What Is Considered a “Deadly Weapon” in Texas?

February 9th, 2018 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Violent crimes are treated significantly more harshly in Texas when they involve a “deadly weapon.” This does not just refer to items, such as firearms, that are designed to be used as weapons. Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code defines as a deadly weapon as “anything that in the manner of its use or […]

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Who Is Allowed to Present Evidence to a Texas Grand Jury?

September 26th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

A grand jury proceeding is often the first stage in prosecuting a defendant suspected of white collar crimes like securities fraud or money laundering. In Texas, 12-member grand juries review evidence presented by district attorneys before deciding whether to issue an indictment–a formal accusation against the defendant. Under state law, an indictment may be set […]

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Are “Citizen’s Arrests” Permissible in Misdemeanor Cases?

September 7th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

Misdemeanor offenses like theft or a first-time DWI may not carry the same potential for lengthy prison sentences as felonies in Texas. But any kind of criminal conviction will have a negative impact on your life. For instance, aside from the criminal record itself, a DWI conviction can lead to the loss of your driving […]

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What Are My Rights Before a Texas Grand Jury?

July 31st, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

You have probably heard of a “grand jury” without understanding its exact function. Unlike a trial (or “petit”) jury, a grand jury is not there to determine a person’s guilt or innocence. Rather, the grand jury interviews witnesses and reviews evidence to decide if there is “probable cause” to formally charge–indict–a defendant with a particular […]

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Can Evidence of Prior Bad Acts Convict Me of Rape in Texas?

July 27th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Sexual assault and rape are perhaps the most serious crimes in Texas short of murder. Texas classifies many types of sexual assault as a first-degree felony, meaning a conviction carries the potential for a life prison sentence. And given the public outrage that typically accompanies rape cases–especially when the alleged victims are children–prosecutors will stop […]

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Who Qualifies as a Victim Under Texas Domestic Violence Laws?

July 12th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Texas treats crimes involving domestic violence more harshly than similar acts against other types of victims. For example, under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, an assault that causes bodily injury is normally prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor. But if the victim is a member of the victim’s family or household–or the defendant […]

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