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Dallas County Jail Pre-sentencing, Texas

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Pre-sentencing

Interview with Charles, m ray, Leon, Jean, Accountant, Lil Will, Cam, Claire, Walt, Carl, Ed, Devin, Mitch, Ronaldo, Hot attorney and big boi

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Charles: Every time I have been in the county jail it has been for probation violations on the same case. I didn't really see much of a difference between pre-sentencing and post sentencing. I was always arrested in the adjoining court house, and put into a holding cell in between the court house and jail. Then I was taken into another larger holding cell, then taken to central intake. if you are good, you now get to sit in chairs while getting booked in and watch TV. After the bookin paperwork is complete, prints, and pictures are taken you will be placed in another large holding tank until you are dressed out in jail clothing. You then are placed back in holding until you are assigned a housing unit, and given an armband. When you are finally classed and given a housing assignment you will be taken to a housing unit and issued a clear bag with bedding and such inside. The bookin process takes about 10 to 12 hours on average.
m ray: ITS HORRIABLE DEPENDING ON WHAT JAIL YOU ARE AT THEY PULL U OUT AROUND 5 AM TO SIT IN A HOLDING CELL 2-3 HRS JUST TO GO MEET YOUR COURT APP ATTERONY
Leon: I was arrested in Richardson, transferred to Dallas County 1 full week later. I could not post the bond so I remained there until my first court date 3 months later.
Jean: Mine was a probation violation. I have been incarcerated numerous times for it, from place to place. It just depends on where they pick you up, or where they find you. I was picked up at the border. As far as my case goes, I've been incarcerated three times in Dallas County. One time was a transfer, so that doesn't really count. You don't have to go through the booking process or anything like that. Normally, that pre-sentencing thing would be for if I got pulled over for a traffic violation. For me, basically, there was always a warrant for my arrest. The police would ask me if I have any warrants, and I'd say no, and they'd ask me if I was sure, and it would go from there.

A couple of times I had the chance to bail out. What you do is go to the county jail, and they run court all through the night. If you're picked up at 2 in the morning, you'll see the judge at 3 or 4 in the morning. You're going to be held to see the judge to make bail. He's the one that's going to bail you out or not.

So then I bailed out. At Dallas County, if you're making local phone calls, they're free. You'll be in a holding situation, which is quite unfavorable, and you'll be in there with everyone and their dog, and all the women are together. Fighting for a phone is tough. I know every number I need to know in my head because you can't take your cell phone with you. You can't take anything. You just go in there with your clothes on, and your shoes on. It's so cold. They keep the temperature down because they have staph infections that run rampant there. People are drunk and sick - you've got hookers... they keep the temperature down to keep the threat of diseases lower.
Accountant: N/A
Lil Will: Bond the fuck out if you can. you sit and sit and sit and sit. Most times you get a letter weeks or months later with the name of the public defender that you never see until you trial if you have one. They want you to plea all the time whether you did the shit or no.
Cam: My trial was quick and i was fortunate to get Probation on my case.
Claire: once booked I waited to magistrate which was long wait,then slept until its was time to go to housing were they take your property money and hand you a uniformstayed in county until court date.was unable to bond out so I got comfortable read daily until may day in court came.
Walt: I was taken into custody searched and then sat in an area that had access to phones and Bondsman, but by the time I saw the judge at 10:pm and bond was set they moved us to an area that didn't have access to phones. I was then transferred to a medical pod to make sure I wasn't detoxing from alcohol. I stayed here for 2 days and then was moved to a regular 64 man pod. My inmate number on my wrist was supposed to be my code to make a phone call but it never worked so I had to fill out a phone complaint form. In the meantime someone finally let me borrow an envelope so I could write my little sister a letter I never knew if she got it or not but 10 days later a lawyer came and talked to me that my sister hired. My phone code was fixed after 11 days so I could finally make calls but by that time I had written my boss and family.
Carl: The presentencing process was very lenghty. I waited 2 days in a holding cell to be able to go see the judge to give him my plea and receive my sentencing. While waiting to see the judge you do not get a blanket or pad to sleep on either just had to sleep on the concrete.
Ed: well they put you in jail and it is not very plesent and starve you and about 30 days pass buy then you go to court and they always want to plea bargen with you buy this time you are sick of jail and you just take what they offer
Devin: They have you in book-in for almost half of a day, and then you are housed until your case is disposed of in one way or another. You may be transfered depending on the progress of your case or any other number of factors. In all honesty, I feel like it's better than collin county.
Mitch: Well it was interesting because I was arrested in another state and extradited back to Dallas so I was not arraigned in Dallas but in Virginia where a NO BOND sentence was established in order of extradition. When I arrived in Dallas I was held without bond initially for four months then a bond was set at 150,00.00 because of supposed flight risk.
Ronaldo: The wait just to see the judge is exaggerated. I had to wait at least 12 hours just to see the judge. Another 4 hours just to start the booking process. In total I didnt see the inside of a pod till at least 20 hours after I set foot inside the jail.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Charles: No
m ray: no
Leon: The Richardson police came to my apt. with a search warrant and kicked in the door. The next day I was interviewed by a Richardson detective.
Jean: No, I was picked up on a warrant.
Accountant: No. I was on my way to the airport, and was stopped by the Irving police department, per the cop for speeding; however others seem to think "racial" profiling...
Hot attorney: A bunch of DPD, some of whom have been fired for being crooked.
Lil Will: Yes they usually stop by with black suits and door slammer.
Cam: no.
big boi: no
Claire: yes,once when I was envolved in agg.rob case I was let go after questioning but grand jury found evidence to seek a warrant police came to my mother house raiding it looking for me causing her to be very nervous;all other times was arrested on the spot after I commited crime
Walt: I was stopped in Garland by a police woman after I had got a ride back to my car that I had called a cab from earlier that morning because I wasnt in good enough shape to drive. I went home slept a few hours showered stayed up all day talking to friends in AA and getting sober, one of my AA friends took me to my car later that night around 8:30 pm after I was dropped at the motel I drove my car out of the parking lot and onto Garland Ave when I saw the cops behind me I drove for a few minutes they must have run my plates and saw I had prior DWI's 1982,1991,2003 so they pulled me over I explained to them I had not been drinking and was bought back to my car they saw my record and were convinced I had alcohol or something they searched my car, nothing they took me to blow at the Garland jail, and I blew 0.0, I had told them I had done some drugs the day before so they took me to the hospital to take blood. I still dont know what is going to happen as they released me on EM or electronic monitoring so I am serving at home like I am in jail as part of pre trial aggreement. My lawyer had my license reinstated. I just renewed my license yesterday, the date of the arrest was 5-4-13. I was released 5-16-13. I believe the case will be dropped as they can see I am sober.
Carl: The cops came by my apartment and my friend answered the door. The police asked for me and just came on in to make sure I was there. The police told me there was a warrant out for my arrest and handcuffed me and put me in the back of the car and took me to jail.
Ed: no police came buy I cashed my own pay check that my boss tried to garnish illelgly I went to his office and got my check and jkust cashed it my bosses wife called the police and I got arressed foor cashing my own paycheck I took probation and viloiated it and went to prison
Devin: I was actually involved in some things that I should not have been. I was trying to get some money for gas and food and ended up taking something from the wrong group of people. I pretty much had to run for my life and ended up wrecking my truck. I got out and ran through an apartment complex to hide and I guess some of the witnesses called the police.
Mitch: I was living in Virginia and working as I had told my lawyer I would be. He was supposed to be covering everything while I sent payments to his firm. However that did not happen. He failed to advise me of a mandatory court date in Dallas that I missed and a warrant was issued for my arrest. I was stopped in Virginia and arrested on another charge and then extradited back to Dallas.
Ronaldo: Not exactly. I had an arrest warrant and constables came and arrested me on a Warrant Roundup. They knoc ked on the door, nobody answered so they opened the door and found me in my room. Asked me my name and social and took me in. The warrant was for Failure to Pay Court Fines.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Charles: Only time I ever saw the judge I was just dressed in the jail uniform, it was a 5 min process, I might have said one word, the judge and my attorney did all the talking. it wasn't a formal hearing.
m ray: you sit in a holding cell packed full of inmates for up to 12 hours waiting to plea out to your case which is what usaully happens to walk in the court room for two secs and get your sentance then go back to the holding cell for another hour or two i have spent 15 hours in a holding cell and havent seen anyone
Leon: I was taken to the court house at 5:30 am. I sat in a holding tank (extremely overcrowded) if the tank capacity said 16 people they put about 25-30 people in each one. My lawyer showed up I talked with him about 5 minutes or less he told me the plea bargain offer. The second time I was taken to court was the same but they offered less time and I accepted. If you get lucky and get done early you will get back to the jail cell about 2:00 pm. Otherwise you don't get back until about 5-6:00 pm.
Jean: The court appearance really sucks. You're already incarcerated, and you have to wear the icky jumpers, you don't have any makeup, you probably haven't had a shower, and it's quite uncomfortable. I was on probation, for a white collar crime, and they treated me as if I would probably rape 17 little kids down the street. In other words, I looked like an inmate already. You look like an inmate, and you're treated like total dirt by the judge because the living conditions at Dallas County are absolutely unfavorable. It's the worst hell hole in the world. You're dirty, and they don't have proper toiletries, and you don't get anything until you actually are charged and are moved into General Population.
Accountant: OH MY GOD, the worst ever. This was the only time that I had been in jail, so I wasn't expecting to share my court appearance with all the other inmates, verbally stating your case/explanation in front of everybody.
Hot attorney: Expensive suits.
Lil Will: kangaroo courts. I dont mind doing time for the shit I done but it seems like once you done done some little shit you cant catch a break even for the shit you aint done.
Cam: Very Intimidating yet odd.
big boi: no so good
Claire: court was always a struggle due to I had court appointed lawyers,it was a long process because you don't know who your lawyer is until they call you out to meet and discuss what prosecutor is offering for your crime,no time to really make adecision just a railroad type deal
Walt: I was in court twice before I got released. And I report twice a week to Judge White in court 192nd at the same address as the jail. I do UA's on Mondays and Fridays and report to EM for payments and to check my em equipment every Friday after court. I had to order a breathalyzer for my home that is portable to satisfy the court I am not operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol
Carl: The court has its own room in the jail, it actually looked pretty nice. I stayed handcuffed the whole time and the judge called each inmate one at a time to get their plea and give their sentencing which took a very long time and is very boring as you just wait your turn.
Ed: well I got aa court appointed lawyer that screwed me I had done 5 years on a 5 year probation that she railroaded me we walked into the court room and next thing I know I get 10 years for a 5 year probation isent that something dallas county made a 5 year sentence to a 10 year prison sentence
Devin: Court was agonizing. The wait was absolutely ridiculous and the lawyer that was appointed to my case acted like she didn't even care. The first hearing she didn't even show up. The second time I again had to wait forever for my case to be heard. On top of that, the information regarding my case was inaccurate.
Mitch: Court was like a circus. The judge served as the ring master and all the lawyers on either side were the acrobats jumping through hurdles and flying trapeze while we the plaintiffs and defendant (caged animals) were served up by cracked whips to the audience for amusement. Justice became a caricature of itself. Everyone just went through the motions.
Ronaldo: Court was quick and organized. The court itself was pretty quick. Besides other inmates refusing to behave themselves everything was pretty much in order. Judge was very easy to talk to and would answer any questions that he could answer. The whole process took no more than fifteen or twenty minutes

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Claire: theft theft enhanced burgulary poss. of con sub
Walt: My original charge is DWI 3rd, I am not convicted of anything at this time and hopefully the charges will be dropped.
Carl: Third time caught with marijuana
Ed: my original charge was forgery
Devin: Burglary of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief. I was convicted of the first and cleared of the latter.
Mitch: My original charge was assault with a deadly weapon. But it was reduced to a simple assault after plea agreements.
Ronaldo: Failure to pay court fees. I was found guilty.

Read about sentencing in the Dallas County Jail

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