Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 1.14 Interpretation

Code of Criminal Procedure article 1.14(b) provides: If the defendant does not object to a defect, error, or irregularity of form or substance in an indictment or information before the date on which the trial on the merits commences, he waives and forfeits the right to object to the defect, error, or irregularity and he may not raise the objection on appeal or in any other postconviction proceeding .... TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 1.14(b). In Cook v. State, 902 S.W.2d 471, 476 (Tex. Cr. App. 1995), the Court discussed the historical significance of article 1.14(b): Prior to 1985, this Court consistently held that "substantive" defects in the charging instrument failed to vest the trial court with jurisdiction and, therefore, a conviction on a substantively defective charging instrument could be challenged for the first time on appeal.... This rule developed over more than a century of decisions in which we interpreted art. I, 10 of the Texas Constitution to created a "constitutional" requirement that a charging instrument allege all elements of the offense in order to constitute an indictment.... Accordingly, where the charging instrument omitted an element of the offense the indictment was void and the trial court lacked jurisdiction.... Frustrated with the common practice of defendants withholding substantive defects at trial in order to vitiate the conviction, the Texas Legislature in 1985 proposed an amendment to art. V, 12 of the Texas Constitution which authorized the Legislature to prescribe by statute the effects of substantive defects in the charging instrument. the amendment provided: An indictment is a written instrument presented to a court by a grand jury charging a person with the commission of an offense. An information is a written instrument presented to a court by an attorney for the State charging a person with an offense. the practice and procedures relating to the use of indictments, including their contents, amendment, sufficiency and requisites are provided by law. the presentment of an indictment or information to a court invests the court with jurisdiction of the cause. Art. V, 12(b). In tandem with the constitutional amendment, the Legislature also drafted implementing legislation in the form of an amendment to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 1.14.... Art. 1.14(b) automatically took effect upon the voters sic approval of the amendment to art. V, 12.