What is an “RIP” Call?

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. What is a “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.  Such neglect leads to misinformation, longer incarceration, and the chance the victim is never reachable.

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. “RIP” calls should be used in more predominant cases such as murder, assault, or sex crimes. Understanding that needing witnesses or victims during a trial is necessary, for simple cases like a misdemeanor DWI or criminal mischief, an “RIP” call should not be needed for the judge, the DA, and prosecutor to determine the judgment of a case.  The judge, the trial prosecutor, the jail, and the defendant would find closure much quicker when these cases are handled appropriately.

If you need further help or information about a “RIP” call, contact The Martinez Law Firm today.