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Can a DWI/DUI affect your employment?

Sign that says DUI DWI will cost you

Driving while under the influence is not only extremely dangerous for you and everyone around you, but can carry consequences that follow you for the rest of your life. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas, you could face a fine of up to $2,000 and have your license suspended for up to one year. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, you could spend up to 6 months in jail.

Something that you might not consider is that in addition to the obvious consequences of a DUI, having this conviction on your record can affect your future employment. Since Texas is an “employment-at-will” state, your employer has the right to fire you for any reason. Unless your contract states that you can’t be fired for a specific cause, you are not guaranteed to maintain employment after a charge. Because of these laws, your current work and future job opportunities may be at risk if you’re arrested or convicted for driving under the influence.

Here are three ways a DUI or DWI can affect your career.

You could be fired from your existing job

Even if you’re arrested but found not guilty, you can still be fired from your job after a DUI. As we mentioned, Texas law gives employers the right to terminate employment at any time unless it is written into your contract that you will be protected against termination for specific reasons. Depending on your job, employers will consider a DUI charge differently. Another thing to consider is the amount of time you may need to take off of work due to court appearances and possible jail time. That in itself may be enough cause for an employer to fire you. 

You may be denied employment

If you are fired from your job or unemployed at the time of the arrest, having a DUI charge on your record could affect potential employment in different ways. While it is possible to find work after a DUI, applying for a job when you have a criminal record can limit your options significantly. Potential employers may see you as a risk or call in to question your character if you are applying for a public-facing role.

You could lose professional licensure

Depending on your current career, the implications of a DUI might be much more significant than just losing your job. If you are in a profession that requires professional licenses, your license could be at risk if you are not in what your community considers “good ethical standing.” A few careers that can be affected by a DUI are medical professionals, lawyers, professional drivers, including truck drivers, people who work closely with children, or public servants.

It’s important not to rely on advice from the internet when trying to understand the charges you’re facing. If you’re facing DUI charges, it’s time to contact an experienced Houston defense attorney. It might feel like you have no options after a DUI charge, but try not to lose hope. Working with an experienced and qualified defense attorney can help you navigate your charges to put you in a more favorable position when it comes to your future.

Contact defense attorney Christopher T. Gore to learn more about how he can help represent you in court after a DWI or DUI charge and help you reclaim your future.

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What To Know If You’re Charged With A Family Violence Crime in Texas

Charged with Family Violence

In Texas, a Family Violence misdemeanor is one of the more severe crimes you can be charged with. Aside from the illegal nature of the crime, they can cause physical and emotional damage to everyone involved. Texas has a unique way of handling crimes related to family violence. 

Texas laws on family violence

Family violence is considered any assault against a relative or member of your household and is classified as a misdemeanor. It includes any violence that results in bodily injury or physical harm, including physical and sexual assault. Texas laws also classify situations that place family members in fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury under the category of family violence.  This applies to all domestic cases except for in instances of self-defense. To be considered assault, the crime must have intent, meaning that the offender knowingly and recklessly caused bodily injury to a person. 

Additionally, Texas law has specific mandates that require offenders to stay away from their home and children following an assault. If you are charged, it is incredibly unwise to violate that protective order, even if you are told by the family member that they will drop the charges. In Texas, victims of assault cannot decide to drop charges or dismiss the case once the police are involved. Only the district attorney has the power to dismiss your case. That is why it is essential to have a defense attorney on your side to help you manage your situation. 

What to expect if charged with a family violence crime

When a criminal complaint is made after an assault, the system moves relatively quickly. Once the victim makes a statement to law enforcement, the charges are sent to a prosecutor for review. This can result in a warrant to arrest the defendant. 

Once the court date is set, you will have to appear in front of a judge while they explain the charges and set initial bail. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may still be detained after bail is posted. If there is enough evidence to go to trial, you will have to attend a pretrial hearing. Then you will need to work with your attorney to either come to an agreement on a plea or face going to trial. 

First-time offenders, if convicted with assault against a family or household member, can be subject to up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $4,000. This conviction can also come with lifelong implications and affect your ability to own a weapon, employment eligibility, child visitation, and immigration status. 

If you’re charged with a family violence crime, consult an attorney before making any decisions. Don’t agree to a plea without speaking to an attorney first. Don’t rely on the internet to learn about the possible implications of your case. Every situation is different, and your best course of action is to hire a qualified Houston criminal defense attorney. If you are facing a family violence charge in Houston, call Christoper T. Gore to learn more about how he can represent your case and help you move forward. 

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What to do if you’re charged with assault in Texas

Handcuffed Arrested on Assault Charges

Being accused of assault in Texas is a serious crime that can come with many severe consequences. When you’re arrested on assault charges, it’s essential to know what to expect and how the legal process will play out. There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for what’s to come. 

What to know prior to appearing before a judge 

If you’ve been arrested, you’ll likely need to appear before a judge or magistrate within 48 hours of your arrest. They will inform you of your rights, including your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent. Ideally, you should obtain a lawyer before this meeting so that they can speak on your behalf and explain the proceedings to you. 

During this time it’s essential not to make any statements or say anything that would later be used against you or incriminate you further. At this meeting, your court date will be set by the judge. 

What to expect at arraignment

Your arraignment is the first time you’ll appear in court after the official charges have been filed. At this point, you should have determined with your attorney whether or not you will plead guilty, or if your attorney will negotiate a plea agreement on your behalf. If you and your attorney are unable to negotiate a plea, then the case will continue to trial. 

Preparing for the trial 

The way your trial is organized will vary based on the level of your assault charge. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, you will be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. Instances of misdemeanor assault include offensive physical contact, assault on a sporting participant, or causing bodily injury to someone. Some examples of felony assault charges include assault on a family member, assault while intoxicated and aggravated assault with a weapon. 

Misdemeanor cases usually include a jury of 6 people, while felony cases have twelve jurors. It’s the prosecution’s job to try and prove to the jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 

If the jury finds you guilty and you are convicted of assault, your sentencing depends on the specific charges and the severity of the assault. If found guilty of a misdemeanor assault, you could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If you’re convicted of a felony assault, the punishment can range from five to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. 

Navigating your charges, trial, and possible defense requires help from an experienced lawyer who is familiar with Houston laws and has handled similar cases. It’s important not to rely on the internet or other unreliable advice to know what to do during this time. Using an attorney will give you a better chance of having the charges dropped or reduced. 

If you’ve been arrested on assault charges, contact experienced Houston criminal defense attorney Christopher T. Gore to learn more about how he can help represent you in court. 

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What Information Will Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Share With You

Criminal Defense Attorney CHRISTOPHER T. GORE

When you’re convicted of a crime or pending an investigation, it may seem like you rights are being stripped away. It can be a stressful time if you don’t know what to expect and how you can prepare for the future. Your lawyer wants to help you feel confident in the course of action you’re taking, and that includes educating you about your rights moving forward.

In addition to asking you questions about what happened, there is important information that your attorney will share with you information about your legal rights. There are certain things you need to do, or not do, to avoid waiving your legal rights and compromising your defense. 

The right to remain silent 

Upon arrest, you have a constitutional right to remain silent and if you forfeit that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. It’s critical not to speak to anyone about the charges against you. Anything you say to family or friends during this time could end up being presented in court if those people are asked to testify. If you’re worried about how to approach this topic around friends, here are a few responses you can turn to if you are asked about the case: 

  • “My lawyer said I’m not allowed to talk about the case to anyone”
  • “If I tell you anything, the prosecution could subpoena you, and you will have to testify.”
  • “If you don’t believe me, call my lawyer and ask.”

Your right to attorney-client privilege 

Everything that you talk about with your attorney is confidential and will remain between the two of you. While nothing you tell your lawyer in private will be revealed, this only applies to situations when the two of you are speaking privately. If a third-party is present or someone else overhears the information legally, then that information may no longer be confidential. Similarly, if you are communicating with your lawyer from jail, be cautious of other people listening in on those phone calls. If possible, request a line that is reserved for confidential attorney-client conversations. 

Your right to refuse unlawful search and seizure 

If you’re part of an ongoing investigation and haven’t been arrested yet, at some point, the police may search your home or workplace in an attempt to find evidence. To do this, they need a search warrant signed by a judge. If they have a warrant, by law, you must allow them to enter. If they do not have a warrant and you do not consent to a search, tell them that and them contact your lawyer as soon as possible. 

Once your lawyer has explained your rights, now is the time for you to ask any clarifying questions you have about what they’ve told you. Ask questions about the specifics of your case and what you should expect moving forward. 

It can be tempting to search online for information about similar cases to see what to expect. However, advice on the internet is not reliable and should not be used as a replacement for advice from your attorney. 

If you are facing criminal charges in Houston and need a criminal defense attorney, find out how Christopher T. Gore can help represent your case.