Archive for March, 2014

Special Considerations for Special Needs Children in Texas

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

If you are the parent of a special needs child and your family is going through a divorce, you are probably well aware that the needs of your child will have to be provided for during and after the divorce process. Fortunately, there is a tool that you can use to ensure that the unique needs of your family are reflected in the outcome of your divorce case.

The parenting plan is an important part of any divorce involving minor children. In a parenting plan, parents set forth their decisions regarding conservatorship, possession, access, and other issues that are relevant to their family. The best parenting plans are the ones which are crafted by both parents. You and your soon to be former spouse know better than anyone else what your children need. You are also the experts on what will work for your family, with your housing situations, work schedules, and all of the other things that are a part of family life. If the two of you can, with the assistance of your attorneys, put together a plan that will work for everyone in your family, it is likely to be approved by the court as being in the best interest of the children.

When you work with your attorney to develop a parenting plan, make sure that it includes all of the things that you do as parents to provide for your children’s special needs. For example, if one or more of your children are following a treatment plan, your parenting plan can provide for the regular evaluation of the treatment plan, as well as how decisions about changing the treatment plan will be made.

The possession and access schedule is an important part of any parenting plan, and parenting plans for families of special needs children are no different. Children do well with predictable daily and weekly routines, and children with special needs may be particularly sensitive to changes in those routines. Even though your divorce will most likely result in your children spending time in two different households, your parenting plan can incorporate daily and weekly activities which you recognize as important to your child’s sense of stability and predictability.

If there are specific educational, medical, or therapeutic programs that you have found to be beneficial for your child, include them in your parenting plan. Make sure that the plan addresses how these activities will fit into the possession and access schedule. Also, include information about which parent is responsible for paying for which programs.

These are a few of the considerations which parents of children with special needs can address in their parenting plans. Since each family is different, be sure that any parenting plan that you propose to the court includes information about the things that are most important to your family. Make sure that you can show how your parenting plan provides for the best interest of each of your children, in case the court has any questions regarding that topic.

An experienced East Texas divorce attorney can help you create a parenting plan which will provide for the needs of all of your children, including any who have special needs. Your attorney can work with your soon to be former spouse or their attorney, if they have one, to reach agreement on the parenting plan for your family. In the event that parenting issues must be litigated, an East Texas Divorce Attorney can help you to present your best case to the court. To learn more, call attorney Alex Tyra today, and schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (903) 753-7499, or you may visit us online to submit a convenient online contact form.

4 Reasons Why You Need an Attorney for Your Texas Misdemeanor Case

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

One common mistake that defendants who are charged with misdemeanors make is handling their misdemeanor cases on their own without the aid of an attorney. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor of any class, know that facing misdemeanor charges on your own is risky. Here are four reasons why you should seek the assistance of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.

Knowing and understanding your rights is an important part of any criminal case, including a misdemeanor. Everyone who is involved in the legal process, from police and investigators to prosecutors and others must follow certain rules. The rules are designed to protect the rights of persons who are accused of crimes, so if one or more rules have not been followed in your case, your rights may have been violated. A violation of rights could be the basis for excluding certain evidence from your criminal case. An attorney will help you to understand your rights, and they can also help you take steps to protect them.

A second good reason to involve a skilled criminal defense attorney in your misdemeanor case is so that you will be able to understand the options that are available to you. You may be eligible for programs like probation or diversion, which may sound good when they are presented to you. Before you decide which way to go with your case, it is important that you fully understand all of the terms and conditions that you would be agreeing to in selecting each option. For example, probation agreements may contain requirements that would take more time, effort, or money to comply with than you are willing to invest. Defendants who sign off on probation agreements without truly understanding what they mean are at a high risk for violating their probation. In contrast, defendants who negotiate probation agreements that contain conditions that they feel they can fulfill are likely to complete the term of their probation successfully.

A third reason to seek legal representation in your misdemeanor case is that your criminal defense attorney may be able to help you to keep the charges off of your record. If your charges are expunged, you will have more privacy regarding your record. Your attorney will know whether you may qualify for expunction, and they can help you pursue it if it is an option for you.

The fourth reason that it is important to seek legal counsel if you have been charged with a misdemeanor is that the punishments for some misdemeanors are more severe than you might expect. In addition to fines and/or jail time, a misdemeanor conviction could have consequences which can reach far into the future. For example, if you are arrested in the future for the same type of offense, you may receive an enhanced penalty. You may also experience difficulties in obtaining work, getting public assistance, and finding housing. Your family life may also be affected, as convictions may affect your ability to have custody of your children or to become an adoptive or foster parent. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you to understand both the short-term and long-term consequences of a conviction. More importantly, they are your best defense against being convicted.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you will benefit from the assistance of a knowledgeable East Texas Criminal Defense Attorney. To learn more, call attorney Alex Tyra today, and schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (903) 753-7499, or you may visit us online to submit a convenient online contact form.



Man Arrested for DUI in Austin After 0.00 Breathalyzer Test

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

On January 13, 2013, Larry Davis ran a stop sign in Austin. He was stopped by police, and during the course of the vehicle stop, he was asked to perform field sobriety tests. Davis exited his vehicle and participated in the tests. The officer who made the stop said that when Davis performed field sobriety tests, he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. When the officer asked Larry Davis whether he had consumed any alcohol, Davis stated that he had consumed just one drink. He then took a breathalyzer test, which returned a reading of 0.00. What happened next is not what you might think. Despite the negative result on the breathalyzer test, Davis was not given a warning or ticket for running the stop sign and then sent along his way. He was arrested, and he spent a day in jail.

At some point during his arrest and the subsequent incarceration, Davis voluntarily provided a sample of his blood. The sample was sent to a lab to be tested for alcohol. A few months later, the results of the blood test showed that no alcohol was in Davis’s blood at the time of his arrest. Because of the results of the breathalyzer and blood tests, his DUI case was dismissed. It took about a year from the time of his arrest for his record to be fully cleared.

Travis County, where Davis was arrested, has a high rate of dismissal for DUI charges. Approximately thirty percent of Travis County DUI cases, including Davis’s, are dismissed. Law enforcement in the county are overly aggressive about stopping drivers whom they have even the slightest suspicion are driving under the influence of alcohol. The officers and their supervisors cite “safety” as the reason why they make so many DUI arrests. This excessive enforcement costs everyone money. Defendants who are able to pay for an attorney may have to spend thousands of dollars to get their DUI dismissed and off of their record. Indigent defendants like Larry Davis also incur legal fees, which are paid for by the county.

The case of Larry Davis contains several valuable lessons for anyone who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. One is that any traffic stop can turn into a DUI arrest. Whether you forget to stop for a stop sign, have a headlight out, or shift a little bit too much inside of your lane, an officer who wants to pull you over will find any reason at all to do so. Also, field sobriety tests are not an accurate indicator of whether someone has actually consumed alcohol. Poor coordination, fatigue, uncomfortable shoes, or even just being nervous can cause you to wobble as you try to walk a straight line. Even worse, the determination of whether you pass or fail the test is made by an officer who has stopped your vehicle because they have already made up their mind that you are intoxicated. Perhaps the biggest lesson that DUI defendants can take away from Larry Davis’s experience is to fight back against DUI charges because they are often made in error.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, contact a Texas DUI Defense Attorney right away. A skilled DUI defense attorney can increase your chance of getting your case dismissed. If dismissal is not possible, they can help you to accomplish the best possible results under the circumstances. To learn more, call attorney Alex Tyra today, and schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (903) 753-7499, or you may visit us online to submit a convenient online contact form.