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Things You Should Know

The following information explains important facts you should consider and answers some frequently asked legal questions.

What To Do When You Are Arrested

Being arrested is an overwhelming and frightening ordeal. You probably don’t know what you have done to get into this situation and most police officers aren’t the best at taking time to explain things to you. The important things to remember are as follows:
Remain calm and composed. Remember there is a high likelihood that you are being video taped. You do not want to do anything you will regret seeing later.

Be respectful and cooperate with the officer. You will not win tonight. Once an officer has decided to arrest you are not going to do or say anything to change his/her mind.
Never answer any questions. We’re not talking about questions like what’s your name or where do you live. We are talking about questions directly relating to the offense under investigation. You can say “I wish to remain silent” or “I want to speak to my attorney before answering any questions”. The officer under stands what this means and should quit asking substantive questions. This is your constitutional right so use it.

When placed in the police car you are being recorded. Do not say a word.

Once you are arrested you will be taken to a jail. Texas law requires that within 72 hours you must be notified by a judge of what you are arrested for and given the chance to bond out. The judge may ask if you choose to enter a plea on any lesser charges. Do not plea guilty.

Once the judge is finished then you may contact a bondsman and bond out. Contact Ballard and Fleetwood immediately.

Why Didn’t the Police Officer Read Me My Rights?

Under Texas Law a police officer is not required to read you your rights. However a Magistrate (Judge) must read you your rights within 72 hours of arrest.
If a police officer has you in custody and is interrogating you then in order for your statements to be admissible in court then he must have read you your rights.

How Much Child Support Can I Expect to Pay or Receive?

As a general rule the following chart can be used to calculate the amount of support you can expect to pay or receive. Other factors such as whether or not the person paying support has any other children that he or she is ordered to support or has an obligation to support.

BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR
1 child 20% of Obligor’s Net Resources
2 children  25% of Obligor’s Net Resources
3 children 30% of Obligor’s Net Resources
4 children 35% of Obligor's Net Resources
5 children 40% of Obligor’s Net Resources
6+ children Not less than the amount for 5 children

 

How do I pay my support?

In Texas all child support payments are paid through the Texas Child Support Center in San Antonio and then distributed to the oblige.  The Child Support Center will keep a record of payments made. A person ordered to pay support will send monthly payment to the center.  If the obligor is employed the attorney’s at Ballard and Fleetwood will draft an Income Withholding Order and send it to the employer to ensure prompt payment and at the correct amount.

Sec. 49.04.  Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)  

(a)  A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

(c)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that at the time of the offense the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person's immediate possession, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.

“Intoxicated” means:

(A)  not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body;  or

(B)  having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

Sec. 49.09. Enhanced Offenses and Penalties  

  1. Except as provided by Subsection (b), an offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, or 49.065 is a Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days, if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted one time of an offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
  2. (b)  An offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, or 49.065 is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted:
    (1)  one time of an offense under Section 49.08 or an offense under the laws of another state if the offense contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense under Section 49.08;  or
    (2)  two times of any other offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated

Sec. 12.21.  Class A Misdemeanor

An individual adjudged guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by:

(1)  a fine not to exceed $4,000;

(2)  confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year;  or

(3)  both such fine and confinemen.

Sec. 12.22.  Class B Misdemeanor

An individual adjudged guilty of a Class B misdemeanor shall be punished by:

(1)  a fine not to exceed $2,000;

(2)  confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days;  or

(3)  both such fine and confinement.

Sec. 12.31.  Capital Felony

(a)  An individual adjudged guilty of a capital felony in a case in which the state seeks the death penalty shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life without parole or by death.  An individual adjudged guilty of a capital felony in a case in which the state does not seek the death penalty shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for:

(1)  life, if the individual's case was transferred to the court under Section 54.02, Family Code; or

(2)  life without parole.

(b)  In a capital felony trial in which the state seeks the death penalty, prospective jurors shall be informed that a sentence of life imprisonment without parole or death is mandatory on conviction of a capital felony.  In a capital felony trial in which the state does not seek the death penalty, prospective jurors shall be informed that the state is not seeking the death penalty and that:

(1)  a sentence of life imprisonment is mandatory on conviction of the capital felony, if the case was transferred to the court under Section 54.02, Family Code; or

(2)  a sentence of life imprisonment without parole is mandatory on conviction of the capital felony.

 

 

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Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need immediate representation or other legal assistance at (979) 836-9990.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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State Bar of Texas   Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association