Texas Ends Driver Responsibility Program

A recent article from the Dallas Observer highlighted the news that Texas Governor Greg Abott signed a bill putting the program to the sword Sept. 1, clearing the path for about 1.5 million Texans to regain their driver’s licenses by ending the Texas Driver Responsibility Program.

John Ross of Ross Law Offices said in a recent Facebook post

A horrible state surcharge program is finally over. This will stop the endless cycle of surcharges and suspensions for tens of thousands of Texas drivers every year. Everything from minor ticket surcharges to extremely excessive, DWI surcharges totaling several thousand dollars is being cut. Good job by Texas in ending this ridiculous money-grabbing scheme.

The program imposed surcharges on Texas drivers who did things like driving without a license or driving under the influence. The surcharges were imposed on top of standard fines and ranged from $250 per year for three years for driving with an invalid license to $2,000 per year for three years for a DWI in which the driver is caught with a blood alcohol level of 0.16 — twice the legal limit — or higher. Drivers who accumulated too many points on their licenses for moving violations or moving violations resulting in a crash were also subject to surcharges.

While the surcharges were nuisances to everyone who had to pay them, they amounted to financial quicksand for Texas’ most vulnerable residents. People would get a ticket and then keep accumulating fines, keeping their license suspended and making them vulnerable to additional tickets and fines.

The Driver Responsibility Program has forced thousands of Texans to pay for their liberty, which is no justice at all. Suspending someone’s license only further removes them from the workforce, leaving them without money to pay additional fees,” said Terri Burke, the executive director for the ACLU of Texas. “With partners across the state, the ACLU of Texas has worked for years to end this program. This is a major step in our quest to create a criminal justice system for Texas that is not only smarter but more just, particularly for those most affected by systemic hardship.”

Thanks to the program ending, more than 630,000 people will immediately be eligible to have their driver’s licenses reinstated, because they have no fees or suspensions that stem from something other than the DRP, according to the Texas ACLU. About 350,000 people will be able to get their licenses back after paying a reinstatement fee and a further 400,000 will be able to drive legally if they can resolve their non-DRP-related suspensions. Any remaining surcharges owed by drivers forced to enroll in the program will be wiped out on Sept. 1, the bill’s effective date.

Dumping the plan, which went into effect in 2003, also gets the state off a legal hook. Equal Justice Under Law, a civil rights advocacy group, sued the state to stop the program in December, alleging that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause by denying vulnerable Texans a vital credential.

“This unfair license suspension scheme particularly targets Texas’ most impoverished residents, who are often unaware additional charges are owed under the DRP,” Phil Telfeyan, the lead attorney in a lawsuit seeking to end the program and executive director of Equal Justice Under Law, said at the time. “Individuals who cannot pay will often lose their job and their home — becoming homeless — for a minor ticket that wealthier drivers simply pay and forget.”

Denton Motorcyclist Leads Police On Chase For Drug Crimes

Denton Motorcyclist Leads Police On Chase For Drug Crimes

Denton police found a man with marijuana, THC extract and a digital scale Sunday after the man crashed his motorcycle during a short pursuit near the intersection of West University Drive and Fulton Street, according to Denton police spokesman Bryan Cose.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) extract is a concentrated form of the chemical properties found in marijuana.

At about 3:50 a.m. Sunday, a patrol sergeant noticed the 20-year-old suspect’s motorcycle didn’t have a license plate. The motorcycle pulled into a gas station, so the officer pulled in to inquire about the missing plate, Cose said.

The man then got back on his motorcycle and rode eastbound on University Drive as the officer attempted to make a traffic stop. The officer stopped chasing the vehicle after the motorcycle reached a high rate of speed on West University Drive, Cose said.

When the rider attempted to make a U-turn on University at Fulton Street, he lost control and crashed, fleeing on foot. Cose said police caught up to the suspect and found the drugs.

The man was taken to Denton City Jail on charges of evading arrest with a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

Other reports

2000 block of Stockbridge Road — A 30-year-old woman attempted to stab her boyfriend with a knife Sunday as a neighbor tried to break up their fight, according to Denton police spokesman Bryan Cose.

He said police were called to the disturbance at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The man said the fight started because he came home late.

Cose said the neighbor was able to take the knife away from the woman before she grabbed a second knife. The neighbor was eventually able to talk the woman into putting the second knife down, Cose said.

She was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, as well as several outstanding Denton police warrants.

West Congress and Carroll Boulevard — Denton police found a 22-year-old man in a drainage ditch on Sunday after the man fled from a stolen car involved in a hit-and-run crash, according to a police report.

Witnesses said two men fled from the scene of a hit-and-run around 5 p.m., and police later determined the vehicle they ran from was stolen, the report said.

One occupant was found in the nearby ditch, and he was taken to Denton City Jail on a charge of evading arrest. The man also had an outstanding speeding warrant.

600 block of Wainwright Street — Someone called police Sunday because a homeless man threw coffee on another homeless man near a downtown warehouse, the caller said.

Police spoke with the 39-year-old male victim around 9:30 a.m. and took a report. No arrests were made.

Click here to read the full article on Denton Record-Chronicle

__________________________________________________________

John Anthony Ross, Jr., or “Tony” as he is known among friends and colleagues, is a Top-Rated criminal defense attorney, who specializes solely in criminal defense law. This means that no matter how large or small your case may be, we have the knowledge and experience to help you.

Ross Law Offices is different from other firms. Each and every one of Mr. Ross’s clients is a top priority, and our primary goal is to give that client the time and attention they need and deserve. Once retained, you will be working directly with Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross personally handles every docket setting, court hearing, pre-trial motion, DA consultation, client status meeting, and any other aspect which may arise with your case, including jury trial. At Ross Law Offices, we believe that most prospective clients are seeking a truly qualified attorney who will take the time to devote the necessary effort and expertise to their case, no matter how large or small. When you work with our firm, you will not be working with an associate, intern, or assistant at any time. You will be working with Mr. Ross, directly. We encourage prospective clients to do their research before hiring an attorney. Meet with the attorney IN PERSON and ask questions. Speak with courthouse staff, other lawyers in the community, and our previous clients you may know. Review Mr. Ross’s AVVO rating of Superb (10 out of 10), and read our clients’ testimonials and reviews. Roughly 80% of the firm’s clients come from referrals and word-of-mouth advertising.

Contact us today. An initial consultation and assessment of your case is always free.

 

Denton Police Find 38 Pounds of Marijuana

Denton Police Find 38 Pounds of Marijuana In Home With Children

The parents of a child who was found unattended Wednesday morning were arrested after police found just more than 38 pounds of marijuana products in their home, according to the couple’s arrest affidavit.

Enrique Castillo, 26, and his girlfriend Regina Thomas, 28, both were charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance greater than 400 grams.

Denton police initially were dispatched to a welfare concern call about 10:30 a.m. in the 3900 block of Redstone Drive. A neighbor found the couple’s child walking down the sidewalk with a pitbull-mix puppy, the affidavit said.

When police arrived, the child had soiled his diaper and wasn’t wearing shoes, police said.

Denton police eventually found the nearby home where the child lived and contacted the father, Castillo.

He told police he left the child alone to watch television when he went to the restroom for 15 minutes.

He said he didn’t know the child left the home. Police said they observed bruising on the child, which Castillo said was from the child playing.

He told police the child tends to fall.

During their investigation, Denton police saw a water pipe (bong) and a jar filled with what they believed to be marijuana on the living room table. The affidavit said the child easily could have reached the items if he were left alone in the area.

Police then called Child Protective Services and the child’s mother, Thomas.

Both Thomas and Castillo gave police permission to search their house, and police found what they described as a marijuana grow room in the home, along with at least eight jars filled with a combined 37 1/2 pounds of marijuana wax, the affidavit said.

Marijuana wax is a highly concentrated form of marijuana. It can have up to eight times more concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical compound in marijuana responsible for the euphoric high. It typically is the color of honey with a consistency of soft wax.

Police also found multiple bongs, nine cookies baked with marijuana wax in the kitchen and two rifles in the master bedroom. The marijuana originally found on the living room table weighed close to seven ounces, the affidavit said.

Thomas later admitted to making the cookies, the affidavit states.

Castillo claimed he ingests the marijuana wax nearly every day “to prevent cancer and other illnesses,” the affidavit said.

Child Protective Services took custody of the child and documented the incident. The couple were taken to Denton City Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bail for each suspect.

Other reports

3900 block of Monte Verde Way — An 18-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday after her 17-year-old girlfriend accused her of grabbing her arms, neck and legs to keep her from leaving a bedroom, Denton police spokesman Bryan Cose said.

Earlier in the day, an argument started over one of the females potentially cheating on the other, Cose said. As the woman tried to stop the younger girl from leaving the room, the girl hit her in the face to escape, police said.

The girl called police about 11 p.m., and the 18-year-old was taken to the Denton City Jail on charges of unlawful restraint and assault family violence. The 17-year-old had minor bumps, bruises and scratches, Cose said.

1200 block of West Oak Street — A 70-year-old man reported his wife for stealing credit cards and $150 from his wallet Wednesday because “he does not believe that his money is community property,” according to a police report.

The man said this is the second time his wife has stolen from him. He called police at 12:41 p.m., but no arrests were made.

Roundup

From 7 a.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday:

Click here to read the full article on Denton Record-Chronicle

__________________________________________________________

John Anthony Ross, Jr., or “Tony” as he is known among friends and colleagues, is a Top-Rated criminal defense attorney, who specializes solely in criminal defense law. This means that no matter how large or small your case may be, we have the knowledge and experience to help you.

Ross Law Offices is different from other firms. Each and every one of Mr. Ross’s clients is a top priority, and our primary goal is to give that client the time and attention they need and deserve. Once retained, you will be working directly with Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross personally handles every docket setting, court hearing, pre-trial motion, DA consultation, client status meeting, and any other aspect which may arise with your case, including jury trial. At Ross Law Offices, we believe that most prospective clients are seeking a truly qualified attorney who will take the time to devote the necessary effort and expertise to their case, no matter how large or small. When you work with our firm, you will not be working with an associate, intern, or assistant at any time. You will be working with Mr. Ross, directly. We encourage prospective clients to do their research before hiring an attorney. Meet with the attorney IN PERSON and ask questions. Speak with courthouse staff, other lawyers in the community, and our previous clients you may know. Review Mr. Ross’s AVVO rating of Superb (10 out of 10), and read our clients’ testimonials and reviews. Roughly 80% of the firm’s clients come from referrals and word-of-mouth advertising.

Contact us today. An initial consultation and assessment of your case is always free.

 

SECOND CHANCE LAW – NEW TEXAS LAW ALLOWS FIRST-TIME DWI OFFENDER’S A “SECOND-CHANCE”

SECOND CHANCE LAW IS A NEW TEXAS LAW ALLOWS FIRST-TIME DWI  OFFENDER’S A “SECOND-CHANCE”

THE “SECOND CHANCE” LAW

The Second Chance Law is a Texas House Bill 3016 that was recently signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbot, allowing people convicted of a certain non-violent criminal convictions to have those convictions sealed from their records.  Referred to as the “Second Chance” law, it will allow most DWI misdemeanor convictions to be sealed by filing a Motion for Non-Disclosure with the Court, and seeking a subsequent Order of Non-Disclosure.  The new law will take effect on September 1, 2017, but will apply retroactively.

 

WHY IS THIS BENEFICIAL?

“Sealing” a criminal record can be an extremely important tool, and vastly improve a person’s chances of obtaining a good job, getting into school, getting an apartment, or even obtaining a loan.  Sealing a record will prevent the majority of the general public from being able to see criminal history, and thus improve a person’s life dramatically.

 

WHO IS ELGIBIBLE?

Although this new law will help many, many people, not everyone will qualify.  To proceed with a Motion for Non-Disclosure (to seal the record), the following must be true:

 

  1.  the person must have been a first-time DWI offender;
  2.  the person must have had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.14 or less;
  3.  the person must not have been involved in an accident involving another person as a result of operating a motor vehicle under the influence; and
  4.  the person must have successfully completed any sentence ordered by the Court, including any DWI program, probation, or jail sentence; and
  5.  the person must have paid all court costs and fees.
  • Additionally, the bill imposes a waiting period of:

o 2 years if the person successfully completed a probation period with at least 6 months of driving restricted to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device as part of the court order, or

o 5 years if there was no interlock requirement imposed by the court.

tx dwi second chance law, ross law offices denton, denton tx dwi lawyer, denton dwi attorney

CONTACT US TODAY TO SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

Contact our office today to set up a free phone consultation to see if you qualify for this program, and if so, begin the process of sealing your record today!  940-230-2400

1080 KRLD Radio Features John “Tony” Ross

John “Tony” Ross Featured on 1080 KRLD Radio

Consumer Team: What To Do If You’re Arrested

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX — Consumer Team News)   Consumer Team host Pete Thomson today announced a new series of interviews with Texas Criminal Defense Attorney John “Tony” Ross.   According to Thomson, the interviews will be educational and will focus on what consumers aren’t prepared for in an arrest situation.   Thomson said, “This interview series is designed to help consumers understand the nuances involved in dealing with the police.  Since most people have never been arrested previously, it’s easy to make a critical error.”

John A. “Tony” Ross

Thomson said that John “Tony” Ross is well suited for the Consumer Team interviews because of his experience as a criminal law attorney.   He added, “Tony’s extensive experience in Texas Criminal Law makes him a solid source for our interviews.  He’s highly respected in Texas and we’re excited to have him as a resource on Consumer Team.”

Thomson said in addition to offering general advice for anyone in an arrest situation, that the interviews will have a focus on what parents can do to prepare and support children who are arrested. He added, “Through our series of interviews, we want to help parents be prepared for that 1 AM phone call from a son or daughter who says ‘Dad, I’ve been arrested.’”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson airs Saturdays from 5-6 PM on 740 KTRH Radio, Houston and from 6-8 PM on 1080 KRLD Radio, Dallas-Ft. Worth.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

Listen to the full show in the player below.

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