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Houston Legal Blog

Want to stay out of trouble? You could build an app for that.

For many people, computers and technological advances breed intrigue. If you want to challenge your coding capabilities, you may try to learn a new programming language or improve your previous work.

As a web developer, you probably enjoy looking through other people's code. Whether you're curious about what you could learn or question if you have the skill necessary to break through their firewalls, you might view computer hacking as a chance to see how good of a coder you are. However, do you know that putting your knowledge to the test could result in serious consequences?

Dozens arrested by feds in alleged Houston drug trafficking ring

Law enforcement officials in Houston and Galveston called their investigation “Operation Wrecking Ball.” At the end of the three-year probe, more than four dozen people were arrested on federal drug trafficking charges.

Officials said those arrested are involved in an organization allegedly linked to the Gulf Cartel and that together they peddle heroin and cocaine in Houston and Galveston through at least a half-dozen distribution cells in the area.

By the numbers: Pedestrian accidents in Texas and beyond

The Governor's Highway Safety Association recently released a report that shows that a crucial element of traffic safety is quickly getting much worse. According to the organization, the number of pedestrian accidents resulting in deaths has grown sharply in recent years.

In the 10-year period that ended in 2017, pedestrian fatalities grew by 35 percent from 4,414 in 2008 to 5,977 in 2017. In that same period, traffic deaths in all other categories dropped by six percent.

Houston residents arrested in nationwide college admissions scam

The bribery allegations range from some of the nation’s finest universities on the east coast to some of the finest on the west coast. The allegations also extend to the University of Texas and Houston, according to statements from the Department of Justice.

According to law enforcement officials, Michael Center, head tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin, accepted a $100,000 bribe to designate an applicant as a recruited tennis player, though the student did not even play tennis. Center is one of 50 people charged with racketeering conspiracy in an alleged nationwide scheme to bypass the college admissions system and place the sons and daughters of wealthy parents in prestigious schools.

Does the consequence always fit the accusations?

You are probably familiar with Sir Isaac Newton’s third law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Although you may not understand where the quote came from, you might have used it to describe certain events in your life. And even if you are not a physicist, you probably know that every action you take can have consequences.

As a child, perhaps your parents spanked you or put you in a “time out” for disobeying. As you got older, maybe your grades suffered as a result of not properly preparing for exams. Your actions had reactions. But as an adult, your behavioral consequences can be life-altering. And when criminal accusations are involved, the related penalties could draw your experience to a close.

Texas man accused of 'fraudulent business dealings'

About 200 miles due north of Houston is where you will find Smith County. The county seat is in Tyler, home to Earl Campbell, one of the greatest football players to ever put on the University of Texas and Houston Oilers uniforms.

A man arrested in Smith County recently has been accused of being a different kind of player, however. The 49-year-old has been accused of “fraudulent business dealings” across the state. He has been charged with theft, a local news report stated.

Houston police chief: FBI investigating fatal botched drug raid

Last month’s deadly no-knock drug raid conducted by Houston police officers left the community in shock. Two people were killed and five officers wounded in the botched raid.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said recently in a press conference that the FBI has launched a civil rights investigation into the conduct of officers involved. Acevedo said the HPD criminal investigation into the deaths will continue, even as he said new policies will help the department avoid future drug arrest fatalities.

Texas woman faces felony debit card abuse charge

If you drive about 400 miles north of Houston, you will come to the modest town of Burkburnett, Texas. While the name might not be familiar to most us, the moniker has significance for U.S. history buffs. They understand that President Theodore Roosevelt named the town after visiting the area for a wolf hunt hosted by a wealthy rancher named Samuel Burk Burnett.

The Wichita County municipality is home today to a woman who faces a pair of serious white collar charges: credit card or debit card abuse against the elderly (a third degree felony) and forgery.

Dumpster-diving Texas man arrested for ID theft

According to a recent news article, a Texas man recently pulled into an alley and began looking through the contents of a dumpster. The 44-year-old dumpster-diver was sorting through the stuff people had thrown away – that is itself not a crime, of course, but local law enforcement had been alerted by Postal Service employees who reported that the man’s behavior was suspicious.

A police department spokesperson later said the man had been “basically dumpster diving for things people through away and sometime people throw away personal information.” When officers searched the man’s vehicle, they found what they described as stolen mail that included W-2 forms and personal checks. He was charged with ID theft-related crimes including mail theft and possession of stolen mail.

Houston police: Medical assistant illegally gave injections

Health care is constantly evolving, pushed forward by rapid advances in technology. One recent permutation known as the med spa – a hybrid of non-surgical medical care and a relaxing spa. Med spas are typically devoted to helping customers look and feel better.

A 26-year-old med spa employee was recently arrested by Houston police on a felony charge of practicing medicine without a license. Law enforcement officials allege that he has been illegally injecting Botox and wrinkle fillers into customers.