Texas Family Law Attorney Talks about Divorces Involving Business Ownership

January 1st, 2017

Some couples have relatively few types of assets to concern themselves with when they divorce. Others may own real estate, investments, or even one or more businesses. If you or your spouse owns a business, or, if you own a business together, it is essential that you take great care to ensure that the hard work that either or both of you have invested into your business over the years gets preserved during your divorce.

Just as with other types of assets, the issue of how to handle business ownership in a divorce is best addressed by agreement of the parties, and not by a judge who knows little or nothing about you, your family, and your business. Regardless of the current level of conflict in your divorce, it is important that you and your spouse work together with your attorneys to discuss the future of your business, and that the two of you make every effort to reach an agreement about what that future is.

In addition to working with your attorneys to discuss the future of your business, it is often worth consulting with a financial advisor because they can provide you and your attorney with valuable information like estimates of the value of the enterprise and its assets, cash flow, and liquidity. When you have gotten a clear picture of what your business is worth, you can begin to think about how you would like to acknowledge that value in your divorce settlement. There are many ways that couples who own one or more businesses, either together or separately, can structure a divorce settlement.

If you own a business that your spouse is not involved in, you may want to think about what other assets could, when taken as a group, have approximately the same value as the business. Your spouse may be happy to take that group of assets while you retain ownership, control, and all of the other benefits of your business. Of course, it is possible that your spouse may prefer a different arrangement, or they may be the one who owns the business, and you may have to engage in discussion about what will work well for each of you. It is possible that either or both of you are interested in selling your business, or in selling your interest in the firm. These are all potential solutions that you can discuss with your spouse. As you have these discussions, keep in mind that there are many creative ways that spouses can structure a divorce agreement involving a business, and any solution that the two of you can come up with is likely to work better for your family than a solution that is devised by the court.

If either you or your spouse owns a business or you own a business together, a Texas Family Law Attorney can help you to account for your business and all of your other assets as part of your Texas divorce. To learn more, please contact attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499 to arrange a consultation, or visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Shares Tips for Managing Finances During and After Divorce

December 30th, 2016

If you are divorcing, you may wonder how you will be able to afford to take this much-needed step towards personal freedom. Divorce does cost money, but it is important that you do not put it off or even worse give up on it out of fear that you cannot afford it. The following tips can help you secure your finances before, during and after your divorce.

When divorcing spouses maintain a focus on agreement, they save money. Divorce is not easy, but the notion that cooperation can cut costs can be a powerful motivator to set conflict aside. One way in which agreement can reduce the financial burden of divorce is in the area of legal fees. It is important that each spouse retains his or her own attorney, but the amount of work that your attorney has to do on your behalf is directly connected to the amount that you will end up paying them. If you and your soon to be former spouse are approaching your attorneys with drafts of a divorce agreement that you have worked on together, you will not spend as much on legal fees as you would if you are fighting with each other through your attorneys about who should get which assets and what your parenting plan should look like, if you have children.

In reality, not all divorces can be resolved amicably. Fortunately, you can keep your costs down regardless of the level of conflict in your divorce. Knowing the details of your personal and household finances is one of these strategies. You can gather information about your debt and any marital debts that you and your spouse have, and you can do some research and find out what your household expenses are as well as what you might expect to pay to establish a new home for yourself.

Making financially wise decisions during your divorce can reduce not only the up-front costs of divorce but also the long-term costs. Divorce is an emotional process, but it is essential for your financial well-being that you do your best to address your emotional needs – through counseling, talking with supportive friends or whatever works for you – and make financial decisions from a purely practical frame of mind. For example, you may have to work through your feelings about your marital home before you can do an honest and sufficiently detailed calculation to determine whether it makes sense to try to keep it on either a short-term or a long-term basis.

As you and your soon to be former spouse work through your divorce, see whether the two of you can agree on whether to sell any items to make more cash available to pay off debts or divide amongst each other. There are laws that govern marital property, so you must check with your attorneys before selling anything because an improper sale is illegal. Selling items requires consulting with your attorney, but you are free to reduce your personal expenses by eliminating unnecessary spending, starting your new household with only the bare minimum of utilities and looking for ways to save money on one-time and recurring costs.

While you work to build a strong financial future for yourself, a Texas Family Law Attorney can help you pursue an outcome in your divorce that will meet your current and future needs. To learn more, please contact attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499 to arrange a consultation, or visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Talks about Organized Crime

December 22nd, 2016

Two of the dozen or more individuals who are allegedly involved in an organized crime ring recently entered guilty pleas. One man received a fifteen-year prison sentence, and the other was sentenced to twenty-eight years in prison for his role in stealing approximately eighty thousand dollars’ worth of ATVs.  A third individual is alleged to have participated directly in the theft, and about ten other people were allegedly involved in indirect ways before, during, and after the theft took place.

The two men, along with a couple of accomplices, participated in a similar ATV theft one week after the first theft, this time in Louisiana. After an anonymous tip set into motion a chain of events that included gathering evidence and arresting accomplices, authorities were able to unravel the details of the ATV thefts and make connections between those crimes and other ATV thefts and rooftop burglaries which had occurred throughout several states.

The two men were apprehended earlier this year, and at the time of their arrest, authorities seized cell phones which provided multiple types of evidence that implicated them in the organized crime activities for which they recently entered guilty pleas.

Some crimes are isolated incidents, but other crimes are part of something more complicated. When people work together to plan and carry out a series of crimes, they are subject to organized crime charges in addition to charges for whatever criminal activities they have allegedly participated in. Chapter 71 of the Texas Penal Code describes organized crime and sets out the penalty scheme for various activities that fall into the category of organized crime. Basically, a defendant who is accused of any crime or any combination of crimes can also be accused of being a part of organized criminal activity if it can be shown that they committed the crime or combination of crimes “with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang”. (Texas Penal Code Section 71.02)

It is important that people understand that actual participation in the crimes is not a prerequisite for organized crime charges. In addition to direct involvement or indirect involvement, an individual may be charged with conspiring to commit organized crime.

Sometimes, one or more of the people who are participating in an organized crime scheme withdraw fully from it before it is completed. Some of these people may even go so far as to renounce their involvement in it, and they might even inform authorities of the plans that had been made. Renunciation is a defense to organized crime charges, but just like any other defense to any crime, its effectiveness is directly tied to the facts of the situation.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texans against Criminal Charges

If you have been charged with organized crime, you need someone in your corner who can safeguard your rights and build the best possible case on your behalf. If you have been charged with organized crime and you have questions, please call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499. Alternatively, you may contact us online.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About DWI Penalties

December 1st, 2016

Did you know that the penalties for DWI in Texas are relatively light compared to those in other states? Did you know that despite what the law says, penalties for DWI in Texas vary from case to case? People in Texas are wondering what the state’s DWI laws really mean, in light of recent repeat-offense DWI cases that have made it apparent that drivers who are arrested for DWI are not always kept off of the road for very long, even after a subsequent offense.

First and second offense DWIs are misdemeanors in Texas. The Texas Penal Code lists fines, jail time, loss of drivers’ license, and increased fees to reinstate the license as penalties for driving while intoxicated. As is the case with any type of crime, not all first offense DWI defendants pay a two thousand dollar fine, not all of them receive a sentence of one hundred and eighty days in jail, not all of those who receive a sentence must serve all of it in jail, and not all of them receive the standard loss of license and increased fees that are listed as possible penalties.

The differences in outcomes in DWI cases is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong with the criminal justice system in Texas. Rather, it illustrates something that is true for all criminal defendants regardless of what crimes they are charged with – every crime is a unique occurrence, and each defendant is a unique individual. Criminal cases are not decided uniformly because they should not be decided uniformly. The facts of each case can be argued by defense counsel in a way that supports an outcome that is appropriate for what actually happened. In other words, DWI defendants and their attorneys do have the ability to affect the outcome of their Texas DWI cases. This is good news for DWI defendants because it means that they can work with a DWI defense attorney to pursue workable outcomes in their DWI cases.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texas Drivers Against DWI Charges

If you are facing DWI charges, the thought of facing those charges in court on your own might be rather intimidating. It is important that you know that you do not have to face your DWI charges alone and that working with a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you work towards the best possible outcome in your DWI case. The consequences of a Texas DWI conviction are serious and a conviction could affect just about every area of your life. Your freedom, your license, your job, your relationships, and your future are all at stake. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, take the important first step of protecting your rights today, by calling an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney. If you have questions or concerns about DWI in Texas, please call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us via our online contact form.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses DWI Penalties for Minors

November 28th, 2016

When you think about a typical situation involving a minor being charged with DWI, you might imagine a teenager who has a driver’s license being caught driving after having a few beers at a party. While situations like that do happen, there are some minors who do not even have their drivers’ license when they get their first DWI. For example, a twelve-year-old is currently under investigation for DWI following a police chase that ended with a crash. Fortunately, the driver’s injuries are not severe, but he will face legal consequences as the result of his actions.

When a law enforcement noticed the young driver weaving in and out of traffic, they believed that the driver was texting and driving. As the officer continued to observe him, the driver crossed the center line, and the officer began to suspect that the driver as intoxicated. The officer tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not stop. The driver kept going and hit another car head-on, but the impact was not sufficient to stop the vehicle, and he kept driving. Eventually, the young driver collided with a utility pole and that collision prevented the vehicle from being driven any further.

The minor is now being investigated for DWI, evading police, and failing to stop and render aid after an accident. He is likely to encounter substantial consequences as the result of his actions, especially if he gets convicted of any or all of the three crimes that are under investigation. Under Texas law, anyone who is under twenty-one years of age is a minor. A minor may not drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. The penalty for DWI for a minor depends both on the amount of alcohol in the driver’s system and the number of times that they have been stopped for drinking and driving.

First offenders who are minors could be fined up to five hundred dollars. They receive a sixty-day license suspension; they must attend an alcohol awareness class, and they must do between twenty and forty hours of community service. Penalties increase for second and subsequent offenses.

Minors can also receive an enhanced penalty if they are over seventeen years of age but under twenty-one, and their blood alcohol level is .08 or higher. Under these circumstances, a minor can be fined up to two thousand dollars and have their license suspended for at least ninety days and up to one year. They could also have to spend anywhere from three to one hundred and eighty days in jail.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Minors Who Are Charged With DWI

If you are a minor, a DWI investigation can be incredibly intimidating. The consequences of a potential conviction are serious, and you are probably wondering what you should do. Fortunately, you do not have to face those charges alone. If you are a minor and you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, protect your rights by calling an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney today. If you have any questions about DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the Rules for Keeping Exotic Pets in Texas

November 13th, 2016

If you like wild animals like exotic cats, bears, or primates, you may have wondered whether you can keep one as a pet. In Texas, people may keep some dangerous wild animals like tigers, jaguars, lynx, coyotes, monkeys, and other similar animals as pets provided that the individual who is keeping the animal applies for a permit to do so and renews that permit annually.

A woman was recently arrested and charged with theft and child endangerment after it was discovered that she was keeping dangerous animals in her home. She had sold one of the animals, a Savannah kitten, to a man in California, but he never received the kitten because she claimed that it was sick. The woman fled to Nevada with her daughter and the animals, presumably because she feared that she would be found out. She was located in Nevada; the animals were confiscated, and authorities took her into custody.

Since it is illegal to keep dangerous wild animals as pets without registering them, it is important for would-be exotic pet owners to know about the requirements for registration. The rules appear in the Texas Health and Safety Code, and the registration requirement appears in § 822.103, which specifies, among other things that a person may not keep a dangerous wild animal unless they obtain a certificate of registration from the applicable animal registration agency. Registration certificates are not transferable, applicants may have to pay a fee, and certificates must be renewed annually.

When someone wants to apply for permission to keep a dangerous wild animal, they must provide information about themselves, information about the animal that they wish to own, information about where the animal will live and its enclosure, and give permission for the agency that would issue the application to inspect the animal and its home to ensure that it is being kept safe and taken care of. If the person gets permission to keep the animal and the animal attacks someone, the owner must notify the agency that issued the registration certificate right away.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texans against Criminal Charges

Texas has more permissive rules for keeping dangerous wild animals as pets than many other states do. However, there are laws that govern the keeping of these animals, and they must be followed to protect the health and safety of the animals and other humans. Failing to register your exotic pet could not only cost you your pet, but it could also carry financial and other penalties that you can avoid by following the registration and renewal requirements. If you make a mistake and fail to register your animal or to renew your registration, speak with an attorney right away. Your Texas criminal defense attorney has a working understanding of the law, and they will use that knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf. If you have been charged with keeping a dangerous wild animal in violation of the law or with some other crime related to animals and you have questions, please call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499. Alternatively, you may contact us online.

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses How to Talk to Children about Divorce

November 6th, 2016

There’s no doubt about it – thinking about talking to your kids about divorce can bring up many different emotions. You might fear that you will damage your beloved children by divorcing, or by making a mistake when you have the dreaded conversation. You might be angry that you are getting divorced and resentful that you even have to have the divorce talk with your kids at all. It’s possible that you are sad, anxious, or any other feeling or combination of feelings as well. Despite all of that, though, once you and your soon to be former spouse have decided for certain that you are divorcing, it is time for you to plan for this crucial conversation together, and for delivering the news together, as a united front.

Introducing your children to the fact that you and their other parent are divorcing is a serious subject and must be handled with the utmost care. It’s time to set aside your differences for the time being and work together to decide when the conversation will take place, map out who will say what, and agree on ground rules for creating a calm and reassuring tone during “the talk”. When planning a time to talk, be sure to allow for as much time as you will need, including plenty of time for questions – because there will be lots of those.

When you plan out what you are going to say, it is important to be truthful without placing blame or bringing negativity to the table. For example, instead of saying that you are divorcing because one of you has been unfaithful, you can say that your relationship is not working out. Be sure to include plenty of reassurance that each of you loves each of your children and that you always will, because even though you might think that is obvious, it is not always visible to children, and you can’t say it too many times. Reassuring children that it is not their fault is also important. You know your kids best, and it may be helpful to think of some things to include in the conversation that will speak to each of them about things that are most important to them. This might mean talking about whether they’ll be remaining in the same school, talking about having two homes, discussing spending time with each parent, talking about spending time with friends, or anything else that you know the feel strongly about.

When it’s time to sit down with the kids and have the conversation, stick to your plan and create a gentle and reassuring tone for the discussion. Keep your conversation simple, age-appropriate, and relevant to your children’s lives, be sure to ask them whether they have any questions afterward, and answer questions as honestly as you can without being negative or disrespectful. By following the aforementioned suggestions, you can use this challenging conversation to set the stage for healthy relationships between each of you and your children as well as a cooperative and healthy co-parenting relationship between the two of you.

Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra – Your Texas Divorce Attorney

Get answers to your questions about Texas divorce today – call Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499.

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses the Impact of Divorce on Children

October 31st, 2016

Divorcing parents are likely to have heard many things about how their divorce is likely to affect their children, and not all of those things are good. Perhaps well-meaning friends or family members have shared their opinions about the topic. Maybe your spouse has weighed in on the issue, especially if they do not want to get a divorce. Wherever the negative information is coming from, you need to hear the other side of the story and it goes like this: each child is affected differently by divorce, and not all effects of divorce on children are negative. If ending your marriage is the right choice for and your spouse, there is a good chance that your kids will benefit from the split, especially if the two of you handle it (and them) with the utmost care and respect.

Both parents and children experience a range of emotions during the divorce process. While the age of a child and the relationship between that child and each of his or her parents do shape the child’s experience of the divorce, there are other factors that influence it as well. For example, sibling bonds can become stronger. This strengthening of the sibling relationship has been documented in many different types of divorce scenarios, including the typical situation where the children all travel between their parents’ homes together. However, it also occurs in sibling groups where the children are not always all together in the same place at the same time.

Another possible effect of your divorce on your kids is relief. This is especially so in situations where the marriage has been strained for some time. Children sense tension, and even when parents take great care to argue out of earshot of the children and otherwise conceal the divide between them, the kids are often aware that all is not well in the home. When parents separate, there may still be some tension, but it will be significantly reduced and will continue to decline as time passes since the divorce. As the amount of tension between parents decreases, so will the children’s experience with it.

Divorce can also show children resilience and problem-solving in action. The attitudes and actions of you and your spouse are a major factor in your children’s overall experience with your divorce. When the two of you work together to, for example, figure out how to earn enough money to support two households, your children will see how you were able to solve that problem by working together to find a solution that works for the family as a whole. Likewise, if your children hear the two of you communicating with each other in a respectful way, they will see that people who disagree can treat each other with kindness and respect.

As you can see, divorce does not have to be a negative experience for children. Parents can continue to maintain loving and supportive relationships with each of their children throughout and after their divorce. Divorcing parents can take comfort in knowing that they have the power to shape their children’s experience of divorce for the better by making positive choices about how they approach their divorce and their interactions with their soon to be former spouse.

Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra – The Ally You Need for Your Texas Divorce

Get answers to your questions about Texas divorce today – call Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Warns Drivers That No Refusal Weekend may be Imminent

October 10th, 2016

Halloween is on a Monday this year, but that does not mean that there won’t be any fun for adults who have to go to work on Tuesday morning. The weekend before Halloween is likely to be filled with all kinds of fun and festive parties. It could also be filled with traffic stops and a heightened law enforcement presence on the roadways, especially if some areas decide to implement a no refusal weekend.

If you like going to Halloween parties, you may be looking forward to choosing a costume and going out for a weekend of fun. Please be advised that law enforcement officers are well aware that adults enjoy Halloween just as much as kids do, and they will be paying close attention to keeping drunk drivers off of the roads by increasing their patrols. This larger law enforcement presence is likely to lead to more traffic stops, which means that drivers are at a higher risk of being pulled over than they usually are. Since law enforcement officers are basically out hunting for intoxicated drivers this weekend, and they will not hesitate to stop any drivers whom they suspect have been drinking.

In addition to increased patrols, police in some areas may choose to implement a “no refusal weekend” on the weekend before Halloween, as they often do around other holidays throughout the year. If you are new to driving or new to Texas, or you somehow don’t know what a “no refusal weekend” is, it is important that you learn about how traffic stops during these specially designated time periods are different from regular traffic stops. During any “no refusal weekend,” any driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol must submit to roadside breath or blood testing. Any driver who refuses to submit to testing will be arrested, and a blood sample will be obtained from them while they are in police custody. Ordinarily, refusal of roadside blood or breath testing results in license suspension, not arrest.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texas Drivers Who Are Charged With DWI

If you are stopped by the police at any point in time, try to prevent your traffic stop from becoming a DWI investigation. You can increase your chance of avoiding an investigation by remaining calm, using a respectful tone of voice, and giving the police officer only as much information as the law requires. If you do end up being taken into custody, invoke 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, especially if you retain them right away. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, contact an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney today. If you have any questions about DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the Difference between Civil and Criminal Securities Fraud

October 1st, 2016

Securities fraud can be a tricky concept to understand, and the fact that there are both civil securities fraud actions and criminal securities fraud actions makes matters even more complicated. A case in Collin County sheds some light on the difference between criminal securities fraud and civil securities fraud.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is charged with civil securities fraud as well as criminal securities fraud. Recently, a federal court judge dismissed the civil securities law case for damages against Paxton due to an apparent lack of evidence. The criminal case in State court remained active, even though the lack of evidence could have become a major stumbling block in obtaining a conviction on any of the three criminal charges against Paxton. The SEC has since amended and refiled its case against Paxton with additional, previously undisclosed evidence that it hopes will help to prove that he failed to abide by disclosure laws. The additional evidence makes it likely that the criminal case will continue to proceed, because the criminal case had not been dismissed, even after the civil case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

One important difference between civil and criminal securities fraud cases is which party brings the action against the defendant. Civil securities fraud cases are heard in federal court, and they are brought by the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission. Criminal securities fraud is a state law cause of action, as is the related and often accompanying charge of failing to register with the Texas State Securities Board. Both of those criminal charges are felonies.

Not only do the two types of securities fraud cases take place in different courts, but they also involve different burdens of proof. In cases involving criminal securities fraud and related criminal charges like failure to register with the Texas State Securities Board, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime did indeed occur before the defendant can be convicted. The burden in civil securities fraud cases is not quite as strict, requiring only that the SEC prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texans against a Variety of Criminal Charges

The cases that have been brought against Ken Paxton provide an example of how civil and criminal securities fraud cases can look. Securities fraud is a complex issue, and each securities fraud case is unique. If you are charged with securities fraud, you need an attorney who understands the complexities of securities fraud law and can apply that knowledge to the unique facts of your case. Your Texas Criminal Defense Attorney has a working understanding of the law, and they will use that knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf. If you have been charged with securities fraud and you have questions, please call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499. Alternatively, you may contact us online.