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Category Archive
Criminal Law
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How a Title IX Violation Can Lead to a Criminal Prosecution

Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to prevent gender discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding, including academic, athletic and social programs. As years passed, a series of court decisions expanded the scope of Title IX to include protection against sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and other acts of sexual Read More

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The New Texas Permitless Gun Carry Law: What You Need to Know

On September 1, 2021, a variety of new and revised firearm laws went into effect in Texas. The most significant new statute is the “permitless carry” law. Also known as “constitutional carry,” it means that a person who is 21 years or older and not otherwise prohibited by law is allowed to carry a handgun Read More

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When Is a Company Criminally Liable for an Employee’s Fraud?

Prosecutions for white-collar crimes like fraud are often brought against people who work for corporations or other organizations. Even though the fraudulent activity may not have been authorized, the company that employs the individual might also be exposed to criminal liability under federal or state law. However, this liability is not automatic and requires a Read More

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Penalties Increased for Solicitation of Prostitution and for Human Trafficking

Texas has become the first state to make the crime of soliciting prostitution a felony. The new law, which took effect on September 1, 2021, is part of a legislative effort to crack down on human trafficking. It also increases the criminal penalties imposed for recruiting victims from shelters or certain residential treatment centers for Read More

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New Texas Laws Expand Definitions of Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse

Texas has toughened its laws on sex offenses by adding to the types of conduct that can be prosecuted as sexual assault or sexual abuse. The statutory changes, which took effect on September 1, 2021, address a broad range of conduct and target people in certain professions that involve close working relationships with potential victims. Read More

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Using Police Body Cam Footage in DWI Defense

Over the past decade, the nationwide push for law enforcement transparency has led police departments, including many in Texas, to adopt body camera technology to record the actions of officers in the field. Video evidence can be extremely valuable to defense counsel in analyzing the propriety of police conduct during investigations and arrests. This is Read More

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Defending Against Charges of Sexual Misconduct on Campus

Title IX of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex. Discrimination can take multiple forms, including sexual misconduct, which is also a potential crime. When an educator or a student is charged with sexual misconduct, they may face not only on-campus disciplinary proceedings but also criminal prosecution Read More

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Prosecutors Must Now Disclose All Relevant Evidence to Defense Counsel

A Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling makes it clear that prosecutors must disclose to defense counsel nearly all evidence in their possession — a potential landmark decision that could greatly enhance fairness in the state’s criminal justice system. The ruling, in Hopkins v. State, comes eight years after Texas last overhauled its criminal discovery Read More

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Texas GOP Legislators Pushing for Bail System Based on Severity of Crimes

Harris County implemented major bail reforms after federal courts held unconstitutional the common practice of requiring preset cash bail amounts without accounting for a defendant’s personal circumstances. However, Republican lawmakers are now trying to counter these reforms, pushing for legislation that would link bail determinations to the severity of the alleged crimes. As a result Read More

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Current Legislative Efforts Would Walk Back Texas Bail Reforms

Despite the documented success of misdemeanor bail reforms that have been implemented in Harris County, Texas legislators and the state’s governor are pushing for measures that would make it harder for many defendants to secure release pending trial. Governor Greg Abbott has declared the need for bail practice changes an emergency item for this legislative Read More

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