Weapons Crimes in Federal Court

A person who buys and sells weapons (operable firearms) is subject to obtaining a license as a federal firearms dealer if he/she is engaged in the business of selling firearms. Title 18 U.S. Code §921 contains various definitions of engaging the business of selling / being a dealer, engaging in the business of manufacturing, and exceptions to being engaged in such a business.
Often, persons who casually make sales, or sell from their collections, become subject to licensing and federal criminal prosecution if they sell weapons, or “manufacture” weapons. “Manufacture” can include simply assembling legal weapons parts, which results in a completed weapon that an operable firearm. The “gray area” is, or can be, where a person assembles parts (including receivers, uppers, etc.) into a completed weapon, but only does this on a limited basis. Another area that is questionable as to whether the person is “manufacturing” weapons without a license, is when he/she is paid a fee to assemble the parts into a weapon but then returns the completed weapon to the person who paid for the assembly, rather than keeping the completed weapon to sell it himself/herself. Continue reading “Weapons Crimes in Federal Court”

Viable Criminal Defense Strategies for Felony Bribery Charged Under FCPA

Dallas, Texas Criminal Defense Attorney John Teakell discusses viable criminal defense strategies available to those charged with felony bribery under the United State’s Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Continue reading “Viable Criminal Defense Strategies for Felony Bribery Charged Under FCPA”

Unauthorized Access or Exceeding Authorization to a Computer

The Computer Fraud Abuse Act (CFAA) is codified as Title 18 U.S.C Section 1030(a), and it lists offenses for federally-prosecuted computer crimes, with the common charges being Unauthorized Access to a Computer and Exceeding Authorization to a Computer. The allegations of accessing a computer without authorization can contain different variations within the charges. These include: (1) with the intent to harm the United States or for the benefit of a foreign country; (2) to obtain protected financial or credit information; (3) with intent to defraud; (4) to intentionally damage a computer; and (5) accessing a computer that is exclusively for government use. Continue reading “Unauthorized Access or Exceeding Authorization to a Computer”

Immigration Crimes

The United States Code contains several federal statutes concerning criminal offenses of “aliens” or “illegal aliens.” The most common ones known to the public are illegal re-entry (after deportation), which is found at Title 8 U.S.C. §1326, and alien smuggling, or “immigrant smuggling,” as it is sometimes called, at Title 8 U.S.C. §1324.

Continue reading “Immigration Crimes”


A conspiracy is defined as an agreement between two or more persons to commit an illegal act, with at least one conspirator attempting to commit an overt act that would further the object of conspiracy. The use of the conspiracy charge is much more common in federal court, as a lesser participant in a fraud scheme can be held criminally liable if there is less direct evidence of his/her involvement. Continue reading “Conspiracy”

When it is legal to carry a handgun in Texas?

In Texas it is not legal to carry a handgun outside of your own premise. Although the law was recently updated by the Texas Legislature, when it passed a bill in 2015  allowing concealed handgun permit holders to begin carrying handguns openly outside of your their premise. The bill was signed into law on June 13, 2015, and took effect on January 1, 2016. A permit to carry concealed is still required to carry a handgun in public. For those without a concealed handgun permit, Texas law also allows a person to carry a shotgun or rifle, either open or concealed, in a non-threatening or alarming manner. Under Texas law there are several places where a person may possess a handgun legally (by legally we mean without the benefit of Texas Concealed Handgun License).

These places include –

  • The person’s residence or any other property under his control
  • The person’s private motor vehicle or watercraft if in case the handgun is concealed
  • The person engaged in lawful fishing, hunting, or other sporting activity can carry a handgun

How can you obtain a concealed handgun license in Texas?

In order to obtain a concealed handgun license, you should apply at the city or town clerk’s office. You must be
21 years

  • A legal resident of Texas
  • Capable of exercising sound judgment
  • Qualified to carry a handgun under federal law.
  • Also; you should not
  • Have been convicted of a felony offense
  • Have committed offenses in the past ten years even as a juvenile delinquent
  • Be under a court protective order
  • Be a chemically dependent person

Concealed Handgun Laws in the State of Texas –
Texas firearm law allows carrying concealed handguns with a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL). According to the gun law, the gun holder however should be able to produce his concealed weapons license along with a valid identification document if and when demanded by the police officer.
Furthermore, even with a CHL, Texas law in certain cases prohibits carrying these weapons under the following circumstances

  • An intoxicated person may not carry a concealed handgun
  • Carrying firearm at an amusement park if in case there’s a proper TPC §30.06 warning given.
  • In a place of religious worship if in case there’s a proper TPC §30.06 warning given.
  • In a hospital or nursing home if in case there’s a proper TPC §30.06 warning given.
  • At any correctional facility
  • Within 1000 feet of a correctional facility
  • In any court or offices
  • At the polling place on Election Day.
  • At any meeting of any governmental body if in case there’s a proper TPC §30.06 warning given.
  • At any high school, collegiate, professional sporting event
  • Inside the secured area of any airport (the person may legally carry firearm into the terminal that is checked as baggage to be lawfully transported)Getting Legal Help
    Charges for weapon offenses can have serious effects on your life, career and future. In Dallas if you have been charged with firearm or weapon offense chances are you may not even realize you were violating the law.
    You may be charged with a criminal offense if you unlawfully carry gun or improperly discharge the firearm. Depending on the type of weapon, and place where it is carried, the punishment range can vary.

Building a strong defense is therefore the key factor in protecting your rights.

State Drug Possession Cases

Talking About the State Jail Felony & Drug Possession Cases

Texas has strict illegal controlled substance and narcotics drug possession laws. Keep in mind; even just for conviction of possession of any unlawful drug, you may face probation, jail time, fines, and even a 6 month loss of your driver’s license. If you are charged under the drug possession law, it means the state has accused you of having access to a controlled substance.

Although most of the violations are typically listed under the Texas Penal Code, however it is the Texas Controlled Substances Act, Health and Safety Code, which provide for the finer points of law that is to be applied in specific drug possession cases.

Drug possession is considered as a serious felony in Texas. Based on the amount of the illegal substance, the penalties may range from probation to lengthy time prison sentences. If you have been accused or charged with a drug crime in Dallas, whether drug possession, importation, distribution, drug trafficking or cultivation, you need a foolproof defense to protect your life, career and rights. Do not plead guilty to drug crimes. It makes sense to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney to explore alternatives to pleading guilty.

What is a State Jail felony?

State Jail felonies are the lowest degree of felony in Texas. Although it is the lowest degree of felony still it can leave you as a convicted felon. The range of punishment is between 6 months and 2 years in a State Jail unit.

It also makes sense to mention here, the State jail system in Texas was originally designed to make the drug addicts stay there until they were cured, so there’s NO PAROLE from State Jail.

How does the State Jail felony drug possession case may start?

According to the Texas law, the police may charge you with drug possession if they find any kind of drug in your pocket or in fact anywhere in your body.

Police in Texas can also charge you under the claim of “constructive possession.” This means the illegal substances were in a place, which is either controlled by you or can be easily reached by you. First you get arrested and make bail and then you may have to wait for the lab results from DPS lab.

Remember; drug possession charges can have serious implications. You might have to go to jail and pay hefty fines. In fact police may seize your car or other property. Also; drug possession charges may follow you with a criminal record.

In some instances state jail felony cases can be reduced to a misdemeanor. If the defense lawyer can mitigate evidences and if the prosecutor agrees to it, state jail felony may be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Keep in mind the judge may not sentence you to probation if in case you have been convicted of a previous felony, or if in case you have violated an earlier probation sentence. In those cases, it is up to the judge to decide whether you go to jail or get probation.

Legally speaking; drug possession cases get complicated very quickly. Get in touch with experienced defense lawyer for a consultation on your Texas drug possession charge.

Only a skilled attorney will be able to walk your through the facts of your case and can provide you with the best defense options.


Bank Theft, Embezzlement

Legal Brief

Bank Theft, Embezzlement


By John Teakell


Dallas, Texas

Thefts and embezzlements from banks are often prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in federal court, although the dollar amounts sometimes are lower than a federal criminal case might involve. This is especially true if the allegation concerns a bank teller or lower lever employee, who may not be able to access larger amounts of money during the ordinary course of employment. The opposite would be a bank officer who engaged in transactions or withdrawals from lines of credit without authorization when the loss amount may be a high-five figure amount (e.g., $90,000) or a six-figure amount (e.g. $500,000).

The federal stature governing this conduct, Title 18 U.S. Code §656 reads:

Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a) [1]of the Federal Reserve Act, or a receiver of a national bank, insured bank, branch, agency, or organization or any agent or employee of the receiver, or a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of a Federal Reserve Agent or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, embezzles, abstracts, purloins or willfully misapplies any of the moneys, funds or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company or any moneys, funds, assets or securities intrusted to the custody or care of such bank, branch, agency, or organization, or holding company or to the custody or care of any such agent, officer, director, employee or receiver, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both; but if the amount embezzled, abstracted, purloined or misapplied does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Bank Fraud

Legal Guide

Bank Fraud

A rule of thumb in bank fraud cases and any other type of white collar criminal case is that it is critically important to contact an attorney during the earliest stages. Selecting a knowledgeable, zealous white collar criminal defense lawyer may be the best investment you ever made for your career and your future in general.

A bank or mortgage lender may allege that you submitted false documentation in connection with a loan application. The Law Office of John R. Teakell is an ideal resource for individuals facing allegations of bank fraud as well as for companies dealing with millions of dollars that could be at risk if an allegation becomes a conviction.

Former Federal Prosecutor Represents the Accused in Bank Fraud Cases

People alleged to have committed wrongdoing in the area of bank fraud may include the following:

  • Loan applicants
  • Investors
  • Brokers and dealers
  • If word has come to you that you are under investigation or are named in subpoenas related to bank fraud allegations, the time to hire an attorney to protect your rights is now. Call or e-mail the Law Office of John R. Teakell to schedule a consultation. We will discuss ways to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome:
  • Resolving allegations through civil rather than criminal remedies
  • Obtaining a dismissal of the charges
  • Negotiating a reduction of charges
  • Limiting damage to your life and career as a result of bank fraud allegations.

18 U.S.C. §1344 Bank Fraud: Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice— (1) to defraud a financial institution; or (2) to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises; shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

See also Mr. Teakell’s other Web site to learn more about the firm’s full spectrum of criminal defense practice areas. Contact the law offices to schedule a consultation.

Tax Evasion Defense

Tax Evasion Defense

An overwhelming tax debt could be hard to resolve, especially when you have accrued this debt over the years. Failing to do so could lead to serious legal consequences, at the state and federal levels. Sometimes tax evasion charges occur due to a mistake, such as a clerical error, or a simple misunderstanding. Regardless of why you have been charged with tax evasion, you will need an experienced attorney who can help you build a strong tax evasion defense, as quickly as possible. The law office of John R. Teakell is the legal firm for you. When you hire our office, you will have access to an experienced team of legal professionals who are highly qualified to take on various aspects of the law, including tax evasion.

What is Tax Evasion?

If you fail to pay your taxes, this can be considered tax evasion if you did so knowingly. It is illegal to avoid paying your taxes. If you file your taxes, but file a fraudulent tax return, this is also considered tax evasion, which is a felony, and if you are convicted of this crime, you could face time in prison, in addition to fines. A corporation convicted of tax evasion could pay up to $500,000 in fines, while an individual convicted of the same crime could pay up to $100,000 – the penalties will depend on the tax amount, and if you are being charged on the state or federal level.

There is a difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. The former occurs when you use legal methods to reduce or avoid tax payments; those legal methods include finding tax shelters or loopholes. Tax evasion is when you use illegal methods to avoid paying your taxes – or seeking reduced payment amounts.

Making a mistake is not punishable by the law if you can prove that you did in fact make an error. If this is the case, you will be required to pay the amount that you should have paid, in addition to another small fee – the fee and its amount will vary. You will not be convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to prison if you can prove that an error or mistake was made, and you could also avoid the penalties associated with a criminal trial.

Legal Consequences

If you are charged with tax evasion, you could face serious legal penalties, on both the criminal and civil level. Regardless if you are charged with state or federal tax evasion, the court must prove that criminal intent was shown. With so many tax rules, a simple mistake could happen, which is where an attorney could defend you by proving that the intent to commit fraud was never your plan.

Federal Tax Evasion

If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can show that you have deliberately attempted to underpay your taxes, you will be charged with a federal crime: tax evasion. Failing to file your tax return prevents the IRS from auditing you, or your company’s, finances. The most common example of tax evasion is underreporting income. Most individuals or businesses that are charged – and convicted of – federal tax evasion deal largely in cash, such as retail store owners, waiting staff, or beauticians (and those in the cosmetology field); however, some corporations charged with federal tax evasion report fraudulent records of their finances. Businesses have been known to inflate their expenses, while individuals overstate the size of their families in order to qualify for larger deductions.

If the IRS suspects a business or individual of committing these crimes, it will begin an investigation, which could lead to prosecution.

State Tax Evasion

Texas does not require you to pay local taxes; therefore, the main source of state revenue comes from sales tax, which is why tax evasion is a serious charge, especially for businesses in Texas who fail to pay taxes – or those who commit fraud. You must keep accurate records of your sales. Using electronic devices to falsify your records is also illegal.

Hiring an attorney with experience in state revenue gives you an added bonus. The attorney could help you find the loopholes in state law. If you are convicted of state tax evasion, you not only face jail time and a fine, but as a corporation, your sales tax permit could be suspended. In some instances, your sales tax permit could be revoked, and the state comptroller will deny any future permits.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Waiting is never a good option, especially with tax evasion charges. You want to build a strong case immediately, so you can handle the situation and avoid any jail time or costly penalties and fines. The sooner you give the law office of John R. Teakell a call, the sooner we can begin building a strong tax evasion defense for you.

Contact us today and get the legal representation you deserve!