The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.

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In the United States, there are two kinds of laws – state laws and federal laws. As a result, there are state-level crimes and federal crimes. There are also state courts and federal courts. When someone violates a state law, the case will be handled by a state court and when a federal law is violated, it will be handled in federal court.

Sometimes a crime violates both state and federal law. In this case, the defendant can be tried in state court or federal court. Often, it comes down to the magnitude of the crime and what the state and federal prosecutors decide.

State laws are passed by state legislators, whereas federal laws are passed by Congress. States establish state criminal courts in cities and counties to prosecute violations of state law. In contrast, the federal courts are established under the U.S. Constitution and instead of deciding on state-level offenses, they strictly handle federal prosecutions involving violations of laws contained in the Constitution and passed by Congress.

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“Assault and battery” is a phrase most people have heard, whether on the news or on a procedural TV show. However, this phrase often doesn’t refer to a single charge. Assault and battery are two different crimes often prosecuted together because of their similar natures. In Texas, the elements of a case against a defendant for assault and battery are the same, though there are many different classifications for different degrees of the offense.

For example, assault on its own is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening to cause bodily injury to another person. However, following through on that threat is considered “battery.” In Texas, a charge of assault (and battery) includes causing bodily injury to another person, threatening another person with bodily injury, or causing physical contact with another person against his or her consent.

The degrees of the crime depend on whether the defendant merely threatened to cause harm or actually caused damage to another individual. It’s a Class C misdemeanor if a person threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in an offensive or provocative way. For example, if you threaten to beat someone up and push them to emphasize your point, you would be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

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While many of us have seen characters called “flashers” depicted humorously in movies and television, in reality, this kind of behavior may constitute an offense called indecent exposure. Under Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 21, Section 21.08, “indecent exposure” is defined as exposing your private parts to another person. The charge of indecent exposure is a sex crime in the state of Texas, and may carry penalties including jail time and steep fines.

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person may be charged with indecent exposure for showing their anus or any part of their genitals to another person if they do so with the purpose of sexually arousing themselves or another person. To convict someone of indecent exposure, a prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant recklessly exposed themselves to another person, ignoring the reasonable assumption that the person or people present would be upset by this act.  A charge of indecent exposure may be upgraded to sexual assault or attempted rape if unwanted touching is involved.  

What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

In the state of Texas, a charge of indecent exposure is considered a Class B misdemeanor.

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Drug trafficking is a state and federal crime, which carries severe consequences for offenders. A charge of drug trafficking may include the manufacturing, delivery, and sale of anything deemed a “controlled substance.” Drug trafficking laws can be highly complex, depending on which controlled substances and how much of them are involved in any given case. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) divides controlled substances into 5 schedules, based on the danger and effects of various drugs. As the schedules of these drugs vary, so do the penalties attached to them.

Federal Drug Trafficking Scheduling and Penalties

Federal drug scheduling breaks down controlled substances into the following categories:

  • Schedule I Substances: Schedule I drugs are considered dangerous substances with no widely accepted medical use and high potential for abuse. Under federal U.S. law, this includes drugs such as heroin, LSD, ecstasy, PCP, methaqualone (or Quaaludes,) peyote, and marijuana.
  • Schedule II Substances: Schedule II drugs are considered dangerous substances with high potential for abuse and which have a high chance of causing psychological and/or physical dependence. Under U.S. law, this includes drugs such as Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Dilaudid, Demerol, OxyContin, fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
  • Schedule III Substances: Schedule III drugs are considered potentially dangerous substances with a medium chance for abuse and medium chance of causing psychological and/or physical dependence. Schedule III substances include ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine.
  • Schedule IV Substances: Schedule IV drugs are considered potentially dangerous substances with a low chance for abuse and a low chance of causing psychological and/or physical dependence. Schedule IV substances include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and Tramadol.
  • Schedule V Substances: Schedule V drugs are considered potentially dangerous drugs with a low potential for abuse and which contain limited quantities of narcotics. Schedule IV substances include Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin, and cough medicines with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters.

Federal penalties for trafficking high quantities of drugs are divided into several levels:

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“White collar crime” is a common term, most often associated with corporate America. Yet, it’s not just big-time players on Wall Street who can be found guilty of this type of offense. A broad distinction, the definition of white collar crime encompasses various offenses revolving around finances, trade secrets and fraud. While non-violent in nature, these crimes can still lead to serious penalties and punishments at the state and federal level. Read on to learn more about common types of white collar crimes which may even occur in your community, and contact our experienced Plano white collar crime attorney at The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. if you or someone you know has been accused of one of these offenses.

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