Representatives of the defense bar appeared today before the Lubbock County Board of Judges in regard to the increasing delays in getting defendants booked, initially appeared, and released from the Lubbock County Jail. Rod Hobson* headed the effort, with support from LCDLA President Robin Matthews, myself, and several others. CDA Matt Powell and representatives of the Lubbock County Sheriffâ€™s Office also participated in the discussion. The Board of Judges has agreed to do two things:
1. Look into the possibility of having the 15.17 initial appearance at an earlier stage of the process. That is, for defendants arrested by the LPD, to have the City of Lubbock Magistrates authorized by the Lubbock County Board of Judges to arraign defendants on County charges while still at the City Holding Facility. This would eliminate the necessity of defendants being arraigned twice, and hopefully speed up the process of booking at the Lubbock County Jail.
2. Authorize a system of pre-set bonds in misdemeanor cases, with certain crimes excepted. Upon a defendantâ€™s execution of a 15.17 initial appearance waiver, a predetermined amount of bail would be set for the defendantâ€™s particular misdemeanor crime. Defendants accused of crimes such as Class A DWI, Domestic Violence Assault and perhaps Indecent Exposure would be required to be arraigned.
I will be working with Rod and the Board of Judges to try to get this project off the ground. If you have any constructive input, please let me know.
*Rod is no longer a member of LCDLA. Like Groucho Marks, he would never join an organization that would accept him as a member.