(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates on the November ballot. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. These Q&As are primarily intended for candidates who were not in contested primaries. You can see those earlier Q&As, as well as all the ones in this series and all my recorded interviews for this cycle, on my 2010 Elections page.)
1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is Judith Snively and I am running for Harris County Criminal Court at Law Number 3.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This Court hears Class A and B Criminal Misdemeanor cases with a maximum punishment range of up to one year in the Harris County Jail and/or up to a $4,000 fine.
A majority of the cases heard in these courts are DWI’s, Assaults, Possession of Marijuana and Thefts.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I have over twenty years experience handling the cases that come before this type of bench. I have worked in all of the 15 misdemeanor courts and believe that I have been able to evaluate practices in each court that can be adapted or modified to create a more fair and efficient court system in Harris County.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have been active as a Criminal Defense Attorney in the criminal court system in Harris County continuously for over twenty years. I have courtroom experience in the Criminal Courts having handled thousands of individual clients. I believe that my experience in the courtroom has given me full exposure to the workings of this type of court. My experience with legal issues in Immigration, Family, Juvenile and Probate Law also lend to a better understanding of many issues that may overlap in the Criminal Courts. Aside from my legal experience I have lived in other countries and speak Spanish. I believe my life experience gives me the perspective to prepare me for the diverse makeup of the individuals which appear before the Harris County Misdemeanor Courts
5. Why is this race important?
As Harris County continues to grow and attract individuals from all parts of the world we need judges that will listen and treat everyone with respect and dignity. I understand from my representation of various clients that a Judge needs to look at every aspect of the case from probable cause to bonding issues to punishment. Each case and Defendant is unique.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
I believe I can help to implement policies which will not only save tax payer money by granting more pre-trial bonds for qualified individuals, and freeing up the overcrowded jails, but also look at the full range of punishment and not just follow the District Attorney’s guidelines. I would work closely with the Harris County Probation Department to get an understanding of why so many probationers are not able to comply with present conditions of probation and strive to work with them before they are revoked. I vow to follow the Constitution for everyone that enters the courtroom.