Juvenile Case Results





CT #
TEXAS CRIMINAL OFFENSE
ACTUAL RESULTS IN 2013
359TH
INDECENCY WITH A CHILD BY CONTACT (2° Felony) in Montgomery County
CASE DISMISSED (Client allegedly abused a fellow student at his high school. The case was dismissed before the third court setting.)
359th
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony) in Montgomery County
CASE DISMISSED (Client allegedly abused his younger cousin. Law enforcement did a minimal investigation. Sullivan conducted a thorough investigation and was ready for trial by the first court setting. The State requested a one month reset to conduct his own investigation. The State dismissed the case before the second court setting.
313TH
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony)
CASE  REDUCED to misdemeanor Indecent Exposure with 2 years of probation at home (Client allegedly abused his younger sibling)
314TH
TERRORISTIC THREAT (A)
RECEIVED DEFERRED PROSECUTION ON JURY TRIAL SETTING (Client allegedly threatened to shoot and kill a neighbor. Prior to trial, the State only offered an out of home placement)
Jackson
County
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony) in Jackson County (Edna)
PRIVATE PLACEMENT at Pegasus School for 9-12 months of sex offender counseling and then probation at home without sex offender registration (Probation Department originally recommended lengthy placement at TJJD)
Fort Bend
County
INDECENCY WITH A CHILD (2° Felony) in Fort Bend County (Richmond)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Assault with no disposition (Client accused of touching his 12 year old younger sister when he was 14.  Case was resolved after client finished sex offender counseling)
315
AGGRAVATED ROBBERY (1° Felony)(2 Cases)
PROBATION at home for 3 years instead of being certified to stand trial as an adult (16 year old client drove 2 guys on a crime spree--robbing several people in a short period of time. One guy got away and the other who was 17 received 3 years at TDC on a reduced aggravated assault charge)
314
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony)
JURY TRIAL: NOT GUILTY (15 year old client was accused of abusing his 2½ year old niece and her 4 year old brother was an alleged eyewitness.  Niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement)





ACTUAL RESULTS IN 2012
315
AUTO THEFT (3° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED (Client accused of stealing an acquaintance’s car)
315th
ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE BY IMPEDING BREATHING (3° Felony), ASSAULT FV (A), ASSAULT FV (A), RESISTING ARREST (B)
CASES DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution (Client with severe psychological problems accused of committing assault against her mother on 2 separate occasions and her sister’s boyfriend)
315th
ARSON (1° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED (Client accused of setting fire to a house while using drugs. When Sullivan was setting the case for a jury trial, the State dismissed the charge.)
Brazoria County
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony) in Brazoria County (Angleton)
CASE REDUCED to Enticing a Child (3° felony) with probation at home (13 year old client was originally accused of sexually abusing a 6 year old stepsister.  With the reduction, client can never be made to register as a sex offender)
315th
FAILURE TO STOP AND RENDER AID (3° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution (Client was originally accused of Aggravated Assault after running over drug dealer to save friend’s life. The complainant suffered a broken hip. The State re-filed the case when Sullivan was setting it for a jury trial and then later dismissed it)
313TH
EXHIBITION OF FIREARM AT SCHOOL (3° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution  (Client accused of threatening to bring a gun to school to shoot other students)
315TH
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT FAMILY MEMBER (2° Felony) and ASSAULT FAMILY MEMBER (A)
CASE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution (Client accused of hitting mother and on a later date threatening her with a steak knife)
Ft Bend County
STALKING (3° Felony) in Fort Bend County
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Terroristic threat with probation at home (Client accused of threatening to kill high school class mate and following her around. When Sullivan was going to set the case for a jury trial, the State agreed to reduce it)
313TH
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (Class A Misdemeanor)
CASE DISMISSED (Client and his friends were accused of damaging an empty apartment next to their school)
314TH
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (2° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution  (Client accused of threatening to stab classmate in the neck with a pair of sharp scissors)



CT #
TEXAS CRIMINAL OFFENSE
ACTUAL RESULTS IN 2011
314TH
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE (2° Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Assault
315TH
TERRORISTIC THREAT (B)
CASE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution  (Client accused of organizing group to take over middle school and threatened to kill teachers)
315TH
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony) 
Probation at home for two years with counseling and no sex offender registration

315TH
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (1° Felony) and INDECENCY WITH A CHILD
PROBATION at home for 1 year with counseling and no sex offender registration (Family hired attorney after client had confessed to police and began counseling)
315TH
ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE (A)
CASE DISMISSED on jury trial setting
313TH
ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE (A)
CASE DISMISSED
314TH
BURGLARY OF A HABITATION (2° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED
313TH
ROBBERY (2° Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Assault



CT #
TEXAS CRIMINAL OFFENSE
ACTUAL RESULTS IN 2010
314TH
MOTION TO DE-REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER
MOTION GRANTED. Juvenile sex offender allowed to de-register
313TH
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (B)
CASE DISMISSED
313TH
POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA (B)
CASE DISMISSED
313TH
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (B)
CASE DISMISSED
313TH
BURGLARY OF A HABITATION (2° Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Trespass and client received Deferred Adjudication probation.
315TH
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (State Jail Felony)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE (State Jail Felony)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA (B)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
POSSESSION OF A PROHIBITED WEAPON (3° Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon
315TH
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (State Jail Felony)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA (B)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IN SCHOOL ZONE (State Jail Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance
315TH
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (2° Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Terroristic Threat
2
MOTION TO REVOKE PROBATION (INDECENCY WITH A CHILD)(2°) in Fort Bend County (Richmond)
MRP DISMISSED by State.  Client re-instated on probation.
314
POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY (2° Felony)
PROBATION at home for 5 years without having to register as a sex offender (Case first filed in 176th Criminal District Court as adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court.  Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Without the case being moved to juvenile court, the client would have had to register as a sex offender for life)



CT #
TEXAS CRIMINAL OFFENSE
ACTUAL RESULTS IN 2009
315TH
POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA (B)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
VIOLATION OF PROBATION
MRP DISMISSED by State.  Client re-instated on probation.
313TH
TRESPASS TO HABITATION (A)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
VIOLATION OF PROBATION
MRP DISMISSED by State.  Client re-instated on probation.
315TH
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE (2° Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Assault
315TH
GRAFFITI AT SCHOOL (State Jail Felony)
CASE REDUCED to misdemeanor Criminal Mischief
315TH
POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA (B)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
INDECENCY WITH A CHILD BY CONTACT (2° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (2° Felony)
CASE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution
315TH
BURGLARY OF A HABITATION (2°)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE (A)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
MANSLAUGHTER (4 cases)(3° Felony)
CASES DISMISSED (Client crashed car into tree, killing 4 child passengers and causing to himself irreversible brain injuries. Client was ruled unfit to proceed at a motion hearing initiated by Sullivan. All four Manslaughter cases were dismissed on client’s 18th birthday)
315TH
ASSAULT (A)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (A)
CASE DISMISSED
313TH
INDECENCY WITH A CHILD (2° Felony)
CASE REDUCED misdemeanor Assault with  6 months of probation at home and no sex offender registration
315TH
VIOLATION OF PROBATION
MRP DISMISSED by State.  Client re-instated on probation.
315TH
CARRYING A WEAPON (A)
CASE DISMISSED
314TH
MOTION TO DE-REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER
MOTION GRANTED.  Client was allowed to de-register as a juvenile sex offender.

315TH
GRAFFITI AT SCHOOL (State Jail Felony)
CASE DISMISSED
315TH
THEFT (B)
CASE DISMISSED


Houston Juvenile Lawyer James Sullivan has represented more than 1,000 clients in juvenile courts in Harris and surrounding counties.  The cases listed in the graph above and the detailed accounts below represent just a few of those since January 2008.  A graph covering the cases represented since 1994 would be much lengthier.  Juvenile cases are not public record, therefore by law the cause numbers are not listed.

1° = 1st Degree Felony, 2° = 2nd Degree Felony, 3° = 3rd Degree Felony, SJF = State Jail Felony
A = Class A Misdemeanor, B = Class B Misdemeanor
BURGLARY OF A HABITATION
James Sullivan represented a 14 year old boy who–along with six others–was accused of breaking into a home and stealing a safe containing about $15,000 in cash. A police officer arrested his client, took him to the police station and obtained a signed confession from him. James's client said the officer browbeat a false confession out of him and that he was actually swimming at a YMCA at the time of the burglary. In addition to his alibi witnesses, James also subpoenaed to trial the five teenagers who had actually committed the crime and who were already on probation.
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY

MANSLAUGHTER (4 CASES)
James Sullivan represented a 16 year old boy who was charged with four cases of manslaughter based on his alleged reckless driving. His client allegedly drove his father's car in excess of the speed limit, lost control, drove off the road and hit a tree. In the accident, his 16 year old best friend, two 15 year old girls and his 5 year old sister were killed on impact. None of the children were wearing their seat belts. The State sought to certify his client as an adult and to transfer his case to criminal district court where he would have faced 2-20 years in prison on each case. Sullivan was convinced that his client was severely brain injured due to the accident and was not competent. Sullivan persuaded the court to reset the case for a psychiatric evaluation. The evaluation came back that his client was indeed incompetent. An expert witness for the defense testified at trial that his client was incompetent and not likely to ever regain competency. The court agreed. After his client turned 18, Sullivan persuaded the State to dismiss the charges.
RESULT: ALL 4 FELONY CASES DISMISSED

ASSAULT
James Sullivan represented a large 13 year old boy accused of attacking his behavioral adjustment teacher and seriously injuring her in the hallway outside her classroom. The Houston Press covered the trial in an article entitled "School Scam? Did a teacher fabricate a student assault to collect disability?" After finding his client not guilty, the jury asked Sullivan how charges could be filed against the teacher for perjury and insurance fraud.
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY

ASSAULT AGAINST A POLICE OFFICER & EVADING BY MOTOR VEHICLE
James Sullivan represented a 16 year old boy who was accused of two felony charges: Assault on a Police Officer for allegedly striking an undercover police officer with his car and Evading by Motor Vehicle for continuing to drive away. At the jury trial, Sullivan argued that his client had just been jumped by two teens and was trying to drive away when a guy walked up with a gun drawn that he believed was trying to car jack him. The gun man was an undercover police officer who flashed his ID card and identified himself. In his pain and confusion, his client understandably did not believe him and drove off. The passenger side mirror on his car struck the officer. After several hours of deliberation, the jury could not reach a verdict. The State then agreed to dismiss the felony assault charge, reduce the felony evading case to a misdemeanor and let his client receive deferred prosecution so that he would not receive a conviction.
VERDICT: HUNG JURY

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
James Sullivan represented a 13 year old girl accused of possession between 1-4 grams of cocaine. She was at an apartment with her boyfriend and two other teenage couples. One of the couples got into a fight. That girl called a friend who in turn called the police. When a police officer arrived at the door, that couple jumped out the back window and ran away. The officer entered the apartment without a warrant, claiming he heard what he thought were the sounds of a body being dragged across the floor. In a suppression hearing, Sullivan elicited from the officer that he did not hear any such sounds at all. Hence, there was no valid emergency to justify his warrantless search and seizure. The judge granted Sullivan's motion to suppress evidence of the possession.
RESULT: CASE DISMISSED

SEXUAL ASSAULT
James Sullivan represented a 16 year old boy accused of raping a 17 year old girl at her home. After a lengthy investigation, Sullivan was able to cast doubt on the credibility of his accuser in several ways, including the fact that his client did attend football practice at the time that his accuser claimed that he had followed her home and raped her.
RESULT: CASE DISMISSED

AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD & INDECENCY WITH A CHILD
James Sullivan represented a 16 year old boy accused of molesting his six year old half-sister. After a thorough investigation of the home environment, Sullivan was able to show that–if the girl had been molested–the stepfather, a convicted drug user, was the likely perpetrator.
RESULT: FELONY CASES REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ON DAY OF TRIAL

INDECENCY WITH A CHILD
James Sullivan represented a 14 year old boy accused of touching a 13 year old girl in her genital area against her will behind the bleachers in the school gymnasium. After interviewing several eyewitnesses and taking photos of the scene, Sullivan was able to cast doubt on the girl's version of events.
RESULT: FELONY CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ON DAY OF TRIAL

INDECENCY WITH A CHILD
James Sullivan secured a reduction to a misdemeanor for a 14 year old boy charged with a second degree felony of indecency with a child. On the day of trial, the Stated reduced the charges from a determinate felony case to a misdemeanor indecent exposure and allowed him to receive probation at home.
RESULT: FELONY CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR