Category Archives: InDepth Articles

Federal Prosecution: Commercial Sex Acts and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Under federal law, anyone under the age of 18 years is considered to be a “minor” regardless of how any state statute may define the age of majority, or how sophisticated and mature the individual may appear.  18 U.S.C. § 2256(1).  Minors are assumed to lack the mental ability or capacity to understand the full…


Prominent Dallas Attorney Ray Jackson Arrest in Drug Money Laundering Scheme: a Criminal Defense Perspective

On April 8, 2021, a Criminal Complaint with its Supporting Affidavit (“Affidavit”) was filed in Case No. 3-21MJ-329 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, styled United States of America v. Rayshun Jackson. A copy of the Affidavit appears below: Who is Ray Jackson? Ray Jackson is a well-known criminal…


Family Violence Charges: 5 Reasons to Leave Before the Police Arrive

Domestic violence, referenced as “family violence” in Texas Penal Code §71.004, is one of the most common types of 911 calls received by police in this country, with one research study suggesting that as many as 50% of all police calls historically have dealt with domestic violence complaints.  See, Hendricks, J., ed. Crisis Intervention in…


PPP Fraud: Government Loans and Federal Arrests Based on COVID-19 Relief

Last year, in response to the economic harm suffered in Texas and across the country due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), authorizing over Two Trillion Dollars ($2,000,000,000,000.00) in relief with $377 Billion of that sum dedicated to help small business owners. The Paycheck Protection…


Less Time for Federal Drug Crimes: When Safety Valve Defense Circumvents Mandatory Minimum Sentences Under Federal Law

Congress has passed mandatory minimum sentences for certain federal drug crime convictions, but it is possible to serve less time with the Safety Valve defense.  Here’s how that works. What is a crime in Texas?  It is whatever has been defined as illegal activity by Congress (for federal crimes) or the Texas Legislature. In federal…


Racketeering in Texas: Criminal Defense Against RICO Charges

Today, everyone recognizes organized crime known as the “Mafia” or the “Cosa Nostra,” but it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th Century that these criminal enterprises were confirmed to exist.  A man named Joseph Valachi is credited with being the first organization member to authenticate its existence, and he did so during public testimony…


Organized Criminal Activity Charges Under Texas Penal Code §71.02

Organized crime for many is a term that deals with movie characters like the Corleone Family in the Godfather Saga or infamous criminals like Al Capone. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, referencing names like John Gotti and Bugsy Siegel, defines “organized crime” as a “…complex of highly centralized enterprises set up for the purpose of engaging…


Electronic Surveillance Under Federal Law: Criminal Defense Considerations in 2021 

Discussion of federal wire-tapping and other electronic surveillance from a criminal defense perspective The temptation for federal law enforcement to use developing communication technologies in order to investigate potential criminal activity is not new.  In fact, as soon as telegraphs and telephones began to be used by the general public in this country, federal agents were…


Encounters with Law Enforcement: A Criminal Defense Perspective

Seven Steps to Take When Police Show Up at Your Home or Work or Call You on the Phone More and more often, I pick up the phone to hear someone wondering what to do after local police or some other member of law enforcement (e.g., agents of the FBI, DEA, etc.) has surprised them…


Federal Investigations:  Target Letters, Proffers, and Plea Deals

Invitations to Testify before a Grand Jury Can be a Red Flag You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer Federal agencies along with the prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General for the United States (“AUSAs”) undertake criminal investigations throughout the State of Texas that are independent of any state or local (county, city) law…