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Criminal Defense Archives

Why are my Miranda rights so important?

When a Texas law enforcement official attempts to question you about anything having to do with an alleged crime, whether or not (s)he indicates (s)he thinks you may be the suspect (s)he’s looking for, you need to know your Miranda rights. As FindLaw explains, these rights stem from the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona.

Should it be a crime to refuse to open your door to the police?

In March 2016, police were notified of a loud argument at an apartment in Seattle, Washington. By the time police arrived at Solomon McLemore's apartment, the argument had subsided, but police say they heard the sound of glass shattering inside. For 15 minutes, the police engaged in an argument with McLemore about whether he should open the door.

Should the government need reasonable suspicion for watch lists?

Should the federal government be able to add you to a terrorism watch list just because of your religion? Because you bought a computer at Best Buy? After you waited at a train station for your mother? Shouldn't you have to have done something suspicious before you're placed on a government list that keeps you from flying or traveling abroad?

More evidence shown to be overstated, faulty in case of Joe B.

We've discussed the case of Joe B. before. A former Clifton, Texas, high school principal, Joe was convicted of his wife's 1985 murder. The evidence seemed pretty persuasive at the time of his trial, but that evidence is quickly unraveling.

Under investigation or charged with a crime? Avoid social media

Family law attorneys have been telling their clients to stay away from social media during the divorce proceedings for many years now, since nothing is ever really as private as you believe. They warn their clients that their posts and pictures could come back to haunt them in courtroom battles for property or custody of their children.

Even in the border zone, searches and seizures must be reasonable

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable government searches and seizures. The general rule is that the government needs a warrant, or an exception to the warrant requirement, for a search or seizure to be constitutional. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that no warrant or even probable cause is required for customs officers to search at the U.S. border or 100 miles into the interior in what is called the "border zone." The border zone includes Houston, San Antonio and even New Braunfels.

New FBI data shows continued decline in crime rates in most areas

Each year, the FBI releases its Uniform Crime Reports for the previous year, which are based on data provided by local law enforcement agencies. These reports give us crucial information about what types of crimes, and how many, have been reported to police. Similar reports are issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which gauge how many crimes were actually committed, even if they weren't reported. These are the two main sources used to determine America's crime rate.

Dallas County is running 15-second, closed-door bail hearings

At the Dallas County jail, about 5,000 people are held behind bars every day. So far this year, only 23 percent have been able to post bail, leaving most trapped in pretrial detention. After days or weeks in jail, with their housing and jobs often lost, most end up pleading guilty regardless of their actual guilt.

Your social media postings can hurt your criminal defense

Most people in Texas have access to a phone or other electronic device that allows them to post pictures, videos and their thoughts online. Social media has taken the world over and it is not something that will be going away. If you choose to post to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, please know if you are accused of committing a crime, what you post could hurt your criminal defense.

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