suppress the evidence of the search in the trial court but the motion was denied.  The man subsequently entered into a plea agreement for three years deferred adjudication but preserved his right to appeal the ruling of the trial court.  Under the Fourth Amendment, a search of a person or property is not reasonable without a warrant without a specifically defined exception.  One of these exceptions is termed the “automobile exception.”  Under the automobile exception, police may search your car without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband.

The court of appeals considered the issue of probable cause in this matter.  There, the Court used the following facts to justify the search.  First, the officer was performing surveillance on a bar known for drug sales. Second, while the man was stopped in a turn lane, with marked police car behind him, and an undercover officer beside him.  Staring.  Said the man made furtive gestures in his car.  Okay, so two cops have you boxed in and are staring you down.  You’re supposed to act cool, right?  Sure.  The court of appeals affirmed the finding of the trial court.  The ruling that being at a bar known for drug activity and making furtive gestures while being boxed in by two cops was enough for probable cause to arrest you.  Fair, right?

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DWI breath test; DWI Attorney
If you have been convicted of DWI, you probably have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. The device was probably ordered by one of the Montgomery, Harris, or Walker County Judges. Over the last few years these devices have become very popular. To make it work, you must push a button on the unit. Then when it says “blow,” you blow into the device. Viola, your vehicle will now start. Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, maybe not. Driving your vehicle with the device installed requires what is called a “rolling test.” Yep, to keep your car going you have to blow into the machine while driving. Hey, wait…isn’t that distracted driving? You bet. So, what could go wrong?

Last week an eighteen-year-old woman was killed by a person that had been ordered by a court to have an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle after his DWI conviction. The young lady was backing out of her driveway and was subsequently struck by the man while blowing into his DWI device. The test takes three to four seconds to complete. In that time span, the man never saw the young lady backing out and never hit his brakes. The man had not been drinking at the time.

In the United States, every day, nine people are killed and over a thousand are injured from distracted driving. Distracted driving is when you are doing something other than paying attention to your surroundings when driving. The three main types of distracted driving are: visual, which is taking your eyes off the road, manual, which is taking your hands off your steering wheel, and cognitive, which is when your mind is not on your driving.

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Car accident attorney
I’m shocked at the number of new calls we receive that involve a major car or truck accident where the victim states, “I’m not hurt” when it’s not actually the truth.  Most people are not litigious.  The idea of a lawsuit frightens most people.  I usually get a call back a few months later.  Now, the accident victim is not only experiencing pain, but is also frustrated because the insurance company won’t pay to get their vehicle fixed.  So, how do people end up in this position?

               The first reason is time.  You’re in an auto accident.  Your car is totaled.  You are traumatized.  You go to the emergency room and sit for hours.  You are frustrated.  So, you rationalize.  “I’m not hurt.”  “I’m going to get better.”  “I just want my car fixed and my life back.”  Most of us don’t like change, especially in our daily routine.  Getting treatment is a bother.  It takes time and work.  That’s a bad attitude to have and may end up causing you a life of pain.  It’s always a good idea to get checked out by a health care provider.  Early is always best.  Torn tissue is harder to repair later if you let it heal incorrectly.  Even simple range of motion exercises that take only minutes to perform could mean the difference between misery or feeling pain free for the rest of your life.  What’s that worth to you?

               If your injury is serious like traumatic brain injury, delay and swelling could cause permanent loss.  When you injure an extremity, the tissue can swell freely.  Your head is enclosed.  There is nowhere for the swelling to go.  Think of the damage even a minor brain bleed could cause over time if there is no way to relieve the pressure.  If you’ve been in a car or truck accident and you have a headache, you owe it to yourself to get checked out.  Traumatic brain injury can be easily diagnosed with an MRI or a CT Scan.  In addition, insurance companies use a software program that counts against you the longer you wait after your accident until you see a health care provider.  Don’t let yourself become a statistic that will induce the insurance company to fight against your claim.

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DWI Attorney
Today, I spoke with a client that suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS) and is charged with DWI or driving while intoxicated.  For those of you who don’t know what multiple sclerosis is, MS is a disabling disease of the central nervous system which consists of your brain and spinal cord.  The disease attacks the protective covering around your nerve fibers.  Think of the plastic covering on copper wire.  The comparable covering on your nerves is called myelin.  MS attacks the myelin and causes communication problems between your central nervous system and the rest of your body.  The damage can become so severe that a patient can have problems walking and later may not be able to walk at all.  Is this the first client I have had that has been charged with DWI when they have not been drinking?  No.  I’ve had multiple clients charged with driving while intoxicated when they are suffering from a disease of the nervous system and have not been drinking at all and have not taken any medication. So, what are the consequences?

If you don’t already know, Texas is one of the harshest states in the nation when it comes to being charged with DWI and the consequences of the arrest.  Folks, we are not just talking about the fines and court costs.  The aftermath of a DWI conviction in Montgomery, Harris, or Walker County can be far reaching and life altering.  Most people have no idea how much it costs overall to be charged with DWI.

First off, your car is usually towed at your expense.  When you are arrested your car is left behind to be towed and impounded by a local company.  This system is not regulated and there are companies that will really take advantage of you.  I’ve seen towing and impound fees start at around $300 and go to upwards of $600.  This is what you are required to pay even if you are innocent and are later found to be not guilty or the charges are dismissed.

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Personal Injury Attorney, Auto accident lawyer
We’ve all seen the ER drama shows with the ambulance pulling up outside the hospital emergency department where a crew of health professionals rush out in time to save someone’s life after an accident or trauma.  Yes, this stuff does happen in real life but the average scene is much less dramatic.

So, let’s say you are rear ended in an auto accident.  First of all, you may be confused.  You may have hit your head or even lost consciousness.  You exit your vehicle and may be greeted by police or emergency personnel. Maybe, no one is on the scene yet.  Look around, check your surroundings.  Are you hurt?  Was anyone else hurt?  If no one is on scene call the police and state your emergency.

Emergency personnel on scene may want to check you out and even offer to transport you to the emergency room after your auto or truck accident.  You arrive at the hospital and are generally greeted by a nurse.  Here, your injuries are going to be graded in order of severity.  This process is called triage.  The typical categories for your auto or work-related injuries will be first, those that are life threatening and need immediate assistance.  Next, are the urgent injuries that are not immediately life threatening.  Finally, you have the less urgent type of injuries.  Typically, the nurse will ask for your subjective symptoms; or in other words what you tell him or her is wrong with you and where it hurts.  The nurse then may go ahead and get some baseline information such as your vital signs including your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.

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 Self-defense; assault; aggravated assault, criminal defense lawyer             
Last week the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas gave us some insight into the current state of guns laws in Texas and the availability of a self-defense claim handing out a decision entitled State of Texas v. Gamino.  In August of 2013, Mr. Gamino and his girlfriend were leaving a bar at closing time in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.  While walking back to Gamino’s truck they passed a group of three men sitting on a street corner.  Gamino heard one of the three, who we will refer to as Khan, quote a line from a movie that was extremely lewd.  Gamino thought the comment was meant for his girlfriend and confronted Khan.  Khan testified at trial that he was not talking to Gamino or his girlfriend.  Khan stated that Gamino said, “I’ve got something for you.” Khan stated that Gamino then walked to his truck and pulled out a gun which he then pointed at the three men.  Two off duty police officers were working security in the area.  One of the officers stated that although the area was noisy and people were laughing and talking, he heard someone arguing over the others and someone yelled, “Yeah, well I got something for you.”  The officers saw Gamino retrieve something from his truck and assumed that he was retrieving a weapon.  One officer named Flores saw Gamino with a pistol in his hand.  Officer Flores drew his gun as he saw Gamino raise his gun.  The officer saw several people backing up and saw Khan and his friends putting their hands in the air.  Officer Flores told Gamino to drop the gun and he immediately complied by lowering the weapon and was not aggressive in response to the command.  Gamino put the gun down on the driver’s side seat of the pickup truck.  Khan was arrested for public intoxication and Gamino was subsequently arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  It should be noted that Khan was very unruly and was on the verge of being tased by the officers.

Upon arrest Officer Flores recalled Gamino had said about Khan, “Well, he was talking shit.”  Flores testified that “talking shit” to someone does not give the other person the right to pull a gun.  Flores opined that any person including a police officer is only allowed to use deadly force when the other person presents a threat of either deadly force or serious bodily injury.  When cross examined by the defense, Officer Flores stated that whether a person had a right to protect himself depended on the situation.

Gamino’s girlfriend testified that she had known Gamino for eight years.  She said that after coming back from overseas Gamino had two back surgeries and two failed knees and some shoulder problems.  Was Gamino a veteran?  We don’t know because it is not mentioned in the case discussion.  Gamino was parked in a handicapped spot and was disabled.  The girlfriend said that she and Gamino had gone out to dinner with friends and then later to a club.  When leaving the club, the three men including Khan confronted them and one man threatened her.  We presume this man was Khan.  She stated that she feared for her life.

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Montgomery County Lawyer
In the James Bond as 007 movie A View to a Kill, Christopher Walken plays the evil villain Max Zorin who poses as a wealthy race horse breeder. Playing the part of James Bond, Roger Moore drops into Zorin’s palatial estate under the guise of securing a horse for breeding. Bond’s disguise is that of a James St. John Smythe. Smythe sits down across the desk from Zorin and his face is analyzed by a secret camera which discovers Smythe is really 007, licensed to kill. In 1986 this technology was pure science fiction; today facial recognition is science fact.

The new Apple Face ID program initiates every time you glance at your new IPhone X. The top of the line new iPhone contains an infra-red camera, a flood illuminator, a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, a microphone, a front camera, and a dot projector which all collect and store your personal information in your phone. The process begins with what they call a flood illuminator that lights up your face. Even in the dark. Then, there is an infra-red camera that takes an infra-red picture of your face. The camera dot projector then pushes out over 30,000 invisible IR dots that track every topographical feature of your face. Apple then pushes this data through what they call a neural network to create a mathematical model of your face. Didn’t the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator also have a neural network? I digress, the mathematical model is then checked against your model that has been stored in your phone to see if it is your face looking at your phone. If it’s a match it will unlock your phone. The phone even learns. If you wear glasses or grow a beard, the phone is still supposed to be able to recognize your face. Apple says that all this personal facial data collected is safely stored and encrypted in your device, not on the Apple cloud.

What could possibly go wrong with this technology? Remember the Madrid bombing case back in 2004? 191 people were killed and another 2000 were injured. After the bombing, FBI fingerprint examiners in Quantico, Virginia found a fingerprint on a bag of detonators at the scene of the Spanish bombings. The FBI searched for possible matches to a digital image of the fingerprint. Wait, what else creates digital images of your fingerprint… oh yes, your iPhone. The FBI supercomputer came up with fifteen matches, one of them being a thirty-seven-year-old American lawyer named Brandon Mayfield living in Oregon. Mayfield was arrested and imprisoned for two weeks while being held as a material witness to the Madrid bombings. The FBI eventually released him and gave a rare public apology but the damage was done.