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Recent blog posts

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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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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Dallas sexual assault defense attorney statutory rape

The age of consent is 17 in Texas. This means that, according to Texas law, individuals under 17 years of age are incapable of consenting to sex or sexual contact with an adult. The crime commonly referred to as “statutory rape” falls under the law prohibiting the sexual assault of a child in Texas. If you have been accused of sexual assault against someone under age 17, you could face serious, life-altering criminal consequences. It is essential to consult with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling cases involving crimes against children as soon as possible.

What if the Sex Was “Consensual?”

Most people know that forcing someone to have sex against his or her will is wrong both ethically and legally. However, you may not realize that you can be charged with sexual assault against a child even if you did not force the alleged victim to participate in the sexual act. Because the age of consent is 17 in Texas, it is against the law for an adult to have sex with someone aged 16 years or younger, even if the underaged person did not object to the sexual activity. This is true even if the defendant did not know that the alleged victim was under age 17.

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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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Tarrant County sex crimes defense attorney

The Texas Education Agency investigated more than 400 cases of alleged illegal student-teacher relationships during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Reports of inappropriate sexual and romantic relationships between students and teachers have risen dramatically in recent years in Texas. Many attribute this increase to the heightened awareness of illegal sex acts prompted by the #MeToo movement. Educators who are convicted of having an improper relationship with a student can lose their ability to teach, their reputation, and even their freedom. If you are a teacher or school employee who has been accused of having sexual relations with a student, speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

When Does a Teacher-Student Relationship Cross the Line?

Teachers spend a great deal of time with their students. Some pupils may actually see their teachers more often than they do their own friends and family. However, when a teacher-student relationship stops being professional and starts being sexual, this constitutes a criminal offense. According to the Texas Penal Code, it is against the law for a teacher, counselor, librarian, school administrator, or any other educator to engage in sexual contact with a student. Online solicitation of a student may also constitute an illegal student-teacher relationship. The age of consent in Texas is 17; however, a teacher may still be charged with a criminal offense if he or she has sexual contact with a student who is over the age of 17.

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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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Fort Worth child pornography defense attorney

While all criminal charges have the potential to be life-changing, being accused of a crime against a child can be especially disastrous. If you have been charged with an offense related to child pornography in Texas, you should not take these charges lightly. If convicted, you could face incarceration, substantial fines, plus a lifetime of stigma. A qualified criminal defense lawyer with experience fighting child pornography charges can help you understand your legal options if you have been accused of possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography.

Possession of Child Pornography 

Title 9 of the Texas Penal Code addresses crimes related to child pornography. In Texas, it is against the law to produce, distribute, or possess media depicting a person under age 18 engaging in sexual conduct. This can include still photographs, videos, and other materials. Sexual conduct is defined in the law as actual or simulated intercourse, masturbation, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, lewd exhibition of the genitals, anus, or female breast, and sadomasochistic abuse. If you are convicted of viewing or possessing child pornography, you face a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years of incarceration and a fine up to $10,000. If you have previously been convicted of possessing child pornography, the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A third or subsequent child pornography conviction carries penalties including up to 99 years of imprisonment.

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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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Dallas kidnapping and abduction defense attorney

Being charged with a criminal offense related to kidnapping, child abducting, unlawful restraint, or smuggling of persons should never be taken lightly. The criminal penalties for these crimes vary depending on the circumstances, but some can result in a lifetime of incarceration. False allegations about holding a child against his or her will can stem from a malicious ex-spouse or other individual, or they may simply be the result of a misunderstanding. If you have been falsely accused of kidnapping or abduction, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn how best to defend against these serious accusations.

Texas Laws Regarding Kidnapping and Aggravated Kidnapping

Texas statutes state that an individual commits the crime of kidnapping if he or she knowingly abducts another individual. “Abduct” is defined as restraining another person with the intent to prevent his or her freedom by either holding him or her somewhere that he or she cannot be found or through the threat or use of deadly force.

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Tarrant County child endangerment defense attorney

When it comes to children, the terms “neglect” and “abandonment” are often used together; however, these are two separate legal issues. Child neglect is a term used in the Texas Family Code to describe a situation in which a child is left unattended in an unsafe environment. Abandoning a child is defined in Texas Penal Code as not providing “reasonable and necessary care for the child” and leaving the child in a situation that most reasonable adults would not allow. If you have been charged with child abandonment in Texas, the penalties can be severe. Speaking with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling crimes against children can help clear your name and avoid a criminal record.

Being Accused of Child Neglect

According to Texas law, parents are responsible for providing children with necessities like food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and appropriate supervision. The Texas Family Code identifies several acts that are considered neglect. These include but are not limited to:

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Tarrant County criminal charges defense attorney

“You have the right to remain silent. Whatever you say can potentially be used against you in a court of law.” You have probably heard this phrase, called the Miranda warning, many times before, either in real life or on television and in movies. However, have you ever really thought about the importance of your right to remain silent? Invoking your Constitutional right to stay silent can sometimes be the difference between an acquittal and a criminal conviction. It is imperative for everyone to understand what their rights are with regard to self-incrimination.

Miranda v. Arizona Requires Police to Inform You of Certain Rights

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution established several crucial rights, including the right of citizens to avoid incriminating themselves. The Constitution states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This right was further defined by the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. The Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant cannot be interrogated by police until he or she has been made aware of his or her right to say nothing. The landmark case also established that law enforcement officers must make criminal defendants aware of their right to consult with an attorney and the right to have an attorney present during any police questioning. Under the “exclusionary rule,” if a defendant does not receive the Miranda warning, any statements he or she makes could be inadmissible in court.

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Fort Worth solicitation of a child defense attorney

The Internet has revolutionized the way that we communicate with each other. However, there are several ways that online discussions or digital communication can be a criminal offense. An individual can be charged with online solicitation of a minor if he or she uses the Internet to send sexually explicit messages or media to a child under 17 years old or to a person who the actor believes to be under 17 years old. A conviction for online solicitation has the potential to impact the rest of your life. If you or someone you know has been charged with solicitation of a child or any crime against children, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away.

What Constitutes Solicitation of a Child in Texas?

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person over the age of 17 commits online solicitation of a child if he or she communicates with a child under 17 years old via email, the Internet, or text messages with the intention of committing one of the following crimes: trafficking of persons, indecency with a child, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, compelling prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, possession or promotion of child pornography, or sexual performance by a child. An adult can also be charged with online solicitation of a child if he or she uses email, text messages, or a commercial service to intentionally solicit a minor to meet another individual, including himself or herself, for the purposes of sexual contact.

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Tarrant County child trafficking defense attorney

Human trafficking is the term used to describe the process through which individuals are transported for the purposes of forced labor and other exploitation. Children are often the victims of trafficking in Texas and throughout the United States. Nearly a quarter of the approximately 300,000 American children forced into sex trafficking every year live in Texas. Children involved in child trafficking may be tricked or forced into working in sweatshops, restaurants, brothels, escort operations, or worse. In some cases, children are forced into acting as child soldiers or domestic servants in other countries. Texas law carries stiff penalties for all human trafficking activities, but there are especially harsh criminal consequences for child trafficking. If you are charged with child trafficking in Texas, you could face years or even life in prison.

Defining Child Trafficking According to Texas Law

Texas statutes state that an individual commits trafficking of persons if he or she 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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Collin County crimes against children defense attorney

There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding corporal punishment in the United States. Some parents feel that spanking their children is an effective form of discipline, while others avoid any form of physical punishment. Data shows that the percentage of parents using corporal punishment is slowly declining. According to a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, approximately 37 percent of children under 18 were spanked by a parent or guardian in 2014. It is important for any parent choosing to employ corporal punishment to understand when spanking or other physical punishments may break the law and be considered crimes against children.

Understanding Texas Law Regarding Bodily Injury to a Child

It can be hard to know exactly when the physical punishment of a child crosses the line into abuse. According to Texas law, hitting a child could constitute “assault bodily injury family violence” or “injury to a child” depending on the circumstances. The Texas Penal Code states that an individual commits injury to a child if he or she intentionally or recklessly causes bodily or mental injury to a child under 15 years of age. Assault with a bodily injury of a family member occurs when a person knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causes pain, injury, illness, or impairment to a family member. Striking a child does fit these definitions; however, it is very unlikely that a parent or guardian would be convicted of these crimes for spanking alone.

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Dallas child exploitation defense attorney

Texas law prohibits certain activities from being committed against people who do not have the capacity to protect themselves or adequately look out for their own best interests. These individuals can include the elderly, disabled, and those under a certain age. The crime “Exploitation of Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual” is a serious offense under Texas law. If you are convicted of child exploitation, you may face years of incarceration and have your personal and professional reputation destroyed. It is crucial for anyone facing criminal charges related to child exploitation to speak with a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending against these types of serious allegations.

Defining Exploitation With Regard to Texas Law

Section 32 of the Texas Penal Code describes Exploitation of Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual and the criminal penalties associated with a conviction. An individual commits this crime if he or she knowingly or recklessly causes the exploitation of a disabled person, elderly individual, or child under age 14. Exploitation can include any activity which involves the improper or illegal use of a child, elderly person, or disabled person for personal or financial gain. Child exploitation can include coercing a child into sexual activities, forcing them to perform cheap labor, involving a child in drug running or sex trafficking, and more.  

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Plano injury to a child defense attorney

Crimes against children involve more negative stigma than perhaps any other criminal offense. If a person is convicted of a crime related to child abuse or sexual contact with a child, he or she could face years or even decades of personal and criminal consequences. The criminal offense “Injury to a Child” includes a wide range of actions against children or other vulnerable individuals. Section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code describes the crime of Injury to a Child. If you are convicted of violating this statute, you could face heavy fines, years of incarceration, and significant damage to your reputation.

Understanding Texas Law Regarding Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual

Texas law includes many different offenses under the umbrella of “Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual.” You can be convicted of this offense if you knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or by omission cause injury to a child, disabled person, or elderly person. “Injury” can include bodily injury as well as mental injury, deficiency, or impairment. You can also be charged with this crime if you owe a duty of care to the person in question, and your failure to act causes him or her to suffer an injury.

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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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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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