Case Summaries

Each week, TDCAA staff members summarize the most important cases from Texas and federal criminal courts and provide insightful commentary on how those cases could impact the criminal justice system as well as a link to the opinions. Find a library of previous Weekly Case Summaries here.

Summaries

October 16, 2020

Texas Courts of Appeals

Abrego v. State

No. 14-18-01010-CR              10/8/20

Issue:

Must a defendant’s conviction be reversed when the trial court fails to admonish the defendant on whether he will be subject to registration as a sex offender?

Holding:

No. The Court agreed with the defendant that the trial court failed to admonish him, but under Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 26.13(h), any such error is not reversible: “The court must substantially comply with Subsection (a)(5). The failure of the court to comply with Subsection (a)(5) is not a ground for the defendant to set aside the conviction, sentence, or plea.” Read Opinion.

Commentary:

Because so many defendants enter into plea agreements, it is a good idea to get familiar with Art. 26.13. The provision dealing with sex-offender-registration admonishments discussed in this case may not be as well known as some of the others. Even though a case cannot be reversed because of it, it is a good idea to remind the judge about this admonishment.

Texas Attorney General Request for Opinion

RQ-0381-KP               10/6/20

Question:

Must a person possess a driver’s license to lawfully operate a golf cart on a public street in a master-planned community or municipality in which the operation of golf carts on public streets are expressly authorized by the Transportation Code? Read Request.

Announcements:

Judicial Summit on Mental Health is November 9-10

The 3rd Annual Judicial Summit on Mental Health will be held virtually and include opportunities to connect with colleagues and engage in learning sessions designed to be inspiring yet practical. Participants will receive tools to help navigate the complex mental health laws, including a new resource: the first edition of the Texas Juvenile Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Law Bench Book. There is no fee to participate, but pre-registration is required. 

We are excited to release this year’s detailed agenda with confirmed speakers, credentials, and more. You can choose to view the downloadable version of the detailed agenda or you can view the full interactive agenda at the summit website. 

Click HERE to visit the event website and register for the virtual summit.

Have Questions? Please contact Innovation Event Management at [email protected] | 512-358-1000

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, its staff, or any member of the association. Please email comments, problems, or questions to Monica Mendoza.