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I have a victim that is a registered sex offender. He was placed on deferred adjudication and successfully completed the probation. His charge was dismissed. He does not have a felony conviction. Can I keep out the criminal history since it's not a conviction even though he is registered in a public registry? The case is an ACBI-FV w/previous convictions. The sex offense is not relevant. I believe they will use it to impeach just to try and get the jury to not like my victim and thus excuse the defendant's behavior. The dismisal was 8 years ago and it was sexual assault of child by virtue of age.
Posts: 36 | Location: Crockett,Texas | Registered: April 02, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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...Appellant argues that the trial court erred in not allowing him to impeach Rea with the fact that he was on deferred adjudication community supervision for burglary of a habitation. HN1 Rule 609 states that a party may impeach a witness with "evidence that the witness has been convicted of a crime." Deferred adjudication is not a conviction, and denying impeachment on this basis does not violate a defendant's constitutional right of confrontation.

Although deferred adjudication is not admissible under rule 609, it is admissible to show a witness's bias, motive, or ill will emanating from the witness's status of deferred adjudication. To invoke this right, however, Appellant must make some showing that Rea's version of the facts might be a result of his deferred adjudication status. For example, Appellant could show that Rea might have been subject to undue pressure from the police and testified to the facts of the aggravated assault under fear of possible revocation. Appellant has failed to make a showing that Rea testified as a result of bias, motive, or ill will. Thus, "Appellant has failed to lay the necessary predicate that would invoke the right of confrontation.

Juneau v. State, 49 S.W.3d 387, 389-90 (Tex. App. -- Fort Worth 2000, pet. ref'd)

It's clearly not admissible for impeachment as a conviction. Thus, the only way they could use the witness's sex offender status is if they can show some reason that his status as a sex offender could give him a reason to say what he is saying/help the State. Rather than waiting until the witness is on the stand, I think it would be a good idea to file a motion in limine and fight this out before the trial starts.

Also, just to hedge your bets, I would voir dire on the issue of unlikable victims. "No man is above the law and no man is below it." etc. That way, even if the judge rules against you, or if the defense lawyer violates the motion in limine, your jury is already prepared.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Ryan Calvert,
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