26 Years Ago This Week: Naff v. State

By Ben Gibbs Naff v. State, 946 S.W.2d 529, decided May 15, 1997, is a useful case for municipal court practitioners because it addresses three common arguments and spells out clear legal reasons for its decision. Although not binding statewide authority, the Naff opinion relies heavily on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals authority and usesContinue reading “26 Years Ago This Week: Naff v. State”

Driving Safety Course as a Condition of Deferred Disposition Effective June 1, 2023

In 2021, the 87th Regular Legislature passed House Bill 1560 (H.B. 1560), which made numerous changes regarding the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), alcohol and drug programs, as well as driving safety courses. In yesterday’s blog entry, we discussed what alcohol and drug education will look like in a post-DADAP world. Today, let’sContinue reading “Driving Safety Course as a Condition of Deferred Disposition Effective June 1, 2023”

Online Alcohol Awareness Programs in the Post-DADAP World

By Ned Minevitz Section 106.115(a) of the Alcoholic Beverage Code provides that minors convicted of or granted deferred disposition for public intoxication, purchasing alcohol, attempting to purchase alcohol, consuming alcohol, driving under the influence, alcohol possession, and age misrepresentation must complete either an alcohol awareness program, drug education program, or drug and alcohol driving awarenessContinue reading “Online Alcohol Awareness Programs in the Post-DADAP World”

Call of the Week: Minor in Possession of Tobacco

By Benjamin Gibbs As public opinion on tobacco has shifted, so, too, has the law on underage possession. In the 88th legislature, there are bills introduced which would criminalize selling “alternative nicotine products” and certain flavors of tobacco to minors. See e.g., 88th legislature, SB 920, HB 4481. These bills would punish sellers, not underageContinue reading “Call of the Week: Minor in Possession of Tobacco”

Remote Possibilities: Post-Emergency Zoom Hearings

On January 27, 2023, the Supreme Court of Texas issued the Final General Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster. The Final Order renewed and amended the Fifty-Ninth Emergency Order and granted special rules pursuant to Governor Abbott’s declared state of disaster. The Final Order was effective February 1, 2023, and expired March 1,Continue reading “Remote Possibilities: Post-Emergency Zoom Hearings”

TMCEC’s 2023 Prosecutor Seminar is Approaching!

A well-informed prosecutor that stays apprised of changes to the law and follows established best practices improves the efficiency of justice. TMCEC is hosting the first of two AY23 Prosecutors Seminars February 22-24, 2023 at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk in San Antonio. Since 1992, TMCEC has offered specialized continuing legal education to prosecuting attorneys whoContinue reading “TMCEC’s 2023 Prosecutor Seminar is Approaching!”

The Supreme Court Issues 59th COVID-19 Emergency Order

On December 30, 2022, The Supreme Court Issued the 59th COVID-19 Emergency Order. The order goes into effect on January 1, 2023 and expires February 1, 2023. Of note, all courts in Texas may allow or require a participant to participate remotely, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means. Municipal courts may not requireContinue reading “The Supreme Court Issues 59th COVID-19 Emergency Order”

Financial Responsibility Through Auto Insurance

Whether it be for the purposes of a Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (FMFR) charge or to determine eligibility for a driving safety course (DSC), municipal courts in Texas are frequently presented with paperwork that a defendant believes shows their financial responsibility through motor vehicle liability insurance. At the TMCEC Central Texas Regional Judges andContinue reading “Financial Responsibility Through Auto Insurance”

TMCEC Welcomes Thomas Velez as Program Attorney!

Mark Goodner sat down with Thomas Velez to discuss Velez joining the TMCEC team. MG: Well, we are approaching the end of week one with you as a member of our team here at TMCEC. Let me again reiterate how thrilled we are to have you onboard. How is everything going so far and what’sContinue reading “TMCEC Welcomes Thomas Velez as Program Attorney!”

Poker Clubs and Municipal Court

In Texas, gambling is illegal. Gambling is so illegal, in fact, that allowing charitable raffles at rodeos required Texas to amend its Constitution. See, Tex. Const. Art 3, Sec. 47 (d-1), Proposition No. 1, Nov. 2, 2021. Chapter 47 of the Penal Code clearly sets out a prohibition on, effectively, all gambling. Tex. Pen. CodeContinue reading “Poker Clubs and Municipal Court”