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Travis County Jail Pre-sentencing, Texas

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Pre-sentencing

Interview with Burt, Daniel, David and Donald

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Burt: Upon booking, I had the patience to wait a couple of days (after i was majestrated) in County jail downtown Austin Tx. to be sent off to T.C.C.C (Travis County Correctional Complex) where i could make myself feel more at home. This processing usually takes up 3-5 days depending on your' case.
Daniel: Well basically, you just sit in jail and wait to get a court date. If you don't hire an attorney, the state provides one for you that acts as your attorney. Usually there is some plea bargaining of trying to beat a case so there are postponements on court decisions, this can go on for up to two years. The longest I've ever spent in county jail before being sentenced and transferred was 8 months. There is daily rec, usually outside. There is also dayroom time which is all day except for count times. Most of the time is just spent waiting for a court decision.
David: I prettty much hired a lawyer because I kinda knew I might be in trouble. I checked myself in with the lawyer.
Donald: The pre-sentencing process was a long and drawn out ordeal, mostly because of the days it finally took to get me to the jail. I was picked up in Dallas, Texas and spent 10 days there in jail, then took the long trip down to Austin in chains and middle of the summer heat.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Burt: No, this particular case; No questioning was to be asked.
Daniel: No, except for the time I was in crimestoppers and they were looking for me.
David: No. I wasn't arrested on the street. I knew I was going to be arrested and wanted to avoid that whole process so I surrdendered myself before arrest.
Donald: I was arrested in Dallas,TX in a traffic stop. I was just the passenger, but they ran a check on both of our identifications. I sat in the back of the police car for at least two hours while they got everything straightened out about who I was and my identity.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Burt: The minute i was called for court, i was tookin on a bus to downtown Austin, Tx. handcuffed to another inmate. Not knowing what could happen. So of course I had more of a scare face on. When my name was called to go upstairs. i was dressed in black & grey 2 peice outfit with no undershirt, no draws, no socks. and slip ons, JUST COLD.
Daniel: Court was real brief, most of the time spent in a holding cell waiting to be called up to court. I saw the judge like a max of 2 or 3 minutes, enough time to plead and sign papers.
David: This was my first time. I was always wondering if the judge was going to give me a heavy sentence even though I was pleading out my case. I didn't want to take my case to trial because they might slam it to me.
Donald: Court was actually very swift and not that painful at all. Within a period of three hours I met with my court appointed lawyer, he presented me the judge';s offer, stepped inside the court to face the judge, and then signed the necessary paperwork. The judge was very nice and polite.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
David: Sexual assualt on child and that's what I got convicted for. The lawyer wanted to go to trial to try and get a better deal but I say no and just make the plea deal.
Donald: DWI was what I was charged with. DWI was what I was convicted of.

Read about sentencing in the Travis County Jail

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