PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

The County Commissioners Court and the District Attorney’s Office want to change the way indigent defendants are represented in Travis County. See, Travis County Weighs a Defender’s Office, Austin American Statesman, October 17, 2018. This new approach is based on a Report entitled Review of Drug Possession Case Dispositions 2016-2017 and Recidivism Analysis 2014-2015. One… Read more

SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME – Sometimes the Doctors Get it Wrong

Austin Criminal Defense lawyer

Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abusive Head Trauma is a severe condition that can cause death or serious bodily injury in very young children. The condition causes blood to flow under the skull and creates bruising, swelling and bleeding. We handled a case for a client who was accused of harming a child in her care… Read more

McCoy v. Louisiana – Following Your Client’s Instructions

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

On January 16, I wrote about McCoy v. Louisiana a case where defense counsel argued that his client was “crazy”. This was a triple homicide where the evidence for guilt was overwhelming. The defendant, Robert McCoy, nonetheless maintained his innocence and instructed his lawyer not to concede guilt. Convinced of his client’s guilt and perhaps… Read more

Franks v. Delaware – Material Omissions v. Misstatements?

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Franks v. Delaware – Material Omissions v. Misstatements? In Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), the Supreme Court held that a defendant may challenge the validity of a search warrant affidavit and is entitled to an evidentiary hearing if the veracity challenge is supported by a specific offer of proof.  The challenge must allege… Read more

Inconsistent Reasoning from the Court of Appeals

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals told the defendant he was wrong for requesting a jury instruction that could have helped him. Blithely ignoring its own reasoning, the Court provided a separate jury instruction, that could only have helped the State. There appears to be little even-handedness in this opinion and it telegraphs a dangerous message… Read more

Not Guilty: DWI Blood Test More Than 0.15

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

TRIAL REPORT – DWI Blood Test More Than 0.15 Court:  Travis County Court at Law Number 6 Judge Brandy Mueller Offense:  DWI First with BAC greater than 0.15 g/dl Offense Level:  Class A Prior Convictions Admitted? None Did Defendant Testify? Yes Offer prior to trial:  1 Day Travis County Jail + $1,000 fine + Court… Read more

Cross-Racial Eyewitness Identification

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Despite the numbers of reported media accounts of Eye Witness Identification leading to false convictions, misidentification is not a defense set out in the Texas Penal Code and Texas law does not authorize a trial court to give a Cross-Racial Eyewitness Identification Instruction to the Jury. Courts are concerned that a written instruction to the… Read more

Presentation on Scaled Questions

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Scaled Questions are an excellent way to remove biased jurors from the panel. A scaled question asks jurors to respond to a statement and rank how strongly each juror agrees or disagrees with the statement. I like to use a scale of 1 to 8 with “1” being strongly disagree and “8” being strongly agree…. Read more

Boating While Intoxicated Dismissed

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Client was having a peaceful afternoon on the lake with friends.  It was beautiful.  The boat was safely moored and everyone was having a good time.  After a few hours, Game Wardens with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department came by to conduct a water safety inspection.  They came up along the port side and… Read more