XII. Impeaching Defendant and Bond Forfeiture Evidence
Ochoa v. State, 481 S.W.2d 847 (Tex.Crim.App.1972).
Where witness makes blanket statements concerning his exemplary conduct such as having never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any offense, or having never been “in trouble” or purports to detail his convictions leaving the impression there are no others, (i.e. “opens the door”). This false impression may be corrected in cross by directing witness to the bad acts, convictions, etc. even though said acts may not otherwise be proper subject for impeachment.
Stranberg v. State, 989 S.W.2d 847 (Tex.App.-Texarkana 1999, pet. ref’d).
Where defendant on station house videotape made the statement he does not drink alcoholic beverages, it was proper to elicit testimony from arresting officer that he had seen defendant drink alcoholic beverages on a prior occasion. Voucher Rule is no longer the rule in Texas.
Lewis v. State, 933 S.W.2d 172 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 1996, pet. ref’d).
Defendant statement on direct that he “will not drink and drive” did not amount to an assertion that he had never drank and driven and did not open the door to his impeachment with a prior DWI conviction. But the Court found that the mention of the ten year old DWI conviction was harmless error in this case
Hammett v. State, 713 S.W.2d 102 (Tex.Crim.App. 1986).
Testimony on direct that the defendant had only been arrested on one prior occasion for public intoxication did not leave the false impression that he had never been arrested for any other offense and did not open the door to his impeachment with a conviction for criminal mischief. Case reversed on this basis for determination of harmfulness of the error.
C. EVIDENCE OF BOND FORFEITURE ADMISSIBLE
Pratte v. State, No. 03-08-00258-CR, 2008 WL 5423193 (Tex.App.-Austin 2008, no pet.).
In this case the defendant was charged in 1998 but was not rearrested and tried until 2008. The State, over objection, offered evidence that the defendant failed to appear and had his bond forfeited in the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. The Court held that the forfeiture of an accused’s bail bond may be proved as tending to show flight which, in the context of bail-jumping, may be construed as evidence of guilt. For that reason evidence of the defendant’s failure to appear in 1999 and that his bond was forfeited was relevant and admissible as evidence of his guilt.