Fort Worth, TX asked in Criminal Law and Appeals / Appellate Law for Texas

Q: I’m looking for case law after 1985 for jurisdictional defects in controlled substance indictments in Texas particularly

Indictments that don’t name a substance or penalty group

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I'd like to help you here but you haven't asked a question. Without any clue as to what you're trying to accomplish, any substantive attempt to give you an answer would be be more likely to confuse you than to enighten you.

You won't find a whole lot of caselaw on this topic as it is an area that, as a general rule, provides very little help for our clients. Problem is that if an indictment is faulty to the extent that it doesn't charge the defendant with a crime, it will almost always be spotted by the prosecutor or the defense attorney early in the case. The prosecutor will then usually "fix" before it becomes a problem which might show up in the caselaw.

Back in the old days, for example in the 1960s or earlier, if the defense lawyer spotted a fundamentally defective indictment- one which would not support a conviction- he could keep quiet and take his client to trial hoping for an aquittal. If the defendant lost at trial, the defendant would get a "free" new trial because the conviction was void or voidable. But that law has been changed many years ago now so that problems with indictments have to be pointed oout before trial or guilty plea or the defendant is almost always deemed to have waived the error.

What you should do here to get some good advice is re-submit your "question", state the legal situation you're dealing with and then actually ask a question about how to proceed.

Kiele Linroth Pace agrees with this answer

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