Criminal Justice System
What To Expect From The New Harris County DA
With all the political division going on in our country right now, it feels good to say that just about everyone is pleased with Harris County’s new District Attorney, Kim Ogg. Whether it’s her mission to clean up and make the Harris County justice system more efficient or her softer stance on misdemeanor Marijuana possession, Houston’s conservatives and liberals alike are mostly feeling the love for the new DA.
With Devon Anderson leaving behind such a negative legacy, it’s no surprise that some major shake-ups are coming that will affect more than just lawyers and staffers. Here’s what you can expect as we move forward with our DA Kim Ogg and new Sherriff Art Acevedo.
No More Pot Arrests (For Possession, That Is)
Both Ogg and Acevedo have made it clear that they are not interested in clogging jails and prosecuting people caught with marijuana. Under their new cite and release policy, anyone caught with under four ounces of marijuana in Harris County will not be arrested or even ticketed. Instead, they will simply be required to attend a four-hour drug education course within 90 days of the stop. The added time and resources will instead be used to go after drug dealers, the people Sherrif Acevedo says are, “poisoning young people.”
Between an overcrowded jail and a system that unfairly hurts the poor, it has been known for years that Harris County’s bail policies are in desperate need of change. Fortunately, Kim Ogg agrees. When a lawsuit was brought against Harris County’s local misdemeanor judges in the name of bail reform, our new DA went on record as supporting the lawsuit in the interest of bail reform. While it will take some time for the kind of overhaul that Ogg and other reformers are looking for to be made law, there have already been some positive steps taken towards reducing bail. Just recently, a pilot program was announced that would have public defenders made available at bail hearings so that poor defendants can get fairer treatment during this sometimes-confusing process.
When it comes to draining the swamp, Kim Ogg does not play around. For her first major action as District Attorney, Ogg dismissed 37 Harris County prosecutors who some believe had been sabotaging cases and participating in a system of corruption. In their place, Ogg will create a new team made up largely of former defense attorneys with whom she intends to bring some long overdue change in the Harris County justice system.
Aggressive Legal Defense in Any Legal Climate
Just because the system is making some positive changes, that doesn’t mean that everything will be handled fairly. Bogus arrests will always be made, and a quality defense will remain just as important as ever, especially if you are accused of a crime like DWI.
For quality criminal defense that works tirelessly to defend your rights, hire Mark Thiessen and the team at Thiessen Law Firm. Mark has won countless DWI and other criminal cases even in a hostile legal climate, and he delivers each of his clients with the same caliber of aggressive defense no matter how big or small the charges may be. Ready to take control of your charges? Schedule a free consultation with the Thiessen Law Firm today!