One of the most frustrating things about being a Houston Criminal Attorney
is having to wait for the assigned prosecutor to do their "RIP"
call. "RIP" stands for Restitution, Injury, and Punishment.
It is the Harris County District Attorney's Office policy to refrain
from making a decision on a case before they contact the alleged victim
in a case. While I understand the policy, it is frustrating for everyone
involved to needlessly appear in court because the alleged victim can
not be contacted. It is not uncommon for a person to attend several court
settings while incarcerated, serving more time than they deserve because
a police officer neglected to get the victim's contact information.
Most commonly, these are misdemeanor DWI, Assault, and Criminal Mischief
cases. A prosecutor should be allowed to determine the severity of the
crime without the necessity of contacting the complaining witness and
resolving the case in a more equitable manner. The judge, the trial prosecutor,
the jail, and the defendant would find closure much quicker when these
cases are handled appropriately.