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I am in Dallas County, Texas. Truth be told, my boyfriend has quite a record, including everything from evading, speeding, dwi, possession, to assault. He was arrested about 2 months ago and received two charges: 1) Criminal Trespassing and 2) Evading Arrest with Previous Conviction." I believe the total bond was ~$15,000. I paid a defense attorney $1100 which went towards defending his case as well as bailing him out. Skip ahead about a month... We had a very unique incident occur between us (seriously, it cannot be explained in an email). I called the police and he was arrested for "Assault FV with BI with Prev." He was jailed and slapped with a $50,000 bond as well as $30,000 for insufficient bond on the pending evading charge and $1,500 for insufficient bond on the pending trespass. A total of $81,5000. I testified to the grand jury two days ago and the assault case was no-billed. Like I said, it was a unique situation but the assault did not happen and the grand jury made the right call. My questions... now what? In my mind, the insufficient bonds should be immediately removed because he was NOT, in fact, committing another criminal act while out on bail. Though it seemed this way to the police at first, shouldn't the no-bill on the assault imply that criminal activity while on bail did NOT occur and thus the insufficient bond charges be dropped immediately?
I am sorry to hear about all of this and it sounds like one of the main reasons why nothing has been done to correct these matters is because the court personnel may be confused regarding what the current status is at this time. However, the court / judge will not generally move to dismiss charges and vacate a bail amount is if your boyfriend's attorney files a Motion to Dismiss (for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted -- because after the grand jury refused to indict then they no longer have a viable claim against him and bail should be reduced or dropped depending upon what charges remain).
At the motion hearing, you can talk to his attorney and the prosecutor and they may be agreeable to reducing or dropping the additional charges that had to do with you altogether (unfortunately, while you may be wanting to drop the charges -- once a criminal case involving domestic partners / married couples is brought forth then the other partner has no discretion any longer in whether to continue the case or to drop the case -- and if the prosecutor believes that he has enough proof to pursue the incident between the two of you without your testimony (he could use the arresting/investigating officer's testimony, witness testimony, pictures, physical evidence (if any) etc.) then it is within the discretion of the prosecutor to pursue the charges whether you want them to or not at this point ). So, that second charge that you were involved in after the charges that were shelved by the grand jury will have to be discussed further with the prosecution. Hopefully they will be reasonable and realize that without a cooperative witness (you), that they do not really have a case left on that charge.
So, at this point you need to contact his lawyer or contact the clerk magistrate's office and request that a court appointed lawyer be assigned to your boyfriend (if his original lawyer is unavailable or he is no longer able to afford the fees of the original lawyer). THe lawyer should prepare a written Motion to Dismiss the original charges and in that written motion there should be a request to release him from bond requests and hearings and to reduce or eliminate the bond amount in these cases. Once the written motion is filed with the court and a hearing date has been set on these matters then you and his current or new attorney (as the case may be) can contact the prosecutor about dropping the criminal charges in the matter concerning you directly.
I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions in these matters.
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Hello again -
I am sorry about that -- I thought what you meant in your explanation is that he received a no true bill from the Grand Jury for the original charges and that no one actually dismissed the cases against him at the court (it sounded like the actual dismissal itself fell through the cracks) -- and that the assault charges are/were still pending. What you are telling me is that the original charges are still pending and the grand jury refused to indict on the assault, etc charges involving you -- is that correct??. If that case has already been dismissed without filing a Motion to Dismiss then this probably should also result in a bail reduction -- however, because there are other charges still pending (whether serious or not) and he has a prior record, the bail reduction is not automatic and it must be requested -- also by the filing of a Motion to reduce bail amount. You should ask your attorney (his attorney) to request a hearing for bail reduction or dismissal as soon as possible. You would think that it would be automatic but it is not and there are no statutes or laws stating that the bail is reduced if later charges that worked to increase the bail are dismissed. It is up to the judge.
Thank you for the prompt response. I believe your understanding of the case to be correct. I am really struggling with a couple issues...
For clarity, here is some official info:
ASSAULT CAUSES BI DATE/FAMILY/HOUSE W/PREV
INSUFFICIENT BOND - CRIMINAL TRESPASS
INSUFFICIENT BOND - EVADING ARREST DET W/PREV CONVICTION
4/30/13 arrested for OFF EVADE_ARREST/DET_ENH
5/01/13 bond set at $15K
6/03/13 BOND HELD INSUFF CAPIAS ISSUED NEW BOND $30K
6/10/13 17.16 FILED BOND DISCHARGED
4/30/13 arrested for CRIM_TRES_BLDG
5/01/13 bond set at $500
5/02/13 ATT NOT APPT ATTORNEY POSTED BOND_FOR DEFENDANT
6/01/13 17.16 IB WARR ISSUED $1500 CASH REQUIRED (is this the kicker?)
6/01/13 17.16_FILED/SENT TO COURT/BOND DISCHARGED ON AIS/PN (this is a comment on the 'judicial information' sheet)
6/01/13 bond set at $1500
5/29/13 Arrested for ASSAULT CAUSES BI DATE/FAMILY/HOUSE W/PREV
5/29/13 bond set at $50K
(I testified before the grand jury on 6/20/13. I spoke directly with the grand jury prosecutor the following day and she told me this was a no-bill. This no-bill is not yet reflected on the 'judicial information' sheets on dallascounty,org)
Please review this mess (I fully admit that it IS a mess) and let me know your thoughts.
Why is he still in jail?
Since the assault was no-billed, what is the hold up?
Does he still have a bond to pay to get bailed out? Why?
Do we have to pursue a motion to decrease bail amount?
What bail amount?
Is there something strange going on with the trespassing charge? It almost seems like after the assault arrest, they slipped in a $1500 trespassing warrant?
Lastly, his court appointed attorney has consulted with him exactly once. I tried to track her down but she's vacationing in Mexico. Classic. This is just a disaster. I know he is not Mr. Perfect but the legal mumbo jumbo and lack of help and representation is despicable.
There really is not a lot I can tell you here. I already suggested that you need a bail reduction hearing in my earlier answers. However, whether or not they will decrease the bail is completely within the discretion of the prosecutor and the judge because unlike sentencing guidelines, there are no "bail guidelines" and how much or how little of a bail amount is ordered is completely within the personal discretion of a very small number of people. To determine whether or not they may reduce the amount the prosecutor and judge will look at the entire picture and whether or not the bail will be reduced may be just as much dependent upon his prior history with law enforcement as what happened recently and the fact that the bail was only increased based upon a charge that was later not prosecuted (it can vary from court to court and judge to judge -- and your friend's judge may be the type that will use the prior record as an excuse to leave the higher bail in place or the judge may be fairer and reduce the bail because his earlier record has nothing to do with what happened recently and why the bail was increased in the first place). I do agree that it sounds like his court appointed attorney is out to lunch at the moment and my suggestion is to go back to the appointing agency to see if he can get a different attorney appointed to the case if his current attorney is not assisting and if she fails to apply for the bail reduction hearing immediately upon her return from Mexico. If she states that a bail reduction hearing is not needed or will not make a difference then that tells me that you DO need to find him some other representation because the FIRST thing she should be doing is applying for a bail reduction hearing to try to get him out while waiting for his court date. I truly wish I could give you some more direction than this -- but what you are asking about is not written into the statutes and laws with a guide of how it should be handled -- it is an area of the law that is completely within the discretion of the prosecutor and court.
Hello again --
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!!!!!
Oh my goodness, I am in a state of shock!!! We got everything dismissed except the evading charge. Regarding that charge, I spoke with his court-appointed lawyer several times regarding the remainder of the process. She informed me that the judge he was assigned to is very fair and that the DA would offer probation. She told me me the plan and what to expect. His court date was today, July 16m and we were so excited that he would be able to come home. He was taken from the jail, to the courthouse, where he waited ALL day and the lawyer DID NOT SHOW UP!!!!!!!!!!!
I have called her twice and left messages both times. She isn't one to answer the phone, just people's lives at stake, no big deal. I am shocked, disappointed, confused, livid, and so many other things.
I cannot even process this. The lawyer did not inform me or my boyfriend that she was going to "pass" the court appearance to a later date. I feel that should be absolutely mandatory. How is this acceptable? I am going to report her to the Bar Association at the very least. Absolutely blown away at the lack of communication, professionalism and honesty.
Hello again Stacy --
I am very sorry to hear about this happening. Unless she had some kind of family or personal emergency, then what she did here was NOT acceptable. I do not blame you for being angry and upset by her actions. If she does not have a good excuse then you should report her to the bar and if she is court appointed you should see if the Criminal clerk's office can get him a different court appointed lawyer.
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