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El Paso Legal Blog

Fugitive shows false ID when stopped for drunk driving

Police in El Paso discovered a man wanted by U.S. Marshals when they initiated a traffic stop in the 200 block of Walnut. According to the police report, a man behind the wheel of a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro narrowly avoided a utility pole and then hit a curb. Officers determined that he was intoxicated.

During his arrest, officers originally processed him under the name on the identification that he provided. Suspicious of the Chihuahua driver's license, police continued to investigate his identity and discovered his real name.

Tips for reducing conflict during a divorce

Some people in Texas might think of divorce as a process that inevitably involves conflict, but this does not have to be the case. Conflict in divorce can be resolved in a positive way, and being able to do so can make the divorce less stressful and lead to a healthier relationship between parents.

People can use the knowledge of their conflicts during the marriage and how each of them reacted to those conflicts to lessen their impact during the divorce. The same issues that people fought over during the marriage are likely to be the ones they fight about during the divorce. For example, a couple who fought over parenting issues while married is likely to do so during divorce as well. However, each person can anticipate how the other will react if there is a conflict and notice when the other person is becoming stressed. This can help them avoid fighting.

When slang and linguistics get in the way of criminal justice

In Texas and across the United States, ensuring that defendants are fully understood when they tell their side of the story is a tenet of criminal defense law. Unfortunately, this does not always happen in cases when individuals facing criminal charges communicate in slang or a difficult to understand vernacular. It has become especially problematic for many black defendants.

Language researchers in Philadelphia looking into mistakes made by court stenographers who misunderstand African Americans have found error rates as high as 40 percent in their transcripts. In a criminal trial, a single transcription error can turn into a terrible misunderstanding that could impact the outcome of the case. When negotiating a plea, for example, there is no room for error because defendants can face long-term consequences if they are not understood correctly. Black Americans who are used to speaking vernacular English can easily be misheard not just by court reporters but also by law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and judges.

Per se laws in Texas

Like every state in the country, Texas has a problem with alcohol-related accidents resulting in injury and death. Efforts to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking include strict laws and heavy penalties, including high fines, mandatory jail time and license suspension.

Police receive intense training on how to recognize the signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, red eyes and lack of balance. However, you may not have to exhibit such signs for police to arrest you for DWI. Your blood alcohol concentration may be enough evidence to prove you were impaired at the time of your arrest.

How parents can negotiate a custody and visitation schedule

Parents in Texas who are getting divorced must plan a child custody schedule. If they are unable to agree on a schedule, they might have to go to litigation. However, the disadvantage here is that a parent might end up with less time with the child than was offered during negotiations.

Parents who are negotiating should think about the situation from the point of view of the child. They should take logistics and the child's schedule into account. For example, the parents should try to live near one another to make it easier for the child to move between their homes. If the child can stay with the same child care provider, this helps reduce the number of changes in the child's life. Parents should think about what extracurricular activities the child has and how that might affect the schedule. It is also important for parents to remember that the purpose of a child custody arrangement is to facilitate the relationship between the parent and the child. This means that the parent might sometimes be inconvenienced by the schedule.

Texas authorities arrest man and seize cocaine, vehicles and cash

The sheriff in Webb County praised the members of the local narcotics unit after a traffic stop led to the seizure of nearly 10 kilograms of a substance believed to be cocaine. Officers pulled over a vehicle on Loop 20 and discovered that a 41-year-old man was carrying roughly 2 ounces of the substance. Law enforcement did not provide details about the reason for the initial traffic stop.

An investigation into the man's activities led the sheriff's department to a home in south Laredo. A news release reported that the subsequent search of the property uncovered 9.7 kilograms of what they officers believed to be cocaine and $17,980 in cash. The vehicle involved in the original traffic stop was seized as well as a vehicle found at the residence.

Withholding visitation could end up punishing the child

It can be difficult when one parent doesn't make child support payments on time. If there's enough anger and resentment, then the custodial parent could feel like withholding visitation from the late payor. However, this decision might put the custodial parent in a negative light if the exes go to a Texas court about the child support payments or visitation in the future.

The issues of paying child support and setting a schedule for visitation are often seen as two different components regarding parenting. Child support isn't considered a pass to see a child. Children should be able to visit with both parents whether child support is paid or not. It wouldn't make sense for the kid to be punished because of the parent's actions. However, both parents should financially support the child in the relationship. Even if the noncustodial parent decides not to seek a relationship with the child, it doesn't mean that they can get by without providing financial support.

Texas woman accused of forgery and drug possession

Suspicions over the authenticity of a $50 bill led to forgery and drug possession charges for a 32-year-old Texas woman, according to a report from the Henderson County Sheriff's Office. The woman was taken into custody near Chandler just after midnight on Jan. 6 and transported to a local detention facility. Her bond has been set at $4,000.

Workers at a local pizza restaurant called 911 shortly before closing after noticing an odd looking $50 dollar bill. The workers gave the responding deputy a description of both the woman who had handed them the bill and the U-Haul truck she had been driving. The deputy says that hearing this description prompted him to recall a parked U-Haul truck he had noticed while driving to the store.

How divorce can affect retirement funds

When Texas couples decide to divorce, they may be especially concerned about the division of their retirement funds. After all, these accounts may be their largest assets, and they may take years to accumulate to their current form. According to a survey of divorce lawyers, retirement accounts are among the three most contentious issues for separating couples. The other top two issues are also financial in nature -- alimony and business division.

As difficult as it can be to reach an agreement on how to divide a retirement account in the property division process, these are not the only concerns to keep in mind. Both spouses could wind up facing significant fees, penalties or unnecessary taxes if they fail to follow proper procedures for dividing a retirement account. Unlike other types of accounts, 401(k)s and other workplace funds such as pension plans cannot be distributed simply by relying on language in the divorce decree. Instead, a specialized court order known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) must be issued by the court for each retirement account that needs to be divided.

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