Archive for November, 2014

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Talks About the Role of Gender in DUI Cases

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

At the present time, women make up approximately one quarter of all DUI arrests. While this means that significantly fewer women are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol than men, it also means that the number of women who are being arrested for DUI in recent years is much higher than it was twenty years ago.  Specifically, during the 1980s, only about nine percent of all DUI defendants were women.

The increase in the proportion of women who are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol is not often publicized, as well as the idea that women’s drunk driving cases may actually be different than those of their male counterparts.  Nonetheless, there are differences between men and women’s DUI cases, and these differences may have a significant impact on the outcomes of the cases of female DUI defendants who acknowledge them.

Scientific evidence is important in DUI cases. The manner in which alcohol affects a person’s body is dictated, at least in part, by their metabolism. Men and women metabolize things differently, so a man and a woman with the same body weight could drink the same amount of alcohol and end up with different blood alcohol levels. The woman’s blood alcohol level would be higher than the man’s after drinking the exact same amount of alcohol over the same period of time because she metabolizes alcohol more slowly than he does. Also, women experience fluctuations in hormone levels throughout the course of their menstrual cycles. These changes affect metabolism, and, can therefore affect blood alcohol levels. The differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol are important because breath testing devices are calibrated to produce an accurate reading for the average male driver. This difference in calibration can cause breath testing devices to produce readings that are not only inaccurate for female drivers, but which overestimate the amount of alcohol in their bodies.

The differences between men and women carry over into other areas of DUI arrests, too. Field sobriety tests are designed to measure the physical performance of men. Women who engage in these tests are more likely than men to perform them poorly, even when they are sober. The experience of a traffic stop is stressful, and under that stress, many women act on the mistaken belief that compliance will prove their innocence or reduce the consequences. They may comply with every request that is made of them and answer every question that the officer asks without realizing that they have a right to answer very few questions and even to refuse the field sobriety tests without a penalty.  In other words, a woman’s willingness to answer every question and comply with every request does not decrease her chance of being arrested. It actually increases the chance that she will be arrested because she has given the police more information that they could use to support their arrest.

Men and women deserve equal treatment under the law. Unfortunately, there are differences between men and women which make getting equal treatment difficult in DUI cases. To learn more, contact Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today. Schedule your consultation now, by calling (903) 753-7499, or use the convenient contact form on our website.



Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Weapons Offenses

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

If you own a weapon (or several weapons, for that matter), you may find yourself in a position where you are charged with one or more state or federal weapons offenses. Weapons offenses often carry severe punishments, like steep fines and lengthy periods of incarceration. Also, a conviction can have effects on other areas of your life, including the ability to get a job, secure housing, and your right to possess firearms. Fortunately, an experienced Texas Criminal Defense Attorney could help you to get the weapons charges against you dismissed or, in the event that a dismissal is not possible, could help you to reduce or eliminate the consequences associated with your weapons charges.

The circumstances of each weapons case are unique, but your knowledgeable Texas Criminal Defense Attorney knows how to assess each case and determine which types of defenses are likely to be the most successful under each different set of circumstances. For example, a search and seizure defense may be available to you if the facts of your case suggest a lack of probable cause. Possession defenses are also available in some cases where law enforcement is unable to provide evidence that a particular weapon was in your care. In weapons cases, there are often multiple possibilities for defenses that are based upon things that the government either did incorrectly or did not do. This is just one of the reasons that no defendant who has been charged with a state or Federal weapons offense should ever try to defend themselves against the charges without the aid of a seasoned Texas Criminal Defense Attorney.

Weapons offenses are an interesting category of crimes because both state and Federal laws apply. Your Texas Criminal Defense Attorney understands both state and federal laws, as well as the rights which are guaranteed to all United States citizens under the Second Amendment.

Whether your weapons charges are state or federal, and whether they are related to felony possession of a firearm, violation of concealed handgun laws, possession of a stolen or unregistered weapon, or some other form of weapon-related offense, retaining a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney early on in your case can greatly improve your chances of mounting a successful defense against the charges. Since weapons violations are often connected with other criminal charges like drug charges and motor vehicle violations, it is essential that you select an attorney who is skilled at defending against any other state and federal charges that you may be facing as well.

If you have accused of or charged with one or more weapons offenses, be sure to seek assistance from a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney right away.  The penalties for state and Federal weapons offenses are harsh, and your rights are at stake. To learn more about how attorney Alex Tyra can help you to preserve your rights and your freedom, call (903) 753-7499 to set up a free, initial consultation. You may also contact us through our website via the online contact form.




Texas Family Law Attorney Shares Tips for Co-Parenting Success

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Divorcing couples have the freedom to choose how they will care for their children as they part ways and move from one household into two. Many couples are foregoing sole custody by one parent and visitation by the other in favor of co-parenting, which divides parenting time more or less right down the middle. Parents who have chosen to co-parent their children acknowledge that it isn’t without its challenges, but that it is so very worth it.  If you decide to co-parent, the following things can be useful as you begin your co-parenting journey.

At the heart of every successful co-parenting relationship is a carefully planned parenting schedule. Work, school, and extracurricular activity schedules play a large role in what a parenting schedule looks like, but there is more to it than that. Including daily routines that provide structure and continuity for the children can help them to maintain a sense of security and predictability. Reviewing a parenting schedule carefully before agreeing to it is an absolute necessity, and keeping the temperaments of everyone in the family in mind as you review a proposed parenting agreement can help you to spot areas which could prove troublesome later on if they are not reworked prior to implementing the schedule.

Parents who share parenting responsibilities successfully work to keep the lines of communication open between them. Effective communication is a skill which can be learned and improved upon over time, but it is also one of those things where the very fact that you are making an effort often brings noticeable results. One way to set the stage for productive communication with your children’s other parent is to set up ground rules for communication ahead of time and then abide by them.

Another key ingredient for a successful co-parenting experience is avoiding the temptation to say negative things about the other parent. The damage that such negative messages can cause has been well documented. Children tend to perceive criticisms that they hear about people that they love as negative messages about themselves. While it may be difficult to avoid negative thoughts about your child’s other parent, there are ways to address those thoughts without letting them out where the kids could hear them.

Parents who choose co-parenting are often highly invested in helping their children adjust to the new look and feel of family life. When these parents invite children to share their feelings with them and the listen closely as their children talk about how they feel, children feel heard, understood, and able to count on their parents to be sensitive to their feelings.

Co-parenting is one way in which Texas couples can choose to divide up parenting time and responsibilities. Your Texas Family Law Attorney will help you to work with the other parent and his or her attorney to develop a parenting plan that works for everyone. To learn more about co-parenting or other topics related to divorce, call Attorney Alex Tyra today, at (903) 753-7499 or fill out a contact form on our website.