Over 12 years of criminal law experience prosecuting thousands of criminal cases. Voted one of SA's Best Lawyers for Criminal Prosecution (SA Scene Magazine)
I have successfully prosecuted thousands of criminal cases, including some of the most serious offenders. I have tried over 300 total cases, including over 80 jury trials as lead attorney. I am currently a Chief Felony Prosecutor in charge of supervising one of the criminal district courts. My extensive trial experience includes cases of Capital Murder, Murder, Manslaughter, Vehicular Fatalities, Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Assaults, physical and sexual abuse of children, Elder abuse/fraud, drug cases and financial crimes (white collar crimes).
A judge should be able to make tough decisions on all cases free of personal bias. A judge should follow the law with a commitment that justice is served equally. A judge should be decisive on issues, yet open to hearing the arguments of all the parties involved in a case. A judge should be courteous and patient with all parties in each case. A judge should remain neutral and make decisions based on the law rather than the lawyers appearing before them. A judge shall remain composed at all times and treat each person in front of them with professional respect.
Although I am not Board Certified, I am the best candidate for this position since I have the most trial experience of all the candidates. I have tried numerous cases involving a very wide range of legal issues that will come before the court. I have prosecuted thousands of cases that were prepared for trial that ended in plea bargains. These cases are equally important, as they require preparation as though they would go to trial, including identifying legal issues and preparing arguments for the court. This requires me to look at each case like a judge so I can prosecute them successfully.
In my experience, only a few types of cases have a high recidivism rate. Many of these are related to drugs and the desire to obtain drugs. Many people continue to pick up cases that involve drugs, alcohol, prostitution, theft and burglary. There are numerous programs available to help individuals combat these issues and I will utilize them to try and reduce the number of repeat incarcerations. These programs include the drug court, prostitution court, and a newly created felony veteran's court. Also, there are many programs available that can assist people battling mental health issues. I would exhaust all possibilities to help someone who is willing to fight these addictions/issues in order to keep them from repeatedly going to prison so long as no one is placed in danger by their conduct. I have seen too many people enter treatment simply to stay out of jail. I feel I can identify these people and will not allow them to take a treatment bed from someone who truly desires the help.
I do believe that judicial races should be non-partisan. A judge should follow the law as written in the statutes and the case law despite their political affiliation. The law should be applied equally to everyone without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, or economic status. In order for justice to be truly "blind", that would require judges to be selected (and make legal rulings) regardless of their political beliefs or affiliations. Any judge that is doing a good job should not be replaced simply because of their political party affiliation, as this is not always in the best interest of the community.
28 years experience representing the State of Texas and Defendants in State and Federal Court. Board Certified in Criminal Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 21 years.
I am seeking office as Judge of a Criminal District Court. I have 28 years of experience practicing criminal law representing both individuals accused of crime and as lead prosecutor for two different District Attorneys in Texas. I represented the State of Texas as lead assistant district attorney in the Grayson County Attorney's Office with felony jurisdiction and in the Bexar County District Attorney's office. As lead attorney I have tried over 100 jury trials and resolved 1,000s of criminal law cases in every aspect of criminal law.
A judge should be patient, dignified and courteous and perform his/her duties respectfully and without bias or prejudice. All parties before the court should be accorded an opportunity to be heard and matters before the court should be disposed of promptly, efficiently and fairly.
My experience includes representation of the State and defendants. I practice in State and Federal Court, Trial and Appeal Courts, Juvenile and Adult Court. I am a designated lead Special Prosecutor. I am licensed before the United States Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Federal Western District of Texas. I have maintained an average of 40 hours per year of continuing legal education. I was Board Certified in Criminal law in 1997 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have been certified for the last 21 years.
The judicial branch of government is charged with the primary duty of supervising individuals convicted of crimes and their recidivism rates in our community. Our judicial officers, courts and judges should maintain the highest standards of professional competence and experience in their respective duties of office. Recidivism rates increase when we as a community lower our standards of professional competence, integrity and experience as reflected in the officials we elect into office.
The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct ensures that our judiciary is independent, fair and impartial provided that we elect only judicial officers and judges with the highest standards of professional competence, integrity and experience. The Code preserves the integrity of the judiciary, the rule of law, and ensures that judges refrain from inappropriate political activity.
Velia has been an attorney in private practice for 16 years.
Velia has represented citizens accused of crimes in more than 30 counties across the State of Texas.
Velia's expertise includes trials of major crimes, criminal appeals, family law, and other civil and administrative matters. Velia has practiced in Federal Courts in the Western District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, as well as in the Southern District of Illinois.
Having traveled all across Texas, Velia has gained a unique perspective on how to make a Criminal District Court the most successful. Velia believes that listening and knowing how to speak clearly to all people will elicit answers that help the court make the right decision. Velia is a strong advocate that "one size does not fit all". Velia believes that a Judge can incorporate many tools to address problems affecting the citizens accused of crimes.
Criminal District Court Judges are regularly faced with sentencing individuals accused of non-violent offenses. Oftentimes, those individuals suffer from both mental health and substance abuse problems. Velia will be the type of Judge that is committed to protecting victims, keeping our community safe, but also provide rehabilitative opportunities as allowed by law.
In the past three years, Velia has been very active in teaching and mentoring to young/new lawyers in Bexar County.
Velia enjoys presenting at Continuing Legal Education seminars as well as volunteering to teach trial advocacy to inner city high school students.
Velia grew up in El Paso, Texas. Velia went on to receive her undergraduate degree in Economics from Columbia University in New York and her law degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. Velia's commitment to Bexar County is that she will be a Judge that brings Knowledge, Balance, and Innovation.
I've had 17 years of legal experience in criminal defense representing citizens in over 30 counties, accused of crimes ranging from murder to simple traffic offenses. I have handled over 900 criminal cases which include more than 50 jury trials and more than 25 criminal appeals, including post-conviction writs. My jury trial experience includes jury trials in Bexar, Atascosa, Guadalupe, Kerr, & Gillespie County. My experience in criminal law includes everything from arrest, indictment, trial, appeals, & post-conviction remedies.
My view is that a judge should be sober and thoughtful in her decision making. A judge should be balanced in her approach to speaking to all people who appear in court; i.e. not play favorites with any one side. A judge should not at any time roll her eyes, smack her lips, or throw their hands in the air if they disagree with what is being said. Above all, a judge should be a good listener. My experience has been that whoever you are in your own personal life, will follow you to the bench. That's why it's important for voters to know as much about the candidate as possible.
I am the best candidate for the 226th District Court because I bring knowledge, balance, and innovation. I have a passion for the law and for public service. My experience is not limited to the trial of a case. My experience encompasses pre-trial, trial, appeal, and collateral relief, which are all necessary for this court. Outside of the court I serve on different boards, I volunteer to mentor young lawyers, and also volunteer to speak at continuing legal education courses for all lawyers. I am not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in any area.
My experience has shown me, when a person is placed on a term of supervision by the court, the conditions of the supervision should be structured in a way that they will succeed & also be held accountable. When the conditions are not structured accordingly, offenders will violate probation & face prison time again. In addition to having the right structure, we need to connect them to appropriate entities in society that will help them in finding jobs, mentoring, & connect them to non-profits that will also help them succeed. For example, if an offender is ordered to get a GED as part of probation, but the real issue is that the person does not know how to read, they cannot complete that task. In that case, its best to get them the tools to learn how to read before we can order them to get a GED. If the offender suffers from mental health issues, its best to get them connected to the right programs offered in our communities to address those issues before we ask them to get a job.
I do not believe a judicial candidate's party affiliation affects their ability to be a good judge or affects whether or not they meet the qualifications and have the experience necessary to be a good judge.
Partner, Mulliner Law Firm, PLLC -- practicing State and Federal criminal defense, licensed over 10 years.
Former Felony Bexar County Assistant Criminal District Attorney.
I have been appointed to serve as a Special Prosecutor by the Judges of Bexar County on multiple cases.
Responsible for the disposition of hundreds of criminal cases as both a prosecutor and as a defense attorney.
I have prosecuted at trial before a jury serious felony charges, such as murder and sexual assault
I have successfully defended clients at trial before a jury, from serious felony charges, such as, murder, continuous sexual assault, arson, drug conspiracy charges, driving while intoxicated, et al.
I have been lead counsel in four federal jury trials, all of which led to either an acquittal for my client or a mistrial by virtue of a either a hung jury or government error.
Over fifty (50) jury trials in my career.
Supreme Court of the United States -- 2013
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals -- 2012
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas -- 2012
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas -- 2012
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas -- 2012
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas -- 2012
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals -- 2007
Supreme Court of Texas -- 2007
Admitted to the CJA panel for the Western District of Texas in the San Antonio division and additionally admitted to the Del Rio division. (This means I have been screened and have been deemed qualified by my experience to receive felony federal CJA appointments in each of these divisions).
I am a former Felony Bexar County Assistant Criminal District Attorney. I am currently a partner at the Mulliner Law Firm, PLLC, practicing State and Federal criminal defense. I have been responsible for the disposition of hundreds of felony cases of all types as both a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I have tried over 50 jury trials as lead counsel. I am licensed federally in all of the districts in Texas, the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court. I have been deemed qualified to receive felony federal appointments through the CJA panel.
It is absolutely critical that a judge have the type of discernment, work ethic and temperament to ensure that every person who comes before them (whether complainant, accused, prosecutor, defense counsel or witness) receives justice, respect, fairness and due process. Any person seeking a judicial bench who has not, at every point in their career, displayed the type of discernment , work ethic and the level of fairness that the citizens who will be served are entitled to should NOT be a judge.
I have the depth of experience, perspective, temperament and heart to understand what it takes to ensure that any person who comes before me receives justice. I have represented the citizens of Bexar County as a prosecutor seeking justice for victims, defended individuals facing life changing allegations and am a child who witnessed my parent endure life as a former victim of a violent family offense. I am a mother of three who has raised my children in this community, giving me the most motivation to demand safety and justice for our community.
Recidivism is a continual threat to the safety of Bexar County. It is often higher than it needs to be because the great majority of those people entering the criminal justice system have some sort of co-occurring mental health or drug addiction issue that goes untreated or unaddressed or the punishment imposed was not structured in a way that reflected that seriousness of the offense. I am incredibly supportive of specialty courts that structure punishment in a way that treats co-occurring disorders for individuals that will actually benefit from those programs. Others need sentences that better reflect how serious their offenses are in order to deter future behavior and personal choices.
I do not think judicial races should be partisan. Judicial positions by their very nature should be held by an individual that is fair, impartial and operates without a hint of impropriety. Although bias does not materialize in many cases, running as a party contradicts the very notion that a judge should not favor one group over another.
29 years practicing criminal law
I have been a licensed to practice law for the past 29 years. I am a former prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense for over two decades. I am a trial lawyer. I have also been appointed a special prosecutor on some cases. I have been certified and qualified by the Committee on Standards for Representation of Capital Murder Death Penalty cases in the State of Texas for over two decades. I have tried multiple death penalty jury trials. I have tried all types of criminal jury trials. I have tried over a hundred jury trials and represented thousands of persons facing charges.
I will be a fair and impartial jurist. I believe that compassion is lacking in sentencing of persons charged with drug offenses or property crimes that are non violent. Violent crime under the right circumstances needs to be dealt with more stringently. I have the experience as a prosecutor and now as a criminal defense lawyer to know the right balance and to dispense fair justice without regard to gender, race, culture, economic standing, or sexual orientation.
I am the only candidate for the 226th Judicial District Court in Bexar County, Texas with the vast and extensive experience required to sit on this bench. The 226th District Court is a criminal court and handles life and death matters. I am the only candidate with the experience to immediately hear any serious charges in a jury trial and sit in judgment, if need be, of persons convicted of an offense. I am also knowledgeable of individuals rights under the law and will work to protect those rights. I am not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, but my experience is sufficient.
A judge has the ability to attempt to curtail recidivism and reduce repeat incarcerations by imposing alternative sentencing schemes. The Courts are ill equipped to handle individuals that come before them with drug addictions, mental health issues, or economic crimes committed out of necessity. As Judge of the 226th District Court, I would impose more rehabilitative measures aimed at helping those that come before the court not re-offend by adopting more considerate probation conditions.
I think that judicial races should be non-partisan because the party affiliation is not related directly to the imposition of justice.
Current: Sole Practioner - Criminal Defense of Adult and Juvenile Offenders
Former: Bexar County Criminal Magistrate Judge;
Assistant Criminal District Attorney;
Staff Attorney for Juvenile Family Enrichment Court;
Staff Attorney for Felony Drug Court Program;
Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law at San Antonio College and UT-San Antonio
I worked as a criminal prosecutor for 11 years, handling mostly felony level offenses, including baby death and family related murder and capital murder cases, sexual assaults, child abuse and other violent offenses. I have been a criminal defense attorney for 10 years, with a concentration on felony offenses. I have handled every step of the prosecution and defense, including investigation, presentment to grand jury, plea bargaining and trial. I have tried approximately 100 cases to a jury as a prosecutor or defense counsel.
Proper judicial temperament means showing respect to the parties and allowing each side a fair opportunity to present their case and defend their position. It is essential for the fair resolution of criminal matters. Without it, prosecutors and defense attorneys can feel forced into case resolutions, i.e. plea bargains and dismissals, not originally intended. These tactics ultimately delay justice, increase the cost of justice, and result in unfair case resolutions.
I have spent most of my legal career as a prosecutor, defense attorney, or Criminal Magistrate Judge. I have handled over 4000 adult criminal cases in Bexar County and tried approximately 100 cases to a jury. I have also taught college level criminal law courses. I have a strong work ethic and a reputation among my peers and local judges for being an excellent trial attorney and very knowledgeable in criminal procedure. I am the only candidate in this race to work as a Criminal Magistrate Judge or to be endorsed by the Bexar County Adult Probation Officers Association.
I don’t believe that recidivism should be the only factor in deciding a defendant’s sentence. No two cases are alike and, similarly, no two defendants are alike. Therefore, the theories regarding the rate of recidivism for certain defendants or certain offenses should never over shadow the importance of considering each defendant’s sentence based on his/her specific crime, criminal history, personal background and prior court intervention. If elected, I think I can reduce repeat incarcerations by considering all the factors mentioned above, so that a defendant’s sentence is specific to the needs of that individual and so that the punishment addresses the motivation behind why the crime was committed in the first place.
Judicial races should be non-partisan. Judges take an oath to follow the law, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. Because judges at the local level are not making politically sensitive decisions and rulings, judicial candidates should not have to designate a political party. If candidates for a judicial race were not affiliated with a political party, I believe more voters would be forced to be informed about the races and candidates prior to going to the polls or opt not to vote in those races at all. As it stands now, most voters are rarely informed about local races. As a result, local judicial races tend to get swept up into political waves that favor one political party over the other. The result for local judicial races can be tragic; as experienced and well-respected judges have lost their positions and inexperienced and unqualified individuals have ended up presiding over complicated criminal and civil matters.