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Texas Legal Blog

Protect your disabled child with a special needs trust

As a parent of a special needs child, you may have concerns about what is going to happen to your son or daughter once you are no longer around to provide care. In addition to concerns about who is going to care for your disabled child in your absence, you may also wonder exactly how you are going to pay for your child’s care after your passing. Increasingly, parents of special needs children who are facing similar scenarios are creating what are known as special needs trusts.

Just what is a special needs trust?

Whose drugs are they?

With colleges, universities and post-graduate schools all across Texas back in session, you would do well to remember that if you are a student, a drug or other conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life, particularly when it comes to obtaining employment or licensure in your chosen field. Obviously, the best solution to this possible problem is for you to refrain from using illegal drugs or associating with people who do.

Despite your best intentions and efforts to remain drug-free, however, it is conceivable that law enforcement officers could mistakenly claim that you possessed drugs and arrest you therefor. Should this happen, you should be aware of the doctrine of constructive possession. It could play a huge part in your defense.

Common effective defenses to DWI in Texas

Facing criminal charges of any kind can be overwhelming. You may think that the best course of action is to go along with whatever deals the prosecution offers. Maybe you feel that the evidence against you is too solid to fight or that the least consequences come with cooperation.

However, you do not need to resign yourself to any certain fate. No matter your circumstances, the outcome of your case is not set in stone. You have rights and you have defenses that may lead to favorable results. If you receive DWI charges in Texas, these are just a few of the defense options you may have.

Avoid this mistake when acting as power of attorney

If you are acting as power of attorney, you have an incredibly important responsibility with specific duties to carry out. As the agent, you must perform these duties in a way that ensures you are above reproach. Not doing so could make you liable and possibly negligent.

If you do not fully understand your responsibilities when acting as power of attorney, you may put yourself in legal jeopardy. As an agent, you should know the most common mistakes that people make when acting as power of attorney, so you can avoid them.

Can officers search your car during a traffic stop?

Getting pulled over for an alleged traffic violation is not all that uncommon in Texas, especially if you are a relatively young driver. Usually, the officer says (s)he caught you speeding, failing to stop at a stop light or sign, making an illegal turn or committing some other reasonably minor infraction. Things can quickly escalate, however, if that traffic stop turns into a search for drugs or other illegal substances. But does (s)he have the legal right to search?

No, (s)he does not. When conducting a traffic stop, a law enforcement officer may do only the following things:

  • Ask you for your driver’s license, insurance and registration, all of which the law requires you to produce
  • Investigate the traffic infraction for which (s)he stopped you
  • Check for outstanding warrants against you and arrest you if any such warrants exist
  • Write the traffic ticket(s)

Should you hire a lawyer for misdemeanor charges?

Felonies have serious consequences in Texas. Murder, aggravated assault and destruction of property fall into this category and can result in thousands of dollars' worth of fines and years in prison. Unfortunately, many people assume that, while felonies require legal representation, misdemeanors are simpler to handle. 

While it is true a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, a conviction can still lead to substantial fines and time in jail. There are plenty of other long-term consequences to think about. You can certainly represent yourself in court regardless of the crime the state charges you with. However, you will always be better off with a lawyer by your side. 

Can you face assault charges for self-defense?

Texas has various classifications for assault charges. It can count as a misdemeanor if no physical harm occurred to another human being. However, if the perpetrator directed the assault toward a public servant, such as a police officer, then it automatically becomes a felony.

There are many defenses a person can make against assault charges. One common one is self-defense. However, in order for this defense to have a chance at being successful in court, certain criteria need to be present. 

What should you do when stopped for DWI?

If you drive drunk in Texas, then you can be certain the cops will pull you over. It does not even matter if you are famous, as Lou Diamond Phillips recently discovered. Earlier in April, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and will serve two years probation. 

It is important to know your rights when the cops pull you over. Regardless if you had zero, one or five drinks, you do not want to give the officers any reason to arrest you. Know how to behave during these traffic stops.

How the court determines whether guardianship is necessary

Adult children with elderly parents face a mountain of challenges and often have many questions about how to proceed. When your parent is no longer able to make decisions for him or herself, the burden often falls on you, their adult child, to care for them and manage their affairs.

Guardianship is one legal tool that many adult children of incapacitated parents turn to for an effective solution. A guardianship may be the right choice in your situation if your parent is incapacitated and needs someone to ensure their health, well-being and financial interests are protected.

Don't risk losing an estate in guardianship cases

In the state of Texas, many families have lost a loved one and then suffered a double loss when the probate court system essentially took over authority in deciding how to distribute the loved one's assets and estate after his or her death. Many families do not have information about the responsibilities and risks of guardianship cases prior to losing a loved one.

If you are caring for an elderly or incapacitated parent, guardianship is something you should inform yourself about. It becomes particularly important as your parent nears the end of his or her life so you can avoid the risk of the court system stepping in and making decisions that are out of your hands.

Contact

Soraya Joslin, P.C.
1510 Santa Fe, Suite 500
Weatherford, TX 76086

Phone: 817-757-4194
Fax: 817-764-1990
Weatherford Law Office Map

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