Recent Blog Posts

What Does PCSWID PG1 >400G Mean in Texas?

 Posted on March 19, 2023 in Uncategorized

This is a frequently asked question. People will see "PCSWID PG1 >400g" on a government document, and wonder what it means.

This refers to an allegation of possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, in a quantity of more than 400 grams, with the intent to distribute.

  • PCS = Possession of Controlled Substance;

  • WID = With Intent to Distribute;

  • PG1 = Penalty Group 1; and

  • >400G = more than 400 grams.

This offense is defined in section 481.112 of the Texas Health and Safety Code:

(a) Except as authorized by this chapter, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1....(f) An offense under Subsection (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years, and a fine not to exceed $250,000, if the amount of the controlled substance to which the offense applies is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, 400 grams or more.

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Robbery and Aggravated Robbery in Texas

 Posted on March 19, 2023 in Uncategorized

When it comes to theft crimes in Texas, the line between simple theft and more serious charges like robbery or aggravated robbery can sometimes be blurry. Today, we're going to explore the differences between robbery and aggravated robbery, the punishments associated with each crime, and the potential defenses that may be available to those charged with these offenses.

Robbery: The Basics

Under Texas law, robbery is considered a more severe form of theft. It's classified as a second-degree felony, which means that a conviction can result in substantial prison time and hefty fines. The primary distinction between theft and robbery is the use of force, threat, or fear during the commission of the crime.

To convict someone of robbery, the prosecution must prove that the defendant:

  1. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person or

  2. Intentionally or knowingly threatened or placed another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death while

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Conspiracy and Aiding and Abetting: Texas and Federal Law Compared

 Posted on March 17, 2023 in Uncategorized

When two or more people join forces to commit a crime, they can face charges of conspiracy or aiding and abetting. These legal concepts are central to both Texas and federal law, but they have distinct features and implications. This blog post will provide an overview of conspiracy and aiding and abetting in Texas and federal law, highlighting the differences between them.


In Texas, conspiracy is defined under Section 15.02 of the Texas Penal Code. A person commits the offense of conspiracy if he or she agrees with one or more persons that they will engage in criminal conduct and one of them performs an overt act in pursuance of the agreement. The overt act requirement distinguishes Texas conspiracy law from federal conspiracy law, which does not require an overt act for drug conspiracies.

Under federal law, conspiracy is a separate offense from the underlying crime. The prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly and voluntarily entered into an agreement to commit a crime, but it is not required to show that the defendant committed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, particularly in drug-related cases.

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Unraveling the Complexities of Money Laundering in Texas

 Posted on March 17, 2023 in Uncategorized


Money laundering is a significant issue that plagues economies worldwide. As a top Houston criminal-defense lawyer, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of this intricate crime and how it impacts clients. This blog post aims to provide an overview of money laundering, its stages, and the legal consequences one might face if charged with this offense in Texas.

What is Money Laundering?

Generally, money laundering is the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained funds, typically by passing them through a complex sequence of financial transactions. This process is designed to make the money appear legitimate, so it can be used without arousing suspicion. Money laundering often involves proceeds from crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, fraud, or tax evasion.The Stages of Money Laundering:Money laundering typically involves three stages:

  1. Placement: This is the initial stage where the "dirty money" is introduced into the financial system. Criminals may deposit large sums of cash into a bank account or purchase high-value assets like real estate, vehicles, or jewelry.

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The Difference Between Appeal and Habeas Corpus in Texas Criminal Cases

 Posted on March 17, 2023 in Uncategorized

Navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system can be confusing, especially when you or a loved one are dealing with the aftermath of a criminal conviction. Two legal avenues often come up in discussions: appeal and habeas corpus. Though they may seem similar (and laypeople often think of both as "appeals") they serve different purposes in the Texas criminal justice system. In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between appeals and habeas corpus in Texas criminal cases.

Appeal: Reviewing Legal Errors Made During Trial

An appeal is a legal process that occurs after a trial and conviction. When a defendant, now referred to as the appellant, believes that legal errors were made during their trial, he or she can file an appeal with a higher court to review the trial court's decision. Legal errors can include incorrect jury instructions, improper admission of evidence, and insufficient evidence to support the conviction.

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Defense of Forgery Cases in Texas

 Posted on March 17, 2023 in Uncategorized

Forgery involves creating, altering, or using a false document with the intent to defraud or harm another person. This could range from signing someone else's name on a check to creating a completely fake driver's license. If you or a loved one is facing forgery charges in Texas, you need a top Houston criminal-defense lawyer by your side. In this blog post, we'll discuss what constitutes forgery under Texas law and the potential penalties if convicted.

Understanding Forgery in Texas

Under Texas Penal Code Section 32.21, a person commits forgery if he or she:

  1. Forges a writing with the intent to defraud or harm another;

  2. Passes or attempts to pass off the forged writing as genuine.

Forgery can involve various types of documents, including checks, contracts, wills, deeds, and identification cards, among others.

Penalties for Forgery in Texas

The penalties for forgery depend on the type of document involved and the circumstances surrounding the offense. In general, forgery is classified as follows:

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Short Take: Understanding Texas Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

As a Top Houston Criminal-Defense Lawyer, I often encounter clients who find themselves entangled in the complex web of Texas prostitution and solicitation laws. These laws have undergone changes in recent years, and it's crucial to understand the current state of the law if you or a loved one is facing such charges.

Effective September 1, 2021, Texas Penal Code Section 43.02 outlines the crime of prostitution. A person commits an offense if they knowingly offer or agree to receive a fee for engaging in sexual conduct. This offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor, but it can escalate to a Class A misdemeanor or state jail felony depending on the number of previous convictions.

In contrast, Texas Penal Code Section 43.021 focuses on the crime of solicitation of prostitution. This occurs when a person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for engaging in sexual conduct. Solicitation is generally considered a state jail felony. However, it can be upgraded to a third-degree felony if the individual has a prior conviction under the same section or under the previous law (Section 43.02(b) before September 1, 2021). Additionally, it can be classified as a second-degree felony if the person being solicited is younger than 18 or believed or represented to be younger than 18, regardless of the actor's knowledge of their age.

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Short Take: Jury Instructions in Texas

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

Jury instructions are an essential part of any criminal trial in Texas. They are the set of legal rules that the judge provides to the jury to help them understand the relevant law and how it applies to the facts of the case. Jury instructions are typically given after the presentation of evidence and closing arguments by both the prosecution and the defense.

In a Texas criminal case, the judge will typically provide the jury with both general and specific instructions. General instructions cover broad legal concepts, such as the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and the elements of the offense. Specific instructions, on the other hand, apply those legal concepts to the particular facts of the case.

The judge may also provide the jury with instructions on affirmative defenses, which are defenses that admit the underlying conduct but argue that the defendant is not criminally responsible due to some specific circumstance. For example, self-defense or duress may be considered affirmative defenses in some cases.

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Ex parte Lo

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

In 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals-Texas's highest court for criminal-law appeals-issued an important decision in the case of Ex parte Lo, which addressed the constitutionality of Texas Penal Code § 33.021(b), a statute that criminalizes the online solicitation of a minor.

In that case we argued that the statute was overbroad and violated the First Amendment's protection of free speech. Specifically, we argued that the statute criminalized a wide range of conduct that did not involve actual harm to a minor and therefore, was unconstitutional.

The court ultimately agreed with us and held that § 33.021(b) was overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. The court reasoned that the statute criminalized a wide range of protected speech, including speech that did not involve actual harm to a minor.

The court's decision in Ex parte Lo was significant in several ways. First, it clarified the limits of the government's ability to regulate online speech and underscored the importance of protecting free speech rights in the digital age. Second, it highlighted the need for careful analysis of criminal statutes to ensure that they are narrowly tailored to address the specific harm they are intended to prevent.

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Conflicts of Interest in Criminal Defense: How to Avoid Them

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

As a criminal-defense lawyer, it's essential to avoid conflicts of interest in order to provide the best possible representation for your clients. A conflict of interest occurs when a lawyer's personal or financial interests conflict with the interests of their client, which can lead to a breach of trust and compromise the client's legal rights.

Here are some common types of conflicts of interest in criminal defense and how to avoid them:

  • Multiple clients with conflicting interests: If a lawyer represents multiple clients who have competing interests, this can create a conflict of interest. For example, if two clients are charged with the same crime, the lawyer cannot represent both clients without running the risk of a conflict of interest.

To avoid this type of conflict, it's important to carefully consider each potential client's interests and to decline representation if there is a possibility of a conflict. If a conflict arises during representation, the lawyer must withdraw from representing one or both clients.

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