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texas criminal defense lawyerThe laws surrounding marijuana in the United States have been in flux over the past decade. Multiple states have made marijuana legal for both medical and recreational use. Others have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug, meaning that people will usually face civil infractions rather than criminal penalties. However, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government, and there are some situations where a person may be charged with federal crimes if they are accused of possessing, distributing, selling, or transporting this drug.

Federal Charges Related to Marijuana

Technically, possession of marijuana is a federal offense. “Simple” possession involves a person knowingly and intentionally carrying a drug on their person, transporting it in their vehicle, or storing it in their place of residence unless they have a valid prescription for the substance from a medical provider. A conviction for simple possession can result in a sentence of up to one year in a federal prison, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

However, most of the time, federal officials do not prosecute cases involving simple possession of marijuana. Federal authorities are more focused on large-scale drug trafficking, especially in situations where marijuana is transported and distributed in multiple states or smuggled into the U.S. from another country. These cases typically involve large amounts of marijuana, as well as a conspiracy by multiple people to manufacture, package, transport, and sell the drug to others.

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Fort Worth federal money laundering charges attorneySome types of criminal charges involve offenses committed directly by one person against someone else, such as assault or robbery. Other offenses are considered to be “white collar crimes,” and they often involve fraud or financial manipulation. Money laundering is one such offense, and it involves the attempt to conceal the source of money that was earned or obtained illegally.

While money laundering may be charged as a state-level offense, it will often be prosecuted as a federal crime. Those who may potentially face these types of charges will want to understand when prosecutors may pursue federal charges and the potential penalties that may apply if they are convicted.

Federal Charges for Money Laundering

A person may be charged with money laundering at the federal level if they conduct or attempt to conduct a transaction involving money or property that they know was obtained illegally. Money laundering charges may also apply if a person transferred or transported funds or monetary instruments between the United States and another country with the purpose of promoting or carrying out certain types of crimes. 

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Denton County child pornography defense lawyerCriminal offenses related to child pornography are treated very seriously by law enforcement officials. In many cases, prosecutors will pursue the most serious charges possible, and in the name of protecting children, they may seek the maximum prison sentences, or they may even ask for additional prison time or other consequences based on the seriousness of the crime. Anyone who has been accused of creating, distributing, or possessing child pornography will need a strong criminal defense attorney on their side to protect their rights and help them defend against criminal charges that could affect their freedom, as well as attacks in the court of public opinion that could affect their reputation.

State and Federal Child Pornography Charges

If a person faces child pornography charges at the state level, the penalties will depend on the specific nature of the crimes and whether a person has previously been convicted. In Texas, possession of child pornography or accessing sexually explicit images or videos of children with the intent to view them on a device such as a computer or cell phone is a third-degree felony for a first offense, and a person may be sentenced to two to 10 years in prison. Distributing child pornography, including publishing, selling, transmitting, or advertising sexually explicit content depicting children, is a second-degree felony for a first offense, and a person may be sentenced to two to 20 years in prison. Creating child pornography through the sexual performance of a child is a second-degree felony, but if the child was under the age of 14, it is a first-degree felony in which a person may be sentenced to five to 99 years in prison.

In many cases, child pornography offenses will result in federal charges. Possession of child pornography will often involve material that was transported or transmitted across state lines, resulting in prosecution in federal courts. Possessing or distributing child pornography can result in a sentence of between five and 20 years, although longer sentences may apply if child pornography depicted children under the age of 12 or if a person had been previously convicted under federal or state laws of an offense involving sexual abuse or exploitation of children. Creation of child pornography may result in charges of sexual exploitation of children, which can result in a prison sentence of 15 to 30 years.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney federal crimes

As it currently stands in the United States, most computer-related crimes can be charged as federal offenses, as they largely utilize the online infrastructure of the Internet. Computer-related federal charges may stem from using the Internet to traffic drugsweapons, and even people, in addition to illegal materials such as child pornography. Interstate and international scams conducted via the Internet can also be prosecuted as federal crimes. “Hacking” or gaining illicit access to computer systems or networks is usually a federal crime, as well.

With all of this in mind, it may come as quite a shock to learn that the U.S. justice system currently does not have a clear process in place for prosecuting those accused of hacking into a federal voting system. However, the U.S. House unanimously passed a bill last month that would give federal prosecutors the statutory support they need to prosecute voting system hacking. The bill cleared the Senate in 2019 and is now awaiting President Trump’s signature so that it can be enacted into law.

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Fort Worth federal criminal defense attorney

Under Texas law, a person commits criminal homicide if he or she intentionally or negligently causes the death of another individual. Criminal homicide is considered murder when the offender knowingly causes the death of the individual, causes death while intentionally causing serious bodily harm, or causes the death of the individual during the commission of a felony. Depending on the facts of the case, murder may be charged as a first-degree or second-degree felony offense in Texas. However, there are some situations in which murder may also be considered a federal crime

Circumstances in Which the Federal Government Prosecutes Murder Cases

Most federal murder charges result from murders involving drug trafficking or weapons trafficking, or attacks on U.S. government officials. Deaths resulting from certain crimes against children may also result in federal murder charges. Murder is typically a federal criminal offense if:

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