December 23, 2017

What is CTE?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repeated blows to the head. These repeated blows are believed to cause a buildup of Tau protein that forms clumps that spread through the brain and kill brain cells. CTE has been observed in people as young as 17, but symptoms generally manifest themselves later in life. Early symptoms of CTE often appear in a person’s late 20’s or early 30’s and include headaches, attention problems, lack of impulse control, aggression, depression, and paranoia. As CTE worsens, some patients experience memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, and dementia.

Who is at risk for CTE?

Anyone with a history of repetitive hits to the head is at risk for CTE. It is most commonly found in contact sport athletes and military veterans. CTE has been found in former football players, soccer players, hockey players, boxers, rugby players, wrestlers, military veterans, basketball players, and others. CTE has also been found in victims of domestic abuse. CTE has been found in high school, college, and professional athletes.

Texas Defenses to Criminal Prosecution

Most criminal offenses in the State of Texas require that the Government prove you committed the offense intentionally or knowingly. Section 6.03(a) of the Texas Penal Code states that “a person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.” Section 6.03(b) states that “a person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist.” As an example, murder, assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft, possession of a controlled substance, and many others require the State of Texas prove that you committed that offense intentionally or knowingly beyond a reasonable doubt.

Through the use of an expert, persons exposed to repeated head trauma through athletics, domestic violence, or military service, may be able to argue that they did not commit their criminal offense intentionally or knowingly because of CTE. Under these circumstances, insanity is also a possible defense to criminal charges. The latest studies on CTE have given defense attorneys ammunition to demonstrate to jurors why defendants who suffered repeated head trauma and potential CTE cannot control their impulses or exercise rational judgment.

Hire an Innovative Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, it is important that you hire a Houston criminal defense attorney that will think outside of the box and consider every defense that may be available to you. David Overhuls is a former special crimes prosecutor and will use that experience to obtain the best possible result for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.


Contact David Today!