Dallas Criminal Law Blog

Texas gun laws and federal criminal defense for weapons offenses

After the recent mass shooting in Texas, tensions have been high regarding gun laws, potential legislation and more. While Texas does allow individuals to possess certain types of weapons in certain circumstances, it is in the interests of every person who owns a gun or who is facing weapons-related offenses to know exactly what the law says. Violations of gun laws can result in serious consequences and the need for a strong state or federal criminal defense.

At this time, Texas state laws do not prohibit an individual from owning an AK-47, which is an assault rifle. This particular gun is a current topic of conversation among many because it was used in a recent mass shooting, as well as others in the past. State laws also recently changed to allow people to carry concealed weapons without permits in the event of a disaster evacuation.

Drug crimes defense strategies may change in Texas

Certain law enforcement agents may not be arresting people any longer for low-level marijuana offenses in Texas. Changing state laws regarding hemp has led to a significant amount of confusion and chaos regarding the prosecution of pot-related charges. As a result, individuals facing drug charges have had to alter their approach to drug crimes defense strategies.

This past year, the state of Texas legalized hemp. In order to reduce complications and lower the number unnecessary drug arrests, Texas Department of Public Safety officers has ordered its officers to stop arresting people for misdemeanor marijuana offenses. They are now supposed to write citations instead. This applies in cases where a person may be found in possession of four milligrams of marijuana or less. 

2 teens face weapons, drug charges following Texas investigation

When law enforcement officials and community members suspect that there is a crime happening, the need for answers is understandable. However, for someone to be convicted of a crime, there must be sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Two teenagers in Texas are now likely considering their legal options following their recent arrests on weapons and drug charges.

Law enforcement officials claim that the two males, ages 19 and 17, were arrested following a lengthy investigation. The investigation, according to police, started as a result of the belief that someone was selling drugs in an apartment complex. After several months, investigators claim they had probable cause against two people in a specific apartment.

Drug crimes defense: 7 people arrested in Texas drug bust

A 10-month investigation into alleged drug-related activities has resulted in seven arrests, with warrants out for two others, according to investigators in Mills County. Texas police arrested six men and one woman between May 29 and June 5. They are still searching for two other individuals of interest, and have asked the support of the community in tracking these two women down. It is unclear whether any of the arrested individuals have retained counsel, but this will be a necessary part of building a drug crimes defense in their individual cases. 

The information about the 10-month investigation is limited at this time, likely because not everyone purportedly involved has been apprehended by police. However, it has been determined that almost all of the arrests made so far have been predicated by the individuals allegedly purchasing drugs, including marijuana and methamphetamine, from undercover officers. One of the men is also facing money laundering charges after police claim they found a connection between him and a variety of fraudulent checks. 

How changing laws can affect testing and drug crimes defense

Recent changes in both Texas law and federal laws will change how labs test for certain types of drugs are handled, which could have a significant impact on cases throughout the state. Changes in how the law will now define the components in hemp and marijuana could affect how people facing certain types of criminal charges will approach their drug crimes defense strategy. Before the law changed, hemp was considered part of the cannabis plant, but was not considered marijuana.

Now, hemp has a legal definition, and marijuana has a new legal definition. According to these new changes, the distinction between the two is now based on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the sample. If it's below a certain THC level, it's hemp, but above a certain threshold makes it marijuana. Many labs that do drug sample testing are unable to accurately test according to these new standards

Can the state appeal a decision by the judge in your case?

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of a criminal offense, a lengthy chain of events takes place. You have rights that require protection. From your arrest through prosecution and conviction, there is room for error.

A judge may make a decision that is contrary to the view of the state. Can the state appeal an order from the court?

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. 

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