TDCAA Community
admissibility of UA in disposition

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August 13, 2009, 15:34
suzannewest
admissibility of UA in disposition
Arson / delinquent conduct finding of true, but judge reset case for disposition. He told the juvenile to report to probation in the meantime--but did not make any orders or conditions of release, etc. The child did report, and his mother signed a consent form for the child to take drug tests. He came up dirty.

Is the dirty UA admissible as part of the social history? Defense is arguing: 1. Parent cannot consent for him to be tested. 2. Social history report should not include UA because post-disposition statements are protected by 5th amendment.

I know that UAs are not testimonial--from DWI arguments, though--anyone have any juvenile caselaw that discusses this? Any info on consent issue?
August 21, 2009, 11:19
Kris Moore
I think it is probably admissable. Since disposition is ALWAYS to the court - except in determinate sentence cases - Sec. 54.04(b) gives the court broad authority to consider "reports from probation officers, professional court employees, or professional consultants..." I would be arguing since the court ordered the child to report to the probation department and he was tested as part of the preparation of their report to the court, the court is entitled to the information. The defense is entitled to view the report ahead of time and to provide their own witnesses. In addition, I would argue that the 5th doesn't apply because it is not the STATE'S report - it's the COURT'S report - and we all know that those reports can contain information unfavorable to the state or the defense.