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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 1.16

Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.


Todays section of the code of criminal procedure is Article 1.16 which covers the freedom of speech and of the press in Texas. Its a corollary to the first amendment of the United States Constitution. It reads, "Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinion on any subject, being liable for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press."


The Supreme Court of the United States has held that the government may make laws limiting speech on some instances. For example yelling fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire can cause such a danger that the freedom to say ANYTHING is curtailed. However, any political, satirical or other form of expression is generally allowed. “No court of last resort in this country has ever held, or even suggested, that prosecutions for libel on government have any place in the American system of jurisprudence." City of Chicago v. Tribune Co., 307 Ill. 595, 601, 139 N.E. 86, 88 (1923). ” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 291-92 (1964).



Art. 1.16. LIBERTY OF SPEECH AND PRESS. Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinion on any subject, being liable for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. In all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


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