Category Archives: Search and Seizures

The Police Power to Search Your Car:  SCOTUS May Change Things in Byrd and Collins

Things change. And in criminal law, sometimes things change because the Supreme Court of the United States changes them. Last month, we got a heads up that SCOTUS may be changing the law that controls when a police officer can search someone’s car.   That’s because the High Court started its new term right off the…


Carfentanil, Fentanyl Analogues, Heroin, China, the Police, and Felony Arrests

Heroin isn’t the big deal in the opioid crisis anymore.  You might even say that heroin is Old School.  Now, it’s what is being combined with heroin that’s being sold all over the country. Namely, fentanyl and the fentanyl analogues like carfentanil.   And times are changing for everyone involved. The Popularity of Fentanyl Fentanyl is…


Police Officer Arrest of Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels: Lessons for All of Us

First you have to watch the video of what happened in a Utah emergency room on July 26, 2017.  The video shows what happens after Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne demands a blood sample from patient William Gray. Blood Sample Not From Suspect Seems Mr. Gray was being given medical treatment at the hospital…


Do Police Need Search Warrants to Access Digital Information?  The Importance of Carpenter v. United States

Anyone in Texas that has a cellphone needs to know about a case that is before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) right now.  The case is filed as Case No. 16-402 and styled Carpenter v. United States.  You can follow it here on the SCOTUS online docket. Why This SCOTUS Case is…


What is a Motion to Suppress?

In Texas, one of the main weapons that a criminal defense lawyer can use to help his client is a “motion to suppress” that requests the judge order certain evidence be excluded from the case.  It can be filed in both state and federal court. It’s a very powerful tool for the defense. Why? Because…


Gang Crime Charges: Increasing Prosecution of Gang-Related Crimes in Texas

This week, President Trump publicly blamed former President Obama for allowing known Central American gang MS-13 to gain a foothold in the United States.  See, “Trump blames Obama for formation of MS-13 crime gang,” published by the Business Insider on April 17, 2017. Two months ago, the President signed a series of three executive orders…


Federal Forfeiture Reform: 81% Property Seized By DOJ from People Never Charged With a Crime

Last week, the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Justice published its report on federal civil forfeiture, entitled “Review of the Department’s Oversight of Cash Seizure and Forfeiture Activities.” The full report is available online and has been stored in the Michael Lowe Digital Library for your convenience.  Read it here.  …


FBI Investigations and DOJ Prosecutions: Fighting for Your Privacy Rights

Of paramount concern to criminal defense attorneys is protecting due process and making sure that any investigation and prosecution by the government abides by constitutional protections like limited police powers, the right to privacy, and search and seizure protocols. Criminal Defense and Privacy Protections This is true for the underlying investigation into criminal activity.  It…


Child Pornography: Defending Against Overreaching Investigations Using the Internet

Here in Texas, specific teams of law enforcement are dedicated to investigating, arresting, and prosecuting child pornography laws.  Their focus is solely on building cases against individuals violating either state or federal child porn statutes.   That’s fine.  Task forces have been around for years. Overreaching Child Porn Investigations Violate the Law The problem today is…


FBI’s New Global Hacking Rule: Amended Federal Rule 41 Danger to Your Privacy

Last week, a letter was sent to the U.S. Attorney General signed by 23 Senators and Congressmen, both Republican and Democrat, asking for Loretta Lynch to explain how the new Federal Rule on federal search warrants for computers is going to work. Criminal defense lawyers have been worried about this new expansion of federal power…