Curtailing Judicial Discretion – Federal Sentencing (Part One)

In 1987, the United States Congress passed the first sentencing guidelines to end the sentencing disparity seen throughout the federal system. These guidelines stripped the district court of most of their discretion in sentencing federal criminal defendants. This post looks at the 2016 Sentencing Guidelines with a focus on criminal tax and child pornography cases.

IRS Investigations into the Crypto Market

The Internal Revenue Service fears the cryptocurrency market has given birth to large scale tax fraud in the United States.  As previously discussed, the anonymity, decentralized nature of crypto currency trading, and large gains in the last five years, make crypto investments an obvious focus for the IRS.

New Kid on the Block: Criminal Tax and the Crypto Market

Cryptocurrencies began with the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009.  Bitcoin is a form of currency crypto investors can hold in an online wallet to make payments for various items.  Bitcoin can be used to pay for goods online, pay other Bitcoin wallet holders or as a currency to initiate trades for other crypto assets.

The Impact of Meane v. State – Changing the Roadside Search

Brian T. Hobson changed the law surrounding the 4th Amendment as it relates to searching passengers in a vehicle stopped by law enforcement. The First Court of Appeals ruled a passenger cannot be searched solely on the presence of a strong odor of marijuana in the vehicle. This blog breaks down the court’s decision, and the resulting change in the law.

The Speedy Trial Right: The Push for Trial

A criminal defendant’s right to a speedy trial in the state of Texas is governed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Barker v. Wingo. Texas case law makes it imperative that lawyer’s take appropriate steps to preserve this right throughout the criminal process. This blog post examines the state of the speedy trial right in Texas, and the case law that details its scope.