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Criminal Law Blog

Illegal Search Warrants: Challenging the Underlying Affidavit

Texas Defense Attorney Strategies against Illegal Search Warrants Under Texas law, a “search warrant” is defined as “a written order, issued by a magistrate and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for any property or thing and to seize the same and bring it before such magistrate or commanding him to search…


The First Step Act and Texas Criminal Defense in 2019: Part 2 of 2

What Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers – and Their Clients – Need to Know About the New Federal Sentencing Reforms In our previous discussion of the First Step Act (“FSA”), we discussed various ways this new legislation, effective on December 21, 2018, changes the federal sentencing laws as well as aspects of the federal prison system. …


The First Step Act and Texas Criminal Defense in 2019: Part 1 of 2

What Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers – and Their Clients – Need to Know About the New Federal Sentencing Reforms On December 21, 2018, the First Step Act (“FSA”) was signed into law. The FSA’s sentencing and compassionate release provisions become effective on that date; other parts of the Act are phased into law over the…


Will Forfeiture Actions be Held Unconstitutional? SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments in Timbs v. Indiana

On November 28, 2018, oral argument was heard in Tyson Tibbs v. Indiana, Cause No. 17-1091 before the Supreme Court of the United States. At the SCOTUS site, you can read the full transcript of this oral argument in Tibbs, or download it in various formats (MP3, etc.). This is a forfeiture case.  It is…


Criminal Solicitation of a Minor: Criminal Charges under Texas Penal Code § 15.031

Anyone arrested for Criminal Solicitation of a Minor in Texas likely faces other serious felony sex crime charges and a statutory limitation on defenses that can be asserted on their behalf.   Sex crimes involving minors are given special consideration by the Texas Legislature, as the lawmakers have passed detailed and specific criminal statutes dealing…


Prostitution Crimes in Texas: Promotion of Prostitution and Compelling Prostitution

Arrested for Violation of Texas Penal Code §43.03 or TPC §43.05 Prostitution has been a thriving business in Texas for a long time; indeed, one could argue that sex workers have made their own significant contributions to the Lone Star State’s uniquely colorful and intriguing past. Brothels: Integral Parts of Texas History Consider, for instance,…


Sexual Performance of a Child: Criminal Charges under Texas Penal Code § 43.25

Anyone under the age of eighteen (18 years) is considered a child under Texas law: their involvement in either sexual conduct or sexual performance is a crime. The Crime of “Sexual Performance of a Child” The crime of “sexual performance of a child” is defined under Texas Penal Code Section 43.25 as involving any individual…


Consumer Insurance Fraud: Crime Involving Submission of Insurance Claims

Anyone applying for insurance or submitting an insurance claim seeking payment pursuant to provisions of an insurance policy can be arrested and charged for insurance fraud under Texas Penal Code Section 35.02. In Texas, insurance fraud is prosecuted by the local District Attorney’s Office working with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and the…


Misapplication of Fiduciary Property by Trustees, Guardians, Executors, Administrators, Managers in Texas: Fiduciary Criminal Charges

Fiduciaries Can Face Arrest under Texas Penal Code 32.45 When someone under a power of attorney, or other legal authority, has control over the financial assets or property of another person, there’s always the temptation to take things.  Accordingly, under both civil and criminal law, fiduciaries are held to a higher standard of conduct. In…


Online Impersonation: Catfishing is Illegal in Texas

Texas Penal Code 33.07 and Social Media Masquerade as Cyber Crime Catfishing is not the only form of online impersonation, but it may be the most well-known example of it.  The temptation to pretend to be someone they’re not online may be overwhelming for some people, given how easy it is to set up social…