Is Eyewitness Testimony Enough to Prove There Was a Gun?

July 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

The presence of a weapon during the commission of a crime can make a significant difference in how prosecutors charge a suspect. For example, Texas law defines “robbery” as theft that involves “intentionally or knowingly” putting the victim “in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.” This does not have to involve a deadly weapon […]

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Can a Judge Prevent a Member of Family from Attending My Criminal Trial?

June 3rd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution affords anyone charged with a crime the right to a “speedy and public trial.” We often take the “public” aspect of a trial for granted. After all, court proceedings are generally open to the public. But there are exceptions to this rule. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court […]

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Is Misusing a Company Credit Card Actually a Crime?

May 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

“Theft” is the criminal offense of appropriating property without the owner’s consent. Not all theft involves violence, mind you. Simply taking money that belongs to someone else qualifies as theft. Indeed, there are cases in Texas where individuals are charged, tried, and convicted of committing theft against their own employers based on the misuse of […]

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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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Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for “Preserving” Objection in Criminal Appeals

March 3rd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

If you are on trial for a criminal offense, the judge may make a number of decisions that you disagree with. Some of these decisions may seriously affect the outcome of the trial itself. As the defendant, you (or more commonly, your attorney) must object or otherwise bring a possible error to the judge’s attention […]

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When Are DWI Penalties “Enhanced” Under Texas Law?

February 14th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense, DWI

In a Texas DWI case, prosecutors may seek an “enhanced” sentence against a defendant under certain circumstances. For example, if the defendant has a prior criminal conviction, that could lead to additional jail time if they are subsequently convicted of drunk driving. But such an enhancement is only justified when there is evidence presented related […]

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Does Admitting to a Possible Crime at a Probation Hearing Prevent Me from Arguing Self-Defense at Trial?

February 4th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Any criminal charge is a serious matter. But if you are already on probation–or community supervision, as it is known in Texas–for another offense, you are now facing a possible two-front battle. On the one hand, prosecutors can use the new charge as grounds to revoke your probation. On the other hand, you now face […]

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What Is a Prosecutor’s Obligation to Disclose Evidence to the Defense in a Criminal Trial?

January 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

There is a basic rule in criminal defense law that a defendant cannot advance a legal theory on appeal if they did not raise the same argument during the trial. The reason for this is simple: An appeals court is there to review possible legal errors made by the trial judge, not retry the entire […]

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What “Court Costs” Can a Judge Assess If I Am Convicted of a Crime?

December 4th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

You may not realize this, but the penalties for a criminal conviction in Texas are often not limited to jail time or probation. In many cases, the judge can assess “court costs” against a guilty defendant. These costs are supposed to help the state recoup some of the costs of its successful prosecution. But in […]

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What Is the Penalty for “Resisting Arrest” in Texas?

November 5th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

When a police officer detains you, it is important to remember that you have certain constitutional rights. For instance, you do not have to answer the officer’s questions or give your consent to a search of your vehicle. But it is critical to understand that under no circumstances should you physically resist or obstruct an […]

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