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Dallas Criminal Defense Blog

Criminal defenses for drug possession

The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies four groups of drugs with marijuana in a fifth group by itself. The state has strict laws regarding drug possession, but a defense lawyer has some options for providing a focused defense for a client who faces drug charges. One of them is that the defendant might not have known that he or she possessed the drug in the first place.

Additionally, if the defendant was aware of the drug's presence, it might have been in the defendant's possession for use on animals or for another purpose, not for human consumption. The drug might also be pending approval for possible medical use, or the defendant might not have been in possession of enough of the drug for authorities to press charges. Finally, medical marijuana and other prescriptions in the client's name are also other valid defenses for drug possession.

Commissioner Price indicted for bribery and fraud

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was detained and indicted on various federal charges on July 25. According to reports, federal agents were waiting for Price at 7 a.m. when he arrived at his office. Price's assistant and his political consultant were also indicted on federal charges. That afternoon, Price and the other two individuals pleaded not guilty to all charges.

An investigation into the alleged fraud began in 2011. The indictment claims that between the years 2001 and 2011, Price and his alleged co-conspirators knowingly agreed to give and receive illegal payments. Price allegedly received payments of cash, cars and land in return for unscrupulous benefits regarding Dallas County business transactions.

Domestic violence laws in Texas

Residents living in Texas may be aware of domestic violence but may not necessarily be aware of what constitutes it. In Texas, domestic violence consists of the use of force against a person living within the same household, a relative or a significant other that causes bodily harm, threatens bodily harm or could be considered offensive.

The charges for domestic violence can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a second-degree felony and can carry penalties up to a fine of $10,000 and up to 20 years of incarceration. The penalties imposed can vary depending on whether the defendant had past convictions of domestic violence, the relationship of the accuser to the defendant and whether suffocation or strangulation was involved.

Texas couple pleads guilty to stealing mail and bank fraud

A man and a woman have both pleaded guilty to various federal charges after allegedly conspiring to steal 50,000 pieces of mail from U.S. Post Offices across Texas. Between December 2013 and March 2014, the pair allegedly broke into post offices and blue post office boxes to steal credit cards, checks, money orders, cash, tax returns and other documents that contained personal identifying information.

Using the stolen information, the couple allegedly committed various acts of fraud, including activating several credit cards, endorsing and depositing money orders, and withdrawing over $80,000 from Texas banks. Mail belonging to more than 2,000 people was reportedly involved in the alleged scheme. The U.S. Post Office locations that were targeted stretched from Dallas to San Antonio and from Midland to College Station.

Rangers'catcher charged with marijuana possession

On the evening of July 9, Geovany Soto, catcher for the Texas Rangers, was taken into police custody on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Soto has spent the season on the disabled list due to knee surgery he underwent at the end of Spring Training. Soto apologized publicly for the incident in a statement released by the Rangers organization. He refrained from further comment since the case is ongoing. In connection with the drug possession charges, Soto will be referred to a treatment board for evaluation.

The Rangers released a statement saying that the organization is aware of the incident that involved Soto. The team also stated that it had notified Major League Baseball of the situation. A local news outlet stated that Soto was charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. He posted a bail of $500 and was released from custody.

19-year-old charged with impersonating a lawyer

A Texas family has reported that a 19-year-old pretended to be a lawyer and swindled them of their life savings. The story dates back to 2013, when the son of the family in question was going through criminal proceedings. The 19-year-old regularly attended court, took notes on the case and conversed with the family at breaks. He pointed out inconsistencies in the case and raised questions about the son's attorney.

The son was later convicted of two sexual crimes against children; however, a higher court overturned the rulings. The mother wanted a lawyer who could have her son released on bond. In May 2014, she ran into the 19-year-old outside the county jail. He reportedly claimed to be working at a local law firm and said he would work on her son's appeal bond for a retainer fee of $10,000.

2 detained in alleged Texas social media check fraud scam

Two women have been detained in relation to their alleged participation in a check fraud scam conducted via social media. According a statement released by the Wichita Falls Police Financial Crimes Unit in May 2014, the unit had received multiple tips about a social media site that had been offering to sell blank checks. The unit reportedly discovered a Craigslist posting offering blank checks in exchange for $100. According to the post, checks worth thousands of dollars had already been successfully passed; the post also offered instructions on where to cash the checks without identification.

The WFPD Financial Crimes Unit states that it has charged at least 11 known suspects in an organized crime case and that the identification of at least four others is pending. The two women who have been detained in the case thus far have been charged with fraud and forgery.

DWI suspected in accident that injured Texas firefighter

A San Antonio man is suspected of DWI in an accident that injured a fire department captain. The accident occurred around 9:30 p.m. on June 24 in New Braunfels. According to reports, a 23-year-old man was driving a pickup truck on Hueco Springs Loop. The pickup allegedly crashed through a metal fence and struck a tree after failing to adhere to an intersection's stop sign. The pickup then flipped over and came to rest on the fence, suspended in the air.

Personnel from a nearby fire department responded to the accident and were in the process of trying to remove the pickup from the fence when a post gave way, causing the bed of the pickup to suddenly crash to the ground. A fire department captain standing nearby was thrown to the ground with part of his helmet smashed. Medical personnel attended to him by bracing his back and neck. He was then transported to Christus New Braunfels Hospital for treatment.

Couple with minor in car detained on drug charges

A 39-year-old woman and a 42-year-old man have been detained on charges related to drug possession in the aftermath of a traffic stop in Texas. Ouachita Parish sheriff's deputies pulled the couple's vehicle over after reportedly observing a traffic violation. Deputies stated that the occupants of the vehicle appeared nervous and that their hands were shaking. A nine-year-old child was also in the car at the time of the traffic stop.

Deputies claim that the man admitted to having some marijuana in his boots when he was asked if he was carrying anything illegal. They further claim that the woman gave them permission to search both her purse and the vehicle. Deputies allegedly discovered the marijuana in the boots and 35 pills believed to be hydrocodone in the woman's purse. The woman stated that she had a prescription for the pills but was unable to produce a prescription or prescription bottle.

South Texas banker sentenced to prison for fraud

A McAllen federal judge recently sentenced a 65-year-old woman to 41 months in prison and ordered her to repay $4.5 million in stolen money pursuant to a 2011 bank fraud conviction. According to authorities, the fraud occurred at a bank in South Texas where the 65-year-old woman worked as a manager.

Reportedly, the woman made 58 fictitious loans between 1998 and 2010. According to authorities, the woman secured the loans by using personal information from several people without their consent. She then received and kept the money.

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