Dionne Press, Helping Keep the Trains Running on Time

The British guy charged with aiding his wife’s suicide and represented by Dionne Press (who tried to get the DA’s Offfice to file charges against me or grieve me for offering to help him for free) has now been sitting in jail for 30 days.

He is still charged with a class “C” (maximum $500 fine, dischargeable at $50 or $100 a day) misdemeanor.

Today his case was reset till 27 August. 

There is still no sign of Ms. Press having taken any action to secure her client’s freedom. She has not filed a writ of habeas corpus.

She has, however, accepted appointments to an astounding fifty-four other cases in the month since she took on his case (and has pled a depressing thirty-three of them).

12 responses to “Dionne Press, Helping Keep the Trains Running on Time”

  1. Mr. B., good morning sir.

    Would you have any problem with me starting a Petition over at change.org in an effort to bring (a little more) national attention to this blatant show of incompetence? I ask due to ‘her’ actions (in actions) leaning more towards a pink panty power trip that sort of looks like she may think he ‘needs’ to be in jail. I could wrong and it’s just a simple matter of history repeating itself in the form of “case overload syndrome”. They say PD’s catch it from judges and private practices catch it from eating greed seeds, sadly no one is working on a cure.

    *Just wanting to do my civic duty (assisting those that assist others) with a dab of doing the right thing on top. Thanks.

    Q. Do you happen to know the tally for “Ready for Trial” notices she’s filed as of today?

    • Don’t waste your time. This is business as usual in Harris County’s ad-hoc appointment system.

      You can mine the District Clerk’s website for information about a lawyer; all you need to get started is her bar number, which you can get from texasbar.com.


  2. I see a Sixth Amendment constitutional speedy trial claim here. When a trial is delayed and the client is in custody for longer than the maximum sentence of incarceration under the law, that is oppressive pretrial detention.
    At $100 per day, it would take him five days to serve out the fine and another three days or so to serve out the costs.
    THis could become important in January when the DA’s office starts filing dirty crack pipe cases again. First offenders will be entitled as a matter of law to probation. There is no way the state can be ready to try those cases quickly.

    • Devil’s advocate here: the maximum sentence of incarceration under the law for a state-jail felony is two years. Probation isn’t part of the sentence, but rather suspension of the sentence. Off the top of my head, I want to analogize the SJF crackpipe situation to the appeal of a probated sentence: if you get probation and appeal, you must make a bond on appeal to stay out of jail even though you will not, if you lose the appeal, go back to jail.

  3. There is also case law that once the once the maximum punishment is achieved a PR bond is mandatory. The late Hon. Jimmie Duncan was forced to do so by mandamus in a published opinion.

  4. At this point, what’s stopping this guy from just saying, “You know what, the hell with it, I plead guilty,” then getting to go home? Is it just that he can’t make the plea without his appointed counsel? Does the state even have to agree to the plea if he just agrees to the $500 fine discharged by time served?

    I’m not saying that’s the right course of action, of course.

    • That’s an interesting question. He can’t do it without his appointed counsel, of course, but also in Texas the state can nix a guilty plea by insisting on a jury trial.

      Further, the state and the judge might not agree that he’s charged with a class C misdemeanor. The case is still in felony court for a reason—because the prosecutor and the judge either don’t realize that it’s a class C, or don’t care because Press hasn’t pushed the issue. The prosecutor might figure she can refile it, alleging an actual felony, but a conscientious judge who had read the pleadings wouldn’t let the guy remain incarcerated.

  5. An interesting point that isn’t being considered is that if Ms. Press were to try this matter in its’ current court (a court lacking proper jurisdiction) and actually secure an acquittal, she would not be protecting her client from double jeopardy under Article 1.11 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

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