Archive for July, 2015

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Bail

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

If you are arrested in Texas, you may be required to post a bond in order to be released. The purpose of bail is to ensure that you will appear for court. There are rules that law enforcement officers must follow regarding the amount of time that a defendant may be kept before bail is set, as well as for setting the amount of bail.

Bail is supposed to be determined promptly, but that does not always happen. Delays in setting bond may give rise to Fourth Amendment causes of action for false arrest or detention. When the magistrate sets bail, the amount of the bond is supposed to be reasonable. The amount should be high enough to ensure attendance at subsequent court hearings, low enough that it does not serve to oppress the defendant, and determined based upon an overall consideration of the circumstances. Of course, reasonability is a highly subjective issue, but there are some cases in which it is easy to see why bail of a certain amount is justified, such as in cases where the defendant is likely to flee. On the other side of the issue, there are cases where it is questionable whether the amount of bail that has been set for a particular defendant is reasonable.

A recent and very high-profile incident has brought the issue of bond amounts into the spotlight. The shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant resulted in over one hundred and seventy arrests. It appears as though arrests were made and bail was set in a blanket fashion, with little attention being paid to the individual circumstances of each defendant both in terms of their involvement in the incident as well as their flight risk and other relevant factors. Bail amounts for the people who were arrested were set very high, with many individuals being held on bonds of one million dollars each. Some of those who have been arrested were able to get their bond amounts reduced. Unfortunately, because of the sheer number of defendants, there have been substantial delays in obtaining hearings for all of them.

Although the investigation surrounding the incident is ongoing and complex, it is unlikely that every one of the over one hundred and seventy defendants that were arrested played an equal role in the violence that erupted that day. In fact, some of the people who were arrested were recreational motorcycle riders that were more interested in pursuing a hobby than in engaging in gang activity.

If you have been charged with a crime, you have certain rights that must not be violated. A Texas Criminal Defense Attorney can protect your rights and help you navigate the long road ahead of you. Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra understands how important a strong defense is in any type of criminal matter, and he is here to help you. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or visit our website to fill out our online contact form.





Texas DWI Defense Attorney Wants You to Know About Increased DWI Patrols

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Sometimes, holiday weekends are not the only times that DWI patrols are out in full force. For example, this year, increased patrols will be in effect for a twelve day stretch that begins prior to Fourth of July weekend and ends on July 7th. These patrols have been well publicized, in order to encourage drivers to make responsible choices about how they will celebrate the holiday.

Last year, law enforcement officers throughout the Lone Star State made over a thousand DWI arrests during their increased patrol on and around Fourth of July weekend. Drivers should know that it’s not just drunk drivers who are ticketed during these enforcement campaigns. Last year, during the same time period, officers issued over fifteen thousand speeding tickets and over two thousand citations for child safety seat or seat belt violations.

Planning your celebrating wisely is one way to avoid encountering trouble during increased DWI patrols. Designating a driver is always a good idea, and, in options where public transportation is available, it can provide an easy way to get around without worrying about DWI charges. If you are hosting a Fourth of July party, help your guests make responsible choices by helping them find safe rides home and collecting car keys at the door.

The aforementioned preventative measures are especially important if you plan to attend fireworks shows, sporting events, or other large, public gatherings or go out to areas where there are a number of bars and nightclubs. DWI patrols often focus on high-risk areas where there are likely to be many drivers. Law enforcement presence is likely to be at its peak during the times of day when drunken driving accidents are most likely to occur, especially late in the evening and very early in the morning.

If you are stopped, the best thing that you can do is to maintain an attitude that is calm and cooperative, without being overly eager to share any information besides that which is required by law. Place your hands on your steering wheel until the officer approaches you and asks you to produce your license, insurance card, and registration, so that you do not cause any concern about weapons being in the vehicle. Police officers often try to get drivers to admit to drinking, but you may decline to answer any questions about where you have been, where you are going, and what you have been doing. It is essential that you do so politely, though, either by telling the officer that you are not going to answer the question, or by simply remaining silent. You may refuse to engage in field sobriety tests, however, please note that a refusal to engage in blood or breath testing does carry an automatic license suspension.

A DWI arrest can ruin your holiday weekend, but a DWI conviction could have even more severe and long lasting consequences. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you understand the path that your DWI case is likely to follow. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped many DWI defendants, and he may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.



Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses Property Settlements

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

One of the major components of a Texas divorce is the property settlement. Texas is a community property state, which means that the judge will order a division of the divorcing couple’s marital property that is “just and right”. Of course, a just and right property division can take many forms, including a division of assets and debts that is not equal. This may leave many people wondering how assets can be justly and rightly divided in an uneven matter.

The reason why some property divisions are even while others are lopsided is that marital property is not divided in a vacuum. In other words, the circumstances of the divorce matter. A lot. Factors like whether one spouse is a stay at home parent, the age of the parties’ children if they have any, whether there is an innocent spouse and a spouse who is at fault for the failure of the marriage, whether there are differences in the spouses’ health status or age, and more are all up for consideration when a judge is deciding how to distribute a divorcing couple’s marital property.

There are also other principles that judges consider when they design property distributions. The transfer or division of some types of assets can have tax consequences, so those must be factored in when considering where those particular assets will go. Also, since the marital estate includes both assets and debts, the judge must decide how to divide both the positive and the negative aspects of the couple’s marital property.

The overall amount of marital property also has an effect on how it will be divided, with couples with large marital estates often getting a closer to equal distribution than those with fewer resources to divide. Some types of assets are also difficult or impractical to divide, such as businesses that are owned and operated by one spouse. When there are assets that are not easily divisible, judges often design property settlements that grant the difficult to divide asset to the spouse to whom it is most useful while giving a group of assets which, when taken together, have a value that is close to that of the difficult to divide asset to the other spouse.

If you have questions or concerns about property settlements, a Texas divorce attorney can help you find the answers that you need. Whether you want to know more about property settlements or you have a question about child custody, an attorney can help you understand what your options are. Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra can tell you more about how marital property is divided in Texas, as well as how you and your soon to be former spouse may be able to design a property settlement that meets both of your needs without asking a judge to divide your property for you. If you would like to learn more about property settlements or any other aspect of your Texas divorce, please call us today, at (903) 753-7499.