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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

How Throwing a Beer Can at Your Partner Can Land You in Jail for 25 Years

March 16th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

A conviction on domestic violence charges can land you in prison for a very long time. Defendants often face an uphill battle in these cases due to the emotionally charged nature of domestic (or family) violence allegations. This is why it is essential to make sure police and prosecutors follow the law when it comes […]

Read More →

How That “Junked Vehicle” on Your Front Lawn Can Lead to Misdemeanor Charges

March 12th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

Traffic violations normally involve vehicles that are actually traveling on public highways. But the Texas Transportation Code also regulates the use of non-operating or “junked” vehicles. Section 638.071 of the Code defines a junked vehicle as one that is either “wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded,” or that has been inoperable for more than […]

Read More →

Court of Criminal Appeals Throws Out “Non-Existent” Drug Conspiracy Conviction

March 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

There are scenarios where prosecutors elect to treat drug offenses, such as possession with intent to deliver, as part of a larger criminal conspiracy. The Texas Penal Code expressly authorizes prosecutions for “engaging in organized criminal activity,”, which carries potentially harsher jail terms for defendants if convicted. But the mere fact that a person is […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Houston Man Convicted of Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns on Behalf of Foreign Oil & Gas Workers

February 27th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

Tax crimes are among the most commonly prosecuted forms of white collar crimes in Texas. Indeed, one of the easiest ways to find yourself in the crosshairs of the IRS or the U.S. Attorney’s office is to file a fraudulent tax return–or even worse, to file multiple such returns on behalf of other people. This […]

Read More →

The Role of “Outcry Witnesses” in Texas Sex Crimes Prosecutions

February 21st, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Hearsay statements are generally not admissible in criminal trials. Hearsay refers to any out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. For example, if a prosecutor wanted to prove that John committed murder, she could not have Luke testify that “Mark told me that John committed the murder.” Luke’s statement would be […]

Read More →