On Sunday, Governor Abbot issued an Executive Order in an attempt to stop the release of thousands of people in jails across Texas due to concerns over the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) outbreak. This broad act will have an impact on thousands of cases prosecuted in counties like Dallas, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, Rockwall, Johnson, and Ellis. While the media has begun reporting on the controversial nature of this order, our attorneys are out in front to protect the rights of our clients.
Challenging Governor Abbott
One order from a Governor does not change well established law and the fundamental rights of the accused under the Texas and United States Constitutions. Governor Abbott’s order on COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) may well be unconstitutional as he has no authority to order judges to do anything.
Courts will still make bail determinations on an individualized case by case basis that include factors such as (1) the likelihood the client will make court appearances, (2) the safety of the community, (3) the client’s ability to make bond, and (4) to ensure that the bond process is not being used to punish people without means. Most importantly – nothing in the Governor’s order will prevent our clients from being considered innocent until proven guilty.
Our Response and Experience
Our firm is in the process of seeking remedies for many of our clients housed in local jails. We do not accept that the Governor has power to limit people’s freedoms in times of crisis – our client’s rights, health, and freedom come first. The COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) pandemic must be taken seriously, and experienced attorneys know how to make these circumstances work for a client rather than against a client.
If you, or your loved one, is experiencing problems with obtaining a bond because of the Governor’s order, our attorneys can help you. No one fights harder for their clients than our attorneys.
For more information, contact the attorneys at Burleson, Pate & Gibson about your case or your loved one’s case.
-Paul T. Lund