Category Archives: DA Watch

Is There Chaos in the Dallas Criminal Justice System? Consider These Five News Stories in May 2016

Criminal defense lawyers tend to see the world a bit differently than most. Maybe that’s because we are privy to things that most of the general public is not and it skews our perspective. However, if anyone has been reading the news stories for the past three or four weeks coming out of Dallas County,…

Forfeiture Funds are Back as Equitable Sharing Program Gears Up in Dallas County and State of Texas

Back in March, the Department of Justice issued a news release that had to have been met with lots of joy in law enforcement offices all over the State of Texas: the “Equitable Sharing Program” was back, effective immediately! Both the March 28, 2016 Letter Sent by the Department of Justice to State, Local, and…

Probation, Jail, and Money: Do You Know About Probation Fees in Texas?

After you are arrested here in Dallas or Fort Worth, or elsewhere in North Texas (or the rest of the state, for that matter), you’ve got a prosecutor wanting to maximize their case against you as best they can. If you have a good criminal defense lawyer, then your attorney is going to be fighting…

Privacy of Your Smart Phone: Police Search and Seizure and Apple’s Fight Against the FBI

There is a huge privacy fight going on this month up in Washington regarding privacy and your smart phone, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wants access to all the data that is setting encrypted on the iPhone taken by the local police in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings. Some may argue…

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas Murder Trials: Prosecutors Fighting Against Misconduct Allegations

Prosecutors in Texas doing bad things is a serious problem – and one that is slow to be corrected. We’ve discussed this issue in case after case, coming from all parts of the state, for several years now. For past examples, read our posts including: August 2015: District Attorneys Keep Doing Bad Things: More Texas…

Lesson For Texans From Netflix’s “Making of a Murderer”: Public Defenders vs. Hired Defense Lawyers

If you haven’t watched the documentary “Making of a Murderer” yet, odds are high that you’ve heard about it. A Netflix Original, the 10-episode documentary took 10 years to make and debuted on Netflix back in December 2015. It follows the story of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin local boy Steven Avery, known to most in his…

Prosecutor Deals, the Bill Cosby Criminal Case, and Probable Cause Examining Trials in Texas

The Bill Cosby scandal continues to grab headlines almost daily: we all know about how the famous comedian was arrested in December 2015 on felony sexual assault charges up in Pennsylvania. This, on top of all the civil defamation lawsuits that have been filed against Cosby, and the countering claims he’s filed as well. Read…

Grand Jury in Texas: Defending Witnesses and Targets of Grand Jury Investigations

You read about grand juries all the time: just this month, there was national news coverage in the Tamir Rice case, because there was no indictment; the grand jury voted against it.  Another example: in the Sandra Bland case, there was an indictment because the grand jury voted for it – after the grand jury…

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas Alert: Ethical Rules Held to Have Broader Duty Than Brady to Turn Over Exculpatory Evidence to the Defense

Back in November 2014, a State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee ruled that a Denton County assistant district attorney named William (”Bill”) Schultz had violated the ethical rules that all Texas attorneys are sworn to uphold.  Not only that, but more: he had committed a serious ethics violation and his unethical conduct deserved suspension from…

Year in Review: Things for Dallas to Consider From a Criminal Defense Perspective

How Dangerous is It to Live or Work in Dallas County? Here we are at the end of another year. Let’s take a minute and consider where things stand as we enter 2016, from a North Texas Criminal Defense perspective: 1. Dallas County Is Really, Really Dangerous As reported by Grits for Breakfast this week,…