Houston Judge Reverses Jury, Orders Acquittal in Adoption Mail-Fraud Case

June 29th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in White Collar

White collar crimes such as fraud often involve alleged conduct that takes place over an extended period of time. In attempting to prove a criminal charge, however, prosecutors need to show the defendant not only devised the scheme to defraud but also acted with specific intent to defraud. And as with any criminal case, the […]

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Why Jury Bias Matters When It Comes to Sex Crimes Cases

June 24th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

The right to a jury trial is fundamental to our criminal justice system. Having an impartial, unbiased jury is especially crucial in cases involving alleged sex crimes and sex offenses. By their very nature, these charges are deeply emotional and understandably provoke a sympathetic reaction in favor of the accusers. As a result, judges must […]

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Travis County Defendant Convicted of Theft After Allegedly Pawning Rented Music Equipment

June 23rd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

When you hear the word “theft,” your first thought might be of shoplifting or, say, snatching an individual’s purse. But the misdemeanor offense of theft is broadly defined in Texas to cover any unlawful “appropriation” of property without the owner’s consent. This includes situations where the owner initially gave the property to the alleged thief. […]

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Is Drag Racing Actually a Crime in Texas?

June 10th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

Drag racing is a popular sport in Texas. But it is important to distinguish the legal, organized sport of drag racing–i.e., events held at tracks and sanctioned by governing bodies–from individuals conducting their own late-night races on public highways. The latter is a misdemeanor traffic violation that can quickly escalate to a felony if someone […]

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Drug Defendants Face Uphill Battle in Seeking COVID-19 “Compassionate Release”

June 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every part of American society. But prisons are especially vulnerable to outbreaks. Thousands of inmates and prison staff have already tested positive for the virus, and dozens have died as a result of their exposure. In response to this crisis at the federal level, Congress included provisions in the CARES […]

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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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Former Texas Mayor, Spouse Receive New Trial on Federal Fraud and Bribery Charges

May 29th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

When charged with a white collar crime, whether at the federal or state level, you have a constitutional right to a jury trial. The jury itself must be impartial and only consider the evidence lawfully introduced at trial. If there is any improper outside influence on the jury, that may be grounds for a mistrial […]

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Houston Court: Judge Did Not Err in Allowing Sexual Assault Defendant to Act as His Own Attorney

May 27th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Sex crimes prosecutions are some of the more complex cases handled by the Texas judicial system. They often involve scientific evidence and multiple witnesses. It is therefore critical that the defendant has experienced representation from a criminal defense attorney who understands the rules of evidence and other aspects of the process. It should go without […]

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What Is the Line Separating “Honest Mistake” from Misdemeanor Theft?

May 26th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

In its simplest form, misdemeanor theft involves taking someone else’s property without their consent. If you took the property by mistake, you can argue that as a defense at trial. But you will still need to prove that mistake was based on a “reasonable belief” you had the right to take the property in the […]

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Does an Illegible Signature On a Warrant Invalidate the Results of a DWI Blood Test?

May 14th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

If a police officer suspects you of drunk driving, they can ask you for consent to perform a blood test. Should you refuse–as is your constitutional right–the officer must then obtain a search warrant before proceeding any further. Texas law requires the warrant to be signed by a magistrate “in clearly legible handwriting or in […]

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