How do you know that?

October 7, 2011

Thanks to a tip from burglars, a central California man has been arrested for possession of child pornography.  Two burglars broke into Kraig Stockard’s barn in Merced County and stole 50 CDs they thought were blank.  After placing the CDs in a computer the burglars discovered some of them contained images of child pornography. Even [...]

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Would Have Been Flipped on Appeal

July 22, 2011

Even though I am a Texas criminal appeals lawyer, I have more than a passing interest in the Casey Anthony trial in Florida. Now that she has been acquitted on the most serious charges against her, it has been revealed the State of Florida relied on false evidence in an effort to secure her conviction [...]

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A Criminal in General

February 18, 2011

This morning on the radio I heard a commentator refer to a suspect as “a criminal in general.”  It is true that criminal conduct frequently does not occur in isolation.  Conduct is sometimes part of or connected to a series of crimes.  It is important to remember defendants at trial are not charged and convicted [...]

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Is That a Real Knife?

February 4, 2011

A Texas criminal appeals lawyer will tell you that prosecutors often allege the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon during the offense for three reasons.  Those reasons concern the available range of punishment, parole eligibility, and eligibility for community supervision.  A lawyer with an emphasis on criminal appeals will be able to determine whether [...]

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I’ll Be Watching You

January 27, 2011

An article in the Austin American Statesman this week indicated the Austin Police Department will soon provide patrol officers head mounted cameras.  The camera is capable of recording everything the officer sees while performing policing duties. Everybody Is Watching Surveillance cameras at airports, subways, banks and other public venues are not the only devices tracking [...]

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Challenging a Guilty Plea

January 6, 2011

What can a criminal appeals lawyer do to help you if you pled guilty to the accusation against you?  As with most questions of law, the answer depends on the facts.  A Texas criminal appeals lawyer can help you determine if you have legitimate grounds to challenge your guilty plea. Constitutional Requirements In order to [...]

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What Would You Do? Excluding Dog Tracking Evidence.

November 19, 2010

Okay, let’s assume there was an armed robbery of a convenience store.  The clerk is unable to identify the robber because she never got a good look at him but she is able to describe his clothing and she identifies a shotgun as the weapon used.  The robber fled the scene after the crime, and [...]

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Dog Tracking Evidence: Can That Dog Testify?

November 18, 2010

Scientific Testimony: Abuse of Discretion Standard Have you ever had a client located by a tracking dog?  If so, the admissibility of the evidence may be suspect.  A trial court’s decision to admit or exclude scientific testimony is subject to review under the abuse of discretion standard. Sexton v. State, 93 S.W.3d 96, 99 (Tex. [...]

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Review of Erroneous Admission of Expert Testimony

November 17, 2010

Here’s a quick blurb on the proper standard to be used by a Texas criminal appeals court’s analysis of whether the trial court erred in admitting expert testimony: Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 44.2(b) In accordance with Tex. R. App. 44.2(b), this Court’s analysis of the harm associated with the erroneous admission of expert testimony [...]

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Was The Witness An Accomplice? Maybe Not.

November 16, 2010

A criminal defendant cannot be convicted for a crime solely based on the testimony of an alleged accomplice.  Consider the following: A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice unless corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the offense committed; and the corroboration is not sufficient if it merely [...]

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