Weekly Case Summaries: July 29, 2011

Texas Courts of Appeals

Reinke v. State- 3rd COA

07/22/11 : Cite No. 03-10-00722-CR

Issue:

After a defendant is indicted with the addition of enhancements but found incompetent to stand trial and committed to a mental health facility, must he be released when he has served the maximum term for the offense on which he was tried? 

Holding:

Yes, he must be released at the completion of the term for the charged offense excluding any enhancements. An extension can be obtained only through civil commitment proceedings. Read Opinion.

Commentary:

The court of appeals provides a reasonable explanation for reading the language to exclude additional time for enhancements. The State might want to think about seeking a Legislative amendment to change the length of time available for criminal commitment. Meanwhile, the State can seek to continue the defendant’s confinement in a mental health facility through civil proceedings.

State v. Dill – 6th COA

07/21/11 : Cite No. 06-10-00234-CR

Issue:

After a directed verdict for theft under an information alleging theft of “food and personal hygiene products”—where the proof had been that the defendant stole dog treats, dog nail clippers, a bottle of hair coloring, and various items of makeup—was the State barred by double jeopardy from retrying the theft under an information alleging theft of “makeup?”

Holding:

No, because the allegation in the second information charged a different theft than the theft alleged in the first information. Read Opinion.

Commentary:

Hey, dog treats could be “food”. Still, one wonders how the State got to trial without knowing what was actually stolen.

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