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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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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney child endangerment

The state of Texas has a number of different laws that are designed to protect children from harm. Violating these laws can result in significant consequences including punitive action and irreparable damage to the offender’s personal reputation. Child endangerment falls under the offense of “abandoning or endangering a child.” Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, a person convicted of child endangerment may face six months in jail to 20 years in prison. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly what actions constitute child endangerment. Some adults end up facing criminal charges and were not even aware that their behavior was illegal.

Endangering a Child

An adult can face charges for abandoning or endangering a child if he or she leaves a child somewhere without adequate supervision and care or in circumstances that expose the child to danger. Texas courts use the “reasonable person standard” when determining whether or not a parent’s actions constitute child abandonment or endangerment. This means that the defendant’s actions are compared to what the average adult would have done in similar circumstances with a child of similar age and ability. For example, most adults would not leave a toddler home alone without supervision for fear that the child would hurt himself or herself. Therefore, this action would likely be considered child abandonment.

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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 criminal law attorney federal drug crimes

The manufacturepossession, and distribution of illicit drugs are prosecuted by both state governments and the federal government. Any drug-related criminal charge can lead to harsh penalties but federal offenses are often penalized more severely than crimes prosecuted by the state. If you have been charged with drug possession with intent to distribute, drug trafficking, or drug manufacturing, it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense attorney. Federal drug crimes are often punished by lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. Your attorney can help you defend yourself against these charges and ensure that your rights are fully protected.  

Federal Drug Offenses Often Involve the Transportation of Drugs Across State Lines

Often, a drug offense is prosecuted by the federal government because the defendant is alleged to have transported drugs from one state to another or imported the drugs into the U.S. from another country. You may also face federal charges if the crime you allegedly committed:

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Tarrant County criminal defense attorney child sexual abuse

Crimes against children are punished harshly in Texas. If you have been accused of sexually abusing a child, you could face significant criminal charges that result in possible jail time. Most people have a strong emotional reaction to allegations of child sex abuse. They may assume that just because a person is accused of harming a child that the person actually did harm the child. In some cases, the charges may be based on false allegations. This is why is it is crucial for anyone facing criminal charges related to child sex abuse to speak with a skilled criminal law attorney as soon as possible.

Sex Crimes Involving Minors

In Texas, there is no overarching law regarding sexual abuse of a minor. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, a person accused of child sex abuse may be charged with:

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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 criminal defense attorney entrapment

Entrapment occurs when a government official such as a police officer compels someone to commit a criminal offense. Some people falsely believe that police must always identify themselves as law enforcement officers. In reality, police are fully authorized to lie or use deceptive techniques to obtain evidence of a criminal act. However, police cannot use extreme behavior, threats, or coercion to force a normally law-abiding citizen to commit a criminal act.  Entrapment is an “affirmative” defense against criminal charges in Texas, which means that the defendant is admitting that he or she committed the offense but is also presenting a justification for doing so.

What Is the Difference Between a Sting Operation and Entrapment?

If you have ever seen television shows such as To Catch a Predator, you may have wondered about the legality of police undercover stings. A sting operation is a law enforcement action intended to catch an individual committing a criminal offense. It typically involves an undercover police officer or detective posing as a potential victim or criminal partner in order to gather evidence that can be used during a criminal prosecution. However, if a police sting operation crosses the line into entrapment, evidence obtained during the operation may not be admissible in court. Sting operations are often used to catch individuals engaging in the purchase or sale of illicit drugs, solicitation of a minor, solicitation of a prostitute, or the possession or distribution of child pornography. The main difference between entrapment and a lawful sting operation is that a sting operation offers an individual the opportunity to commit a crime while entrapment involves the individual being coerced or persuaded into committing a crime.  

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Dallas child abuse defense attorney

For many parents, the way they raise their children is substantially different than the way that they were raised. Parents may assume that leaving their children in the car while they are shopping or otherwise engaged is not unsafe simply because they remember waiting in the car alone when they were a child. However, states are increasingly enacting legislation designed to prevent parents from leaving children unsupervised in vehicles. In 2019, 52 children passed away after being left in hot cars. In order to prevent these tragic deaths, Texas has made it illegal to leave children alone in vehicles under certain circumstances.

Leaving a Child in a Car May Be Considered a Criminal Offense

Texas is known for its extremely hot summers. Hot and humid weather makes the risk of a child developing heatstroke or dying in a hot car especially high. Many parents who leave their children in the car only intend to be gone for a few minutes, however, it only takes 10 minutes for an average car to heat up by 19 degrees. The Texas Department of State Health Services urges parents to teach children not to play inside of cars and to never leave a young child in a car unsupervised. 

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Tarrant County child abuse defense attorney

The way that parents raise their children is evolving with each new generation. One issue that has become especially controversial in recent years is corporal punishment or using physical force such as spanking as a form of discipline. Whatever your personal opinions are regarding corporal punishment, it is important to understand how Texas law differentiates between punishment and abuse. Individuals who physically punish children in a way that crosses the line into abuse can face criminal charges for domestic assault, injury to a child, and other crimes against children.   

Definition of Family Violence According to the Texas Family Code

Texas law defines “family violence” as actions that are intended to result in bodily injury, physical harm, or assault. Abuse is defined in the Texas Family Code as:

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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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Dallas sex crimes defense attorney

School personnel often spend large amounts of time with students, and they may form special connections with certain individuals. However, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, and other school staff have a legal responsibility to maintain proper boundaries with students. When a teacher-student relationship involves sexual contact, this constitutes a criminal offense in Texas. Although they are against the law, romantic or sexual student-teacher relationships do exist in Texas and throughout the United States. If you or someone you know has been accused of sexual contact with a student, it is crucial to consult a criminal defense attorney to obtain the legal guidance you need.

Texas Law Regarding Teacher-Student Relationships

According to the Texas Penal Code, it is illegal for any primary school or secondary school educator to engage in sexual activity with a student. This includes teachers as well as substitute teachers, teachers’ aides, librarians, principals, administrative staff, counselors, and other employees of public or private schools. It is important to note that although the age of consent is 17 in Texas, it is still unlawful for an educator to have sexual contact with a student who is older than 17. In addition, online solicitation of a student by an educator is classified as an unlawful student-teacher relationship.

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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, Texas criminal defense attorney online solicitation of a minor

When it comes to criminal offenses, few are judged as harshly as crimes against children. Being accused of a crime against a child–especially a sex crime against a child–can have life-altering consequences. Many crimes against children do not require the alleged offender to actually make physical contact with the child. Depending on what was said, a conversation alone may be enough to bring about criminal charges. Communicating online with a person under age 17 about sexual conduct can lead to felony charges for online solicitation of a minor and potentially years behind bars. If you or someone you know has been charged with online solicitation of a minor, speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away to learn about your defense options.

Defining Online Solicitation of a Child

According to the Texas Penal Code, an adult commits solicitation of a child if he or she intentionally uses email, text messaging, or any other electronic device or service to do either of the following:

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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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