March 17, 2023

Texas Court of Appeals

Rodriguez v. State

No. 04-21-00503-CR                       03/08/23


Does chewing tobacco found inside of the lip of the defendant constitute sufficient evidence to link the defendant to methamphetamine found in a tobacco tin that was in a glove box on the passenger side of the vehicle?


Yes. Although there were other factors in determining possession of the meth, the tobacco inside the defendant’s lip helped establish a logical link with the other factors for a jury to rationally find that the defendant intentionally or knowingly possessed methamphetamine in an amount less than one gram. Read opinion.


Case law provides an extensive compilation of “affirmative links” which alone or in combination may suffice to connect the accused to contraband (typically drugs or a weapon, but could be anything the defendant is prohibited from possessing). Like in any circumstantial-evidence case, though, recall that the number of affirmative links that are present is not what matters most; rather, it is the logical force that the links have when considered together that is paramount. Additionally, remember that the list of affirmative links is not exhaustive. So, get creative. If there are facts and circumstances in your case that aren’t on the list of previously recognized affirmative links, but that nevertheless connect a defendant to the contraband at issue, prove them up at trial. Who knows, maybe those novel link(s) will get added to the list for future practitioners to consider.

Texas Attorney General Opinion Request

RQ-0501-KP                       3/10/23


What are the respective responsibilities of a county sheriff’s office and TDCJ regarding the detention and transportation of offenders to state jail facilities?

Requested by:

Heather Stebbins, Kerr County Attorney

RQ-0503-KP                                       3/15/23


What is a county’s responsibility to provide a legal defense and to reimburse defense costs under Local Gov’t Code §157.901 or the common law to a district attorney subject to a removal proceeding brought under Local Gov’t Code Chapter 87?

Requested by:

Dale Atchley, Nueces County Auditor


Scholarships Available for Criminal Law CLEs 
Deadline: Sunday, April 30, 2023

Scholarship Application

The Criminal Justice Section is now accepting applications for the courses listed below. Use the link above to apply now! Please note, you must be a current member of the Criminal Justice Section to apply.

Preference will be given to lawyers licensed five years or less. You must also satisfy the below requirements to be considered:

  • Include one letter of recommendation from another lawyer in good standing with the State Bar of Texas (email documents at the end of the application).
  • Applications must be complete at the time of submission. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Scholarships can be used for course registration and reasonable travel expenses.
  • Scholarship recipient must be a current and paid member of the Criminal Justice Section.

Scholarship applications must be received no later than
5 p.m. CDT Sunday, April 30.

  • Dawson Conference on Criminal Appeals: May 10-12, Austin
  • 49th Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar: July 24-27, Houston
  • Criminal Law 101: July 23, Houston
  • 36th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Seminar: June 15-17, San Antonio
  • Video Presentations of 49th Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar: August 30 -September 1, Carrollton
  • TDCAA Annual Criminal and Civil Law Conference: September 20-22, Round Rock

Qualify for these scholarships by joining the section via your My Bar Page, or by downloading and completing a membership application formIf you join now, you will become a member through May 31, 2024