Category Archives: InDepth Articles

Heroin Trafficking in Texas and Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Criminal defense after arrest on federal charges of heroin trafficking in Texas  First things first: if you are arrested on heroin trafficking under federal law, then you must be prepared to spend a significant amount of time behind bars.  Statistics reveal almost every person (96.3%) convicted of heroin trafficking in the federal system is sentenced…


Guns and Drug Trafficking:  Firearms and Mandatory Minimum Sentences under Federal Law

Sentencing Guidelines When Someone Faces Combined Drug Trafficking and Federal Firearms Charges Drug arrests in North Texas can result in criminal charges under either state or federal law.  If the local police or county sheriff’s deputies are involved, then Texas criminal laws are going to apply.  If you are convicted, sentencing will occur according to…


Methamphetamine Trafficking and Federal Sentencing 

Things to know when you are arrested for crystal meth distribution in Texas.  There are 94 federal district courts in this country and according to the United States Sentencing Commission, three of the top five federal district courts hearing the highest number of criminal charges for methamphetamine are in Texas.  Two of these three are…


Mandatory Minimum Penalties in Federal Sentencing

Congress Decides Your Prison Sentence with Certain Federal Crimes Our modern system of mandatory minimum sentencing in federal cases arguably began with the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986.  Congress enthusiastically targeted drug “kingpins” for explicit punishment, mandating that the federal judge must sentence these defendants, upon conviction, to imprisonment in a federal…


Federal Crimes and Sentencing Guidelines: Health Care Fraud

Federal Charges for Healthcare Fraud Involving Texas Health Care Providers Texas physicians, as well as pharmacists, clinics, and other health care providers, need to be aware of the growing risk of investigation, arrest, and prosecution for violations of federal criminal laws involving health care fraud. Federal criminal law applying to the practice of medicine in…


What Happens When You Plead Guilty to Federal Drug Crime? From Guilty Plea to Sentencing Hearing in a Drug Case

Federal drug arrests can force the accused into negotiating a plea agreement, where special considerations apply to the defendant’s situation. Drug arrests are made every day here in Dallas as well as the rest of Texas.  Lots of drug busts are done by the local police or by county sheriff’s deputies.  They will make drug…


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…


Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance Cases

How the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are applied in a Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs case Drug arrests made by federal agents will be based upon federal law and proceed through federal courts, and the odds are high that the federal prosecutor will include a charge of “conspiracy” to the drug case. It’s an easy addition.  Most…


Federal Sentencing Guidelines on Federal Child Pornography cases

How the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are applied in a child porn case Child pornography arrests in Texas are often made by federal agents for violation of federal law.  Congress has passed sweeping and specific criminal statutes dealing with child pornography.  Found in Title 18 USC 2252 – 2260, they define the actions that constitute child…