The Criminal District Attorney's Office analyzes all felony and most misdemeanor charges filed by law enforcement agencies in Bexar County reviews these charges to decide if enough evidence exists for further prosecution, and determines how best to proceed in the interests of justice.
The District Attorney seeks to require defendants who are found guilty of a crime to take responsibility for their actions and for any harm they have caused but also works to lessen recidivism, prevent crime, and make Bexar County a safer and better place to live, work and raise children.
In addition to responsibility for criminal prosecutions in Bexar County, the District Attorney also serves as legal counsel for Bexar County, county officials, and county employees in all matters related to their governmental functions.
Post-conviction relief is a procedure that allows the defendant in a criminal case to bring more evidence or raise additional issues in a case after a judgment has been made (post-trial). With valid grounds, post-conviction relief can help a convicted individual obtain a fair resolution in their case.
As an independent and autonomous part of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) conducts objective reviews of final convictions to determine whether some manifest injustice has occurred that may be corrected by the procedures provided by post-conviction law.
Post-conviction relief comes in two forms: equitable relief and legal relief.
Equitable relief may be granted if:
- the conviction is not contested, but
- the client presents a compelling and/or sympathetic situation. (Why does this person deserve relief? What is keeping this person from taking their next steps? How has this person changed since the offense (treatment, counseling, etc)? Letters from the community in support of relief are key here.
Legal relief may be granted if:
- there has been a conviction, and
- there is a credible legal claim (e.g., My attorney didn’t communicate with me. New evidence or evidence that went untested at the time of my trial shows that I'm innocent, etc.).
When a case is accepted, the CIU prepares an internal proposal/memorandum and presents it to the District Attorney for approval.
Even if a case does not end in an exoneration or an expunction, it can still be beneficial to the applicant.
- The CIU cannot review every case where there is a bare claim of innocence.
- There is no magic formula; each case is different.
- The CIU cannot give legal advice to a defendant or a defendant's family members.
- It would be best to have your claim presented by a lawyer who is experienced in post-conviction criminal work.
- The Innocence Project of Texas and similar organizations can be extremely helpful in presenting new claims.
- The more proof that a conviction was wrongful, the more likely we are to review the case. Documents that support that claim are also helpful.
- When CIU accepts a case for review, it will be open-minded and objective.
Click here to learn more and submit a case for review.
The Bexar County Family Justice Center can help you change the pattern of violence that dominates your life! At the Center, two agencies provide protective order assistance: (1) Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office - Protective Order Unit, and (2) Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
The DA Protective Order Unit is made up of trained Victim Advocates, Paralegals, Investigators, and Assistant District Attorneys to provide services to victims. They can help you obtain information about criminal charges, explain the criminal justice process, and see if they can assist you with applying for a protective order in Civil District Court. If there is a legal conflict that prevents the District Attorney’s Office from providing you with protective order assistance, your case may be referred to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
If a protective order is granted by a Civil District Court Judge, it will order the person you filed against:
- Not to commit any violence against you.
- Not to come within a certain distance of where you live, work, and attend school.
- Not to communicate with you in any manner that is threatening or harassing, whether by phone, mail, or any electronic/online communication.
- Not to engage in any harassing, threatening, annoying, alarming, abusing, tormenting or embarrassing behavior towards you.
- Not to commit any of the above acts towards you or any other individuals covered by the protective order.
- Not allow them to possess any weapons unless they are peace officers.
- Not to remove or harm pets or companion animals
- Family Violence: the law requires proof that (1) family violence has occurred and (2) family violence is likely to occur again in the future.
- Third Party: the law requires evidence that (1) you and the person you want protection from have (or have had) an intimate relationship with the same person, (2) that violence has occurred between you and the person you want protection from and, (3) the violence is likely to occur again in the future.
- Stalking: the law requires proof that you are the victim of stalking.
- Sexual Assault or Abuse: the law requires proof that you are the victim of sexual assault or indecency with a child.
- Indecent Assault: the law requires proof that you are the victim of indecent assault.
- Trafficking: the law requires proof that you are the victim of trafficking.
The Victim Assistance Division of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is available to assist victims of crime whose case was committed within Bexar County.
Victim Assistance personnel strive to keep victims informed of their statutory rights, the status of their criminal case, upcoming court proceedings, and referrals to the appropriate social service resources to assist them through this difficult and stressful time.
We offer the following services:
- general information about the criminal justice system and court accompaniment;
- notification of the status of your case in the court system;
- referral to social service agencies; aid in preparing an application through the Crime Victim Compensation fund;
- aid in completing a Victim Impact Statement; limited restitution collection and distribution;
- and aid in returning property involved in a criminal case.