What is a SCRAM Device?

By Jeanine Stone on November 10, 2019

A SCRAM device or a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor is an electronic device that allows courts to monitor your alcohol intake continually without requiring you to undergo testing. The SCRAM devices also contain a sensor that can detect any attempts you make to tamper with the device and transmits the information to law enforcement authorities.

If you are ordered to wear a SCRAM device, the provider will fit you with a tamperproof ankle bracelet consisting of two boxes. One box measures your blood alcohol content (BAC), while the other box stores the data and transmits it to the law enforcement personnel who must monitor your alcohol intake. BAC measurements occur every hour when you are wearing a SCRAM device. If the device detects any alcohol in your system, it then will measure your BAC every 30 minutes.

SCRAM devices are susceptible to errors, as they measure BAC through the alcohol content of perspiration emitted through the skin. As a result, SCRAM measurements may be less reliable than blood tests to measure BAC.

What is a SCRAM Device?

Courts can order you to wear a SCRAM device if you are released from jail on bond while awaiting criminal charges. SCRAM devices also may be a condition of your probation following a criminal conviction. In some cases, courts order individuals to wear SCRAM devices instead of serving time in jail. Courts typically use SCRAM devices when you are charged with or have been convicted of an alcohol-related criminal offense.

Wearing a SCRAM device can be costly when you must wear it for a lengthy period. You typically must pay a refundable deposit, a one-time fitting fee, and a weekly maintenance fee. In most cases, you must pay all these fees up front.

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.

Posted in Criminal Defense, DWI

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Immigrants Dropping Medicaid Coverage Due to Misinformation About New Public Charge Policy

By Jeanine Stone on November 9, 2019

Misconceptions about the Trump Administration’s new public charge policy are causing many immigrants to refrain from seeking Medicaid coverage for their children out of fear of deportation. The rule is facing multiple legal challenges nationwide and although it was scheduled to go into effect on October 16, 2019, at least one federal district judge has issued a nationwide injunction preventing the rule from going into effect.

Under the new public charge rule, federal immigration officials will be able to deny visa and green card applications from immigrants whom they believe could become a public charge, or primarily dependent on government aid. Officials could determine that individuals are likely to become public charges based on their low income, or their prior use of benefits programs such as Medicaid and SNAP or food assistance.

Immigrants Dropping Medicaid Coverage
Due to Misinformation About New Public Charge Policy

The public charge rule has been in effect since 1882, but historically has been very vague. In the past, the rule has been applicable only to individuals whose entire income came from government cash benefits or who needed extensive medical care and had no insurance coverage.

However, the new rule refers to various other benefits programs, including health care, food stamps, cash assistance, and public housing programs. It also increases the income threshold for applicants to 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.

In response to the public charge rule, immigrants are removing themselves and their children from healthcare and food assistance programs, even if they already have valid visas or green cards. The misinformation about the new policy circulating in immigrant communities is making all immigrants wary of using any government benefits, even if they are entitled to them or usage would not affect their legal immigration status. Immigrant parents with special needs children, for instance, may believe that they must remove their children from Medicaid, even if the public charge rule doesn’t apply to them and their situation.

The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals who are facing immigration problems. 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.

Posted in Immigration Reform

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H-4 and H-1B Visa Holders Remain in Limbo

By Jeanine Stone on June 19, 2019

Under an Obama administration-era rule, spouses of H-1B visa holders who are applying for legal permanent residence, or a green card, gained work authorization that generally was renewable from one year to the next. This rule allowed these spouses, present on H-4 visas, to get a job and further their own careers while in the United States. The ability to obtain work authorization also has been a selling point to recruit workers to come to the U.S. on H-1B visas; not only can H-1B visa holders bring their spouses and minor children with them to the U.S., but the spouses also can work. As a testament to the success of the program, there have been over 91,000 approved applications for work authorizations for H-4 visa holders.

H-4 and H-1B Visa Holders Remain in Limbo

The Trump administration announced its intention to revoke the work authorization for spouses of H-1B visa holders long ago. In February, however, as promised, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submitted a proposed regulation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that would remove work authorization from H-1B visa holder spouses. Until the rulemaking process is complete, the work authorizations for these spouses remain in place, but both H-1B visa holders and their spouses remain in limbo indefinitely, waiting to find out whether a final rule will go into place.

For some couples, the inability of the H-1B visa holder’s spouse to work is a deal breaker. In other words, some couple state that they would not have come to the U.S. if they knew that one of them would not be able to work. Many individuals also feel like the U.S. government has unfairly changed the rules in the middle of the game. These couples are awaiting their green cards and doing everything that they are supposed to, and now, one of the spouses suddenly cannot work to support the family or pursue a career. For the many couples that live in large cities that are known for the high number of tech jobs, the cost of living is high, and may be unreasonable if both spouses cannot work and contribute to household expenses. Our Texas immigration lawyers are here to offer you the experienced legal representation and advice that you need in order to resolve your immigration law matter. We can act as your guide through the complicated immigration process to obtain the relief that you are seeking. Call our office today and learn about the type of assistance we can offer you.

Posted in Visas

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