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Houston City Council Approves HPD Body Cams

HPD Body CameraIn a follow up to a previous post, Houston City Council last week approved the purchasing of body camera’s for roughly 4,000 Houston Police Officers.  This is a big win for the citizens of Houston; body cameras create accountability for police officers when interacting with citizens.  At the same time they can also protect the officer against allegations by citizens – this is a win-win for both officers and citizens.

More importantly, it’s not just making the purchase of the cameras, the content and more importantly the enforcement of the department’s body camera policies will be  crucial for them to be successful in the field. (more…)




Justin Bieber & DWI Law in Texas

Justin Bieber’s freedom to drive would be in serious jeopardy in the Great state of Texas if he’d been arrested for drag racing and driving under the influence like he was in Florida. Matthew Gallagher, bieber-300x168
Attorney at Law, supports the The State of Texas’ has a ZERO TOLERANCE LAW policy for minors and alcohol; this means drivers younger than 21 years old can’t operate motor vehicles with ANY amount of alcohol or drugs in their systems. Period. Texas takes this seriously.

Justin Bieber – performance star power and all – could be facing a License suspension not to exceed 2 years and up to a $500 fine. He would have to attend an Alcohol Education Program for at least 12 hours with an additional 180 days of license suspension if he didn’t complete the Alcohol Education program.

Per Texas Department Motor Vehicles, minors could potentially get slapped with 90 days of license suspension if the judge were to award him community service in lieu of some of the license suspension time, which might bo good for him right about now. He would have to jet around town in his rented Lambourginis with an ignition interlock device – more on this later.

Judges tend to be hard on minors with hopes that it makes an impression. Remember, it’s not just YOUR life, it’s those in the car with you, those on the streets around you as well as the cars on the street with you. It just isn’t worth it.

If you are a minor like Mr. Bieber, give Matthew Gallagher – a call. We’ll talk through what WILL happen, what NEEDS to happen, and start making plans for your future.




HPD outfits officers with body cameras in a new pilot program

Last week the Houston Police Department announced that on December 9, 2013 the department launched a pilot program that outfitted 100 officers with body cameras.   Each camera costs $2,500 and HPD-officer-sleeve-300x188
has the ability to record both audio and video.HPD

There are many benefits to any officer wearing a body camera to all parties involved in a police encounter.  Although there are differing opinions as to who benefits more the officer or the citizen, the citizen ultimately has the most to gain by there use.  When encounters are electronically recorded there becomes less of a question as to what really happened and limits the possibility of fabrication as to all parties involved.

The Houston police department should be applauded for giving this program a trial run and will hopefully implement body cameras across the department after the trial period is concluded.  If body cameras are deployed department wide that implementation should be in addition to the dash cameras already in place and not a replacement for them.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Texas you should immediately contact Attorney Matthew Gallagher.  He can be reached by phone at (713) 893-4350 or by e-mail at [email protected]




Lt. Governor Dewhurst orders Senate to review intoxication manslaughter punishment

Last week Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst issued a directive to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to study sentencing in intoxication manslaughter cases.

Lt. Dewhurst notes that he has a personal interest in intoxication manslaughter cases, but this is also likely in direct response to the widely publicized case of a Texas teenager who recently killed four people in an accident in which he was intoxicated who received probation.

As the law currently stands the trial court judge or jury has complete discretion (within the relevant penalty range) to determine the punishment of someone facing intoxication manslaughter charges. Probation is option available to the judge or jury under most circumstances. It should not be the legislature’s job to second guess trial court’s decisions or to establish mandatory minimums irregardless of the underlying circumstances of each case that the trial court is in the best position to know.

You can read the entire story here.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with an intoxication related offense you should immediately contact Attorney Matthew Gallagher.  He can be reached by phone at (713) 893-4350 or by e-mail at [email protected]