County Court At Law#14
The 81st session of the Texas Legislature created County Court at Law No. 14, and the Court opened session in 2009. County Court 14 handles all misdemeanor offenses occurring in Bexar County including driving while intoxicated offenses, thefts, prostitutions, drug cases, and other misdemeanor crimes. Dockets are held on a daily basis, pleas are heard when both parties agree on punishment, and trials are held when defendants wish to exercise their constitutional rights. The types of cases heard by County Court 14 are the cases I prosecuted on behalf of victims for eight years and I currently defend along side my clients.
Outside of it's regular courtroom duties, County Court 14 is currently designated as a specialty court tackling issues of recidivism in San Antonio. Misdemeanor courts allow for greater flexibility than district courts to host a second court in addition to a daily docket. Currently, Bexar County has speciality courts addressing issues of drug use with adults and juveniles, driving while intoxicated issues, mental health concerns, and a court for veterans of the armed services. County Court 14s Reentry Court program gives individuals on community supervision an opportunity to work with a team of people to address their issues contributing to repetitive criminal activity including a lack of education, the need for job skills, treatment fordrugs or alcohol, and coping skills for mental health needs. Any combination of these factors can contribute to a person falling into a pattern of criminal behavior, and this criminal pattern creates havoc on the San Antonio community.
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I first learned of the benefits of specialty courts as a misdemeanor prosecutor with the D.A.s office. In 2008 I participated in the misdemeanor Drug Court program as a prosecutor in County Court at Law No. 1. I saw the progress individuals can make with the additional support system not offered in regular community supervision. After I left the Office, I continued to work with specialty courts as a defense attorney for adult and juvenile clients. In 2013 I graciously accepted an appointment as the defense attorney to the Reentry Court program in County Court 14. As the defense attorney I explained the program to new participants, I participated in team reviews of progress, and I represented clients as they worked the program. Furthermore, I help juveniles as they enter the drug courts and mental health court programs offered to help juveniles get back on the right track. Once again, I saw from the inside exactly how much specialty courts bring to the community as a whole.
The Junior League of San Antonio and Leadership Women has taken me to the other side of these specialty court programs. While volunteering in community programs, I have seen the effect crime has on the children of San Antonio and the community as a whole. I have been a victim of an intoxicated driver. I have toured the prisons and seen the possible future of individuals who go without these services. This matters because in the wake of these prisoners are victims of crime and innocent children. Crime effects our community as a whole, and I see the specialty court programs as a way to stop crime. These programs are designed to help those who want to themselves. And by helping those in need, we will help Bexar County.
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Posted in Law Post Date 06/07/2019