Those who are interested in the history of law could do much worse than to read the letters of Pliny the Younger*. The second century Roman lawyer and magistrate’s letters are still preserved in near perfect form; the most famous of these is Epistle #10 to the Emperor Trajan.

Written in 112 C.E. – aka A.D. – its primary interest to most historians is that it’s the first written mention of Christians outside of the Bible (and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the non-canonized Gospels, etc. – in other words, the first “pagan” reference). Pliny asks Trajan what he should do: should he execute these pesky Christians whose crimes don’t include any sort of rabble rousing or trouble making but simply refusing to worship correctly?

Continue Reading The Crime of Meeting (On A Stated Day Before It Was Light)

From a recent PC affidavit:

…The tin contained four marijuana roaches and 6 small round pills with 2530 on one side and the letter v on the other. [Jamie’s client] said that the pills were Klonopin. I asked [Jamie’s client] if she had a prescription for Klonopin and she said she did not.

The pills were identified as Clonazepam via the Epocrates iPhone Pill Identification Application.

Continue Reading Sign Of The Times: iCop, iLawyer, iJudge

I didn’t give the prosecutor enough credit, when I pre-guessed that his response would be “out of time”. But he did throw a procedural wrinkle at me: Municipal Court judges can’t grant a writ. From Article 11.05, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:

Art. 11.05. By Whom Writ May Be Granted.

The Court of Criminal Appeals, the District Courts, the County Courts, or any Judge of said Courts, have power to issue the writ of habeas corpus; and it is their duty, upon proper motion, to grant the writ under the rules prescribed by law.

Continue Reading Writ Update

“You don’t get a figure like mine by eating salads for lunch,” I often say, when it is either necessary or, more likely, merely personally amusing to point out that I’m no longer the fittest of the fit. But I still have a few friends left from childhood that remember me as a scrawny kid, constantly on the move, never staying still, always running, bicycling, shooting hoops, not per se “exercising” in the 40-something meaning of the word, on treadmills or ellipticals, but let’s say… “very active”. (And I wonder where my children get their energy from.)

Continue Reading Thrashing Pecans

CHAPTER 106. Provisions Relating to Age

Section 106.01.   Definition

Section 106.02.   Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor

Section 106.025. Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor

Section 106.03.   Sale of Alcohol to a Minor 

Section 106.04.   Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor (MIC)

Section 106.041. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor

Section 106.05.   Possession of Alcohol by a Minor (MIP)

Section 106.06.   Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor; Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor

Section 106.07.   Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor

Section 106.071. Punishment for Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor

Section 106.08.   Importation by a Minor

Section 106.09.   Employment of Minors

Section 106.10.   Plea of Guilty by a Minor

Section 106.115. Attendance at Alcohol Awareness Course; License Suspension

Section 106.116. Reports of Court to Commission

Section 106.117. Report of Court to Department of Public Safety

Section 106.12.   Expungement of Conviction of a Minor

Section 106.13.   Sanctions Against Retailer

Section 106.14.   Actions of Employee

Section 106.15.   Prohibited Activities by Persons Younger Than 18

Section 106.02. Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor

(a) A minor commits an offense if the minor purchases an alcoholic beverage. A minor does not commit an offense if the minor purchases an alcoholic beverage under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of this code.

(b) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by Section 106.071.

Section 106.025. Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor

(a) A minor commits an offense if, with specific intent to commit an offense under Section 106.02 of this code, the minor does an act amounting to more than mere preparation that tends but fails to effect the commission of the offense intended.

(b) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by Section 106.071.

Section 106.03. Sale to Minors 

(a) A person commits an offense if with criminal negligence he sells an alcoholic beverage to a minor.

(b) A person who sells a minor an alcoholic beverage does not commit an offense if the minor falsely represents himself to be 21 years old or older by displaying an apparently valid Texas driver’s license or an identification card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, containing a physical description consistent with his appearance for the purpose of inducing the person to sell him an alcoholic beverage.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) Subsection (b) does not apply to a person who accesses electronically readable information under Section 109.61 that identifies a driver’s license or identification certificate as invalid.

Section 106.04. Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

(a) A minor commits an offense if he consumes an alcoholic beverage.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the alcoholic beverage was consumed in the visible presence of the minor’s adult parent, guardian, or spouse.

(c) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by Section 106.071.

(d) A minor who commits an offense under this section and who has been previously convicted twice or more of offenses under this section is not eligible for deferred disposition. For the purposes of this subsection:

(1) an adjudication under Title 3, Family Code, that the minor engaged in conduct described by this section is considered a conviction of an offense under this section; and

(2) an order of deferred disposition for an offense alleged under this section is considered a conviction of an offense under this section.

[This is commonly referred to as the Texas “Minor in Consumption” or MIC law.]