Is an Accuser’s Testimony Enough to Send a Person Charged with a Sex Crime to Prison for Life?

July 27th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Sex crimes involving child victims often draw the harshest penalties under Texas law. For example, the offense of continuous sexual abuse of young child or children is a first-degree felony. This means that if convicted, a defendant faces a potential life sentence–or at a minimum, at least 25 years in prison. Houston Court Upholds 50-Year […]

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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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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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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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What Is the “Rape Shield” Law in Texas?

January 27th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

In a criminal trial, the defendant has the right to introduce evidence that may serve to undermine the state’s case against them. This right is not unlimited, as there are a number of restrictions on the types of evidence that may be admissible at trial. One such restriction that specifically applies to defendants facing sex […]

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Understanding the Prosecution’s Duty to “Elect” in Sex Crimes Cases

December 20th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

When a person is charged with a sex crime, they have the right to understand the exact charge against them. But there are situations where prosecutors may allege one criminal sexual act in an indictment but present evidence of multiple acts at trial. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has said that in this situation, […]

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What Is “Grooming” Testimony, and How Does It Affect Sex Crimes Cases?

November 21st, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

In sex crimes cases, prosecutors often seek to introduce evidence of “grooming.” In broad terms, grooming refers to actions that sexual abusers take to gain the trust of their victims. And while grooming is not generally considered a complex topic, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has said prosecutors may rely on testimony from expert […]

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Is a Sex Crimes Confession Invalid If the Defendant Was Drinking or Using Drugs at the Time?

October 29th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Houston-area law enforcement take sex crimes cases extremely seriously. Police and prosecutors have every incentive to secure a conviction for anyone accused of sexual assault, particularly when the victim is a child. With that in mind, if the police suspect you are the guilty party, you need to be mindful of your constitutional right to […]

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When Can You Withdraw a Guilty Plea in Texas?

October 2nd, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense, Sex Crime

In many criminal cases, the defendant chooses to plead guilty to the alleged offense. But a defendant also has a constitutionally protected right to withdraw a guilty plea and seek a jury trial, provided they do so “in a timely manner.” So what is considered “timely”? According to a 2004 decision from the Texas Court […]

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