Category Archives: Sentencing

Plea Bargaining and Making Deals in Federal Felony Cases: Criminal Defense Overview

In both Texas prosecutions and federal criminal matters, many – if not most – arrests do not end up as a criminal conviction with formal sentencing after a full trial before a judge or jury, but instead are resolved out of the courtroom in what is called “plea bargaining.”  This involves attorneys representing both the…


Felony Charges under Texas and Federal Law: Criminal Defense Overview

No action, or failure to act, is a crime for which someone can be arrested in Texas unless the government has defined it to be an illegal act.  This is the freedom at the core of our constitutional rights.  Crimes have to be defined by either state or federal law.  If the crime isn’t on…


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…


Federal Drug Conspiracy Possession With Intent to Distribute: Safety Valve at Sentencing – New Video


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,…


Fort Worth Federal Judge John McBryde Child Porn Downward Departure Sentence

Mr. Lowe’s client was investigated by the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) officer assigned to Crimes Against Children Unit who was conducted an investigation of a peer-to-peer file sharing network.  The file sharing network being investigated was called eDonkey.  eDonkey required its users to download file sharing software called Shareaza.  This software enabled the users…


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…