criminal defense

Use of Juvenile Priors

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is whether a particular juvenile prior adjudication can be used to enhance a new adult criminal charge and bar probation eligibility. Under Penal Code §12.42, felony offenses can result in enhanced punishments for those previously convicted of felony offenses. When looking at a prior juvenile adjudication, certain […]

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DNA Errors: Big Deal or Not?

Have you seen the news? The FBI has announced errors in its database which is used across the nation and in Texas. In two prior blog posts (on separate sites), I addressed this issue. August 7, Just How Accurate is DNA?, HCCLA.org (with memo downloads) September 18, FBI DNA Calculation Errors, HCCLAtv.com Today, Fox 26 News

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Why One Lawyer Shouldn’t Represent Co-Defendants

Conflict Question Often Asked: Can I represent co-defendants? The short answer: maybe you can, but generally you should not. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct address this and other issues attorneys face. Rule 1.06: A lawyer shall not represent opposing parties and a lawyer shall not represent a person if the representation of that person

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Sept 1, Day of New Laws

This September 1, the criminal justice system finds itself amidst change. Below are some of the highlights of our new legislation. Theft Through House Bill 1396, Texas passed legislation that changes the “value ladder” for many property crimes. Property crimes such as theft, mischief, graffiti, frauds and other various offenses use the “value” of the

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Why Would You Plead Guilty to a Crime You Didn’t Commit?

Sadly, many people do. Samuel Gross, a law professor at the University of Michigan and editor of the National Register of Exonerations writes: In the past year, 45 defendants were exonerated after pleading guilty to low-level drug crimes in Harris County, Tex. They were cleared months or years after conviction by lab tests that found

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Should your lawyer turn you over to the government?

Lawyers advise clients. Lawyers speak for clients. Lawyers do not give up their clients. Defense lawyers do not help the government. Criminal defense lawyer Norm Pattis hits the nail on the head and started me thinking about the duty a lawyer owes to his client. Norm tells the story of a client who is wanted

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