Archive for the ‘Texas DWI Defense’ Category

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Talks about Lone Star Card Fraud

Friday, December 18th, 2015

For some Texans, the Lone Star Card can make the difference between not having enough to eat and being able to feed themselves and their families. Over four hundred million dollars are distributed to families each month through the Lone Star Card program. Unfortunately, as is the case with food assistance card programs across America, Lone Star Cards are sometimes stolen or obtained fraudulently. Both using a Lone Star Card that belongs to someone else and obtaining Lone Star benefits by providing false or misleading information are crimes. If you have been charged with theft in relation to a Lone Star Card or with obtaining a Lone Star Card fraudulently, it is important that you speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney.

A story out of Lufkin describes one way in which Lone Star Card theft can play out. In September, a woman’s purse was stolen from her vehicle. After the purse was stolen, someone used the woman’s driver’s license and Social Security card, which were in the purse, to change the PIN number for her Lone Star Card, which was also in the purse. The Lone Star Card was then used at two grocery stores in Lufkin, and also at Wal-Mart.

Images of a woman using the stolen card to purchase approximately two hundred dollars’ worth of groceries at Wal-Mart were captured by security cameras in the store. The woman’s appearance is distinctive. She has black skin and curly platinum blonde hair (or she was wearing a platinum blonde wig). She was wearing white wireless headphones around her neck at the time the security camera captured her image. The woman’s unique appearance and the fact that a reward is being offered to aid authorities in locating her may eventually aid law enforcement in apprehending her.

Obtaining Lone Star Card benefits fraudulently is also a crime. It is estimated that a little over four million dollars in Lone Star benefits are obtained through the use of fraud each month. When an allegation of Lone Star Card fraud theft is filed, investigators from the Office of the Inspector General look into it. Investigators have seen people obtain Lone Star Card benefits that they did not qualify for in a variety of ways. Some individuals omit mention of their spouse’s work history and income. Others cross the border from Mexico and use a friend’s or relative’s address to apply for and receive benefits. Then, they purchase food and try to bring it back into Mexico. These individuals often end up being apprehended at the border, because Customs and Border Protection officers ask individuals who have groceries in their vehicles to show them their grocery receipt as well as their documentation. If the groceries were paid for with Lone Star benefits but the person is a resident of Mexico, the person loses their passport and is denied reentry into Mexico.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Helping Texans Resolve Criminal Matters

If you have been charged with stealing a Lone Star Card, Using a stolen Lone Star Card, or obtaining Lone Star benefits fraudulently, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and help you work on resolving your criminal matter. Please call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today, at (903) 753-7499 or contact us online to find out whether Attorney Alex Tyra can help you.



Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses Delays in DWI Cases

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Being a DWI defendant is not easy. Throughout the DWI case process, DWI defendants are likely to feel a variety of emotions including fear, sorrow, anger, and frustration. Regardless of how any given DWI case ends, at the conclusion of a DWI case the defendant has certainty about its outcome. Unfortunately, some DWI defendants in Bexar County may be feeling additional fear, sorrow, and anger because they are waiting much longer than usual to experience the certainty that comes with resolution of their DWI cases.

A scandal involving the private laboratory that used to test the blood samples of Bexar County DWI suspects who refused to take the breath test has resulted in a huge backlog of samples that are currently awaiting testing at a laboratory at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin. The scandal involved possible mishandling of blood samples by the staff of the private laboratory, which no longer performs tests for the county.

Because of the delay, prosecutors have gone forward with some DWI cases without blood test evidence. Blood samples for certain DWI cases, such as those involving intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter, have always been tested by the Bexar County medical examiner’s office, which continues to perform the tests for those types of cases. In cases where blood samples have not yet been tested, prosecutors have been proceeding with eyewitness testimony, field sobriety tests, and breathalyzer test results when available. The result appears to be an increase in DWI convictions, which is concerning for defendants whose samples are on hold. The unavailability of DWI blood test results is also concerning because it could harm DWI defendants whose results would show that they were innocent.

The increased rate of conviction is just one thing about the backlog of DWI cases that is causing frustration among DWI defendants and their attorneys. These defendants are being kept in limbo, unsure of when their case will proceed. Also, the no refusal policy that resulted in the samples being taken from drivers who refused breath testing is controversial. This adds to the sense of injustice that the defendants whose samples are awaiting testing are currently experiencing.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Strong Support for DWI Defendants

When you are facing DWI charges, you are likely to have many concerns. An experienced DWI defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you as well as the DWI case process. Each defendant has unique needs and priorities. Some defendants have prior DWI convictions, while it is the first time for others. Some have families to support, while others have concerns regarding immigration. Whatever your priorities are, it is essential that you get the legal support that a DWI defense attorney can provide. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped all kinds of DWI defendants through the DWI case process towards resolution of their DWI cases. It is possible that he may be able to help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online to learn more.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Urges Drivers to Use Caution on Halloween Weekend

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday. This is both good news and bad news. If you enjoy Halloween parties, you may be excited for a weekend of fun. However, since Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated by both children and adults, there are safety concerns that law enforcement officers are well aware of. During the late afternoon hours and well into the evening, costumed children take to the streets for trick-or-treating. The increased presence of children on and near roadways increases the risk of pedestrian accidents for all drivers, and law enforcement officers will be out in full force to keep pedestrians as safe as possible. Increased law enforcement presence is likely to lead to more traffic stops. Since law enforcement officers are on a heightened alert for intoxicated drivers, they will not hesitate to test any driver for whom they have the slightest suspicion of intoxication.

Pedestrian safety is not the only focus of law enforcement officers on Halloween, though. The Texas Department of Public Safety is likely to implement a “no refusal weekend” for Halloween this year, after a successful “no refusal weekend” last Halloween. This year, “no refusal weekends” have been implemented on most major holidays, so there is a high likelihood that the same thing will happen on Halloween.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the “no refusal weekend”, it is important that you understand how traffic stops during these times differ from regular traffic stops. Whenever there is a “no refusal weekend”, any driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol will be required to submit to roadside breath or blood alcohol testing. If a driver refuses to submit to the testing, they will be arrested. After the driver has been arrested, a blood sample will be obtained from them while they are in police custody. Ordinarily, a driver on Texas roads who refuses roadside blood or breath testing will have their license suspended, but they will not be arrested.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Comprehensive Legal Support for Texas Drivers

If you are pulled over by the police at any point in time, it is important that you do your best to prevent your traffic stop from turning into a DWI investigation. Remain calm, use a respectful tone of voice, and take care not to provide the police officer with much information. If you are taken into custody, exercise your right to remain silent, and ask to speak with an attorney right away. A knowledgeable Texas DWI defense attorney can do many things to build a strong case on your behalf, including checking for issues with the blood draw warrant, looking for mistakes in handling of the blood sample, and questioning the accuracy of the blood test results and the integrity of the procedure for taking and handling the blood sample. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, contact an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. If you have questions about DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks about the True Cost of a DWI

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated, you are probably quite concerned about the effects that a DWI conviction could have on your life. Even if you eventually end up not being convicted, even just being accused of driving while intoxicated can affect your life in many ways. You may begin to experience hardships associated with your DWI charges as soon as you are arrested. Unfortunately, those hardships are likely to continue in the days, weeks, and months that follow your arrest as you work to get your charges dropped or reduced.

When you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may experience consequences that affect your freedom and limit your options. You are also likely to experience a variety of economic consequences after being charged with a DWI and even more additional costs if you are convicted.

The costs associated with your DWI begin to add up as soon as you are arrested. Your car might be towed from the scene of the traffic stop, so you may have to pay fees for towing and storage before you can get it back. After your arrest, you may be required to post bond in order to be released. If the amount of your bond is more than you can pay, you may also incur the expense of paying a bail bondsman to post your bond.

When you consider the costs of DWI charges, it is easy to understand why some DWI defendants believe that they can save money by representing themselves in their DWI cases. However, retaining a DWI defense attorney could save you money in the long run. Being represented by counsel increases your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in your DWI case because DWI defense attorneys know how to look at all of the information that is available in DWI cases and use that information to defend their clients the charges.

In addition to attorneys’ fees, there are other costs that are associated with a DWI. Depending upon how your case is resolved, you may have to pay additional fees for diversion programs, classes, and counseling. There are also costs associated with license suspension and reinstatement, including reinstatement fees, higher insurance costs, and the cost of a vehicle interlock device if you are required to get one.

Other costs associated with DWI charges and convictions include court costs, the cost of taking time off of work to attend court, and the costs of alternate transportation. If you have been charged with DWI, call a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. Your Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you understand the charges that have been brought against you and the costs that will likely be associated with your DWI. 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 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 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.



Texas DUI Defense Attorney Says Be Careful if you Travel on Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 15th, 2015

If you plan to travel out of state to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, it is important that you know that in many states, law enforcement officers will have DUI checkpoints set up along major roadways. Texas does not currently use DUI checkpoints to enforce drunk driving laws, but they are common in other states, and holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day are time when drivers should expect to encounter them.

In states where DUI checkpoints are used, they may be present at any time of day or night. That said, most checkpoints are set up late at night or early in the morning, as that is when there are likely to be the greatest number of intoxicated drivers on the road. If you do encounter a DUI checkpoint while you are traveling, the following tips may help your experience go more smoothly.

Drivers who are prepared for an encounter with law enforcement at a DUI checkpoint are more likely to be let through quickly, instead of being detained for investigation. Your attitude will, in large part, shape your experience at the checkpoint. Try your best to be polite and cooperative without providing too much information, because any information that you provide could be used against you in the future. Do give the officer basic information, like your license, car insurance, and vehicle registration if you are asked to provide them.

Whatever you do, remember that you do not have to answer every question that is asked of you. Many well-meaning and legally sober drivers are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after answering questions about where they have been and what they have been doing, or by participating in field sobriety tests. In most places, you cannot be penalized for refusing to perform a field sobriety test. Many tests are set up for the driver to fail, even if they are sober. Nerves, footwear, and agility can cause sober drivers to fail field sobriety tests, and their effectiveness has come into question many, many times.

Sometimes, despite a driver’s best efforts to cooperate with law enforcement officer, an arrest may occur. If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it is essential that you immediately exercise your right to remain silent, after respectfully asking the arresting officer to permit you to speak with your attorney. Your attorney can further advise you regarding whether you should participate in blood or breath testing, because the rules for those tests and the consequences of refusal vary from state to state.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important that you have someone by your side who can protect your rights. Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra works hard to protect the rights of DUI defendants, and it is possible that he can help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online via our website.



Texas DUI Defense Attorney Talks about Subsequent DUI Offenses

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Sometimes, one DUI charge or conviction is all it takes to deter people from driving while intoxicated. For other people, driving under the influence of alcohol can be a very tough habit to break. The consequences for a first DUI are harsh, and the consequences for subsequent DUI charges increase in severity. It is important that drivers understand what could happen if they are convicted of a second or third DUI.

If you are a minor, you probably lost your license for ninety days when you got your first DUI. If you are charged with a second DUI, you could face one hundred and twenty days of license suspension if you are convicted. If you get a third DUI, the license suspension increases to one hundred and eighty days.

Adult drivers who are convicted of a second DUI can be fined up to four thousand dollars and ordered to serve between one month and one year in jail. Additionally, you could lose your license for up to two years, and you will be required to pay a surcharge of up to two thousand dollars a year for three years in order to keep your driver’s license. You may also be required to attend a DUI intervention program or a DUI education program, and it is possible that you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

The stakes are even higher for adult drivers who are facing a third DUI. If you are convicted of a third DUI, you can be fined up to ten thousand dollars and sentenced to two to ten years in jail. Third offenses also carry a two year license suspension and a two thousand dollar per year surcharge for three years to maintain a driver’s license. DUI education or intervention programs and/or an ignition interlock device may also be required.

Any DUI conviction results in consequences that have a far-reaching impact on both the life of the person who is convicted and on their family and friends. In addition to the fines and penalties described above, there are expenses associated with being arrested for DUI, attorneys’ fees, and the additional costs of obtaining transportation while you are without a driver’s license. There are also non-economic costs associated with criminal convictions, including DUIs, such as difficulty in finding employment and housing. Adding the economic and non-economic costs of a second, third, or other subsequent DUI to the stress of getting through day to day life after a first DUI conviction could make things really difficult. Whether you are facing your first DUI or charges for a subsequent offense, it is essential that you give yourself the best possible change at a successful defense by enlisting the aid of a Texas DUI defense attorney. To learn how Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra can help you, call our office today, at (903) 753-7499. You may also reach us by submitting a convenient contact form on our website.



Why Every Driver Should Play the Strong Silent Type During a Texas Traffic Stop

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

A traffic stop usually begins innocently enough, with a polite request for your license and registration. As you hand over the required items, though, you are likely to wonder what other questions you will be asked during this particular stop. You should also be thinking about whether or not you will answer any additional questions, and which questions you will answer.

Law enforcement officers of all types, from the local sheriffs to state troopers, and even Border Patrol have a habit of asking drivers more questions than drivers are required by law to answer. This problem is particularly pronounced in areas near the Mexican border, where excessive questioning is often paired with an aggressive attitude. As you can imagine, this is rather unsettling for drivers, and it can get you into trouble if you do not understand your rights, or if you are afraid to assert them.

In Texas, drivers are required to present three things to a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop. These things are their driver’s license, insurance card, and vehicle registration. Even less is required of passengers, who are not required to provide anything, unless they are being detained for a traffic violation.

Unfortunately, there are no rules regarding what kinds of questions law enforcement officers can ask you. Fortunately, you are not legally obligated to answer every question that you are asked. In fact, you do not have to answer any questions, aside from providing the three items which you are legally required to provide. Border Patrol checkpoints are a little different, because officers have a right to determine immigration status. However, this does not mean that you have to answer any questions in order for them to be able to do that.

Of course, knowing what you are legally required to do and what you have a right to choose to decline to do in response to an officer’s questioning is one thing. Asserting your right to refuse to answer additional questions in a calm and confident manner is another thing entirely. Law enforcement officers are aware that many drivers do not know that they are only legally required to provide three things during a traffic stop. They also know that many drivers and passengers are easily intimidated by authority figures, such as themselves. Therefore, they ask whatever questions they please and expect that drivers and passengers will answer them without so much as a second thought.

Since drivers cannot count on law enforcement to stick to the basics during traffic stops, it is up to drivers to educate themselves about the “rules of the road” regarding questioning during traffic stops, and to plan ahead what they might say in response to an officer’s questions. It’s best to keep it simple, and to speak as calmly and confidently as you can. One of the best phrases to use is “Am I free to go now?” which you can say after your license, registration, and insurance cards have been returned to you.

Traffic stops can be unnerving, because you never know what the officer’s attitude will be like or what questions they will ask you. Knowing your rights and standing up for them could help you to avoid disclosing information that could be used against you later on. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, you need the assistance of a knowledgeable Texas DUI Defense Attorney.  To learn more, call attorney Alex Tyra today, and schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (903) 753-7499, or submit a convenient online contact form.



Your Guide to Texas ALR Hearings

Friday, May 30th, 2014

As if mounting a defense to the criminal charges in your Texas DWI case was not enough, there is something that you must do very shortly after your DWI arrest which could have a major impact on your life if you do not attend to it promptly. You have just fifteen days from the date of your DWI arrest to preserve your chance at saving your driver’s license by requesting an ALR hearing.

An Administrative Law Review hearing, or ALR hearing as it is commonly called, is a civil proceeding which is brought against a driver who either refused a blood or breath test after they were arrested under suspicion of DWI, or a driver who has taken a blood or breath test and has failed it. Texas state law contains a provision which says that drivers who operate their vehicles on public roadways within the state give their implied consent to submit to breath or blood testing upon being arrested for DWI and being advised of the consequences of refusing to participate in testing.

The consequence, of course, is the possibility of suspension of your driver’s license. Sometimes, the way in which law enforcement officers describe the license suspension process can make it difficult to understand when and how a license suspension would take effect. For example, it is common for officers to tell a person whom they have arrested that their driver’s license will be automatically suspended, effective immediately upon their refusal to participate in blood or breath testing. This is not an accurate description of the process by which drivers’ licenses are suspended following a refusal to submit to testing.

While it is true that the arresting officer must take your license into his or her possession, you should also be given a temporary driver’s permit, which is only valid for forty days. After forty days has passed, your license will be suspended automatically unless you requested an ALR hearing within fifteen days of your arrest. Requesting a hearing enables you to contest the proposed suspension of your driver’s license and delays the imposition of any ALR sanctions until the hearing takes place. Instructions for requesting a hearing may be found at the bottom of your Notice of Suspension.

At your ALR hearing, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will attempt to prove that your license should be suspended for one of two reasons. The first reason that your license could be suspended is if you took a breath or blood test which resulted in a reading of .08 or greater. Suspension for the reason of refusing to submit to testing requires that the DPS provide proof of four different elements, including reasonable suspicion for the vehicle stop or probable cause for the arrest, probable cause that the driver was in control of a vehicle on a public place while intoxicated, opportunity for the driver to voluntarily participate in testing and provision of both oral and written notice of the consequences of refusal, and refusal to participate in testing following a request by the officer to do so. If the DPS fails to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, then a license suspension may not be issued, and your license must be returned to you.

Requesting an ALR hearing is a step in the right direction, a chance at protecting your right to drive. With something so important at stake, it is a good idea not to go it alone. Texas DUI Defense Attorneys are well versed in the ALR process, and an experienced attorney can help you to present your best case against the proposed license suspension. To learn more, call attorney Alex Tyra today, and schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (903) 753-7499, or submit a convenient online contact form.