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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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Collin County criminal defense attorney money laundering

Money laundering is a term used to describe the act of hiding funds that are obtained through criminal activities. It is a criminal offense that is prosecuted by the state and federal government and punishable by steep fines and significant prison sentences. If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense related to money laundering, contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away. Do not speak to the police without your attorney present. Take advantage of your Constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination by remaining silent and asking for your lawyer right away.

U.S. Federal Money Laundering Laws

The term “money laundering” refers to the process of making illegally obtained or “dirty” money appear legitimate or “clean.” If you concealed or attempted to conceal profits from a crime, you may be charged with offenses related to the crime as well as the offense of money laundering. For example, if you received money from selling illicit drugs and then funneled those profits into your small business, you may face charges for drug distribution as well as money laundering. Money laundering typically involves three main steps. First, the cash obtained from the unlawful sources is disguised as money from a legitimate business or another lawful source. Next, the origin of the funds is obscured so that it is difficult for law enforcement to determine the original source. Lastly, the laundered funds are reintroduced or integrated into the economy -- often through financial institutions.

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Forth Worth criminal defense attorney bank fraud

When the average person thinks about what it means to steal money from a bank, images of masked robbers pocketing bundles of cash may come to mind. However, many schemes involving the unlawful acquisition of bank funds are much more technical in nature. Bank fraud refers to activities that intentionally defraud a financial institution. It is a criminal offense prohibited by federal law and investigated by local law enforcement as well as the U.S. Secret Service. If you or a loved one is facing federal charges related to bank fraud, it is critical to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Understanding Bank Fraud Accusations

Bank fraud is defined by 18 U.S. Code § 1344 as knowingly:

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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 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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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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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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Fort Worth computer crimes defense attorney hacking

The term “hacking” typically refers to a person, often called a “hacker,” gaining unauthorized access to a computer or network. In recent decades, the so-called “hacker culture” has become mainstream and even glorified. Movies like Algorithm and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo create the illusion that hackers can easily slide under the government’s radar and get away with nearly anything. Many people are under the false assumption that hacking a computer or network is something that an individual can do recreationally with little to no chance of facing significant consequences. These individuals could not be more wrong. The federal government takes internet crimes like hacking very seriously. In some cases, hacking can lead to federal charges and prison time.  

Federal Legislation Prohibiting Unauthorized Access to a Computer

Both federal and Texas laws prohibit certain computer crimes, but many computer crimes are prosecuted by the federal government. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is federal legislation that was originally intended to protect the computer systems of financial institutions and governmental entities. The scope of this law has since been expanded to include virtually every other type of computer system and server, including personally owned computers, tablets, and cell phones. A number of offenses fall under the umbrella of this legislation. Illegally accessing a computer and obtaining information from a protected computer, financial institution, or the U.S. government is a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years’ incarceration when the offense includes any of the following:

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Fort Worth federal conspiracy defense attorney

Most people are aware that acts such as fraud, drug trafficking, and certain weapons violations can be prosecuted by the federal government. However, you may not realize that a person can face federal charges even if he or she never actually committed a federal crime. Simply conspiring or planning to commit certain crimes with one or more other individuals can constitute a criminal act under federal law. Crimes prosecuted under federal law are often punished more severely than crimes prosecuted under state law. If you are being investigated for conspiring to commit federal crimes, it is imperative that you consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately.

Conspiring to Commit a Federal Offense

The United States Code states that it is against federal law for two or more people to conspire to commit a federal crime or to defraud the United States or a U.S. agency. Even if the actual offense or fraud never occurred, the individuals involved in discussions about the planned offense can face federal prosecution. In order for a U.S. prosecuting attorney to obtain a conviction for federal conspiracy, he or she must prove several elements, including the following:

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Collin County white collar crimes attorney

You may be surprised to learn that an estimated 2 to 5 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is represented by money that is laundered across international borders. The criminal offense of money laundering occurs when a person conceals the identity, source, or destination of money that has been acquired unlawfully. Both state and federal laws prohibit money laundering. If you are being investigated by a federal government agency for possible money laundering, it is imperative to seek help from a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Federal Money Laundering Charges

It is important to note that money laundering involves the concealment or attempted concealment of profits from criminal activity. If you sold an expensive diamond ring and then failed to report that money to the IRS, for example, this may be in violation of tax law, but it is not money laundering. Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court mandates that federal money laundering laws do not apply if an individual is only making money from a crime but not hiding it. For example, if a criminal defendant runs an illegal lottery, he or she is receiving money from a crime, but this does not constitute money laundering if he or she does not hide the proceeds. A conviction for money laundering requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is concealing profits from the illegal activity.

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Tarrant County federal drug crimes defense attorney

The manufacture of illegal drugs may be prosecuted at the Texas state level or at the federal level. Federal crimes typically carry much stricter criminal penalties than state crimes. There are many different ways that drug possession, drug manufacturing, or drug distribution charges can be considered federal offenses. In some cases, something as simple as consuming an illegal drug on federal property such as a National Park may be enough reason for a criminal offense to be prosecuted at the federal level. If you or a loved one is facing federal drug manufacturing charges, do not take these accusations lightly. Contact a criminal defense attorney qualified to defend against charges levied by the federal government as soon as possible.

Federal Law Regarding the Manufacture of Drugs

Chapter 21 of the U.S. Code lists the laws prohibiting the manufacture of controlled substances in the United States. The law states that it is illegal to intentionally or knowingly:

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Plano, Texas federal drug crimes defense attorney

While many drug charges are handled at the state level, certain drug offenses are investigated and prosecuted at the federal level. Federal drug charges carry significantly harsher penalties than state charges. An individual who is charged with federal drug trafficking can face years or even decades of incarceration. If an individual is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or another federal government agency for a drug-related offense, it is imperative that he or she contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Drug Offenses Prosecuted in Federal Court

If a federal agency like the DEA or FBI becomes involved in a possible drug crime, it is likely that any resulting charges will be prosecuted in federal court. Federal drug charges are often the result of cases that involve a considerable amount of drugs or the transportation of drugs across state lines. You could be charged with federal drug trafficking for possessing:

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Dallas white collar crimes defense lawyer

The federal government has jurisdiction over certain types of “white collar crimes,” such as fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and more. Criminal penalties for federal offenses are often much more severe than punishments for state charges. If you are convicted of a federal crime, you could face incarceration in federal prison and substantial fines. If you are being investigated by a federal agency, it is critically important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

What Constitutes Fraud Under Federal Law?

The United States Code Title 18 defines federal fraud as knowingly committing one of the following actions:

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