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Marijuana and THC arrest
Let’s continue our discussion of new THC products in 2018.  Again, these products are surprising many young people in the Conroe, Woodlands, and Huntsville area.  Mainly because marijuana products have not been decriminalized in our area and these products can land you in jail or even worse.  Many of these new products containing THC have a criminal penalty that corresponds to the gross weight of the product.  Frequently, these products will place you right in the middle of felony land.  Yep, we are talking pen time.  The big house.  So, what are some of the exciting new THC and other marijuana containing products?

Weed Beef Jerky

Let’s face it, we all like to stop a Buc-ee’s.  On the way to my last legal seminar I stopped in and picked up an old favorite…beef jerky. What’s better than all the great flavors of jerky that Buc-ee’s serves up?  You guessed it.  Weed beef jerky.  We have all heard of edibles such as pot brownies but come on, that’s old school. Pick up some weed beef jerky by the Santa Cruz Company.  This THC-laced beef jerky comes in a wide range of flavors and you even get to choose from several strains of marijuana.  Stoners have taken to calling this new product “reef jerky” based on the old term “reefer.” This one even won a prize at the Denver Cannabis Cup in 2014. What’s next?

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Conroe DWI lawyer
An interesting case out of Montgomery County was released by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this last week.  The case involved a DWI and the state’s intended use of a trooper as an expert without disclosing the expert in a timely manner.  The Wednesday before trial the state designated its expert. Under 39.14 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure the state is obligated to disclose the name and address of each person who may provide evidence in a trial no later than twenty days before the trial date.  On the date of trial in this matter, a jury was picked and sworn in which placed the defendant Garrels in “jeopardy” which bars her from retrial under double jeopardy laws in Texas.

When the trial began, the trooper began to testify about the standardized field sobriety tests and how Garrels performed on the tests.  Garrels objected to the testimony and stated that her rights had been violated due to the fact that the trooper had not been designated as an expert.  Under the Texas rules if you are going to present a witness on behalf of the state you have to give the name and address of that expert twenty days before the trial date.  This allows the defense to vet witnesses since the state is the one doing the accusing and the burden is on the state.   As a counter the state asked for a continuance.  The defense argued that a continuance would allow the state a way out of their own error. In the face of two options, one to strike the testimony or two to grant a two-week continuance, the Judge decided to declare a mistrial.  The state objected on the basis that a mistrial would bar the state from retrial on the basis of double jeopardy.

The case proceeded to the 9thCourt of Appeals out of Beaumont.  There the court held that, “a defendant who does not object to the trial judge’s sua spontedeclaration of a mistrial, despite an adequate opportunity to do so, has impliedly consented to the mistrial.” In other words, the court held that Garrels had consented to the mistrial and was therefore not barred by double jeopardy.  The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas took the case up on the sole ground of, “has a defendant who did not object to a trial court’s declaration of mistrial, despite an adequate opportunity to do so, impliedly consented to the mistrial?”

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THC infused products
The next time you’re sore from overdoing it at the gym think about taking an Epsom salts bath.  Better yet, take an Epsom salts bath with some weed in it.  These days it seems that weed makes everything work a little bit better.  Right?  Or at least that is what we are hearing from the states that have legalized marijuana. Sadly, Texas isn’t one of those states. The bad part about cannabis being legal in some states and not in others is that when people get caught in possession of these products in a state like Texas, they are in big trouble.  How big is the trouble?  Well, it depends on the weight.  But the trouble is usually Hulk Hogan big.  These THC infused products are coming in at third-degree felonies and up. In fact, the majority of cases I see are usually second-degree felonies.  How bad is a second-degree felony in Texas?  Well, it could land you in the big house, that’s right, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division for up to twenty years.  To a young adult with no criminal history that can cause a person to soil their armor.

So, what about marijuana laced bath product called Soak?  Well, it is one of the many products that are being churned out in the fast-growing medical marijuana market currently sweeping the states.  Soak is the brainchild of Whoopi Goldberg and another stoner that has a reputation for making wicked edibles.  Soak is promoted as helping women with PMS and menstrual relief.  So just what is Epsom salts?  Well, it is not the salt that you use on your food.  Epsom is a place in England that the salt is named after.  If you take this salt orally you will tend to fill your pants.  Yeah, and not in a good way.  The product is composed of magnesium sulfate which is a natural laxative. According to stoner science, your body needs both magnesium and sulfate. According to tree huggers, these two minerals have strong detoxifying and natural healing properties.  And we all know that cannabis offers even more healing properties.  Whoa, dude I can feel my body shedding the toxins.  The theory goes that that when you soak in this stuff it magically gets into your body through your skin.  Sure, that makes sense.  Brings to mind that I was so wasted last night from my medicinal beer bath, but I digress.  Yeah, so the absorbing through the skin theory has never been proven.  But it sounds cool, right?  Soaking in hot water usually makes you feel pretty good anyway. If you really want to try it, you can pick up some plain old Epsom salts at the grocery store for next to nothing. Add the weed however you like. But if you are dead set in giving Whoopi Goldberg your money then you should pick up this product.

The bottom line is, every week I meet new clients that have been arrested for possession of products containing THC or some other cannabis derivative.  Over the next few weeks I will discuss a few of these products I have stumbled upon and hopefully help someone avoid jail time over something that they had no idea would have such serious consequences.  So, if you or a loved one has been busted for any type of THC product, edible, or vape pen give me a call.  Don’t let a stupid mistake ruin your life with a criminal record.  You need an experienced criminal defense attorney with a track record of defending marijuana, THC, and other cannabis related cases.  Call us today.

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Pedestrian accident attorney
Car and truck accidents in the United States have hit a nine-year high.  Which is strange because safety features in automobiles and SUVs have gotten better and we have the self-driving car aspect which on the whole has increased vehicle crash safety.  Whether it be the mirrors that beep at you when you approach another vehicle or the sensors that apply your brakes when you approach another car.  But since 2015 car and truck accidents are on the rise. Studies say that people are still speeding and not wearing seat belts.  The rise in motorcycle accident deaths has also increased.  Of course, we all know that distracted driving is a major cause of vehicle crashes and fatalities, but distracted driving deaths have decreased as well.

What is startling is that the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents has spiked by 81%. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has come out with a report that states this rising trend in car and truck accidents is due to the increasing number of SUVs on the roads and highways.  The mere design of the oversized SUV seems to be a contributing factor in why so many vehicle-pedestrian crashes have become deadlier.  IIHS President David Harked was quoted in a recent NBC article as saying, “SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars.”  What this means is that pedestrians are being hit by a moving wall and have much less chance of rolling off the SUV and in the reduction of injuries.  Since 2009 there has been a fifty percent increase in the number or pedestrian fatalities as a result of accidents involving cars and trucks.

If you are involved in a pedestrian collision or even a person you love, you need to know your legal rights and whether you can hold the person responsible for the accident accountable.  You need to contact a Houston car accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine if you have a claim.  A Houston-Conroe area pedestrian attorney can get you the compensation you deserve. Ron Voyles & Associates is your car and pedestrian accident attorney.

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Dental malpractice attorney
We receive calls frequently from clients that have had problems with their dental implants.  Traditionally, a dentist would determine that a patient required dental implants and refer the patient to an oral surgeon.  Today, because the referral equals a loss of revenue, many dentists are taking classes and continuing education in order to perform the procedure themselves in their office.

The more common type of dental implant is the endosteal implant which involved an implant made of titanium that is placed into the patient’s jawbone and actually bonds with the bone.  The less common type of implant is the subperiosteal implant that is placed under the gumline but above the jawbone.  Unlike the endosteal implant, the subperiosteal implant does not go directly into the jaw and is sometimes used where the dentist believes there is insufficient bone density for the endosteal implant.

There are also different sizes of dental implants such as short, narrow, and mini implants.  These smaller implants that are not secured properly into the bone are the implants that we receive the majority of our calls from concerned patients.  Common complaints are implants that break off, move, or just plain fall out of the patient’s mouth.  Sometimes several or all of the implants fail.

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Montgomery County drunk driving defense lawyer
A headline in the news this week involved a forward with the University of Arizona’s basketball team charged with super extreme DUI.  A DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol in Texas is the penalty for someone under 21 that has an alcohol level of .08 or less.  In other states DUI is just another term for DWI.  Anything over .08 in Texas is a DWI or driving while intoxicated and is the same penalty for anyone caught over the age of 21 that has a suspected blood alcohol content or BAC of .08 or more.  So just what is super extreme DUI?

An “Extreme DUI” is a crime in Arizona when a person’s BAC is a .15 or higher.  In Texas, the same offense changes the standard driving while intoxicated of a .08 which is a Class B misdemeanor into a Class A misdemeanor which carries twice the penalties.  So, the extreme DUI in Texas becomes the Class A misdemeanor.  FYI, a Class B misdemeanor DWI carries a penalty of three days in jail, up to a 180-jail sentence and a fine of up to $2000.  In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor DWI carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail, a $4000 fine and up to a year in jail. A super extreme DUI is a BAC over .20 which has not been adopted in Texas.

In other drunk driving news, it appears that in addition to a ridiculous crime rate, crazy number of shootings each year, and extremely strict gun control laws (which aren’t working), Chicago can also add super weak DWI laws to their resume’.  Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, was arrested on the outskirts of town for multiple charges which included two counts of felony aggravated DWI, two counts of misdemeanor DWI, no insurance, driving while license suspended, and an open container of Crown Royal.  Police found the woman passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle with the engine running at a gas station.  Instead of gasoline, she was trying to fill her car with kerosene.  The woman told police she had eleven children and could not find them.  Of note, all eleven of her children had been taken away by the state of Minnesota all for reasons related to alcohol.  When questioned it was found the woman was dropping off her fifteen-year-old son so that she could go party in Indiana.  While in custody, the woman reported that she was pregnant, bleeding, and having a miscarriage.  All of which turned out to be a total fabrication.  The woman had outstanding warrants from at least three states and had received six prior driving while intoxicated arrests out six other states.  In one of her arrests, Tasha was pulled over and charged with DWI while breastfeeding her child.  Classy.  So, what was the final charge in Chicago?  Two years’ probation.

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Denial of personal injury claim, auto accident attorney
It’s no secret that certain insurance companies will try and sandbag when it comes time to pay your claim for being injured in a car, truck, or work-related injury.  Our firm receives calls frequently from clients that have tried to handle their claim without getting a personal injury attorney involved.  Our firm is always cautious with these types of claims because often the person has unwittingly destroyed their own claim.  Insurance companies know they have the advantage over you and will frequently stall in hopes that the claimant will finally give up.  If you are serious about your claim you should wisely get an attorney experienced in car accident and personal injury claims and do it as early as possible. 

It’s pretty simple.  The adjuster has the insurance company’s interests first and foremost. That means the less they settle for, the better the adjuster looks at the end of the year on the books.  This usually equals a bigger bonus.  So here are a few of the common tactics insurance companies will use to try and shut you down.

The first tactic insurance companies will try with inexperienced accident victims is to try and settle early and fast.  Why?  You simply may not know the extent of your loss and your injuries. Some serious injuries may not be readily apparent.  Medical bills, lost wages, days lost from work, in addition to damage and repair bills can add up over time.  When was the last time you hurt yourself and later determined the injury was much more serious?  It happens a lot.  What about faulty repairs to your vehicle that may have not been fixed at the garage the first time?  Pretty common as well. 

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Conroe DWI Attorney
A Conroe woman has been accused of biting off a large chunk of another woman’s nose and then swallowing it.  According to the Harris County Precinct Four Constable’s Office three local Conroe women decided to go bar hopping.  When they got home Jessica Collins of Conroe, Texas wanted alcohol and cigarettes from the other women.  When one of the girls refused to hand over the alcohol and cigarettes, Collins tackled her and bit off a part of her nose and then swallowed it.

“I didn’t have time to react, to push her away. I think I was trying to fight back, but I couldn’t. All I could remember was the taste of the blood in my mouth,” stated woman that was attacked.

Collins was charged with Class A misdemeanor assault and was release from jail after posting a $1000 bond.  Class A assault carries a possible penalty of $4000 fine and one year in jail. The victim states she has been staying at home because it is the only place she feels safe.

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Semi Truck Lawer
While driving from Conroe to Huntsville this morning I passed through the heavy construction that begins on the northern border of Montgomery County on Interstate Highway 45 and continues into Walker County on into the Huntsville city limits.  In some areas along IH-45 both sides of the highway are bordered by the dreaded concrete barriers that box you in and afford little margin for error.  Matters become much worse due to the uneven pavement and in wet conditions can become downright scary.  Here in Southeast Texas we are heading into hurricane season.  According to the weather forecasters we may have the remains of a hurricane as early as this weekend.  Car accidents in these areas of highway construction can be bad.  Semi-truck collisions are worse and can be devastating.  I always wonder whether the 18-wheeler next to me will actually see me in his mirror when he decides to change lanes.  There isn’t much you can do when you only have a few inches to spare between your vehicle and the concrete barrier if the semi-truck merges into your lane and does not see you.

18-wheeler merging accidents happen when a vehicle is trying to merge and does not notice another vehicle in a parallel lane when attempting to shift over.  Due to the sheer size of the semi-truck these types of accidents are often deadly.  In fact, merging accidents that involve 18 wheelers account for over one third of all fatal truck accident each year nationwide.  The vast majority of the deaths are the passenger vehicle occupants.  It makes me cringe at the thought of getting caught up under a semi-trailer in a corridor as we have in Montgomery and Walker County.  With the concrete barriers on both sides there is only one outcome of that vehicle crash, bad. 

How does it happen?  Semi-truck drivers must be even more hyper alert than the drivers of a passenger cars.  The big rig simply has more blind spot area due to the size of the truck.  If an 18-wheeler tries to change lanes without first checking the surroundings all around the truck, a collision with other vehicles in a parallel lane becomes a high probability.  When boxed into a concrete gauntlet, you have no where to go.  If you try and avoid the collision you either hit the truck or hit the barrier which can then throw you into the truck.

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Rollover Collision
You’ve probably seen a rollover crash in your lifetime.  They are usually the cause of long backups on the highway because of all the looky-loos.  When a vehicle in a collision tips over, rolls on its side, or lands on its roof, this is what is referred to as a rollover collision.  Rollover collisions can and frequently do have passengers that have been ejected.  The full or partial ejection is usually the result of not wearing a seatbelt or seatbelt failure and can ultimately lead to death of catastrophic injuries.  Statistics say that only one percent of all traffic accidents account for rollover crashes.  Sadly, this one percent results in one third of all auto and truck accident deaths.

So, how does a rollover collision happen?  Typically, a driver loses control while driving and the vehicle begins to slide sideways.  I was driving from Conroe to Dallas last weekend and drove through a rainstorm.  My vehicle hydroplaned and started to slide.  If this doesn’t get your heart racing, I don’t know what does.  Had my vehicle struck a curb, guardrail, or even the earth at the edge of the highway, I could have been the victim of a rollover crash.  Drivers that attempt to turn when speeding are also the reason for rollover crashes.  Rollovers can be even more dangerous when your vehicle strikes another vehicle or slides over into oncoming traffic.  Cars or trucks that are hit by another vehicle can often cause a rollover crash.

Common causes for rollover crashes are: