Mr. Floyd Travels to State Courts Throughout Texas and Federal Courts Nationwide. Principal Office located at 2000 Smith St. Houston, Texas 77002. All other locations by appointment only.
Brownsville Criminal Charges Need a Skilled Texas Defense Attorney
To the world at large, Brownsville is known by its motto “On the Border By the Sea.”
Because it is a border town as well as the 16th most populated city in Texas, many people are surprised to learn that the Brownsville metro area has one of the lowest crime rates in Texas. In fact, the FBI ranked the Brownsville metro area last when listing Texas’ most dangerous cities.
This is not news to Brownsville residents, though. Despite being at the southernmost tip of Texas, just across the border from Mexico and their infamous drug cartels, Brownsville is actually a pretty safe place to live, with low rates for murder, rape, and other violent crimes. It is also one of the least expensive places to live in the country, and an economic hub for south Texas due to the Port of Brownsville and a growing manufacturing center.
But crime rates can be misleading.
In 2013, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a report that said Mexican drug cartels are operating in Texas and pose the No. 1 threat to the state.
“The threat to Texas is significant due to the prevalence of lucrative trafficking routes and smuggling networks throughout the state, as well as the state’s proximity to cities and towns steeped in cartel violence and influence just across the border in Mexico,” the report stated. It added that Texas faces a full spectrum of “unique challenges to public safety and homeland security.”
Brownsville Police Chief Orlando C. Rodriquez was, and remains, concerned about the report.
“I just hope that the legislators know that until things settle down in Mexico we don’t know how things are going to go,” Brownsville Police Chief Orlando C. Rodriguez told the local media. “We’re just going to have to wait and see, but one thing that is important to me is the continued support we have with federal agencies and how we are sharing information.”
Matamoros is located just across the border from Brownsville. Over the past five years it has become one of the most violent cities in Mexico as blood feuds between the Zetas and other Gulf cartels has escalated. The U.S. State Department last year issued warnings to consulate personnel to day indoors in order to avoid armed drug cartel convoys.
The National Guard, Texas state troopers, and federal agents guard the Brownsville side of the border.
But drug cartel money and influence still finds its way across the border which may explain why robbery crimes account for almost 25 percent of the Brownsville’s violent crimes – a number that continues to rise. Brownsville law enforcement, state and local, are committed to keeping criminal elements out of the city, and tend to overzealously patrol neighborhoods in search of criminal suspects.
If you happen to get caught up in Brownsville’s robbery crackdown, it can be especially damaging to your life, reputation, and future. Not only do you have to worry about prison time and expensive fines, but also your job and family.
U.S. attorneys in Brownsville are determined to contain the spread of Mexican drug cartel violence and money in the city. This was evidenced by their handling of the case of Erik Silva Santos, the former mayor of Matamoros. Santos was indicted on money laundering charges in 2014 concerning bribes he took totaling $5 to $10 million while he was mayor of Matamoros between 2008 and 2010. The former mayor used some of the illegal proceeds to purchase a home in Brownsville, a home seized by the U.S. government.
Santos is currently fighting the seizure of his home while he remains a fugitive from justice. Federal prosecutors have filed a “fugitive disentitlement” motion telling U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane that since Santos is a fugitive, he should not be allowed to retain his American assets. The judge agreed, granting the motion. Attorneys for Santos, however, have asked the judge to reconsider his decision.
In 2014, Rafael Cardenas-Vela, a former Gulf cartel leader known as “El Junior,” appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen and received a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty to a 2012 drug conspiracy charge. Part of the plea agreement required that he forfeit $5 million in drug money and his home in Bluewing Circle in Brownsville.
Brownsville sits in the Southern District of Texas. The escalating war between the Mexican government and the drug cartels places Brownsville, according to the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, “at the doorstep of a tremendous immigration crossroad and is again heavily influenced by its location along the international border and proximity to the coastline.”
The federal prosecutors’ office added that “the same influences that drive the immigration side of the docket also impact the narcotics said of the prosecution equation. Whether through one of the ports of entry, the riverbank or along the coast, the criminal element uses every avenue as a means of circumventing detection. Large seizures of marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin continue to be made. For the time being, the violence attributed to the ongoing efforts by the Mexican government to deal with the cartels has remained in Mexico with limited spill-over to our side. Nonetheless, all law enforcement in the area is acutely aware of the dangers and concerns associated with the current unrest just across the Rio Grande River.”
Federal prosecutors warn they will pursue more prosecutions and seek harsher penalties for these drug crimes, and will undertake more property seizures.
In 2014, the San Antonio Express News reported that a Corpus Christi federal judge ruled that the Government could seize nine homes, each valued at $100,000, from a corrupt former Mexican government official.
The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office is led by Luis v. Saenz whose office touts transparency, accountability, and integrity as it primary goals.
But shortly after the district attorney’s 2013 election he a faced serious corruption allegation leveled by a federal government witness named Carlos Justino Ramos, an accused drug trafficker who was testifying against attorney Eduardo “Eddie” Lucio. Ramos said he gave Saenz, who had been named a special prosecutor by former Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos, $1,000 for a favorable resolution in two criminal cases pending against him. Ramos had been employed by Villalobos during the latter’s tenure as district attorney.
DA Saenz responded by calling Ramos a scumbag.
DA Saenz survived the bribe allegation, and apparently has made public corruption a matter of concern by his administration. The San Antonio Express News reported in January that Saenz’ office used an investigation sting called “Operation Dirty Deeds” to ensnare four Brownsville public officials, including the tax assessor, on public corruption charges. Saenz said the four officials were involved in bribery and organized criminal activity associated with the tax assessor’s office.
Cameron County Tax Assessor Tony Yzaquirre has called the corruption allegations leveled against him by Saenz “politically motivated.” Yzaguirre said the district attorney filed the corruption charges in a “desperate” effort to shore up the district attorney’s upcoming reelection bid.
Whatever the case may be in Cameron County, it is clear that public corruption, or certainly the widespread appearance of it, is prevalent in the county. Public corruption tends to do serious damage of the overall criminal justice system. Individuals can find themselves on the other side of a criminal charge either because they did not pay enough or saw too much.
Either way, Brownsville is not a good place to face a criminal charge.
If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, you will need the help of an experienced Texas defense attorney. John T. Floyd is a board certified Texas criminal lawyer who has been helping people in Brownsville and all over the great state of Texas to successfully fight criminal charges for over 20 years. With a comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of Texas state and federal law, Mr. Floyd will make sure that your rights are not violated and help you navigate the judicial system as your personal advocate every step of the way.
Fight for Your Rights in Brownsville with an Experienced Texas Criminal Lawyer
When your life, future, and freedom are at stake, you want to be sure that the best and most experienced defense attorney is handling your case – and John T. Floyd is that lawyer. With more than two decades of representing clients in Texas and federal courts under his belt, Mr. Floyd will apply his expertise to your individual case and craft an aggressive defense to get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
Mr. Floyd has gained renown in the legal world with his proven track record, praise-filled testimonies from clients, and hard-earned accolades from fellow lawyers and the legal community. For these reasons, he has been recognized in Texas and throughout the country as a top defense attorney and authority figure regarding criminal law.
Here are a few of his many accomplishments:
Avvo – 10/10 Rating, Clients’ Choice Award 2008-2015
BBC – interviewed as criminal law expert
Chron – Featured in article in 2015
CNSNews – Featured in article in 2012
Fox News – interviewed as criminal law expert on multiple occasions
H Texas Magazine – Houston’s Top Lawyers 2007-2015
Hannity and Colmes – interviewed as criminal law expert
HGExperts – Featured in article in 2008
Houston’s iHeartRadio Channel 93.7 – regular legal commentator
National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 Trial Lawyers 2015
Newsweek – Leading Criminal Defense Attorneys 2014
NPR – interviewed as criminal law expert
State Bar of Texas – Top 10 Blog Posts 2015
SuperLawyers – 2014-2015
The Huffington Post – Featured in article in 2013
Victoria Advocate – Featured in article in 2011
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges that will impact your future, turn to a man trusted by leaders in the media and legal community. Turn to a man who knows state and federal law. Turn to a man who will fight to clear your name. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what charges you’re facing. When you have John T. Floyd on your team, your case isn’t hopeless.
The Consequences of a State Criminal Record
There are also many collateral consequences for having been convicted of a criminal offense in Texas.
Employment. Many occupations (such as barber, plumber, nurse, etc.) require a license to work. Section 53.021 of the Texas Occupations Code authorize Texas licensing authorities to revoke, suspend, or deny a license to anyone convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Education: Any student convicted of the possession or sale of a controlled substance can lose or be denied financial assistance under the Federal Student Loans and Grants program, or the forfeiture of a prepaid scholarship.
Asset forfeiture: Serious drug and white collar convictions can result of forfeiture of cash, vehicles, homes, personal property, and businesses.
Firearm: A conviction of more than one year will result in loss of the right to own or possess a firearm or ammunition.
Housing: Federal housing policies permit the exclusion of drug offenders from federally subsidized or funded housing. Most rental applications ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony.
Civil rights: A felony conviction results in the loss of the right to vote, run for public office, be appointed to a public office, or serve on a jury.
Because of the wide range of criminal penalties associated with state felony convictions in Texas, any one charged with a criminal offense in Cameron County needs an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Consequences of a Federal Criminal Record
Federal felony convictions can also lead to civil forfeitures that result in the loss of personal property, including cash, homes, vehicles, planes, and other personal belongings
The proceeds from forfeited property go into the coffers of law enforcement agencies, not the government treasury. Thus, the police have an incentive to seize and forfeit as much property as possible, regardless of whether it is actually tied to an offender’s offense-related activity.
Beyond these serious to severe penal consequences, federal felony convictions have significant personal collateral consequences. They can disqualify you for a job in the health care industry, government, private security, law enforcement, many areas of the criminal justice system, and any other job requiring a security clearance.
They can, and most likely will, have adverse impact on your employment prospects with companies that routinely run criminal background checks prior to their decision to hire. They can also have a serious impact on your ability to rent a suitable residence as property owners also frequently run background checks, refusing to rent or lease to ex-felons.
Brownsville Charges Need an Aggressive Defense from a Top Texas Criminal Attorney
If you’re facing criminal charges, you want a defense lawyer who has widespread understanding and an in-depth knowledge of criminal law. Mr. Floyd’s legal career is built on and dedicated to criminal defense, and he has effectively handled all kinds of Texas state and federal criminal legal matters, such as:
Facing criminal charges can be a frightening and confusing time for anyone. That’s why you want John T. Floyd to be your criminal lawyer. He will listen carefully to the facts of your case, explain all of the legal options available to you, provide you with an honest assessment of the charges, and offer you his recommendations on what will give you the best possible results.
Mr. Floyd will work tirelessly to make sure your rights are protected and respected both in and out of the courtroom.
Contact an Knowledgeable Texas Defense Attorney Today about Your Brownsville Charges
If you have been charged with a crime in Brownsville or believe you are under investigation, consult with a qualified Texas defense attorney today to immediately begin crafting your defense. The longer you wait to contact a criminal attorney, the more time the prosecution has to build their case against you. There are also time-sensitive pieces of evidence that will be thrown out or simply become unusable after a certain time, and there’s always a chance that you might unknowingly incriminate yourself.
Do not let the prosecution get a head start. Do not lose key evidence. Do not hurt your case by saying or doing the wrong thing. Instead, let a skilled criminal lawyer guide you through this stressful time so you can clear your name and get your charges reduced, dismissed, or even dropped.