John Helms

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July 19

How Do Police Get an Arrest Warrant?

Dallas, TX / July 19, 2019 / -- Unless the police observe someone carrying out a crime in real time, they must first obtain an arrest warrant before they are able to take someone into custody. Police and prosecutors can obtain an arrest warrant by submitting information to a judge that establishes probable cause for the arrest. Without enough evidence to establish probable cause, the court w...
How Do Police Get an Arrest Warrant?
July 11

Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer - Charges of Online Solicitation of a Minor

Dallas, TX / July 11, 2019 / -- Being charged with an internet crime involving the solicitation of an underage person is a frightening thing. In many parts of the country, police departments have ramped up efforts to catch people engaged in the online solicitation of minors. Under Texas law, it’s illegal to have sexual contact with anyone younger than 17, as that’s how state law defines a “mi...
Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer - Charges of Online Solicitation of a Minor
July 05

The Deportation Option: Deportation vs. Criminal Prosecution

Dallas, TX / July 5, 2019 / --  Texas Immigration Crime News – When I represent undocumented persons who are accused of a crime in the United States, I am often asked by the accused or their family whether they can choose to be deported instead of having to go through a criminal case and potentially serving prison time. This question is understandable.  When a person who has come to the Unit...
The Deportation Option: Deportation vs. Criminal Prosecution
June 14

Texas Appeals Lawyer Explains What You Should Know

Dallas, TX / June 14, 2019 / -- Unless the defendant has given up the right to appeal as part of a plea bargain, a criminal defendant in Texas has the right to appeal to the court of appeals for the region serving the county where the trial court was located. For example, cases from Collin, Dallas, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall Counties are appealed to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dal...
Texas Appeals Lawyer Explains What You Should Know
June 05

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer - State vs Federal Prosecution

Dallas, TX / June 5, 2019 / -- If you have been charged with a federal crime, you should expect your case to be very different from a state criminal case. In many cases, being charged with a federal offense means you should expect to face tougher penalties if you’re convicted. However, there are other differences you should know about which are just important. Here are a few ways in which a ...
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer - State vs Federal Prosecution
April 05

Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Attorney John Helms Explains Deep Ellum Assault!

Dallas, TX / April 5, 2019 / -- This March, a video emerged and went viral of a white man named Austin Shuffield repeatedly punching a black woman with his fist in a parking lot in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas.  The video is violent and difficult to watch.  Mr. Shuffield was originally charged with misdemeanor assault, but the charge was upgraded to felony assault because, at least at one po...
Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Attorney John Helms Explains Deep Ellum Assault!
March 13

Dallas Criminal Law - Defense Attorney Discusses Troubling Paul Manafort Sentencing

Dallas Criminal Defense News - Dallas, TX / March 13, 2019 / -- As a criminal defense lawyer in Dallas, I am very troubled by the sentencing of Paul Manafort. According to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, he should have received a sentence of at least 19 years.  The 47-month sentence he received was roughly an 80 percent downward departure from the Sentencing Guidelines—a breathtaking depa...
Dallas Criminal Law - Defense Attorney Discusses Troubling Paul Manafort Sentencing
February 26

Breaking Down the Criminal Justice Reform in the First Step Act

In December 2018, President Trump signed into law the First Step Act, which mostly involves prison reform, but also includes some sentencing reform provisions.   The key provision of the First Step Act that relates to sentencing reform concerns the “safety valve” provision of the federal drug trafficking laws.  The safety valve allows a court to sentence a person below the mandatory minimum ...
Breaking Down the Criminal Justice Reform in the First Step Act
January 11

Racial Disparity in Jury Selection

I read with interest a recent opinion piece in the New York Times called, “Yes, Jury Selection Is As Racist As You Think.  Now We Have Proof,” by Professor Ronald Wright of Wake Forest University Law School. The premise of the article is that African-Americans are removed from criminal jury panels at a greater rate than whites because they are more often the subject of “strikes,” also known a...
Racial Disparity in Jury Selection
December 17, 2018

Finch Smuggling to the US - Federal Defense Lawyer Educates

Federal Finch Smuggling Defense Lawyer in Dallas, Texas On December 12, 2018, an airline passenger was detained and arrested by US Customs and Border Protection for trying to smuggle 70 South American finches into the United States.  The birds were packed inside hair curlers and taken on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana to Kennedy Airport in New York.  The smuggler now faces substantial fine...
Finch Smuggling to the US - Federal Defense Lawyer Educates