Snarky Lawyer

Taking Burglary Seriously in Texas

August 15th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Although burglary is often portrayed in a somewhat comical light–think of the masked man wearing stripes and carrying a sack with a dollar sign on it–in reality is a serious crime. Indeed, burglary involving a residence or other “habitation” is a second-degree felony in Texas. In plain terms, if you enter someone’s house and steal […]

Read More →

How a Reduced Charge Affects Your Right to Expungement

August 10th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Expunction (or expungement) is a process that allows you to seek removal of records related to an arrest or criminal charge that did not result in a conviction. Under Texas law, expunction is not a right, but a privilege conferred by statute and granted at the discretion of a judge. And unlike a criminal trial, […]

Read More →

Is Property of My Spouse’s Minor Child Part of the “Marital Estate”?

August 4th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Divorce

A common problem that arises in Texas divorce cases is how to properly classify certain property. Texas is a “community property” state, which means that any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is presumed to be part of the marital estate and thus subject to equitable division in any subsequent divorce. By default, […]

Read More →

How Does Adultery Affect the Division of Marital Property in Texas?

August 3rd, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Divorce

Historically, adultery was one of the few legal grounds for divorce in Texas. But with the advent of “no-fault” divorce, it is no longer necessary to prove that one spouse cheated on the other. Indeed, in many cases it is in both parties’ interests to seek a no-fault divorce even if there is adultery. After […]

Read More →

What Are My Rights Before a Texas Grand Jury?

July 31st, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

You have probably heard of a “grand jury” without understanding its exact function. Unlike a trial (or “petit”) jury, a grand jury is not there to determine a person’s guilt or innocence. Rather, the grand jury interviews witnesses and reviews evidence to decide if there is “probable cause” to formally charge–indict–a defendant with a particular […]

Read More →

What Is the Appeals Process for a Criminal Conviction in Texas?

July 27th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in Texas, your case does not necessarily end with the jury’s verdict. You do have the right to appeal, that is to seek review of the trial court’s judgment with an appellate court. Texas has an unusually complicated court system, so here is a basic […]

Read More →

Can Evidence of Prior Bad Acts Convict Me of Rape in Texas?

July 27th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Sexual assault and rape are perhaps the most serious crimes in Texas short of murder. Texas classifies many types of sexual assault as a first-degree felony, meaning a conviction carries the potential for a life prison sentence. And given the public outrage that typically accompanies rape cases–especially when the alleged victims are children–prosecutors will stop […]

Read More →

How Do Court-Ordered and Contractual Alimony Differ?

July 24th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

Spousal support in Texas may be ordered by the court as part of a divorce proceeding or contractually agreed upon between the parties. The laws governing court-ordered and contractual alimony differ in several key respects. It is important to be aware of these differences before you seek or agree to either kind of alimony. Limits […]

Read More →

When Is a Prenuptial Agreement Actually a Post-Marital Agreement?

July 18th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

Texas courts recognize both premarital and post-marital (or marital) property agreements. A post-marital agreement may provide for the “partition or exchange of community property,” that is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage (with some exceptions). A properly drafted premarital agreement, however, can declare that all property brought into the marriage should remain […]

Read More →

How Is Shoplifting Prosecuted in Texas?

July 13th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Theft and shoplifting are among the most common types of misdemeanor crimes prosecuted in Texas. The severity of a theft charge is tied to the value of the property stolen. For example, under Section 31.03(e) of the Texas Penal Code, theft of property is a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen […]

Read More →