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Dead woman's ex-husband facing felony charge of murder

The arrival of Hurricane Harvey in Texas was associated with a few criminal charges that seemed eerily tied to the massive storm's wind and rain-making violence. In one case, a woman disappeared on the day that Harvey hit the mainland, and she did not reappear until her corpse was found two weeks later in a marshy woodland in Baytown. Authorities have charged her ex-husband with the felony of killing her, allegedly in a rage of domestic violence initiated by his need to control his ex-wife.  

The 37-year-old woman left her male companion on Aug. 25, saying that she was going to pick up her children at the ex-husband's house. She did not reappear and was reported missing the next day. Several of the woman's friends and family pointed to the suspect's need to control her and the children, according to police.

Negligent driver jumps gate, injures 5 children at daycare center

Some accidents are so unintentional that it is difficult to place moral blame on the party who caused the mishap. That is probably the case in a recent tragedy that occurred when a 17-year-old male who was learning how to drive crashed a gate to a Texas daycare center, injuring five children and one adult who were outside the building. The negligent driver reportedly hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal, sending the car into an uncontrolled plunge onto the private property.

Two of the children were airlifted to Children's Medical Center Dallas. One of them was in critical condition. The operator, with his father in the passenger seat, was intending to enter the driving school located across the street from the daycare center. Police did not arrest him, and he was reportedly deeply upset by the incident. He had a valid learner's permit.

Car accidents account for nearly 40,000 fatalities per year

Every year there are nearly 40,000 deaths from auto accidents in the country, according to the statistics kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Broken down by state, the agency's statistics show that Texas led the country in 2015 with 3,516 fatalities. However, given the large population of the state, its proportional contribution to traffic fatalities in car accidents was not that close to the top.

The agency's statistics are interesting and give some good insights into what drivers and pedestrians may want to look out for in the years ahead.  First, most fatal crashes involve alcohol. This statistic confirms that alcohol is still a major contributor to death on the highways. The odds are much greater that a crash will end in death where alcohol has been involved.

Penalties you could face if you get a DWI

Driving while intoxicated is dangerous to you and to those around you. Someone is hurt or killed approximately every 20 minutes in Texas due to crashes involving alcohol. While most people understand the risks of drunk driving, many people still participate in this dangerous act. Why? They don't think accidents or arrests will happen to them.

If you're caught after drinking and driving, you may want to know what kinds of penalties you could face in Texas. These are some of the penalties that you could face if you are convicted of drunk driving.

Be informed prior to engaging in divorce negotiations

The summer season does not see a lot of divorce filings in Texas and other states. The focus on filing for a divorce naturally increases in the fall season. At that time, summer travel is over and the children are back in school. For those who are preparing to undertake such unknown waters, here are a few basic tips that may be of assistance in getting a feel for divorce negotiations.

One pitfall to avoid is the common attitude by some spouses that says that they must obtain full ownership and possession of the marital home. It is true that the reasoning makes some sense where there are minor children who would benefit from that certain unbroken chain of continuity. However, where the available assets and income do not justify maintaining such a high maintenance overhead, trying to beat the mathematics of the situation may prove to be a stressful venture.

Divorce negotiations may include the parties' tax consequences

There are various rules that apply to Texas family law regarding the tax consequences of a negotiated agreement that follows the dissolution of marriage. The federal tax impact on the parties must be considered when a divorce is being negotiated. The experienced divorce attorney will be familiar with the rules and principles that guide the negotiations on these types of issues. Where unusually complex income and asset issues are involved, the attorney may work with an accountant or tax specialist where appropriate.

Basic issues in divorce settlements include that child support is not income to the receiving parent and is not deductible to the paying parent. However, the same is not true about alimony and other possible types of support payments. These are income to the receiving spouse and deductible on the tax return of the paying spouse. Various settlement negotiations may center on these principles.

New Texas law aims to prevent distracted driving accidents

In the last couple of decades cell phones have rapidly changed the way many motorists focus when they drive. They allow drivers to multi-task by making phone calls, navigating road trips, listening to books or music or browsing social media. Unfortunately, they have also resulted in large number of distracted driving accidents. Recently, Texas law makers have passed a law making it illegal to text and drive.

According to statistics, over 100,000 accidents occurred last year due to drivers who were distracted by their cell phones or other various reasons. Sadly, almost 500 people died and thousands were injured last year as a result. Specifically texting while driving significantly increases a driver's chance of being involved in an accident. 

You can help your child thrive even during a divorce

A divorce throws your entire life into a twist. Imagine how your child feels if you, as an adult, are struggling to handle your divorce. Yes, the divorce is the end of a marriage between you and your spouse, but it's also seemingly and end to your child's idea of a family.

It will take time for your child to adjust to the idea of divorce. To your child, this may seem like the end of the world, and although you might think that's dramatic, to a little one who knows no other situation, it is. Fortunately, you can help your child come through the situation in a healthy manner.

Women suffers serious injuries in car's fall from parking garage

It's one thing to see one's car fall from the seventh floor of a Texas parking garage onto the sidewalk below. It is a wholly different kind of emotional fright when the owner is in the car when it takes that deep plunge. It actually happened last month in Austin when a female operator fell seven floors to the ground below at the Littlefield Garage. Not surprisingly, she suffered life-threatening serious injuries.

She fortunately survived, and was recently able to file a lawsuit against the owners of the garage. She alleges that the owners were negligent in not updating their cable barrier system that is specifically designed to keep drivers from falling off the garage. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages for her serious injuries.

Court may order expunction of felony or misdemeanor charges

Texas law allows for several instances in which criminal charges may be wiped and expunged from a person's record. Generally, felony or misdemeanor records can be excised where the charges did not result in conviction. The procedure to obtain relief involves the filing of a petition for expunction of criminal records. In some states, a petition for expungement is the preferred terminology.

Each state has its own expunction or expungement statute that sets forth the qualifications for relief. In Texas, convictions are generally not the subject of expunction requests. However, if the person is pardoned after conviction, an expunction petition is allowed. In addition, several types of juvenile court convictions may qualify for expunction.

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