What is Intoxication Assault?

What is Intoxication Assault?

What is Intoxication Assault?

Everyone is aware that drunk-driving laws are in effect in Texas and every other state in the union.  Some states call their law Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  In Texas, the legislature has named our law Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Regardless of what the law is called, the crime is basically the same: if you get behind the wheel after having lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties as a result of the introduction of alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof into your body, you are likely going to jail.

In Texas, a first offense DWI is a misdemeanor which can land you up to six months in the county jail, and a fine up to $2000. You will also lose your driver’s license, which will cost you time, money, and considerable effort to have reinstated. And with subsequent offenses, the penalty range will go up substantially from that first-offense starting point.

Intoxication Assult

What a lot of people do not realize, however, is that there are a half-dozen or more spinoff offenses emanating from the basic DWI scenario. Each one of these offenses can make your legal experience even more unpleasant than what it would otherwise be with just a standard DWI conviction.   

For instance, what if you were behind the wheel while legally intoxicated, and you have a wreck which causes serious bodily injury to someone in another vehicle, or even to a passenger in your own vehicle?  If this happens, you will likely be charged not with simple DWI, but with Intoxication Assault.

Intoxication Assault is a crime specially enacted by the Texas legislature to address incidents where a person has an accident while driving while intoxicated, and by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another individual.  Unlike a first-offense misdemeanor DWI, this offense is a felony for which you could be sentenced to the state penitentiary.

“Serious bodily injury,” as defined by the statute creating Intoxication Assault, is an injury which creates “a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”  This definition is a mouthful, and sounds like an extremely high standard. But even a broken nose may cause “permanent disfigurement,” and a nose is not hard at all to break upon impact. So the proof needed to establish the element of serious bodily injury is generally not difficult for a prosecutor to find when reviewing a drunk-driving related accident where some injury is involved.

How Does The Prosecution Prove Driving While Intoxicated?

As mentioned above, in order to prove a person guilty of Intoxication Assault, the State must first show that the defendant was guilty of DWI.  If the prosecutor cannot prove the defendant was guilty of DWI, it cannot prove Intoxication Assault even if there was a serious accident where injuries occurred.

A finding of DWI is complete if the prosecutor can show that a person was intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.  In this context, “intoxication” does not necessarily mean “drunk” in the normal sense of the word.  Intoxication, as defined by the Texas Penal Code, means:

(a)  not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body;  or

(b)  having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

This legal definition of intoxication is a fairly low standard.  Therefore, a person charged with DWI might feel as though they are perfectly “sober” by their subjective understanding of the term, yet be quite intoxicated according to the legal definition.  

The Prosecutor Must Also Prove The Element Of Causation!

The prosecutor’s burden to establish the crime of Intoxication Assault is not over simply by showing that the driver was guilty of DWI at the time of the accident which causes injury.  The State must also prove that the defendant’s intoxication was a necessary causal factor in the resulting injuries involved.  In other words, the State must show that but for the intoxication of the defendant at the time of the vehicular accident, the serious bodily injury incurred by the innocent party would have not occurred.  

Penalty Range

Intoxication Assault is usually a third degree felony which is subject to a penalty range of not less than two, nor more than 10 years’ incarceration in the state penitentiary, and a fine not to exceed $10,000. There are various scenarios, however, where this offense can be enhanced to a higher level. And just as with a standard misdemeanor DWI, you will lose your driver’s license, which will be a considerable disruption to your life even if you somehow manage to escape a penitentiary sentence.  

Defenses to Intoxication Assult

A skilled criminal defense attorney has many strategies to defend you against the charge of Intoxication Assault.

Most of those strategies start with attacking the prosecution’s underlying case of driving while intoxicated. If your attorney can successfully defend the allegation that you were legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, then the prosecution’s case for higher offense of Intoxication Assault will fail. Your attorney should know the best approach to use based upon the specific facts of your case.

The offense of DWI is a complicated crime unto itself, and there are many tactics available to defend against the charge. For instance, if the State is relying on breath test results to prove intoxication, oftentimes the defense will attack the science of the intoxilyzer instrument itself, which will involve intense cross-examination of the prosecution’s expert witness with the objective of discrediting the science of infrared spectrometry breath alcohol instruments. On the other hand, if a blood test is involved, your attorney might focus on the collection and storage of the blood sample, as well as the science involved in analyzing the vile of blood taken at the time of your arrest.

Perhaps the second most common strategy is to contest whether your level of intoxication (if indeed you were legally intoxicated), was actually the cause of the accident. Your attorney may be able to establish that the driver of the other vehicle was actually at fault, and that the accident would have happened regardless of your intoxication. For instance, if the other driver ran a stop sign and crashed into the side of your vehicle as you were driving carefully down the roadway, then chances are good that a jury would conclude that the alcohol you had consumed was not a factor in the collision.

Another key element that is subject to attack is whether the resulting injuries of the innocent party fall into the definition of “serious bodily injury.” In order to challenge this element effectively, it may be necessary to hire an expert medical witness to examine the medical records and testify on your behalf. Oftentimes, however, the injuries may be so severe that any attacks on this element would backfire if presented to a jury, which means that your attorney may decide that the best strategy is to focus on other elements of the State’s burden of proof.

The bottom line is that Intoxication Assault is a complicated offense for the State to prove, and for your attorney to defend. Due to the amount of science involved, you should expect your attorney to have specialized expertise in the defense DWI-type cases.

Not every lawyer, not even every experienced criminal lawyer, will give you effective representation in this type of case. You need, and should demand, that your attorney be competent to represent you with a charge of Intoxication Assault.

How can I get more information about this topic?

If you are charged with Intoxicated Assault, DWI, or related crime you should contact a competent defense attorney skilled in the practice of criminal law immediately in order to start work on your defense.  The Bigham Law Firm has the attorneys with the experience, and resources to properly represent you in these difficult types of cases.  

If you would like more information about how to protect yourself in any criminal case, please call the Bigham Law Firm at (979) 743-4153 for a free consultation. 

THE BIGHAM LAW FIRM

PERSONAL INJURY | CRIMINAL DEFENSE | FAMILY LAW

Ken Bigham Jr. has nearly three decades of experience navigating the law to protect his clients from unfair treatment by insurance companies, the government and corporations. He believes that Bigham Law’s purpose is to provide outstanding value to its clients and compassionate service to its community. 

FREE CONSULTATION

This firm gave me my life back. Before Ken and his team I almost gave up hope and caved. He gave me back a chance to finish my schooling, move past what was done to me, and handed back the tools I needed to be a man.

Here I am now a father to a beautiful little girl and building a small business. I can say if I didn’t meet Ken, the story would have been not quite the same. Nothing but love and appreciation from me and my family.

J.S. 2019

Criminal Defense, Facebook Review

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The impact of Martin Luther King Jr. is everlasting. With racial inequality being an issue of great importance in our country, we would like to recognize Dr. King for helping start this battle during a time where speaking out was not a matter of having an anonymous Twitter account.

During his career, King was arrested 29 times in total for fighting on behalf of equality. As a people, African-Americans were treated as second-class citizens. They were not allowed into public schools for white children, they were given specific laws pertaining to where they could live, where they could eat, and even where they could use the bathroom. Our country still has a very long way to go to achieve racial equality, but we stand where we do today thanks to brave pioneers, like Dr. King, and their disregard for personal safety while fighting for the greater good.

Many people know of the marches from Selma to Montgomery by civil rights activists in 1965. In Selma, activists had been fighting for black Americans’ constitutional right to vote since 1963. The Selma to Montgomery marches were a series of three marches on the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol of Montgomery. The first march took place on March 7, 1965 and came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ because when the protestors crossed the county line, state troopers and possemen attacked the unarmed marchers with clubs and tear gas, resulting in law enforcement beating one of the organizers, Amelia Boynton, completely unconscious. Two days later, on March 9, the second march went underway. While troopers stepped aside to let marchers pass, King led the group back to the church, wanting to achieve federal protection for the march. That night, a group of angry white citizens beat and killed civil rights activist James Reeb. He was a minister from Boston who had come to march with the group. Eventually, on March 21, President Johnson sent 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard to protect the participants. By the time the march reached the Alabama state capitol on March 25, 25,000 people arrived in support of voting rights. 

This is a story of unbelievable resilience. Thousands of black citizens endured physical, emotional and social abuse just for fighting to be treated as humans. On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we should remember what those before us went through to make possible the world we live in today. Also, we should stay cognizant of the fact that while many don’t understand the severity of social inequality’s lasting affects in present time, we can all agree that Dr. King was correct when he said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” Regardless of your political beliefs, religious beliefs or ethnicity, we are one people and “unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

THE BIGHAM LAW FIRM

PERSONAL INJURY | CRIMINAL DEFENSE | FAMILY LAW

Ken Bigham Jr. has nearly three decades of experience navigating the law to protect his clients from unfair treatment by insurance companies, the government and corporations. He believes that Bigham Law’s purpose is to provide outstanding value to its clients and compassionate service to its community. 

FREE CONSULTATION

I was in the middle of a custody battle for my daughter back when I hired Ken Bigham to be my attorney. I needed someone willing to fight for justice for my daughter. When it comes to right is right and wrong is wrong, he is the one I turned to. He is very honest and takes pride in his client’s situations. It’s more than just a job to him in his heart.

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student

Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student

Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student

(Or when is a cigar not simply a cigar?)

A true story provided by a friend from long ago 

I would like to start this article with a story – a true story with a happy ending.  

In the early 1970’s when I was a high school student in a small town in central Texas, a young football coach and math teacher was hired by our school. In his first year as a teacher and coach, he met and fell in love with one of his students – a senior class coed who was in one of his math classes. She was 18 years old at the time, a good student, pretty, popular, and from a prominent local family. 

The coach was very popular as well. Everyone liked him. He was a recent college graduate who was only a few years older than the students he taught and the boys he coached on the football team. The students and the football team viewed him as someone who could have been their older brother. 

His relationship with the coed was no secret around the school. In fact, the coach and the coed did not even try to hide their feelings for each other. They would frequently attend parties and other functions together as a couple. In that day and time, we students all thought the relationship was unusual, but no one thought it was inappropriate. 

Later that year after the coed graduated, the two of them got married and lived happily together as husband and wife for over 40 years, until the coach unfortunately passed away from an extended illness.  

End of story.


Fast forward to today

This happy story is not an isolated event. Many of you who are old enough to be around during that era may be able to remember similar events that happened in your school. 

But make no mistake: this story could not have taken place in today’s society. If it did, this fine young coach and future husband of 40 years would have been arrested, taken to jail, prosecuted, and likely sent to the state penitentiary for a very long period of time. Furthermore, the pretty young coed and future wife of the coach would have been deemed a “crime victim,” even though in her eyes nothing could have been further from the truth. The reason why is because in 2003, the Texas legislature enacted a law which made this type of relationship illegal. 


Enter Texas Penal Code Article 21.12

Subject to a few rare exceptions, Article 21.12 of the Texas Penal Code makes it a crime for a teacher or any other employee of a public or private primary or secondary school to engage in sexual contact, or have a sexual relationship with, a student enrolled in a primary or secondary school at which the employee works. The law applies broadly to any employee and any student in the same school or district. It also applies to an educator having an improper relationship with a student who is a participant in any activity sponsored by the educator’s school or school district. 

Also be aware that this type of relationship is a crime even if the student involved is otherwise over the legal age of consent (17 years in Texas), and if the contact between teacher and student happens entirely off campus. 

This offense, called Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student, is a second degree felony, which carries a penalty range of no less than two and no more than 20 years’ incarceration in the Texas Department of Corrections. The person convicted could also receive a fine of up to $10,000. 

The clear message the legislature is sending to our teachers, coaches, and other school employees is: Don’t mess around with your students! 


Recent Trends

The recent trends associated with this legislation demonstrate not only a change in the law, but also a growing shift in the manner in which illicit affairs between teachers and students are viewed broadly by our society. According to published data from the Texas Education Agency from 2018, the number of opened investigations into allegations of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students has increased 42% since the previous year. This number is a 249% increase from a decade ago. 

  This law was no doubt intended to curb sexual predation by unscrupulous teachers and other school employees on the vulnerable children in our school system. To this end the law is indeed much needed, and is perhaps arguably overdue. Our school system is the last place where we want our children to be exposed to sexual predators. Any adult who seeks employment in our schools for the purpose of finding outlets for their sexual gratification should be punished to the fullest extent allowed by law.

The vast majority of individuals who enter into the teaching profession, however, do so with the most honorable of intentions. Teachers are one of our society’s greatest resource. But the sad reality is that we are all human, and the powerful impulses associated with romance and human sexuality are hard for some people to ignore. Therefore from time to time, a teacher – perhaps especially one who is only a few years older than the students in which they teach – may find themselves tempted to enter into a questionable scenario which our society now deems unlawful. If so, that teacher will most certainly lose their job and may wind up losing their freedom as well.  


So what should I do?

No longer will you hear any new stories involving relationships between teachers and students that have happy endings. The Texas legislature has put a decisive end to that possibility.  But that does not mean that these relationships will no longer occur, given the nature of who we are as human beings. Nor does it mean that every teacher charged with having an improper relationship is a sexual predator who should face a felony charge followed by a lengthy penitentiary sentence. 

If you or someone you care about is being charged with such a crime, it is imperative that you find competent legal representation immediately. You need a legal advocate on your side that will fight for you in the courtroom. Perhaps equally as important, you need an attorney who understands the human complexities of the situation you find yourself in, and is capable of framing a winning story for you when your day in court finally arrives. Remember that juries are human, too, and will do the right thing when presented with a compelling narrative from a competent attorney who understands the nature of the offense alleged.


How can I get more information about this topic?

If you are charged with this or any other type of criminal offense you should contact a competent defense attorney skilled in the practice of criminal law immediately in order to begin work on your defense. The Bigham Law Firm has the attorneys with the experience, expertise, and resources to properly represent you in these difficult types of cases. 

If you would like more information about how to protect yourself in any criminal case, please call the Bigham Law Firm at (979) 743-4153 for a free consultation. 

THE BIGHAM LAW FIRM

PERSONAL INJURY | CRIMINAL DEFENSE | FAMILY LAW

Ken Bigham Jr. has nearly three decades of experience navigating the law to protect his clients from unfair treatment by insurance companies, the government and corporations. He believes that Bigham Law’s purpose is to provide outstanding value to its clients and compassionate service to its community. 

FREE CONSULTATION

Ultimately, my case was dismissed and I received a fair restitution in the lawsuit that followed. It is reassuring to have someone you can trust when required to navigate our unique legal system.

H.P. 2018

Criminal Defense, Facebook Review

When do the police have the right to search your vehicle/person?

When do the police have the right to search your vehicle/person?

When do the police have the right to search your vehicle/person?

Search and seizure law is a complicated and constantly evolving legal subject area which affects the lives of many citizens as they come into contact with law enforcement officers. Oftentimes these encounters with the police occur during routine traffic stops; i.e. where the officer stops a citizen for a minor traffic violation, which then escalates into a search and arrest of the citizen for a much more serious crime. 

The Legal Background

Whether a law enforcement officer has a lawful right to conduct a search and seizure of your person or vehicle is governed by the Fourth Amendment to our U.S. Constitution: 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The United States Supreme Court has categorized the interpretation of the Fourth Amendment based in part upon a multitude of different factual scenarios, some of which constitute exceptions to the warrant requirement. The common denominator in each scenario is the Court’s attempt to balance the privacy rights of citizens against the duties of law enforcement officers to conduct investigations (searches) and to make lawful arrests (seizures) when a crime has been committed. 

Since the Fourth Amendment only prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, the operative concept in any situation is whether or not the officer’s decision to conduct a search or seizure was reasonable under the circumstances. In a nutshell, if the court determines that the officer’s actions were not reasonable, any evidence collected or discovered as a result of the unlawful police action can be suppressed; i.e. it will not be admissible in a criminal trial as evidence against the accused. 

For example, generally the law requires the police to have a warrant based upon probable cause and signed by a judge in order to search a person’s house. In contrast, the police can search a car at the scene of a suspected crime when the officer has only a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being or has been committed.  No warrant is required. This latter case represents the automobile exception to the warrant requirement.  

The key differences between these two searches are that a vehicle is mobile, which renders obtaining a warrant to search the vehicle impracticable. In addition, our society places a higher expectation of privacy on a person’s home than on a person’s vehicle. Therefore, a warrantless search of a person’s vehicle is deemed reasonable under the circumstances, whereas a warrantless search of the person’s house is not. 

Three Tiers of Police/Citizen Encounters

Keep in mind that not every encounter a citizen may have with the police will necessarily invoke a Fourth Amendment application. The case law has divided citizen/police encounters into three basic categories, and only the last two involve the Fourth Amendment:

1. The Consensual Encounter:

This first level represents the most mundane form of interaction, and is the only time where the Fourth Amendment does not apply. This is the situation where an officer approaches a citizen (or a citizen approaches an officer), and the two of them have a consensual conversation, as opposed to a custodial interrogation. What is key to the consensual encounter is that the citizen has not been “seized,” i.e. has not been placed under arrest nor is being detained in any way. Here, the citizen is free to answer questions, or not, and can even walk away from the officer’s presence if the citizen chooses to do so. The officer does not need probable cause or reasonable suspicion to initiate a consensual encounter. However, in the event that the citizen does say something incriminating, or voluntarily allows the officer to search his/her person or vehicle, then the product of that interaction is not suppressible under a Fourth Amendment justification. 

2. The Terry Stop:

The second tier of encounter is known in legal terms as the Terry stop (referring to the seminal Supreme Court case of Terry v. Ohio, 1968). Pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, an officer can temporarily detain a citizen for a reasonable amount of time when the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime, is committing a crime, or is about to commit a crime. In this situation the citizen is not under formal arrest, but he/she has been detained (and therefore seized), meaning the citizen is not free to leave until the officer gives the citizen permission to do so. The officer can proceed by initiating a limited investigation, as dictated by the circumstances. If, however, the officer detains a person without the requisite degree of suspicion, the person’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure are violated.  If contraband or evidence of criminal activity is uncovered as a result of the unlawful detention, then the evidence recovered may be suppressed at trial.  

3. A Formal Arrest:

The final and most extreme level of encounter with law enforcement is the full-blown arrest, where the citizen is cuffed and taken to jail. In order for a police officer to make a lawful arrest, the officer must have probable cause to believe the citizen has committed a crime. As the phrase implies, probable cause is a higher level of certainty than mere reasonable suspicion, discussed above. Just as with a Terry stop, if the officer arrests a person without the requisite degree of probable cause, the person’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure are violated. If contraband or evidence of criminal activity is uncovered as a result of the unlawful arrest, the evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed at trial. 

Application of these Legal Principles

Returning again to our opening traffic-stop scenario, we can conceive of many common fact patterns where these principles come into play, and may have a significant impact on the outcome of a criminal trial. 

Example One:

In the first-tier situation, an officer clocks a vehicle for speeding. The officer initiates a traffic stop, and detains the citizen temporarily as the officer writes the driver a speeding ticket and runs a routine background license check. During their conversation regarding the ticket, the officer asks the citizen for permission to search the vehicle. The driver declines the request, which he has a right to do.  Since the driver declines the search request, and since the officer has no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to conduct a search, the officer must then release the driver at this point in time. If the officer violates his duty and searches the vehicle without permission, nothing the officer discovers can be used against the driver at trial.

Now let’s change the facts of the above example to reflect the higher tiers of citizen/officer encounter. 

Example Two:

If in the first example the officer smells the odor of marijuana emitting from the inside of the vehicle as he approaches the door to talk to the driver about the speeding violation, the officer has thereby acquired a reasonable suspicion that the crime of Possession of Marijuana has been or is being committed in the vehicle. This reasonable suspicion gives the officer the right to detain the driver at least temporarily to conduct an investigation. So the officer searches the vehicle and finds a marijuana cigarette in the center console beside the driver. The officer now has probable cause to arrest the driver (a seizure) for the misdemeanor crime of Possession of Marijuana. 

Upon making the marijuana arrest, the officer now searches the driver’s person incident to an arrest. In the driver’s pocket the officer finds a baggie containing a small amount of white powdery substance that the officer knows from his training and experience to be cocaine. The officer can now arrest the driver for the additional felony crime of Possession of Controlled Substance. 

This second scenario represents an all too common sequence whereby an officer makes a solid case against the driver, and where the proper application of search and seizure law dictated the parameters of the officer’s right to conduct an investigation. This case will sustain a Fourth Amendment challenge since the entire process was consistent with the powers granted to law enforcement, relative to the test of reasonableness described above. All the evidence collected in this example would be admissible at trial against the driver. 

What should I do if I get pulled over and the officer wants to search?

Ultimately there’s not much you can do if an officer is determined to search you or your vehicle. Just rest assured that if you hire a good attorney, everything will get sorted out in court eventually. There are, however, several rules you can follow which will place you in the best possible position later in the event you are charged.

1. Stay cool, and be nice to the officer.

In all likelihood, the nicer you are, the better chance the officer will return your kindness back to you. You don’t have to consent to their requests, but you should avoid being belligerent, and/or quoting the law to the officer. After all, officers are human, too, and the last thing you want to do is to give the officer a psychological motivation to charge you with a crime. Remaining calm and polite will also look good to a jury if the officer’s body cam is played to the jury later in court. Finally, if the officer does attempt to search you or arrest you, do not resist. If you do, you will just escalate the situation to a point which may quickly get out of control. 

2. To the extent possible, remain silent.

Remember that anything you say or do may be used against you in court, especially if you volunteer incriminating information. Of course there are a few things you must say, but keep your conversation to a minimum. 

3. Decline the officer’s request to search your car. 

Even if you have nothing to hide, remember that the officer’s search may take quite some time and may trash your vehicle or belongings in the process. As a citizen you have the right to decline their request, and your decision to do so cannot be held against you. A good way to respond is to say “Officer, I know you’re just doing your job, but I need to get on my way so I’m going to decline your request.” 

4. Determine if you are free to go. 

If the officer has no reasonable suspicion to detain you, then you should be able to leave immediately following the issuance of a ticket in a traffic stop situation. There is no reason for you agree to stick around until they summons a drug dog, or until they find some other reason to detain you. But again, don’t just assume you can leave without their permission. You should ask, “Officer are you still detaining me, or am I free to leave?” That question will put the officer on the spot, and will be an important point in time for your defense should you find yourself in court. 

5. Ask for a lawyer! 

In the criminal justice system, these are magic words. Saying these words out loud are like throwing kryptonite at Superman.  If you already have a lawyer, tell the officer you would like to consult with him/her before continuing or making a statement. If you do not have a lawyer, tell the officer that you want one appointed before continuing further. Say these words clearly and repeatedly if necessary, and make sure that you say them loudly enough for the officer’s body cam to record what you say. 

How can I get more information about this topic?

If you are charged with a criminal offense you should contact a competent defense attorney skilled in the practice of criminal law immediately in order to begin work on your defense. The Bigham Law Firm has the attorneys with the experience, expertise, and resources to properly represent you in these difficult types of cases. 

If you would like more information about how to protect yourself in any criminal case, please call the Bigham Law Firm at (979) 743-4153 for a free consultation. 

THE BIGHAM LAW FIRM

PERSONAL INJURY | CRIMINAL DEFENSE | FAMILY LAW

Ken Bigham Jr. has nearly three decades of experience navigating the law to protect his clients from unfair treatment by insurance companies, the government and corporations. He believes that Bigham Law’s purpose is to provide outstanding value to its clients and compassionate service to its community. 

FREE CONSULTATION

This firm gave me my life back. Before Ken and his team I almost gave up hope and caved. He gave me back a chance to finish my schooling, move past what was done to me, and handed back the tools I needed to be a man.

Here I am now a father to a beautiful little girl and building a small business. I can say if I didn’t meet Ken, the story would have been not quite the same. Nothing but love and appreciation from me and my family.

J.S. 2019

Criminal Defense, Facebook Review

How To Have a Successful Custody Case

How To Have a Successful Custody Case

How To Have a Successful Custody Case

Splitting up as a married couple is a challenge, but splitting up as a family is a completely different playing field. It can stir up emotions that will be difficult to control and the stress may at times be unbearable. Rest assured if you’re seeking some professional and personal guidance on some steps you can take to help with your case then follow these key principles.

PUT THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR CHILDREN FIRST AT ALL TIMES

You’re going through a divorce for a reason – and a big one is likely because you don’t see eye-to-eye. That is likely going to be the case with a custody battle and in most cases even moreso. Neither parent is going to want to give up any rights and will stand strong in their wants. At the end of the day, this is about the children not your emotions about one another. No matter what emotion you’re feeling, ask yourself “is this in the best interest of my child/children”. In any time you are making a decision to act that should always be the question that you keep top of mind. If both parents can do this, put the best interest of the children first (at all times and in everything), then you will be surprised at the level of compromise that comes to play. 

DON’T EXAGGERATE THE OTHER PARENTS WEAKNESSES, FAULTS OR MISTAKES

The phrase holds true “no one is perfect”. We are all human and part of being human consists of weaknesses, faults and mistakes. When you’re wrapped up in the emotions of the divorce and fighting the custody battle you may feel compelled to exaggerate the other parents weaknesses, faults or mistakes. Do not do this. Not only will the court likely see through this, it will also negatively affect the children. Express these as they are, but do not exaggerate them.

DON’T IGNORE OR EXCUSE THE OTHER PARENTS WEAKNESSES, FAULTS OR MISTAKES

On the other hand, it is also important that you not ignore or excuse the other parents weaknesses, faults or mistakes. This is especially true  if it will impact the children’s safety and well-being. It is important that the living situation be a stable environment for the child. This all goes back to the main core principle — what is in the best interest of the children. And that is what will steer the direction of the outcome of the case.

DO YOU NEED LEGAL SUPPORT WITH YOUR CUSTODY CASE?

After nearly 30 years of practicing law and representing clients in over 50 counties throughout the great state of Texas, we are grateful to still be going strong with offices in Pasadena, Bastrop and Schulenburg.

I hope to provide real change for those in need in all of the communities I serve, and I thank all the people who have made it possible for me to do what I love, including my family, friends, community and above all, God.

We represent clients in all types of family law matters — like custody cases, personal injury/wrongful death cases, and criminal defense. Our phones are open 24/7 to any clients or individuals who feel they may need my assistance. Also, consultations are always free, regardless of the situation. God bless and thank you all.

Contact us at 9797434153 if you’d like to set up a call to talk about your case and see if we’re a good fit. We’re here to help.

*Main Office is located in Schulenburg Texas. With additional offices in Bastrop and Pasadena. All office locations are staffed by appointment only.

THE BIGHAM LAW FIRM

PERSONAL INJURY | CRIMINAL DEFENSE | FAMILY LAW

Ken Bigham Jr. has nearly three decades of experience navigating the law to protect his clients from unfair treatment by insurance companies, the government and corporations. He believes that Bigham Law’s purpose is to provide outstanding value to its clients and compassionate service to its community. 

FREE CONSULTATION

Ken Bigham is an great lawyer and an amazing man. What went from assisting with a small legal matter has developed into such a great experience. From legal assistance to advice and so much more. Ken has been there for my family to develop basic life planning with wills, to custody cases, and even an unfortunate criminal case. Now he is helping a friend with her divorce. And the greatest part is he is real about it, he doesn’t sugar coat the odds or difficulties or even grey the lines of communication. As long as he is willing and able he will always be my attorney.

C.H. 2019

FAMILY LAW

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