Montgomery County Texas nondisclosure law options.

NEW NONDISCLOSURE LAW PASSED IN 2017 GIVES “SECOND CHANCE” TO THOSE PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED OF DWI.

Montgomery county non-disclosure law changes are making it better for those accused of DWI.

In 2017 the Texas legislature modified the nondisclosure statute that effects citizens of Conroe, Texas-to provide better access to those previously accused of DWI, this action is an attempt to lessen long-term damage to job seekers criminal background checks to provide relief in the fiercely competitive job market. Before this modified nondisclosure law, if you pled guilty to a DWI, the conviction record would stay on your record FOREVER.

 

squints uncle from the sandlot saying forever
DWI’s don’t necessarily have to be forever.

 

This law makes provisions for a select group to petition for non-disclosure which seals the conviction record to potential employers by removing the offense from available databases.

Several things could prevent qualification-

Five things could potentially prevent you from being granted a non-disclosure order:

  • All person awarded the non-disclosure must be a true first offender.  Any conviction other than Class C offenses or any higher charge that resulted in a deferment would automatically disqualify the person from consideration.
  • Second, the DWI conviction for which a person is seeking a nondisclosure must be a Class B charge.  Your blood Alcohol content had to be less than .15 at the time of test administration.
  • You are also not eligible if someone other than you was injured.
  • You can’t be involved in an accident at the time of the DWI.
  • If all the fines associated with the charge are not paid in full. 

There’s also a waiting period

If your plea resulted in

  • Probation AND an interlock for at least 6 months, it’s a two-year wait to file.
  • If your plea didn’t result in probation and an interlock it’s a five-year waiting period.

 

How long does the non-disclosure go back?

The new law went into in 2017, and the great part is new nondisclosure law is 100% retroactive!

 

I think I May Qualify for Non-disclosure. What Do I Do Now?

Your criminal background may not be the ever-present ball and chain to haunt you it currently is. In many cases, experienced lawyers may have many options even if you don’t qualify for the new Second Chance legislation, residents of Montgomery county you might have options you’re unaware of.

Montgomery country non-disclosure laws are available to all that qualify, and it’s our opinion, it’s not that hard to see if you meet the eligibility requirements, call a Montgomery country lawyer today.

Lawyers are your best friend in time of trouble or your worst enemy, chose your lawyer wisely.

School zone drug enhancement.

School zones add a special penalty enhancement that everyone on Texas needs to be aware of.

school zone sign

Keeping drugs away from school seems like a good idea to everyone.

The dangers of allowing drug dealers near children is self-evident, The Montgomery County District Attorney believes that the use and distribution drugs are the root crime that causes a cascade of other crimes, so protecting children from drugs is at the top of the State of Texas priority list, as it prevents delinquency and keeps the youth brilliant… At least that’s the intent.

Local woman arrested for marijuana near a school.

A recent example is a local mother allegedly speeding in a school zone. It appears the charge was upgraded as a result of the proximity to a school zone.

http://abc13.com/young-katy-mother-sues-after-alleged-rape-by-harris-co-jailer/3425908/

In Texas, drug-free zones extend 1000 feet from schools.

If you are stopped in a School Zone (Remember, 20 mph ) and you possession drugs, law enforcement will increase the charge to a higher level/penalty because of the implications regarding dangerous drugs and youth spaces. The special provisional enhancement charge increase isn’t limited to public schools but includes universities, arcades, public parks, youth centers and swimming pools open to the public.

Montgomery kids playing video games

 

Working definitions to know about drug-free zones

Schools are considered “drug-free zones”, in Texas if you are within 1000′ of such a zone, this specific statue is called out by the health and safety code Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.134

 

1. Any location that is within 1000 feet of premises owned, rented or leased by

      • an institution of higher learning,
      • the premises of a public or private youth center, or
      • a playground;

2. or any location that is within 300 feet of the premises of

      • a public swimming pool
      • video arcade facility or
      • on a school bus.

Drug free school zones are a complex legal situation, one regularly argued that drug free school zones are manipulated by law enforcement by the officer lying in wait for the traffic stop until the person is near the school, then initiating the stop at the most ideal moment to give an extra card on the table to for prosecutors.  This is not the spirit of the law.  The law was intended to keep drugs away from children.  It was designed so that if a person was near a school to not sell or provide drugs to the children.  This specific situation violates the spirit of the law in my opinion. I have seen cases where an officer waiting just a bit longer to turn on his lights in order to make what should be a simple misdemeanor marijuana possession a state jail felony, or state jail.  It would not be uncommon for a person who smokes marijuana to leave it in an ashtray or somewhere in the vehicle  Schools Zones are everywhere.

Drug-free zone arrest is a trump card for law enforcement and prosecutors of Montgomery County, it also means the defendant has more at risk in the event of a jury trial, as this type of case has more nuances as tends to be complex.  There are defenses and issues that must be raised by the attorney you hire.

 

Meet the ATF

The AFT

AFT Conroe Texas

Alcohol and tobacco are generally considered taxed in a special category known as a sin tax, so its quite odd that firearms, a precursor to an armed militia as spelled out in the 2nd amendment of the Bill of Rights would be included in their jurisdiction- we we asked our self, how did these two seemingly unrelated things end up regulated by the same government authority? and whats the extent of their authority?

 

The ATF could be more accurately be the called the AFTAE (alcohol, tobacco, firearms, arson and explosives.)

The AFT was once part of the federal Department of the Treasury,  however; as of 2003  it became one of the  agencies assigned to the federal Department of Justice. Once under the jurisdiction of the federal Department of Justice its mission was expanded to include explosives.  When the AFT was under the Department of Treasury jurisdiction it was also responsible for  a special class of tax, the “sin tax” previously mentioned pertaining its special jurisdiction. When becoming part of the federal Department of Justice it forwent those responsibilities transitioning to a more enforcement role.

Duties of the ATF

Alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives — seems like a normal day in Conroe honestly.

Most people know about the ATF’s history in the enforcement of firearms, in fact the AFT is the organisation that licences firearm sales since the implementation of the The federal Gun Control Act. The AFT is responsible for enforcing all federal firearms laws, including things like the well known Brady Act, which is the federal law that requires gun dealers to require background checks before firearm sales.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act- Is named after a national Hero James Brady who stopped the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan by sacrificing him self.

In 2003 the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had the previously mentioned expansion into explosives and arson, ATF would be responsible for a mass terror attack by IED much in the way the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be for a large scale public transport accident.  The ATF also investigates crime scenes, such as that of the Mandalay bay shooting, in order to detect the use of the materials used.  This information can lead

They would serve to act as a point of records, sharing with other branches of law enforcement records of sale and storage, import/export records, database management for people suspected of suspicious behavior. ]

Organised crime

Though less prominent these days, the ATF is still actively engaged in the enforcement of alcohol and tobacco laws. For example, organized crime groups engage in buttlegging, which is the illegal transport of cigarettes from a state with a low tax rate to a state with a high tax rate in order to resell the cigarettes on the black market. It’s an attractive type of crime because states each set their own tax rates on cigarettes. As a result, one truckload of trafficked cigarettes can lead to a profit of $2 million when resold in another state.

ATF confiscating illegal alcohol, in Elk Lake, Canada, in 1925.
ATF confiscating illegal alcohol, in Elk Lake, Canada, in 1925.

 

Marijuana Vape Oil is a Felony.

THC concentrate

Also know as wax, dabs, rosin, butane oil, hash and shatter are becoming ever more popular as the intensity of the high and ease of access are desirable to users.

Cannabis Activist In Austin, Texas.

Cannabis activists march on the State Capital in order to demand “natural rights,” saying its a right given by God to consume the plants of the earth and should not be infringed upon by the State. we can see the validity of this argument, but what happens when you condense the active compound into a cake of almost pure THC? I’ll tell you what happens – a state jail felony at minimum.

Protesters in from of the Texas state capital

 

A marijuana cigarette contains a reasonable amount of THC – one-quarter of a gram of premium strength marijuana at a concentration 20%  THC smoked in a pipe translates loosely to about 10-20mg of THC in the brain.  With THC oil, that 10-20mg fits on a pin head. An experienced  dab user might smoke as much as 600-800 Mg in a sitting, enough to render a person unable to talk or to engage in any sort of normal social functions.

rigging for smoking THC oil
Dabbing rig, THC oil and resins

Why are dabs considered more dangerous?

THC has some natural checks and balances, when the body has enough people communicate it to the people around them, or just stop smoking. THC oil users bypass this step and introduce and super saturate amount into blood stream before the user has time to evaluate his or her mental condition. In a sense, its just overly efficient way to smoke THC oil, and as a result people don’t know how high they are until its to late to do anything about it.

The penalty group for marijuana possession is normally a misdemeanor (when found with less than 4oz); however, when concentrated in any form it’s at minimum a State jail felony, and a gram will get you a third degree felony.

It seems like a stiff penalty for pot, considering methamphetamines, and all the social destruction and death that surround that compound share the same punishment structure as THC oil.

The  punishment structure for meth is:

Possession of less than 1 g of meth State jail Felony 180 days – 2 years $ 10,000
Possession of 1 – 4 g of meth 3rd degree Felony 2 – 10 years $ 10,000

The punishment structure for  THC concentrate  is:

Possession of less than 1 g THC concentrate oil State jail Felony 180 days – 2 years $ 10,000
Possession of 1 – 4 g THC concentrate oil 3rd degree Felony 2 – 10 years $ 10,000

Literally the same punishment at the lower possessory levels.

The accuracy of applying the punishment schedule is called into question regularly, as wax is legal in Colorado at the moment. However, dabs are completely illegal in Washington, a state also known for its liberal marijuana laws. This inconsistency lends to the argument of how punishment is and should be applied.

Marijuana vape oil

Modern producers have found a use for the old waste product known as cuttings and are turning them into a product intended for vape pens that is commercially available on the internet. This class of product, because of the packaging, seems to carry a benign public image. However, law enforcement feels differently about it. This class of product is turning up in court cases more and more and has specific legal differences from traditional leaf marijuana.

We have it on authority that the Montgomery County police as well Conroe city police forces are trained in identifying this compound and have instructions to be looking for it.  It would be foolish to drive around with it in your car, as e-cigarette fluid is regularly tested for the presence of THC.

FOOT SOLDIER OF THE CONSTITUTION.

It becomes a game of definitions rather quickly. The Constitution codifies rights given to the individual. How those are expressed becomes is a game of cat and mouse with law enforcement.   Your constitutional right are expressed in written document sitting somewhere in Washington DC and or Austin, Texas.  They are just words on a piece of paper.  The prosecutors represent the State of Texas and since I started practicing in 1995, I have never seen a prosecutor come to me and say “Law Enforcement violated your client’s constitution rights, I am dismissing the case.  I have never seen a judge on his own initiative raise constitution rights of individuals.  The only person in the entire judicial system who stands up and gives words in the constitution meaning are the defense attorneys.  In effect, I and other defense attorneys are FOOT SOLDIER OF THE CONSTITUTION.

sign from conroe texas about no refusal weekends.
DWI arrest Montgomery county

Let’s Talk About One of the Most Important Rights Defense Attorneys Can Raise!

 

The 4th amendment states clearly that “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. “ So in order for anything to be subject to a warrant, a process called search and seizure must be activated but the suspicion, that’s  why police automatically conduct a field sobriety test BEFORE administering any  blood demands.

 

This is how the 4th Amendment Applies Breath and Blood Test:

In Texas, your drivers license is has some relationships between rights and responsibilities, in-that when you agree to the license, you agree to giving samples of breath and blood to be tested which provide checks and balances to the requirement of operating without prohibited substances are being met. However, a person may still refuse under the Fourth Amendment. Refusing to take a test, is what is known as a  “statutory option to refuse”  special conditions about demanding a sample exist  but ONLY in special circumstances including but not limited to DWI related accidents also have conditions that modify the refusal. 

In the past, if you refused to blow or give blood, your drivers license was automatically suspended (remember it’s a privilege to drive not a right.) Enter “no refusal” weekends stage right.   No refusal weekends are a bit of a misleading term in that you can still initially refuse the request of an officer for submission to the test; however, on this weekend law enforcement will be sitting by the phone with a direct line to the Judge who’s only responsibility at the time will be to issue such warrants.  Once that warrant has been issued, they can physically force the blood draw.  However, these procedures are highly scrutinized and an experienced lawyer can potentially keep the test and the results from being admitted under the right circumstances because the police and the procedures used violated your Fourth Amendment Rights.

blood warrant Montgomery county layer

Regardless of breath blood or initial refusal provisional rights to a drivers license might exist,  so its generally a good idea to get a free consultation  from an  experienced  Montgomery county lawyer that knows  DWI laws that can help you know your options.

Interview with city council position 4 runoff candidate Raymond McDonald

Raymond McDonald, was nice enough to meet with us last week and answer some questions we have about his city council runoff bid candidacy.

 

Ray thanks for meeting with us, it’s been an intense election season, can you tell us more about the reasons you wanted to be on city council? Why would you put your self into this arena, It’s a lot of work?

Yes, it is a lot of work, and I have been ask this question quiet often since I stepped into the arena. I have known for some time that I would be running for city council, I just wasn’t sure when that might be. Two years ago I was sitting at the Lone Star Convention Forum with my friend and it was then that I knew I would be running. I met with a “coach” for the year preceding the election in order to prepare my schedule, my life, and my family for the run. Since moving to Conroe in 2000 we have seen our city grow and we have seen our family grow, as we adopted 8 children to go with our 3 older. I also planted a church in the Uptown District (North of Downtown) and found myself becoming very involved with the city, participating in the parades and such, as well as becoming keenly interested and aware of in and of the issues our growing city is facing. I think my love for this city, my desire to see my 11 children and 5 grandchildren all live and grow up here, fueled my desire to engage in a more prominent way. I also felt my previous background in construction, engineering as well as dealing with people and their issues, gave me a good base to work from.

What do you see as the biggest obstacles for the city in the next 10 years?

 How we will handle explosive growth while retaining the livability and historic feel of our city. We will also have to deal with our “sprawl” which has come with aggressive annexation, and its challenges in regard our Fire and Police.

We’re building and our little city and seeing unprecedented growth, do you have a plan regarding the aging infrastructure?

 As I attend our city meetings, the City Council Workshops, CIDC, etc., I do feel we are ardently engaging these issues. So awareness is the first step and I think the City is there, however funding becomes challenge. So we must continue to be attractive to new businesses and new families even while we seek to supplement our budget through grants and state funding.

Any big legislative changes planned for your term?

 None in particular, having said that, I am very concerned, as are others, with the spiraling cost of water here in our city. I also stand strong with Texas legislature which is dissuading even prohibiting, in certain counties, forced place annexation.

What are the city’s untapped resources you plan on growing?

I see our Downtown as an unfinished jewel.  I hope we can continue to develop it as a destination spot for our city.  I also feel our arts, visual and performing, are just waiting for their season to explode onto the national scene.

To learn more about Raymond McDonald visit his website at http://www.pickraymond.com

11 Ways lawyers can beat DWI charges

1. No Probable Cause for the Traffic Stop

The officer must to have probable cause that a crime has been committed to pull you over, a complete and through review of the body cam and car cam videos is the first place to start, if it can be proven that there was no reason to stop you, a good lawyer can normally get the case thrown out.

You can’t be pulled over for being on the road at “bar closing time” and expect that to be reason enough to pull someone over and have that stand up in court.

2. Faulty Breath Tests

The DUI breath tests have many flaws. These tests are subject to some of the following problems:

A. Improper use by the police
B. Physiological Conditions (gastroesophageal reflux disease aka GERD)
C. Instrument Malfunction
D. Failure to observe the defendant prior to the test.

Breath testing is the most common test, but its not always accurate, calling into question the accuracy of the reading is a common legal (and reasonable) defense. Breath testing is subject to many outside issues that can generate erroneous readings.

3. Mouth Alcohol

The phrase ” alveolar air” is something not talked about much until the subject of breath test. Breath test are designed to take air from deep within the lungs, officers have instructions to make someone blow hard into the collection tube,  and this poses problems for accuracy if you have:

A. Dental work trapped small amounts of alcohol-soaked food in your teeth,
B. You burped or regurgitated, or
C. You suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD.

If the breath test captures “mouth air” rather than simply “lung air.” As a result, mouth alcohol can trigger a false BAC reading on a  DUI breath test.

4. Medical Conditions

Medical issues such as  heartburn or acid reflux, can contaminate DUI breath test results. . This is because these conditions produce a flow of acid that travels from the stomach into the mouth. When this occurs during a DUI breath test or just prior, the alcohol that travels from your stomach to your mouth disguises the deep lung air that the breath testing instrument is intended to measure. As a result, GERD, acid reflux, and/or heartburn can cause a falsely high blood alcohol calculation on a Montgomery county DUI breath test.

5. Diet

Conditions such as diabetes or an Atkins-style diet that is low-carbohydrate, high-protein, or hypoglycemia can trick a DUI breath test and result in a false high BAC.

Atkins-style diets and medical conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia are capable of self-producing isopropyl alcohol. This is because bodies that are deprived of carbohydrates turn to stored fat for energy. This process produces ketones. Ketones, when eliminated from the body through breath and urine, convert into isopropyl alcohol. Breath testing equipment, isn’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference in ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol causing false positives.

6. “Rising Blood Alcohol”

Rising blood alcohol means that your BAC was a higher level when you took the test than it was when you were actually driving.

Alcohol takes a certain amount of time, typically between 50 minutes and three hours, to absorb into your system. For example, if you had just recently finished drinking and were investigated for DUI shortly thereafter your alcohol may not have reached its peak absorption rate. When this is the case, your blood alcohol level is still rising, which can cause a false high DUI BAC result.

7. Montgomery County DUI Blood Testing Isn’t Always Accurate

There are multiple factors that could taint the results of your DUI blood test results:

A. Blood fermentation,
B. Blood contamination, and
C. Improper storage of your blood sample.

These are just a few of the reasons why a blood tests result might not be accurate. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the collection and storage of your DUI blood test, your Montgomery county  DUI defense lawyer may be able to have your BAC results excluded from evidence.

8. Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Accurate.

Texas field sobriety tests (“FSTs”) are not accurate indicators of impairment.

Even the most reliable  field sobriety tests aren’t accurate indicators of alcohol and/or drug impairment. The three tests that have actual data to support their trustworthiness are only between 60% – 70% accurate at detecting impairment and that is only if they are properly administered and accurately scored, which rarely happens.

Innocent explanations can also explain poor performance on FSTs. These include:

A. officer-induced intimidation,
B. poor lighting,
C. bad weather conditions,
D. uneven surface conditions,
E. poor footwear, and
F. un-athletic or uncoordinated driver

9. You Were Not Driving

The police must prove more than just that you were under the influence; they must also prove that you were driving.

For example, if you were involved in an accident and no one saw you driving the car, or if the police found you when you were in your parked car, it will be more difficult for the prosecution to prove that you drove. If the prosecutor can’t prove that you were driving, you can’t be convicted of a Texas DUI.

10. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

Radio frequency interference or”RFI” can cause a Texas DUI chemical blood or breath test to produce an false BAC reading. This is because almost all electronic devices, are susceptible to electromagnetic interference.

Poliece departments keep a cache of devices producing these power electromagnetic forces, all capable of producing interference,

The prosecution may counter this attack in a Conroe DUI trial by pointing out that the machine has an RFI detector. The problem with these detectors is that they are simply unreliable. As repeated tests have demonstrated, there is a segment of the frequency band to which the detector is essentially blind. If there is a source of interference from a device emitting electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, it will not be detected.

11. Police Misconduct

Even if you were driving under the influence police misconduct might be a reason to get your charges dismissed. If we can demonstrate gross misconduct, it may be possible to get your charges dismissed.

 Things to look for

A. DUI police reports must be accurate,
B. Courtroom testimony must be truthful.

If these issued are intentionally manipulated, intentionally ignored or evidence planted or fictitiously made up, the case might be dismissed depending on how it damages the prosecutors case.

ca

Read more at https://conroelawoffice.com/dwi/

And click below to read the latest from research regarding breathalyzers.

Researchers say a breathalyzer has flaws, casting doubt on countless convictions from gadgets

 

 

How does marijuana technically work to get you high?

“How does marijuana technically work to get you high?

This topic is more misunderstood than understood, how complicated can it be right? puff puff pass seems pretty simple.

To fully understand whats going on, we need to understand ” tetrahydrocannabinol” the main ingredient in Marijuana that makes you high. When you smoke a joint, the smoke goes into your lungs then to the  heart and  blood stream disseminated to the body, including the brain.

Once it’s in your brain, the THC activates special receptors called Cannabinoid receptors and gives you the feeling of being high. In short, marijuana changes the physical and chemical balance in your brain and this is what people refer to as a “high.”

 

The law of conservation states loosely that no matter if the state of the substance- solid, liquid or gas, it will weigh the same regardless of state.  Technically if you smoke a gram of marijuana, you are putting a gram of smoke in your lungs at potentially 20-40% THC that’s .2 to.4 active THC in your blood stream. It produces an powerful uneven balance that acts on the brain, and produces the high.

While marijuana is decriminalized in some states, it is not risk free.  Research has shown that specifically  the developing mind (a mind younger than 25) seems to lose its brilliance when consuming marijuana recreational.

Most of the research quoted about the benefits of marijuana are not directly related to THC but an associated chemical called CBD, marijuana users are well advised to inform them self of the risks involved, as much of the data involving the benefits of THC are anecdotal and not science and even court cases involving the benefits are generally quoting the benefits of CBD.

 

And Interview with full-length interview with Dr. Phyllis Bonafice, MD in neuropsychiatry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_i2mC5fAmI

 

Step parent adoption

Whats involved with a step parent adoption in Texas?

 

Montgomery county adoption atttorney
Montgomery county adoption lawyer
 
A step child adoption can be a unique circumstance, in many ways it’s a positive experience for a child as normally the young one has already had to overcome rejection or abandonment from one parent.
 
In our experience, there exist no better way to bring a new family together than a legal step parent adoption. The legalities are, that certain procedures must be followed, so the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney who has successfully completed a step parent adoption is a wise. 
 
 

What Is Step-parent Adoption?

 

The spouse of the parent petitions the court to obtain legal parental rights and responsibilities to the children through the adoption process. Most attorneys who handle these types of cases agree that its similar to a traditional adoption, with a few exceptions, namely that step parent adoptions are only permissible under certain circumstances.

Step parent adoptions, must meet one of the following criteria- absent parent, deceased parent, unknown parent, or indifferent parent not involved in the child’s life.  The child must be in the custody of the parent to whom the petitioning stepparent is now married. If these conditions are applicable, it is possible to petition for a stepparent adoption.

Stepchild Adoption Process in Texas

  • Petition Filing – As with any adoption process, stepparent adoption begins with filing a petition to adopt with the local family court. This is generally done through the guidance of capable adoption attorneys who can assist the parties through the entire process.

  • Termination of Parental Rights – Once an adoption request has been filed, the adoption attorney can move on to the next step that involves obtaining a termination of parental rights from the absent parent, if one is known and alive. It is a formal request asking that other parent to sign an agreement to terminate their parental rights so the stepparent adoption can be done. If the absent parent refuses, the case moves to the court. There a judge will determine if it is in the best interest of the children involved for the parental rights of the other parent to be terminated.

  • Social Study – If the above action is determined to be in the best interest of the children, the petition can progress to the next step. It involves a social study of the prospective family that includes: visiting the home; evaluation of employment and financial records; observations, and and an initial screening with the parents and children. All of this is used to help judge the situation and determine the fitness of a stepparent to adopt stepchildren.

  • Amicus Attorney – After the social study, an Amicus Attorney is appointed. The role of the Amicus Attorney is to serve as a non-biased lawyer appointed by the court who will repeat some of the previous evaluations, especially interviews and observations, to determine if the specific situation is best for the individual child or children and the family. Their opinion, along with the results of the social study, is then presented to the court with a recommendation of whether or not to allow the adoption to be finalized.

The court will carefully review so even in step parent   adoption petitions, a committed attorney  attorney can help a petitioning stepparent prepare a favorable petition and offer legal advice on how to negotiate the legal system.
 
The process can be time consuming and expensive, but the end result is a complete and legal family unit.