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El Paso Legal Blog

Don't hold your breath waiting for accurate Breathalyzer results

As you drove home from your monthly night out with friends at your favorite local Texas restaurant, you never dreamed you'd wind up facing drunk driving charges in court. After all, you're a cautious, responsible driver and you only had a small glass of wine before dinner. You really didn't have any hesitation when it came to getting behind the wheel because you were highly confident your blood alcohol content level was well within the legal driving limit.

In fact, you ate a rather large meal and had several cups of coffee, as well as water with lemon as you sat and relaxed for several hours following your supper, enjoying the companionship and conversation of your friends. The last thing you were worried about was getting pulled over by police, but it happened, and the next thing you knew, you were taking a Breathalyzer test.

Assembling a supportive team during divorce

Assembling the right professional and personal team can be important for people in Texas who are going through a divorce. This team might include friends and family as well as a therapist who specializes in divorce. While these people may be able to help with the emotional side of the divorce, the spouse might also need some practical advice. That's where a financial adviser who has matrimonial experience comes in.

These professionals may help at a number of stages. First, the client will need to organize financial records. Next, they might need to consider various options for property division. Later, the advisor could help put together a financial plan after the divorce.

Supreme Court to hear case about cellphones and privacy

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case that could have implications for Texas residents and other Americans. The question in the case is whether police can obtain location information collected by cellphones and stored by service providers. Carpenter v. United States involves criminals who stole smartphones from Radio Shack locations in Ohio and Michigan. After stealing the phones, they were then sold on the black market.

Of the 15 people involved in the crime spree, all but two confessed to their actions. In addition to collecting witness and other evidence, police found that cell tower records showed that one of the uncharged criminals received or made phone calls in the general vicinity of where the crimes took place. The only question was whether the police needed to obtain a warrant before accessing that information.

How debt is divided in a divorce

When an individual gets divorced in Texas or elsewhere, it may be necessary to split both assets and debts when the marriage ends. In most cases, an individual is responsible for debts incurred prior to marriage. However, state law generally determines how debts accrued during a marriage are divided in a divorce settlement. As Texas is a community property state, joint debts are generally divided 50/50 regardless of who is on the loan.

It is important to understand that an individual is ultimately responsible for any debt that is in his or her name. This is generally true whether someone is on the loan by him or herself or with a spouse and even if the other spouse is required to pay some or all of the outstanding balance. Creditors are not bound by a divorce decree, and they can still go after anyone named on a loan or other type of debt.

2 people busted for having 272 pounds of pot in truck

On Nov. 1, two Texas residents were arrested for allegedly attempting to transport a large quantity of marijuana in a pickup truck. The incident happened at around 5:46 p.m. in Hidalgo County.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a trooper pulled over a white Chevrolet Silverado for having window tint darker than the state allows. After noticing that the driver seemed nervous during questioning, the trooper asked for permission to search the vehicle. The driver declined. The trooper then ran a background check and found that the driver had a suspended license. The driver was arrested, and the truck was searched.

How does child custody work in Texas?

Getting a divorce with children involved can make the whole thing difficult to handle. The vast majority of parents just want to make sure that their children end up in the best environment possible in order for them to continue growing and developing mentally and physically. Your child custody arrangement could impact how you accomplish this goal.

Every state has different child custody laws, but they work to serve the same purpose: putting children in the best possible situation. In Texas, there are two custody options available to you. These are joint managing conservatorships and sole managing conservatorships.

What causes divorce

Divorce is a common occurrence in Texas and the rest of the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 22 percent of couples will undergo a marital disruption event within five years of getting married. For couples that have been married for at least 20 years, the odds of their marriages being disrupted by death, separation or divorce rises to 53 percent. There are several indicators that influence whether a marriage will last.

An unfaithful spouse is one of the main reasons divorce occurs. Both physical and emotional affairs can end a marriage. This can include a one-time occurrence as well as multiple affairs.

Study reveals that prosecutors treat black defendants worse

There has long been a racial divide in Texas among people who are charged with crimes. Numerous studies have shown that blacks are arrested and charged with crimes disproportionately over whites even though both races have an equal likelihood of engaging in criminal conduct. A new study shows that institutional racism also extends into the justice system, affecting plea offers, sentences and bonds.

A Loyola Law School researcher studied 30,807 misdemeanor cases over seven years in Wisconsin. The bulk of the cases in the criminal justice system are misdemeanor offenses, which are lower-level criminal charges. Whites were 74 times likelier than blacks to have charges that carry jail time dropped or reduced by the prosecutors. When the defendants had clean criminal histories, whites also were significantly likelier to have their charges dismissed or reduced than were blacks.

Divorce less common among couples who met online

For people looking for love in Texas, online dating websites and apps could lead to successful marriages. A study published in 2013 recorded fewer breakups among couples who connected through online services. Online daters ended relationships at a rate of 5.9 percent whereas people who met in the real world broke up at a rate of 7.6 percent.

The study looked at 19,131 couples who married as a result of meeting online. Approximately 7 percent had separated or divorced, which represented a far lower rate than the national divorce rate of at least 40 percent.

Situations that might lead to a divorce

Texas residents who are struggling with a decision about whether to get a divorce may be pushed to action if the other spouse has an addiction or is abusive. In the case of an addiction, the spouse might be unwilling to follow through with treatment. For example, the spouse may have been arrested several times for driving under the influence and agreed to go to treatment. However, after the spouse abandons treatment and relapses several time, the other party might decide to end the marriage.

Often, parents may want to avoid putting their children through a divorce. However, an atmosphere of conflict can be difficult for children as well, and it can set a bad example for them. If parents are unable to protect their children from this conflict, divorce might be the right decision despite the upheaval it will create.

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