austindefender

Criminal defense in Austin Texas.

Richard Winfrey aka “Who Needs Evidence?”

| September 27, 2010

Richard Lynn Winfrey v. The State of Texas is one of those cases where you think, “How could that happen?” Richard was convicted of a murder in 2007, and sentenced to 75 years in prison.  There was lots of evidence at the crime scene: DNA, hair, a bloody fingerprint, and a shoe print – none […]

Orders of Nondisclosure

| September 20, 2010

Orders of Nondisclosure are governed by Texas Government Code Section 411.081. An Order of Nondisclosure is an order from a judge, telling DPS (Texas Department of Public Safety) to seal information related to an offense.  It’s a way to clear the slate, so to speak – if you’re eligible. Are You Eligible? First off, you’re […]

Copying Is Not Theft

| August 18, 2010

I came across this the other day –  it does a much better job explaining the difference than I ever could.

Forgery?

| August 4, 2010

Yahoo says that signing someone else’s name on a check is illegal. Signing someone else’s name on a check is generally considered forgery and would be illegal in most states, according to Carol Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. But suppose an adult child signs an elderly parent’s name because […]

Is It Rape?

| July 21, 2010

Arab man who posed as Jew to seduce woman convicted of rape An Arab resident of Jerusalem who had consensual sex with a woman who believed him to be Jewish, was convicted yesterday of rape by deception and sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Jerusalem District Court. Sabbar Kashur, 30, was convicted as […]

DNA Testing

| January 5, 2010

DNA is often considered definitive proof in criminal cases. In “Calculated Risk” Gerd Gigerenzer reminds us it may not be as reliable as people think it is. The expert witness testifies that there are about 10 million men who could have been the perpetrator.  The probability of a randomly selected man having a DNA profile, […]

Jailhouse lawyer

| October 29, 2009

Adam Reposa’s habeas writ to the Court of Criminal Appeals was rejected the other day. Adam, btw, is the Austin criminal defense attorney who made a “simulated masturbatory gesture” in Court 6. Technically, it was aimed at the prosecutor, but the judge was not amused. He was sentenced to 90 days. The Court of Criminal […]

Cameron Todd Willingham, Part II

| October 27, 2009

I happened to catch a segment on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” about the Willingham case, called “Keeping Them Honest.” It’s interesting. The purpose seems to have been to impugn David Martin, Willingham’s trial lawyer. But what it actually did, at least from my point of view, was to demonstrate CNN’s sloppiness. Randi Kaye (CNN): “The […]

Theft of Service – Debtors Prison?

| October 19, 2009

Theft of Service, Texas Penal Code 31.04, is a messy statute.  What it seems to say is that failing to pay your bills is the same as theft. § 31.04. THEFT OF SERVICE.  (a) A person commits theft of service if, with intent to avoid payment for service that he knows is provided only for […]

Foolish Laws, and Lawmakers

| October 9, 2009

The Texas legislature has a bad habit of creating a crime whenever it sees a problem out in the world somewhere.  Perhaps especially when the problem affects a special interest or a lobby. For example, did you know it’s a felony to bad-mouth a bank?  (Texas Finance Code – Section 59.002.) Or that it’s a […]