Highway Hypnosis, Fatigue, & Trucking Accidents

By now, most people are probably aware of the dangers of intoxicated and distracted driving. These two conditions are common factors in serious (and sometimes lethal) accidents that occur on the road. Fatigue, and an altered state known as highway hypnosis, also pose a danger to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

What is Highway Hypnosis?

This term is used to describe an altered mental state that occurs after a person has been driving for a long period of time. Also known as ‘white line fever,’ the initial effects typically include sleepiness, loss of concentration, and wandering thoughts. Many people who have experienced it describe traveling a measurable distance without being able to recollect the passage of time or miles. This state can be dangerous, as reaction times may be slowed and drivers may even lose consciousness while behind the wheel.

Most career truckers and professional motorists in other industries are very familiar with this sensation. Many have their own way to prevent and cope with the sensations of fatigue and highway hypnosis before either becomes a problem. Unfortunately, highway hypnosis and fatigue remain common explanations for roadside accidents.

Preventing Highway Hypnosis

It’s better to take steps to prevent highway hypnosis than it is to manage symptoms after they occur. If you are undertaking a long drive, keeping the window rolled down, turning cruise control off, singing or talking to yourself, and playing lively music in the car can help keep you alert. Taking a new route, eating a light meal, and getting an adequate amount of sleep can also set you up for a safe and successful journey.

The Driver’s Responsibility

It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure they are in good shape to drive before they get on the road. Even once on the road, it’s important to check in with yourself while driving and fend off fatigue. If you are tired, unwell, or overworked, the right thing to do may be to reschedule your trip and get some rest. When it comes to the trucking industry, there is no load worth more than the health and safety of yourself and those around you.

Contact Our Trucking Accident Lawyer in Austin

If you were injured in a vehicular crash caused by another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, you may be entitled to damages. Reach out to our trucking accident lawyer serving Austin, TX for a free case evaluation.

San Antonio Office: 3107 Broadway Street, San Antonio, Texas 78209. (210) 807-8656.

Austin Office: 2025 Guadalupe Street Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78705. (512) 982-4798.

Can Convicted Felons Vote in Texas?

For many Americans, going to the ballot box on election day is a point of pride and an exciting event. It represents the most important aspect of Democracy, wherein the people can take part in the decision-making process. However, that privilege is often restricted for felons. Nearly all U.S. states have laws which prevent convicted felons from voting in local, state, and nationwide elections. Many people who become convicted of felony offenses regret losing, among other things, the right to vote when they begin serving their sentence.

The severity of the voting restrictions placed on felons varies from state to state. In the State of Texas, felons are not allowed to vote until they have followed through with all the requirements of their sentencing. The Texas Secretary of State is responsible for determining the voting eligibility of state residents. With the help of our felonies and misdemeanors lawyer in Austin, you may be able to defeat your charges and protect your right to vote.

How Can I Restore My Right to Vote?

In the State of Texas, your right to vote is automatically restored once you have completed your full sentence and are considered “fully discharged.” Here are some of the circumstances which can lead to the restoration of voting rights for felons in Texas.

  • You have completed your sentence, parole, and probationary period
  • You do not owe any fines, costs, or restitutions associated with yourcharges
  • You have received a pardon from the governor which restores your rights

Once your rights have been restored through one of these avenues, you are allowed to register to vote once again. Be aware that you may need to show proof of your compliance with the sentencing requirements in your case. If you are still unsure about your voting status, visit the Campaign Legal Center’s website, which assesses eligibility based on a series of questions.

Felonies and Misdemeanors Lawyer – Austin

Voting is an important feature of American life and you should seek to exercise that right as soon as you are legally able to. Our felonies and misdemeanors lawyers in Austin and San Antonio can help. The Law Office of Jesse Hernandez represents clients for a wide variety of charges, including DWI, violent crimes, sexual assault, and more. If you believe you may soon need the help of a lawyer, contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

San Antonio Office: 3107 Broadway Street, San Antonio, Texas 78209. (210) 807-8656.

Austin Office: 2025 Guadalupe Street Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78705. (512) 982-4798.

How to Photograph the Scene of an Accident

Photographs can play a major role in court proceedings following a car accident. If you are lucky enough to walk away from the crash without injuries, or are an unharmed bystander to the incident, it’s helpful to begin photographing the scene after the police have been called. Photos should never be a priority over caring for your own injuries or making sure that other injured people have medical attention.

However, if you are reasonably able, taking photos of the scene (or asking another person) can help to clarify the details of the crash in the aftermath that follows. If the case goes to court as a personal injury lawsuit, these photos may be the most reliable form of evidence, next to eyewitness testimony. Here are some of the key angles you will want to capture when photographing the scene of a car accident.

  1. An Overview of the Scene

    If safe to do so, step back and get a good look at the overall scene from multiple angles. These images can provide an overall picture of the position of the vehicles and the circumstances surrounding the accident.
  2. The Location of Traffic Signals

    Though you will not be able to capture the exact moment of the accident and which lights were illuminated, being able to illustrate their position can help investigations later.
  3. Weather Conditions

    Though this may seem clear from the scene overview image, photos that focus on showcasing the weather conditions of the moment can make a big impact on investigations as well.
  4. Vehicle and Property Damage

    Clear images of vehicle and property damage in the minutes after the accident will show the extent of the impact.
  5. People and Injuries

    Never take a photograph of anyone without their consent. If the other person is consenting, taking a photo of someone’s injuries or a witness for later identification can help complete the facts of the case.
  6. Key Documents

    Taking a photograph of someone else’s license, registration information, and license plate is an easy way to collect necessary details. It can also be used to confirm or discount the documents later on.

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyer

Should you experience an accident, the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez can help you exercise your rights and pursue damages for your injuries. If you are unsure whether or not you have a case, scheduling a free case evaluation with our personal injury lawyer in Austin can help answer your initial questions. Hire our team of dedicated legal professionals to fight for you! Contact us today for your case review.

San Antonio Office: 3107 Broadway Street, San Antonio, Texas 78209. (210) 807-8656.

Austin Office: 2025 Guadalupe Street Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78705. (512) 982-4798.

How to Handle a False Child Abuse Accusation

Regardless of the facts, being accused of child abuse in any form can ruin a person’s reputation. In cases where the accusation is contrived and absolutely false, the sting can be especially painful, leveled from outside parties who seek to harm the accused. If you find yourself in such a dire position, it’s important to think clearly about the steps you will take to regain control of your life.

Comply and Cooperate with the Investigation

False accusations tend to come with a certain amount of outrage for most people. Nobody wants to be thought of as a child abuser, and dealing with protective services during an investigation can be very stressful. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer in San Antonio, TX can help you navigate cordial discussions with protective services and law enforcement while maintaining your 5th amendment rights. Cooperative behavior at this stage can make a potential case easier to face later on. The legal system assumes innocence until proven guilty, and acting in a way that helps justice take its rightful course keeps you on the right side of the law.

Gather Evidence to Defend Yourself

As part of efforts to help the investigation along or respond to charges, you can gather evidence that helps illustrate your side. Though it may be tempting to keep your legal issues a secret, asking trusted family members, friends, or co-workers to vouch for your character may help you strengthen your case. Statements that confirm you are a loving parent, guardian, or another protective figure in the child’s life can help safeguard you from damaging ‘he said, she said’ discourse.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Antonio, TX

Once you have been falsely accused of child abuse, the race begins to clear your name. Hiring an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in San Antonio, TX can help you feel confident and protected while addressing painful false accusations. These types of accusations are taken very seriously by judges and juries who err on the side of safety when it comes to making their decisions. While many judges are familiar with the prevalence of false accusations, lots of defendants still struggle to respond to accusations against them without a trained lawyer.

The Law Office of Jesse Hernandez approaches each new client with respect and compassion, regardless of the accusations or charges against them. If you would like to know more about what we can do for you, contact our criminal defense lawyer in San Antonio, TX for a free case evaluation.


San Antonio Office: 3107 Broadway Street, San Antonio, Texas 78209. (210) 807-8656.

Austin Office: 2025 Guadalupe Street Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78705. (512) 982-4798.


Why Do People Drink and Drive?

Whenever an impaired person gets behind the wheel, they endanger everyone. They risk the health, life, and safety of everyone else on the road, as well as their own. Repeat offenders seldom avoid catastrophic consequences, such as a DWI accident in San Antonio, TX. One way or another, all habitual drunk drivers eventually run out of luck. The majority of people never set out to drive drunk. Alcohol impaired driving is usually the result of a combination of questionable or poor decisions. The sequence of these decisions about drinking and driving merge the two acts together in time and place – often with disastrous results.

The Decision to Drive Drunk

A recent study completed by the National Public Services Research Institute (NPSRI) evaluated the decisions people made that led them to drink and drive.The NPSRI study interviewed almost 600 participants who described in detail the series of choices leading up to their most recent occurrence of drunk driving. Each drinker described how they made decisions regarding the events they attended, how they would get to the event, what and how much to drink, what activities they would engage in, when to leave, whether to stay overnight, and how to get home.

Some of the most important decisions occur early in the sequence. The NPSRI found that two of the most consequential decisions are:

  • Deciding to take part in an event where drinking will occur
  • What mode of transportation will be used to get to this event 

These two choices lead to the conditions that make it a virtual certainty that alcohol-impaired driving will occur, possibly leading to an accident in San Antonio, TX. Because decisions made prior to getting behind the wheel after drinking greatly influence the certainty of these events, current countermeasures often don’t work. For instance, because celebrations create expectations of overindulgence, social hosts imposing limits on their guests’ drinking usually proves futile. Efforts to combat impaired driving must influence early decisions if they are to be successful.

What Motivates a Person to Drink and Drive Repeatedly?

While habitual drunk drivers often drive impaired all the time because they feel invincible, at a certain point these drivers had to make an initial decision to do so. Alcohol definitely influenced that initial decision – and while everybody knows this, not everybody knows how.

Humans have chemicals called neurotransmitters in our bodies, and they travel through neurons and synapses to elicit reactions from us. Adrenaline and serotonin are examples of neurotransmitters. Alcohol interferes with proper processing of other neurotransmitters, and normal signaling is disturbed. This can impair decisions made in the frontal lobe of our brain (the decision-making portion).

The bottom line is that if you decide to go to an event where alcohol is served, and you decide to drive, once you have your first drink, the other decisions you thought you made prior to having that drink may be derailed by interruption of the proper signals to your frontal lobe. This chain of events is likely to lead to an DWI accident in San Antonio, TX – and possible injury, arrest, or worse.

Responding to Internet Sex Crime Charges

Few crimes illicit as strong of an emotional response when discussed than internet sex crimes. This category of crime includes possessing child pornography, transmitting child pornography, and soliciting a minor. Children are one of the most heavily legally protected groups, and crimes against them can carry very severe penalties. Today we’ll be discussing what you can do to defend yourself if you become the target of an investigation, and what to do if you are charged with an internet sex crime.

Building a Strong Defense

Unfortunately, in many cases an internet sex crime charge results from an accident or misunderstanding. If you’re facing these charges, you may have done something as small as clicking on the wrong link while browsing the internet. It’s possible that another user was on your computer, network, or had hacked into your private accounts. In some cases, there may be false accusations, or evidence that law enforcement has illegally entrapped someone they later charge. 

Without a San Antonio sex crime attorney in your corner, it will be very difficult to defend yourself from allegations of this nature. An internet sex crime attorney can help evaluate the evidence provided by the prosecution and identify any missteps taken by police or unsubstantiated claims. Your attorney may also procure a forensic expert specializing in computers as part of efforts to recover evidence that could exonerate you.

Possible Consequences of an Internet Sex Crime Conviction

The seriousness of an internet sex crime conviction cannot be overstated. Some of the potential consequences of an internet sex crime conviction include:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Paying a substantial fine
  • Banned from ever using a computer
  • Registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life
  • Barred from spending any time with children, including your own

As you can see, a conviction of this nature on your record can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on your life. Depending on your circumstances, the extralegal effects of a conviction can have serious ramifications in your personal or professional life. Even if you win your case, it may be difficult to escape the scrutiny of the court of public opinion. That’s what it’s especially important to hire a San Antonio sex crime attorney who will act quickly to build a strong defense.

When to Hire a San Antonio Sex Crime Attorney

It is important to call a sex crimes defense attorney as soon as you realize that an investigation is underway. We strongly advise you to avoid answering any questions from the police. Answering police questions without a lawyer present can seriously harm your case, as any information you divulge (even the most minor details) can and will be used against you.

Contact Us

If you believe you may be facing charges soon or have been charged, please reach out to us to set up your free case evaluation as soon as possible. The Law Office of Jesse Hernandez is standing by to begin building an aggressive defense for you.

Interacting With Police

It can be alarming to be stopped by law enforcement regardless of the circumstances. Though most people will feel some amount of pressure when encountering the police, it’s important to maintain your composure and keep your rights in mind. Here are three types of interactions and how to best respond.

Conversation

If an officer stops you to have a conversation, understand that anything you tell them could potentially be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to ask if you are being detained, and if not, you can simply walk away.

Detention

Police may detain you if they have a reasonable suspicion that you were involved in a crime. An officer must be able to articulate why you are being detained. Ask politely why you are being detained, and if you are free to go. You will be asked for details with which to identify yourself, including your name, address, and date of birth. No further questions should be answered without a lawyer present.

Arrest

If an officer has witnessed you committing a crime, has a reasonable suspicion that you have, or has acquired an arrest warrant signed by a judge, you may be arrested. Even if you feel you are being wrongfully arrested, it is in your best interests to go quietly. A wrongful arrest is best handled with the help of a capable lawyer. At the time of arrest, you are only obligated to give your name, address, and date of birth. Keep in mind that officers are not legally obligated to be truthful and may look for ways to wear down your resolve. Stay silent and ask for your lawyer.

Regardless of which category your interaction falls into, remember that behaving in a disgruntled, angry, or destructive fashion can greatly hurt your case in court. The Law Office of Jesse Hernandez can provide you with a criminal attorney in San Antonio, TX. Call us today for a free case consultation.

Courtroom Etiquette

No matter what crime you’ve been charged with, many things about appearing in court remain the same. For one, courtroom customs are practically universal. If you’re anxiously awaiting your first appearance in court, visualizing your experience in advance can help you remain calm and collected when the day comes. Here are some guidelines to help you conduct yourself appropriately—something that will almost certainly factor into the court’s decision.

What To Wear

You should dress for court much in the same way you would for a formal job interview. For gentlemen this means a collared shirt, suit, and dress shoes. Conservative tops paired with slacks or skirts of a professional length are ideal for ladies. Make the best with what you have if these specific articles of clothing aren’t available. Anyone appearing in court should ensure that they are well-groomed on their court date: a shower and a shave can go a long way.

Demeanor

A visit to court should be handled with utmost seriousness. This is not a good time to act playfully or tell jokes, as even subtle behaviors may be interpreted as disrespectful conduct. Never speak over anyone else in court. If an attorney or judge begins speaking over you, pause until they are finished. If you feel it is important to continue where you left off, you may ask to continue your statement.

What To Say

It’s important to answer questions honestly and directly. Be very careful not to provide any more information than is specifically asked of you. In many cases, questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. If you misspeak, ask if you can correct your statement, and try to stay calm. It is perfectly normal to find yourself feeling unnerved while on the stand. Giving yourself a moment to take a breath before continuing is a right you retain at all times.

An aggressive defense lawyer is one of the greatest assets you can have on your day in court. Reach out to our office if you are seeking a San Antonio, Texas DWI Lawyer and would like a free consultation on your case.

What is the Difference Between Assault and Self-Defense?

Not understanding the difference between these two terms can cost you your freedom. Although they are both acts of violence, when it comes to the law, they are seen very differently. However, there is often a fine line between the two – and you may find yourself in a situation where you need a highly skilled domestic assault defense lawyer in San Antonio, Texas to protect your rights.

The factors that led up to the act of violence, including motive, is what differentiates the two acts. Many individuals find themselves in an unplanned legal battle when they were defending themselves or their family members. It is important to be informed so you can avoid these types of legal difficulties.

Assault is a Crime

Under Texas law, assault charges can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a Third-Degree felony assault. A Class-A Misdemeanor assault charge can be elevated to a felony when the assault is against certain parties including a family member, a dating partner, or a roommate.

Self-Defense is a Right

As a resident of Texas, you have a right to defend yourself or another person, however, “self-defense” is in Section 9 of the Texas Penal code because it is not considered a “defense”, but a “justification.” This means that the burden of proof falls on the defendant, which is the opposite of most criminal proceedings where the prosecution has the burden of proof.

Turn to Us for Legal Guidance

At the Law Offices of Jesse Hernandez, we understand that an individual has a right to defend themselves; nevertheless, they can still end up getting arrested and require the services of an experienced domestic assault defense lawyer in San Antonio, TX. If you find yourself in this type of situation, reach out to us right away – we are here to help.

Safe Driving Tips for Driving in Rainy Weather

Winter in San Antonio

Winter in San Antonio can bring lots of rain, and while driving in the rain may not seem terribly dangerous, traffic fatalities increase during poor driving conditions of all types – and rainy conditions are responsible for almost 10% of all accidents that involve injuries.

Slick Roadways

Roads are the slipperiest just after the rain begins because that is when the water mixes with the gas, oil, and other vehicle fluids that have accumulated on the roadway surface since the last rain. Be particularly wary when approaching intersections and as when you apply the brake.

Slick roadways mean we need to pay more attention to traction. Everyone worries about slipping and sliding around on the ice, but did you know hitting a pile of wet leaves or an oil puddle will reduce your traction just as much? Always watch the driving surface and be prepared to slow down if you see a problem up ahead.

Visibility

When driving in the rain, it’s important to optimize visibility. That means changing your wiper blades at least every 6 months and we suggest using a rain repellent such as Rain-X on your windshield. This product will cause the rain to bead up and fly right off your windshield, improving your visibility no matter how hard it’s coming down. One caveat – it needs to be reapplied about once a month.

Other Vehicles

It’s always best to drive slower and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Try to steer clear of trucks that can splash your windshield, limiting your visibility, and always be aware of other vehicles around you.

San Antonio Accident Lawyer

We hope these tips help keep you safe when you’re driving in the rain. However, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. If you have been involved in an accident and you need to hire a San Antonio truck accident lawyer, reach out to our experienced legal team today.