The Use of Expert Testimony in Texas Misdemeanor Cases

August 21st, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

Although misdemeanor crimes carry less severe punishments than felonies, Texas prosecutors still take these “lesser” cases seriously. Indeed, it is not uncommon for misdemeanor cases to involve the use of expert witnesses. Such witnesses are used to provide a jury with information and analysis that is outside the purview of a typical “lay” witness. But […]

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What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Domestic Violence by Strangulation in Texas?

May 12th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Domestic violence allegations can quickly lead to felony charges depending on the circumstances. Under Texas law, it is a second-degree felony when a person previously convicted of domestic violence is later charged with “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of” a family member “by applying pressure to the […]

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Texas Woman Sentenced to 150 Days in Jail for Driving with “Altered” Vehicle Registration Sticker

May 8th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

If you have ever been pulled over for a traffic violation, you know the first thing a police officer will ask you to do is provide your “license and registration.” With respect to the latter, it is important to make sure your vehicle’s registration is always kept current. And of course, you should never display […]

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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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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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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 […]

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How You May Face Drug Charges Even if the Drugs Do Not Belong to You

February 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

When it comes to drug crimes, law enforcement need not actually find illegal contraband on your person. If the police execute a valid search warrant for your property and locate illegal drugs, particularly in “plain view,” you can still be arrested, tried, and convicted of drug possession. What matters here is not what is found […]

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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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