Dallas Criminal Law Blog

Police mistreatment and drug crimes defense in Texas

Police have an important job keeping the public safe, but sometimes, law enforcement officers can overstep the boundaries of their roles. Unfortunately, there are many examples of how Texas law enforcement violated the rights of citizens during traffic stops, while investigating crimes or simply when talking to people of interest in a case. Often, these individuals need a strong drug crimes defense as well as a way to speak out about the mistreatment they experienced. 

One example of this mistreatment happened during a traffic stop. Police noticed the driver had prescription painkillers in his car, and they found almost $1,000 on his person. They took the money and charged him with possession on the assumption he was selling these meds from his vehicle. He later was able to prove he had a valid prescription for the medication, but he never got his money back.

Juvenile law and defending minors against serious charges

When individuals under the age of 18 face criminal charges, their future and long-term interests are on the line. Even though a minor is not always charged as an adult, it is worthwhile for the defendant to present a strong defense. In some cases, juvenile law allows for minors to face charges as adults, especially in situations involving murder and other grave offenses. 

In Texas, a 14-year-old is facing accusations of killing two people, including a pregnant woman. At the time that law enforcement filed capital murder charges against him, he was already incarcerated in a juvenile detention center for charges related to aggravated robbery. Because he is a minor, the state cannot release any other information about his arrest.

Federal criminal defense for alleged violation of immigration law

A grand jury recently indicted 96 people for charges related to fraud and violating U.S. immigration laws. The federal Department of Homeland Security in Houston and other Texas and federal agencies investigated claims that a group was arranging fraudulent marriages in order to subvert immigration laws. Supposedly, there was a group organizing marriages for people looking to gain immigration status or citizenship. Almost 100 people are facing charges and will want to work quickly to understand their federal criminal defense options.

According to government agencies, the person in charge of the alleged scheme had contacts working with her in Texas and in other countries. Fraudulent marriages solely for the purpose of gaining citizenship or entry into the United States is a serious crime, and it is one the federal government prosecutes to the fullest extent of the law. The individuals charged for participation in this scheme are facing serious criminal penalties if convicted. 

5 reasons wrongful convictions occur

Like most residents of the Lone Star State, you do what you can to obey the law. While complying with state and federal laws is usually an effective strategy for avoiding criminal charges, juries occasionally convict some Texans of crimes they did not commit. 

As you likely know, sitting in jail for a crime you did not do can be incredibly disheartening. Even though you likely have a healthy respect for the rule of law, you also must realize that the American judicial system is not perfect. Here are five reasons wrongful convictions tend to occur in Texas. 

Texas family would benefit from federal criminal defense help

A family from Texas is facing criminal charges for their alleged role in a complex scheme that allegedly involved stolen identities and tickets to the Masters golf tournament. According to the report, this family supposedly used other identities to obtain tickets to this famous event, eventually selling them for a significant profit. Individuals from this family are facing different types of federal charges, and they are surely focused on preparing their federal criminal defense.

The family is accused of using identities other than their own to enter the ticket lottery, essentially circumventing the system that the golf club has in place for all potential attendees. Members of the family are accused of buying bulk mailing lists, then using that information to create fake accounts for the lottery system. The tickets won in the lottery were said to have been mailed to this family, that would then supposedly resell them for a significant profit margin.

Juvenile law: Can minors face murder charges in Texas?

When children are accused of committing crimes, they can face charges and penalties, sometimes even time behind bars. The law recognizes the difference between charges for juveniles and charges against people age 18 and older, but in some juvenile law cases, a child can be charged as an adult. In a recent case in Texas, prosecutors announced the intention to charge a minor as an adult in a murder case.

The girl is facing murder charges after a physical altercation resulted in the death of an 18-year-old. Because she is being tried as an adult, she will face more serious charges and steeper penalties. A judge will hold a hearing to consider the prosecution's intent to charge her as an adult. The young defendant has the right to legal counsel to defend her interests at the hearing and at every step of the process.

Drug crimes defense still necessary for marijuana charges

Criminal charges related to marijuana possession can lead to serious penalties under Texas state law. Recently, however, some lawmakers in the state House of Representatives are considering bills that could lessen some of the penalties associated with these offenses. It is not clear whether this proposal will pass in the Senate, and people facing marijuana charges would be wise to still pursue developing a strong defense strategy regarding any formal accusations of drug crimes.

Many people believe that Texas laws are too harsh against those who possess small amounts of marijuana. Certain groups who have been seeking reform of the state's drug laws believe that criminalizing marijuana possession is not a positive solution, leading to overcrowding in jails and other issues. There are lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle who support revisiting the state's drug laws.

Fighting back against junk science in the courtroom

We’ve all seen television shows like “CSI,” which demonstrate that forensic science is the silver bullet in criminal investigation. Lab technicians and on-site investigators are the heroes who notice details that others might miss, using cutting-edge tests and computer analysis. These shows are so entertaining that most Americans need no convincing that forensic testing is irrefutable.

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, much of forensic “science” cannot reasonably be called science at all. And a blind faith in many of these unscientific tests has led to countless wrongful convictions. In some cases, the wrongfully convicted were even sentenced to death.

4 reasons to appeal your criminal conviction

Few things in life are scarier than facing a prison sentence. After all, society intends for incarceration to be punishment for bad conduct. Even worse, unless you have a law degree, the Texas court system can seem downright confusing. Still, if a judge or jury has convicted you of a crime, you may want to appeal your conviction

Unfortunately, you cannot file a criminal appeal simply because you do not like the outcome of your case. On the contrary, you must have a legally valid reason to ask a higher court to overturn your conviction. Generally, Texas law allows appeals in the following four situations: 

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