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Kyle Whitaker Blog

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What Constitutes Domestic Violence in TX?

Domestic violence, also known as family violence, is any act of physical violence or threat of physical violence against a member of the same family or same household. Family violence, also known as domestic violence, is a common cause of conflict and estrangement among members of the same family. It...

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Police Body Cameras and Texas Criminal Cases

Police body camera footage of your arrest can provide evidence that can persuade a jury to acquit you, but many controversies and gray areas surround which body camera footage can be shown to the public. Last year, Texas legislators introduced several pieces of legislation intended to prevent police violence; these...

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How Does Divorce Affect Your Taxes?

Alimony and child support do not count as taxable income or as tax-deductible expenses, but your divorce could affect the taxes on capital gains from the salary of the marital home or on income from a pension earned by one of the former spouses. If filing your taxes is the...

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Do You Lose Your License for a DWI in Texas?

Were you arrested for drunk driving or drugged driving in Texas? If so, it is crucial that you know what to do to protect your ability to drive. You can lose your driver’s license for a DWI in Texas. In fact, your license can be suspended administratively before you are...

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Can I Keep My Health Insurance After Divorce?

Regardless of which state you’re getting a divorce in, health insurance coverage under the policy of a spouse will be terminated after the divorce has been finalized. Most policies, however, permit dependent spouses to obtain coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) for 36 months after the divorce....

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How to Report a Drunk Driver in TX

So you’re walking down the street, biking around the neighborhood, or driving down the highway, and you see a vehicle moving erratically. You’re thinking about whether you should mind your own business or call the police. Yes – you should. It’s crucial to protect the roads and other road users’...

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Does An Affair Really Impact The Terms of a TX Divorce?

Cheating, adultery, infidelity, or an affair, regardless of what it’s called, has permanently damaged countless marriages worldwide. In general, marriages that involve extramarital affairs often end in divorce. If you are considering divorce, you’re probably wondering if an affair would impact the terms of your divorce. Spoiler alert – yes,...

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Are All Police Encounters Videotaped in TX?

No. Not all police encounters are videotaped in TX. While the state has a body-worn camera policy, it is not mandatory. Only seven states currently require the statewide use of body-worn cameras by the police. These states include South Carolina, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut, and Colorado. Texas...

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How Can Prosecutors Prove I Was Drinking and Driving?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) with alcohol or drugs isn’t only dangerous. It is also illegal in all states. Despite this, drunk driving remains to be one of the top causes of motor vehicle crashes in the country, often causing life-changing injuries and deaths. This is why DWI laws are strictly...

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How Does Moving Out Affect Divorce?

Divorce is usually an incredibly trying and overwhelming time for the divorcing couple and any kids involved. Depending on your situation, you may be looking forward to moving out of the marital home as soon as you can but are also worried about how it may affect the impending divorce....

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Are Criminal Records Wiped at 18?

No. Your criminal records will not be wiped, cleared, sealed, or expunged just because you turned 18. Unsealed criminal records can be seen and requested by law enforcement officers, juvenile justice officers, probation officers, educational institutions, and prospective employers, among others. Texas law does allow you to seal your juvenile...

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Is Self-Defense a Violent Crime?

Everyone has the right to protect themselves from physical harm. They can act in self-defense and not be liable for a violent crime. However, what exactly is self-defense? Is it punching or kicking anyone who threatens you? Or is it only utilizing force if retreating just isn’t possible? In any...

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Can a Divorce Affect My Retirement Funds?

Divorce can be very challenging not just emotionally but financially as well. You will have to make a lot of decisions regarding the division of your assets and property, which includes your retirement funds. In most cases, retirement savings are among the most sizable assets that married couples own. This...

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When Does a Crime Become a Hate Crime in Texas?

Reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate that more hate crimes were reported in a recent year than had occurred in any of the past ten years. Distinguishing a hate crime from other types of offenses is important, as the penalties for a crime can increase substantially based...

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What Elements Must Be Proven for a DWI Conviction?

Most non-lawyers have a general knowledge of what a particular criminal violation might be. However, they generally don’t know what exactly the state must move in order to convict a client of a crime. These required proofs are broken down into discrete sections, each of which must be proven beyond...

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Is Hemp Flower Legal in Texas?

In August 2021, a Texas appeals court ruled that products made from hemp flowers in other states could be sold in Texas. In the same decision, the court upheld the existing ban on the processing and manufacturing in Texas of hemp flower products intended for smoking or vaping. The decision...

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What Are The Consequences of a DWI in Texas?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs risks not only your life but also the safety and lives of other people. It could likewise land you in jail. In Texas, a driver is considered legally intoxicated when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%....

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How Does Family Court Determine If a Parent is Unfit?

One of the most challenging and contentious aspects of a breakup, separation, or divorce is the issue of child custody, which is also called conservatorship, possession, and access in Texas. In most cases, both parents will fight to gain custody of their children. But when making child custody determinations, the...

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Are All Police Interrogations Recorded?

The Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedures § 130.4 (3), set out by the American Law Institute, states that law enforcement agencies should make a sound recording of “any questioning of the arrested person and any statement he makes in response thereto.” The Constitution Project also recommends that custodial interrogations of...

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Stages of Criminal Prosecution in Texas

Like all court systems, the Texas court system has two conflicting goals: they aim to protect the public on one hand and must also protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the criminally accused. To uphold the rights of defendants, all Texas criminal courts and law enforcement authorities should follow specific...

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New Texas Firearm Laws for 2021

On September 1, 2021, a new law stemming from House Bill 1927 took effect in the State of Texas. This law overhauled Texas firearm rights and possible criminal penalties, and now, most Texans over the age of 21 can carry a handgun in public - openly or concealed - without...

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Can You Carry a Knife on You in Texas?

Texas law regulates the carrying of weapons - not just firearms but also knives. Knives are also deadly weapons, so the law addresses when people may and may not lawfully carry certain types. There are two categories of knives under the law: A “knife” is a hand instrument with the...

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How Long Does a Temporary Injunction Last?

There are different reasons why a court might issue temporary injunctions, including to protect a person or child, preserve property or evidence, and more. These injunctions prohibit a party from doing something, such as selling property or leaving town with a child. When a court issues a temporary injunction, it...

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3 Reasons Not to Talk to the Police

Regardless of whether you’ve been detained, imprisoned, arrested, or feel like you can’t just walk away from a cop, it’s important to know that you generally don’t have to answer the questions that a police officer is asking you. However, keep in mind that there are specific circumstances in which...

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National Impaired Driving Month in December

There is no doubt that driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a dangerous decision that results in many accidents, injuries, and fatalities each year in Texas and throughout the United States. For this reason, safety advocates have deemed December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Not only do...

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Will Your Custody be Affected if You're a Parent with COVID-19?

Navigating shared custody is difficult enough during a pandemic, but the situation becomes significantly more complicated if one parent starts showing possible symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. If this happens, how exactly will it impact your child custody arrangement? The guidance from Texas courts so far indicates that existing...

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How Can Divorce Affect Taxes?

When you are going through a divorce, taxes are probably the last thing on your mind. However, tax time comes around once a year and never fails, so it is important to be aware of the various effects that divorce and related issues can have on your taxes. You should...

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The Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Child Custody Plans

With unprecedented stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Texas and across the United States, it is not a surprise that many parents are stressed and confused about sharing child custody. First, public health orders are not intended to automatically disrupt or halt existing...

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What to Consider When Divorcing a Business Partner

Starting your own business can be rewarding both financially and personally. If you start a business with your spouse, it can provide you with more freedom and result in a partnership in more ways than one. However, what happens if you and your spouse/business partner decide to get divorced?  ...

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Revenge Porn in Texas

The age of the internet has created new opportunities for people to harass or seek revenge on former intimate partners or other parties. One common way people might seek to hurt others is referred to as “revenge porn,” which involves publishing nude or sexual pictures or videos of someone online...

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Take or Not to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Getting pulled over is always a stressful experience, and your stress levels can shoot through the roof if the officer starts suspecting that you might be intoxicated. The officer might ask you questions, such as whether you have been drinking, where you are heading, and more. If the officer notices...

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In Texas, Legal Separation Doesn’t Exist

There are many reasons why you might want to live apart from your spouse without legally ending your marriage with a divorce. Some people hope that some time living separately can help them reconcile their differences and make the marriage stronger in the end. Others know their marriage relationship is...

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Penalties for DWI in Texas

The State of Texas takes Driving While Intoxicated offenses seriously Texas is cracking down on those who drive while intoxicated or under the influence. The State makes it clear that it does not tolerate drivers who operate their vehicles while intoxicated and the penalties put in place reflect this. If...

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How Can Having an Affair Affect Your Children?

Infidelity can affect a family dynamic in many ways. Even though an affair involves a spouse being unfaithful to the other spouse, children can also feel the effects of the affair and, sometimes, for years to come. An affair can affect your parent-child relationship, and it is important to understand...

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Infecting Someone with an STD Can be a Crime

Knowingly putting someone else at risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) without their knowledge is morally wrong. However, did you know that you can also face criminal charges for doing so? If someone accuses you of intentionally or recklessly infecting them with an STD and you are arrested, you...

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What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Texas?

While many people use the terms interchangeably, a DUI and DWI are two separate offenses in Texas Under the Texas Penal Code, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are separate and distinct charges. Both involve a person driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Also, if...

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Texas DWI Laws

Driving While Intoxicated is a serious offense in Texas and the potential penalties are severe In Texas, you may face a DWI charge if you are found to be driving while intoxicated. Intoxicated means that you are not in normal control of your mental or physical faculties as a result...

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Is Parental Alienation a Crime in Texas?

When two people separate or divorce, it’s rarely amicable. With such strong emotions for each other gone awry, there can be a lot of anger, bitterness, and resentment. When those same two people have children, they can lose sight of what’s important and channel that anger and bitterness into the...

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Is property split 50-50 in a Texas divorce?

Texas, like most states, treats property and assets obtained during a marriage as shared property, and it gives both spouses an equal right to it. But some people hear the words “equitable distribution of assets” and they think that means an equal distribution of property – like an imaginary line...

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Texas S.B. 1253 Interrogations and Interviews Law

According to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations, approximately 60 percent of wrongful convictions over the last 25 years were the result of misconduct by law enforcement officers and prosecutors. The study also cited coerced confessions during police interrogations as a leading cause of wrongful convictions. In the...

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Divorce Checklist

Life is busy. And complicated. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to throw us off course. When it comes to divorce, staying organized and on track is key — the divorce process itself can be challenging, emotionally draining, and stressful. Having a divorce checklist can guide you through the process, keeping...

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What Does No Refusal Mean in Texas?

No Refusal & DWI As you gear up for the rapidly approaching holiday season, keep in mind that Texas’ “no refusal” program is in effect for Fort Worth and Tarrant County during the week of Thanksgiving through January 2, 2018. If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving...

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Holidays and Parenting Time

While the holiday season can be stressful for many, for parents who are divorced and sharing joint custody of their children, navigating time sharing around the holidays can be particularly challenging. Advance planning, coordination, and cooperation are key to ensuring a happy holiday season for all involved. Texas courts are...

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Texas Second Chance Bill

Texas Second Chance Bill And Nondisclosures Everyone makes mistakes. Usually, we try and learn from those transgressions and move on. When the mistakes involve breaking the law and result in a criminal record, it is more difficult to move forward in life. That criminal record will impact your life now...

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Divorce and holidays Keeping bah humbugs away

This is the time of year when you probably start thinking about all the favorite traditions you share with your children during the holidays. Perhaps you’ve even ventured out to stores in Texas to buy a few gifts or get groceries in preparation of your celebrations. Such times are special,...

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