Hon. Oscar J. Hale, Jr.

406th Judicial District Court Judge

1110 Victoria St., Ste. 402
Laredo, Texas 78040
Telephone: (956) 523-4956
E-mail: 406@webbcountytx.gov

Judge Oscar Jesús Hale, Jr. was sworn in as District Judge of the 406th District Court on January 1, 2005. Thereafter, he has been re-elected to the Bench on four consecutive terms with no opposition.

Immediately upon taking office, Judge Hale was credited for being the first Judge in Webb County to openly allow cameras in the courtroom and granting the media more access to the courts and making court proceedings more transparent.

In order to maintain the sanctity of adoptions and to avoid the stress inflicted by other types of civil cases on the children, Judge Hale set aside a special day every month to celebrate all adoption proceedings, where dozens of children have been adopted since Judge Hale took the bench in 2005.

Still in his first term, Judge Hale implemented the Drug Court Program (DCP), a judicially supervised treatment program for adults who are charged with certain drug-related crimes and who are in desperate need for treatment for chemical dependency. The goal of the program is to help participants reach a recovering-addict state and reduce the recidivism rate in our community. Since the implementation of this program, Webb County has been awarded over $4 million in grant funding and continues to operate under County Leadership.

Judge Hale also created the first warrant enforcement division for Webb County State Courts in order to aid the courts in enforcing arrest warrants and writs of attachment issued for those individuals who fail to appear in court.

During his second term, Judge Hale spearheaded the revision of the Webb County Local Rules which had not been revised since 1991 and which the Board of Judges voted to adopt on December 2, 2009, during Judge Hale’s first term as Local Administrative Judge.

Well before Zoom became a popular way to communicate, a room designed and equipped to provide audio/video conferencing via remote broadcasting was set up by Judge Hale for some judicial proceedings, including magistrations, arraignments, and child victims’ testimony, allowing proceedings to take place before the court without having a person physically present in the courtroom.

Envisioning the idea of transforming an auditorium or a gymnasium at each of our secondary school facilities into a courtroom – complete with judge, lawyers, court reporter, bailiff and defendants – in order to provide a real-world lesson to students, Judge Hale implemented the “Courts in School” program. With the support of our State Representative, Richard Raymond, and his filing of HB 1113 effective September 1, 2011, it became new law that court sessions may be held at secondary schools across the State of Texas. This program may resume next school year by conducting remote proceedings.

In collaboration with the Webb County Sheriff and Casa Misericordia, Judge Hale applied for, and received, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women FY2018 Justice for Families Grant, an initiative to deter domestic violence with the purpose of assisting families by staffing a “Safe Haven” center with key personnel trained to conduct supervised parent-child visits and to safeguard visitation exchanges between parents.

In his fourth term, Judge Hale established the Regional Veterans Treatment Program (VTP) to make services available to veterans who are in our criminal justice system due to chemical dependency, substance abuse, or alcohol abuse related to post-traumatic stress disorders. Subsequently, the services were expanded to include the counties of Duvall, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Maverick, Starr, Valverde, and Zapata, Texas.

Judge Hale was appointed by, and served on, the State Bar of Texas Criminal Jury Panel committee from 2009 to 2012. He was one of a select few judges recognized by the Texas Center for the Judiciary for having met the certification standards for family jurisprudence while attending the Texas College for Judicial Studies. In 2017, Judge Hale received the “Fellow” recognition from the Texas Bar College for completing over 30 continuing education hours annually and for maintaining membership for 10 or more consecutive years. He was honored by the Laredo Rotary Club with the “Paul Harris” award and was also recognized with the “Judge John C. Creuzot” Award for Judicial Vision and Leadership by the Texas Association of Specialty Courts.

Currently, Judge Hale is collaborating with the Office of the Texas Governor and Texas A&M International University on a Trafficking Emergency Network initiative. He has also initiated a partnership with LISD and UISD on a project called M.A.Y.D.A.Y. (Men Against Year Long Domestic Abuse of our Youth) to promote student awareness about the dangers and consequences associated with domestic and dating violence. He currently serves as member of the Webb County Juvenile Board and as Chairman of the Pretrial Services Oversight Committee.

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