Archive for June, 2015

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Possible Changes in Availability of DNA Testing

Monday, June 29th, 2015

DNA evidence is very useful in criminal cases. It can provide a degree of certainty that justice has in fact been served when a suspect is found guilty of a crime. Perhaps even more importantly, it can be used to prevent people from being convicted of crimes that they did not commit.

Unfortunately, many people who are currently facing criminal charges in Texas are unable to present DNA evidence that could exonerate them. The reason for this is that the current policy on DNA testing requires a defendant to prove that a piece of evidence does in fact contain DNA evidence before the court will grant DNA testing for that piece of evidence. Fortunately, this high standard may not remain in effect for much longer. The Texas House has recently given tentative approval to a bill, Senate Bill 487, which would grant DNA testing in any case where the defendant could show that there is a reasonable likelihood that a particular item contains DNA evidence.

A change in the law that would allow for easier access to DNA testing is good news for criminal defendants in Texas. There is plenty of proof from Texas alone that DNA evidence can keep innocent people out of jail or get them out of jail if they have already been incarcerated for a crime that they did not commit. The state has exonerated at least fifty two people so far, based upon DNA evidence.

At least one of those people, a man named Michael Morton, could not have been exonerated if the DNA testing requirements had been as strict as they are right now at the time that he requested DNA testing in his own criminal case. Morton was accused of murdering his wife, and in 1987 he was convicted and sent to prison. He spent twenty five years in prison before DNA evidence proved that he had been wrongfully convicted. In addition to exonerating Morton, DNA evidence also led authorities to the individual who had actually murdered Michael Morton’s wife. That individual has been convicted of murder, and is serving a life sentence. If the DNA testing standard is changed, there will be more success stories like Michael Morton’s, and fewer instances of wrongful conviction.

If you have been charged with a crime, you deserve the best possible defense because there is so much at stake. An experienced Texas Criminal Defense Attorney will protect your rights and build a solid criminal defense case on your behalf. Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra understands that being accused of a crime can have serious consequences, and he may be able to help you reduce or eliminate some of the negative consequences associated with the charges that have been brought against you. If you have questions about a Texas criminal law matter, please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499. You may also visit our website and contact us via our online contact form.





Texas Family Law Attorney Talks about Alcohol, Addiction, and Divorce

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Alcoholism and drug abuse are two things that can ruin a marriage beyond repair. They are long-term problems that have far-reaching effects into the life of the person who is an addict or an alcoholic, their spouse, and their entire family. Unfortunately, many American families struggle with alcoholism and addiction. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of divorce among middle-aged couples. One of the biggest problems facing families that are affected by alcoholism and addiction is that many people try to keep it hidden, or to pretend that it is not happening in their home. This can be exhausting, and often, spouses of alcoholics and drug addicts arrive at a point where they can no longer deny what is going on inside of their home. The problem then becomes what, if anything, they will decide to do about it.

A lack of love is not often found in marriages that end because of alcoholism or drug addiction. In fact, spouses of alcoholics or addicts often report that they love their spouse very much and wish that they did not have to end the relationship. Spouses of addicts and alcoholics do not often decide to file for divorce early on in the marriage, or even shortly after they realize that their spouse has become an alcoholic or a drug addict. They often spend years doing whatever they can to make the marriage work and help their spouse get treatment, but eventually they realize that whether their spouse becomes sober or not is not up to them. That is often the most difficult thing for the spouse of an alcoholic or a drug addict to realize, but it can also be a powerful catalyst that helps them decide that ending the marriage is the best thing that they can do for themself and for their children if they have any.

Drug addiction and alcoholism are very serious obstacles to overcome, and recovery is a lifelong challenge. Even addicts and alcoholics who express a strong commitment to overcoming their addictions can stumble and fall along the way. The spouses and families of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol experience the process of recovery, with all of its twists and turns, right along with the person who is recovering. Unfortunately, the intense emotional ups and downs that accompany living with an alcoholic or addict, whether they are recovering or not, can, over time, cause other people in the household to develop issues of their own. Because of this, it may still be necessary to divorce your spouse, even if they are recovering.

If you are married to an alcoholic or a drug addict, it may be difficult to make the decision to end your marriage. Unfortunately, for a marriage to be sustainable, both spouses must be committed to making it work. If you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage, a Texas Family Law Attorney can provide you with the top-quality legal support that you deserve. Texas Divorce Attorney Alex Tyra can help you to understand the divorce process, and he can help you to pursue a resolution of your Texas divorce case that meets your needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding your Texas divorce, please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks about the Critical Role of a DWI Defense Attorney

Monday, June 1st, 2015

It is not likely that you were thinking about DWI defense until you were charged with DWI. If you are facing DWI charges, the issue of how you will mount a defense against those charges is now a very real issue that you are deeply concerned about. Fortunately, there are attorneys who spend a great deal of time and effort helping clients just like you present their best possible defenses against DWI charges. If you drive and you have never been charged with DWI, it is still important for you to understand what DWI defense attorneys do. Some DWI defense clients are, in fact, innocent drivers who did not consume any alcohol before they were stopped and arrested for driving while they were allegedly intoxicated.

As with any type of legal matter, people may wonder whether they could handle their DWI defense case on their own. Unfortunately, there is a lot at stake in a DWI case, because the negative consequences of a DWI arrest or conviction can reach into every area of your day to day life. When you spend money to hire a DWI defense attorney, you are investing in giving yourself the best possible chance at keeping the negative consequences of your DWI to a minimum.

When you retain a DWI defense attorney, your attorney can help you in many ways. They will help you to understand the charges that have been brought against you, as well as the potential consequences of a conviction. Your attorney will speak to you about your case, and they will help you understand what kinds of defense strategies may be available to you. A large part of the work of DWI defense attorneys involves helping clients understand their options, because DWI defendants may be presented with a variety of options for resolving their DWI cases.

It is true that some DWI defendants may qualify for services offered by public defenders. However, it is essential that you understand the difference between using a public defender for your DWI case and using private counsel. Public defenders are attorneys who work for the state. They are paid by the state, and they provide legal assistance to people who meet certain economic criteria. Private counsel is an attorney that the defendant has retained. All attorneys are skillful, capable individuals who do their best to represent the interests of their clients. Unfortunately, public defenders have less control over the size of their work load than private counsel do, and they may have very little time to work on each of their cases. These differences are important, but in Texas there is another distinction that may be even more important to you, depending upon how badly you need to keep your driving privileges. Public defenders in Texas do not participate in the administrative license suspension process. Drivers who are charged with DWI must request an ALR hearing if they wish to avoid license suspension and only private counsel can handle those requests and hearings.

If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, it is essential that you align yourself with someone who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra works hard on behalf of Texas DWI defendants, and he can help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.