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Criminal Defense

Forensic Evidence & Texas Criminal Cases

March 21, 2023
Forensic Evidence & Texas Criminal Cases

The analysis of evidence using scientific or “forensic” techniques is a highly effective method of solving crimes and securing convictions against the right suspect. The re-examination of old evidence using a forensic analysis of the evidence in criminal appeals has been instrumental in exonerating the wrongfully convicted.

In Houston, the efficacy of the local crime lab has been a constant concern. The problems at the Houston Crime Lab are no secret and have earned the ire of the public and people who were victimized by it’s ineptitude.

However, even in the worst of times, the forensic analysis of evidence remains an indispensable tool for investigators and helps us to solve cases that would otherwise go cold.

Today, we’ll discuss how forensic evidence analysis applies to criminal investigations, legal defense strategies, and examine their impact on the judicial process.

Forensic Evidence: The Basics

Forensic evidence refers to any information obtained through scientific methods that can be used in a court of law. This evidence can take various forms, such as:

  • Physical evidence: Material objects like weapons, clothing, or fingerprints.
  • Digital evidence: Data stored on electronic devices, like emails, text messages, or social media activity.
  • Biological evidence: Blood, saliva, hair, or other bodily fluids that contain DNA.
  • Chemical evidence: Illicit substances, such as drugs or explosives, identified through chemical analysis.

The Importance of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Investigations

Forensic evidence is vital in solving whodunnits for several reasons:

  • Objectivity: Unlike eyewitness testimony, which can be influenced by human error or bias, forensic evidence provides objective facts that can corroborate or refute other evidence.
  • Reliability: Forensic evidence is often more reliable, as it is based on scientific principles and methodologies.
  • Crime scene reconstruction: Scientific evidence helps investigators piece together the events of a crime, providing crucial context and insights.
  • Identification: Forensic evidence can help identify suspects, victims, or even unconnected individuals who may have information about a case.

DNA Evidence

A Powerful Tool for Solving Crimes

One of the most significant advancements in forensic science is DNA profiling. This technique allows investigators to match genetic material found at a crime scene with a suspect’s DNA, providing compelling evidence in court. In Houston, DNA evidence has been pivotal in solving numerous cold cases and exonerating innocent individuals.

Fingerprint Analysis

Connecting Suspects to Crime Scenes

Fingerprint matching and identification has been a staple of forensic science for over a century. By comparing latent fingerprints found at a crime scene with known prints from a suspect, investigators can establish a connection between the suspect and the crime. With the development of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), fingerprint matching has become faster and more accurate.


Tracing Firearms and Bullets

Ballistics analysis involves examining firearms, ammunition, and bullet trajectories to determine the origin of gunfire. In Houston, where gun-related crimes are prevalent, ballistics evidence is crucial in linking weapons to specific incidents and suspects.

Forensic Toxicology

Uncovering Drug Use and Poisoning

Forensic toxicology is the analysis of bodily fluids and tissues for the presence of drugs, alcohol, or other toxic substances. This evidence is particularly important in cases involving drug overdoses, DUIs, or poisonings.

Digital Forensics

Analyzing the Virtual Crime Scene

As technology advances, so does criminal activity. Digital forensics is the process of collecting, preserving, and analyzing electronic data to uncover digital evidence. Houston investigators rely on digital forensics to solve cases involving cybercrimes, fraud, and other tech-related offenses.

Forensic Accounting

Following the Money Trail

Financial crimes, such as embezzlement and money laundering, require a specialized approach. Forensic accounting is the practice of analyzing financial records to detect fraudulent activity, identify perpetrators, and recover stolen assets.

Forensic Psychology

Analyzing the Criminal Mind

Forensic psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior in relation to criminal activity. This field assists in criminal investigations by analyzing the psychological factors that may have contributed to a crime. In Houston, forensic psychologists can provide valuable insights into a suspect’s motivations, mental state, or the likelihood of reoffending.

The Future of Forensic Science

Emerging Technologies and Techniques

As technology continues to advance, forensic science is expected to evolve and become even more effective in solving criminal cases. Some promising developments include:

  • Rapid DNA analysis: Faster DNA testing methods that can provide results in just a few hours.
  • 3D crime scene reconstruction: Virtual reality and 3D imaging technologies that can create detailed, interactive representations of crime scenes.
  • Artificial intelligence: Machine learning algorithms that can help identify patterns, analyze data, and predict criminal behavior.

The analysis of evidence at the forensic level has proven to be a game-changer for the efficiency of the criminal justice system. With the constant development and refinement of forensic techniques, the city’s law enforcement and judicial system are better equipped than ever to solve cases, secure convictions, and ensure that justice is served.

The value of forensic evidence during the investigation of serious crimes cannot be overstated. The results of scientific evidence reviews provides reliable information that can make all the difference in arresting guilty parties, freeing the wrongfully accused, and serving the public trust.


Criminal Lawyers for Texas Theft Cases

October 28, 2021
Criminal Lawyers for Texas Theft Cases

Criminal lawyers help people charged with theft to understand the legal system and possible punishments, so they can make an informed decision on how to proceed with their case. They also work with probation officers who are responsible for analyzing the defendant’s situation and determining if he or she should be released or incarcerated.

Texas Criminal Law Definitions for Aggravated Burglary

The Texas Penal Code defines the crime of Aggravated Burglary as follows:

  1. A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, he enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit therein any felony or theft.
  2. A person commits an offense if, while in the building, or in the immediate vicinity of the building, he:
    • carries on his person a firearm or other deadly weapon; or
    • intentionally displays any firearm or other deadly weapon in plain sight.”

Theft Crimes Involving Vehicles

Every day, individuals are being victimized by car thefts, attempted car thefts, and other related crimes.

This section discusses the various threats that are present in the everyday lives of people. It also discusses the various risks that are present in this specific location. These include crimes in general and crimes in relation to cars specifically. The section is about the risks involved when it comes to cars in terms of theft and attempted theft.

Texas Theft Crimes Involving Motor Vehicle Parts

In the state of Texas, theft crimes involving motor vehicle parts are not uncommon. In fact, in some instances a person may use a stolen car to commit the crime and then the parts from that car. This is a serious crime not only because it is an illegal act, but also because it could result in injury or death to others on the road. This type of theft can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of damage to other people’s property and if there was intent to cause harm with these actions.

Motor vehicle theft is one of the most serious crimes in the United States. The FBI estimates that approximately 765,000 motor vehicles were stolen in 2016. The FBI also estimates that more than four out of five auto thefts are committed for their parts with an average value of $4,500 per vehicle.

What is the Difference Between Theft and Larceny in Texas?

Theft is the crime of knowingly and unlawfully taking someone else’s property with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. The Texas penal code defines theft as:

  • A person commits theft if he intentionally and knowingly:
    • obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of another; or
    • acquires or retains possession of property of another knowing that he does not have the other’s consent to acquire or retain the property.

Larceny is a broader term than theft, as it can refer to crimes that do not involve taking anything from a person. In America, for example, larceny can refer to shoplifting, pickpocketing or other kinds of non-person-centered offenses. Larceny differs from theft in

What are the Different Penalties for Theft Offenses in Texas?

There are a number of different theft offenses in Texas, and each one has a different penalty for it. If you find yourself charged with any of the following theft offenses, then it’s important that you understand what penalties you can expect.

Minor Theft: This type of theft is considered less serious than other types of theft because the value of the property stolen is less than $50. The penalties for this offense include up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000.

Theft From a Person: This offense is defined as taking property from someone without their consent and while they’re still in possession of it. The penalties for this offense include up to 2 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

This post shouldn’t be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a local attorney.

Understanding the Crime of Aggravated Theft

October 3, 2018
Understanding the Crime of Aggravated Theft

On the evening of October 16th, 2017, the police in Texas arrested two suspects for the criminal offense of aggravated theft. The target of theft was a Samsung S-7 mobile phone where the thieves were armed with knives. The police investigators on the raised suspicions and through the evidence that was provided did identify and arrest the named suspects through the help of a surveillance footage. They were grounded on the suspicions of the criminal offense. The prosecutor interviewed the procedures on the two suspects and imposed a police custody.

There are many cases of aggravated thief that are reported day in day out. At times we just call it theft, robbery or burglary. At the end of the end, this remains a felony.

How do you know it’s a felony?

A theft of property is considered aggravated if accompanied by the following aggravating factors;

  • Use of a weapon in the commission of the crime and to be specific, deadly weapons.
  • Threats or intimidation relating to the crime.
  • If it is a gang or crime related theft.
  • Where it is a theft of a high-value asset or property or
  • It’s a theft of police or government property

This kind of theft is very serious in the judicial system. It bears serious consequences. A defendant who is found guilty of aggravated theft is sentenced to at least one year in prison alongside fines and also a permanent felony record. Being convicted of aggravated theft affects permanently or even temporarily your individual legal rights. It affects your;

  • Voting rights,
  • Driving privileges,
  • Rights to serve on any jury and even
  • Gun ownership rights.

After you have been arrested on the grounds of Aggravated Theft, does it mean you can’t do anything? This is the point where you immediately hire a criminal defense attorney. These have the experience and legal knowledge on how they will deal with such cases. They understand the seriousness of your cases and will know where to dispute and where not to.

Depending on other evidence presented before a court of law, the criminal defense attorney will advise you on how you are supposed to plead. It is a scenario where you can easily find yourself on the wrong side of the law. A criminal defense attorney is the only real friend that you can trust in such a time. They have won similar cases and you might be the lucky one this time especially where you defense attorney has good relations with the jury.

Depending on how the aggravated theft has been categorized, there are possible defenses. It is possible that the defendant was intoxicated or at the time of the crime he/she was not of sound mind. It is also possible that the defense of duress was used in the case where the defendant was forced or even threatened to commit the crime. You are likely to walk free or with minimal penalties if you happen to provide proof of intoxication or duress.

The type of defense which the criminal defense attorney will use will, however, depend on the crime itself. It will also depend on the circumstances that led the defendant into committing the crime. It is therefore very important to source for intelligent and qualified criminal defense lawyers who will understand every aspect of your case.

As much as the aggravated robbery has very serious consequences. It is also very difficult to defend in a court of law. You can only be sentenced after you plead guilty or when you have been identified as the robber. Most experienced criminal defense attorneys will attempt to challenge the identification process. They discredit the eyewitness testimony as inaccurate. Most other similar cases fail to succeed due to lack of enough evidence that ought to link the crime perpetrator to the crime itself. These cases also frequently get in the direction that the defendant believes they were the rightful owner of the property and theirs was simply an act of retrieving it. It is therefore very important to hire a criminal defense attorney lest you find yourself a victim.