Austin Immigration & Criminal Defense Blog

Immigration Reform Creates Changes for DACA

By Peek & Toland on December 11, 2014

One of the biggest immigration changes proposed by the White House in recent months is a change to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  DACA is one of the main ways in which undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children can defer deportation in order to work or go to school while staying with their families and communities in the United States.

In November, the President issued an executive order making several changes to immigration policies and procedures.  Included in the order were changes to DACA. Read the rest »

Posted in: Deferred Action

President Obama Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform

By Peek & Toland on December 9, 2014

Texas Immigration Law FirmIn a recent speech, President Barack Obama discussed a number of immigration reforms his office plans to encourage or implement in the coming months. These changes may affect thousands of individuals seeking U.S. citizenship and will certainly keep experienced Austin, Texas immigration attorneys busy for the foreseeable future.

During the speech, the President discussed a number of planned steps to change immigration laws and procedures.  He noted that, until Congress passes a bill, the White House will take steps to act on immigration by implementing the following reforms: Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

Immigration Reform 2014: Getting Started

By Peek & Toland on November 26, 2014

With the President’s recent executive actions on immigration reform, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be implementing a variety of changes over the coming months. The USCIS has a variety of great resources for individuals looking for more information on immigration reform, and provides much of that information on its website. With that being said, the information can be complicated at times, which is why the attorneys of Peek & Toland, PLLC are more than happy to assist individuals with whatever questions they may have regarding their particular immigration situation.

As a convenience to our readers, we’ll be writing a blog series that touches on some of the major initiatives being carried out by the USCIS. At play are a variety of changes to immigration policy, including those that pertain to the following scenarios: Read the rest »

Obama to Announce Details of Immigration Reform

By Peek & Toland on November 20, 2014

Immigration ReformThe White House has announced that President Obama will address the nation to reveal the executive actions he plans to take to fix the U.S. immigration system. The address will be televised and broadcast online via WhiteHouse.gov at 7pm Central Standard Time November 20.

The address will finally shed light on the reform millions of immigrants have been looking forward to since the President promised to make sweeping changes two years ago during his bid for reelection. By taking executive action, the President plans to initiate a number of comprehensive changes that will give millions of immigrants living in the country illegally a legal way to live and work in the country – without fear. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

President Obama Set to Initiate 10-Part Immigration Overhaul

By Peek & Toland on November 17, 2014

Austin Immigration LawyerAccording to administration officials, President Obama will announce a 10-part plan for drastically overhauling the U.S. immigration system – with or without Congress’ consent in the coming weeks.

The president’s plan was revealed recently in a draft proposal that may be officially announced as early as November 21. However, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the president has not made any final decisions about which of the 10 initiatives he intends to enforce with executive action.

One of the most notable and controversial parts of the proposal would expand deferred action from illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to also include the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. The move would allow roughly 4.5 million illegal immigrants to stay in the country. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

Four Ways to Protect Yourself From a DWI This Holiday Season

By Peek & Toland on November 16, 2014

Holiday parties in Texas are in full swing and many party goers prefer to enjoy a few drinks at these events.  If you choose to drink alcohol this holiday season, help avoid a potential Texas DWI charge and keep yourself safe by keeping these tips in mind:

1. Plan ahead.

Before you head out, know where you’re staying that night and how you’re getting there.  Are you going to a friend’s house and planning to spend the night?  Make sure your friends are ready for you.  Are you going to come home?  Program the numbers of local cab companies into your cell phone so you can hire a sober ride for yourself or anyone else who needs one.  If you have a designated driver, be sure to thank him or her! Read the rest »

Posted in: DWI

Temporary Protection Status for Honduras and Nicaragua

By Peek & Toland on October 20, 2014

The Secretary of Homeland Security recently announced that beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Honduras and Nicaragua may now extend their protected status for an additional 18 months.

The TPS prevents the deportation of roughly 83,349 Hondurans and 4,275 Nicaraguans. The U.S. initially granted protection to hundreds of thousands in Honduras and Nicaragua in 1998 following a catastrophic hurricane.

This is the twelfth time that the USCIS has renewed the TPS extension so far. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration

What Happens after I’m Arrested on Suspicion of a Crime in Texas?

By Peek & Toland on July 1, 2014

When you are arrested on suspicion of a crime in Texas, it does not necessarily mean you did anything wrong. It is also important to remember that you have certain rights.  These include the right to stay silent and not to say anything that will incriminate you, and the right to the assistance of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.

Following your arrest, you will be scheduled for a court hearing called an “arraignment.”  During the arraignment, you will appear before a judge.  The judge will tell you what criminal charge or charges you face.  He or she will also inform you of your rights, which include: Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense

Understanding Texas’s Underage Drinking Laws

By Peek & Toland on June 16, 2014

Juvenile Criminal DefenseTexas, like other states, has a minimum legal drinking age of 21 years.  If you’re under age 21 and have been charged with possession of alcohol, you may face strict penalties if you’re convicted.  Drinking while under age 21, public drunkenness, and lying about your age or using a fake ID to buy alcohol may also be charged under Texas minor in possession laws.

The penalties for being convicted of possessing or consuming alcohol while under age 21 include:

  • Up to $500 in fines,
  • Mandatory alcohol awareness classes,
  • 8 to 40 hours community service, and
  • Loss of driving privileges for up to 180 days. Read the rest »

Posted in: DWI

New Texas Criminal Evidence Law Raises Concerns

By Peek & Toland on June 2, 2014

The Michael Morton Act seeks to improve transparency in criminal case evidence in order to reduce the number of wrongful convictions in the state.  But since the new law was implemented, both prosecutors and experienced Austin criminal defense attorneys have raised concerns that the law’s requirements don’t support its good intentions.

Attorneys who practice criminal law have praised the act – named after an Austin, Texas resident who spent nearly 25 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit – for underlining the importance of sharing evidence so that defense attorneys can protect their clients rigorously.  In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Brady v. Maryland that prosecutors must share “exculpatory” evidence, or evidence that suggests the defendant might be innocent. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense

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