Texas Courts of Appeals
No. 14-17-00267-CR 4/30/19
Is a defendant’s right to a speedy trial violated by a delay of 28 years when he was aware of the complaint and left the state immediately after notice of the charges against him?
No. Although a delay of 28 years is sufficient to trigger a full analysis of the Barker factors, in this case the balance of the factors weighs against a speedy trial violation. The defendant was confronted by family of the victim and shortly after fled the state. The State made more than 30 attempts to locate the defendant and execute the arrest warrant, and the State had an inaccurate birthdate supplied by the defendant’s family. Read opinion.
This case offers an example of what law enforcement should be doing to serve pending warrants. Rather than simply wait for the defendant to get picked up on traffic somewhere, the sheriff’s office made multiple attempts to serve the warrant when it was first issued and then continued to periodically research the warrant. After no success, they verified the information in the warrant and learned of alternative identifiers that led to the defendant’s arrest. The prosecutors then did a great job of working within the Barker v. Wingo factors to make a case that, even though 28 years had passed, the defendant’s rights were not violated. Unfortunately, it seems like many warrants simply sit in a file drawer for years without any love from a deputy.
Texas Attorney General Opinions
Does the repeal of 40 U.S.C. § 318 affect the authority the Legislature granted to Federal Protective Service officers under Code of Criminal Procedure art. 2.122(b)?
A court would likely conclude that the law enforcement authority granted by Code of Criminal Procedure art. 2.122(b) applies to officers and agents of the Federal Protective Service appointed under 40 U.S.C. § 1315. Read opinion.
This is a useful little opinion relying on the Texas Code Construction Act. This will come in handy for anyone facing a situation where the Legislature fails to update a statutory cross-reference to a federal or state statute that is repealed and codified elsewhere.
May the State obtain an arrest warrant without a hearing for a defendant previously released on pre-trial bond conditions if credible evidence exists he violated those conditions? Read request.
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