Texas Attorney General Opinion: LO89-41 Page: 2 of 3
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Honorable Hugh Parmer
May 4, 1989
We note, however, that the September 21, 1988, letter
from Houston Police Officer F. M. Atkins that accompanies
your request raises uncertainty in our minds as to the scope
of your question. Officer Atkins apparently originated this
request by asking Officer Mark Clark, President of the
Houston Police Officers Association, to obtain an attorney
general opinion. The association contacted Senator John
Whitmire through its general counsel, Mr. Edward Lasof.
Senator Whitmire in turn, by his letter of November 8, 1988,
asked you as chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations
Committee to make the request. Officer Atkins' letter
outlining the situation in Harris County giving rise to the
request, however, concludes by asking that an attorney
general opinion be obtained "pertaining to the length of
time the Police Department should guard a prisoner after the
Houston Police Department has released [its] 'Hold' and the
Sheriff assumes responsibility of the prisoner" (emphasis
added). Thus, Officer Atkins' letter appears to ask about
police officers' duties with respect to guarding hospital-
ized prisoners after the sheriff has assumed responsibility
for the prisoners, while your request asks at what point the
sheriff is required to accept responsibility. Both Senator
Whitmire's and Officer Atkins' letters allude to the problem
as being one of guarding injured "Hold" prisoners, but
Officer Atkins' letter concludes by asking the question with
respect to the time after the police department has released
Because we are uncertain as to the scope of your first
question, we have simply enclosed a copy of Attorney General
Opinion JM-151, which we hope will answer your first
question. If it does not, please clarify the question and
Your second question is:
[S]hould hospitalized prisoners be arraigned
before a magistrate; and if so, when; and if
Article 26.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
provides that there shall be an arraignment in all felony
cases after indictment and in all misdemeanor cases
punishable by imprisonment. The purpose of the arraignment
is to fix the identity of the accused and hear his plea.
Code Crim. Proc. art. 26.02. Also, article 26.04 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the appointment of
counsel at the arraignment or at any time prior to arraign-
ment if the court determines that the defendant "is too poor
to employ counsel."
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: LO89-41, text, 1989; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth276822/m1/2/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.