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Tarrant County federal criminal defense attorney perjury

Being accused of any type of crime can be an unnerving experience. However, when the prosecuting party is the federal government, the situation is even more frightening. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime relating to child trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child, money laundering, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, or another federal offense, you may feel completely lost. The first step you should take is to hire an attorney experienced in defending against federal charges. Your attorney will help you avoid making mistakes that worsen your chances of being acquitted. One such mistake that can result in additional federal charges is lying under oath or perjury.

When Can an Individual Be Charged with Perjury?

There are two types of perjury under U.S. law. The first refers to false statements made by an individual who is under oath. In order to convict someone of perjury for lying under oath, the prosecution must prove that the following elements are present:

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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney entrapment

Entrapment occurs when a government official such as a police officer compels someone to commit a criminal offense. Some people falsely believe that police must always identify themselves as law enforcement officers. In reality, police are fully authorized to lie or use deceptive techniques to obtain evidence of a criminal act. However, police cannot use extreme behavior, threats, or coercion to force a normally law-abiding citizen to commit a criminal act.  Entrapment is an “affirmative” defense against criminal charges in Texas, which means that the defendant is admitting that he or she committed the offense but is also presenting a justification for doing so.

What Is the Difference Between a Sting Operation and Entrapment?

If you have ever seen television shows such as To Catch a Predator, you may have wondered about the legality of police undercover stings. A sting operation is a law enforcement action intended to catch an individual committing a criminal offense. It typically involves an undercover police officer or detective posing as a potential victim or criminal partner in order to gather evidence that can be used during a criminal prosecution. However, if a police sting operation crosses the line into entrapment, evidence obtained during the operation may not be admissible in court. Sting operations are often used to catch individuals engaging in the purchase or sale of illicit drugs, solicitation of a minor, solicitation of a prostitute, or the possession or distribution of child pornography. The main difference between entrapment and a lawful sting operation is that a sting operation offers an individual the opportunity to commit a crime while entrapment involves the individual being coerced or persuaded into committing a crime.  

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Dallas child abuse defense attorney

For many parents, the way they raise their children is substantially different than the way that they were raised. Parents may assume that leaving their children in the car while they are shopping or otherwise engaged is not unsafe simply because they remember waiting in the car alone when they were a child. However, states are increasingly enacting legislation designed to prevent parents from leaving children unsupervised in vehicles. In 2019, 52 children passed away after being left in hot cars. In order to prevent these tragic deaths, Texas has made it illegal to leave children alone in vehicles under certain circumstances.

Leaving a Child in a Car May Be Considered a Criminal Offense

Texas is known for its extremely hot summers. Hot and humid weather makes the risk of a child developing heatstroke or dying in a hot car especially high. Many parents who leave their children in the car only intend to be gone for a few minutes, however, it only takes 10 minutes for an average car to heat up by 19 degrees. The Texas Department of State Health Services urges parents to teach children not to play inside of cars and to never leave a young child in a car unsupervised. 

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Tarrant County child abuse defense attorney

The way that parents raise their children is evolving with each new generation. One issue that has become especially controversial in recent years is corporal punishment or using physical force such as spanking as a form of discipline. Whatever your personal opinions are regarding corporal punishment, it is important to understand how Texas law differentiates between punishment and abuse. Individuals who physically punish children in a way that crosses the line into abuse can face criminal charges for domestic assault, injury to a child, and other crimes against children.   

Definition of Family Violence According to the Texas Family Code

Texas law defines “family violence” as actions that are intended to result in bodily injury, physical harm, or assault. Abuse is defined in the Texas Family Code as:

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Fort Worth federal firearms violation defense attorney

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to possess firearms. However, gun owners must also comply with a range of federal, state, and local laws regarding how and when firearms may be possessed and used. Many firearm violations are prosecuted by the federal government. Federal gun charges often carry much harsher penalties than state charges do. A person convicted of a federal firearm offense may be sentenced to years or decades of incarceration. If you have been accused of trafficking firearms across state lines, illegal possession or sale of a firearm, or other weapons violations, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight to keep you out of prison.

Unlawful Acts Related to Firearms

The laws regulating the sale, transfer, possession, and use of firearms are mostly contained in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 44. Section 922 identifies firearm-related acts that are prohibited under federal law. These acts include but are not limited to:

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Dallas fraud defense attorney

Credit card fraud and debit card fraud are forms of identity theft prohibited by both Texas law and federal law. There are many different types of actions that may lead to credit card fraud charges. A person may be charged with credit or debit card fraud for obtaining and using another person’s credit or debit card information, possessing devices or computer equipment used to steal card information, attempting to open an account with someone else’s personal information, and for many other acts. If you or a loved one have been accused of fraudulent use or theft of a credit card or debit card, this is considered a white-collar crime. Speak with a criminal defense attorney right away so that you can start building a strong defense against the charges.

Understanding Credit Card and Debit Card Fraud Laws

Often, credit or debit card fraud charges are the result of an individual allegedly using another person’s credit or debit card without his or her authorization. This may involve physical theft of the card or theft of the information contained on the card. Individuals may gain access to other people’s credit card or debit card information when institutions such as banks and retailers experience a major data breach. People may also use email or phone calls to scam people into giving over their credit card or debit card details. This so-called “phishing” typically involves a person or organization requesting sensitive information while pretending to be a legitimate company such as a bank. Credit card fraud can also be the result of a person finding bank statements or credit card statements in someone’s trash. Recently, devices called “card skimmers” have been used to capture card information when someone swipes his or her card at a gas station or ATM.

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Dallas sex crimes defense attorney

School personnel often spend large amounts of time with students, and they may form special connections with certain individuals. However, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, and other school staff have a legal responsibility to maintain proper boundaries with students. When a teacher-student relationship involves sexual contact, this constitutes a criminal offense in Texas. Although they are against the law, romantic or sexual student-teacher relationships do exist in Texas and throughout the United States. If you or someone you know has been accused of sexual contact with a student, it is crucial to consult a criminal defense attorney to obtain the legal guidance you need.

Texas Law Regarding Teacher-Student Relationships

According to the Texas Penal Code, it is illegal for any primary school or secondary school educator to engage in sexual activity with a student. This includes teachers as well as substitute teachers, teachers’ aides, librarians, principals, administrative staff, counselors, and other employees of public or private schools. It is important to note that although the age of consent is 17 in Texas, it is still unlawful for an educator to have sexual contact with a student who is older than 17. In addition, online solicitation of a student by an educator is classified as an unlawful student-teacher relationship.

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Forth Worth kidnapping defense attorney

If you are a parent, facing criminal charges for a crime against your child may be one of the last things you ever expect to happen to you. Kidnapping laws are intended to prevent children from being abducted and taken into dangerous situations. However, many people do not realize that a child’s biological parent can also be charged with kidnapping under some circumstances. A kidnapping charge can result in heavy fines, incarceration, and the loss of child custody privileges. If you have been accused of kidnapping your child, speak to a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling crimes against children as soon as possible.

Texas Laws Regarding Child Abduction

According to the Texas Penal Code, any individual who knowingly abducts another person can be charged with kidnapping. Although there is not an offense classified as “parental kidnapping” in Texas law, parents can and have been charged with kidnapping for “abducting” their own biological child. Texas law defines “abduct” as limiting a person’s freedom by holding him or her in a place where he or she is unlikely to be found or reducing the individual’s movement by the use or threat of force.

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Fort Worth firearms violations defense attorney

The use of firearms and other weapons is strictly regulated at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Federal weapons violations often carry harsher penalties and longer jail sentences than state weapons charges. Legal penalties associated with a federal weapons charge will depend on whether the weapon was used during the commission of a crime, whether bodily harm or death was caused, the defendant’s criminal history, the type of weapon found in his or her possession, and other factors. Firearm violations and other weapons charges can lead to years or decades in prison, so it is crucial that you speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you are facing any type of federal weapons charge.

Federal Weapons Violations

Federal law regulates who is permitted to own a firearm, the types of weapons that may be possessed or transported, the locations in which firearms may be lawfully discharged, and the maximum number of firearms and other weapons a person is allowed to own. Often, weapons charges are investigated by the federal government because they involve interstate transactions. Federal weapons charges may involve:

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Forth Worth child pornography defense attorney

Crimes against children are penalized especially harshly in the United States. Not only can a child-related offense result in heavy fees and jail time, but the defendant may also be required to register as a sex offender. This means that his or her name, address, picture, and a description of the crimes he or she has been convicted of will appear on the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry. A conviction of possession or promotion of child pornography can result in considerable imprisonment as well as a lifetime of stigma. If you or someone you know has been charged with possession or promotion of child pornography, it is imperative that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can start building a strong defense against the charges.

Possessing Child Pornography

Owning visual material that depicts a person under age 18 engaging in sexual conduct is against the law in all 50 states, including Texas. A child pornography charge may result from digital images or videos found on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It may also result from physical photographs or videos stored on DVDs or other mediums. Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony in Texas. It is punishable by 2-10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. A second conviction for possession of child pornography is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years of incarceration. If an individual is convicted of possessing child pornography for a third or subsequent time, he or she can face up to 99 years in prison.

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Fort Worth child abuse and neglect defense attorney

Many parents who are contacted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) are shocked when they realize that they are being investigated for potential child abuse or neglect. While many child protective investigations are the result of justified concerns regarding children’s safety, some investigations are the result of a misunderstanding or misinterpretation. If you are currently facing accusations of child neglect, child abuse, or domestic violence, it is possible that you will be investigated by the DFPS. Therefore, it is important to understand how Texas law handles these types of accusations of crimes against children

Allegations of Child Abuse or Neglect

According to Texas law, anyone who reasonably believes that a child has been neglected or abused must report the possible mistreatment to law enforcement or the DFPS. The DFPS is required by law to investigate these reports and make a determination about the validity of the accusations.

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Plano, Texas criminal defense attorney online solicitation of a minor

When it comes to criminal offenses, few are judged as harshly as crimes against children. Being accused of a crime against a child–especially a sex crime against a child–can have life-altering consequences. Many crimes against children do not require the alleged offender to actually make physical contact with the child. Depending on what was said, a conversation alone may be enough to bring about criminal charges. Communicating online with a person under age 17 about sexual conduct can lead to felony charges for online solicitation of a minor and potentially years behind bars. If you or someone you know has been charged with online solicitation of a minor, speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away to learn about your defense options.

Defining Online Solicitation of a Child

According to the Texas Penal Code, an adult commits solicitation of a child if he or she intentionally uses email, text messaging, or any other electronic device or service to do either of the following:

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Fort Worth federal drug charges defense attorney

It seems as if drug laws in the United States are constantly changing. In 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug and prohibited the use of the substance for both medical and recreational purposes. In 1996, California became the first state to allow the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions. Today, marijuana may legally be used for medical purposes in the majority of the United States, and it is has been legalized for recreational use in 11 states. However, it is important to remember that a number of state and federal laws still regulate the purchase, use, cultivation, and transportation of cannabis. In some cases, a person may even face federal drug trafficking charges for moving cannabis across state lines.

Federal Laws Regulating the Transport of Marijuana

One of the most confusing aspects of cannabis laws in the United States is that although the substance is legal in many states, it still remains illegal at the federal level. According to the federal government, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Interstate transportation of marijuana or cannabis-related products is a federal crime as well as a state crime. Even if you purchase marijuana in a state in which it is legal, it is a crime to transport the drug into another state.

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Dallas prostitution defense attorney

Exchanging money or property for sexual contact is against the law in the majority of the United States, including Texas. Being charged with a prostitution-related crime can result in serious criminal consequences as well as devastating damage to the accused person’s career and reputation. This is especially true if the alleged crime involved a person younger than 18 years old. Read on to learn about prostitution-related crimes in Texas and what you should do if you or your loved one has been accused of this serious criminal offense.

Prostitution According to Texas Law

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person can be charged with prostitution if he or she:

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Dallas sex crimes defense attorney

Crimes against children, such as possession of child pornography, sexual assault of a childinjury to a child, solicitation of a minor, and child trafficking, are some of the most harshly punished criminal offenses in Texas and across the country. Although many criminal charges involving alleged child-related crimes do not result in convictions, some people assume that just because a person was charged, he or she actually committed the offense. However, it is essential that individuals charged with crimes against children remember that they have the same rights as any other criminal defendant. In many cases, understanding and implementing these rights can make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent 

Most people have probably heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent” numerous times, but many do not understand the true significance of this right. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to avoid “self-incrimination.” The term self-incrimination refers to a person being forced to testify against himself or herself. This means that you have the right to decline police questioning and remain silent until you have a chance to speak to a lawyer. Law enforcement personnel are specially trained in tactics that provoke criminal defendants to talk without their lawyers present. Police may even imply that only a guilty person would refuse to answer questions. Do not give in to these strategies. Calmly state that you are invoking your right to remain silent and will do so until you speak to a lawyer.

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Plano check fraud defense attorney

The hit movie Catch Me if You Can is based on the incredible true story of Frank Abagnale. In addition to a number of other cons, Abagnale was one of the most notorious check forgers of the 1960s. He created fraudulent payroll checks, printed his own account number on blank deposit slips at the bank, and used other schemes to defraud financial institutions. Abagnale was eventually caught and sentenced to prison. Although it may look glamorous in movies, white collar crimes such as check fraud can result in severe criminal consequences. Check fraud is commonly prosecuted by the federal government and may be punishable by prison sentences up to 30 years as well as extremely steep fines.

What Actions May Be Considered Check Fraud?

Many people have accidentally overestimated their bank account balance and written a check that “bounced” at least once in their lifetime. Mistakes such as these typically only result in a small bank fee. However, when a person intentionally writes bad checks for the purpose of defrauding a bank, he or she may be guilty of check fraud. There are other actions that constitute check fraud, including:

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Fort Worth child pornography defense attorney

There is no doubt about the tremendous influence smartphones have on our everyday lives. The use of text messaging has especially skyrocketed in recent decades. Research shows that over 15 million texts are sent every minute, and this number is expected to continue to increase. The use of text messages to send sexually explicit photographs and messages has been nicknamed “sexting.” Although it may seem harmless, sexting can sometimes lead to child pornography charges and other criminal charges. If you have been accused of creating, distributing, or possessing child pornography, speak to a Texas criminal defense attorney right away so you can start building a solid defense strategy.

Sexually Explicit Photos Between Minors May Be Illegal in Some Situations

Although many parents may not realize it, teenagers commonly send nude photographs of themselves to their peers. They may assume that these images do not constitute child pornography because the images are not being sent to an adult. However, under Texas law, it is illegal for anyone, including minors, to transmit any images or videos depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct. In some cases, sexting between minors can be considered a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. The law does provide defenses for those who receive unsolicited photos and for minors who are in a dating relationship, who are within two years of age of each other, and who share the images privately.

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Fort Worth sex crimes attorney

Although any type of criminal charge is a grave matter, being charged with a crime against a child can be especially devastating. Many people are quick to assume that just because a person has been charged with a child-related crime, he or she must be guilty of the offense. This is especially true of sex crimes against children. It is important to understand how Texas law defines indecency with a child when considering how to build a strong defense against these serious allegations. 

Texas Law Regarding Indecency With a Child

There are two reasons a person may be charged with indecency with a child in Texas. The first is if they are accused of engaging in non-penetrative sexual contact with someone under 17 years of age. A person may be convicted of indecency with a child if it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they touched the genitals, breast, or anus of the child, either above or under the child’s clothing, and this contact was intended to arouse or gratify their sexual desires. It is also against the law for a person to touch a child with their own genitals, breast, or anus.

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Tarrant County federal weapons charge defense attorney

Few topics have been as hotly debated in recent years as the possession and use of firearms. Federal and Texas firearm laws have been subject to a number of modifications in recent decades, and gun-related laws are often complicated and hard to understand. Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code regulates the ownership of firearms in the United States and prohibits certain individuals from owning firearms or ammunition. Violation of federal firearm laws can result in significant criminal penalties, including considerable prison time. If you or a loved one is being investigated by the federal government for an alleged firearm violation, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling federal weapons cases as soon as possible.

Individuals Prohibited From Owning Firearms and Ammunition by Federal Law

In the United States, the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, certain circumstances can cause a person to lose the right to own or possess a firearm. While many firearm offenses are prosecuted at the state level, weapons violations involving the transport of firearms or other weapons across state lines are often prosecuted at the federal level. According to the U.S. Code, it is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or firearm ammunition when the ammunition or firearm was moved across state lines and the possessor is:

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Tarrant County child abuse defense attorney

The terms “domestic violence” and “abuse” are used so often, it can be hard to know exactly what they mean. For example, is spanking your child after he or she misbehaves considered child abuse? What about forcefully grabbing your child’s arm when he or she is about to run into a busy street? Can non-physical actions like shouting at a child result in domestic violence charges? Being convicted of a crime against a child can result in life-changing consequences. You may lose the right to spend time with your child or may only get to see him or her under close supervision. You may even face years in prison. If you or a loved one has been accused of child abuse, child sexual abuse, injury to a child, domestic violence, or a similar crime, speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so you can start building a strong defense against these charges.

Definition of “Abuse” Under Texas Law

According to the Texas Family Code, abuse of a child includes:

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