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A DWI can destroy your professional reputation

You probably already know that a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in Texas can come with some serious legal consequences. You could end up with an ignition interlock device you have to blow in to every time you start your car. You will probably also have to pay expensive court fees and fines, and even spend time in jail. In addition, you may have to meet with a probation officer in your hometown of Plano at least once a month for two or more years.

While you might be familiar with the above consequences, you may not realize that a DWI conviction has other negative side effects that can hurt your career.

Making your own marijuana extracts risk more than explosions

People trying to make marijuana extracts, particularly butane hash oil, often end up making the news. The reason is because failure to adhere to safety best practices for this process can result in a dangerous and dramatic explosion. When that happens, the person making the butane hash oil could face serious criminal charges related both to the marijuana extracts and to the property damage that resulted. Insurance may not cover the explosion because it resulted from illegal activity.

In Texas, making marijuana extracts is a felony, but that doesn't stop people from trying to do this complicated chemical process at home. The process involved in creating marijuana extracts requires the use of a chemical solvent. In most cases, these solvents are dangerous chemicals. They can cause health issues if inhaled or consumed, and they can turn your home into a pile of smoldering rubble. Without adequate ventilation, these chemicals could build up in a home, shed or garage and spark from something as minor as a static electricity discharge.

What's more dangerous than drunk driving? Drunk ballooning

You might think drunk driving is dangerous, but what about strapping a wicker basket to a gas flame thrower and shooting heat into a giant balloon that lifts you up into the sky. To make matters worse, get high on Valium, cold and allergy meds and opioids before inviting 15 people to fly through the air with you.

This is exactly what happened in the deadliest ballooning accident in history about a year ago. Investigators suspect that the pilot of a hot air balloon -- that crashed and killed 16 people -- was high on drugs.

When can law enforcement come inside a home without a warrant?

Your home is your safe place and your sanctuary. You deserve to have basic privacy within your own space. For many Americans, the idea of an unwarranted search of their home is repugnant. However, it happens more often than people would like to think. Law enforcement often depend on people not understanding their rights to gain entry to a home and find incriminating evidence.

In order to protect yourself from illegal searches of your home, you need to know your rights. Under the Fourth Amendment, citizens should have protection from unreasonable search and seizure. There are certain best practices that law enforcement need to follow to legally enter your home. Understanding when it is legal for law enforcement to enter your home and when it isn't can help you stand up for your own rights in uncomfortable situations.

4 key points about shoplifting charges

You never thought you'd face criminal charges, but now that day has come. The police accused you of shoplifting. What started out as a simple trip to the mall has turned into one of the worst days of your life.

You're also worried that it's going to define your life moving forward. What impact are the allegations going to have on your reputation? What will friends and family members think? If you run your own business, will the charges impact the way people see your company? If you are an employee, would you ever get fired based on the criminal charges?

Criminal charges have various collateral consequences

Many people think of criminal charges with regard to the immediate impacts. They think about the arrest and the time in jail. The money that has to come out for bail and the impending court case come to mind.

What many people don't understand is that the effects of a criminal conviction go far beyond what the court will impose. These other impacts are known as collateral consequences.

Were you the victim of an illegal search and seizure?

If you are facing drug possession charges after the Dallas police conducted a search and seizure, the main questions you should be asking is whether or not law enforcement officers followed protocol during the process. In other words, was the search and seizure illegal? The fact is, searches and seizures are subject to both rules and exceptions that are laid out in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

When looking at a possible drug conviction because of a possession charge, it is important to examine how the original arrest came about. Read below to find out more search and seizures rules.

Resisting arrest: What you need to know

In general, resisting arrest refers to any action that a suspect takes that makes completing an arrest or investigation more difficult on police officers. You might think that resisting arrest means you ran from the cops or put up a fight while they were trying to cuff you. The reality is that even if you respond in a way an officer deems to be too slow, it could lead to a charge for resisting arrest. Furthermore, you do not actually have to be under arrest or a suspect for an officer to charge you with resisting.

While it seems like it does not take much to end up with a resisting arrest charge, law enforcement officers cannot interpret any given situation as you resisting. For more information about resisting arrest, read below.

Shoplifting: A major risk even with lower-priced items

Generally speaking, if you tell someone you once shoplifted, most people wouldn't think much of it. It's fairly common for teens to shoplift and younger adults might even do so in a time of crisis. The problem with shoplifting is that it can get you into deep trouble with the law, even if the item you shoplift isn't worth a lot of money.

While the severity of the charge does depend on how much the item costs, usually, the items are grouped into categories. For example, items between $1 and $500 may be grouped into one category while those worth over $1,000 are in another. Charges may include infractions or misdemeanors for lower-cost items and even be treated as felonies if high-dollar items are stolen.

Assault by choking: A felony in Texas

In Texas, assault by choking or impeding breath is a felony offense that could land you in prison. Fortunately, if you have been falsely accused, there are some things the medical providers and police will look for to make sure the alleged victim is telling the truth. Here are a few signs that may indicate your innocence or other evidence they may seek to pursue criminal charges.

1. Physical signs of choking or assault

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