Category Archives: Federal Government Watch

ICE Holds, Bail Bonds, and Getting Freed from Jail in Texas

Arrests are not the same as being charged with a crime.  For instance, a police officer (or sheriff’s deputy or state trooper) can pull someone over here in Texas and place them under arrest.  Here is when the Miranda rights must be given to the accused, which include explaining that the person has a right…


Latest Forfeiture Ruling by SCOTUS: What Does It Mean for Texas Criminal Defense?

Timbs v. Indiana is the first step in ending state-wide forfeiture abuse In an opinion written by Justice Ginsburg with two concurrences filed by Justice Gorsuch and Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) vacated and remanded the judgment of the Indiana Supreme Court in Timbs v. Indiana on February 20, 2019….


The First Step Act and Texas Criminal Defense in 2019: Part 2 of 2

What Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers – and Their Clients – Need to Know About the New Federal Sentencing Reforms In our previous discussion of the First Step Act (“FSA”), we discussed various ways this new legislation, effective on December 21, 2018, changes the federal sentencing laws as well as aspects of the federal prison system. …


The First Step Act and Texas Criminal Defense in 2019: Part 1 of 2

What Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers – and Their Clients – Need to Know About the New Federal Sentencing Reforms On December 21, 2018, the First Step Act (“FSA”) was signed into law. The FSA’s sentencing and compassionate release provisions become effective on that date; other parts of the Act are phased into law over the…


Will Forfeiture Actions be Held Unconstitutional? SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments in Timbs v. Indiana

On November 28, 2018, oral argument was heard in Tyson Tibbs v. Indiana, Cause No. 17-1091 before the Supreme Court of the United States. At the SCOTUS site, you can read the full transcript of this oral argument in Tibbs, or download it in various formats (MP3, etc.). This is a forfeiture case.  It is…


Criminal Defense Alert: Significant Changes in Amendments to 2018 Federal Sentencing Guidelines (USSG)

The 2018 Amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) were unanimously adopted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission last month.  On May 1, 2018, the Federal Sentencing Guideline amendments were submitted to Congress. November 2018 Effective Date They will automatically become effective on November 1, 2018, unless Congress takes proactive steps to disapprove them.  For…


Relevant Conduct in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Acquittals and Uncharged Conduct

 Are federal judges limited to considering only final convictions in sentencing? Yes. After Nelson, arguably they must ignore facts of past acquittals, dismissals, or uncharged crimes. Federal criminal laws are violated all over the country.  There can be money laundering and drug trafficking in Alaska or Hawaii just as well as North Texas or South…


Outrageous Prosecutorial Misconduct: Cliven Bundy Case Dismissal – Lessons for Every American

A federal judge has dismissed with prejudice the charges brought against Cliven Bundy and it’s a big deal.  It’s always a big deal for a judge to dismiss a case “with prejudice,” because that means the case is over.  There’s no option for the government to re-file their criminal lawsuit.  It’s over. Dismissed with Prejudice…


Texas in the 2017 DEA National Drug Threat Assessment

A few weeks ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration released its annual drug crime report, entitled the 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment.  It’s published as the government’s latest “…comprehensive strategic assessment of threats posed to our communities by transnational criminal organizations and the illicit drugs they distribute throughout the United States.”  (Report, page 7.) 2017 DEA…


Doctor Warning: Opioid Drug CEO Indictment Is Tip of Health Care Fraud Arrest Iceberg

Last week, two big things happened in the Prescription Drug World which will impact doctors and health care providers in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and North Texas area.  How? More and more, Texas doctors and local physicians are going to find themselves the subject of criminal investigation and some are going to be shocked as…