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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Rules of Evidence Series Rule 1006

Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.

Texas Rule of Evidence 1006 is what we typically call Summaries of voluminous evidence. It allows you to create a summary, chart, or calculation to prove the content of voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs that cannot be conveniently examined in court.

Procedurally you need to provide opposing counsel with copies before you attempt to publish them. Prosecutors frequently make summary charts of the results of standardized field sobriety tests. Other media like cell tower data are also compiled in computer programs and visually represented in maps. This also would fall under Rule 1006.

A good lawyer will get creative in how to use this rule. But also how to prevent opposing counsel from offering this kind of evidence. Summaries are powerful. If the summary, however, cannot be demonstrated to the court to be accurate or tied directly to the data or an expert opinion about the results of that data then it shouldn't be allowed to be shown to the jury.

“While demonstrative aids may be admitted into evidence with a proper predicate, they need not always be admitted into evidence to be shown to the jury.” Milton v. State, 572 S.W.3d 234, 240 (Tex. Crim. App. 2019). In Milton the Court required a harm analysis to be performed by the intermediate appellate court because the prosecutor showed a video of a lion trying to eat a child through a glass wall. This clearly doesn't relate to a particular data set and wouldn't be justified under rule 1006.

In Wheatfall v. State , 882 S.W.2d 829, 839 (Tex. Crim. App. 1994) The Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that "While rule 1006 clearly contemplates the admission of summaries in certain instances, the rule in no way indicates that a prosecutor can summarize her case on legal paper and submit those documents to the trial as ‘evidence.’ The adversarial system permits such summaries by one side during closing arguments, but they are arguments and not admitted as evidence to the jury."

Rule 1006. Summaries to Prove Content The proponent may use a summary, chart, or calculation to prove the content of voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs that cannot be conveniently examined in court. The proponent must make the originals or duplicates available for examination or copying, or both, by other parties at a reasonable time and place. And the court may order the proponent to produce them in court.


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