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San Antonio Criminal Defense Blog

Sessions reverses course, will increase DOJ asset seizures

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced another reversal of Obama-era criminal justice reform, against a tide of bipartisan opposition. He announced this week that he intends to increase the use of the controversial process of civil forfeiture in federal criminal cases. Moreover, he plans to reintroduce the secondary seizure by federal officials of assets seized by local police forces.

Civil forfeiture is a process meant to deal a crippling financial blow to criminals and criminal enterprises. In civil forfeiture, law enforcement agents can seize essentially any cash and property they determine to be involved in, or the result of, criminal activity. Then, unless the accused can prove to a court that the property is “innocent,” the law enforcement agency gets to keep it.

What is a crime of moral turpitude?

Any criminal conviction will have a lasting effect on your life and the opportunities you can enjoy. Even a misdemeanor can disqualify you from certain jobs and make it difficult to find housing. Some crimes are particularly problematic when they appear on your record. These offenses -- crimes of moral turpitude -- reflect actions that violate generally accepted social mores.

According to the Office of the United States Attorney, robbery, kidnapping, assault and murder are just a few of the crimes that qualify. If you are facing charges of these or any other offenses that qualify as moral turpitude, you should be aware of the potential consequences you face, including the following.

The nonlegal consequences of having a criminal record

When you face minor criminal charges, you may not think it is a big deal, especially if you maintain your innocence or the evidence against you is weak. However, even if you do not end up with a conviction, having a criminal record has consequences that reach beyond the courtroom for many years.

These are just a few things you may have to deal with if you get involved in the legal system. The best measure you can take to minimize these negative effects is to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side from the start.

How one minor offense can change the life of an immigrant

Imagine for a moment that you are driving home from a friend's house late at night. You see the red and blue lights of a police car flashing in your rear view and pull over. After approaching your car, the officer notes that there are empty beer bottles in the backseat. What do you expect might happen?

Most people would wind up with an arrest and the possibility of a criminal conviction. However, if you are an immigrant in Texas or any other state in the U.S., the penalties could be far more severe. You could wind up being deported.

Auto-brewery syndrome may be responsible for your DUI

If you were recently charged with a DUI in Texas, but do not believe you were intoxicated, you may be suffering from auto-brewery syndrome. Recognition of this disease and its potential to cause unfair drunk driving charges has been increasing as more and more doctors are becoming aware of it. We at The Law Office of Anthony B. Cantrell can help you determine if auto-brewery syndrome may be responsible for your DUI.

 

3 holiday-related offenses that can jeopardize your future

Fourth of July is right around the corner. And as is the case with other holidays, police across Texas will be focused on stopping and arresting people for certain crimes that are particularly prevalent during Independence Day.

What this means is that if you engage in any of the following types of criminal behaviors, you could be more likely to get arrested and face criminal charges.

Do high incarceration rates curb drug abuse?

For decades, we have been told that coming down hard on all drug offenders is the best way to win the so-called War on Drugs. We have been reassured that the threat of mandatory minimum sentences and aggressive prosecution is necessary to keep people safe from the dangers of illicit drugs.

However, a recent analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts revealed that these philosophies are not accurate. According to research, high rates of arrest and imprisonment have no impact on drug use or overdoses.

Case of mistaken identity costs man 17 years in prison

Eyewitness testimony is often a major element of a prosecution's case when it comes to criminal matters. After all, if someone testifies that he or she saw someone commit a crime, that statement is taken very seriously by judges and juries.

Unfortunately, eyewitness accounts are not necessarily as reliable as people think. People's memories and impressions can be easily skewed and compromised. Further, factors including distance, lighting and preconceived impressions can all affect what people see and what they remember. Sadly, when these flawed accounts are presented as facts, innocent people can be put behind bars.

Factors that contribute to wrongful domestic assault charges

Wrongful allegations of domestic assault can destroy a person's relationships, reputation and criminal record. Unfortunately, they can and do happen.

Below are a few reasons why people can be wrongfully arrested and charged with this type of crime. 

Proposed bill would permit hacking victims to hack back

Cyber attack methods are changing every day. As soon as one purported scam or virus is identified and squashed, another can almost immediately take its place. Because of this, federal and state governments dedicate enormous resources to stopping cyber crime and identifying those who engage in it.

However, at least one lawmaker is looking to legalize "computer intrusion" in specific situations. A congressman drafted and proposed a bill that would allow people who have fallen victims to hackers to "hack back."