Conroe Criminal Defense Attorney - CCA opinion summary King v. State
Conroe Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law
Opinion: King v. State
This is a legal opinion from the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, which discusses whether the trial court violated the Due Process Clause or Article 28.01, Section 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure when it held a pre-trial hearing in Appellant's absence. The court finds that there was no due process violation, and any Article 28.01 violation was harmless. The court goes on to discuss the constitutional provisions that protect a defendant's right to be present at different stages of prosecution and notes that the Due Process Clause is only implicated when the defendant's presence bears a reasonably substantial relationship to their defense. The court ultimately concludes that there was no due process violation, and therefore, no harm analysis need be conducted.
In this case, a pretrial hearing was held on the defendant's motion in limine regarding punishment evidence without the defendant being present, which led to a question of whether the judge violated the defendant's rights. The court held that there was no violation of Due Process or Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 28.01, §1 because the defendant's absence did not have a substantial impact on defending the hearing or the jury's decision. However, a concurring opinion suggested that the issue of error was not fully resolved, and the case may only be relevant to prosecutors handling direct appeals. It is advised for trial prosecutors to ensure the defendant's presence in every proceeding to avoid any uncertainty in the conviction.
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