February 2015

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Does a DWI Have You Down and Out?
8 Things You MUST Know!
These days, it seems like everyone you know is getting caught behind the wheel with a little too much "spirit" in them, i.e. a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.  Law enforcement is cracking down more than ever on drunk driving, meaning even one or two beers can get you into big trouble, depending on your gender, weight, number of drinks consumed, and amount of food eaten.  Despite what you may think, celebrities aren't the only ones going to the slammer for driving after a night of boozing.  A recent study shows that in Texas alone, an average of 59 people per every 10,000 are arrested for DUIs each year.  (Texas DUI Statistics) So, if there are 26.45 million people in Texas, that's a whopping 156,055 DUI arrests a year!

And it's not to say that law enforcement isn't justified in their proactive approach to drinking and driving.  Just in Texas, every 20 minutes someone is hurt or killed in a car crash involving alcohol.  (Texas Department of Transportation)
Here are 8 MUSTS if you've been charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated):
  1. In Texas, a person is considered legally intoxicated and thus subject to arrest if driving with a blood alcohol level of .08.
  2. If you are driving with a child in the car while intoxicated, i.e. a passenger under the age of 15, you could be facing a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in jail, and loss of your driver license for 180 days.
  3. If stopped by law enforcement, be prepared to show your driver license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration.
  4. Failure to take a blood or breath test will result in an automatic suspension of your driver license for 180 days.
  5. For your first offense, you could be looking at up to $2,000 in fines, three to 180 days in jail, loss of driver license for up to a year, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years just to retain your driver license.  If it is your second or third offense, the fines, potential time spent behind bars, as well as the loss of your driver license go up significantly.
  6. After two or more DWI convictions in a span of five years, you are required by law to install a special ignition switch that prevents your vehicle from functioning if you've been drinking.
  7. Easy ways to avoid a DWI and more importantly, to keep yourself and those around you safe, include calling a cab, having a designated driver, or spending the night where you were drinking. (Texas Department of Transportation)
  8. Last, but certainly not least, don't wait a second more to get legal assistance. You're going to need a skilled and relentless attorney working on your side, and Scott M. Brown & Associates are the ones for the job.
Scott M. Brown & Associates have the experience and dedication required to address all your legal needs, whether it's your first or third DWI.  We guarantee you will be in the best hands from day one up until a resolution has been reached.  Everyone makes mistakes and we understand that.  You'll be treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process, and we won't cut ANY corners when it comes to your freedom and protection under the law.  Take the most important step and call us today at (979) 319-5388 or (800) 729-9142.
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Family Law Q&A

Q:  Do I have to wait to get married again?
A:  Texas requires a person wait at least thirty (30) days after the divorce is granted before he or she can marry.

Q:  If my divorce is not yet finalized, can I move my children to another state?
A:  While judges typically will order a geographic restriction during a divorce, it may be allowable if a separation agreement, or temporary order, is in place. If the separation includes provisions that allow for moving the child's residence, you may be free to do so without causing problems with your divorce case.

Q:  If my spouse files for divorce, can I keep my home, car and personal property?
A:  In Texas, spouses are typically entitled to an "equitable" share of any community and marital assets like real estate, cars, and other property obtained during the marriage. Property that was owned prior to the couple's marriage may be exempt from divorce proceedings in certain cases, but if the property is considered to be a "shared asset," it may be included in the divorce settlement.

Q:  What is paternity testing and what is its purpose?
A:  Paternity testing is a medical procedure that is used to identify the parents of a child, usually the father. Where there is some question regarding the identity of the child's father, DNA testing will prove parentage with 99.99 percent accuracy. This is more than sufficient for the court to make a finding of paternity.

Q:  Can the Court deny a motion for genetic testing to determine the parentage of a child?
A:  Yes. The Texas Family Code grants the trial judge the authority to do so under certain circumstances. You should consult with a competent family law attorney on this complicated issue.

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TJ Roberts
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Charles A. Pelowski
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