DCDLA Christmas Party
The Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Xmas party was tonight at Pappadeux on Oak Lawn. My only complaint was that there were only two food options; fried and dessert. I pitched my open records project to more people than probably wanted to hear about it. One more time- If you are a defense lawyer with a collection of useful open records let me know. I’m working on a database of open records for TCDLA.
To celebrate I had court today for a state jail felony possession drug case. If Texas law had a monument to the drug war it would be the state jail felony.
State jail felony drug cases are used for possession less than a gram of meth, crack, etc. Years ago the lege decided we should get tough on drugs and create a special jail for small time dope cases. State jail cases carried a minimum sentence of 6 months with no possibility of parole.
Guess what happened? State jails quickly filled up with addicts and costs spiraled out of control. The lege should have accepted defeat and made these misdemeanor offenses. In a small nod to reality most state jail felony defendants today are required to be put on probation. Prosecutors are also allowed to sentence these defendants to misdemeanor punishment (county jail time, saves the state money).