Weekly Case Summaries: October 19, 2018

Texas Courts of Appeals

Lee v. State

No. 11-16-00298-CR                         10/11/18

Issue:

Is a defendant entitled to an evidentiary hearing on a violation of the terms of a pretrial intervention agreement before the agreement may be terminated?

Holding:

No. Prosecutors have broad discretion in the organization and administration of pretrial intervention programs. Defendants do not have a right to be placed into a pretrial intervention program, nor may a trial court require the State to place a defendant on the program. A defendant placed on a pretrial intervention program has no liberty interest requiring a hearing for due process purposes before being terminated for a violation of the terms of the agreement. Read opinion.

Commentary:

As noted by the court’s decision, there is precious little caselaw and statutory authority regarding pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention. Nevertheless, this is a thorough and very well-researched opinion—the court even looks at how other states have dealt with similar claims. Prosecutors with pretrial diversion programs should keep this opinion available.

Announcements

New mandatory Brady training available online

TDCAA’s new state-mandated Brady training video is now available online through our website. As required by that statute (which went into effect on January 1, 2014), every attorney prosecuting a jailable criminal offense must complete one hour of instruction on a prosecutor’s duty to disclose such evidence and information within 180 days of assuming those duties, and Court rules require prosecutors to take a refresher course in the fourth year after completing that initial course. Our new 2018 course satisfies either requirement, and successful completion of the course will be recorded by TDCAA and shared with the Court as proof of satisfying this state mandate. Those who complete the course will also receive one hour of MCLE ethics credit from the State Bar of Texas. Visit our homepage to access and complete this course.

TDCJ fingerprint/pen packet policy change

Beginning Oct. 1, 2018, TDCJ will no longer be including offender fingerprints with pen packet requests. Fingerprints taken before 2010 may still be available, however. Further information is available here.

Jury selection training

Registration for Jury Selection in Impaired Driving Prosecutions is now open. This free 4-hour program will be held in three cities (Richmond, Rockwall, and San Antonio) on Friday, December 7. More information and registration links are available here.

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 [email protected].