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Sugar Land Criminal Defense Blog

Settlement agreement can cover retirement accounts, other assets

Negotiating with a future ex-spouse on a settlement agreement in Texas may seem like an arduous mountain hike. However, the process does not have to be difficult. A couple of tips may help with negotiating divorce settlements, especially when dealing with retirement accounts or other potentially high-value assets.

First, knowing one's finances is paramount. When spouses who are going through divorce understand their finances, they can make more informed decisions regarding matters such as wealth distribution, child support and spousal support. Without an understanding of their finances, and without appropriate deliberation, those going through divorce may end up losing hefty amounts.

3 accused of committing drug crimes in Texas

Three individuals were recently arraigned on charges of possessing drugs in Texas. The arraignments related to their alleged drug crimes took place on a Wednesday. The three parties -- two women and a man -- were taken into custody in apparently unrelated incidents.

Police said one of the individuals was taken into custody after authorities had to settle a gas station dispute. When police searched her automobile, they reportedly discovered a pipe that was made from glass and featured burnt residue. Police said they also found a bag containing a substance that they later learned was methamphetamine, following testing. She was jailed and held on a bond of $30,000.

Man suspected of DUI following Texas crash

Car accidents often happen faster than those involved can even consider reacting. In the aftermath of a crash, a person involved could panic and respond in an unexpected way. Unfortunately, a man in Texas is suspected of DUI following a crash that appears to have only caused minor injuries.

The incident allegedly involved a 23-year-old man and a 16-year-old female who had reportedly only had her driver's license for two months prior to the accident. The teenager claims that the man pulled out in front of her. Although she says she swerved in an attempt to avoid the collision, the man's vehicle reportedly T-boned her vehicle.

Will you keep your diamond tennis bracelet in the divorce?

Property division is a difficult part of any divorce. For example, your husband gave you a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet for your anniversary years ago and you wear it frequently. Is this considered marital property? Can he take it back?

Some things immediately come to mind when you begin thinking about property division, but there are many items you may not have considered. Here are a few that might help jog your memory about others.  

Police officer faces DUI/DWI charge following head-on crash

A police officer in Texas currently faces a criminal charge related to driving while under the influence. His drunk driving charge came after police said he collided with another vehicle head-on. Anyone facing a DUI/DWI charge in Texas has the right to fight these charges aggressively in the criminal court system.

The accident that led to the police officer's arrest took place at around 5:40 a.m. on a Tuesday. It happened along State Highway 146 South. Police said he ran into a pickup truck that had stopped in traffic as he was heading north.

20 facing charges related to drug crimes in Texas

Twenty people were recently taken into custody as part of a police crackdown on drugs in Central Texas. Police say that the drug ring targeted had ties to another state as well. Those in the Lone Star State who face federal charges for drug crimes fortunately have the right to defend themselves aggressively against the accusations in the criminal court system.

According to authorities, the 20 individuals were affiliated with a methamphetamine and cocaine ring. They were indicted in November on a conspiracy charge related to drugs. Several of these individuals additionally face money laundering conspiracy charges.

Child custody, splitting of retirement accounts can be complex

With the holidays soon in the rearview mirror, some couples in Texas are ready to zoom ahead to divorce court. In fact, the first Monday in the month of January is often known as Divorce Day in the legal world. A few tips may help those going through divorce to be prepared for the multifaceted process, which may range from dividing retirement accounts to deciding about child custody.

First, the final paystubs of this year might provide helpful information for a divorce attorney while a spouse is waiting for year-end tax filing information, which likely will not come until January or February. The attorney can assess any monetary issues that might affect the spouse's divorce case, specifically concerning alimony and child support. In addition to gathering paystubs, collecting bank statements, the tax return from the previous year and bills for credit cards may also be beneficial.

Arson charges even if fire does not take off

Arson charges can be extremely serious for juveniles in Texas. This is so even if the young person starting the fire is a poor fire starter and cannot get the fire going to his or her satisfaction. So, when does lighting a fire rise to the level of a crime?

Texas criminal code, Section 28.02 provides much of the answer.

Update beneficiary designation on retirement accounts

People experience many changes in their lives as they grow and mature. Often, there are marriages and children and plans for the future, but there could also be divorce and remarriage. A change in marital status can have a huge impact on a person's life. While many remember to update essential documents such as wills after a divorce, they forget about retirement accounts and what will happen in the event of their death. In Texas and many other states, retirement accounts are not considered part of an estate and may not be included in the provisions of a will.

Numerous cases have been reported of retirement account owners not updating beneficiary information. This could lead to a long and tedious court battle to determine who is entitled to the money, and the outcome may not be favorable. Updating all-important documents after a divorce, with each life milestone and reviewing them periodically for accuracy, is critical. The last thing a family needs after a loved one passes is to have an outsider determine that the beneficiary of his or her estate is the ex-spouse.

Driver sentenced in DWI crash

A man who was accused of DWI with regard to an accident that occurred over two years ago will now serve 28 years in prison. A jury handed down the sentence after four days of testimony. The man allegedly ran a red light in North Austin and slammed into a college student from the University of Texas. She was killed instantly. Charges related to DWI are serious under any circumstances, but more so when they are related to a fatal accident. 

Authorities said the 20-year-old woman was driving near a busy multi-lane intersection in April 2015. Reportedly, the woman was home from school for the weekend visiting family. The man pleaded guilty to charges of intoxication manslaughter and aggravated assault but contested the accusation that he used a deadly weapon (his vehicle) in the act. Nevertheless, a jury found otherwise. Because of the jury's decision, he must serve half of his punishment before being eligible for parole.

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