Articles Tagged with texas

jordan-duca-Ueb9h9Q6Ppg-unsplash-240x300
In a recent DWI trial here in Conroe, Texas where the jury made the right decision and found my client not guilty, I was reminded of a previous blog. In Three Questions to Ask your DWI Lawyer I explored the concept of asking, “What is your experience with the NHTSA manual?” instead of “What’d my video show?” The acquittal in this recent DWI trial would not have been possible without an intimate knowledge of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual. With this in mind it’s worth revisiting and diving further into the importance of the NHTSA DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) manual and the SFSTs.

The NHTSA DWI manual is the bible for law enforcement in alcohol related driving offenses. It delineates the proper policies and procedures in administering the SFSTs. Defense Counsel must be familiar with those investigative techniques to ensure that law enforcement administers them correctly. If one cannot identify if they’re administered correctly, then they can’t identify if they’re administered incorrectly and attack them in trial. In short, if you know what law enforcement is supposed to be doing better than they do you’re better suited to find issues that can benefit the accused. Some potential issues include an individual who is not an ideal candidate for the tests being encouraged to perform, invalid clues being counted as signs of intoxication, failing to eliminate other causes of poor performance or bizarre behaviors.

Keep in mind, these tests are not designed to help or exonerate you. No irrefutable objective science supports the “evidence” gathered by these assessments and through its criteria to prove intoxication. “Validation studies” conducted approximately 30 years ago contribute to the substantiation of this investigative tool. However, the tests themselves and the performances are largely interpreted through subjective belief; the subjective belief of the officer.  The officer observes the clues and tallies the score to determine if the person is intoxicated. For the divided attention tests, the Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand, an officer only needs to observe two clues before they believe you are intoxicated. But several problems with these so-called clues can arise simply from the way the officer instructs the test. A clue of intoxication according to these tests is “starts too soon.” Many law enforcement agents fail to advise individuals suspected of DWI that this counts against them. Instead of saying, “Stay on this line until I tell you to start. If you start before I tell you, that is a clue that you’re intoxicated.” Most accused of a crime are nervous, eager to please, and more eager to conclude the investigation. So once given instructions, they want to get started to get it over it with more quickly. Starting too soon should not be a sign of intoxication, but by the criteria of this test it is.

kristina-flour-BcjdbyKWquw-unsplash-300x192
You hear it all of the time; “You have the right to remain silent“ And? “And anything you say, can and will be used against you.” I bet you murmured the second part to yourself. Didn’t you? That’s because the phrase is so commonplace that you think that you know your Miranda Rights and what they mean. However, when it really counts in criminal cases most people don’t remain silent. The ingrained, inherent trust of law enforcement oftentimes wins out when it comes to self-preservation. This is a costly mistake, especially when you didn’t do anything wrong. Your belief that justice will prevail creates a false security and you  waive your rights. So, what happens if you don’t remain silent and worse give a false confession?

The concept of false confessions seems counterintuitive. Most people can’t imagine admitting to doing something that they didn’t do. False confessions happen far more often than you’d think though. In a study conducted by the Innocence Project, many of the nation’s more than 360 wrongful convictions overturned with DNA evidence involved some sort of false confession. That’s 29% of the exonerations by DNA evidence. Even though, while you’re reading this you’re probably thinking, “Why would you say you did it, if you didn’t?” That’s a good question. The formula for a false confession arises from any or a combination of psychological factors, certain individuals who are more likely to confess than others, and behavior of law enforcement.

The most common psychological factors that can lead to false confessions are feelings of guilt, pathological needs for notoriety or attention, delusions of involvement, perceptions of tangible gain, desires to protect someone else, cognitive inabilities to comprehend, and developmental inabilities to comprehend seriousness or process.  One example is when John Mark Karr confessed to the 1996 killing of 6 year old JonBenet Ramsey. Despite his confession, scientific evidence professed the real truth. He wasn’t the killer. His false confession is attributed to his compulsion for notoriety or fame. A phenomenon also seen when over 200 people falsely confessed to the 1932 kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s baby. The other common psychological factors can be seen in the vulnerable populations that are more likely to falsely confess.

K9 Units in Montgomery County & How They Impact Your Drug Case

K9 in Montgomery County & Your Drug Case
Stakes rise for those in possession of drugs in The Woodlands, Texas and surrounding areas as Montgomery County Precinct Three (3) Constable’s Office adds two new K9 officers to their team. The two dogs, Rambo and Marlin, will be doing double duty as narcotics and patrol K9s. However, an alert in a search by Rambo or Marlin to drugs isn’t the smoking gun many think. There are both scientific and legal issues to consider when addressing K9 search cases. What are they and how do they impact your case?

K9 dogs are specially trained to alert to the odor of drugs in a vehicle. Animal behaviorists and trainers work with the dogs to cue on demand to the smell of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc. If a dog though, is man’s best friend how is he going to sell you out like that? Well, what is more loyal than a dog? Nothing really. They are loyal by nature. By nature though, they also eat, sleep, love on you and…smell around; sniffing your food, your butt, and the air. When the odor of a substance is present in the air they will react.

“How Did My Vape Pen Land Me a Felony Charge?” And Other THC Related Questions

cdc-3_OGgbdPIdA-unsplash-300x200
The advent and mainstream use of CBD products, changes in the legislature and Travis Scott have normalized marijuana usage and desensitized Texas high schoolers and young adults to the criminal consequences of some products. Gummies, wax, and vape pens aren’t your parents’ blunts or joints. And partly the reason you were charged with a felony when you were arrested in Montgomery County with your vape pen. But, why is that really?

A vape pen is a compact, on-the go vaporizer that resembles a pen. Otherwise known as a dab pen, wax pen, or vaporizer, it uses cartridges to produce a vapor from an oil that can be inhaled by users. Cartridges can contain nicotine, CBD or THC oils. THC oil contains tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a Penalty Group 2 substance.

91611820_1453444248150750_5091386006570008576_n-300x300
After a couple of months of being shut down, the world prepares to reopen. Texas Governor Abbott announced on April 27th his phases to begin opening the state back up. Today, under Phase 1, many businesses take down the shutters and open their doors at 25% occupancy to restless communities and anxious employees. Montgomery County though, under County Judge Mark Keough’s interpretation of the order, resumes business as usual with more expansive reopenings; this includes bars. If you’re someone who has been counting down the days and have your first day of socializing outfit picked out, be careful.

Since the Natural Disaster Declaration and Stay-At-Home Order, arrest numbers have been down throughout Texas. While the courts have been working diligently to reduce the amount of bail bonds and issue Personal Recognizance Bonds to lower jail populations in an effort to flatten the spread of the virus, law enforcement has seen a drop in incidents of Driving While Intoxicated. Montgomery County specifically, typically strives to be strident in their attacks on DWI. Montgomery County became one of the first Texas counties to participate in the No Refusal Initiative in 2005 that allows mandatory blood draws.

No Refusal Weekends traditionally have been holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, and the time starting from Thanksgiving through Christmas and ending after New Years Eve. For example from December 21, 2018 through January 1, 2019, Montgomery County law enforcement arrested approximately 146 individuals under the suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The time between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend has been dubbed the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” In 2019, 766 people were arrested for alcohol related offenses during these days.

Contact Information