When Police Officers Knock on Your Door, What Should You Do?

July 7th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Two police officers knock on your door. When you answer, you notice the officers are wearing bulletproof vests and have their hands on their weapons. They say they just want to “talk” with you. You step outside. The officers remove their hands from their guns. The officer then says they received a report of marijuana […]

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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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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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The “Community Caretaking” Exception and Drunk Driving Cases

June 15th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

Normally, a police officer requires “probable cause” to initiate a traffic stop or investigate a person suspected of DWI. But an officer may also engage in what is known as a “community caretaking” function. Basically, if the officer believes someone needs help, the officer can stop and offer assistance. And if the officer then happens […]

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What Happens If I Do Not Attend “Anger Management” Classes Following a Domestic Violence Conviction?

June 12th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Criminal domestic violence charges do not automatically mean jail time. In many cases, particularly with first-time offenders, a judge will sentence a defendant to probation. But probation–or community supervision, as it is known in Texas–carries with it a number of conditions. And if you do not strictly follow all of these conditions, you risk ending […]

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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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