Weekly Case Summaries: November 14. 2014

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Texas Courts of Appeals

Connelly v. State

No. 01-12-00398-CR              10/30/14

Issue:

Was the use of the defendant’s 1985 DWI conviction for enhancement purposes in a 2011 DWI an ex post facto violation because that conviction, under previous law, had at one time been rendered inadmissible because it was more than 10 years old?

Holding:

No. The change in enhancement law made in 2005 imposes an additional punishment on the 2011 DWI, not on the 1985 DWI. Read the opinion.

Comments:

The ex post facto holding is straightforward and consistent with other Texas cases. This law enforcement agency did a good job with a drug-impaired DWI defendant.

 

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Office of the Attorney General

Opinion for the Andrews County Attorney

GA-1087                     11/12/14

Question:

May a person who was convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude but who received “judicial clemency” under article 42.12, §20(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure eligible to act as a bail bond surety?

Opinion:

Yes. Caselaw suggests that judicial clemency “wipes away” a conviction. Read the opinion.  

Comments:

The so-called “judicial clemency” can be frustrating because in some counties no thought is put into whether a person should simply be discharged or instead receive “judicial clemency. Many probationers successfully perform their terms and conditions, pay their dues to society, and deserve clemency. But many other probationers screw up multiple times, pick up new charges that are not prosecuted, never make progress on the costs they are required to pay, skate by multiple motions to revoke, and generally are not deserving. That said, the result reached by the AG’s opinion committee appears correct under Cuellar as well as under other law regarding the “finality” of convictions for other purposes in the Code.

Opinion for the Dallas County District Attorney

GA-1085                     11/10/14

Question:

May the Dallas County Juvenile Board hire an attorney as a full-time employee to provide in-house legal services to the Board, Juvenile Department, and Charter School board?

Opinion:

Yes. A court would likely conclude that the Dallas County Juvenile Board may hire an attorney as a full-time employee to provide in-house legal services if the Board determines that the position is necessary to fulfill its legislative mandate to provide juvenile probation services. Read the opinion.

Request from the Waller County Criminal District Attorney

RQ-1228-GA              11/12/14

Questions:

1. May a county pay the attorney’s fees for members of a commissioners court who sought legal representation for a criminal investigation under §157.901 of the Local Government Code that did not result in any criminal charges filed?

2. If a county may pay the attorney’s fees of the members of a commissioners court that were under criminal investigation, may the individual members of the court that were under investigation vote in favor of payment of attorney’s fees for themselves and other members of commissioners court who were under investigation for the same violations?

 

 

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, the Texas Supreme Court, the 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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