Category Archives: InDepth Articles

Elder Crimes: Federal Prosecutions and the Elder Justice Initiative

According to federal and state statute, anyone age 60 years or older is legally considered to be elderly. See, 42 U.S.C. § 1397j(5) and Texas Human Resources Code §102.001(5).  In some Texas criminal laws, elderly is defined as anyone who is age 65 or older. It is easy to imagine an elder as a grey-haired…


How Criminal Charges Get Dropped in State and Federal Cases

Here in Texas, once someone is formally accused of a crime (under state or federal law) they enter our criminal justice system.  There are only so many ways they will be able to exit.  Dropped charges?  It is true that criminal charges can be made against an individual and later dropped.  It happens a lot…


Ring Cameras and Police Surveillance: Growing Police Power Privacy Concerns

Ring camera videos on YouTube can be fun: there are bears in backyard pools and cute kids in doorways.  However, from a criminal defense standpoint, the growing temptation for law enforcement to access Ring doorbell recordings (audio and/or video) in their criminal investigations is troublesome.  When it happens without (1) the Ring owner’s consent or…


Online Child Pornography Arrests: Video Conferencing and Online File Sharing Services Targeted by Federal Investigators

It’s incredibly easy to chat or share photos over the internet today – for free.  Popularity skyrocketed for these online opportunities for business conferences as well as personal conversations with friends or family during the COVID Pandemic.  Now, video conferencing and online file sharing services are commonplace and their popularity continues to grow.  Read, “Videoconferencing…


Illegal Drug Trafficking Business Operations in Texas: Federal Investigations into the Texas Mexican Mafia aka La Eme or Mexikanemi

The Texas Mexican Mafia once again made national news coverage recently with the flagrant prison escape by convicted capital murderer Gonzalo Lopez from a Texas prison bus in Centerville on May 12, 2022.  Lopez, recognized for his affiliation with the Mexican Mafia, was placed on the State of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List where…


Barratry in Texas: “Ambulance Chasing” Attorneys and Illegal Solicitation of Clients

The Three Legal Battlegrounds for Lawyers Accused of Barratry in Texas When tragedies involving the great loss of innocent lives happens here in Texas, an angry response by grieving loved ones as well as the compassionate and concerned is understandable.  Alongside generous outpourings of support come questions of why these things happen – and importantly,…


Mortgage Fraud: Fraud for Profit and Fraud for Housing

Criminal Defense Expectations of Increased Mortgage Fraud Prosecutions in Texas The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is one of the top residential real estate markets in the country today, and the popularity of buying homes here – usually with a mortgage – is predicted to be “particularly attractive” this year.  For details, read “The 12 hottest housing…


Financial Institution Fraud (FIF): Criminal Defense Overview

Federal investigations involving crimes of financial institution fraud (“FIF”), as a general rule, will focus upon professionals who have had little if any experience with law enforcement or the criminal justice system in their entire lives, aside from the occasional traffic ticket.  These are people dedicated to the pursuit of a white-collar career; they may…


Bankruptcy Fraud: Texas Criminal Defense Overview

The United States Supreme Court established long ago that the United States Bankruptcy Code exists to provide a “fresh start” to those who seek relief under its provisions, where they can have “… a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt.” Local Loan…


The Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, and the 2021 SCOTUS Limitation on Arrests and Prosecutions

In 1986, Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 USC §1030, that defines both civil and criminal liability for “…[w]hoever . . . intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains . . . information.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2). Last year, from a federal computer crime defense perspective, big changes…