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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys – Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 1.14 Waiver of Trial

Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys – Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 1.14 – Brian Foley Board Certified in Criminal Law in Houston, Texas.


A defendant has many rights in a criminal prosecution. The right to remain silent offered by the 5th amendment and article 38.22 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The right to have the rules of evidence apply at subsequent bail proceedings which seek to increase the defendant’s bond. The right to an appeal. But many of these rights may be waived by a criminal defendant or by their attorney.


Article 1.14 covers one of these important rights. The article reads that a defendant may waive some of these rights (other than the right to a jury in a death penalty case). But then the meat of the article surfaces in section (b) which reads, “If the defendant does not object to a defect, error, or irregularity of form or substance in an indictment or information before the date on which the trial on the merits commences, he waives and forfeits the right to object to the defect, error, or irregularity and he may not raise the objection on appeal or in any other postconviction proceeding.”



This section was amended in 1991 and radically changed the way criminal cases were challenged and appealed. Before this section if an indictment had the wrong name or was missing an element of the offense like bodily injury being caused for an Assault case, then the defense attorney could wait until the jury had been sworn during a trial and object to the indictment being insufficient, win the trial, and bar retrial because of double jeopardy since the jury had been sworn in. Article 1.14 put an end to that practice as it requires an attorney to file a motion to quash an information or indictment prior to the case proceeding to trial. This makes it impossible to wait for double jeopardy to attach.


This is one of many laws that make “winning on a technicality” almost non-existent. Most attorneys do not file motions to quash, even when there is an error in the charging instrument. At Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC one of the first things we do in your case is review the charging instrument or indictment to attempt to find any legal errors. These can be improper names of victims, wrong value amounts alleged by prosecutors, and many others. As former prosecutors we have seen many indictments and charging instruments and have the experience you need on your side.


Art. 1.14. WAIVER OF RIGHTS. (a) The defendant in a criminal prosecution for any offense may waive any rights secured him by law except that a defendant in a capital felony case may waive the right of trial by jury only in the manner permitted by Article 1.13(b) of this code. (b) If the defendant does not object to a defect, error, or irregularity of form or substance in an indictment or information before the date on which the trial on the merits commences, he waives and forfeits the right to object to the defect, error, or irregularity and he may not raise the objection on appeal or in any other postconviction proceeding. Nothing in this article prohibits a trial court from requiring that an objection to an indictment or information be made at an earlier time in compliance with Article 28.01 of this code. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1967, 60th Leg., p. 1733, ch. 659, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1967; Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1127, ch. 426, art. 3, Sec. 5, eff. June 14, 1973. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Dec. 1, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 652, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.


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