A breakdown of the charges filed against Gov. Rick Perry

 Travis county criminal defense attorneys said the wording of the indictment filed against Gov. Rick Perry can say a lot about the case.

"These laws are very rarely used. In my experience I've never heard them prosecuted in Travis County," said criminal defense attorney Sam Bassett.

Two felony charges were filed against Perry; abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.

"The vast majority of cases in the federal justice system are tilted fairly heavily towards the prosecutor in my experience. In this case I think it could be a more level playing field and it really could be a very high-pitched battle on both sides," said Bassett.  

The battle could be won or lost by the wording of the charges.

"What's really unusual about this indictment is that it explains a lot more than you typically see. As a defense lawyer we think it's a sign of weakness," said defense attorney David Gonzalez.

What exactly is the governor being charged with and what do you have to prove to charge him with abuse of official capacity?

"First you have to prove in vetoing the funding of the public integrity unit he was intending to harm a person or an entity, the DAs office or Ms. Lehmberg. You also have to prove that that veto was a misuse of his governmental power and I think those are very significant hurdles to get over," said Bassett.

Perry and his supporters said his right to veto is granted by the state Constitution.

"It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's Constitution," said Perry during a press conference Saturday.

"I think that's also his defense. That he was exercising his power as a governor to step forward politically and influence the DAs office in a positive way, which he felt entitled to do as the governor of Texas," said Bassett.

What about the charge for coercion of a public servant? Did Perry's threat to veto funding for the public integrity unit influence Lehmberg to resign?

"It's a simpler charge in my view, but then again you have the problem of was it coercion? Was it coercion to the point where it should be not only illegal, but criminal," said Bassett.

"It's hard for me to see what benefit Gov. Perry gets by the veto and in order to convict him you've got to prove that he got some benefit," said Gonzalez.

It could be months before a jury decides whether Perry is guilty of those two crimes, but that's only if the case makes it that far.

"They could work out some sort of an agreement or the legal challenges to the indictment could cause the case to be dismissed or dropped," said Bassett.

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