Justia Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Opinion Summaries

Baumgart v. Texas

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Appellant Eric Baumgart acted as a security guard but had no license for doing so. He was charged with committing violations of the Private Security Act, in the Occupations Code. Appellant filed motions to quash and to dismiss these indictments. One of his allegations was that each of the indictments failed to contain language negating statutory exceptions to the offense. The primary exception that appellant relied upon was that he was a law enforcement officer, but there were a dozen statutory provisions that he claimed created exceptions that the State was required to negate in the indictment. The trial court denied appellant’s motions, and appellant was subsequently convicted. On appeal, appellant again raised his claim that the indictments failed to negate applicable statutory exceptions. The court of appeals focused on the law enforcement provision and stated that the exception was contained within a separate section from the section that stated the offense and, in fact, was contained within a separate subchapter titled “Exceptions.” Further, the court concluded that a prima facie case of acting as a security services contractor without a license could be made without proof that negated the law enforcement exception. Consequently, the court of appeals rejected appellant’s contention, and it ultimately affirmed his conviction. Finding no reversible error in the appellate court’s judgment, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. View "Baumgart v. Texas" on Justia Law