you have a concealed carry license or a regular carry license, you should be
aware of what to do if a police officer pulls you over on a traffic stop. Otherwise,
you put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, as the officers may
assume that you are attempting to shoot them by reaching for a handgun that you
didn’t disclose to them.
does have rules in place for drivers who are legally carrying handguns in their
vehicles when police pull them over. According to the Texas Handgun License
manual, drivers typically should hand the officer not only their drivers’
licenses, but also their handgun licenses. As a practical matter, drivers also
should not show or brandish the weapon at the police officer, or even reach
toward the console or glove compartment to show the officer where the gun is
stored. If insurance information is in the glove compartment, as well, drivers
should advise the officer of that fact before retrieving the insurance
handgun license information is tied in with driver’s license information in the
State of Texas, officers who pull up the drivers in their computer systems also
should see that the individuals are licensed to carry handguns. Nonetheless,
during a handgun, you always should keep your hands in sight, preferably on the
steering wheel, make no quick movements, and never reach for your gun. A police
officer has the right to disarm you during a traffic stop; if the officer
wishes to do so, advise him or her of the location of the gun and follow the
instructions from there.
it comes to long guns and rifles, however, or drivers who are legally
transporting guns without a license, they are under no obligation to disclose
the guns to police during a traffic stop.
An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney
can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here
to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and explore your options. We then
can help you make the decisions that are mostly like to be beneficial to you,
based on your situation. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today
and see how we can help.
to a recent
CNN article, a federal judge in the District of
Columbia ruled that a Trump Administration policy violated the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA). In this policy, the Administration sought to bar
immigrants who had crossed the border without authorization from seeking
asylum. The Trump Administration issued the policy back in November 2018, which
would have limited asylum applications to those immigrants who lawfully
presented themselves at official ports of entry into the U.S. According to the
judge’s opinion, the federal government could not extinguish a statutory right
to seek asylum under the INA simply by issuing a policy.
nationwide injunction that prohibited the policy from going into effect has
been in place since a California federal judge issued it last year. The federal
government appealed the injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the high
Court refused to stay the injunction by a 5-4 vote. So as a practical matter,
the D.C. judge’s decision ultimately follows the injunction already in effect.
policy has been one of many that the Trump Administration has attempted to
enact to significantly restrict the ability to apply for asylum, especially for
Central American migrants. For instance, the Administration has expanded a
policy designed to keep more asylum seekers in Mexico until their cases are
processed. The federal government now has limited the number of asylum seekers
who can enter a port of entry each day for processing of their asylum
applications. The Trump Administration also attempted to deny asylum to all
migrants who traveled through another country to reach a U.S. port of entry and
to require them to first seek asylum in another country before coming to the
U.S. These policies were specifically aimed at individuals traveling through
Mexico from South America.
A California federal district court judge also entered a nationwide injunction regarding the requirement that migrants seek asylum in another country before seeking it in the U.S. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals limited the injunction to California and Arizona. On remand, the federal district court judge reinstated the nationwide ban after making the findings outlined in the Ninth Circuit order. However, most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the injunction pending litigation, which allows the federal government to go forward with denying asylum to this specific group of immigrants.
An experienced Texas immigration attorney can help you with all aspects of immigration law. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and present your options. Finally, we can help you make the decisions that will be most beneficial to you, based on your circumstances. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.
to a National
Public Radio report, the Trump administration is threatening
to end the “parole in place” program. This form of discretionary relief
provides protection against deportation for some undocumented family members of
U.S. military members on active duty. As a result, attorneys for military
members in this situation are wasting no time in submitting applications for
this form of discretionary relief from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
program protects only selected family members of active-duty military members. Relief
is only available for family members who have entered the U.S. without legal authority
and who have no means of adjusting their immigration status. Some family
members would be ineligible for the relief, such as those who entered the U.S. legally
but overstayed their visas.
primary purpose of parole in place is to allow U.S. military members on active
duty to focus on their missions rather than on the risk of deportation of their
family members. Parole in place allows eligible family members to receive
parole and apply for a green card. It is unclear how many individuals have
taken advantage of this form of relief from deportation.
the Trump administration moves forward with ending parole in place, it would be
in line with its actions earlier this year. For instance, the federal
government closed all its international military field offices. The federal
government now also requires that military recruits serve at least 180 days of
active duty before becoming eligible for naturalization. The only exception to
this rule change is for military members who are in combat zones.
Last year, the Trump administration also began discharging immigrant military members who had enlisted in a George W. Bush-era program designed to recruit immigrants with special skills useful to the military. Enrollment in the program brought the promise of an expedited path to citizenship for recruits.
The Peek & Toland immigration lawyers are here to represent your interests and advise you of the best course of action in your immigration case. Set up an appointment to talk to us today and discover how we can assist you with your immigration issue, whether you have an individual concern or a business-related problem.
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents recently carried out a four-day
immigration enforcement operation in Northern Texas and Oklahoma that resulted
in 75 arrests. According to government officials, however, this operation was
not part of the Trump administration’s threatened mass immigration sweeps. Instead,
this raid was a routine operation that focused on immigrants with final removal
orders, which reportedly had been in the works for several months. Nonetheless,
ICE also arrested and detained other immigrants, such as friends and relatives
of the targeted immigrants.
the 75 detainees, 51 were arrested in North Texas and the remaining individuals
in Oklahoma. Charges for these immigrants ranged from unlawful entry into the
country to assault and other criminal offenses.
this raid may not have been part of the Trump administration’s threatened
raids, these smaller operations can frighten immigrant communities. Immigration
advocates cite the raids as another means of creating an environment of fear
Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s promised nationwide immigration raids failed to materialize in early July, aside from about 18 arrests in a planned “family” operation and another 17 collateral arrests. While some isolated routine enforcement efforts continued in selected areas of the country, they were not part of the larger plan. These raids allegedly were scheduled to target some 2,000 immigrants who have final orders of removal and have refused to leave the country. The ACLU also has taken legal action to block the planned raids.
The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals and businesses who are facing immigration issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. As a result, we will strive to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys.
Examiner is reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to
hear the dispute over the federal government’s efforts to end the Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. This program currently protects
DACA recipients against deportation for almost 800,000 immigrants with no legal
immigration status whose families brought them to the U.S. as children.
The Trump administration
first announced that it would terminate the program in November 2017 and gave
Congress a deadline of March 2018 in which to pass a law authorizing the
program to continue. DACA recipients swiftly challenged the move in court, and
a federal judge in California blocked the Trump administration’s termination of
DACA. The nationwide injunction also required the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) to continue accepting and processing renewal applications for
Last year, the Trump
administration took the unusual move of bypassing the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit and requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court directly take up
the case. At that time, the high Court declined to do so. Although the Ninth
Circuit heard oral arguments in the case in May 2018, the Trump administration
again circumvented a forthcoming ruling by directly appealing to the U.S.
Supreme Court a second time. Shortly after that, the Ninth Circuit upheld the
decision of the federal district court to block termination of the DACA
Meanwhile, the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled that the DHS decision to terminate the
program was arbitrary and capricious. Thus far, federal district court judges
in New York and Washington DC also have ruled in the same manner on the issue.
The Supreme Court has
agreed to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on DACA, along with two
other similar cases in which appellate courts have not yet issued rulings. Arguments
in the cases will occur before the high Court in its upcoming session, which
begins in October 2019. Absent the parties settling, the Supreme Court is
likely to issue its decision next summer. No matter which side the Court takes,
the outcome is sure to have a direct impact on the 2020 presidential election.
At the end of June 2019, however, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case.
At Peek & Toland, we care about helping you through your immigration problems. We will focus our efforts on advocating on your behalf and representing your interests throughout the immigration process. Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers know the best strategies for gathering documentation to support your goals. Allow us to handle your immigration case by sitting down with us today and discussing your situation.
As of May 1, 2019, police departments in Austin had a
backlog of 2,600 videos dating back to June 2018 that still need to be turned
over to prosecutors to pursue drunk driving cases. It takes an estimated ten
months before this exchange of crucial evidence occurs, which results in lengthy
delays in the prosecution and resolutions of DWI cases. Although the county
purchased the technology two years ago to effectuate the transfer of the video
within three weeks, various factors are now leading to substantial delays.
First, a police team of five full-time employees is
handling a much larger number of cases than it did two years ago, but with the
same amount of employees. Officials now are looking at adding light-duty
officers to the existing team to chip away at the backlog of videos.
Additionally, technological advances have necessitated the
transmission of body camera video rather than dash camera video, which can
double and triple the overall amount of video in a case. When combined with an
increased number of cases, the cases are merely moving through the system more
and more slowly.
Another problem is the Internet connection that the team
is currently using to transmit the footage. The current connection does not
permit the video footage to be sent quickly, which has law enforcement
officials exploring a new location with better Internet speeds.
KVUE is now reporting that the Austin Police Department and other criminal justice officials have made some strides to address the backlog of DWI video footage. At present, the team dedicated to this task is keeping up with 1,500 pieces of new evidence and tackling the backlog of videos at a rate of about 200 cases per month. As anticipated, the police agency assigned officers currently on light-duty to assist with the project and moved employees to the District Attorney’s office for better connection rates.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to assisting individuals in resolving their criminal charges. We know that criminal proceedings can be intimidating and overwhelming for those who are facing potential penalties for criminal charges. We will work with you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled criminal defense attorneys today.
to a recent
New York Times article, a federal judge in California has
asked an independent monitor, to ensure that the federal government immediately
improves health and sanitation for children currently residing in immigration
detention facilities in Texas. The judge appointed the monitor last year after
finding that the federal government had violated the terms of the 1997 consent
decree in the Flores case, widely known as the Flores Settlement.
reports of the conditions in the detention facilities prompted the judge to
order the government to take swifter steps to improve the conditions, which reportedly
include a lack of proper nutrition, hygiene, and clean clothing for immigrant
children. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General
(OIG) documented similar concerns after monitoring conditions in facilities in
the Rio Grande Valley.
For their part, federal government officials
have claimed that the reports of lawyers who visited the facilities are false.
They also stated that they are operating the facilities as best they can under
the massive influx of Central American migrants seeking asylum. In response,
some Democratic legislators have visited various immigrant detention centers to
evaluate the conditions for themselves.
for the plaintiffs also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in the
case, requesting that the court mandate immediate inspection of the facilities
by a public health expert. The motion also asked that the federal government
speed up the release of detained children to relatives or friends as their
sponsors and allow medical professionals direct access to those facilities.
The federal government and attorneys for the plaintiffs then reached an agreement for the federal government to remedy the conditions that the judge previously found violated the Flores Settlement. The government also will allow a pediatrician to access the various facilities to evaluate the health of the detained migrants and make recommendations to remedy the unacceptable conditions. The parties agreed to a deadline of August 29, 2019, for the doctor to submit a report to the independent monitor.
Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.
A large component of U.S. immigration law since its inception has
been the idea that immigrants seeking to become legal permanent residents and
citizens must demonstrate their ability to care for themselves without becoming
public charges of the State. In the past, this rule has been quite ambiguous.
To combat this, DHS recently clarified the rules of inadmissibility of public
On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) clarified it’s rules on Inadmissibility of Public Charge Grounds, which codified regulations governing the application of the public charge inadmissibility ground under INA section 212(a)(4).
The rule changes the definitions of public charge and public benefits and changes the standard that DHS uses when determining whether an immigrant is likely to become a “public charge” and thus inadmissible and ineligible for admission or adjustment of status.
this new rule apply?
This rule change specifically applies in the following three
When an immigrant is seeking to adjust his or her status to become
a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) in the U.S.
When an immigrant holds a nonimmigrant visa and seeks to extend
their stay in the same nonimmigrant classification.
When an immigrant holds a nonimmigrant visa and seeks to change
their status to a different nonimmigrant classification.
What will DHS
consider to be public benefits when considering eligibility?
As part of its determination, DHS will consider the following
public benefits when considering eligibility:
Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Federal, state or local cash benefit programs for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance” in the state context, but which may exist under other names)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or formerly called “Food Stamps”)
Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program
Public Housing under section 9 the Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.
Federally funded Medicaid (with certain exclusions)
Note that DHS has stated that non-cash benefits are
generally not taken into account for the public of a public charge
What are some examples of non-cash benefits that are NOT CONSIDEREDpublic charge under this new rule?
Non-cash or special-purpose cash benefits are generally supplemental in nature and do not make a person primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. Therefore, past, current, or future receipt of these benefits do not impact a public charge determination. Non-cash or special-purpose cash benefits that are not considered for public charge purposes include:
Medicaid and other health insurance and health services (including public assistance for immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases; use of health clinics, short-term rehabilitation services, and emergency medical services) other than support for long-term institutional care
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Nutrition programs, including Food Stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs
Child care services
Energy assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Emergency disaster relief
Foster care and adoption assistance
Educational assistance (such as attending public school), including benefits under the Head Start Act and aid for elementary, secondary, or higher education
Job training programs
In-kind, community-based programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter)
and local programs that are similar to the federal programs listed above are
also generally not considered for public charge purposes.
has DHS said it will not consider when determining eligibility?
DHS clarified it will only apply the rule when the
applicant received the benefit him or herself or where the applicant is the
listed beneficiary of the public benefit. DHS will not attribute receipt of
public benefit by one or more members of the applicant’s household to the
applicant unless the applicant is also a listed beneficiary of the public
In other words, if your family member is participating in Medicaid, if your child is receiving Medicaid, or if your family members is receiving supplemental security income, this will not be counted against you in your application. This rule only applies if you receive this public benefit as well.
In making this determination, DHS stated it will not
The receipt of Medicaid for the treatment of an emergency medical condition;
Services or benefits funded by Medicaid but provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
School-based services or benefits provided to individuals who are at or below the oldest age eligible for secondary education as determined under state or local law;
Medicaid benefits received by an alien under 21 years of age; or
Medicaid benefits received by a woman during pregnancy and during the 60-day period beginning on the last day of the pregnancy.
period must an immigrant receive public assistance for them to become ineligible
under this rule?
DHS has stated that if the immigrant receives public benefits for
more than 12 months in aggregate in any 36-month period, such that receipt of
two benefits in one month counts as two months.
How will DHS
determine if someone is “likely to become a public charge”?
DHS stated that it must weigh the negative and positive factors
that may contribute to an immigrant’s potential to “likely at any time become a
public charge”. Thus, DHS must consider the applicant’s:
Assets, resources, and financial status;
Education and skills;
Prospective immigration status;
Expected period of admission; and
Sufficient form I-864.
Finally, DHS said the following factors weigh heavily in favor of
finding an immigrant likely at the time to become a public charge:
The immigrant is not a full-time student is authorized to work but cannot show current employment, recent employment history, and a reasonable prospect of future employment
The immigrant has received or has been certified or approved to receive, one or more public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period, beginning no earlier than 36 months before the alien applied for admission or adjustment of status on or after Oct. 15, 2019.
The immigrant has been diagnosed with a medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment or institutionalization or that will interfere with his or her ability to provide for him or herself, attend school, or work and he or she is uninsured and has neither the prospect of obtaining private health insurance nor the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs related to a medical condition.
The immigrant has previously been found by an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals to be inadmissible or deportable based on public charge grounds.
help an immigrant demonstrate he or she is not likely to become a public
The immigrant has household income, assets, resources,
and support from a sponsor, excluding any income from illegal activities or
from public benefits, of at least 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for
his or her household size.
The immigrant is authorized to work and is currently
employed in a legal industry with an annual income of at least 250% of the
Federal Poverty Guidelines for a household of his or her household size.
The immigrant has private health insurance appropriate for the
expected period of admission, so
long as the alien does not receive subsidies in the form of premium tax
credits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to pay for
such health insurance.
Are there any
exempt parties to the rule?
are certain groups of people who are either exempt from public charge, or may
get a waiver for public charge when applying for a Green Card or other benefits
with USCIS. These include:
Refugees and asylees applying for
adjustment to permanent resident status
Amerasian Immigrants (for their initial
Individuals granted relief under the
Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)
Individuals granted relief under the
Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)
Individuals granted relief under the
Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA)
Individuals applying for a T Visa
Individuals applying for a U Visa
Individuals who possess a T visa and are
trying to become a permanent resident (get a Green Card)
Individuals who possess a U visa and are
trying to become a permanent resident (get a Green Card)
Applicants for Temporary Protected Status
Certain applicants under the LIFE Act
service members who are actively enlisted or serving in the U.S. armed forces
subject to this rule?
No. DHS clarified that this rule does not consider the receipt of
designated public benefits received by an immigrant who is serving actively in
the U.S. armed forces or in any Read Reserve component of the U.S. armed forces
to be part of the group who receives public benefits by spouse and children.
If you are considering adjusting your status or extending or
changing your nonimmigrant visa, you should be sure to have an experienced
immigration attorney by your side to help advise you on the public charge rule
change and ensure your application and the process goes smoothly for you. To
set up an appointment or meet with an experienced immigration attorney, contact
our office at 512-474-4445.
company that manufactures blood vials has recalled the vials after finding an
error that could change the results of blood alcohol analysis. It is unclear
how many cases are affected, as the manufacturer stated that only 300 of the
lot of 240,000 vials were manufactured erroneously, and already has recovered
199 of defective vials. However, the vials in question did not contain a
preservative to prevent the blood from clotting, which can result in changes to
the nature of the blood alcohol over time.
recall is likely to jeopardize thousands of drunk driving cases across the
nation, including at least 7,800 Harris County cases that could have utilized
the vials. The Harris County District Attorney’s office has announced that it
will begin reviewing thousands of cases for evidence of clotting. If cases used
the defective vials, the test results only would be correct if the tests
occurred within two days, which seldom happens in Harris County. Court also may
be forced to reopen drunk driving cases that already were resolved, further
adding to the DWI testing backlog.
law enforcement agencies also are taking steps to remove vials subject to the
recall from deputies, replacing them with non-defective vials. Both the Houston
Forensic Science Center and the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science distributed
kits containing vials subject to the recall.
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys anticipate that many defendants will request a review of their cases to determine if a defective blood vial impacted their cases. As a result, many DWI cases could result in a retrial. The massive amount of cases that could be affected by the blood vial recall will add to the already overcrowded Harris County docket of court cases. If you or a family member is facing any criminal charges, we may be able to help.
As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.
Attorney General William
Barr recently took an unusual step to expand his authority to change
immigration law vastly. Barr resurrected an 11-year-old
proposed regulation and made it final within 60 days without
any opportunity for the public comment. Typically, a set period of notice and
comment occurs before a federal government agency publishes a final rule or
regulation. Under this rule, the Attorney General immediately can declare any
Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decisions as precedent binding on
immigration judges, without being subject to any checks and balances or
utilizing the standard procedures. The regulation was proposed during the
George W. Bush administration, but it was never finalized until the current
administration suddenly revived it.
According to critics, the
finalization of this rule has allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to
continue to strip immigration judges of their decision-making power and attempt
to influence their decisions. The rule also has reignited a call for the
immigration court system to operate independently from the DOJ.
Barr’s first significant
power grab since taking office is highly reminiscent of the tactics of former
Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The former AG took various steps to limit the
rights and due process of immigrants to remain in the country as much as
possible. This rule essentially allows Barr to make immigration court decisions
himself and exercise control over how immigration judges make decisions in
Under current law, immigrants who wish to challenge further the decisions made by immigration judges must appeal those decisions to the BIA. The BIA then decides those appeals, but their decisions remain unpublished unless a majority of the 21-member BIA opts to publish them as precedent for the immigration courts below. Typically, the BIA publishes only about 30 decisions per year. Under the new rule, however, the Attorney General will be able to declare a particular decision to be precedent on his own, which obligates the immigration courts to follow the decision.
Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a resolution of your immigration matter. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of immigration forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.
Use of this website, does not constitute, in any manner, an attorney-client relationship between Peek & Toland and the receiver. While the information on the Peek & Toland website is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as substitute for the particularized advice of your own counsel. If you are seeking specific legal advice or assistance, you may contact us through our contact page or the phone number provided above, or you may seek legal advice or assistance through another source. Filling out the contact us form, calling our office or emailing our attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential. Transmission of information from this site or any use of e-mail is not intended to create or establish an attorney-client relationship between Peek & Toland and anyone else.
The information provided on the Peek & Toland website should not be relied on as accurate or correct as laws in specific jurisdictions change frequently. Please consult an attorney in your jurisdiction for specific question about the law in your area.