Harris County constable refiles over 400 criminal cases amid probable cause concerns

The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office has announced they've recently refiled over 400 criminal cases against accused criminals. Those cases they say were slated for dismissal by judges who cite, that in most cases, there is a lack of probable cause. 

Constable Mark Herman blamed too many dismissed cases as the reason for Harris County's high crime rate. 

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Officials said the issue has resulted in thousands of criminal cases being dismissed in Harris County, and as a result, the crime rate has gone up, public safety is compromised, and the safety of police officers in Harris County is in jeopardy. 

In a statement, officials said Several years ago, the Constable was notified by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg that since 2021, thousands of criminal cases were dismissed by criminal court judges and magistrates. He said the cases were slated for dismissal, leaving the District Attorney’s Office no other option unless the cases were represented to the district attorney office.

The Constable's Office said they determined hundreds of those cases were filed by Precinct 4. The finding prompted the initiative, which was launched in 2021, to put together groups of police officers to review these dismissed criminal cases with the DA’s Office to refile. More than 400 criminal cases have been refiled to date.

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"We will not let these people go without having a day in court. Our deputies risk their lives bringing these suspects to justice. Therefore, we will see these cases through our system," said Constable Mark Herman in a statement. "The message today that I want to give out: If you come out to Precinct 4, and you commit a crime, if your case is dismissed, you can count on it being refiled. We must hold these criminals and magistrates accountable to make sure judges adjudicate these cases."

Officials said, "The Precinct 4 Constable’s office has chosen to change the direction and hopes other agencies in our County do the same. There must be a consequence when you break the law in Harris County, Texas again. These dismissals have emboldened a new type of criminal here in our county, which our citizens are now paying the consequence for."