What Exactly Are Mitigating Factors in a Criminal Case?

Sometimes, despite a perfect defense strategy, a criminal defendant will be found guilty by a judge or jury. Perhaps the evidence was too convincing, or the prosecution was just fortunate.  After the jury returns a guilty verdict in a Texas criminal trial, the case moves to the sentencing phase. That does not mean the defense attorney’s job is done. Before the judge hands down the sentence, both sides may present Read More

Can You Be Federally Charged for PPP Fraud?

To answer the question posed in the title of this blog, yes. Federal authorities have brought—and probably will continue to bring—charges against individuals and businesses for fraud against the PPP. Through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the government distributed forgivable loans to companies. Businesses were required to spend at least 60 percent of PPP funds on payroll expenses, and the remaining money Read More

A Primer on Medicare Fraud

For as long as Medicare and Medicaid have been around, fraudsters have been finding ways to fraudulently obtain those federal funds. In 2019, the two programs—along with CHIP and ACA subsidies—made up nearly one-quarter of the federal budget. In light of those two conditions, it’s not surprising that federal agencies pursue allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud quite aggressively. A variety of federal and state Read More

Federal Conspiracy Charges—What are They?

A criminal conspiracy case broadly refers to an alleged agreement between two or more people to, simply, commit a crime. Conspiracy to commit a crime can be charged in connection with state or federal crimes, but it’s often the federal conspiracy charges that grab headlines. The U.S. Code defines the crime of conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States. This federal crime involves two or more Read More

Consequences of Being a Convicted Sex Offender in Texas

Perhaps no other criminal charges result in as much ridicule or negative stigma for offenders as sex crimes. While the penalties (including prison time) are notably harsh for those convicted of sex crimes, there are numerous restrictions even after serving time or completing community supervision.  The Sex Offender Registry Texans who have been convicted of an eligible sex crime must register themselves for the state Read More

Understanding Assault in Texas

Most people understand “assault” to be a violent crime that involves someone physically hitting someone else. While that is certainly the case in Texas, a perpetrator can be charged with assault without actually striking someone. Assault that involves mere threats of violence is the least severe charge for this crime, and various factors can make the potential penalties worse.  Misdemeanor Assault Assault is Read More

Is There a Silver Lining to Criminal Trial Delays?

Though COVID-19 cases are largely trending in the right direction, there is still plenty of chaos in the Texas criminal justice system. As a result of switching to virtual court and ultimately preserving defendants’ Constitutional rights to jury trials, there exists a sizable backlog of criminal cases that have yet to move forward. While many types of court hearings have been handled efficiently in virtual settings, Read More

When is Deadly Force Justified in Texas?

Texas has a reputation for empowering its citizens to use self-defense if they feel threatened, and for good reason — the state has both “castle doctrine” and “stand your ground” laws. In the simplest terms, Texans have the right to use deadly force against someone else when that person is using unlawful deadly force against you. Using deadly force must be immediately necessary and reasonable for it to be Read More

What Are Your Rights if the Police Pull You Over?

Almost every driver will experience some iteration of the following scenario: you’re running a little late to work, school, or another engagement and decide to cruise a few ticks over the speed limit. You think you’re going a reasonable speed, but, all of a sudden, the flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror indicate otherwise. After presenting your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, the Read More

How to Legally Carry a Firearm in Texas

It’s a widely held notion that Texas has some of the most generous firearm laws (for gun users) among the 50 states in the U.S.A. And, that reputation is rightly earned: restrictions on selling, manufacturing, and carrying firearms and few and far between. There are, however, a handful of regulations that Texans need to be aware of when traveling by foot or vehicle while carrying a gun.  Carrying a Firearm in Your Read More