Texas Criminal Legislation in the Works

The Texas District and County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) has been so kind as to commission Texas legislative updates for us. Thanks, TDCAA.

Some highlights:

  • House Bill 169, allowing police to set up checkpoints (ihre Papieren, bitte!).
  • House Bill 164, creating an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana.
  • House Bill 170, creating a presumption, if a person’s BAC is over .08 within 90 minutes of arrest, that his BAC was over .08 at the time of the offense.
  • House Bill 287, reducing possession of less than a gram of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 or 2 from a state jail felony to a class A misdemeanor. (This is from Rep. Harold Dutton, who is also sponsoring bills on the abolition of the death penalty and discovery in criminal cases, among other things.)
  • My personal favorite so far, Senate Bill 112, creating a deferred prosecution program for military members and veterans.

There’s much, much more; I may report on it in coming days.

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0 responses to “Texas Criminal Legislation in the Works”

  1. HB 170 is a good start, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. There should be a presumption that if your BAC is less than 0.08 within 90 minutes of your arrest, it was still more than 0.08 when the cop pulled you over.

  2. Michael, you’re just coddling drunk drivers. There should be a presumption that the cop wouldn’t have pulled them over unless they were driving so poorly that their BAC must have been over 0.08. Why waste officer time on tests which the defense bar has proven are unreliable?

    Also, Hooray for internal checkpoints, that hallmark of all great civilizations.

  3. The idea of checkpoints is bad enough. But to allow the constables to do it is crazy. Unless of course you’re a defense attorney who will make money kicking their ass in court.

    Bottom line is if any law enforcement agency was serious about DWI, they would just follow up on crashes at the ER and subpoena blood results. But that might not result in enough court overtime for the DWI task force.

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