J. Michael Price II
J. Michael Price II - Criminal Defense
Aggressive, experienced and trusted Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Criminal Law Specialist certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification
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Are self-driving cars one way to prevent drunk-driving charges?

When Google introduced its prototype for the first self-driving car, the tech company launched society into a technological generation filled with new possibilities for people all over the world. But even though this vehicle could reduce the number of car accidents that occur each year and give people with disabilities the opportunity to drive places, it also raises a number of legal questions as well.

Posed in this week's blog post title is one such legal question that could be on the minds of our readers right now. That's because our Dallas readers know that even a single DWI can have a negative impact on a person's driving record. Once this first DWI in on your record, every DWI conviction after that incurs even more serious penalties. This puts more emphasis on finding the best way to avoid the crime before it is committed.

Arizona v. Youngblood: the case that highlighted DNA exonerations

There are several cases that have come along in our history that tend to stand out above the rest.  Oftentimes, this is because the decisions made in these cases can have an overarching and lasting impact on other cases, even if they are being handled by a completely different jurisdiction.  For those of our Texas readers old enough to remember, this was the case with Arizona v. Youngblood.

To recap the case for those who may be unfamiliar with it, Arizona v. Youngblood was an appeal in 1988 to the Court of Appeals of Arizona in which a man, who had been convicted of sexual assault, child molestation and kidnapping, tried to prove his innocence by pointing out the failure by police to properly preserve DNA evidence in the case.  For years, the courts went back and forth on whether his conviction should be overturned, nearly ending with the U.S. Supreme Court decision to maintain the conviction.

Tips for Dallas residents on enjoying holiday parties responsibly

Holiday parties are gearing up all over Dallas. Office parties, family get-togethers and celebrations all usually involve alcohol. Below are a few tips for those throwing and attending holiday parties this season in order to avoid tragedy or arrests for drunk driving.

When hosting parties, make sure that:

Texas man arrested on child porn charges in strange case

A bizarre case involving child pornography is unfolding in Fort Worth. One obscene photo uploaded to Instagram triggered an investigation that led them to a 28-year-old man who authorities claim has admitted to molesting at least 100 children and owning thousands of illegal child porn images.

The man was arrested this month in Fort Worth and remanded later to federal custody. According to the U.S. attorney, he has been charged with transporting and shipping child pornography.

How do the accused feel about new college sexual assault rules?

When a person is accused of sexually assaulting someone else, they typically face criminal charges. Their case oftentimes goes to trial where they have the opportunity to plead their case in front of a judge and jury. In this scenario, a person is afforded the right to due process, a right we oftentimes take for granted until we need it.

But many of our Texas readers may be shocked to learn that this right to due process is not extended to college campuses where an accusation of sexual assault can mean suspension and a mark on their college record. The same campus policies that are designed to provide protection to victims end up violating the rights of the accused, paving the way for litigation that may be difficult to resolve.

The problem with the civil forfeiture law in Texas

In criminal proceedings, prosecutors "must prove someone is guilty [of a crime] beyond a reasonable doubt." This is typically done using evidence that was collected during a police investigation, which can include property and assets police believed were involved in or the result of criminal activities. The burden of proof is high in order to prohibit misappropriations of the law by officers and to protect property owners from having their rights violated.

But there is a little known doctrine in our state that has a much lower standard of proof that does not afford property owners the same protection. Called civil forfeiture, this practice only requires police to "show by a 'preponderance of evidence' that someone's property is related to a crime." Because of how the law is worded, a civil forfeiture of property can occur even if no formal charges have been filed for the alleged crime.

What did the case Florida v. Jardines do for Texas residents?

Because criminal laws can differ from state to state, most people here in Texas rarely consider court decisions that are made in other states because they know that these cases are unlikely to have an impact on residents here in our state. But as some of our Dallas readers know, this fact changes when a case is decided on by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As you may or may not know, decisions that are made at the Supreme Court level often lead to sweeping changes in the law or result in decisions that can be used to bolster a person's criminal defense. One such case that was decided on last year did the latter of these, giving more clarification on a subject that has long been debated across the nation.

2 detained in Texas on drug charges

Liberty County deputies took two people into custody on Sept. 23 after executing a warrant to search a Dayton home. The search followed an investigation that started when police received complaints about the sale of narcotics at the address. During the investigation, officials reportedly determined that there was enough evidence to substantiate the complaints. They also discovered that one of the individuals was allegedly printing counterfeit bills.

Sheriff's deputies reported the seizure of 15 Ecstasy tablets, 44 Xanax pills, 65 Hydrocodone pills, 73 grams of cannabis and 101 Soma pills during the search of the home. They also reported finding more than $2,600 of real money and $2,550 of counterfeit money.

Marijuana decriminalization possible in Texas county

Candidates in a race for district attorney in Harris County are both proposing the decriminalization of marijuana. Decriminalization was reportedly proposed by the Democratic candidate for the position in August, and if elected, her program would focus on cutting costs and decreasing time spent on prosecuting misdemeanor offenders. In response, the Republican incumbent announced that first-time offenders who possess less than 2 ounces of marijuana would have the opportunity to avoid prosecution by either attending a drug education class or performing eight hours of community service.

The current district attorney's plain is directed at stopping first-time offenders from using drugs without the stigma of drug possession charges on their records. In her program, suspects will be taken to a police station where officers will record the incident and catalog the evidence. However, in the proposed candidate's plan, it does not matter whether the individuals are repeat offenders. Officers will ticket the accused individuals, and they will be required to participate in a two-day litter cleanup program around Houston bayous.

What are the penalties for marijuana possession in Texas?

In Texas, it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana. The penalty for possessing the substance depends on how much is found when an individual is taken into custody.

A conviction on possession of less than two ounces of the substance carries a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of $2,000. Those who have been convicted of possessing between two and four ounces could spend one year in jail and face a fine of $4,000. The charges for both of these violations is considered a misdemeanor under state law.