When the new District Attorney, John Cruzot, took office in January, he promised to reform the criminal justice in Dallas County. Here are a couple of the changes that I have already witnessed occurring in Dallas County:
Refuse to prosecute first-time marijuana possession-
I was told by many Assistant District Attorneys in the Misdemeanor division that several of the first time possessions of marijuana cases were going to be dismissed starting this week. What that means is that instead of completing Dallas County’s Memo program, which consists of paying $620 and completing several conditions, the case will get automatically dismissed without you having to do anything!!
Now, it is unclear if the previous policy imposed by District Attorney Faith Johnson in where all misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases were offered the Memo program will remain the same.
Drug treatment for drug offenders instead of sending them to prison-
I’m not sure how this will work but I am assuming if a person has several possession cases where they keep getting jail time or probation, a drug program will be offered instead. District Attorney Cruzot’s mission is to get these people help instead of adding another charge to their criminal history.
Refuse to revoke probation for technical terms-
What this means, is that a revocation will not be filed on cases where money is owed or community service hours have not been completed. Now, if you pick up a new charge or a class is not completed, then a motion to revoke or adjudicate will get filed.
District Attorney Cruzot said that misdemeanor probations for most misdemeanors should be no more than 6 months unless it is for a Driving while Intoxicated case or an Assault cases. Before this policy, misdemeanor probations could be no more than 2 years so cutting it down to 6 months is huge!
Criminal trespasses from DART and gas stations will no longer be prosecuted. The District Attorney’s office has already dismissed several of theses charges. District Attorney John Cruzot has acknowledged that many of these charges are unfairly prosecuted against homeless individuals who happen to be hanging around in the wrong areas. Criminal trespass cases in homes will continue to be prosecuted.
Fight for bail reform
For this, Dallas County as a whole is doing their part to fix this problem. Several magistrate judges are being hired to work the weekends and so are assistant district attorneys and public defenders. The overall goal is to review each person that comes through the jail and look at their cases individually instead of just a name on a piece of paper.
Violent and repeat offenders watch out!
This will probably result in harsher punishments for repeat and violent offenders.
Contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Patrick J McLain, PLLC if you are charged with a crime. We can help defend you against various crimes and will fight vigorously to protect your legal rights. You can call us 24/7 by calling 900 Jackson Street, Suite 635 Dallas, Texas 75202. Don’t wait before it is too late!