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Quarterback Kai Locksley faces DWI, other charges

The quarterback for the University of Texas El Paso, Kai Locksley, was taken into custody on June 9 after he allegedly shouted at a group of people and threatened to shoot them. A deputy saw him reversing his car and stopped him. Locklsey, who is the son of Maryland coach Mike Locksley, told the deputy he had a gun beside him.

The deputy found the gun next to the driver's seat. Locksley is facing charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, making a terroristic threat, possession of marijuana less than two ounces and driving while intoxicated. The defensive lineman for UTEP was also detained and faces charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Locksley spent the night in the El Paso County Jail and was released after posting bail of $2,900.

Why do child support payment amounts vary from state to state?

When Texas parents split up, an aspect of the breakup includes negotiating child support. While there are federal guidelines for establishing the amount of support, each state is allowed to set up its own rules. In Texas, for example, courts do not take into account the custodial parent's income, so theoretically, this can lead to payments that are $100 higher than in other states.

There are other factors that can also affect child support payment amounts. The cost of living should play a role, but there are other factors that have a bigger impact, such as the court's concern with keeping payments manageable. The fear is that payment amounts that are too high might push away the non-custodial parent enough that they stop paying and even abandon the child. For self-employed parents, this seems to be a particular concern.

What the law says about giving up phone passcodes

Texas residents may feel that their phones are private property that can't be searched by police. However, officers can get warrants demanding that citizens provide the passwords to their cellphones and access to the contents inside of the device. One man in Florida was held in contempt of court for failing to provide the password to his phone after authorities got a warrant compelling him to do so.

The phone was found during a traffic stop during which an officer found marijuana, THC oil and a gun in the man's vehicle. A text message was seen on the phone asking if anything had been found. Ultimately, the man accepted a plea deal on a misdemeanor marijuana charge after spending 44 days in jail. He said that he felt good about taking a stand to protect what he saw as his rights.

How the state can enforce a child support order

Single parents in Texas may find themselves struggling financially and unable to make ends meet. This is especially true when the child's other parent fails to follow through on child support obligations. Despite calls and requests, many parents find themselves frustrated in attempting to obtain payment to cover basic costs. These parents may turn to the state Office of the Attorney General to enforce a child support order against a non-paying parent.

The state can take a number of actions that aim to enforce a child support order that is being ignored. Some of the earlier steps may include seeking a garnishment of the other parent's wages. In this way, the state will transfer the child support payments rather than relying on the parent to pay on his or her own. If these types of efforts fail, there are further steps that the state can take to obtain child support payments. For example, most people need to drive to go to work or school; if they do not pay their child support, the state can work with licensing agencies to suspend a driver's license for a non-paying parent. Other types of licenses can also be suspended if child support is not paid, including hunting, fishing and professional licenses.

Survey reveals racial disparities in criminal justice system

Racial disparities are a significant factor in how people in Texas and across the country encounter the criminal justice system. An individual's personal experiences tend to inform the level of trust or regard that they have for police departments, the court system or other agencies. According to one study, black Americans are much more likely to say that racial bias and discrimination is a serious problem in the American justice system. Indeed, a full 87% of black participants in the survey said that black defendants are treated less fairly.

Even though this view was more common among blacks, it was also believed by a strong majority of whites -- 61% of white respondents agreed. However, they differed more sharply on how seriously they viewed the problem. While 79% of blacks said that this was a very big issue, only 32% of whites said the same. The respondents also had very different feelings toward the police. On an 0 to 100 scale (with 100 being the warmest), black adults estimated their feelings for police at around 47. That number was 72 for white adults.

You may face a more serious DUI charge than you think

Any type of criminal charge could have significant and lasting effects on a person's life. However, in some cases, charges could be more severe than others. For instance, you may initially think that the DUI charge brought against you is of the standard variety, only to learn that you actually face an enhanced charge.

An enhanced DUI charge, also known as aggravated DUI, can mean that you will face more serious consequences if a court convicts you of the allegation. You may wonder what aspects of your traffic stop caused the officer to believe that an aggravated DUI charge suited your case, and in order to handle your situation to the best of your ability, it may be wise to obtain an answer to that question.

How the Social Security Administration deals with divorce

Spouses in Texas and around the country who earn very little may be entitled to receive Social Security retirement benefits based on the incomes earned and the contributions made by their husbands or wives, and these benefits are often still available to them even when their marriages end in a divorce. Divorced spouses are entitled to these benefits if they were married for 10 or more years, have not remarried, and their former spouses are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits.

People who meet these requirements can receive half of the Social Security benefits their former spouses are entitled to if they have reached their full retirement age. This age is based on an individual's year of birth and is 67 for those born after 1960. They can begin to receive reduced benefits at the age of 62 even if their former spouses are not yet claiming benefits as long as they have been divorced for at least two years.

Low-carb diets could fool police breath tests

Many Texas residents who are trying to lose weight follow diets extremely low in carbohydrates. These diets work by depleting the body's glucose stores and prompting it to enter ketosis, which is a metabolic state where the liver burns fat directly to provide the body with energy. While this may be an effective way of shedding excess pounds, studies suggest that it can also fool the roadside breath-testing devices police officers use to determine whether or not motorists are driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to scientists, this happens because acetone is a byproduct of the fat-burning process that takes place when the body enters ketosis and some of this acetone is released in the breath in the form of isopropyl alcohol. Police use infrared spectroscopy equipment to measure intoxication in law enforcement facilities that is able to tell the difference between ethanol alcohol and isopropyl alcohol, but the portable units used to conduct roadside breath tests are not as sophisticated.

Income considerations for alimony and child support

When couples in Texas opt to end a marriage, alimony or child support may be part of the settlement agreement. When this is the case, judges generally have some leeway when determining the specific amount to be paid. While there are variations with state laws concerning alimony and child support, courts generally consider certain types of income when making payment determinations.

Generally, any type of earned income or compensation is considered for child support and alimony purposes. In addition to what's earned from an employer, a judge may consider recurring passive income like dividends on investments. Partnership distributions, deferred compensation and retirement accounts are some of the other potential sources of income that could be considered. Even signing and performance bonuses and other employment-related perks could be fair game.

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