Criminal Charge: Misdemeanor Deadly Conduct
Case: State of Texas v. X [Collin]
Because this long-time military veteran’s felony case was dismissed with prejudice by the Collin County DA, his name is omitted here because the case will be expunged from his record. Likewise, the companion misdemeanor case will be expunged after the deferred adjudication probation period has ended.
This gentleman was originally charged with misdemeanor deadly conduct by police when he allegedly pointed a rifle across his fenceline and its laser sight entered a neighbor’s window. However, the prosecutor trumped up the thin racial dimension of the allegation and managed an indictment for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony carrying up to 20 years in prison. The County even refused to admit him – a veteran with no criminal history and honorable discharge – to its Veteran’s Court program.
Initially, the defendant hired a former local prosecutor to defend the case but fired him after his initial few month’s work. Haslam’s first motion was a writ of habeus corpus to remove the expensive leg monitor imposed on him. With the monitor removed, Haslam then moved to suppress the police’s illegal entry and search of the Defendant’s home after his arrest outside his home and the Court agreed: it excluded certain evidence and testimony that eroded the strength of the case.
As the case moved to trial, Haslam forced a related misdemeanor matter to trial first in order to have a less risky opportunity to cross-examine the complaining witnesses. In the course of this effort, he moved for the production of the criminal histories of these witnesses – a motion thew State and the Court refused. Texas law requires the production of this material under circumstances that existed here, yet a myth persists that it can’t be done. With this erroneous ruling made by the Court, and a ready-made appeal if he lost at trial, the Defendant appeared the day before trial as ordered.
The prosecutor announced he was dismissing the felony and offered a 2 year deferred adjudication on the related misdemeanor. Haslam negotiated a dismissal with prejudice – meaning the felony can never be refiled – and this Defendant walked away after almost 2 years unscathed.