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Criminal Law Blog

Challenging the Search Warrant in Texas: Illegal Search and Seizure

Different Defenses to Search Warrants and Illegal Searches by the Police Evidence is everything for the prosecution’s case in any criminal proceeding, federal or state.  Without evidence, the case has no legal foundation and cannot be filed.  Once filed, insufficient evidence means the state’s case must be dismissed. Therefore, from a criminal defense perspective, one…


Search of a Residence in Texas: When Police Search Your Home

When the police search your dwelling, they have specific limitations on where they can search and what they can take. Police officers (or federal law enforcement agents) show up at your front door, demanding to be allowed inside your home because they have a search warrant allowing them to do so, whether you like it…


Exigent Circumstances: What They Are and How They Allow Police to Search and Seize Without a Warrant

There are times when police officers in Texas can search without a search warrant; sometimes they don’t even have to knock on the door before entering your home. Sitting in the comfort of your living room, you may assume you’re safe from intrusion by the police.  Surely they can’t barge into your private home, uninvited…


Latest Forfeiture Ruling by SCOTUS: What Does It Mean for Texas Criminal Defense?

Timbs v. Indiana is the first step in ending state-wide forfeiture abuse In an opinion written by Justice Ginsburg with two concurrences filed by Justice Gorsuch and Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) vacated and remanded the judgment of the Indiana Supreme Court in Timbs v. Indiana on February 20, 2019….


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,…