Category Archives: InDepth Articles

Punishing Defendants for Exercising Their Right to Trial

Criminal defense attorneys practicing here in Texas, both in state and federal court, know all too well that it is a common practice for the government to punish defendants for exercising their rights – especially their right to a trial.  This is true despite the clear constitutional right to trial found in the Sixth Amendment…


SCOTUS, USSC, and Proposed USSG Amendment Addressing Acquitted Conduct

The scenario:  someone is charged with a serious crime in federal court.  There is no plea deal; the case goes to trial.  Both sides rest, and the case goes to the jury.  The jury deliberates and returns with a “not guilty” verdict. This is great for the accused, right?  Sure.  But that verdict is not…


Witness Corroboration for Informants Under TCCP 38.141

Maybe the most famous informant of all time is Judas, who informed on Jesus to the Roman authorities for thirty pieces of silver.  Check out “The Passion of the Christ” for a great depiction of Judas as informant and the aftermath.  Another famous informant:  Lando Calrissian, who informed on Han Solo to the Empire, resulting…


Federal Sentencing for Zero-Point Offenders: New USSG §4C1.1 Effective November 2023

For those who are arrested and prosecuted in Texas for federal crimes, sentencing upon conviction is very different than if they had been charged for violations of Texas criminal law.  In federal matters, an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1984, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), will fix their punishment through its sentencing…


Perjury and Aggravated Perjury: Witness Corroboration Issues for Criminal Defense

Lies can hurt or harm in all sorts of ways, but when a witness decides to lie while under oath after having sworn to tell the truth, things become instantaneously serious.  Why?  A witness who lies in sworn testimony commits a crime under Texas law, as well as federal statute and the laws of other…


Witness Corroboration When Defending Sexual Assault Charges in Texas

Witnesses are very important in any criminal trial.  If what they have to say isn’t significant, they would not be called to the witness stand.  Their statements, sworn under oath, are either proof of an element in the prosecution’s case or a component of the defense’s challenge to it. All witnesses give evidence at trial. …


Witness Corroboration under the Texas Penal Code: Who Believes a Snitch?

People lie.  That’s a sin, but it’s usually not a crime.  However, when someone lies who is providing evidence in a criminal proceeding, they have become a “witness” under the law and lying becomes a big problem.  It’s perjury.  And witnesses who lie can destroy lives. Evidence in a Criminal Case:  Documents and Testimony In…


Overdose Death Investigations: Criminal Defense Considerations – Can the Prosecution Make Their Case?

Fentanyl is fueling more and more law enforcement investigations and criminal prosecutions in Texas for many things including, obviously, felony charges for drug trafficking and money laundering.  However, more and more often prosecutors are looking to find ways to charge the accused for a death caused by overdoses involving fentanyl, either used alone or with…


Solicitation of Prostitution or Sex Trafficking? Overzealous Prosecutions of Johns in Texas

Earlier this year, national headlines announced that the Department of Homeland Security had made almost four dozen (46) arrests for felony sex trafficking here in North Texas.  However, it was soon discovered that those arrested on federal felony charges as traffickers were actually individuals who thought they were dealing with sex workers (prostitutes) for consensual…


Xylazine or Tranq: Zombie Drug is New Focus for Drug Arrests in Texas

Drug arrests in Texas that may include other serious charges (like conspiracy or homicide) are known to be fixed upon fentanyl these days; both Texas and federal law enforcement are blatantly targeting fentanyl use as well as its manufacture and distribution.  For more, read our earlier discussions in Fentanyl Charges Under Federal Law: Felonies and…