My family was set up by an informant. The police never found any drugs in the car, however they were charged with engaging in criminal activity because there were 3 of them in the car. I know that this is a state charge, and was wondering what is the possible sentencing for this crime and how long does the county have to indict them? This happened is December 2009 and they were able to bond out but, still have not been indicted.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Do you mean "Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity." Assuming so, that crime is listed under §71.02 of the Texas Penal Code. This is a very complex statute similar to the Federal R.I.C.O. statute. The statute of limitations is difficult to determine without knowing the underlying criminal activity, ie. murder, kidnapping, controlled substance (drug) possession/distribution... As to how long can the State wait before obtaining an indictment, the basic rule is any time within the statute of limitations, however here an arrest was made and conditions of bond imposed, so a speed trial right has kicked in. In Texas, if 8 months have passed since a defendant was arrested without the case proceeding to trial, then it is presumed that the defendant's right to a speedy trial has been violated. The case of Barker v. Wingo is the leading case in this area that talks about this right. The above listed charge and the speedy trial right involve complex issues that cannot be adequately explained in this forum. You must contact an attorney who can explain in person what your rights are with respect to these issues.