Features

Effect of the Farm Act on POM
Saturday, August 24th, 2019

While many big city prosecutors are dismissing marijuana cases due to the recent passage of the Hemp Farming Act, out in the country these cases are still being prosecuted.

Starting at the End: The Court’s Charge to the Jury
Saturday, August 24th, 2019

I. Introduction

Handling appeals can be frustrating. It’s frustrating when there is error but it’s harmless. It’s frustrating when the appellate court cites waiver. But good news! Jury charge error is still alive and well.

There Will Be Blood
Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Introduction

The Court of Criminal Appeals’ recent decision in State v. Martinez has served to reinvigorate legal challenges to blood draws in intoxication cases. 2019 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 237, *1, 2019 WL 1271173–PD-0878-17.

Shout Outs
Saturday, August 24th, 2019

A big shout out to Richard Gladden of Denton for his recent appellate victory at the Second COA in Dowdy v. State, No. 02-18-00112-CR (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 7/30/19) (not designated for publication). The jury con­victed Appellant of POM, Class A, and sentenced him to 180 days in the county jail and fined him $4,000. Somehow, the jury left the verdict form completely blank, though.

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

On July 2, 2019, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the defendant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause were violated when a law enforcement officer testified that he knew that Jones had received a large amount of methamphetamine because of what the officer was told by a confidential informant. This error was not invited by the defense and was not harmless. United States v. Coy Jones, 930 F.3d 366 (5th Cir. 2019)[Panel: Circuit Judges Higginbotham, Smith, and Higginson (Opinion by Judge Higginson)].

Editor's Comment Sept19
Saturday, August 24th, 2019

There are a few unrelated things worth mentioning this month:

Marijuana

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.

—Michel Legrand

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Today I am feeling a longing to see my tribe—my TCDLA family. I received a call from a wonderful gentleman—Ted Trigg in Houston—and had a super visit with him. Ted is a charter member of TCDLA. I am so grateful for those 250 charter members who back in 1971 decided to form an association composed of criminal defense lawyers whose joint goal was to come together and better be able to protect and defend the rights of citizens accused.

September 2019 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Features
22 | There Will Be Blood: The Interplay Between Hospital Blood Draws and the Warrant Requirement in DWI Cases - By Jason Edward Niehaus
29 | Starting at the End: The Court’s Charge to the Jury - By Sarah Roland
38 | Effect of the Farm Act on POM - By Phil Baker

Thank You to Our Organizers
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Pictures from Rusty Duncan 2019 - 1
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Digital Forensics
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Digital Forensics can be a difficult boat to master. There are many ropes to learn, several courses to choose from, and without local knowledge, you don’t know what lurks in the unchartered seas ahead. What must one do in these days of digital ubiquity to ensure the safety and success of your client, boat, and yourself? Please listen up.

Twenty-Five Criminal Law Changes You Will Need to Know Starting September 1, 2019
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

The 86th Legislature adjourned sine die on May 27th, 2019. Since the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House have indicated the Legislature passed every “critical” bill during the regular session, it is not anticipated Governor Abbott will call a special session.

Freedom Papers
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

My client, John, walked out of Bell County district court with his “freedom papers”—his words, not mine. John’s road to freedom spanned some 13 years. Back in 2006, John was arrested for possessing cocaine during a raid on a drug house outside Fort Hood. He was another homeless, jobless Army veteran with an incipient addiction. He’d meritoriously served 3 combat tours in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Why We Read the Declaration
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Ten years have passed, and the annual Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Declaration readings are now a valued tradition throughout the Lone Star State. Perhaps it is time for reflection on how this began, why we do what we do on or before Independence Day each year, what it means and what it does not mean.

Shout Outs
Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Tip of the hat to Bill Mason of Cleburne, who last month secured the big NG on an Indictment for Aggravated Sexual Assault and an extraneous Indecency With a Child. D was a 55-year-old step-grandfather with no priors, and “victim” was “6 or 7” at the time of the alleged assault.

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

In the mid-1980s, we began to hear about the proposed United States Sentencing Guidelines. There were going to be studies done and the United States Sentencing Commission would take into account thousands of cases and the sentences imposed in these cases as they put together a Guidelines table.

As the introduction to the Guidelines notes,

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

QUESTION

I need a lay witness to testify. It’s too late for a subpoena. Is it unethical to compensate her for her time to appear?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

I struggled this month with my column. Not because I didn’t have any material. I just finished a brief on double jeopardy and collateral estoppel that’s easily transformed into a short article. Nor was it because I didn’t know what I should write. Rather, I struggled because in my soul I knew exactly what I must write—not to gain any sympathy or pity but to hopefully strike a chord or spark some action . . .

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