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Gavel

Can You Waive Your Right To A Jury Trial?

By Keith B. French Law |

Everyone charged with a crime has the right to a trial by jury. This right is considered absolute under the Constitution. In other words, neither the judge nor the prosecutor can unilaterally take away your right to have your case heard by a jury. Of course, you can waive that right and elect to… Read More »

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Crime3

Court Of Criminal Appeals Tosses Drug Conviction Due To State’s Botching Of The Evidence

By Keith B. French Law |

Texas has very complex drug laws. Basically, state law divides all controlled substances into different penalty groups. Penalty Group 1 is the most serious group and results in longer sentences than substances in the lower groups. On top of that, a given substance may fall within a different penalty group based on its use… Read More »

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SelfDef3

When Is Deadly Force Justified As An Act Of Self-Defense?

By Keith B. French Law |

There are situations where an otherwise unlawful act, such as killing someone, may be legally justified. In Texas, a person may use force–even deadly force–when acting in self-defense. To be more precise, the Texas Penal Code recognizes a self-defense justification to a murder charge when the defendant “reasonably believed” their actions were “immediately necessary”… Read More »

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LadyJustice

Is Threatening Someone With A Knife A Felony?

By Keith B. French Law |

Criminal assault does not necessarily mean making physical contact with a victim. Indeed, the definition of assault under the Texas Penal Code includes “intentionally or knowingly threaten[ing] another with imminent bodily injury.” So merely threatening to strike someone in the face is assault even if no punch is ever thrown or makes contact. To… Read More »

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CrimRecord2

When Are The Conditions For Erasing An Arrest From My Criminal Record?

By Keith B. French Law |

A criminal arrest can follow you around for many years, even if you were never ultimately tried or convicted of the original charge. Texas law does make it possible to seek an expunction of a criminal arrest. This effectively wipes the arrest off of your record and permits you to deny the arrest ever… Read More »

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CrimDef10

How The “Plain View Doctrine” Helps Police In Drug Cases

By Keith B. French Law |

A police officer does not always need a search warrant to look for and seize evidence of a possible crime. Under a judicial rule known as the “plain view doctrine,” an officer who is lawfully present at a location may seize an item that is in plain view–i.e., it is not hidden or concealed–and… Read More »

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Robbery

Do Prosecutors Need An Eyewitness To Convict An Armed Robbery Suspect?

By Keith B. French Law |

Aggravated robbery is how Texas law defines the crime of committing a robbery while using or exhibiting a deadly weapon. In other words, if someone pulls a gun on a store clerk and demands the contents of the cash register, that is aggravated robbery. This is a first-degree felony in Texas. So even if… Read More »

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DefenseLaw

Can You Challenge A Photo Identification In A Criminal Case?

By Keith B. French Law |

Police often use lineups or photo arrays to help potential witnesses to a crime identify a suspect. Such pretrial identifications are generally admissible as evidence in court unless the police used a procedure that was “impermissibly suggestive” to the point where there was a “substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification.” In other words, if the… Read More »

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CrimDefLawyer

Does Assault Require Proof Of Injury?

By Keith B. French Law |

A common misconception is that assault requires proof of a physical injury. But if you read the specific language of the Texas Penal Code, you will find that is not always the case. Assault can be defined as the intentional, knowing, or reckless causing of “bodily injury” to another person. But it also covers… Read More »

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CrimDefense

How Fabricating Evidence Can Land You In Serious Legal Jeopardy

By Keith B. French Law |

If you know that you are under investigation for a possible crime, the one thing you should never do is try and destroy or alter the evidence. Indeed, even if you are never charged with the crime under investigation, the act of tampering with–or fabricating–physical evidence is itself a criminal act under the Texas… Read More »

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