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What To Do When Arrested For DWI In Texas

Getting arrested for a DWI can be a scary moment for anyone. William Calderon has handled hundreds of DWI cases and these are what we believe to be the most important things to do after you or a loved one has been arrested for a DWI in Texas.

1. Say nothing. Most police cars in Texas have video cameras that monitor the backseat and have audio recording that would be used against you in trial.

2. Get out of jail. Contacting a bondsman quickly after an arrest can make the booking out of jail after an arrest process much easier.

2. Take note of who was there. Any passengers in the car, any witnesses, and get their names. 3. Hire an experienced attorney you can trust as soon as possible. Under Texas law, a person only has 15 days to have an attorney fight for their license.

4. Do not talk to anyone about your case. Do not post on social media about your arrest. The only person that should know about your arrest are you and your attorney.

The best thing you can do is to contact an attorney as quickly as possible. We have found that the quicker an attorney is in charge of the case the better the outcome. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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Do you have a DWI on your record in Texas? You may be eligible for nondisclosure.

In Texas, a DWI is considered a criminal offense and becomes part of the public record indefinitely. When a landlord, lender or employer runs a background check, all of that information is visible to them, so having a criminal record of any sort can make it extremely difficult to find employment or a home… even if the offense was many years ago.

Is there anything you can do?

In 2017, House Bill 3016 was signed into law which gives eligible persons who were convicted of a DWI the opportunity to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure.

What is Nondisclosure?

According to the Texas Office of Court Administration,

“An order of nondisclosure is a court order prohibiting public entities, including courts, clerks of the court, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutorial offices, from disclosing certain criminal records. If you have a criminal record, you may benefit from obtaining an order of nondisclosure. An order of nondisclosure legally frees you from having to disclose certain information about your criminal history in response to questions on job applications. You are not required to disclose information related to an offense that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure.”

Who is eligible for DWI Nondisclosure?

First-time DWI offenders with a BAC between .08 and .149 may apply for nondisclosure if the following criteria is met:

  1. They have never been convicted of another crime or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision– minor traffic offenses do not apply
  2. They have successfully served any jail time and any imposed community supervision
  3. They have paid all fines, court costs and restitution that was a part of their sentence
  4. The DWI must not have involved a motor vehicle accident or another person (including another passenger in the vehicle)
  5. The applicable waiting period has elapsed:

2 years if they have successfully completed a period of at least six months of driving restricted to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID) as a part of the sentence; or

5 years if there was no IID requirement as part of the sentence.

If you think you might be eligible for nondisclosure of your DWI and are ready to move on with your life, contact us today.

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Renew Your DACA Before It’s Too Late

The months between now and June 2020 are a critical time period for DACA recipients to ensure their protections can continue.

Why?

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case on DACA to determine the future of the program. A decision will come sometime January – June 2020.

Despite multiple lower courts ruling in support of DACA, there is no way of predicting the Supreme Court outcome nor what it will mean for DACA recipients’ ability to renew their protections moving forward. According to the Center for American Progress, almost 310,000 individuals’ DACA protections are set to expire in 2020.

Therefore, if you’re one of the 299,000 DACA recipients with expiration in 2020 that have not yet applied for renewal, it may be in your best interest to begin the renewal process today to ensure your application gets reviewed before the Supreme Court Decision.

Who Can Renew?

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you may request a renewal if you met the initial 2012 DACA guidelines and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

When Should You Renew? ASAP.

USCIS guidance recommends that DACA recipients submit renewal applications 120 to 150 days (four to five months) before protections expire.

However, even if your expiration date is after June 2020, advocacy groups like the National Immigration Law Center are encouraging DACA recipients to meet with an immigration attorney to discuss whether it makes sense to renew before the recommended 120- to 150-day window.

The Center for American Progress states:

“Renewing now could be advantageous if the oral arguments or lead-up to a decision were to result in more DACA renewals than expected and thus increase the application backlog. Anyone that applies and is approved in the near future, even if they were to cut short their current DACA, would see their protections extend into 2021, potentially under a new administration with a different stance on immigration.

That said, there is no way to predict how the Supreme Court will rule, or what happens to the pending application queue should the court rule in favor of the Trump administration. DACA recipients and their families must seriously consider all of these aspects.”

Questions regarding your DACA protections status? Looking for assistance with your DACA renewal? Contact us today.

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New DACA Applicants

On June 18, 2020 The U.S. Supreme Court denied Trump’s attempts to disband DACA. The real question is, what’s next? Let’s say you have a student in Houston who is looking to enroll in school but has never had DACA before, can they be considered for the program?

New Applicants

USCIS will have to continue to accept DACA renewal applications from anyone who previously has had DACA, as well as begin accepting first-time applicants for the program.

Advance Parole

Advanced Parole is the mechanism through which many DACA applicants obtain permission to leave the U.S. in case of an emergency and return to the U.S. without penalty. While it is unknown at this time if the Trump administration will take actions to limit this process, application for new/renewal is highly encouraged based on the recent decision.

While the Supreme Court’s decision is encouraging, this process is very complex, and we recommend using the services of an immigration attorney that can navigate these new waters.

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Greencard Through Marriage

Are you getting married to the U.S a citizen? Then Calderon Legal Group congratulates on the new beautiful journey of your dreamy life, but if there are some constraints in the completion of your dream. These constraints may be marriage visa problems and a lot of legal issues regarding obtaining green cards through visa. If you are worried about long and complicated legal steps and requirement fulfillment regarding this issue, then don’t worry about that. Just handover your worries to us and let us give you the bundle of happiness in the form of our high-quality services.

We are readily available to sort out all the issues and problems that you may face regarding obtaining a green card through Marriage and help you to live a mesmerizing married life. If you are going to get married to U.S Citizen or are already married and want to obtain greencard through marriage, then you are at the right place. Calderon Legal Group is always available to help you make this happen and sort out all legal issues. There are specific fundamental rules of immigration and getting entry to the U.S, and now it becomes the most significant challenge.

It is problematic and challenging in this era, but the U.S government now sets the rules, regulations, policies, and legal requirements for this problem. It is a problematic complicated and somehow lengthy process which makes so many constraints in your life but don’t worry.

If you are a foreign citizen or U.S Resident wants to get married to U.S citizen, then the U.S government gives different methods to get a green card through Marriage, but every technique has different plans and steps to make this possible. The given guidelines vary from situation to situation, USCIS has provided all different ways for all things from marriage visa, immigration issues, and marriage petitions through USCIS to a green card through Marriage.

Therefore getting green cards through marriage and marriage visas is somehow getting complicated over time because it is strictly USCIS scrutinized. This may make many difficulties for honest people like you to obtain vigorously within the desired period. It is easy to get married and obtain a marriage license, but getting a green card through Marriage is tricky. That is why there is such a burden on the newly married couples to sort out their new life problems with these unwanted, unexpected, and unmanageable issues regarding getting their green card through Marriage.

The best thing you can do in this situation is contact an experienced immigration attorney for a free consultation.

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Trump Expected to Pause H1B

It is expected that later on today, June 22, 2020 the Trump administration will announce a pausing of H1b visas until December 31, 2020. This is rumored to happen after anti-immigration advocates have pleaded with the administration regarding how Covid19 has affected tech workers in the U.S.

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What Forms Do I Need to Adjust My Spouse’s Status?

What Forms Do I Need for Spousal Adjustment of Status?

This is one of the most often asked questions and the answer is always changing. With USCIS changing the required forms depending on certain criteria, and the Trump administration constantly modifying immigration laws, now more than ever it is important to complete this process right the first time.

Warning

The most important thing to remember is that not every adjustment of status through marriage is the same so not each one requires the same forms. The process seems simple from an outsider’s perspective, but having practiced immigration law for years, the one thing that I can guarantee you is that it is anything but simple. The forms have almost doubled in page count in the past few years and have only gotten more and more nuanced and complex.

The best piece of advice I, or anyone else that has gone through this before enough is, do not this by yourself. USCIS is not your friend, they are not here to help you, and they will not fix your mistakes. An innocent error could result in a delay or even a denial depending on the circumstances. Lawyer up and get it done right.

Vocab

The various forms refer to one party in an adjustment of status in about four different ways. For example, a petitioner for purposes of this USCIS, refers to the person soliciting a benefit from USCIS. While a beneficiary is the person, in this case the immigrant spouse, that will be receiving that benefit. The petitioner may be the U.S. citizen/LPR spouse in one form, while on another form the word petitioner refers to the foreign national spouse.

What Forms Do I Need To Complete?

I-130

The I-130 is the petition for an alien relative. Straight from the USCIS website, “Submitting Form I-130 is the first step in helping an eligible relative apply to immigrate to the United States and get [a] Green Card.” This form is one of the most used because it applies to not just spouses but also qualifying relatives and establishes a relationship between the petitioner and the foreign national. This is also filed in conjunction with form I-130a. I-130a is supplemental information for the spouse beneficiary.

Once an I-130 is approved your benefit is…. well essentially nothing. All you have done is prove to USCIS that the person you are petitioning for has some sort of eligible relationship with you.

I-485

This is the final boss of immigration forms. The instructions alone for this form are 43 pages. Why? Because USCIS hates you. Form I-485 is used by a person in the U.S. to apply for lawful permanent resident status, otherwise known as a green card.

I-765

Form I-765 is the applicant for employment authorization. If the foreign national spouse is in the U.S., there is a good chance they will be looking to work while this process is pending. While the green card itself is its own work authorization, often our clients would also prefer to be lawfully employed during the lengthy adjustment process. This form serves as a tool to ask USCIS for employment authorization and an employment authorization document.

I-944

If you are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility, INA 212(a)(4), you need to submit this form in conjunction with your I-485. If you don’t know what public charge is, or you are unsure if you fall under the umbrella of admissible vs. inadmissible, you need to contact an attorney immediately. The consequences of making an error on this form especially could be detrimental to the outcome of your case.

I-864

If you have researched this process to some detail, one term you likely have come across is “Affidavit of Support.” Most family-based immigration cases and some employment based cases use this form to show that they possess the sufficient financial support and are not likely to rely on the U.S. for financial support. You may also need an I-864a depending on your financial situation.

In the end, it’s easy to see how confused someone can become in trying to do this process without an attorney. Even doing all of these forms perfectly is still not enough to get a green card granted. There is also an extensive list of documents that USCIS requires in order to even consider your application. On top of that, USCIS will flat out reject your solicitation if their filing fee check is not written out in the very specific way they want. Get an experienced immigration attorney to rid you of this headache.

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Covid19, Social Media, Data and Crime

On October 26, 2020, a 16-year-old girl was shot to death over what investigators believe to be a social media beef. The shooting happened in Houston’s Chinatown neighborhood and also resulted in two additional victims being shot.

Aside from this shooting, violent crime has increased in the Westside Houston neighborhood in past year alone by at least 14% and murder is up in the Westside division is up by 25% from the previous year. In efforts to deter crime, the Westside neighborhood was the beneficiary of 100 extra officers on the streets funded by the CARES Act.

How This Affects You

Data is more valuable than oil in 2020. This increase in crime in Houston will increase the number of officers in the street and potentially place more amateur officers in positions they may have not been prepared for. As a primary officer on a case involving a death, that officer is responsible for so much of the investigation that the case is often won or lost based largely on how reliable and truthful the jury believes that officer to be. While the data shows that the increase in the amount of officers is necessary, it also potentially hampers the reliability of the reports and investigations performed by the more amateur officers who have not received the adequate training not just in the academy but also hands on supervised by a more senior officer.

If you find yourself charged with an offense, it is pivotal to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately as your time and your freedom are your most important assets.

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USCIS Changes Citizenship Exam

Driving While Intoxicated is a crime in all 50 of the United States. Each state handles the penalties and procedures a little bit differently, however. The BAC (Blood Alcohol Level) limit is different across different states, as are the parameters for a police person deciding whether or not you were driving in an impaired or affected way. If you have been, or worry about getting pulled over for a DWI in the future, there are some important things you should know. Ideally, you should not plan on using this information, but sometimes unplanned things happen. It’s good to keep an umbrella in case it rains, and it’s good do know what your legal rights are, under the law, and how to best utilize your rights in order to defend your best interests just in case you need to.

Understanding the Limits:

The limitations for a DWI in Texas are two: having a BAC of 0.08 or more or “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body”. The OR is important, it means that a police officer only has to use one proof to verify that you were suspected of a DWI. However, that claim does not lend to guilt until a trial has commenced and been ruled upon by a Judge. This is a common mistake people make. Just because you have been accused does not mean you are already out of the fight. There are legal avenues to pursue.

Know Your Rights

The first step to gaining legal ground is to remember your rights. You are not obligated to surrender any information that could implicate you, not even if you have been drinking. The only thing the officer needs is your name and date of birth, which are on the card. If you feel you are being coerced or compelled to talk, you can remain silent. Anything said can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. Just because they don’t say the whole thing doesn’t mean it’s not active at that time, and police officers are more commonly wearing body cameras and microphones to retain detailed field observations. If you feel you are under potential legal threat, just remain quiet, or request to have a lawyer speak for you.

Sobriety Tests

You may dread having to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer. For reasons perfectly explainable you may be incapable of performing those tasks. If an officer requests that you take one or another test, you can refuse. At that point, the officer will have to request a warrant for further proof of your sobriety, or will insist on a breathalyzer. However, you do not need to submit to a breathalyzer on the spot either. There are three methods of obtaining a BAC reading. The Breathalyzer, a urine test and a blood sample test. If you refuse a breathalyzer, the officer may have to issue a warrant for your blood, and if it is signed by a Judge then it will be compelled by the law. If you have personal or religious reasons for refusing a blood test those will be checked and verified, but they will be treated as valid. The point is, you don’t have to do anything to disprove your status if you believe you are being wrongly accused.

Ticking Clock

Breathalyzers are particularly suspect as there are a number of additional factors which can impair the test result and give a false positive. Blood samples are much more accurate, as long as they are taken within a reasonable period of time, and the police may request something within 24 hours or less with a judge’s approval. You will both be on the clock after your arrest. After 15 days, your license may be suspended pending a proper hearing and adjudication. This turns a simple pull-over time sink into a weeks-long expenditure of time and money. The best bet is to call a lawyer as soon as possible to represent you and allow them to handle setting up the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to save your license.

What a Good Lawyer can Do

Professional DWI lawyers have experience fighting against bunk charges and disseminating the evidence before a Judge and against prosecutors seeking guilty confessions in exchange for lighter sentences. A good defense lawyer can help avoid those pitfalls for people who are new and inexperienced with the law. First time DWI convictions often have light penalties, but can stay on your record and appear as a mark against your credentials. It will be in your all-important background check that employers or certain sales services use to determine if you are a trustable individual. It’s better not to take the risk of a quick Guilty trial and fight against the charges with a competent, professional lawyer guiding your way.

Avoiding Penalty

The worst case for a first time conviction would be jail time. Even on time served where none of your days are spent inside of a county jail cell, your license will be suspended for 90 days to a full year depending on the severity of the charges and surrounding incidents that were brought before the Judge. A good lawyer can expunge that punishment and push for probation, and even a nondisclosure clause on the conviction so it does not retain a place on your record after settling a fine. It’s a matter of perspective. A $4,000 fine with potentially a year without travel, which means fewer job options and potential unemployment, or an expense-paid representation to make it all go away under the law. Which one sounds better?

There Is Always Help Waiting

There are always conditions where help can be acquired. To the people who had one too many, had a BAC of 0.15 and were more beer than man when they went out onto the open roads, which they could not stay on in a straight line no matter how hard they tried, those people will need a lot more than a good lawyer. For everyone else, there is a 10 to 15 percent dismissal rate where charges are all together dropped and forgotten, along with a 30 percent rate of lowered convictions for lesser charges. These cases come about thanks to experienced lawyers. They are the first people you should call if you ever get pulled over for a DWI.

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How To Handle a DWI In Texas

Driving While Intoxicated is a crime in all 50 of the United States. Each state handles the penalties and procedures a little bit differently, however. The BAC (Blood Alcohol Level) limit is different across different states, as are the parameters for a police person deciding whether or not you were driving in an impaired or affected way. If you have been, or worry about getting pulled over for a DWI in the future, there are some important things you should know. Ideally, you should not plan on using this information, but sometimes unplanned things happen. It’s good to keep an umbrella in case it rains, and it’s good do know what your legal rights are, under the law, and how to best utilize your rights in order to defend your best interests just in case you need to.

Understanding the Limits:

The limitations for a DWI in Texas are two: having a BAC of 0.08 or more or “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body”. The OR is important, it means that a police officer only has to use one proof to verify that you were suspected of a DWI. However, that claim does not lend to guilt until a trial has commenced and been ruled upon by a Judge. This is a common mistake people make. Just because you have been accused does not mean you are already out of the fight. There are legal avenues to pursue.

Know Your Rights

The first step to gaining legal ground is to remember your rights. You are not obligated to surrender any information that could implicate you, not even if you have been drinking. The only thing the officer needs is your name and date of birth, which are on the card. If you feel you are being coerced or compelled to talk, you can remain silent. Anything said can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. Just because they don’t say the whole thing doesn’t mean it’s not active at that time, and police officers are more commonly wearing body cameras and microphones to retain detailed field observations. If you feel you are under potential legal threat, just remain quiet, or request to have a lawyer speak for you.

Sobriety Tests

You may dread having to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer. For reasons perfectly explainable you may be incapable of performing those tasks. If an officer requests that you take one or another test, you can refuse. At that point, the officer will have to request a warrant for further proof of your sobriety, or will insist on a breathalyzer. However, you do not need to submit to a breathalyzer on the spot either. There are three methods of obtaining a BAC reading. The Breathalyzer, a urine test and a blood sample test. If you refuse a breathalyzer, the officer may have to issue a warrant for your blood, and if it is signed by a Judge then it will be compelled by the law. If you have personal or religious reasons for refusing a blood test those will be checked and verified, but they will be treated as valid. The point is, you don’t have to do anything to disprove your status if you believe you are being wrongly accused.

Ticking Clock

Breathalyzers are particularly suspect as there are a number of additional factors which can impair the test result and give a false positive. Blood samples are much more accurate, as long as they are taken within a reasonable period of time, and the police may request something within 24 hours or less with a judge’s approval. You will both be on the clock after your arrest. After 15 days, your license may be suspended pending a proper hearing and adjudication. This turns a simple pull-over time sink into a weeks-long expenditure of time and money. The best bet is to call a lawyer as soon as possible to represent you and allow them to handle setting up the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to save your license.

What a Good Lawyer can Do

Professional DWI lawyers have experience fighting against bunk charges and disseminating the evidence before a Judge and against prosecutors seeking guilty confessions in exchange for lighter sentences. A good defense lawyer can help avoid those pitfalls for people who are new and inexperienced with the law. First time DWI convictions often have light penalties, but can stay on your record and appear as a mark against your credentials. It will be in your all-important background check that employers or certain sales services use to determine if you are a trustable individual. It’s better not to take the risk of a quick Guilty trial and fight against the charges with a competent, professional lawyer guiding your way.

Avoiding Penalty

The worst case for a first time conviction would be jail time. Even on time served where none of your days are spent inside of a county jail cell, your license will be suspended for 90 days to a full year depending on the severity of the charges and surrounding incidents that were brought before the Judge. A good lawyer can expunge that punishment and push for probation, and even a nondisclosure clause on the conviction so it does not retain a place on your record after settling a fine. It’s a matter of perspective. A $4,000 fine with potentially a year without travel, which means fewer job options and potential unemployment, or an expense-paid representation to make it all go away under the law. Which one sounds better?

There Is Always Help Waiting

There are always conditions where help can be acquired. To the people who had one too many, had a BAC of 0.15 and were more beer than man when they went out onto the open roads, which they could not stay on in a straight line no matter how hard they tried, those people will need a lot more than a good lawyer. For everyone else, there is a 10 to 15 percent dismissal rate where charges are all together dropped and forgotten, along with a 30 percent rate of lowered convictions for lesser charges. These cases come about thanks to experienced lawyers. They are the first people you should call if you ever get pulled over for a DWI.