What Is Considered “Entrapment” When It Comes to a Drug Crime?

August 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Police officers often rely on undercover work and confidential informants to help gather evidence of potential drug crimes. In some cases, however, these actions may cross the line from a legitimate investigation into what is known as “entrapment.” As defined by the Texas Penal Code, entrapment refers to a situation where a defendant engaged in […]

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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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Appeals Court Refuses to Reverse DWI Conviction of Austin Man Who “Unequivocally” Decided to Represent Himself

July 17th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

A DWI charge is not a parking ticket. It is not something that you should try to contest yourself without the assistance of experienced counsel. While you do have a constitutional right to represent yourself in any criminal matter, that does not make it a good idea, especially since the potential penalties can be quite […]

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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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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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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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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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