Category Archives: InDepth Articles

Time Credits and Freedom from Federal Prison: Is the Justice Department Thwarting Early Release for Inmates Under the First Step Act?

A year has come and gone since the First Step Act (FSA) was passed to change the way that federal prisoners can achieve an early release from prison.  Officially, the First Step Act of 2018 became law on December 21, 2018. See generally, First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194,…


Cyber Crimes, Computer Crimes, Internet Arrests: Texas Criminal Defense Overview

Crimes involving computer use and accessing the internet can involve all sorts of criminal activity, but they come with their own separate criminal charges and punishments. The aspects of cybercrime defense are widespread because of the range of activity underlying the internet usage made the basis of the charges.  From money laundering or child pornography…


Weapons Charges in Texas: Gun Laws and Gun Crimes under Texas Law

Sometimes, just possessing a piece of property can get you arrested in Texas if it is an “illegal weapon” under the law.  Of course just because something can be used as a weapon, that’s not enough to put you at risk of being charged with a crime here in Texas.  There are many things that…


Fraud Charges: Texas Criminal Defense Overview

Fraud can mean many things, but for our purposes it involves an illegal act as defined by state or federal law.  Almost a century ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) explained that to commit the crime of fraud is “to defraud” someone, by “… wronging one in his property rights by dishonest…


Texas Drug Crimes: Criminal Defense Overview

Drug arrests in the State of Texas can be based upon either federal or state drug laws.  These are crimes defined within two completely separate jurisdictions needing distinctly different defense strategies. From a criminal defense perspective, the outcome can be very different for someone arrested for state drug crimes compared to those who are charged…


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…


Sex Crimes in Texas: Criminal Defense Overview

Allegations of sex crimes under either state or federal law can destroy lives, even before charges are filed. A single sex crime conviction can follow someone for the rest of their days. The need for a vigorous and aggressive criminal defense cannot be underestimated. What is a Sex Crime? It’s not that easy to define…


New Texas Sex Crimes:  The Online Prostitution Laws Effective September 1, 2019

Texas Penal Code Amended to Address Human Sex Trafficking Over the Internet Human trafficking laws exist at both the federal and state levels; anyone arrested on these charges faces serious felony time if convicted.  However, the reality has been that federal prosecutions have been fiercer and with more bite than those charges at the state…


Loss Amounts in Federal Sentences: Calculating Economic and Financial Losses in Federal Felonies

Federal Sentencing Guideline 2B1.1 explains how to calculate monetary loss in a variety of crimes, such as tax evasion, structuring, wire fraud, money laundering, and mortgage fraud. Financial crimes prosecuted by the federal government usually involve a lot of money that builds into a large economic loss for its victims.  Criminal creativity being what it…


Photographs as Sex Crimes: Changes to the Texas Revenge Porn Law (Texas Penal Code §21.16)

Do Revenge Porn Laws Violate the First Amendment? Sexual Photograph Crimes and Free Speech Today, smart phones have made it so easy to take photographs or make videos that the temptation to capture images of a sexual nature is often overpowering for some people.  These images can then be readily stored – and shared –…