How an Apparent “Wide Right” Turn Can Lead to More Serious Legal Problems in Texas

January 13th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

Traffic violations often lead to the pursuit of other criminal charges, such as DWI or possession of illegal drugs. That is why it is critical to challenge any potential problems with the traffic stop itself. If the traffic stop is illegal, that can affect the admissibility of any evidence found of other potential criminal activity. […]

Read More →

Can Police Seize Drugs From Me If They Are in “Plain View”?

January 9th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution normally requires police to obtain a warrant before searching you or your property for potential contraband, such as illegal drugs. But there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, if a police officer observes drugs in “plain view,” the officer can seize that evidence without a warrant. […]

Read More →

What Is a Prosecutor’s Obligation to Disclose Evidence to the Defense in a Criminal Trial?

January 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

There is a basic rule in criminal defense law that a defendant cannot advance a legal theory on appeal if they did not raise the same argument during the trial. The reason for this is simple: An appeals court is there to review possible legal errors made by the trial judge, not retry the entire […]

Read More →

Federal Court Upholds Houston Doctor’s Sentence in Healthcare Fraud Conspiracy

December 23rd, 2019 by Tad Nelson in White Collar, White Collar Crime

White collar crimes such as fraud often involve multiple defendants accused of participating in a conspiracy. While prosecutors must prove that each defendant had “knowledge” of the conspiracy, that does not necessarily require proof of direct knowledge. In fact, the prosecution may prove its case by showing a defendant acted with “deliberate ignorance.” Put another […]

Read More →

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, […]

Read More →

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanor Crimes in Texas?

December 18th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

In most criminal cases there is a strict time limit that must be followed by prosecutors. This is known as a “statute of limitations.” It is legislation that specifies the maximum length of time that may pass between the commission of an alleged crime and the bringing of formal charges against the defendant. For misdemeanor […]

Read More →

Do I Have to Go to Jail If I’m Convicted of a DWI in Texas?

December 12th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in DWI

In Texas, a first-time drunk driving offense is typically prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Normally, a Class B misdemeanor refers to a crime that is punishable by either a fine of no more than $2,000, a jail term of not more than 180 days, or both. […]

Read More →

What “Court Costs” Can a Judge Assess If I Am Convicted of a Crime?

December 4th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

You may not realize this, but the penalties for a criminal conviction in Texas are often not limited to jail time or probation. In many cases, the judge can assess “court costs” against a guilty defendant. These costs are supposed to help the state recoup some of the costs of its successful prosecution. But in […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Is Burning Your Trash a Misdemeanor Offense in Texas?

November 18th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

As a general rule, you are not supposed to conduct any sort of “outdoor burning” in Texas. There are limited exceptions. For instance, if a local government does not provide trash collection services, residents may burn household trash and rubbish on their own property. But even where this exception may apply, individuals need to be […]

Read More →