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Author Archives: Richard L. Ellison

Can You Go to Jail for a Traffic Ticket?

Penalties for ticketed traffic violations in Texas range from fines to license suspensions and revocations, but not incarceration. Nevertheless, you could still find yourself in jail for committing such offenses. Under to the Texas Transportation Code, “Any peace officer may arrest without warrant a person found committing a violation of this subtitle.” This means that… Read More »

Can You Go to Jail for Driving with a Suspended License?

Jail is a potential consequence for driving with a suspended license. Under the Texas Transportation Code, in order to operate a motor vehicle, a person must possess a valid driver’s license. Licenses can be suspended or revoked for several reasons and for different lengths of time. Despite the inconvenience and hardship a suspension or revocation… Read More »

Can You Go to Jail for Driving Without a License?

Driving without a license could mean having no valid license or just not having it in your possession. The difference between the two could be jail or no jail. Texas law requires that you be licensed to drive and also be able to display your license at the request of a law enforcement officer. If… Read More »

Can You Go to Jail for Driving Without Insurance?

Texas, like most states, mandates that all motor vehicle operators be covered by third-party liability insurance. The minimum coverage levels are $25,000 for property damage and $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for personal injury. Failure to carry adequate insurance is punishable by steep monetary penalties but not by jail — unless there are… Read More »

Can You Go to Jail for Speeding?

Speeding in Texas is a traffic violation that can result in a monetary fine, license suspension, license revocation and even license cancellation – but not incarceration. Nevertheless, you could still find yourself in jail as a result of committing the offense. How can that be? Under the Texas Transportation Code, a police officer who stops… Read More »

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… Read More »

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… Read More »

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…. Read More »

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… Read More »

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,… Read More »