Criminal defense attorney Nicole DeBorde of the Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm in Houston gets results. Visit her Houston criminal defense law blog to see proof of her respected and responsive legal representation.

Police caught hiding evidence proving detainee’s innocence

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Search & Seizure on July 17, 2015.

At the beginning of the summer, the Supreme Court let stand a civil jury verdict against two LAPD detectives who withheld evidence that proved a man’s innocence.

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal filed by the Los Angeles city attorney. Thus, confirming it is unconstitutional for police to withhold relevant evidence.

The case at hand involved the detainment of, Michael Walker...

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Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm February 16, 2015.

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman, Josh Brent, returned to his team this season after serving his six-month sentence for intoxication manslaughter. In 2012, Brent crashed his Mercedes-Benz after a night of drinking killing a teammate who was in the car.

Intoxication manslaughter is when someone who is "intoxicated" "operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride" and "by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake". It is defined in Texas Penal Code chapter 49.08.

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Texas traffic stops can lead to federal drug charges

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

So-called “routine traffic stops” are often cited in offense reports in criminal cases in Texas where the case allegedly begins a minor traffic violation, progresses to a search and ends up with a seizure. Law enforcement agencies all across the country use traffic stops to look for evidence of other offenses, including drug trafficking. A case which starts out as a traffic citation can quickly evolve into a district court case in state court or even a federal indictment.

An example of a traffic court case leading to a much more serious charge is a recent case where law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on U.S. 59 back in October 2013. It is not clear from the media what the alleged traffic violation/s were, but Department of Public Safety officials stopped a woman on alleged traffic infractions and, during the course of the investigatory stop, the trooper arrested a 31-year-old Lufkin, Texas, woman on suspicion of driving without a valid license. Even though the accused was arrested for a very minor charge, the arrest allowed for a search of the vehicle. In this case, the trooper claims that a plastic bag containing what appeared to be methamphetamine was visible in the car.

This stop and resulting arrest is a fairly typical example of how these cases are made. A good attorney will investigate carefully the underlying details to fight the case. A not so good attorney will assume what the report says is true and contains all the details. Reports in cases like these are very rarely the complete story. It is very likely that in this case officers knew they were going to find meth in the car before they stopped it. To learn whether law enforcement followed the law, attorneys need to dig.

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Worker in Texas school district indicted on federal fraud charges

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Fraud on Friday, June 6, 2014.

Mail and wire fraud statutes cover a broad range of activities, allowing federal prosecutors a great deal of flexibility in seeking charges. As long as a person is accused of having a scheme to defraud another and uses mail or electronic communications in the alleged hopes of furthering a fraudulent scheme, it is probable that prosecutors can find a way to prosecute.

Two people in Texas are accused of federal crimes related to an alleged scheme to unlawfully siphon workers’ compensation benefits from a Texas school district program. Federal prosecutors claim that a woman who worked in the risk management department for schools in Dallas used her role to redirect workers’ compensation benefits to an alleged co-conspirator. Not surprisingly, prosecutors can pursue fraud charges here if mail or wires were used in the alleged scheme. In cases like these, sentences can vary dramatically depending on the actual dollar amount lost, the intended loss amount and a variety of other factors. An experienced practitioner can navigate the complex guidelines involved in these cases.

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Houston man pleads guilty to unlawfully importing fake Viagra

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Federal Crimes on Friday, May 23, 2014.

While the idea of "fake" Viagra may cause a smirk or a grin to cross your face, the consequences in federal court are real and significant. The federal government has vast resources that can be used to investigate potential federal offenses. Certainly, prosecutors take these cases seriously. The stakes are high when prosecutors seek a federal indictment, and the issues can be complex. Federal offenses typically carry significant penalties, and indictments in federal cases can be lengthy and complicated. A good attorney should help an accused understand the indictment and what the potential consequences can be.

When allegations of drug trafficking or smuggling are made, most people envision marijuana, cocaine or other high-profile controlled substances being secreted in some kind of vehicle. However, a recent case in Texas highlights the reality that many other substances are handled in federal court. While the idea of fake Viagra may seem comical, the resulting prison sentence is not. A good lawyer can evaluate the case to decide whether to fight against a conviction. If the case cannot be fought, sentencing results can vary dramatically based on the amount of research and preparation by the defense attorney.

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DEA conducts designer drug raids in 29 states, including Texas

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Friday, May 9, 2014.

There has been a great deal of public debate in recent times concerning federal drug crime sentencing reform. In the last entry, this blog discussed the issue of mandatory minimum sentence reform. Lawmakers in the legislative branch of government and policymakers in the executive branch of government have been considering reducing overall populations in federal prisons related to drug crimes.

It is important to note that the recent debate over prosecutorial discretion in charging related to mandatory minimum sentencing and similar sentencing reform topics does not mean that federal authorities are relaxing their enforcement of federal drug crime laws. The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted raids this week in 29 states, including Texas, seeking to find evidence to pursue federal drug charges. There is no question that the federal government is still vigorously and actively pursuing drug crime.

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Drug sentencing policy shifting at the federal and state levels

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Drug crime sentencing at the federal level has historically been fairly harsh. Many federal drug crimes carry large mandatory minimum sentences, and zero-tolerance policies have often pervaded federal drug crime enforcement. Such harsh sentencing policies can have dramatic impacts on defendants. Given how harsh the penalties at the federal level can be, when facing federal drug charges, having a defense attorney who understands the federal sentencing guidelines and knows what it takes to fight federal charges is important importance for a person accused.

Recently, moves have been made to try to shift federal drug sentencing policy away from mandatory minimums. For example, there is currently a bill before Congress that, for many different federal drug crimes, would lower the mandatory minimum sentence. Reductions in drug crime sentencing for low-level offenders also finally is something being considered. The war on drugs has not been successful. It is good to see at least a small amount of change in the winds.

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Federal fraud charges brought against deputy U.S. Marshal

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Fraud on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

Sometimes, federal charges are brought against a person over allegations of insurance fraud. Recently, an insurance-fraud-related federal case has come up involving a deputy U.S. Marshal from here in Texas.

Authorities claim that the deputy U.S. Marshal, a 37-year-old man, used the tax identification number and signature of a physician, without the physician's permission, to make claims to an insurance company for medical treatment that he never actually received. According to authorities, these claims were made over the course of about a year. Authorities say that the man received payouts in relation to these claims.

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Accusations of public corruption can be federal charge

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Federal Crimes on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

Public corruption allegations, such as allegations of a government worker accepting bribes or misusing public resources, are something that the government takes incredibly seriously. Such allegations can sometimes lead to a government worker facing federal or investigations and criminal proceedings. What occurs in such investigations and proceedings can have significant impacts on a government worker's career, life and freedom. Criminal defense attorneys with federal and state experience can provide advice and assistance to individuals who are the subject of such investigations or proceedings.

It is common for the accused to lose employment simply because of the allegation. The right time to call an attorney when an investigation begins into allegations of public corruption is immediately. Individuals have the right to have the advice of counsel before making ANY statement to law enforcement. If federal agents show up at your door at 6:00 a.m., chances are great that you are the subject of an investigation. Public corruption cases are investigated in both state and federal agencies. Having an attorney with experience in this type of case is essential.

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7 Texans accused of involvement in ID theft scheme

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Fraud on Thursday, February 13, 2014.

A federal fraud case has recently arisen involving seven Texans.

The seven have been accused of having engaged in an identity theft scheme. According to authorities, the scheme went as follows. The personal information of customers of Fannie Mae, JPMorgan Chase and the Bank of America was stolen and used to access the customers' bank accounts. Money was then taken from the accounts of the customers, funneled through other banks accounts and used by the participants in the scheme for things like renting hotel rooms and purchasing luxury goods.

Fraud cases can carry stiff federal penalties. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines take into account numbers of victims and dollar amounts among other things. These things can add up to a very lengthy prison sentence. Having a good attorney with experience handling federal fraud matters is imperative when it comes to navigating the case from its beginning to end.

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Accused 'Real Housewife' and Husband Seek Separate Fraud Trials

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Fraud on Monday, January 27, 2014.

In July, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe Giudice were indicted on 41 counts of fraud that allegedly took place between 2001 and 2011. Federal prosecutors claim the couple used false income documentation to obtain almost $5 million in mortgages and loans. Then, when the couple filed for bankruptcy in 2009, they allegedly hid their income from the show and other businesses from the bankruptcy court.

They are charged with mail, wire, bank and bankruptcy fraud, and Joe Giudice is accused of failure to file five years’ of tax returns. They are scheduled for trial on April 14 -- but each has filed a motion asking to be tried separately.

As fans here in Texas may know, Joe Giudice is an Italian citizen. Unfortunately, that means he risks not only a lengthy federal prison sentence but also deportation should he be convicted.

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DEA Pre-Criminalizes Four New Synthetic Cannabinoid Drugs

On behalf of Hochglaube & DeBorde Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Friday, January 17, 2014.

Cannabinoids drugs work by activating the cannabinoid receptors on certain cells, changing the way the brain works. They share the root word with cannabis, or marijuana. With pot completely illegal in Texas and nearly half of all U.S. states, a number of synthetic cannabinoids have taken its place among some users.

When they first entered the U.S. market around 2008, these synthetics were completely legal, and some still are. They are generally labeled as herbal incense with names like “Spice,” “Genie,” “Blaze” and even “Skunk.”

Unfortunately, while natural marijuana generally isn’t dangerous, some synthetics can be. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 2,400 people called in to report problems after using synthetic cannabinoids. And, while they were originally created for the purpose of research, scientists haven’t discovered a medical use for them.

As far as the Drug Enforcement Agency is concerned, any potentially addictive drug that could cause any harm and has no known medical use should be illegal, and it probably doesn’t help that many synthetic cannabinoids don’t show up current drug tests. Whether you agree with the DEA’s assessment or not, the fact is that the agency has the authority to temporarily criminalize drugs on its own initiative -- and this week the agency did just that for four more cannabinoids.

Continue reading DEA Pre-Criminalizes Four New Synthetic Cannabinoid Drugs...

After reading the Houston criminal defense law blog of former Harris County District Attorney Nicole DeBorde, call today for a free consultation at 713-526-6300.


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