The Campaign For DA

10.14.2011

Crazy Texas Legal Case Of The Day


An illegal alien is caught with drugs and is offered a plea bargain of 10 years probation in Smith County, Texas.  One of the conditions of probation was for her to obtain legal status within 12 months or else leave the country and reside  “in a location where you do have a legally authorized status.”   That's right, some judge said, in effect, "If you ain't legal in a year, get back to Mexico. In the meantime, enjoy American probation."

When the defendant failed to obtain the right to legally be here, the State filed a Motion to revoke her probation, the judge found that she had violated that probation, and he ordered her to prison for five years.

On Appeal: Not so fast, my friend.  The probation order is trumped by federal law, and federal law controls criminal sanctions for not being in the country legally.

Side note #1: The court's opinion casually pointed out that there was also a probation condition which required her to not break any law while on probation. However, the State did not allege that she violated that condition.

Side note #2:  "Her counsel stated at the revocation hearing that [the defendant] had four children who were United States citizens, two of whom have Down’s Syndrome."