X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In September 2000, a Harris County grand jury returned an indictment charging Michael Miller Euler with bribery. In November 2000, Euler pleaded guilty to the offense and the trial court sentenced him to four years of imprisonment and a fine of $1,000. The trial court then suspended imposition of Euler’s sentence and placed him on probation for four years, subject to certain conditions. In July 2003, the state filed a motion to revoke Euler’s probation. In September 2003, the state filed an amended motion to revoke, in which it alleged that Euler had violated the conditions of his probation by operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and consuming a controlled substance, namely cocaine. In December 2003, the trial court held a hearing on the state’s amended motion to revoke. At the start of that hearing, Euler pleaded “not true” to the State’s allegations. The state then presented its evidence, which consisted of the testimony of Euler’s probation officer, the testimony of four Houston police officers and a videotape. The state’s evidence alleged that on the evening of July 1, 2003, in Harris County, Euler operated a pickup truck while intoxicated with alcohol, and on or about Feb. 21, 2001, and Jan. 23, 2003, Euler consumed cocaine. Euler’s contrary evidence asserted that he did not operate a pickup truck while intoxicated as the state had alleged, he may have appeared intoxicated on the occasion in question because of a neurological disorder, and he did not consume cocaine as the state had alleged. The trial court found that Euler had violated the conditions of his probation. The trial court revoked Euler’s probation and assessed his punishment at imprisonment for two years and a fine of $1,000. In January 2004, Euler filed a motion for new trial. In that motion, Euler complained of the trial court’s refusal “to postpone imposition of punishment . . . to give counsel the necessary time to prepare and present evidence that would dissuade the Court from ordering [Euler's] incarceration.” Euler argued further that “[h]ad the court granted [his] request for a separate hearing [on punishment], he would have presented credible evidence that he [had been] diagnosed by reputable physicians with continuing neurological disorders, including (but not limited to) slurred speech, short-term memory loss and bouts of depression.” The trial court denied Euler’s motion for new trial. In February 2005, the 14th Court of Appeals rejected Euler’s due process argument and affirmed the judgment of the trial court. Euler subsequently filed a petition for discretionary review to the Court of Criminal Appeals. HOLDING:Affirmed. The due process clause of the 14th Amendment, the CCA stated, provides that no state may “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The touchstone of due process is fundamental fairness. Accordingly, the CCA stated, no state may deprive any person of the conditional liberty created by probation unless the state employs procedures that are fundamentally fair. Euler, the CCA stated, argued in effect that his right to due process required the trial court to grant his request for another hearing on another day so that he could gather evidence and show that incarceration was not the appropriate punishment in his case. The CCA rejected that argument. If Euler wanted an opportunity to present evidence and argument on the question of punishment, the court stated that it was incumbent upon Euler to ask for that opportunity and to be ready to present such evidence and argument as soon as the trial court announced its finding that he had violated the conditions of his probation. OPINION:Holcomb, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Price, Womack, Johnson, and Cochran, J.J., joined. CONCURRENCE:Meyers, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Keller, P.J., and Keasler and Hervey, J.J., joined. “When a defendant violates the agreed-upon terms of community supervision, he is entitled to a revocation hearing, and nothing more. Appellant got that. The majority seems to say that Appellant had a due-process right to present evidence at his revocation hearing, but that he did not have a right to another hearing on another day.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.