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Collin County criminal defense attorney child sexual assault

A 24-year-old former educational assistant was indicted by a grand jury in Bowie County, Texas, earlier this month on two counts of an improper relationship between educator and student. The former aide was also indicted on a single count of sexual assault of a child. All three criminal charges are felonies, and they stem from interactions she allegedly had with students between November 2019 and May 2020.

Overheard Conversations

According to reports, a teacher at Texas High in the Texarkana Independent School District overheard a group of boys talking in June about how one of the boys might have gotten the instructional aide pregnant. After being confronted, the 17-year-old boy allegedly said that he had had sex with the aide but that she told him he was not her baby’s father. He also claimed that other students had sex with the assistant as well.

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Dallas criminal defense attorney violent crimes

A small city in East Texas was thrust into the national spotlight in recent days—and for all of the wrong reasons. On the morning of Friday, October 9, police in New Boston, TX, were called to a residence where they found the body of a young woman who had apparently been murdered. To make matters even worse, the victim had been pregnant at the time of her death, and a preliminary investigation indicated that the woman’s unborn baby had been cut from her body. The gruesome scene prompted action by several local and state agencies, looking into the case as both a murder and kidnapping investigation.

Pregnant Woman Found Dead

At a little after 10 a.m. last Friday, New Boston police responded to a 911 call reporting a deceased person. New Boston is a small city of approximately 4,600 people in Bowie County near Texarkana. When the police arrived, they discovered the body of a 21-year-old woman. According to officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the woman was clearly the victim of a homicide. She had also been almost eight months pregnant when she died, and her baby had been cut from her womb, presumably by her killer. Following the horrific discovery, an investigation was initiated by multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the region, including the Department of Public Safety, the New Boston Police Department, the Texarkana Police Department, and the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office.

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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney child endangerment

The public’s opinion of drugs and alcohol has changed dramatically throughout our nation’s history. Alcohol was common in many American homes until the 18th Amendment banned the consumption of liquor, beer, and wine in 1919. Then, the 21st Amendment repealed the ban on the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. Today, marijuana is a subject of great controversy across the United States. Some consider it a dangerous “gateway drug” while others believe that the substance offers significant medicinal benefits. Although the laws surrounding drugs and alcohol are constantly changing, one certainty has remained consistent: Drugs and alcohol should not be consumed by children. Allowing a child to consume drugs or alcohol or consuming an illicit substance in the presence of a child can result in child endangerment charges.

Criminal Charges Can Result from Exposing a Child to Danger

Children are unable to adequately provide for their own safety. Consequently, they are dependent on adults to protect them from harm. When an adult fails to protect a child or allows a child to be in a dangerous situation, he or she may be charged with the criminal offense of child endangerment. One Texas woman was recently arrested and charged with child endangerment after a video surfaced of the woman allowing her 3-year-old brother to smoke marijuana. The video, which was shared on Facebook and quickly shared with Texas police, shows the boy’s 18-year-old sister and another individual actively encouraging the toddler to inhale. Child Protective Services is currently investigating the situation. It is unknown if further criminal charges will be brought against the young boy’s parents. If the sister is convicted of child endangerment, she faces up to two years of imprisonment in a Texas state jail facility.

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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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Dallas criminal defense attorney child pornography

Society considers crimes against children especially heinous. In the United States, a person charged with any type of criminal offense is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, many people automatically assume that an individual accused of a child-related crime must be guilty of that crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with child sexual assault, child abuse, child pornography, or a related offense, understanding your rights is paramount to building a strong defense with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

The Right to Decline Police Questions

Law enforcement may use a variety of tactics to make a criminal defendant submit to questioning. However, it is absolutely vital that you remain silent and refrain from answering police questions until your attorney is present. Being arrested and charged with a crime can be frightening, confusing, and overwhelming. When you are in a heightened emotional state, you are in no position to answer police questions. You may say or do something during the interrogation that worsens your chances of avoiding conviction. The U.S. Constitution protects your right to prevent self-incrimination. This right applies to police questioning as well as during your trial proceedings.

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Dallas criminal defense attorney child neglect

Parents are legally responsible for providing their children with the care and attention they need to be safe. As children get older, they gradually begin to gain the skills necessary to look after themselves. It can be hard to know when a child is responsible enough to be left alone. If you are like many parents, you may have wondered, “At what age is it appropriate to leave my child at home alone?” Texas law does not state an exact age after which a parent may leave a child at home without supervision. However, there are circumstances in which a parent can face significant civil consequences and even criminal charges for leaving a minor child home alone.  

Texas Laws Regarding Child Neglect

Texas law requires parents and guardians to provide children with adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, supervision, and medical care. Failure to provide these basic necessities may constitute child neglect. A parent may also be accused of neglect if he or she allows a child to be in an unsafe situation that exposes the child to a significant risk of physical or mental harm. Child neglect is a civil offense in Texas, but it is often accompanied by criminal charges. Accusations of child neglect may lead to an investigation from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). If DFPS investigators find evidence of significant neglect or abuse, the child may be removed from the home. 

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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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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 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 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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Forth Worth crimes against children attorney

Criminal consequences for crimes against children in Texas can be life-changing. If you are convicted of child pornography, sexual assault of a child, kidnapping and abduction, or a similar offense, you could face years behind bars and a lifetime of stigma. You may also be required to register as a sex offender and appear on the public sex offender registry. Even false allegations of any criminal act can dramatically damage your reputation. If you have been accused of a crime against a child, there are several steps that you should immediately take in order to give you the best possible chances of avoiding a conviction.

Do Not Say Anything to Police Until Your Lawyer Is Present

You have probably heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent” in the past, but you may be unsure as to what this actually means. In the United States, anyone who has been placed under arrest has the right to remain silent and not respond to police questioning. Never allow police to interrogate you without your lawyer present. An experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure that your rights are not violated and that you do not inadvertently say something that could incriminate you.

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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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