Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc
So, basically we are in agreement then. Little statements or actions can have a large effects in court.
That's not what we were talking about at all, and you know it. We are currently not talking about whether or not little statements or actions can have a large effect in court. We were talking about your accusation that I don't know what prima facie
means. Will you retract your accusation that I don't understand what prima facie
means, or are you going to continue to try to change the subject?
Your example of the mere possession of burglars tools is an even more extreme example. I'd have thought that there would be at least some evidence of intent other than mere possession in your garage or something. Now, if that guy was found outside of a jewelry store, and one of his picks was stuck in the lock, that would be convenient.
Well, there's some irony. You tell me I don't know anything about prima facie
evidence, and that judges would chew me out for making a particular statement (a statement that I expect a judge would agree with in general, in fact, at least when viewing it as a layman's understanding) - yet you'd have thought something that isn't actually true given how courts are required to treat something when there's law or case law mandating that something is prima facie
evidence of a crime.
In Virginia, possession of burglarious tools is a class 5 felony, and the statute states that mere possession will be considered prima facie evidence of your intent. If a cop happened to walk past your garage and the door was open, and he saw some lock picks on a bench or something, and you weren't a licensed dealer or a locksmith, then you could get charged with that class 5 felony, and when the judge first looked at the case (before you get to present evidence), he would have to let the case continue - and during the trial it would be on you to prove that you did not have that intent. It's not a good state to live in for people who like to pick locks for fun due to that. Those specific circumstances are not necessarily likely to happen, but from a legal standpoint, if it *did* happen, the person who had the picks in his garage would be in a legal position where it's no longer a matter of the state having to make a case for his intent, but his having to prove that he did not have such intent.
The Texas statute, on the other hand, merely states that possession of burglary tools with the purpose to commit an offense is a crime. Which means the state would have to show that you both possessed such tools and had the purpose to commit an offense, simultaneously. Even still, if someone were to take up lockpicking as a hobby, they would do well to have a bunch of practice locks and some books on lockpicking and locksmithing whenever they take picks anywhere but their home.