top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 1.21 Legislator privilege.

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law


Did you know that politicians can't be arrested for violations of the law according to the code of criminal procedure? That's right, Senators and representatives in the Texas State Government have immunity from being arrested during the session of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the Legislature is convened.


That means that a legislator from El Paso has 28 days on either end of the legislative session that they are privileged against arrest. The only exceptions are for treason, felony offenses, or breach of the peace offenses. So if you are a member of the Legislature and you are found with Xanax pills that aren't yours then you can just tell the officers to go screw themselves because they can't arrest you. "Don't you know who I am?!!" Yeah the Texas Legislature codified "don't you know who I am" into law. Its been on the books since 1965 when the code of criminal procedure in its current form was originally passed.


This of course, flies in the face of most of the principles of equality that we hold sacred in the legal community and the United States in general. No man is supposed to be above the law. But the legislature has deemed that they in fact are above the trivial misdemeanor laws that we are all supposed to live by.


So the next time you are asked about a law that should be changed, maybe you should bring up Article 1.21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure? Then again I'd have to relearn all the numbers if they get rid of that one. Maybe its not so bad . . .

Art. 1.21. PRIVILEGE OF LEGISLATORS. Senators and Representatives shall, except in cases of treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the Legislature is convened. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


For litigants who do not have counsel: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney client relationship. Call to set up a free consultation.


For the general public: This Blog/Web Site is for educational purposes only and it provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship created. Don't just read this as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.


For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if it’s something important.

17 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page