Do Prosecutors Have to Disclose the Identity of Confidential Informant in Drug Cases?

September 3rd, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Texas law enforcement often relies on “confidential informants” to assist them in making drug arrests. By law, the prosecution may continue to keep the identity of these informants secret from the defendant during trial, unless the judge determines there is a “reasonable probability” that the informant can offer testimony “necessary to a fair determination of […]

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Failing to Report Property Damage in a Car Accident Can Lead to Jail Time

August 10th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

When you are involved in a minor traffic accident with another car, you should always get out and exchange information with the other driver. The same applies if you are involved in an accident that damages a fixture or structure while driving–you should always notify the property owner there has been an accident. Indeed, failure […]

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I Just Received a Traffic Ticket? What Do I Need to Know About My Legal Rights?

April 10th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

For many Houston-area residents, dealing with a traffic ticket is usually their first interaction with the local court system. Many people in this situation do not fully understand their rights and obligations under the law. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of what happens after a police officer issues you a traffic […]

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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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Can I Be Ticketed for a Traffic Violation as a Pedestrian?

February 10th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

Not all traffic violations involve actions you make while driving a vehicle. Even if you are simply walking down a public street, an officer may stop and ticket you for violating certain traffic laws applicable to pedestrians. And if in the course of this “pedestrian stop,” an officer suspects you may be guilty of some […]

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Court of Criminal Appeals Rejects Vagueness Challenge to Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct Law

June 19th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

One of the bedrock principles of criminal law is that a person has the right to notice of the charged offense. This applies to simple misdemeanor crimes as well as felonies. After all, how can you properly defend yourself in court if you do not know what you are accused of doing? Is There a […]

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What the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Civil Forfeiture Means for Texas Criminal Defendants

March 1st, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

We all learned in school that everyone is “innocent until proven guilty” and that no person can be punished without “due process of law.” But the reality of the Texas criminal justice system is not always that simple. In many cases, law enforcement can seize the property of individuals who are merely suspected of a […]

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What Happens If You Drive a Car Without Proof of Insurance in Texas?

February 11th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

When stopped by a police officer on suspicion of a traffic violation, a driver is typically asked to produce “proof of financial responsibility,” i.e. that their car is properly insured. Under Texas law, operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance is itself a violation. Fortunately we are not talking about a felony here. The […]

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Can a Texas City Restrict Where a Convicted Sex Offender May Live?

August 24th, 2018 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

One of the well-known consequences of a sex crimes conviction in Texas is being forced to register as a sex offender. The Texas Public Sex Offender Registry (SOR) applies to both adults and juveniles convicted of certain crimes. A qualified offender must register with the local law enforcement agency of the city or county where […]

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How Far Can Houston Sex Crimes Prosecutors Go in Referencing My Past Criminal Record?

July 24th, 2018 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

A common prosecution tactic in sex crimes cases is to introduce evidence of the defendant’s “bad character,” such as a prior criminal conviction. Not all such evidence is admissible under Texas law. A judge has the discretion to exclude any character evidence that has no bearing on the current charges, or which might simply serve […]

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