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Monthly Archives: June 2014

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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