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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant was indicted for attempted sexual assault. The indictment contained no enhancement allegations. Six days before trial, the state filed and served upon appellant a notice of enhancement, describing a prior burglary conviction that the state intended to use to elevate the punishment for the indicted offense to a second-degree felony. At the punishment phase of trial, defense counsel lodged several objections to the notice, including an objection that the notice was untimely. The trial court deferred ruling on the objection until after presentation of the evidence. During the hearing, the state obtained a set of appellant’s fingerprints to compare with those found on judgments for the prior felony enhancement conviction and also for 10 prior misdemeanor convictions. Appellant expressed confusion regarding the fingerprint comparison process, and he complained that defense counsel had not explained it to him. In response to this complaint, the trial court continued the proceedings for a week. Following that hearing, the trial court found the enhancement allegation true and sentenced appellant to 18 years in prison. The court of appeals found the notice of enhancement to be untimely, and found that appellant was “substantially harmed” by the trial court’s decision to allow the enhancement because the sentence was outside the range of punishment for a third-degree felony. HOLDING:The judgment of the court of appeals is reversed, and the trial court’s judgment is affirmed. The notice requirement dictated by Brooks v. State, 57 S.W.2d 30 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997), is of constitutional origin, and the court of appeals erred in impliedly concluding otherwise. The court also disavows the appellate court’s attachment of special significance to the time period of 10 days. Although statutory time constraints are designed to safeguard constitutional notice rights in a manner that is easy for the parties to follow and for courts to apply, in a review for constitutional error, the statutes are not controlling. The ultimate question is whether constitutionally adequate notice was given. Likewise, the court rejects the appellate court’s conclusion that the relevant time period for determining proper notice is the period before trial. Under Oyler v. Boles, 368 U.S. 448 (1962), due process does not even require that the notice be given before the guilt phase begins, much less that it be given a number days before trial. Limiting the notice period to “before trial” ignores the possibility that the trial court could take measures to cure the notice problem by granting a continuance � an option Oyler expressly contemplates. When a defendant has no defense to the enhancement allegation and has not suggested the need for a continuance in order to prepare one, notice given at the beginning of the punishment phase satisfies the federal constitution. Like the defendants in Oyler, appellant in this case had no defense to the enhancement allegation he stipulated to the prior conviction. Nor did he suggest that a continuance was necessary to discover or prepare a defense, beyond the seven-day continuance he had already received. Appellant received substantially more than the notice minimally required to satisfy due process. Also, the court disagrees with the court of appeals’ conclusion that appellant’s confusion regarding the fingerprint comparison procedure established prejudice stemming from a lack of notice. OPINION:Keller, PJ; Price, Womack, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., joined. Johnson, J., concurred in the result. Meyers, J., did not participate.

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