Tessmer Law Firm, Author at Tessmer Law Firm - Page 17 of 23
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Author: Tessmer Law Firm

DWI Fact #4: What happens during a DWI stop?   Most people are stopped for DWI in the evening or early morning hours. If you are driving during that time and you get pulled over by the police, there is a good chance that you will be asked to perform tests and provide a breath sample.   When stopped, remember that the officer can only detain you for as long as it takes to complete the purpose of the stop. You do not have to answer any questions. In fact, answering questions may inadvertently cause the officer to suspect you are intoxicated.   Once the officer...

DWI Fact #3: How much is too much?  That’s the wrong question to ask because it assumes that there are a fixed number of drinks that are acceptable before you get behind the wheel. That is not the case.   For example, if you are taking medication, one drink could put you at risk. For some people, it often takes very little alcohol to become legally drunk and certain physical characteristics such as weight, gender and body fat percentage can all be factors in the equation. Eating can also affect your outcome – you are more likely to fail a blood alcohol...

DWI Fact #2: Mostly, DWI crimes are related to your BAC when operating a motor vehicle.  However, officers can arrest you for other alcohol-related crimes involving your vehicle.   For example, it’s illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle if you’re driving or parked on a public highway (Texas defines the “passenger area” as the area designed for people to sit in while traveling).  A simple open container violation results in a maximum $500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor. However, if you’re arrested for DWI and open container, you’ll get a Class B misdemeanor and a...

This is the season for all those holiday happy hours and parties, but don't let those holly jolly times have you making a mistake by drinking and driving!   This week on our Tessmer Tips blog, the subject is DWI Facts.   DWI Fact #1:  If you drink and drive and the only thing that happens is that you get charged with a DWI, you are actually lucky. It could be much worse. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone dies in an alcohol-related accident once every 5 hours. In 2013, Texas led the nation with 1,337 drunk-driving fatalities. It is easy to distance...

If you cannot comply with an order garnishing your wages or money in your accounts because of your military service, under SCRA you may request that the court temporarily stop your money or property from being taken. This right applies only to actions and proceedings that were commenced against you before your period of military service, during your period of military service, or within 90 days after your period of military service ended.   If your health insurance was canceled while on active duty, it can be reinstated without loss of benefits, waiting periods or penalties in most cases. Life insurance is...

If you receive orders to relocate for at least 90 days to a location that does not support your cell phone service contract, SCRA allows you to terminate your contract with your cell provider at any time without penalty. Additionally, if you are relocated for 3 years or less, you have the right to keep your cell phone number, under certain circumstances.   If you receive notice that a civil action (bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce, etc.) has been filed or a child custody matter has been initiated against you during a period of military service or within 90 days thereafter, you have the...

SCRA protects your home from foreclosure. If you secured a mortgage before entering military service, SCRA requires that a lender obtain a court order before it can foreclose on your home during any period of service and for nine months thereafter.  If your lender does seek a court order, and you can show that you have been unable to make your mortgage payments due to your service, the court must temporarily stay the proceedings or adjust the amount due to your lender.   If you leased a vehicle prior to joining the armed forces, you may terminate that lease if you are...

SCRA caps the interest rates on loans incurred prior to active duty at 6%. The rate reduction applies to the interest on all pre-service loans and obligations, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards and even federally guaranteed student loans. The interest over 6% is forgiven, not deferred.  Lenders cannot deny or revoke credit, change the terms of an existing loan or refuse to grant you credit because you seek SCRA protections.  Any claim of rights under SCRA cannot be used as the basis for a lender to decide that you are unable to pay a debt to generate an adverse...

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we continue with our Tessmer Tips for Veterans.   The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA), is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automobile leases, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments.  The law was first passed in 1918 and most recently rewritten and expanded in 2003.  It offers an umbrella of...

Determine how you will handle collection matters.  Every business has to deal with outstanding accounts receivables; know your legal rights and formulate a firm policy for collections and practices. Hire a professional accountant, preferably one who knows your type of industry.  Your accountant can give you advice on deductions, payroll, taxes, etc. that will keep you legal and off the IRS radar.   Consider retaining an attorney.  While most small business startups do not need one, having a trusted counsel can bring peace of mind.  You will have someone to call if any problems arise with contracts, employee issues, customer complaints, etc....