Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re J.P.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

July 26, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF J.P.

         From the 289th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. CM2010JUV02006 Honorable Daphne Previti Austin, Judge Presiding

          Karen Angelini, Justice, Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice, Irene Rios, Justice

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Irene Rios, Justice

         Appellant J.P. appeals from the trial court's order revoking his community supervision and sentencing him to eight years' imprisonment. J.P. contends the trial court erred by failing to sua sponte hold an informal competency hearing. The trial court's judgment is affirmed.

         Background

         In December 2010, the juvenile court found J.P. engaged in delinquent conduct by committing the offense of indecency with a child, and following a disposition hearing, the juvenile court placed J.P. on juvenile community supervision for eight years. In June 2012, the juvenile court transferred J.P.'s juvenile community supervision to the district court, and J.P. continued community supervision as an adult. In February 2015, the State filed a Motion to Revoke (MTR) J.P.'s community supervision, and in November 2015, filed an amended MTR, alleging J.P. violated several conditions of his community supervision. The trial court held a hearing on the amended MTR in January 2016, during which J.P. pleaded true to three violations. During the June 9, 2016, sentencing hearing, the trial court revoked J.P.'s community supervision and sentenced J.P. to eight years' imprisonment.

         Thereafter, J.P. perfected this appeal.

         Standard of Review and Applicable Law

         A defendant is presumed competent to stand trial and shall be found competent to stand trial unless proved incompetent by a preponderance of the evidence. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 46B.003(b) (West 2015). A defendant is not competent to stand trial if he lacks (1) a sufficient present ability to consult with his attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or (2) a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him. Id. art. 46B003(a).

         "These legislative criteria for competency contemplate a defendant who is at least minimally able to interact with his trial counsel in a 'reasonable and rational' way (even if they do not necessarily agree) in formulating decisions how most effectively to pursue, his defense." Turner v. State, 422 S.W.3d 676, 689-90 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013). "Under our current statutory scheme, any 'suggestion' of incompetency to stand trial calls for an 'informal inquiry' to determine whether evidence exists to justify a formal competency trial." Id. at 691-92 (footnote omitted); see Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 46B.004(c), (c-1) (West 2015). The issue of a defendant's competency can be raised by any party by filing a motion or by the trial court on its own motion. See id. art. 46B.004.

         A suggestion of incompetency may be based on the trial court's observations related to the defendant's capacity to: rationally understand the charges against him and the potential consequences of the pending criminal proceedings; disclose to counsel pertinent facts, events, and states of mind; engage in a reasoned choice of legal strategies and options; understand the adversarial nature of criminal proceedings; exhibit appropriate courtroom behavior; and testify. Id. art. 46B.024(1) (West Supp. 2015), or "on any other indication that the defendant is incompetent [to stand trial] within the meaning of Article 46B.003." Id. art 46B.004(c-1).

         "In making this determination, a trial court must consider only that evidence tending to show incompetency, 'putting aside all competing indications of competency, to find whether there is some evidence, a quantity more than none or a scintilla, that rationally may lead to a conclusion of incompetency.'" Turner, 422 S.W.3d at 692 (quoting Ex parte LaHood, 401 S.W.3d 45, 52-53 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013)). "If so, then 'evidence exists to support a finding of incompetency, ' and the statutory scheme requires the trial court to conduct a formal competency trial." Id. at 692-93 (quoting Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 46B.005(a) (West 2006)).

         We review a trial court's decision not to sua sponte hold an informal inquiry into a defendant's competency for an abuse of discretion. Moore v. State, 999 S.W.2d 385, 393 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). A trial court abuses its discretion if its decision is arbitrary or unreasonable. Id.

         A ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.