Snarky Lawyer

Can I Be Charged with a Misdemeanor for Filing a False Police Report?

April 22nd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

Lying to the police is not just a bad idea. It can land you in serious legal trouble. Filing a “false report to [a] peace officer” is a Class B misdemeanor offense under the Texas Penal Code. This means that if you “knowingly” make a false statement to an officer–even if you are not technically […]

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Can I Be Tried a Second Time for DWI If the First Trial Ended in a Mistrial?

April 15th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

The United States Constitution states that no person may be “subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” In plain terms, this “double jeopardy” clause means you cannot be tried by the state twice for the same crime. So if you are acquitted by a jury of an […]

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When Is Hearsay Admissible in a Domestic Violence Case?

April 13th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

A criminal domestic violence case does not necessarily mean jail time. The trial court has the discretion to instead sentence a defendant to a period of probation–known as community service in Texas. But probation is not a “get out of jail free” card. The defendant must comply with a strict set of requirements, including refraining […]

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I Just Received a Traffic Ticket? What Do I Need to Know About My Legal Rights?

April 10th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

For many Houston-area residents, dealing with a traffic ticket is usually their first interaction with the local court system. Many people in this situation do not fully understand their rights and obligations under the law. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of what happens after a police officer issues you a traffic […]

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Texas Appeals Court Throws Out Drug Conviction, 68-Year Sentence, Due to Improper Jury Instruction

April 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

During a traffic stop, a police officer may ask for permission to search your vehicle. You should always refuse permission. If the officer has reason to believe you are hiding evidence of criminal activity, such as violations of Texas drug laws, they can also apply to a judge for a warrant. But once you give […]

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Galveston Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Evading Arrest

April 2nd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

When a police officer stops you–or attempts to stop you–for suspicion of a crime, the absolute worst thing you do is flee. The reason for this is simple. Even if you did nothing wrong in the first place, the mere fact you fled is considered evading arrest, which is a criminal offense under Texas law. […]

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How Long Could I Go to Jail for Misdemeanor Check Forgery?

April 1st, 2020 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

White collar crimes like forgery are often prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses, which carry one year or less of jail time. But if a defendant has a prior criminal record, the prosecution may seek to “enhance” the misdemeanor charge into a felony. This means that even a fairly simple crime like check forging may land a […]

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Houston Appeals Court Rules 4-Year-Old Incapable of Committing “Prostitution”

March 31st, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Compelling prostitution–i.e., pimping–is one of the most serious sex crimes a person can be charged with, in Texas. Under the state’s Penal Code, compelling prostitution is a first-degree felony. In simple terms, pimping can send you to prison for the rest of your life. There are actually two separate definitions of compelling prostitution under Section […]

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Understanding the Right to “Confront” the Evidence Against You in a Misdemeanor Case

March 30th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

In a trial involving misdemeanor crimes, the defendant has the same constitutional rights as in felony cases. This includes, among other things, the right to “confront” and cross-examine the witnesses against them in court. But the right of confrontation is subject to certain procedural limits. Houston Appeals Court: Business Records Not “Testimonial” A recent decision […]

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Can the Police Detain Me on Suspicion of DWI Based on an Anonymous Tip?

March 19th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drunk Driving, DWI

Misdemeanor DWI arrests in Texas often begin with a traffic stop. A police officer must first have “reasonable suspicion” that a traffic violation has occurred to initiate such a stop. This is a lower standard than either the “probable cause” required for arrest or the “beyond a reasonable doubt” necessary for a criminal conviction. Put […]

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