Jani Maselli Wood, a public defender in Houston who is waging an appeals court battle over the constitutionality of court costs, recently won a favorable majority opinion knocking out two court costs levied against her client.

On Dec. 30, a panel of the First Texas Court of Appeals in Houston modified criminal convictions against Wood’s client Osmin Peraza to delete a $250 “DNA record fee” from the judgments from each conviction on the ground that it is an unconstitutional tax, and also deleted a $50 “sheriff’s fee” for “serving capias” because there is no basis in the record to support the charge. The court otherwise affirmed the judgment against Peraza, overruling Peraza’s contention that the trial court erred when denying his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to the two charges of aggravated sexual assault.