Ex parte Lo

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

In 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals-Texas's highest court for criminal-law appeals-issued an important decision in the case of Ex parte Lo, which addressed the constitutionality of Texas Penal Code § 33.021(b), a statute that criminalizes the online solicitation of a minor.

In that case we argued that the statute was overbroad and violated the First Amendment's protection of free speech. Specifically, we argued that the statute criminalized a wide range of conduct that did not involve actual harm to a minor and therefore, was unconstitutional.

The court ultimately agreed with us and held that § 33.021(b) was overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. The court reasoned that the statute criminalized a wide range of protected speech, including speech that did not involve actual harm to a minor.

The court's decision in Ex parte Lo was significant in several ways. First, it clarified the limits of the government's ability to regulate online speech and underscored the importance of protecting free speech rights in the digital age. Second, it highlighted the need for careful analysis of criminal statutes to ensure that they are narrowly tailored to address the specific harm they are intended to prevent.

The court's decision in Ex parte Lo also had practical implications for criminal defendants who had been charged under § 33.021(b). In the wake of the decision we were able, on behalf of many defendants, to successfully challenge their convictions and obtain relief, including release from prison, release from probation, removal from the sex-offender registry, expunction, and return of money paid to the State as a result of the convictions.

If you are facing criminal charges in Texas, it's important to work with a skilled and experienced criminal-defense lawyer who not only stays up to date on the latest legal developments, but who makes the law, as we made the law in Ex parte Lo, and who can provide you with the best possible representation. With the help of a top Houston criminal-defense lawyer, you can protect your rights and fight for a fair outcome in your case.

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