In our last post, we began speaking about a bill currently being considered by Texas lawmakers which would allow juries to be presented a broader scope of information concerning the specific actions taken by an offender prior to an alleged occurrence of abuse. As we noted, the bill has sparked criticism on the grounds that allowing such evidence could be prejudicial to defendants in many cases.
The issue of domestic violence is a lot like that of DUI in the sense that states are constantly seeking out ways to better protect the public and come up with tools for prosecutors to target offenders. Here in Texas, there are currently several domestic violence bills up for consideration in the House of Representatives.
In our last post, we mentioned that there is currently legislation in the House of Representatives which would change the asset forfeiture process in Texas by requiring law enforcement to have a conviction before property can be forfeited. In other words, the bill would effectively repeal civil asset forfeiture and replace it with criminal asset forfeiture. This would bring the asset forfeiture in line with the criminal system’s assumption that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
One of the aspects of criminal investigation that can be particularly frustrating for defendants is asset forfeiture. There are two different types of forfeiture, civil and criminal, but the form that bears the brunt of criticism is the civil variety.