Texas Stamp

OSPA Offers Practically Free Traffic-Stop Training for Rural Law Enforcement

Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney John R. Messinger will conduct a 4-hour presentation covering 4th Amendment issues with a focus on traffic stops.  The presentation is accompanied by a paper (distributed in advance) and includes:

∙ Historical perspective
∙ In-depth coverage of controlling law
∙ Discussion of recent cases and pending issues
∙ A quiz!

This service is for small or rural counties that do not have the resources to send officers for training.   Credit can be earned with a department’s approval. 


Call ((512) 463-1660) or email (information@spa.texas.gov) John to schedule a training day for this August (August will be the only time the service is offered).   

The department, county, or city will be responsible for John's mileage reimbursement and overnight residency (if needed). 


PD-1671-15 04/27/2016

"The Court of Appeals' decision that the consolidated court cost was constitutional failed to explain how the comprehensive rehabilitation fee is a legitimate criminal justice purpose."

Upon his felony conviction, Penright was assessed a $133 consolidated court cost pursuant to Local Gov't Code § 133.102. That provision requires the collection of costs and the allocation of the collected costs to fourteen specified accounts and funds.

The court of appeals rejected Penright's claim that the court cost was unconstitutional because some of the accounts it funds are not necessary or incidental to the trial of a criminal case. The court held that, to be proper, the costs need only relate to the administration of the criminal justice system. Here, the funds are allocated to Crime Stoppers, breath alcohol testing, law enforcement training, rehabilitation, law enforcement retirement and death benefits, criminal justice planning, juvenile delinquency prevention, crime victim's compensation, emergency radio communications, and criminal justice professional training–all of which are legitimate criminal justice purposes.

Penright contends that the "Comprehensive Rehabilitation Fee," which provides rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, serves no legitimate criminal justice purpose; therefore, it is unconstitutional. He points out that because the consolidated court cost statute has no severability clause, a single provision that is unconstitutional invalidates the entire statute.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

P. O. Box 13046
Austin, Texas 78711-3046

Physical Address

209 W. 14th Street
Austin, Texas 78701


(512) 463-1660


(512) 463-5724