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JOHN T. FLOYD LAW FIRM
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer


EXPERIENCED FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAWYER
TRIALS, SENTENCINGS, AND APPEALS
SERIOUS FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Phone (713) 224-0101
E-mail jfloyd@JohnTFloyd.com

"Serious Federal Criminal Defense Throughout Texas "

Federal Criminal Lawyer

Houston Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer John T. Floyd is an experienced attorney whose practice is dedicated exclusively to protecting the rights of individuals and businesses suspected or accused of committing serious federal crimes before federal courts in Houston, throughout Texas and the United States of America.

Comments on Current Events In Criminal Law from the Federal Criminal Courts in the United State

February 25, 2013

WHEN IS OBSCENE, OBSCENE?

Criminally Obscene: Bestiality and Scat Film Producer Sentenced to 4 Years in federal Prison

By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

Ira Isaacs was sentenced on January 17 to four years in a U.S. district court following a five-count “obscenity” guilty verdict handed down last April by a federal jury. Isaacs, known as a “shock porn artist,” has achieved national and international attention for producing films with titles like Mako’s First Time Scat, Gang Bang Horse (Pony Sex Game), and Hollywood Scat Amateurs. The titles speak for themselves. No elaboration needed. The jury was forced to watch hours of these kinds of videos (mostly females engaged in sex acts involving animals and human feces) in order to reach its decision that they were indeed obscene.   The U.S. Department of Justice Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, which was formed during the George W. Bush Administration to investigate hard-core pornography at the urging of social conservative groups, initiated the prosecution.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, held that the determination of whether material is obscene must be based on (a) “whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards’ would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest; (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” The Miller court specifically rejected the constitutional standard, which had been advocated by three justices in prior decisions, that material is obscene if it is “utterly without redeeming social value.”

The problem is that “contemporary community standards” are continuously changing, not always in an evolving manner, which makes it difficult to determine which piece of work “lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” For example, are the movies Faces of Death, which contained graphic footage of actual, violent deaths  or Saw, which gratuitously depicts graphic violence for the sake of violence, more socially and artistically valuable than Gang Bang Horse (Pony Sex Game? Do “contemporary community standards” accept death and criminal violence as “artistic” while rejecting bestiality as obscene?

Those questions must be answered by each individual. Federal and state governments obviously believe that video depiction of bestiality is obscene, a criminal offense. And a jury agreed with the government. The purpose of this article is not to question either decision. We do not believe animals should be sexually abused any more than we believe human beings should be tortured. Apparently there is a human market for both which confirms the notion that if the human mind has conceived it, some human being has either attempted or done it.  more...

Houston Federal Lawyer John T. Floyd is a true patriot who believes in the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and the fundamental importance of a fair and impartial court system. 

In this day and time where the government knows no bounds to its power in pursuit of the accused and where the citizenry has voluntarily abdicated their freedoms to seek shelter from what they have been told is an ever increasingly dangerous world, it is vital that the accused be represented by a knowledgeable and zealous federal criminal defense lawyer.

Criminal Defense Lawyer John T. Floyd understands that the defense of the accused is the front line in the fight to preserve the vitality of the Constitution and the freedoms derived from its protections.

If You Have Been Contacted By The FBI Or Any Other Federal Law Enforcement Agent Stand Firm in Your Constitutional Right to Remain Silent:

It is normal to become overwhelmed when confronted by the FBI, or any other federal law enforcement investigator, and threatened with prosecution in federal courts.  This shock becomes more so when threatened with the serious range of imprisonment dictated by federal statutes, where there is no real parole and most individuals convicted serve at least 85% of their sentence.

It is also normal for people to feel they must try to talk there way out of the situation or to immediately confess and begin to “cooperate” with federal investigators who have promised leniency. 

However, it is vitally important for an individual suspected of committing a crime and approached by federal law enforcement investigators to immediately remain silent until they have had an opportunity to consult an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer. 

First, it is a serious federal crime to make false statements to a federal investigator, a crime which alone can lead to prison time.  Second, law enforcement investigators have no authority to make promises about plea agreements, deals or leniency.  Unfortunately, law enforcement agents often tell suspects they do have such authority in order to get confessions and cooperation.  This is a successful and court approved police interrogation tactic.  However, this means that suspects often confess with little or no leniency and receive no value for there cooperation.

Therefore, if you believe you are the target or suspect in a criminal investigation, or may face any exposure to criminal prosecution, contact an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer immediately.  This will most likely be the most important decision you make during this potentially devastating time of your life.

Look at what you’re up against.

There are over a hundred federal agencies and offices with agents who have authority to carry firearms, investigate crimes and make arrests.  The most popularly known federal law enforcement agents are from the FBI, the DEA or IRS.  However other federal agencies are increasingly conducting criminal investigations, especially prominent in the post 9/11 environment is ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whose primary mission has become to prevent acts of terrorism by targeting the people, money and materials that support terrorist and criminal activities.  Other agents working on criminal prosecutions in federal courts are from the United States Postal Service, Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshall, ATF and many other federal agencies.  If you are questioned by any of these agencies you must remember that false statements made to federal law enforcement agents is a federal crime and that the agents have no authority to make you a “deal” in exchange for cooperating.  Therefore, do not speak to a federal law enforcement agent without a lawyer.

If you are arrested by a federal law enforcement agent you will be taken to a federal magistrate to determine if there is probable cause to believe that you committed a crime and whether or not you should be released on bail or detained pending resolution of the criminal case.  The Preliminary Hearing and Detention Hearing are both significant events which will allow your lawyer to get an early look at some of the important evidence in your case.  Therefore, if you are arrested and taken into federal custody, contact a lawyer with experience before the federal courts immediately.

After a federal defendant is arrested and released on bond, or detained, pending trial the federal court will enter a scheduling order which will often include deadlines for pre-trial motions and discovery, plea agreements and trial dates.  The federal courts are controlled by the Federal Speedy Trial Act which requires that an indictment be filed within 30 days of arrest and that trial must commence within 70 days from date the indictment was filed.

Sentencing in the federal courts is done solely by the judges, as opposed to the judge or jury in state court, who still must consider the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  While recent Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases have made the Guidelines advisory, because sentences that fall within the guidelines are presumed reasonable and most likely protected from successful appeal, most judge’s still rely on guidelines and depart only in unusual circumstances or by agreement of the parties. 

The recent cases affecting the sentencing guideline do not affect mandatory minimum sentencing laws that impose harsh minimum sentences on certain crimes involving drugs, weapons and crimes of violence.

The guidelines can be cruel and often fail to take into account the individual circumstances of the defendant. Therefore, because of harsh sentences, coupled with the fact that there is no parole in the federal system, it is important that a defendant’s sentence be fought just as vigorously as the guilt/innocence phase of the trial.

Therefore, if you are charged with a criminal offense before the federal courts, it is important to retain an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to help you wade thru its complicated codes, rules and procedures.  The federal courts and their unique set of priorities are significantly different than state courts.  It is vital that a defendant charged in federal courts have a lawyer that appreciates these differences and can use them to the defendant’s advantage.  All too often, defendants are represented by good intentioned lawyers who only practice in state courts and miss valuable opportunities for the most positive outcome of their client’s case.

John T. Floyd is an experienced Federal Criminal defense Lawyer who has fought against prosecutors in state and federal courts for over 10 years.  Mr. Floyd has significant contacts throughout the United States and can tailor a defense to the unique needs and abilities of any client.  He can quickly assemble a team of lawyers and experts together to present a vigorous defense any government prosecutor would find formidable.

If you have any further questions, or would like to discuss your case further, please contact a dedicated Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer by phone at 713-224-0101 or by e-mail at jfloyd@JohnTFloyd.com

Houston Federal Criminal Lawyer John T. Floyd represents individuals and businesses in Federal Courts in Houston and throughout the United States.

Serious Federal Criminal Defense Throughout the United States


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