Harris County Pretrial Services Office located on the 12th floor of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center
is a place that anyone accussed of a crime should avoid. Initially, the
office to facilitate pretrial or personal bonds. The office was created
to alleviate the growing number of cases on the docket by supervising
the release of people on bond.
Today, most Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers call the office "Pre
Probation." It is common for judges to add bond conditions once a
person makes their first appearance in court. Some judges will order a
drug test for a person that just made bond for a drug possession case.
Subsequently, if the person's urine comes back posiitve for drugs
the judge arrests the person even though are only on bond. The person
is never made aware of this possibility. Sadly, the person is arrested
without any proof that person did any drugs while on bond. The person
is blindsided when this happens.
Typically, they went to court by themselves, did not hire a lawyer, can
not give their belongings to anyone, their vehicle is going to be impounded
for leaving it in a lot overnight. A judge should be aware of the consequences
of using Pretrial Services for such measures. Perhaps, someone should
read them the mission statement of the Pretrial Office that says that
is not intended to unduly restrict a defendant's liberty. It is unfair
to anyone on bond, it is costly, and the office is being burdened with
things that were never considered when it was created.