Harris County Criminal Court Bond Violations

When a person is on bond in Harris County, they are typically required to follow certain terms and conditions set by the court. Violating these terms can have serious consequences and may result in the revocation of the bond. Here are some common ways a person on bond can violate its terms:

  1. Failure to appear: Failing to appear in court for scheduled hearings or proceedings is a direct violation of the bond. The court relies on the individual's presence as a condition of their release.
  2. Committing new offenses: Engaging in criminal activity while on bond is a significant violation. This includes being arrested for a new crime, even if unrelated to the initial charge.
  3. Travel restrictions: Bond conditions may include restrictions on travel. Violating these restrictions by leaving the designated area or traveling without permission can be considered a violation.
  4. Contact with victims or witnesses: In cases involving victims or witnesses, the court may impose a "no-contact" provision as part of the bond conditions. Initiating contact or attempting to intimidate or influence these individuals can lead to a violation and possibly new criminal charges being filed.
  5. Failure to comply with orders: Violating court orders, such as restraining orders or protective orders, is a violation of the bond conditions. Violating a restraining or protective order can also lead to new criminal charges being filed.
  6. Substance abuse or alcohol violations: If the court has ordered the individual to abstain from alcohol or drugs, testing positive for substances or failing to comply with testing requirements is a violation.
  7. Possession of firearms or weapons: In certain cases, individuals may be prohibited from possessing firearms or weapons as part of their bond conditions. Possessing such items can result in a violation.
  8. Failure to report: If the court requires the individual to report regularly to a probation officer or any other designated authority, failing to do so is considered a violation.
  9. Changing residence without permission: Some bond conditions require individuals to seek permission from the court before changing their residence. Failing to do so can be a violation.
  10. Tampering with electronic monitoring devices: If the person is under electronic monitoring, tampering with or removing the monitoring device is a violation.

It's important to note that the specific conditions of a bond can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. The court determines the bond conditions on a case-by-case basis, and violating any of these conditions can have serious consequences, including the revocation of the bond, re-arrest, and possibly new criminal charges being filed depending on the type of violation.

If you are accused of a bond violation, call James Sullivan & Associates at 281-546-6428 for a free consultation.

Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.


Houston Criminal Attorneys' Trial Strategies


Houston Criminal lawyers use a variety of strategies to win jury trials

Some common strategies include:

  1. Jury Selection: One of the most important strategies is jury selection. Criminal lawyers try to select jurors who are impartial, fair-minded, and open to their arguments. They may use psychological profiling, questionnaires, or other techniques to help identify potential jurors who are likely to be sympathetic to their client’s case.
  2. Evidence Suppression: Criminal lawyers may challenge the admissibility of evidence that was obtained illegally or in violation of their client’s constitutional rights. If evidence is suppressed, it can weaken the prosecution’s case and increase the likelihood of a not guilty verdict.
  3. Cross-Examination: Criminal lawyers may use cross-examination to challenge the credibility of prosecution witnesses and to highlight inconsistencies in their testimony. They may also use cross-examination to elicit testimony that supports their client’s case.
  4. Expert Witnesses: Criminal lawyers may call on expert witnesses to testify on their client’s behalf. Expert witnesses can provide scientific or technical evidence that supports the defense’s case, and can help to explain complex issues to the jury.
  5. Defense Witnesses: Criminal lawyers may call on witnesses to testify on their client’s behalf. Defense witnesses can provide testimony that supports the defense’s case, and can help to create doubt in the minds of the jurors.
  6. Closing Arguments: Criminal lawyers use closing arguments to summarize the evidence, highlight weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and make a persuasive argument in favor of their client’s innocence. A powerful closing argument can sway the opinions of the jurors and increase the likelihood of a not guilty verdict.
  7. Jury Instructions: Criminal lawyers may seek specific jury instructions that favor their client’s case. Jury instructions provide guidance to the jurors on how to apply the law to the facts of the case and can significantly impact the outcome of the trial.

These are just a few of the strategies that criminal lawyers use to win jury trials. Every case is unique, and a skilled criminal defense lawyer will tailor their strategy to the specific circumstances of the case.

James G. Sullivan and Associates | Houston Criminal Attorney

Contact our law firm today at (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation about your criminal charges in Harris County. 

James Sullivan is an experienced criminal trial attorney in Houston who will make every effort to help you achieve the best outcome for your case.

Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.


I Want a Good Lawyer to Fight for Me!

Choosing a Houston criminal defense lawyer is the most important decision as it can have a huge impact on the outcome of your criminal case. Prospective criminal clients should consider the following factors when selecting a lawyer:

  1. Experience: Look for a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to your own. Criminal law is a complex and specialized area of law, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer will have the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the legal system and provide effective representation. How many criminal cases has the lawyer tried to a jury? How many has the lawyer won at trial?
  2. Reputation: Look for a lawyer who has a good reputation in the legal community. A lawyer’s reputation can impact the outcome of a case, as judges, prosecutors, and other lawyers may be more likely to take their arguments seriously. Ask court staff if they know the lawyer and what their reputation is. Read their Google profile and pay attention to their negative reviews. Lawyers who take on more cases than they can reasonably handle are usually reflected in those reviews.
  3. Communication skills: Look for a lawyer who communicates clearly and effectively. A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to explain legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand and should keep you informed about the status of your case. Lawyers that do not return calls, come to court very late if at all, or fail to keep clients informed of the status of their cases will usually receive bad reviews to that effect.
  4. Availability: Look for a lawyer who is available to answer your questions and address your concerns. A good criminal defense lawyer should be responsive to your needs and should be willing to meet with you  outside of normal business hours if necessary. Lawyers who do not return calls timely and are never available after hours or on the weekend are certainly not putting their clients first.
  5. Strategy: Look for a lawyer who has a clear strategy for your case. A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to explain their approach to your case and should be willing to discuss alternative strategies if necessary. Many young and inexperienced lawyers are still learning the trade, may not have any or little trial experience, and their approach to your case may be worlds apart from what a reputable trial lawyer can offer, so always talk to several lawyers before making a decision.
  6. Fees: Look for a lawyer who is transparent about their fees and expenses. A good criminal defense lawyer should provide you with a clear explanation of their billing practices and should be willing to work with you to develop a payment plan that is manageable for you. Be wary if the fee is too high or too low. Some lawyers may set very high fees to give the impression they are the best when they may only be average and some lawyers that are not reputable may set very low fees because they earn a living handling cases in high volume but provide mediocre legal service.

It is important to take the time to research and interview several potential lawyers to find someone who is the right fit for you and your case. 

Does the lawyer answer your answer your most important questions? Does the lawyer rush you off the phone or take the time to truly understand your legal problem? 

Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a criminal defense lawyer is finding someone with whom you feel comfortable and confident.

Contact James G. Sullivan & Associates to consult with experienced Houston Criminal Lawyers at (281) 546-6428.

Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.


Take My Affidavit of Non-Prosecution and Dismiss the Case, Houston DA!

We have represented countless men and even women charged with domestic violence in and around Houston since 1994. Frequently, my clients (the “defendant” or accused) and sometimes their significant other (the “complainant” or alleged victim) will ask about Affidavits of Non-Prosecution.

What is an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution?

It is like a letter the complainant writes to the DA (district attorney or “prosecutor”) saying they want the case dismissed, or not prosecuted. What makes the letter an affidavit is that it is sworn to and notarized (signed before a public notary), so the prosecutor will know the letter came from the complainant. However, a family violence case is not automatically dismissed just because the complainant turns in an affidavit.

According to Texas law, the DA represents the State in all criminal cases, and the primary duty of all prosecutors is not to convict, but to see that justice is done. If the prosecutor believes an assault of a family member occurred and the assault can be proven at trial, the prosecutor does not have to dismiss it.

Is the Affidavit Helpful at All?

The Affidavit of Non-Prosecution tells the prosecutor that you want the case dismissed. In other words, the prosecutor will know that you probably are going to make it harder for them to get a conviction at trial by either refusing to testify against the accused or by not being a good witness for the State. If that is true, the Affidavit could help in other ways.

It could be the decisive reason to dismiss the case if the evidence is not strong and the DA doubts whether they can win at trial.

It also helps to have the complainant’s approval if the DA believes that a dismissal is appropriate in exchange for the accused taking an anger management or family violence class. Certainly, this is less likely to happen when the complainant is unforgiving and wants harsh punishment.

Why Not Use an Affidavit?

Prosecutors are rarely moved by Affidavits of Non-Prosecution. For prosecutors, the affidavit is of little value and not worth the paper it is printed on. In my experience, the vast majority of complainants in domestic violence cases want the case dismissed, whether an assault occurred or not.

This makes sense because these cases generally are filed in the heat of the moment against other family members. After emotions cool down and there is time to reflect upon what happened, most complainants come to their senses. They realize the seriousness of the charge, especially when filed against the sole breadwinner who could lose their job, and they regret calling the police.

Unfortunately, after a complainant says they were assaulted or went along with the suggestive questions posed by the police, prosecutors rarely believe them when they later change their story or claim they just flat out lied. The prosecutors will still do their job, investigate what happened, and prepare their case with the assumption that the complainant will not testify. They will determine if they have other evidence with which to prove their case, such as a 911 recording, body worn camera videos, eyewitnesses, scene photos, statements, and medical records. A prosecutor will not dismiss a case just because an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution is filed.

James G. Sullivan and Associates | Cypress Domestic Violence Attorney

Contact James G. Sullivan and Associates today at (281) 546-6428 for a free consultation concerning affidavits of non-prosecution or if you are charged with family violence in the greater Houston area. James Sullivan is an experienced criminal defense attorney in northwest Houston who will make every effort to help you achieve the best outcome for your case.

Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.


Texas Criminal Process


If you have been arrested in the Greater Houston / Harris County area for a Class A or B misdemeanor or felony offense, it is important to consult with a reputable criminal trial attorney who understands the Texas criminal process in Houston. You want to hire someone who will show you their actual case results and how likely they are to be successful in your case.

If you have an open warrant for your arrest in Harris County, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX to represent you throughout all crucial elements of your case. The attorney may be able to represent you in court to get a bond set so you can do a walk through in the processing center, so that you do not have to turn yourself in first at the processing center and wait for a judge to set the bond and then be processed out as that can take many hours.

In most cases, criminal defendants want an aggressive lawyer who will go to trial and fight on their behalf if their case requires it, who will try to negotiate an agreement to get the case dismissed so it can later be expunged, or who will suggest their client enter a plea deal if that is the best option for their case.

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer in Cypress, Jersey Village, Tomball, Katy, and Northwest Houston

If you have been arrested for any criminal offense in Houston, James Sullivan is an experienced trial attorney who will make every effort to help you obtain the most desirable outcome in your specific situation by representing you throughout every important phase of the criminal process.

Call James G. Sullivan & Associates today at 281-546-6428 for a consultation about your alleged criminal offense in Houston, Cypress, Katy, Tomball, and surrounding areas of Harris County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges dismissed or reduced.

Houston Booking and Case Filing

After an alleged criminal offender has been arrested for a criminal offense in Houston, they will be held in jail until they appear before a judge. Immediately after the arrest, criminal defendants are taken to booking where their photographs and fingerprints are taken. Additionally, a fingerprint report, or rap sheet, is prepared that shows the defendant’s criminal history.

In misdemeanor cases, while the defendant is held in jail, the arresting officer files the criminal charges with the district attorney’s (DA) office. If the district attorney wants to pursue the case, the DA will prepare a charging instrument called an “information.” This is a written statement that is filed and presented on behalf of the state of Texas that charges the defendant with a crime. The information also puts the defendant on notice that they have been charged with a criminal offense.  After the information is processed, the case is assigned to one of the 16 misdemeanor courts in Houston through a random process.

In felony cases, the arresting law enforcement agency will also file charges with the DA’s office.

If a defendant is formally charged with a felony offense, their case will be assigned to one of the 26 felony (district) courts in Harris County.

Initial Appearance, Bail, and Arraignment in Houston

While the criminal defendant is held in jail, the jail will determine whether to set bail, to release the defendant from jail without bail (personal recognizance), or to hold the defendant in jail without bail. If bail is set, it can be posted at any time while the defendant is held in jail.

If bail is set, the amount can be posted by a bail bondsman, or another person. After the amount of bail has been posted, the defendant is guaranteed they will appear at any subsequent hearings or at trial. If they do appear as ordered, the amount of the bond, less any fees paid to secure the bond, will be returned to the individual who posted it. If the defendant does not appear, the amount of the bond will be forfeited.

After an information has been filed and the judge has decided whether to set bail or not, the defendant is entitled to an initial appearance, which is also known as the arraignment, where they will be advised of the charges that have been brought against them. The judge will also conduct a probable cause hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against the defendant. If the judge finds probable cause, the case continues. If the judge finds no probable cause, the prosecutor may decide to present the case to the grand jury or dismiss the charge.

The judge will also identify the defendant’s lawyer if one was hired or may appoint a lawyer to represent the defendant and set bail conditions at the arraignment.

Additionally, your attorney will have an opportunity to argue the amount of bail that should be set, and if the prosecutor has requested the defendant be held in jail, your attorney will also argue for your release. At the end of the arraignment, the defendant will enter a plea of not guilty, nolo contendere, or guilty, and will be informed of the date of their next court appearance.

Between the first and second court settings, these charges usually will then be presented to the grand jury to decide if there is enough evidence to charge the defendant with the crime. If the grand jury does decide there is enough evidence, they will file an indictment. This charging instrument is a written statement that formally accuses the person named of the criminal offense. The grand jury is a private proceeding that is comprised of a panel of citizens who are randomly selected to review criminal complaints provided by the police.

If the grand jury decides to true bill the alleged offender, or formally charge them, the grand jury has determined there is sufficient evidence (probable cause) to charge the defendant with the alleged criminal offense and will issue an indictment. If the grand jury decides to no bill the alleged offender, the defendant will not be charged with a criminal offense because the grand jury did not find probable cause to proceed with the case.

Criminal Process and Pre-Trial Negotiations in Houston

Prior to any appearances, hearing, or trial for the defendant’s criminal charges, the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor will have an opportunity to discuss any pretrial negotiations or enter a plea deal. They will also be able to enter a plea deal at the arraignment if this is in the defendant’s best interest.

The defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor will determine if there are any immediate reasons to dismiss the case. More commonly discussed prior to trial, a plea deal is a resolution of the case where both the prosecutor and the defendant agree to a certain punishment without ultimately having a trial to determine the defendant’s guilt. Additionally, at any of these pretrial negotiations, the case may be reset, postponed, rescheduled, or a continuance may be requested by either party.

Houston Hearings, Appearances, and Pre-Trial Motions

After the defendant is released from jail on bail or bond, they will be informed of their next hearing date at their arraignment. The defendant is required to appear on the date and time where they were instructed to appear, or else they will risk losing the amount of bond and a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

After any pretrial negotiations, but before trial, the court will set a date to hear all pretrial motions filed by both sides. The defendant’s attorney can file any motions arguing why the case should be dismissed or to suppress certain evidence. The most common pre-trial motions filed on behalf of a defendant can include any of the following:

  • Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Probable Cause
  • Motion to Exclude a Non-credible Witnesses’ Testimony
  • Motion to Exclude the Defendant’s Confession
  • Motion to Strike Prior Convictions
  • Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence

Houston Criminal Trial

If a defendant has rejected all pre-trial negotiations, the case has not been dismissed, and the defendant has pleaded not guilty to an alleged criminal offense, the case will be set for trial. The defendant can choose to have a bench trial or a jury trial.

A bench trial is a trial without a jury where only the judge determines if the defendant is guilty or innocent. Additionally, in bench trials, the defendant waives any error in the case upon any subsequent appeals.  A jury trial is comprised of a panel of 12 jury members for felony cases and six jury members for misdemeanor cases. The jury members are citizens in the county where the trial is held and are chosen through a process called voir dire (jury selection).

After the jurors are seated, the guilt/innocence phase of the trial will begin. This phase involves the presentation of all evidence, and all witnesses are called to testify. The prosecutor has the burden of proving the defendant committed every element to the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high burden of proof and often difficult to meet. The defense does not have to prove anything.

In order to convict a defendant, all jurors must unanimously agree the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If they do not all agree, the jury is called a hung jury and the judge must declare a mistrial. The case will then later be retried if the prosecutor believes another jury will be able to reach a unanimous decision. The prosecutor also could dismiss the charge or offer the defendant a deal on a reduced charge instead of having another trial.

If the defendant is found guilty, the punishment phase of the trial will occur next. This phase is used to determine the defendant’s punishment for their alleged offense. Prior to the beginning of trial, the defendant must choose whether to go to the judge or the jury to determine their punishment.

If the defendant believes a legal error occurred in the trial based on the judge’s instructions to the jury or for permitting inadmissible evidence, they can file an appeal to the next highest court. The criminal appeal is not a pre-trial rehearing of the evidence.

Find a Houston Criminal Trial Attorney | James G. Sullivan & Associates

Contact us today for a consultation about your arrest and criminal charges in Harris County in Texas. James Sullivan is a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Houston who will make every effort to fight for you at every stage of the criminal process.

Contact James G. Sullivan & Associates today at 281-546-6428 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Harris County and Fort Bend County. Our firm will work with the goal to get your criminal charges dismissed, won at trial, or reduced.

Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.