Criminal Law Blog
James Alston is Board Certified Attorney James Alston was awarded Houston's Top Lawywers Award for 2013 Law Office of James Alston is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business Member of Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) James Alston is a member of Super Lawyers for 2012

Learn the History of Cocaine for Earth Day

By Law Office of James Alston on April 18, 2014

Grown primarily in the mountains of South America, the coca plant has played an influential part in the development of recent history. The crystalline tropane alkaloid substance known as cocaine was first isolated by a German chemist in 1859. The unique chemical properties of cocaine make it ideal for use as either a stimulant or depressant.... Read the full post»

What Should a Criminal Defendant Say to Friends and Family Members?

By Law Office of James Alston on April 15, 2014

If you’re facing criminal charges, things are going to be tough for a while. What should you say to friends and family members? What will they think? Sure, being straight forward and honest is always the best policy, but that won’t make the ordeal any easier.  Difficult Conversations As the defendant in a criminal case, you have to... Read the full post»

Lawyer/Client Relationships: Is a Little White Lie OK?

By Law Office of James Alston on April 11, 2014

Should you lie to your lawyer? You probably know the answer, but let’s be honest; it’s just human nature to make things appear better than they really are. There are many reasons for being honest with your defense attorney, but good old self-preservation should be at the top of your list.  Full Disclosure with Your Lawyer It’s important... Read the full post»

4 Famous Con Men: Too Smart for Their Own Good

By Law Office of James Alston on April 8, 2014

Most people have a strange fondness for famous con men. When we hear a story about a con man that has mastered the art of taking advantage of one sucker after another, it’s hard not to shake our heads in amazement and let loose a chuckle. It’s easy to view con artists as lovable characters as... Read the full post»

Drugs Crimes: How to Know If It’s Federal

By Law Office of James Alston on April 4, 2014

Any drug offense can be prosecuted as a state or federal crime. There are even instances when both state and federal prosecutors file separate charges against the same defendant. It’s true that most drug arrests are made by the local police, but any drug case can end up in the federal system. The possession or sale... Read the full post»

Murder Charges: Ya…It’s as Bad as it Sounds…Without Help

By Law Office of James Alston on April 1, 2014

It’s not surprising that murder cases always get the headlines. There can be little doubt that the taking of a human life is a heinous criminal act, but not all murder cases are created equal. A range of penalties are available at the state and federal level to punish convicted murderers in keeping with the distinctive... Read the full post»

Tax Fraud vs. Tax Evasion: What’s the Difference?

By Law Office of James Alston on March 28, 2014

The crackdown by federal prosecutors on Swiss banks and money managers for alleged crimes related to tax fraud and evasion does not seem as if it will slow down in 2014. The indictment of a Swiss private fund manager was announced by prosecutors in February, and prosecutors intended to charge him with conspiracy to commit fraud... Read the full post»

Federal Release Conditions: I Made Bail…But Wait

By Law Office of James Alston on March 26, 2014

In late January 2014, Anthony Ciccone was charged with participating in a major Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by a notorious New York businessman. He was ordered to wait in a federal detention center until his case is resolved. Ciccone, who is charged with attempting to launder money through a taxation scheme, had been out on bail before... Read the full post»

Money Laundering: Defenses to Avoid the Big House

By Law Office of James Alston on March 25, 2014

A former trustee of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for his alleged role in a Texas money laundering scheme. The defendant was an attorney and philanthropist from El Paso who was arrested in late 2012 by federal law enforcement agents after he allegedly entered into a conspiracy... Read the full post»

Stealing Trade Secrets Could Cost You $500,000

By Law Office of James Alston on March 21, 2014

Ten years ago, the managing director of a prominent executive search firm based in California resigned from his job for the purpose of starting a new business in the same industry. When his former employer suspected him of having convinced former co-workers to get computer files that allegedly contained customer information and other confidential data, federal... Read the full post»


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