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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Corpus Delicti – No Body, No Crime?

Watching crime movies or t.v. shows might give you the impression that without a body there can be no conviction for murder. Whitey Bulger, the biggest thug in Boston for years liked to say, “No body, no crime.” This is not always true. Popular fiction implies that the Latin term corpus delicti means that the […]

Automobile as Deadly Weapon in DWI Case

Prosecutors like to threaten defendants charged with DWI with the hammer of an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon. This is easy to do in a case involving death or serious injury, since by definition, the car was capable of causing serious bodily injury or death. Prosecutors will also seek a deadly weapon finding […]

Now certified in criminal law by Texas Bd. Legal Specialization

I received confirmation today from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization that I am now Board Certified in Criminal Law. This is in addition to my certifications in Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law. There are only 7,000 lawyers in Texas (out of what seems like a million lawyers) certified in any area. […]

What is the insanity defense?

Section 8.01 of the Texas Penal Code provides for the affirmative defense of insanity: It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that, at the time of the conduct changed, the actor, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, did not know that his conduct was wrong. There are some crimes so horrific most […]

Entrapment and Drug Free Zones, Measure as the Crow Flies

Prosecutors and police love to charge defendants with selling drugs in drug free zones. As an article on the Texas prosecutors’ website says, “One tool assists prosecutors in their quest for a meaningful prison term for drug offenders: an affirmative finding that the offense was committed in a drug-free zone (DFZ). The DFZ finding can, […]

Should I Take a Polygraph (Lie Detector) Test?

If you are under investigation for a sex crime in Texas, you might be asked to take a polygraph test(a.k.a. “lie detector test”). The request might come from a police detective, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or Child Protective Services (CPS). While it is natural to want to clear your name […]


I get at least 10 of your scam emails a day, claiming you have a divorce settlement action, or a collection action ‘in your jurisdiction.’ I’m fed up, and fighting back. I will respond, and have you waste your time and money going to post offices, paying postage and fed-x fees, and wasting time with […]

Proper Dress and Etiquette for Court

I am constantly amazed at how some people dress when they go to court. Defendants charged with drug offenses show up in baggy t-shirts with pictures of Bob Marley smoking a joint. Some look like they got dressed to stand on a street corner selling cocaine, in football jerseys and baggy shorts and sporting gold […]

Texas Department Public Safety Lab Scandal – Cases Thrown Out

Nearly 5,000 cases “may all be jeopardized” by DPS lab worker misconduct Gritsforbreakfast (the best blog on Texas criminal law) reports that potentially all of the 4,944 cases worked by a since-discredited DPS crime lab worker may be thrown out, and this morning an appellate case summary posted at the prosecutors’ association agreed that those […]

No Evidentiary Privilege for AA Fifth Step Confessions

They say that confession is good for the soul. The 12 step programs enshrine this idea in the Fifth Step, where the recovering alcoholic or addict “admits to God, ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” What if the penitent has committed a crime? Take, for example, Michael Skakel, a […]