Criminal Law Blog

Police Cameras: Things to Know Before Filming Texas Police in Action

The power of the people to film or photograph police doing bad things — and then sharing those videos or photographs online in social media like Twitter or YouTube — is undeniable. From the use of smartphones, just last week we saw the police officer shooting a man in the back over in South Carolina….

Police in Dallas – Fort Worth Get Papers Graded: Low Crime Clearance Rates for North Texas

Today, the video of a South Carolina police officer shooting a man running away from a traffic stop has gone viral, and the officer has been arrested for murder. If you haven’t seen the footage, you can watch it on YouTube (it’s pretty graphic).  For more videos of excessive force by law enforcement around the…

Fentanyl and Heroin Here in Dallas: Dangers of Arrest and More

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is sold under a variety of names including Actiq, Duragesic, Haldid, Matrifen, and Onsolis. It’s been around for over 20 years as a prescription paid med. Beginning in the 1990s, it was becoming so popular among physicians that they were prescribing not just fentanyl in pill form but also…

Dallas D.A. Forfeiture Funds: The Temptation of All That Stuff and the Craig Watkins Scandal

Here in Dallas, more and more people are aware of how government authorities have been seizing property from people without sufficient judicial process and keeping those assets for their own uses. This is good because forfeiture is a big problem that not enough folk realize exists. We’ve been discussing this problem — the problem of…

Synthetic Drugs Law: Will New Texas Law Succeed in Outlawing Spice, K2, and Other Synthetic Highs?

Here in Texas, law enforcement and the Texas Legislature are trying hard to keep up with the growing market for synthetic marijuana and designer drugs that are being sold all around the state in shops as well as online on legal web sites. Synthetic marijuana, for example, is sold as an easy to get alternative…

Juvenile Heroin Arrests: When Your Child is Busted for Heroin in Texas

Some may be shocked to think that there are active heroin users here in Texas, especially here in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, that are minors or juveniles and kids under the age of 18 years. The general public (and potential jurors) may not understand that heroin use isn’t like it was in years…

Heroin in Dallas – Fort Worth: Heroin is Popular So Expect More Felony Heroin Arrests

Heroin is here to stay in North Texas and the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex area: it’s something recognized by the local police and the District Attorneys’ Offices as well as criminal defense lawyers and people treating heroin abuse and heroin overdoses in local hospitals and rehab centers. Why?  It’s a cheaper, readily accessible alternative…

Stingray Use by Feds and Local Police is Growing: Are You Being Monitored?

Police officers and law enforcement agencies are limited by the federal constitution as well as federal and state laws in what they can do. They are not supposed to snoop on citizens or eavesdrop on people unless they’ve got specific legal authorization to do so. . . The problem is — as any experienced criminal…

Police Who Lie On the Witness Stand: Did You Know Prosecutors Keep Lists of Their Names?

It wasn’t until 1963 that the U.S. Supreme Court forced prosecutors to do the right thing and share all the facts about a case with defense lawyers before they tried someone for a serious crime and tried to get a conviction. In the case of Brady v. Maryland, John Brady had been convicted of murder…

Debtor’s Prison for Misdemeanor Debts – Is City of Ferguson Making Money Off of Poor People?

Debtor’s prisons are not supposed to exist in the United States. You’re not supposed to be forced behind bars because you cannot pay a debt — that is the reason for federal bankruptcy laws, to help people in bad financial straits to work things out with their creditors and get a “fresh start.” Creditors can…