June 2023

Question: Is it legal to Dumpster Dive in Texas?

Written by , Posted in Property Law

Answer: Dumpster diving  in Texas is a permissible act if it’s carried out on public property. On the contrary, diving into dumpsters on private property is not legal unless consent is given by the property owners or renters–the law may impose trespassing charges for dumpster diving without the necessary authorization.

Additional Detail:
In Texas, the law allows the act of dumpster diving if it’s performed on property that is public.. Dumpster diving is also known as “binning” or “trashing” which basically means seeking out usable items from trash that was  discarded in large commercial or residential dumpsters. The law acknowledges the rights of individuals to reclaim discarded items from dumpsters that are placed in areas open to the public (in other words, once you’ve thrown something in the trash in a public place, you forfeit all property rights. Not true of course if you toss something in your own trashcan on the side of the house)

Bottom line is, the law restricts dumpster diving on private property however. It’s deemed illegal if you dumpster dive on private property, such as a business location or a residential building or house, unless the property owners or occupants have explicitly granted permission. The laws against trespassing in Texas, as well as local city or municipal ordinances and statutes, are the difference maker in thesse circumstances.

dumpster diving man in green dumpster

Also to note: trespassing on private property to gain access to dumpsters is also considered illegal (we wouldn’t recommend doing that in Texas regardless, especially at night. Texas Penal Code Section 9.41 allows a person to use force, but not deadly force, to terminate a mere trespass or interference with property. 

You may get away with it, but at best may face trespassing charges. At worst, you may be shot!

The Texas Penal Code Section 30.05 stipulates that a person commits an offense if they enter or remain on or in property of another without effective consent, particularly if they had notice that the entry was forbidden, or received notice to depart but failed to do so. Notice can be given through oral or written communication, fencing or other enclosure designed to exclude intruders, or signs posted on the property indicating that entry is forbidden??. The penalties for these offenses range from Class B to Class A misdemeanors depending on the nature and location of the trespass?.

So of course, the legality of dumpster diving in Texas depends on a variety of factors, primarily related to the location of the dumpster and whether permission has been granted by the property owner!! Always ensure compliance with local laws and regulations when engaging in such activities.

As they say, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. If you want to do this, there’s even a Facebook group specifically for dumpster diving in Texas!

Related question: Can you go through someone’s trash legally?




July 2022

Question: Is it legal to take your child on a long vacation when school is in session?

Written by , Posted in Family Law

Answer: Each U.S. state has truancy laws that vary in their strictness. Truancy means absent from school without permission.

For example, in California, all children between the ages of six and eighteen are required to attend public school, with exceptions for those who are homeschooled, attend private school, or who have special needs. Parents can be fined up to $2,500 and may face up to one year in jail if they permit their child to miss ten percent or more of school days. But only in the most chronic cases will school officials initiate legal action against a student or parents.

But many school districts have policies specifically designed to allow parents to take children out of school for longer family vacations. In some school districts, if a child will be absent for 5-15 days, parents may request Short Term Limited Independent Study. The teacher will then provide academic assignments for the student to complete while on vacation. After vacation, all completed work must be returned in order to receive academic credit. Remember that policies vary widely by school district and state, so contact your school first.




November 2015

Question: Is It Legal to let your spouse drive drunk?

Written by , Posted in Criminal Law


Assuming you do not serve a spouse to the point of intoxication and do not hand them the keys to the car when walking out the door intoxicated, as well as not giving them permission to drive your car if you know their driver’s license is suspended from a DUI, you are probably safe with one exception: minors in your care or custody- you may have a duty to object and/or or report any such child endangerment.

Additional note from attorney: “Bottom line is you’re most likely NOT legally responsible, however you could be held financially responsible if your spouse were to seriously injure someone. I once had a client that had DUI after DUI. His wife divorced him but they still remained in a relationship. She stated the divorce was merely to protect her from financial disaster.”




May 2014

Question: Is it legal to fly the flag upside down?

Written by , Posted in Constitutional Law


An individual has the right to fly an American flag upside down. The First Amendment of our Constitution not only ensures freedom of speech in the traditional sense, but also protects conduct, symbols, and non-verbal speech that convey an idea or a particularized message. Since 1989, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that conduct pertaining to the flag, including flag burning, is expressive conduct within the ambit of First Amendment protection. Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 , 404-6 (1989). As recently as four months ago, in Congine v. Village of Crivitz, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin extended citizens’ expressive rights by holding that it is a constitutional violation to forbid the public display of an upside down American flag.

It is uncertain whether or not the Supreme Court will weigh in on the “upside down flag” issue. Nevertheless, given that the Supreme Court continuously upholds expressive conduct regarding displays of the American flag, it is likely that it will agree with Wisconsin District




April 2014

Question: Is it legal to ship a gun?

Written by , Posted in Firearm Law


Yes.  It is legal to ship a gun.  However, the devil is in the details.  First, a gun can only be shipped to the holder of a valid Federal Firearms License.  The sender, however, is not required to have a valid Federal Firearms License.  Second, the sender must not be otherwise prohibited from owning a gun.  If you are prohibited from owning a gun, you cannot ship a gun.  Third, the sender must also notify the shipping company that the package contains a gun.  Ammunition cannot be shipped with the gun.   You should also check with the different shipping companies to determine their internal policies and procedures.