Physician – Patient Privilege in Criminal Cases

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Texas Rule of Evidence 509 governs the physician- patient privilege.  As with all privileges, it acts to protect communications that are confidential between a physician and a patient “relative or in connection with any professional services rendered by a physician to the patient.”

Tex.R.Evid. 509(b), however, practically negates the physician- patient relationship in criminal cases.  That section bluntly says, “There is no physician-patient privilege in criminal proceedings.”

The only small exception under 509(b) is that communications to any person involved in the treatment or examination of alcohol or drug abuse by a person being treated voluntarily or being examined for admission to treatment for drug or alcohol abuse is not admissible in a criminal proceeding.  This is obviously to encourage people who need help for substance abuse to voluntarily get help without recourse.

Police and/or prosecuting agencies can…

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