HOUSTON — Virtually 300 Houston-region defendants have been purchased unveiled soon after a laptop glitch prevented them from obtaining an initial courtroom hearing inside of the time time period needed by point out regulation, according to officers.
The pc process that is made use of by all legislation enforcement businesses in Harris County, in which Houston is found, to file fees with prosecutors crashed on March 24 and was down for about a few of days, in accordance to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Below Texas regulation, defendants are typically not to be held for processing for additional than 24 hours in misdemeanor instances and 48 several hours in felony circumstances. The glitch prevented defendants from appearing in advance of a magistrate choose for a probable trigger hearing within these time periods.
The public defender’s office filed motions to have the defendants unveiled due to the fact they were not appearing just before magistrate judges in just the required time period. The motions have been granted. Most of the defendants released experienced been arrested on nonviolent charges.
In a letter to local legislation enforcement companies, the district attorney’s business stated that officers will need to have to refile fees and some men and women could need to have to be rearrested. It is unclear how numerous conditions will will need to be refiled.
The Houston Chronicle reported the outage transpired after a needed method update and that Rick Noriega of Harris County Universal Expert services, the agency that handles technical issues for the county, described the outage as “small.”
Officials say this was the fifth time the technique had crashed considering that August.
“The security of the community, safety of our prison justice method and efficiency of our courts demand from customers that the county give Common Companies the methods to take care of this and be certain it never takes place once again,” said Dane Schiller, a spokesman for the district attorney’s workplace.