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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:

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Marijuana Attorney - cannabis and its usage. marijuana leaf and marijuana products isolated on white background. cosmetics, hemp milk, hemp oil, cookies, brownies and nutritional supplements.
Being a criminal defense attorney, I try to keep up with the latest fad drugs to hit the market in order to better serve my clients and help them understand what they are being charged with when it comes to controlled substances.  This week I had a young man come in that was arrested for being in possession of marijuana.  However, when the charging instrument was filed it turned out that he was being charged by the Montgomery County District Attorney for possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony which carries a possible sentence of two to twenty years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division.  Wow, that is a whole lot scarier than simple pot possession.   Needless to say, my client was scared to death.  That is a pretty hefty sentence.  Luckily, the case was picked up by an assistant district attorney with a great deal of experience and very good discretion with these types of cases.  Thanks to him we were able to get the charge reduced and the client was ultimately happy with the outcome.  These types of cases are on the rise and are no longer considered unusual.  New states legalize marijuana each year and people are transporting these new pot products to Texas and will unknowingly face steep fines and sentences.  People in Conroe and Huntsville believe that Montgomery County and Walker County are following in the footsteps of Harris County in lessening the penalties.  This is simply not true.  You may ask what the pot product was that my client possessed for this severe penalty.  It was called Moon Rocks.

After a little research I found out that Moon Rocks are a new cannabis product created by a dispensary on the west coast.  Marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana are businesses.  Like all businesses they try to separate themselves from the competition.  Thus, coming up with new products that these businesses hope will set themselves apart from the growing field of competition in the growing field of legalized marijuana.  See what I did there?  Moon Rocks involve taking an already potent strain of marijuana, infusing it with hash oil, and then rolling it in kief.  The hash oil makes the weed much stronger. In one-two punch fashion, the bud is then rolled in kief which strengthens the potency even more.  Kief is the resin gland of the cannabis plant.  Think of it as a built-in defense mechanism for the plant that produces the potent THC that gets people high.  In other words, this is a powerfully concentrated form of marijuana.

These new products are classified by law enforcement as controlled substances.  Typically, controlled substances are classified by weight.  What happens when you add oil to a sponge?  It gets heavy.  Hence, the reason Moon Rocks carry such a severe penalty.  Think of pot brownies.  It is the same reason the penalty for edibles and for the THC oil commonly used in vape pens also carry a severe penalty. They are heavy.   It is not the amount of THC or drug in the product that determines the penalty but the gross weight.  Therefore, if you are caught with one of these products you could face serious consequences. 

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Conditions of Bond; Montgomery County Drug Lawyer
Rarely a week goes by where I am not contacted by a current or previous client that is having trouble with the drug testing routine in Montgomery County and Harris County.  Montgomery County is by far the most prevalent.  You see in Montgomery County, you are essentially guilty before being proven innocent.  If you are accused of a crime in Montgomery County, Texas you will most likely be subject to conditions of bond unless you chose to sit in court until your case is settled.  This can be months or years.  As a condition of bond, you must report to community supervision and you will be drug tested.  This involves you calling in daily, yes daily to see if your lot has been chosen to report for a drug test.  You then need to drop what you are doing and get to specified lab in downtown Conroe to give a specimen.  You are only supposed to be tested once per month.  This isn’t reality.   I’ve had numerous clients chosen upwards of three times per month and even multiple times per week.

One of the most common problems is a dilute sample.  Dilute samples affect active people who drink a lot of water.  Southeast Texas is one of the hottest places in the United States.  Who doesn’t drink a lot of water that works outdoors in the Houston area?  Would one think this situation causes lots and lots of false positives?  You bet!  You see in the eyes of probation, the district attorney, and the Judges in Montgomery County, a dilute urine sample is the same as a positive.  You can and will have your pretrial diversion contract revoked, and you can and will go to jail for up to several weeks all based on a false positive test.  Just last week I had a client that had multiple dilute samples over the course of her probation.  I had her take a hair follicle test that goes back weeks to test for drugs and she came back negative.  Therefore, each dilute test in her case was a false positive.  How much does it cost you for a hair follicle test to prove you are innocent of taking drugs while you are on bond or probation?  About $300.  And yes, you are also billed for the urine tests and other associated costs when you are on conditions of bond for something you may not have done but were only accused of doing.

Another frequent question I get weekly is, “you mean someone can lie to the police, and based on that lie I can be arrested and do jail time?”  The simple answer is yes, it happens all the time.  But what about positive drug tests?  Can you do jail time based on a positive drug test when you are not actually taking anything illegal?  Here are two of many examples.

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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.