Category Archives: InDepth Articles

Encryption and Law Enforcement Investigations: Police Access to Encrypted Data

Last month, Apple announced its new end-to-end encryption for data stored by its customers in iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service.  It’s being heralded as “police-proof” in the media.  Read, “Apple Set to Launch New, Police-Proof, Full End-to-End Encryption,” written by the Associated Press and published in the Daily Sabah on December 9, 2022. Apple explains…


Bail after Federal Arrest in Texas and The Bail Reform Act of 1984

Bail after an arrest by federal law enforcement is very different than when someone enters the state criminal justice system.  Texas bail is allowed much more often than it is in federal court.  It’s not that bail is not routinely considered a part of federal matters.  News coverage is filled with federal bail stories. This…


Jalisco New Generation Cartel Arrests in Texas: 2023

The amount of law enforcement effort at every level (state, federal, international) to try and combat the growing global business empire of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is undeniably extreme and well-funded.  From a criminal defense perspective, few governmental efforts in recent memory have had this zeal and scope. In 2023, we should expect a…


New University of Chicago Study’s Shocking Revelations of Federal Bail Injustice: Systemic Errors and the “Culture of Detention”

Arrests are always serious. After all, individual freedom is taken away.  A permanent and public criminal record is created (or grows).  Careers can be lost, and relationships can end — just because of an arrest. Experienced criminal defense lawyers have seen all too often how “innocent until proven guilty” may not matter to supervisors, deans,…


The Importance of a Probable Cause Affidavit in Texas Criminal Defense

For the general public, learning about probable cause affidavits in criminal matters often comes from news stories of court orders sealing the affidavit from public view in high-profile cases.  Two recent examples:  first, the ongoing media coverage of a probable cause affidavit alleging criminal acts that led to a federal search warrant being issued of…


Fentanyl Charges Under Federal Law: Felonies and Range of Sentencing 

Fentanyl is a primary focus of both state and federal law enforcement today.  The illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession of fentanyl is a serious drug crime in both jurisdictions.  Right now, Texas’ Operation Lone Star has the state governor mandating state and local law enforcement dedicate significant time and effort to investigations and arrests…


Are Texas Anti-Smuggling Laws Unconstitutional? Governor Abbott and Texas Penal Code §20.05 and §20.06

Our state government continues to take independent state action using criminal laws to try and stem all sorts of border activities involving both people and things crossing from Mexico into Texas.  Recently, for instance, Governor Abbott issued an executive order announcing that two Mexican Cartels, and possibly more in the future, will be considered as…


Texas Governor’s Designation of Mexican Cartels As Terrorist Organizations: Criminal Defense Perspective

On September 21, 2022, the Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a press release with its accompanying Executive Order GA-42 and the news that, at least in the State of Texas, Mexican cartels are now considered to be “terrorist organizations” by state law enforcement. In the release, Governor Abbott explains that the growing market…


Texas Domestic Violence Charges: the New 2022 Federal Gun Ban

The tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, claimed the lives of nineteen children and two adults.  For details, read the coverage series provided online by the Texas Tribune. Understandably this had a tremendous and shattering impact not only for the local community who suffered personal losses, but for…


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…