The Criminal Defense Blog


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CBD — which doesn’t produce a high — has been gaining in popularity nationwide as a treatment for all manner of ailments, including chronic pain, anxiety, seizures and sleep disorders. But it remains illegal under federal law, as doestetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the component of the marijuana plant that is psychoactive.

In 2015, Texas passed the Compasionate Use Act that permits State approved growers to produce low-THC CBD oil to be prescribed by State approved doctors for the treatmatent of a limited class of epilepsy seizure disorders. The Compasiionate Use Act opened the door to the over the counter sale of Hemp based CBD oil in Texas. 

In April 2018, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a letter stating that it would confiscate any and all Hemp CBD oil sold in the state because CBD oil is clasified by the DEA under the Controlled Substances Act as marijuana. In May 2018, the Texas Department of State Health Services backed down from this threat in reponse to overwhelming reponse from CBD hemp oil users about its benefits.

For now it remains unclear whether CBD hemp oil may be legally sold in Texas. It is advisable that anyone in the CBD hemp oil business conslut with an attorney who is well versed in  marijuana and cannabis law cases for updates on future possible changes in Texas concerning THC and CBD laws. 

President Trump has promised a top Senate Republican that he will support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized marijuana — defusing a months-long standoff between Sen. Cory Gardner and the administration over Justice Department nominees.  Bringing an end to the Federal Ban on Cannabis would likely open the door to more states legalizing medical and recreational cannabis use. This would free up criminal justice resources on both the State and Federal level to prosecute actual crimes. Let's hope Trump follows through on this promise. 

It's not enough to refuse a breath test anymore. If you refuse to take a breath test, the police can obtain a search warrant to draw blood. In Texas, a police officer who has probable cause to arrest a suspect for DWI can obtain a search warrant for your blood. To do so, the officer must submit a search warrant application to a judge. If the judge reviews the search warrant affidavit and finds that there is probable cause, then a search warrant will be issued authorizing a qualified lab tech to collect a blood sample. That blood sample will then be taken by the arresting officer and set to the crime lab for testing. if the blood comes back over the legal limit of .08, it can by offered as evidence of impariment at trial. 


What To Know If You Are the Target of A Federal Investigation:

So you’ve been served with a target letter or grand jury subpoena. That means that the Feds are either investigating you, or believe that you might have information about a criminal case that they’d like to know about.
Now what? Well the first thing you need to do is hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who regularly practices in federal court. There’s a big difference between practicing in State and Federal court and if your lawyer doesn’t know that difference, things could go very badly for you! So make sure the lawyer you hire regularly appears before the federal judges in your district and has a good working relationship with the United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, DEA, ATF, and United States Secret Service. Those are the agents you’ll likely be dealing with if you’re facing federal criminal charges. 
If you’re contacted by an agent from one of these agencies, chances are good that you’ll be put on the spot to give a statement. Anything you say at this point could be used to prosecute you so now’s the time to stop and contact a criminal defense lawyer. Also know that if you lie to a federal agent, it can subject you to prosecution for obstruction of justice and add time to your ultimate sentence.
Tell the agents you want a lawyer present before answering any of their questions. That will generally put a stop to their questioning and buy you some time to find out what’s going on with the case and get some good advice on how to best proceed. The lawyer you hire can then contact the agents to confirm if you’re indeed a target of a federal criminal investigation or merely a potential witness. If you’re a target, odds are good the prosecutor and agents think there is substantial evidence linking you to a crime. That means you are potentially facing indictment, arrest and prosecution. If you get a target letter, that typically means the investigation has been going on for a while. The feds are very thorough and they don’t bring charges unless they’ve spent a great deal of time building a strong case. Now you’ve got to get up to speed on what’s going on. The best way to get that done is by hiring an experienced criminal lawyer who knows where to go and who to contact to get you the answers you need. This is definitely not “do it yourself time.”
A suspect will not always receive a target letter prior to being prosecuted. Sometimes the federal prosecutor will not want a target to know that a grand jury investigation is going on to avoid the possibility of tipping off the suspect or risking that witnesses might be tampered with. If you think that federal agents are investigating your activities, don’t wait to hire a lawyer. A good criminal defense lawyer can do a great deal to help you avoid prosecution at this stage. It’s significantly easier to get a case dismissed prior to an indictment – so bringing an attorney onto your team as soon as possible is important.
Don’t be surprised if federal agents show up at your home or place of business. Federal agents usually travel in pairs and they like to catch unwitting suspects off guard. These agents are very well trained at getting information out of suspects, so it’s critical that you consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer before you say anything.
Bottom line, if you think you might be either a target of a federal grand jury or a potential witness, consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer before you say or do anything. You’ve got a right to be represented by a lawyer. So exercise that right!

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