Monthly archive

February 2020

January/February 2020 SDR – Voice for the Defense Vol. 49, No. 1

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Voice for the Defense Volume 49, No. 1 Edition Editor: Michael Mowla From Editor Michael Mowla: Please do not rely solely on the summaries set forth below. The reader is advised to read the full text of each opinion in addition to the brief synopses provided. TCDLA thanks the Court of Criminal Appeals for graciously

Protecting Your Client’s Conduct While Admitting the Accuser’s: Texas Rules of Evidence 403, 404, 412, and 609

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In sexual offense cases—particularly those involving an alleged crime against a child—the defense is almost always playing on an uneven field. Special rules of admissibility of evidence favor the prosecution. At trial, the defense often faces a critical challenge of trying to keep out evidence of a client’s extraneous conduct. In some cases, the defense

A Practical Guide for Reviewing Evidence in DWI/DUI Cases

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When evaluating drug testing evidence in any case, there are two important questions for the judge and jury to address. The first question is, “Was the drug test does correctly? Is it valid?” The second question is, “Is the drug test relevant?” In the State of Texas, DUID laws require that a per se opinion

Back to Basics: Attack SFSTs, Not the Officer

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In the heat of trial, all trial attorneys fight vigorously for their DWI clients. In that fight, it’s understandable that you want to destroy the officer, destroy the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), and vindicate your client. Oftentimes, however, juries end up feeling sorry for the bumbling police officer and will hold it against the

Executive Director’s Perspective: A New Year at TCDLA

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There is always strength in numbers. The more individuals or organizations that you can rally to your cause, the better. —Mark Shields I hope everyone started off the new year with a bang! It seems like each year, time passes faster and faster. We become burdened by more responsibilities and others’ expectations. With all these

Federal Corner: Fingerprints, Thumbprints and Compelled Biometric Scans to Unlock Encrypted Devices

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On November 22, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Sunil R. Harjani of the Eastern Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered an order holding that compelling the defendant to place his fingers and thumbs on his iPhone home button in an attempt to unlock the phone would not

Shout Outs

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A big shout out to ALLISON CLAYTON of Lubbock, whose sleuthing on an appointed case resulted in the reversal of a conviction just before Christmas. It seems that D was charged with failure to register as a sex offender based off a 2002 conviction in Oklahoma—for assault with intent to commit a felony (based on