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Category Archive
Criminal Law
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Using Police Body Cam Footage in DWI Defense

Over the past decade, the nationwide push for law enforcement transparency has led police departments, including many in Texas, to adopt body camera technology to record the actions of officers in the field. Video evidence can be extremely valuable to defense counsel in analyzing the propriety of police conduct during investigations and arrests. This is Read More

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Defending Against Charges of Sexual Misconduct on Campus

Title IX of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex. Discrimination can take multiple forms, including sexual misconduct, which is also a potential crime. When an educator or a student is charged with sexual misconduct, they may face not only on-campus disciplinary proceedings but also criminal prosecution Read More

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Prosecutors Must Now Disclose All Relevant Evidence to Defense Counsel

A Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling makes it clear that prosecutors must disclose to defense counsel nearly all evidence in their possession — a potential landmark decision that could greatly enhance fairness in the state’s criminal justice system. The ruling, in Hopkins v. State, comes eight years after Texas last overhauled its criminal discovery Read More

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Texas GOP Legislators Pushing for Bail System Based on Severity of Crimes

Harris County implemented major bail reforms after federal courts held unconstitutional the common practice of requiring preset cash bail amounts without accounting for a defendant’s personal circumstances. However, Republican lawmakers are now trying to counter these reforms, pushing for legislation that would link bail determinations to the severity of the alleged crimes. As a result Read More

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Current Legislative Efforts Would Walk Back Texas Bail Reforms

Despite the documented success of misdemeanor bail reforms that have been implemented in Harris County, Texas legislators and the state’s governor are pushing for measures that would make it harder for many defendants to secure release pending trial. Governor Greg Abbott has declared the need for bail practice changes an emergency item for this legislative Read More

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When is a Defendant Entitled to Bail Pending Appeal of a Conviction?

Under Texas law, most people who have been convicted of a crime carrying a prison sentence are entitled to be released on reasonable bail pending the determination of an appeal. However, there are notable exceptions, based on the seriousness of the crime and other factors. In general, post-conviction bail works much the same as pretrial Read More

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Harris County to Report on Crimes by Defendants Released on Bail

The Harris County Commissioners Court has voted to allow the Justice Administration Department (JAD) to share non-confidential information about defendants released on bail. The JAD will report on the number of defendants since January 2018 charged with a subsequent felony or misdemeanor offense while out on any type of pretrial release. This information will be Read More

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Public Research Group Studies Effect of Assistance of Counsel at Bail Hearings

Researchers have made Potter County, Texas one of the first court systems in the United States to actively test the effect of the presence of defense counsel at bail hearings. The Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) at Texas A&M University is conducting a year-long study at the Potter County Detention Center, testing whether defendants charged Read More

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Lawsuit Challenging Harris County Felony Bail System Can Proceed to Trial

A federal judge has decided that a lawsuit challenging the Harris County felony bail system should continue to trial. The federal class action was brought by the same legal team that successfully challenged the county’s misdemeanor bail practices last year, resulting in a settlement that allows most defendants facing misdemeanor charges to be released without Read More

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Bail Reforms in Harris County Did Not Lead to Increase in Reoffenders

A year after a federal judge approved a plan to reform the Harris County bail system, allowing most misdemeanor defendants to be released on their own recognizance, an independent report concludes there has been no corresponding increase in repeat offenses. The former system required defendants, even those charged with low-level, non-violent offenses, to secure their Read More

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We are here to help and support you through these generally challenging times with your specific legal issues. You will be able to reach me or my staff through our main telephone numbers, and of course by email: [email protected] Phone conferences for existing and potential clients are available, as is the video conference feature through the Zoom app. Zoom may present some privacy challenges so phone conferences are preferred. Please take care of your health by following the measures recommended by the CDC, and by state and local authorities.
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