Unless you are a licensed attorney, the only thing you can do to help your friend is to hire a lawyer to represent him if you are unhappy with current counsel. Good luck.
Goodness if his charge is merely a misdemeanor he should be out of jail already. Are you sure his charge is merely "terroristic threat". The TPC states: Sec. 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
(1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
(3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place;
(4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
(5) place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
(6) influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
(b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor.
(c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense:
(1) is committed against a member of the person's family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence; or
(2) is committed against a public servant.
(c-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (c)(2), an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a state jail felony if the offense is committed against a person the actor knows is a peace officer or judge.
So it is most likely a misdemeanor charge and he has probably already served the time required. Class B max punishment is 6 months but he gets 2 days for every day served so 3 months would be the max. Class A is 1 year so with the 2 days credit for every day served, he would have 6 months max.
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You cannot. His attorney can file a demand for a Speedy Trial, but this is a strategic decision that must be made carefully. It is a "be careful what you wish for" situation. His attorney is hopefully working on a result that prevents a conviction, which is what he will get if he loses at trial. (Of course, I have no idea whether he will win or lose at trial--he needs to review all of the State's evidence with his attorney before deciding whether or not to take his case to trial.) Unfortunately with a court-appointed attorney, you get what you get. Some are great, while others are not. Often they are working hard on the cases, but the client doesn't know that because they are not communicating well him. Of course you are free to hire him an attorney of your own choosing, but it's hard to gauge whether that is necessary without knowing what work his current attorney has done.
Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney who practices criminal law in your jurisdiction for the most accurate legal advice.
Unfortunately the Speedy Trial Act was declared unconstitutional in 1987, and it was never replaced by the Legislature. So we have lived over 30 years without an in place Speedy Trial Act in Texas. There is still a constitutional right to speedy trial under the VI and XIV Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. You can discuss this with the court appointed lawyer, speedy trial pursuant to BARKER v WINGO, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), but don't expect much in return if this guy misses court appointments altogether. If the State is not ready to take the case to trial then Art. 17.151 of the Tex. Code of Criminal Procedure says your friend is entitled to a personal recognizance bond after 30 days of confinement. You could discuss this with the lawyer as well. The only thing you can really do to help is make sure your friend insists on a trial setting, and then you can assist in getting his witnesses to court each time there is a trial setting. Make an appointment with the lawyer at his office, and if you get a date and time, show up with the defense witnesses so he knows there are people out there who are willing to come and testify. There is little else you can do other than hire your friend a lawyer. You are stuck with the court appointed. If that lawyer is showing little energy for defending your friend do for the court appointed guy everything he should be doing but is not doing, like getting the defense witnesses to the courtroom on trial setting days. Hope this has been helpful, and good luck.
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