What Makes a Kidnapping “Aggravated” Kidnapping?

June 3rd, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

In Texas criminal law, there is often a distinction between a regular offense and an “aggravated” offense. For example, kidnapping is normally a third-degree felony under the Texas Penal Code. But under certain circumstances, a defendant may be charged with “aggravated kidnapping,” which is a first-degree felony. Section 20.04 of the Penal Code lists six […]

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Can I Be Required to Pay Restitution If I’m Convicted of Fraud?

May 4th, 2018 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

In cases involving white collar crimes, it is not uncommon for a state or federal court to require a convicted defendant to pay restitution to his or her victims–in addition, of course, to any prison sentence. Under federal law, specifically the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA), a judge may order restitution to compensate victims of […]

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What Happens If I Am Charged With Possessing Drugs Near a School?

August 17th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Drug crimes are often not just about the offense, but also where the offenses took place. The Texas legislature has declared a number of areas within the state as “drug-free zones.” A person arrested for possession of a controlled substance within such a “zone” faces enhanced criminal penalties if convicted at trial. Officer’s “Well-Being” Check […]

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How “Serious” Injury Affects an Aggravated Assault Charge

June 27th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

One thing that elevates simple assault to aggravated assault in Texas is when the accused “commits serious bodily injury” to another person. But what exactly constitutes a “serious” injury? The Texas Penal Code considers an injury serious when it: creates a substantial risk of death; causes permanent disfigurement to the victim; or results in a […]

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Texas investors fooled by Ponzi scheme

January 11th, 2013 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

A $195 million Ponzi scheme has affected 724 victims in multiple states, including several Texas investors. At least three of the perpetrators behind the investment scheme have received felony sentences, including an order to pay more than $155 million in restitution. As defined by the FBI, a Ponzi scheme typically promises high financial returns or […]

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Texas man charged with homicide

January 4th, 2013 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

A 19-year-old Texas man recently appeared in court for arraignment on capital murder charges. According to local authorities, the victim was shot as he tried to escape armed robbers who wanted the pair of Air Jordan XI “Bred” sneakers — a newly released item that retails for about $185 — that he had purchased earlier […]

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Exonerated Texas man faces new drug charges

November 30th, 2012 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

A57-year-old Texas man who was exonerated in late 2009 for a murder he did not commit is once again back in jail. This time around, he is facing a drug possession charge. The man was convicted in 1997 for a murder that occurred during a home invasion of a Texas drug house. The man served […]

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BP agrees to $4.5 billion settlement, including criminal fines

November 16th, 2012 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

In a time of economic recession, some may have concerns about agencies cutting staffing or other resources. Even corporate leaders may be tempted to cut corners in safety or regulatory compliance matters, in an effort to reduce costs. That might be the lesson Texas readers take away from today’s story. Oil giant BP recently agreed […]

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