Defending Against Texas DWI Charges: Strategies to Protect Your Rights
Facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Texas can be a distressing and overwhelming experience. A DWI conviction cRead More
Harris County Officials are attempting to win a grant related to the administration of the criminal justice system. I believe the grant will be awarded to the government entity that is doing something innovative.
The question is posed: if the judges in Harris County began to systematically grant PR bonds would that be “innovative”? I believe that it would be far more than innovative.
The judiciary purposely denies PR bonds. They do this with the knowledge the accused will face the Hobson’s choice of pleading guilty to get out of jail or pleading not guilty and staying in jail.
The judiciary knows very well that by denying PR bonds the majority of accused will plead guilty. The judiciary purposely denies PR Bonds to move their dockets. For years the judiciary has placed expediency over justice. They have for years perpetuated a system that is a farce. They have for years perpetuated a system that saddled tens of thousands of our fellow Houstonians with unnecessary criminal records. Based on any objective standard, the judiciary’s concerted conduct is nothing short of criminal. Indeed the county court judges have conspired to coerce pleas with the aid of others.
While it might not be “innovative”, the systematic granting of PR bonds would represent a seismic change in our corrupt system.
Currently the county judges grant PR BONDS to ~ 9% of the accused while the district courts grants PR bonds to only 1% of the accused.
Based on Pretrial services own risk assessment calculations the county court judges should be granting at least 3 times the PR bonds they are currently granting. If the judges granted PR BONDS to 27-30% of those accused of misdemeanor offenses there would be a dramatic improvement in the quality of justice afforded the poor.
Rather than being forced to plead guilty, released on a PR bond, the poor could fight their cases. Many of these cases would be dismissed and many would win at trial. The Plea Mill as we know it would come to a halt.
While it might not be “innovative” for the judges to grant PR bonds, I can assure you that it would be one of the most positive and dramatic changes in our system in the last 30 years.
Regrettably, I do not believe this change is coming. I believe it is far more likely that the judges will talk about change but not truly implement it.
The judges mistakenly rate themselves based on the size of their docket. That’s a mistake because they should rate themselves on the quality of justice afforded in their court.
In the judges’ minds the smaller the docket the better they are doing. The judges rely on the Plea mill to keep their dockets small. In fact Harris County’s shameful history shows that the judiciary would rather deny PR BONDS and sacrifice poor people to maintain the plea mill, than do the right thing.
Perhaps the judges will turn over a new leaf. After watching them crush the poor for three decades, I would be pleased if they finally saw the light.
Robb Fickman, Houston
The client believed to be facing potential Wire Fraud Charges related to SBA PPP loan applications. Investigation of applications for PPP loans and PPP forgiveness demonstrated that the Client had at all times acted in a lawful manner. Investigation demonstrated no fraud was committed by the client. Case closed.
Client was charged by Federal Indictment with making a social media post that threatened Malicious Damage and Destruction of a Building by Means of Fire and Explosives in violation of Federal law. The Defense showed that Client was a law-abiding citizen. The Defense further showed that the alleged threat was not made with any criminal intent.
The client, a public official with a long history of public service, was accused by a former girlfriend of engaging in non-consensual sexual relations. The Defense investigation and analysis showed through a detailed timeline that the allegation made absolutely no sense. Phone records, including calls and texts, were relied on to help establish an accurate timeline. The Defense met with law enforcement and reviewed a detailed package that exonerated the accused.
Client, a Houston area professional who frequently travels for work, was accused by his wife of assaulting her in his family home. Defense showed that wife’s story lacked credibility and there was no physical evidence in support of the wife’s allegation.
The client, a young Black male, was driving his car when police pulled him over for no apparent reason. It looked to be a profile stop. The client was accused of possessing a controlled substance in his vehicle. The Defense showed that there was no lawful basis for the police to stop the Client’s car. The Defense also showed that there was no lawful basis for the search of the Client’s car. It was a bad search, so the seized evidence was not admissible.
Client charged in Federal Indictment In “Operation Wrecking Ball” with 55 named co-defendants. Client faced seven charges. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Client was also charged with four counts of Distribution of Cocaine and one count of Money laundering.
Allegations involved client’s alleged use of his home to distribute cocaine. Government’s lengthy investigation involved numerous wiretaps, surveillance, video, pole cams, search warrants, vehicle stops and use of cooperating co-defendants.
Client went to trial with four remaining defendants. After a two-week trial, Judge granted Motion for Acquittal on four of the seven charges. Jury found Client Not Guilty of remaining three charges.
Client charged in Federal Court with two counts of Wire Fraud related to Five SBA EIDL loan applications. The Government alleged the client, a Houston professional, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of over $150,000. The Government also found the intended loss was over half a million dollars. The Client faced up to 20 years in prison on each count. The Defense investigated the case and negotiated a deal that included the Government not opposing a probation. The Federal Guideline calculation was for a prison sentence and the Probation Department recommended a prison sentence. Attorney Fickman submitted a 90 page Defense Sentencing Memorandum asking for Probation.
Client was retired professional. Client was accused of being involved in a road rage incident in 1960 Area. Defense put together a 100 page memorandum that demonstrated complainant was actual aggressor.
Client was accused of touching child. Case involved thousands of pages of psychiatric and Child Protective Services records as well as investigations by multiple police departments. After three- year fight, case dismissed.
Client accused of shoving and knocking down family member causing injury. After investigation, charges were dismissed.
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