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.
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.