Message from the TLOT President - Sept. 8, 2019
Received a troubling notice this week from one of the courts where I regularly appear.
The formal notice (signed by the Presiding Judge) relates to changes instituted by the newly passed HB 1528 amending no less than three (3) sections of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure for the purposes of reporting requirements to the State-wide Computerized Criminal History System for allegations involving, “Family Violence” as defined by §71.004 of the Texas Family Code. Specifically, HB 1528 requires clients plea in open court to receive verbal admonishments, and to be fingerprinted and indexed into the CCHS upon, “disposition of a case …” which will ABSOLUTLEY affect a client’s ability to purchase, own or possess firearms or ammunition.
The memorandum from the court referenced above implements a new requirement for clients charged with Assault, Family Violence. Now, clients are expected to, “make an appointment” with the court so their fingerprints may be taken by the Court Bailiff and indexed into the CCHS on, “… the plea date …”
No exception is made for a Not Guilty plea.
The HB 1528 statutory language triggers the fingerprinting and indexing requirement at the, “disposition of a case …” – which, in my opinion, includes an acquittal.
I think the statutory language may run afoul of our client’s 2nd Amendment Rights, because once indexed into the CCHS – even for a case won at trial with an acquittal or dismissed by a Prosecutor for want of evidence – our clients will forever be in the system, and could conceivably be denied the right to purchase, own or possess firearms or ammunition.
I’ll update the group as more information becomes available. I encourage you all to pay attention to any similar requirements imposed in your courts and share with us all so we can present a united front in defending against this (very possible) administrative overreach.
Justin T. Holt, Managing Attorney
Mallory, Lollar, Holt & Associates, P.C.
Tel. (817) 831-4321