Authored by Erik Goodman, the Austin Criminal Defender Blog critically examines the criminal justice system in Austin, Texas. As a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Goodman is able to give readers insight into the legal process in Austin, while also touching on broad criminal justice topics that criminal defense lawyers around the country face.
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Last week I wrote a post on the kind of evidence needed in a DWI by drug case. There's another related situation worth mentioning-when the driver consumes a substance (be it an over-the-counter medication or a controlled substance) that makes him more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. This is...
Occasionally I've had a DWI case where the client has taken a breath test and blown 0.00 or significantly under the legal limit of .08 indicating a complete absence of or little alcohol in the person's system. Despite the lack of evidence of alcoholic intoxication an arrest is made due to the...
Representative Debbie Riddle's (of terror babies fame) bill creating the offense of criminal trespass for illegal aliens likely violates the Constitution and I predict will quickly be enjoined if passed by the 82nd legislature. You could almost hear the little wheels and gears turning....
I couldn't tell from the highly flattering front page photo in the Statesman of Rep. Todd Smith (Texas House District 92) whether he was old enough to remember the last time persons charged with driving while intoxicated were eligible to receive deferred adjudication. The Legislature did away...
Statesman Says Travis Judges Allow Occupational Driver's License Law to be Used as Loophole in Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Cases
In a series of articles and television stories the Austin American Statesman and KVUE recently took aim at the manner in which Travis County judges grant occupational driver’s licenses to folks who've had their licenses yanked for either refusing a breath test or failing one. The press...
The recent Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky greatly increases the criminal defense attorney’s responsibility to provide effective assistance of counsel. It’s a sea change from defense counsel’s previous minimal obligation under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Article...
At a hearing the other day, a police officer testified that a caller-in reported that a man handed another man a gun in an apartment house parking lot and then drove off. Those actions warranted a stop of both men. Now, nobody was doing anything illegal. Nobody was threatening anyone or exhibiting...
While conducting research for a motion to suppress evidence as a violation of Terry v. Ohio, I discovered some caselaw concerning what is termed “the collective knowledge doctrine.” Terry v. Ohio, of course, allows a police officer to conduct a limited...
In Alvarez v. Smith, ___ U.S. ___,130 S.Ct. 576, 175 L.Ed.2d 447 (2009) the US Supreme Court avoided resolution of the question of how long law enforcement can seize property absent a neutral determination of probable cause for the seizure. The Court found the issue moot...