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First let me say that I’m sorry you have a warrant, or that you are researching about warrants for a loved one. I know that sucks and you are stressed about what will happen. Hopefully, this guide will help. If you don’t want to read this while thing the short answer is- just call me and we’ll figure it out.

First I need to figure out what the warrant is for, and if a bond amount is set. Some warrants come with pre-set bond amounts, some don’t.

Example 1- You miss a court date on your marijuana possession case. The judge revokes your earlier bond and sets a new bond amount of $5,000.

Well that was interesting. A DPS lab worker recently pled the 5th during a DWI trial in Collin County. This DPS lab tech, Chris Youngkin, is well-known in Kaufman and Dallas county. He runs blood lab tests in DWI cases and testifies in court as to the results.

What happened?

There was a DWI trial in Collin County and the State called Mr. Youngkin to testify about a blood test. The defense lawyer questioned Mr. Youngkin about some prior conflicting testimony and Mr. Youngkin invoked his right to not incriminate himself.

So you have found yourself needing to pass a drug test, but you aren’t quite sure how that will turn out. What to do? A lot of you are working to beat the piss test, and that’s not the focus on this post. This is about what happens if you get caught trying to fake test results.

What’s the law in Texas on cheating a drug test?

To the health and safety code!

If you are reading this you probably facing a marijuana case in Rockwall. You aren’t in Dallas anymore Dorothy, when you crossed that county line you actually go back in time 30 years to a time when pot cases mattered. Which means instead of an easy memo agreement (2-month dismissal) you are looking at the possibility of real probation for a bullshit pot case.

What’s that mean? Let’s get started.

First of all possession of any usable quantity of weed (enough to take a hit on basically) is a class B misdemeanor (up to 6 months in jail!). It’s not a traffic ticket, it’s a real crime, the kind you can go to jail on. Which is one reason you need to start voting, this is ridiculous, other states have repealed their idiotic pot laws and Texas won’t until we get better politicians in office, so vote.

Medicine kind of sucks these days, for all the magic of life saving pills and procedures nothing can make you broke faster than the medical industry. As a lawyer we have multiple ethics rules covering what fees we can charge, and how they have to be reasonable and fair and nice etc. You know who doesn’t give a shit about billing ethics? Hospitals. They hide their prices, bill at insane rates, send bill collectors after people who are sick and can’t pay etc. Yet doctors are heroes in the world, and lawyers are the assholes. But I digress.

Here’s a scenario- you are pulled over for DWI, you assert your constitutional right to not give blood, the police ignore that and get a warrant from Judge Rubberstamp. The warrant comes with an order requiring the nurses to comply and help the police (so much for limited government, we’ve drafted nurses into law enforcement). Later, the suspect gets a bill for a few hundred bucks. That’s been happening more often lately, and it’s a chance to reflect on this intersection of law and medicine.

A few things-

One of the most common questions I get from potential clients is “the officer didn’t read me my rights, does that matter?” Often it doesn’t, and the reason is the police only have to read Mirandize you when you are under arrest or subject to custodial interrogation. That is, the longer the cops can go without arresting you, the longer they can question you (which is another reason to never talk to cops, ask for a lawyer). This issue of when an arrest occurs is litigated often, so let’s look at the law in Texas.

From the Code of Criminal Procedure-

Art. 15.22. WHEN A PERSON IS ARRESTED. A person is arrested when he has been actually placed under restraint or taken into custody by an officer or person executing a warrant of arrest, or by an officer or person arresting without a warrant.

By now you know that you should never consent to a search of your car. But what if you actually have a joint in the console (terrible hiding place by the way), or you are a mule and worried the popo will find the package? Same advice, just say no to a search.

A few pieces of advice.

  1. Get through the traffic investigation quickly. Once the police finish their traffic investigation they need another reason to hold you. That is, they need probable cause or reasonable suspicion of some other crime to keep your ass on the side of the road. Now how long does it take to investigate a speeding offense? A few minutes tops, but the law also gives the cops time to run your license and see if you have any warrants. Then they can decide to give you a ticket or citation, or not. That is when they need another reason if they want to keep you. So have your license and insurance handy. Make sure everyone in the car is warrant-free (and preferably criminal history free), and has a similar story on where you are going and what you are doing. Also, make sure the damn car doesn’t smell like weed. Seriously people, rookie mistake.

One of the problems with DWI cases is that it can take months, years sometimes, before a DWI video appears from the DA’s office. For example, we have a case set for trial in Dallas and the video didn’t show up for nearly two years. That’s unusual, but what isn’t is for your defense lawyer to get the police reports early, for the ALR hearing, but have to wait on the DA’s office for the video. Also, you could end up in a court that gets pissy about resetting cases and this can help give your lawyer and expert time to review the video before court.

Now anyone, even you, can request your DWI video straight from the arresting agency. That is, the cops, deputies, or DPS Trooper who arrested you have to get you a copy. Although you probably want a lawyer to help.

What’s the law on requesting your DWI video?

Source: Dallas’ Black Population Faces Much Higher Odds of Arrest for Marijuana than Whites

You can tell who the politically powerless are by who gets arrested for petty bullshit, like simple pot possession. Actually, I shouldn’t say “simple” pot possession. The conservative brain trust in Austin has fought attempts to decriminalize marijuana in the past, so ANY USABLE AMOUNT of weed in Texas is a class B misdemeanor with a punishment range that even most prosecutors are embarrassed by (up to 6 months in county, seriously.)

In Texas our criminal justice is known for targeting minorities and the poor, and that starts with who we arrest. The Dallas Observer highlights what most defense lawyers already know, the cops arrest blacks for petty bullshit at a greater % than whites. But don’t say anyone in the system is racist, or people get offended.

One area of growth in the criminal justice system is speciality courts for probationers. It started with drug courts, which were a way of accepting the idea that the drug war is a monumental failure without legalizing anything. Drugs courts have flourished and found their way into counties across Texas include Kaufman County. The idea behind speciality courts is that helping people succeed at probation is a better investment than locking people up for bullshit technical violations.

Kaufman County has two speciality courts for defendants, DWI and Drug Court (though drug court also handles mental health issues). What we’ve lacked is a program for pre trial diversion that tackles these issues. Why the delay? Well, with pre trial diversion you are not on probation, so the usually sanctions of locking people up for failing drug tests isn’t available. Instead, you have to find other ways to gain compliance and deal with the very difficult issues that are present with mental health disorders. The other difficulty is that the defendant hasn’t actually pled guilty to anything, so technically they could still have a trial and anything they say in mental health diversion court could be used against them.

Right now the counties have to find solutions for these issues themselves, and Kaufman County has a pretty long application process and waiver that offers some solutions. I’m hopeful that the lege will help expand these courts and offer some protections for defendants on these cases. At least until the point we maybe quit arresting the mentally ill and those who simply possess drugs? I mean, I can dream right?

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