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Austin Immigration & Criminal Defense Blog

Austin Woman Sues Police over DWI Blood Draw

By Peek & Toland on February 9, 2015

Austin DWI AttorneyAn Austin woman has sued the city and Travis County, claiming they violated her civil rights while administering a blood draw, according to a report by Statesman.

The lawsuit states that on February of 2013, the woman, who was 24-years-old at the time, refused to take a breath test after she was pulled over for allegedly running two red lights. The affidavit for her arrest states that she exhibited signs of alcohol consumption and failed a field sobriety test.

In response to the woman’s refusal of the breath test, police escorted her to a small padded room where they restrained her in a chair. After receiving a warrant, they had a nurse attempt to draw her blood. However, she would not remain still, so the jail staff used pressure points in the jaw area to control her. Read the rest »

Posted in: DWI

Woman Allegedly Hits Bicyclist with Her Car while Intoxicated

By Peek & Toland on February 2, 2015

According to a report by Keye-TV, on the morning of January 24, a 30-year-old woman allegedly hit a bicyclist with her vehicle at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Koenig Lane in Central Austin. Police believe she was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

After the accident, the woman spoke to police, stating that she did not see the cyclist until it was too late. Officers allege that the woman was emitting an odor of alcohol. They asked her where she had been prior to the accident. She responded that she was at her brother’s house where she consumed three and a half beers. While conducting a search of the woman’s vehicle, officers allegedly found an unopened six-pack of beer and an empty bottle of wine. Read the rest »

Posted in: DWI

California DMV Granting Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants

By Peek & Toland on January 26, 2015

California is home to the largest number of undocumented immigrants. The estimate is said to be somewhere in the millions. Previously, many of these individuals had no choice but to drive without licenses due to the demands of work and daily life. They risked legal trouble among other problems every time they got behind the wheel. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

On January 2, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices began accepting driver’s license applications from undocumented immigrants. Thousands lined up at multiple locations throughout the state. The lines extended for blocks and even wrapped around whole plazas. By the end of opening day, more than 17,000 applications were processed. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

Mexican Consulates Now Issuing Birth Certificates in the United States

By Peek & Toland on January 16, 2015

Austin Immigration LawyerOn the heels of Obama’s executive action on immigration reform, Mexican consulates in the U.S. began distributing birth certificates to its citizens on January 15. Now it is easier than ever for Mexicans in the U.S. to obtain work and driving permits in addition to protection from deportation.

Previously, Mexican transplants could only get their birth certificates from government offices in their home country. Often, they would ask relatives or friends to retrieve them and send them through the mail. Unfortunately, it wasn’t uncommon for the important paperwork to get lost in transit.

Thanks to the new development, Mexican citizens can now have their birth certificates printed at one of Mexico’s 50 consulates throughout the U.S. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

Obama Administration Launches Immigration Reform Awareness Campaign

By Peek & Toland on January 7, 2015

In a concentrated effort to bolster President Obama’s efforts on immigration reform, the White House and a number of federal agencies have launched a media campaign in hopes of dispelling fact from fiction. Entitled “Executive Action on Immigration: Know the Facts,” the awareness campaign hopes to educate immigration hopefuls on the various eligibility requirements needed for such programs as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability), while dissuading those individuals who are currently attempting, or plan to enter the United States illegally. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

President’s Immigration Reform Renews Focus on Passing the DREAM Act

By Peek & Toland on December 22, 2014

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, struggled to collect sponsors and receive recognition in the U.S. House and Senate.  However, one of the proposals on immigration reform made by the White House recently, recommends that Congress renew its focus on passing this piece of immigration legislation.

The DREAM Act seeks to make it easier for young undocumented immigrants to go to college, get jobs, or start their own businesses.  The most recent version of the bill made it easier for high school graduates and GED recipients to receive conditional lawful permanent resident status, which allows students to work, go to school, or join the military.  Full legal permanent resident status would be granted after six years if the student had completed two years in a college bachelor’s degree program, had served in the military for at least two years, or both. Read the rest »

Posted in: Immigration Reform

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

H-1B Visa 2016: Getting Ready

By Peek & Toland on December 3, 2014

USCIS will accept H1B Visa petitions starting from April 1st of 2015. We recommend companies start planning now for recruitment and salary negotiations as early as December 1, 2014 for the government’s H-1B fiscal year 2016. The H-1B nonimmigrant visa classification allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in the U.S. in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and a bachelor an employee who has previously received an H1B visa, or been granted H1B status is generally exempt from the numerical limitations. Read the rest »

Posted in: Visas

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 »

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