1. Who are you, and what are running for?
My name is Pam Derbyshire and I am the Judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 7. I am running for re-election to Court 7 in November.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
Criminal Court No. 7 is a misdemeanor criminal court. We are one of fifteen county criminal courts at the Criminal Justice Center and we hear class A and B misdemeanors. Examples of these types of cases are DWI, Burglary of a Motor Vehicle, Family Violence Assault and Possession of Marijuana. The maximum punishment a defendant can receive in a county criminal court is up to one year in jail and a $4000.00 fine. The sentence may be probated in an appropriate case.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I was first elected to this bench in 1998. I was reelected in 2002 and 2006. I am seeking my forth term as the presiding judge of court 7 to continue the programs and progress we have made.
4. What are you qualifications for this job?
I began my career in 1983 with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. I rose to the level of Chief Prosecutor handling capital murder cases. I also served as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Texas. I then spent several years in private practice representing citizens charged with criminal cases. I was elected to this court in 1998 and have spent the past 12 years presiding over thousands of criminal cases. I have also instituted a DWI repeat offender program in this court that focuses on addressing defendants with two DWI convictions.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important as the voters of Harris County are being asked to decide who they wish to preside over the criminal cases in this court. Having spent 12 years on this bench and having tried over 400 jury trials I bring experience to this very important position.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
I hope that people will vote for me in November based on my experience and qualifications. I have spent the past 27 years working in the criminal courts and have a balanced view having served as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.