Fort Worth, TX asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Texas

Q: How do we fix this, isn’t it double jeopardy or something? My boyfriend had 3 traffic violations and a fta from 2013.

He had 3 traffic violations and a failure to appear from 2013. In 2017 he got arrested and spent 3 weeks in jail. The magistrate at that time gave him time served for the 4 warrants out of Daisetta, Texas. He has recently went to jail, got his truck and a borrowed trailer impounded over 1 of the 4 warrants (he still has 3 active warrants). The city of daisetta told him that he owed $1300 for the 4 warrants and that the judge didn’t have jurisdiction to give him time served. They aren’t giving him credit on the 3 weeks he spent in jail in 2017. We live in a rural community and the city of daisetta is a very small operation (the police man’s wife works at the city handling all the paperwork for this situation). When he got pulled over this last time the cop ran his name and nothing came back. The cop talked to his wife and the cop pulled him over again because his wife told him about the warrants. How do we go about handling this. We can’t afford an attorney, we can’t get truck and trai.

1 Lawyer Answer
Roy Lee Warren
Roy Lee Warren
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • San Marcos, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I am sorry for your troubles but I thank you for your question.

I'm not sure about the claim the magistrate did not have jurisdiction to give him "time served", or why you would be told that AFTER he already served the time. It is my opinion this is a claim that should be covered by laws protecting people when their civil rights have been violated. A federal statute, (42 U.S.C. Section 1983) allows citizens to recover damages and attorney fees for deprivation of rights that are done "under color of law".

You should be able to find a lawyer that handles civil rights violations against the governmental entity that deprived you of your Constitutional rights "under the law" that can handle the case on a contingency basis (no charge unless they win). The following article may be helpful, I found it at the Texas State Law Library (on line)]

Civil Lawsuits; In addition to criminal charges, citizens can bring civil lawsuits against the police in certain circumstances. An attorney could advise you on what course of action to take if you are considering this approach. Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Claims in Texas Discusses the circumstances under which a civil lawsuit may be brought against the police in Texas. For example "Police Brutality Lawsuits and Section 1983 claims; Explains how Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act can be used to bring a civil suit after instances of deprivation of rights under the law.

What Is a "Section 1983" Lawsuit Against the Police? This article from Nolo's legal encyclopedia discusses lawsuits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the police, particularly in the case of depriving you of your rights (freedom). An article from Nolo's legal encyclopedia breaks down what constitutes excessive force by law enforcement.

Best of luck on your claim.

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