Texas Criminal Statutes of Limitation

December 20, 2011

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

www.rosenthalwadas.com

Updated October 27, 2016

Texas current criminal statutes of limitation are governed by Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 12.  The statute of limitation is the deadline for the State to file an information (the charging document in a misdemeanor) or for a grand jury to issue an indictment (in a felony). The prosecution has met the statute where they file the case prior the expiration of the statute — even if they don’t apprehend the defendant prior to the statute.  The delay in apprehending a defendant, though, is a separate issue.

2 Year Statute of Limitation:

All misdemeanors Including

  • First and Second DWI arrests
  • DWI with greater than 0.15
  • Possession of Marijuana of 4 oz or less
  • Assault causing bodily injury (with or without family violence allegation)
  • Vandalism (Criminal mischief) up to $2,500 damage
  • Theft up to $2,500

3 Year Statute of Limitation Any felony not specifically listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 12.01 5 Year Statute of Limitation

  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping (unless victim is under 17 years old)
  • Burglary
  • Injury to elderly or disabled individual (if done without intent)
  • Abandonment or endangering a child
  • insurance fraud

7 Year Statue of Limitation

  • Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution
  • Securing execution of a document by deception
  • A felony violation of Chapter 162 of the Tax Code
  • False statement obtain property or credit
  • Money laundering
  • Credit or debit card abuse
  • Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information

10 Year Statute of Limitation

  • Theft by executor, guardian or trustee with intent to defraud beneficiary or creditor
  • Theft by public servant of government property
  • Forgery or the uttering, using or passing of forged instruments
  • Injury to an elderly or disabled person (with intent)
  • Sexual Assault (see below for exceptions)
  • Arson

Statutes of Limitations Based on Victim’s Age

10 Years from victim’s 18th birthday

  • Injury to a Child

20 Years from the victim’s 18th birthday 

  • Sexual performance of a child
  • Aggravated Kidnapping (with intent to violate or abuse victim sexually)
  • Burglary (if done with intent to violate or abuse victim sexually)

No Statute of Limitation

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
  • Sexual Assault if there is biological matter collected and subjected to forensic DNA testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained.
  • Continuous sexual abuse of child or children
  • Indecency with a child
  • Leaving the scene of an accident if the accident resulted in death

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas and is Board Certified in Criminal Law.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any legal issue, you should contact an attorney directly.  Contacting the attorney through this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Communications through this forum are not confidential. Me on Google+


Do I Need a Lawyer for a DUI?

December 16, 2011

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 562-7549

www.thecollincountylawyer.com

Yes.

In Texas our legislature, law enforcement, and many prosecutors know of only one way to deal with Driving While Intoxicated.  To be as mean as possible.  Even if drunk driving is at record lows, they figure the only way to keep driving the numbers down even further is to get progressively meaner and meaner.  Of course, they can’t actually prove getting meaner actually works.   But you are fighting a harsh, unsympathetic law enforcement machine designed to break your pocket book, label you forever, and in some cases humiliate you in the name of public safety.

Even though a first DWI is a misdemeanor in Texas, it almost acts like a felony in some ways, or as I put it, it’s a misdemeanor on steroids.  There are generally driver’s license suspensions, deep lung devices that can be put on your car which can be humiliating, and thousands of dollars in sur-charges to keep your driver’s license on a 1st DWI arrest.

Texas has progressively harshened their drunk driving laws.  The legislature has addressed intoxication offenses during every single bi-annual session since 1993.  The most recent changes allow for people to be charged with a class A misdemeanor if someone’s blood/alcohol concentration is greater than 0.15 at the time they are tested.

Texas law enforcement agencies have aggressively been pursuing involuntary blood draws of suspects if the increased punishment weren’t enough.  Many agencies in Texas have began introducing “no refusal weekend” policies, which means that if a suspect refuses a breath test, the police merely fax a cookie-cutter warrant to a judge on call.  If the judge signs the warrant, then the person’s blood is taken without their consent.  In the words of Richard Alpert, Assistant District Attorney in Tarrant County and one of the lead intoxication offense prosecutors in the State, “If it bleeds, it pleads.”

So you can see, Texas’ mentality with DWI enforcement is that “you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.”

But you’re not helpless.  Whether you made a mistake by getting behind the wheel, or whether the only mistake you made was running into a manipulative officer having a bad night… you don’t need to let yourself be thrashed, broken, and humiliated.

There are countless ways to defend DWI cases ranging from the legality of the stop in the first place, to the intoxication aspects, and even some of the smaller, over-looked elements to the case.  Even if the case is extremely difficult, the help of counsel can assist you in lifting at least some of the heavier punishments from these laws.

Just because the prosecutors, police, and legislature says it’s justice doesn’t make it so.

*Jeremy F. Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice regarding any situation you should contact an attorney directly.  Contacting the attorney through this forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Communications sent through this blog are not confidential.

 

 

 


Deep Lung Devices are Getting Harder to Avoid in Collin County While on Bond

December 14, 2011

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 562-7549

www.thecollincountylawyer.com

All driving while intoxicated arrests in Texas require that a person see a magistrate judge.  That judge is required by law to make an initial assessment and to decide whether to order the defendant to have an ignition interlock device (also known as a deep lung device) under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 17.441.

Here is the relevant text of 17.441:

“(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a magistrate shall require on release that a defendant charged with a subsequent offense under Sections 49.04-49.06, Penal Code, or an offense under Section 49.07 or 49.08 of that code:

“(1) have installed on the motor vehicle owned by the defendant or on the vehicle most regularly driven by the defendant, a device that uses a deep-lung breath analysis mechanism to make impractical the operation of a motor vehicle if ethyl alcohol is detected in the breath of the operator; and

“(2) not operate any motor vehicle unless the vehicle is equipped with that device.

“(b) The magistrate may not require the installation of the device if the magistrate finds that to require the device would not be in the best interest of justice.

Section 17.441 can be read to state that a judge can only order the interlock device on a vehicle if it’s the 2nd DWI arrest (or more) of the defendant.  The judge can find that an interlock ignition device is not appropriate in the best interests of justice even on a 2nd arrest.

In reality, Judge’s interpret the law to state that they can always place an interlock device on a car but are only required to do so on a 2nd offense.  It is unclear whether they are interpreting 17.441 as the basis for their beliefs of some other statute.  Additionally, many Collin County judges have informal policies that if a defendant had a car accident or was charged with the new offense of DWI with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.15, then they will order the deep lung device as well.

Ultimately deep lung devices are becoming more and more common as terms and conditions of bond in Collin County.  Arrest and going before the magistrate is not the only time in a case where a judge may have an opportunity to order the deep lung device as well… the judge can order the defendant get one when the defendant applies for an occupational license due to a driver’s license suspension, during a guilty plea, or if a jury convicts the defendant.

*Jeremy F. Rosenthal is an attorney licensed in the State of Texas.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any situation, you should contact an attorney directly.  Contacting the attorney through this blog does not create an attorney client relationship and communications through this blog are not confidential.


Computer Crimes – The Prosecutor Must ‘Put the Defendant’s Fingers on the Keyboard’

December 9, 2011

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 562-7549

www.thecollincountylawyer.com

Every legislative session comes with new cyber laws altogether or new tweaks on existing laws.  Common online crimes are online harassment, online impersonation, unauthorized computer access and sex crimes such as online solicitation.

The biggest challenge for the prosecutor is to ‘put the Defendant’s fingers on the keyboard.’  In other words, the prosecutor must show that the computer crime, if any, was committed by the Defendant and not someone else on the same computer.  Though police may be able to track online activity to a particular Facebook or Yahoo account and can pin-point it to a particular IP address doesn’t mean they’ve made their case.  They must also eliminate other suspects under the same roof which can be difficult.  Remember too that the prosecution bears the burden of proof beyond all reasonable doubt and the burden never shifts to the defense.

This is where the advocacy of a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help with these types of charges.  Often police and prosecutors will quit on a case once they’ve narrowed the evidence down to a particular IP address if someone lives there with a motive to commit the crime.  In trial, though, the jury must be made to understand the importance of eliminating all other suspects — and thus eliminating all reasonable doubt.

Compare an online case with a case with biological evidence such as DNA.  In a case with a DNA match, the prosecutor can tell the jury that the DNA eliminates every other possible suspect in the state of Texas, the United States, or North America.  On a computer case, the prosecution can’t even eliminate other suspects living in the same house.

The prosecutor must “put the defendant’s fingers on the keyboard.”  Don’t let the jury allow them to get away with any less!

*Jeremy F. Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas.  Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any issue you should contact an attorney directly.  Contacting the attorney through this blog does not create an attorney-client privilege and communications to the attorney through this blog are not confidential.