Weekly Case Summaries: May 23, 2014

 

Texas Courts of Appeals

Weems v. State

No. 04-13-00366-CR              5/14/14

Issue:

In light of McNeely and the Supreme Court’s vacating and remanding Aviles, does Texas’s implied consent and mandatory blood draw statutory scheme constitute an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement?

Holding:

No. The message conveyed by both McNeely and the remand of Aviles is that the Fourth Amendment prohibits per se, categorical exceptions to the warrant requirement. Texas’s implied consent and mandatory blood draw statutes amount to per se, categorical exceptions because they do not take into account the totality of the circumstances presented in each case; they consider only certain facts. Read the opinion.

Commentary:

The court conflates exigent circumstances and the implied consent statute, but consent is an entirely separate and well-accepted exception to the general requirement for a warrant. Just because the Supreme Court rejected exigency per se based upon alcohol dissipation does not mean that justices disapproved of irrevocable consent in limited cases. Because two of the three justices on the Aviles panel are also on this panel, it is unlikely that Aviles will conflict with this opinion. For those keeping score, the White Hats are down something like 6-0, but there is still an inning or two to play. The Court of Criminal Appeals should give the final word on this issue soon in State v. Baker, No. PD-13-1592, which was submitted on April 16, 2014.

 

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Office of the Attorney General

Opinion for the 105th Judicial District Attorney

GA-1059                                 5/20/14

Issue:

May a district attorney’s office use asset forfeiture funds to purchase a building and land in its county and subsequently lease the building and land back to the county or other law enforcement agency?

Opinion:

No. A court would be unlikely to conclude that such a use was for an official purpose of the office. Read the opinion.

Commentary:

According to our research, the Office of the Attorney General has not issued an opinion approving a request to spend asset forfeiture funds since the 20th century. This is further proof of the adage that if you have to ask the AG, then you already know the answer.

Request for Opinion from the Andrews County Attorney

RQ-1200-GA                          5/16/14

Issue:

May a person who has received judicial clemency for a conviction act as a surety on a bail bond? Read the request for opinion.



TDCAA is pleased to offer these unique case summaries from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas Courts of Appeals and the Texas Attorney General. In addition to the basic summaries, each case will have a link to the full text opinion and will offer exclusive prosecutor commentary explaining how the case may impact you as a prosecutor. The case summaries are for the benefit of prosecutors, their staff members, and members of the law enforcement community. These summaries are NOT a source of legal advice for citizens. The commentaries expressed in these case summaries are not official statements by TDCAA and do not represent the opinions of TDCAA, it's staff, or any member of the association. Please email comments, problems, or questions to [email protected]
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