2021-2022 Criminal Law Clinic Update

April 2022

2L Criminal Clinic Student and Associate Member of the State Bar of Texas Natalia Ortiz, under the supervision of Adjunct Clinical Professors of Law Debora Sanchez and Mike McCollum, successfully obtained a dismissal on behalf of a client charged with Assault causing Bodily Injury in Dallas County Criminal Court. Ortiz successfully leveraged her client's completion of an anger management course and community service in discussions with the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) about dismissing the case. As a result, the ADA submitted a motion to dismiss the charge, which the Court granted.

2L Criminal Clinic Student and Associate Member of the State Bar of Texas Natalia Ortiz, under the supervision of Adjunct Clinical Professors of Law Debora Sanchez and Mike McCollum, successfully obtained a dismissal on behalf of a client charged with Theft of Property in Dallas County Criminal Court. The case has been in the system since 2018. Thus, in discussions with the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) to bring resolution to this case, Ortiz successfully leveraged a Penitentiary sentence her client served for other charges and the fact that five years had passed since the client's alleged offense. As a result, the ADA motioned to dismiss the charge, which the Court granted.

3L Criminal Clinic Student Attorney Benjamin Rice, under the supervision of adjunct clinical professors of law Mike McCollum and Debbie Sanchez, successfully obtained a dismissal on behalf of a client charged with Driving While Intoxicate in Dallas County Criminal Court. Rice filed a Motion to Dismiss for Speedy Trial Violation and convinced the prosecutor that because roughly two years had passed since the client’s alleged offense, the State had violated the client’s right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment. As a result, the prosecutor motioned to dismiss the charge, which the Court granted.

March 2022

2L Criminal Clinic Students and Associate Members of the State Bar of Texas Natalia Ortiz, and Sydney Kossow, under the supervision of adjunct clinical professors of law Debbie Sanchez and Mike McCollum, successfully argued for the continuation of a client’s probation during a hearing on the State's Motion to Proceed with Adjudication of Guilt in a Dallas County Criminal District Court. The State filed a motion to revoke probation and proceed with an adjudication of guilt, alleging that Ortiz and Kossow's client violated probation terms from a previous offense. Were the Court to have granted the State's motion and adjudicate guilt, the client faced confinement up to 2 years in a State Jail Facility. Kossow conducted a direct examination of the client to elicit mitigating factors addressing the violations. Ortiz closed the hearing with a final argument highlighting those mitigating factors and issues before the Court, requesting that the Court continue the client on probation as opposed to revocation and imposing jail time. The Court ruled in favor of Ortiz and Kossow's client and continued him on probation.

February 2022

Criminal Clinic Students and Associate Members of the State Bar of Texas Kaleb Degler, 2L, and Sydney Kossow, 2L, under the supervision of adjunct clinical professors of law Debbie Sanchez and Mike McCollum, successfully argued for the continuation of a client’s probation during a hearing on the State's Motion to Proceed with Adjudication of Guilt in a Dallas County Criminal District Court. Were the Court to have granted the State's motion and adjudicate guilt, the client faced confinement between 2-10 years in the penitentiary. Kossow conducted a direct examination of the client to elicit testimony of mitigating factors addressing the allegations that had prompted the State to file the motion against the client. Degler closed the hearing with a final argument highlighting those mitigating factors and issues before the Court, requesting that the Court continue the client on probation. The Court ruled in favor of Degler's and Kossow's client and continued him on probation with in-patient rehabilitation as a condition of probation.

January 2022

Criminal Clinic Students and Associate Members of the State Bar of Texas Benjamin Rice, 3L, and Kaci Jones, 2L, under the supervision of adjunct clinical professors of law Debbie Sanchez and Mike McCollum, successfully argued for the continuation of a client’s probation during a hearing on a State's Motion to Proceed with Adjudication of Guilt in a Dallas County Criminal District Court. The client faced the possibility of confinement between 2 and 10 years in the state penitentiary had the Court proceeded with an adjudication of guilt and revoked the client’s probation. Jones conducted a direct examination of the client to elicit testimony of mitigating factors and the allegations that had prompted the State to file the motion against the client. Rice closed the hearing with a final argument highlighting those mitigating factors and issues before the Court and requested that the Court continue the client on probation. The Court ruled in favor of Rice’s and Jones’ client and continued her on probation with in-patient rehabilitation as a condition of probation.