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Criminal Defense Archives

5 Things that could skew a breathalyzer test

Breathalyzers may be incorrect up to 50 percent of the time when compared with the results of an actual blood test, according to the National Motorists Association. Considering that breathalyzers are the main indication police officers use to make a DUI arrest, this margin of error is concerning.

Florida doctor accused of fatal hit-and-run

A man walking home from work one night in Vero Beach, Florida was struck and hit by a doctor on her way home from the office. Unfortunately, the details of what happened that night needed to be sifted through by a jury who ultimately found the doctor guilty for not stopping to render aid. The female doctor claimed she was unaware that she had hit a person, and thought it was only a traffic sign. However, when jury members saw photos of the vehicle post-accident, it was apparent that a human body was struck with the blood and bone fragments left on the vehicle.

Sleep-deprived people may confess to crimes they did not commit

Texas residents interested in the justice system might like to know about the role sleep plays in acquiring confessions. A study that has been published in a National Academy of Sciences journal indicates that fatigued individuals are more likely than rested individuals to sign false confessions.

Record number of exonerations last year

A law enforcement office in Texas helped contribute to the record number of exonerations in 2015. Around 28 percent of the 149 people who were exonerated last year were freed due to the work of one Conviction Integrity Unit in Harris County. The exonerated people had been serving time for drug offenses, murders and other serious crimes that they did not commit.

Factors that may influence false confessions

"Making a Murderer" is a crime documentary series that has captivated viewers in Texas and around the country. The film features a confession by 16-year-old Brendan Dassey which many people believe was fabricated. According to one expert, the confession portion of the case bears similarity to another case that occurred in Minnesota. Unlike Brendan Dassey, the suspect in the latter case was acquitted.

Using alcohol consumption or drug use as a criminal defense

Texas residents may wonder why individuals accused of crimes committed while under the influence rarely claim diminished capacity as a defense. While drinking or taking drugs may sometimes make it difficult for individuals to resist their impulses or tell right from wrong, temporary insanity caused by drugs or alcohol will only be recognized by the law in a handful of very specific circumstances.

New rules to determine handling of some OSHA cases

Texas business owners who face criminal charges for violations of OSHA regulations or other federal workplace safety laws should know that in December 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice stated its intention to change the way certain crimes would be prosecuted. According to news sources, committing the crimes in question could result in some employers being indicted for felony level offenses. If convicted, the accused may be subjected to penalties that include stiff fines and jail sentences of between five and 20 years.

Illegal wiretaps could undermine hundreds of drug cases

Texas readers may be interested to learn that prosecutors at a prominent national wiretapping hub in California likely violated federal law when they permitted police eavesdropping in hundreds of drug cases. According to an investigation by USA Today and The Desert Sun, the violations could call into question the legality of up to 738 wiretaps approved by the Riverside County facility.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

Phone: 713-752-2728 | Fax: 713-650-1602
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