The Criminal Justice System In Houston After Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey negatively affected the lives of Houston residents as it came with massive flooding which damaged many buildings including government buildings found in downtown Houston. One of the buildings that were affected by the massive flooding is the Criminal Justice Center.
The floods affected the lower levels of the courthouse building and backed up the plumbing system. Even now, several months after the devastating storm, the building is still shut down. However, this has shown us how flexible the criminal justice system can be and today, temporary measures are in place to ensure that trials and hearings continue to be held.
Almost overnight, the District Attorney’s office and the more than 700 people it employs were forced to reshape their structure and solve what could only be called a logistical nightmare. The office is not found in 10 different buildings throughout Houston including in a space at the South Texas College of Law which has been leased until the end of September this year.
In the meantime, criminal law judges have to share courtrooms with civil law and family judges. This has placed a premium on courtroom time and led to delays which have now become a huge concern for defendants. This is due to the fact that these delays put too much unnecessary pressure on defendants.
However, the DA’s office has given a priority to serious criminal charges and reduced plea bargain offers on low-level misdemeanors, especially for drug crimes in a bid to prevent the backlog of cases and reduce delays in getting to trial. It has been made clear that the focus is on crimes against people and property and lawyers should avoid rushing those cases or selling them short.
The Impact on Your DWI Case in Houston
In case you are arrested and charged with a crime, then it is more likely that your trial will be delayed. However, since the District Attorney’s office is flexible with lower-level crimes, the odds are you may have your case resolved quickly. It is a good idea to talk to the best DWI attorney Houston has to offer about your options and find out how to avoid these costly delays.