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OSPA Offers Practically Free Traffic-Stop Training for Rural Law Enforcement

Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney John R. Messinger will conduct a 4-hour presentation covering 4th Amendment issues with a focus on traffic stops.  The presentation is accompanied by a paper (distributed in advance) and includes:

∙ Historical perspective
∙ In-depth coverage of controlling law
∙ Discussion of recent cases and pending issues
∙ A quiz!

This service is for small or rural counties that do not have the resources to send officers for training.   Credit can be earned with a department’s approval. 


Call ((512) 463-1660) or email (information@spa.texas.gov) John to schedule a training day for this August (August will be the only time the service is offered).   

The department, county, or city will be responsible for John's mileage reimbursement and overnight residency (if needed). 



1. “Does a charging instrument that does not identify the defendant by name, but which is preceded by a caption that does identity the defendant by name, meet the jurisdictional requirement that a charging instrument name a ‘person’ as required by article V, §12(b) of the Texas Constitution?” 2....



1. “Does a defendant preserve error regarding juror unanimity when the instruction requested is both an incorrect statement of the law and would not have corrected the error complained of on appeal?” 2. “Does a defendant suffer harm when a jury charge allows for non-unanimous verdicts as to cont...



“The court of appeals’ [sic] committed a structural error by denying the appellant his right’s of due process. The second issue is whether the appellant has a right to file a pro se appeal brief after the court denies appellant his right to find new appeal counsel, and after the court has allowed...



1. “Is the constitutional harm standard the proper test for harm when there was a mere delay in the election versus no election at all and the jury is charged on a specific incident?”  2.  “How specific must the factual rendition of a single incident in the jury charge be to serve the purposes t...



1. Whether the right to a jury trial mandated by U.S. Const. Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, and U.S. Const. art. III § 2, and the concepts set out by this Court in Apprendi and Blakely, is violated by the procedure utilized by the Court of Appeals, that is, a judicial finding of an element not ...



“The Court of Appeals erred in failing to consider the conflict between the new test results and the results presented at trial, as well as the defensive evidence presented by appellant, when deciding whether the new test results cast doubt on the validity of the conviction.”



1. “The current test for determining whether an out-of-state offense is substantially similar to an enumerated Texas offense is too broad. Accordingly, this Court should disavow that test and replace it with one that only compares the elements of the respective offenses.” 2. “Even if not disavow...



1. “The court of appeals misapplies the standard of review when examining article 38.23 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.” 2. “The court of appeals’ opinion puts it in conflict with other courts of appeals, which have applied constitutional violation analysis to private individuals under ...