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Dallas child abuse defense attorney

Criminal offenses against children, such as possession of child pornography, sexual assault against a child, and child abuse, carry more stigma than almost any other crime. When an individual is accused of a crime such as these, he or she may lose friends, family members, his or her career, and more. This is why false allegations of child sexual abuse are such an alarming issue. A woman in Arkansas is now facing her own criminal charges after fabricating a story about her husband’s alleged crimes against children.

Woman Says She Found Explicit Images of Children on Her Husband’s Phone

In 2018, a 34-year-old Arkansas woman went to police to make a report of her husband’s alleged sexual assault and domestic violence. She claimed that she had caught her husband sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and that her husband attacked her when she interrupted the alleged crime. She showed investigators a bruise from the supposed attack as well as pictures on her husband’s phone depicting child pornography. However, when investigators looked further into the woman’s allegations, they discovered that the truth was wildly different than what the woman had claimed.

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Fort Worth child crimes defense attorney

Fall is just around the corner, but the hot weather in Texas has not relented. Many news outlets have run stories about the dangers of leaving children in cars during hot weather. Even when the outside temperature is only in the 70s or 80s, the temperature inside a car can climb much higher. Children left in hot vehicles can quickly become overheated and even die due to the extreme temperatures. According to the nonprofit group Kids and Cars, over 600 children have passed away in hot cars in the United States since 1990. You probably know that leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is dangerous, but you may wonder if it is considered a crime. In certain circumstances, leaving a child in a vehicle unattended constitutes a criminal charge in Texas.

Texas Penal Code Regarding Children Left in Cars

According to Texas law, there are certain situations in which it is against the law to leave a child unsupervised in a vehicle. The Texas Penal Code states that is a Class C misdemeanor criminal offense to knowingly leave a child in a motor vehicle if the child is all of the following: 

  • Under the age of 7

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Plano sex crimes defense lawyer

Being charged with any type of crime can be a shocking and overwhelming experience. However, being accused of a crime you did not commit is perhaps one of the worst feelings in the world. This is especially true if you are facing criminal charges related to a sex crime against a child. Due to the heinous nature of child sexual abuse, many people accused of these crimes are treated as if an accusation alone proves their guilt. Fortunately, the United States Constitution protects criminal defendants’ rights to due process and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault of a child, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney experienced in defending against such serious accusations.

Texas Law Regarding Sexual Assault of a Minor

As in all other U.S. states, special laws exist in Texas to protect children from sexual contact with adults. Texas law considers a person under age 17 to be a child. The crime of sexual assault against a child is committed if an individual knowingly:

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Dallas drug crimes defense lawyer

With the rise of drug addiction across the United States, both the federal and state governments are taking measures to combat this growing epidemic. There is an increasing sentiment for creating harsher penalties for drug possession. Texas, as a border state where drug smuggling is likely to occur, has in many ways led the national trend toward more stringent punishment for drug crimes. Currently, Texas has some of the most no-nonsense drug laws in the nation. Therefore, it is important to understand those laws and the penalties for violating them.

Laws for Drug Possession

Controlled substances may include both illegal drugs and prescription drugs, and illegal possession of these substances can result in criminal charges. Controlled substances are grouped into several different "schedules" based on their medical uses, their potential for addiction, and the dangers they present to their users. These schedules are identified in Texas state statute Title 6, which also specifies the punishments a person may face for possessing different amounts of these substances.

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Texas white collar crime defense attorney

Money laundering can occur in various forms, but it always involves money that was made as a result of illegal activities. It is defined as the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses. The money produced from the crime is considered “dirty,” and the process “launders” it to make it look clean or legitimate. If a person knowingly concealed, transported, invested, or spent money that was made in an illegal way, he or she participated in committing this crime. Under the Texas penal code, money laundering is classified as a white-collar crime. This type of crime involves deceit and is motivated by the desire for financial gain. In Texas, the penalties for money laundering depend on how much money someone is accused of laundering, but this crime is always charged as a felony.

Three Stages of Money Laundering

Typically, money laundering involves three steps: 

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Dallas drug charges defense lawyer

Many states have passed laws that legalize the use of marijuana, both medically and recreationally. Texas has been historically recognized as one of the most conservative states and the use of cannabis is labeled as more liberally leaning. However, Texas legislation has begun to move toward this “liberal pathway.” In early June, House Bill 3703 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott. This bill expands medical marijuana access and use across the state of Texas, but still has strong regulations over the substance that could lead to criminal drug charges.

The Details of House Bill 3703

On June 14, House Bill 3703 was signed, effective immediately. This law now allows people with certain medical conditions to be eligible for medical marijuana use. Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, terminal cancer, autism, spasticity, or incurable neurodegenerative disease access to medical marijuana treatments. However, this form of medication cannot be smoked and must be used in the form of an oil or an inhaler. The CBD oil that is legal in Texas contains low levels of THC, the psychoactive element found in marijuana. Medicinal CBD products that are legal in Texas only contain 0.5 percent THC and over-the-counter CBD products have 0.3 percent. The intent of this bill is to allow those with the specified health issues to benefit from medical marijuana use while continuing to restrict the public or social use of the substance.

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Texas arson defense attorney

Many people have memories of sitting around a campfire with family or friends, roasting marshmallows on a summer or fall evening. Large bonfires can also be a way to dispose of leaves or unwanted trash. Accidental fires can start for many reasons, sometimes in the forest and, in other cases, at a home or building. For some individuals, however, fire can also abet illegal activity. Fires that are started intentionally may fall under the criminal act of arson. If a person is charged with this violent crime, having an experienced criminal defense attorney’s help is crucial, since the penalties for arson in Texas are significant. Understanding what acts constitute arson is important to avoid accidentally committing the crime or to comprehend possible criminal charges and their consequences. 

The Act of Arson Explained

Under Texas law, the act of arson is committed if an individual starts a fire or causes an explosion with the intent to destroy another person’s property. Not only does the arsonist damage another individual’s property, but he or she can also potentially cause severe or fatal injuries to anyone on that property. These will only lead to additional charges and harsher punishments. The act of arson extends past just setting someone’s house on fire. Charges can result from starting fires that are intended to damage or destroy vegetation, fences, or structures on open land. More commonly known, setting fires to homes, vehicles, or buildings may also be considered arson. 

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Collin County child neglect defense lawyer

Every parent has their own unique parenting style, and rightfully so. Some parents get the nickname “helicopter parent” since they tend to be overprotective, while others are much more laid back, sometimes so much so that they are labeled a bad parent. Despite the preference of each parent, there are four common parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. Authoritarian parents use punishments more than discipline, teaching their child obedience. Authoritative parents enforce the rules but in a more positive fashion. Permissive parents use the theory “kids will be kids,” allowing their kids to make their own rules. Uninvolved parents do not provide much guidance or attention and are fairly detached from their kids. One particular type of parenting has gained attention in recent years for its “laissez-faire” outlook on parenting, with some declaring that this style constitutes child neglect.

What Is "Free-Range Parenting?"

Free-range parenting gives kids a lot of freedom with less supervision. According to a clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine, “free-range parenting emphasizes the child’s functioning independently with judicious parental supervision.” This form of parenting does not mean there are no rules, but it allows kids to do many things on their own. The idea is to allow kids to make their own mistakes and learn from them without having their parents constantly by their side. The term was coined by Lenore Skenazy after she released an article about letting her 9-year-old son navigate the New York City subway alone. This story and this form of parenting have been under fire ever since. 

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Fort Worth receipt of stolen property defense lawyer

We have all heard the funny story about taking a candy bar off the shelf as a child without your mother realizing it until after you left the store. While that may be an innocent act as a young child, theft is taken very seriously in the state of Texas. The penalties depend on the price of the item taken as well as the number of offenses the alleged thief has on his or her record. Theft charges are pretty straightforward: if you take something without paying, you have committed theft. What many people do not know is that you do not have to physically steal in order to find yourself facing theft charges in Texas.  

What Is Receipt of Stolen Property?

The Texas Penal Code describes theft in detail, part of which includes “receipt of stolen property.” According to the law, receiving or concealing stolen items is also considered theft. In other words, you did not have to physically steal an item to be charged. As long as it is in your possession, you may face criminal convictions for theft. In order to enforce this rule, the following guidelines must all be proven to be found guilty of receipt of stolen property: 

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Collin County prostitution defense lawyer

Prostitution is illegal throughout most of the United States, including the state of Texas. However, what many people may not realize is that both prostitutes and those who hire them may face harsh criminal consequences. There are a number of criminal penalties tied to prostitution, and being charged with this type of crime can not only result in a criminal conviction, but it can also affect a person's reputation, career, and personal relationships.

What Is Prostitution?

The Texas Penal Code defines prostitution and other acts of public indecency. A person may be charged with prostitution if they knowingly offer to receive payment or agree to receive money from another individual in return for engaging in sexual conduct. In addition, a person who offers to pay or agrees to pay a person for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts may be charged with prostitution. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor unless the offender has been convicted of a prior crime involving prostitution. Those found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor face up to $2,000 in fines and/or up to 180 days in jail. 

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Texas firearms charges defense attorney

The right to bear arms has been a hot topic for years. This is a direct result of mass shootings that have taken place across the country. While many people advocate for the banning of firearms, the Second Amendment protects American citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The state of Texas has strict gun laws to mitigate the number of gun-related crimes while still allowing its citizens to own a gun if they meet the requirements.

Texas Laws Explained

Texas is a “shall-issue” state. This means that as long as applicants pass the basic state law requirements, the issuing authority cannot deny applicants a permit if they would like one. Texas is not alone. 41 of the 50 U.S. states are classified as shall-issue. Those who would like to "open carry" are required to obtain a Texas License to Carry (LTC) or a concealed carry license/permit from a state with reciprocity. The same licenses/permits are required to legally carry a concealed gun; however, additional training and exams must also be completed. Both open carry and concealed carry require an individual to be 21 years old, or 18 years old if they are a member of the military.

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Dallas sexual misconduct defense lawyer

In the United States, crimes against children are taken very seriously. In 2015, approximately 3.5 million students who were surveyed by the Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation organization reported having had physical sexual contact from an adult. Most often, these perpetrators were listed as teachers or coaches. When other types of sexual misconduct are included in the calculation, this number increases to 4.5 million children in 8th through 11th grades. These actions include exposure to pornography, sexually explicit language, or exhibitionism.

Due to the prevalence of sexual abuse by teachers or other people in positions of authority, teachers should be aware of the potential for accusations of having an inappropriate teacher-student relationship. These claims can not only lead to criminal charges, but they can also cause a great deal of damage to one's reputation and career. Teachers should be sure to understand the laws surrounding these types of cases and the potential consequences of an accusation.

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Fort Worth Internet sex crimes defense attorney

Today’s children have access to an overwhelming amount of technology and electronic devices. They do not know a world without smartphones, computers, or tablets. Teenagers, as well as young children, spend hours online playing games or browsing websites, videos, and social media pages. Easy access to the Web can make children vulnerable to online predators and consequently, may become victims of Internet sex crimes such as child pornography. Any crime against a child is taken seriously in the state of Texas, and it is important to know the legal consequences if you are accused of such crimes.

Types of Internet Sex Crimes

The Internet is one of the most convenient and useful technology tools available today. People of all ages use it to find information on a variety of subjects. However, sometimes the Internet can entice users to participate in immoral and illegal activities. Sex crimes have become more common with the advent of the Internet and online chat rooms, but in some cases, a person can be falsely accused of such a crime. It is important to understand what constitutes an Internet sex crime against a minor in case you face these types of allegations.  

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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.

The field of internet sex crimes has quickly become an important part of skilled criminal defense attorneys’ jobs.  While sex crimes defense is already a specific area of practice unto itself, the rise of the internet has quickly given way to new kinds of sex crimes, all punishable under the law and requiring unique strategies for fighting charges in court. Conviction of one of these crimes may result in prison time and/or steep fines, as well as require guilty parties to register as a sex offender.

Texas, like most other states, has specific statutes and punishments for various types of internet sex crimes. Read on to learn more and find out what you need to know to protect yourself; then, call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. for an internet sex crimes attorney you can trust.

Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material Law

Under Texas state penal code, Section 21.16(d), it is illegal to post, send, or otherwise distribute specific types of images online.  The statute defines this behavior as criminal if you are posting images of someone’s private parts without their express consent. Posting images in which the person depicted believed said images would stay private may also carry criminal misdemeanor charges.

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

Diversity of citizenship establishes an important legal precedent related to the difference between state and federal jurisdiction. Yet most Americans have never even heard this term. Read on to learn more, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of a federal crime.

What Is Diversity of Citizenship?

Diversity of citizenship refers to cases where opposing parties involved in a lawsuit are citizens of different states or countries. If one of these parties is a corporation, they are defined as a citizen of the state where their business operates or is incorporated. If diversity of citizenship is in play, a case between two parties will fall under federal court jurisdiction, per Article III, section 2 of the United States Constitution.

This is significant, given the standard rules regarding state and federal court jurisdiction. Most civil cases, i.e. cases between two parties, start at the state rather than the federal level. However, a civil case will become a federal case under diversity of citizenship law.

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