Criminal District Court #3

As presiding judge of Criminal District Court #3 of Dallas County, Judge Robert W. Francis has served the citizens of Dallas County for the past eight years with conservative values and an innovative approach to reducing crime. Judge Francis plans to bring these attributes and enthusiasm to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Judge Francis started his road to public service as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas County. Under the leadership of then Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade, Judge Francis rose through the ranks to become a felony prosecutor and later mentored young prosecutors as they began their career at the DA’s office. He has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases, even seeking the death penalty in a capital murder case.

After his service with the Dallas County DA’s Office, Judge Francis built a successful law practice in Dallas, Texas. During this period of his career, Judge Francis was able to represent accused citizens and defend the constitution giving him a greater perspective of how the criminal judicial system works.

In 1997, Judge Francis was sworn in as presiding judge of Criminal District Court #3 of Dallas County after winning a highly competitive race in which four other candidates sought this open bench. Since his first day on the bench, Judge Francis has continued striving for justice and innovative ways to handle the many cases that come through his court.

Judge Francis has moved over 15,000 cases through the Dallas County court system. Although his daily court schedule keeps Judge Francis extremely busy, his commitment to finding new ways to deal with the ever increasing crime rate led to the formation of the first Re-Entry court in the State of Texas.

The Dallas SAFPF Re-Entry court is designed to stop crime by preventing addicts from returning to their addiction. Probationers who complete the Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFPF) program return to Judge Francis’s court for intensive aftercare to ensure compliance with the conditions of their probation.

This program has had one of the highest success rates of any treatment program in the country. The results ensure that people who complete the SAFPF Re-Entry Court curriculum will not return to their criminal behavior and this prevents the citizens of the State of Texas from becoming victims. This court has received local, state and national recognition for its success.

Judge Francis is a frequent speaker at judicial conferences, seminars, and local community colleges and schools. His commitment to the judicial process has earned him high regard from the Dallas legal community as evidenced by the high ratings in the Dallas Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll for the past eight years. Judge Francis has also received a letter of recognition from Governor Perry for his work with the SAFPF Re-Entry Court.

Judge Francis received his Bachelor of Business Administration-Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and his Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law. Judge Francis is certified as a criminal law specialist from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

He is a life member of the NRA and TSRA. Judge Francis’ wife is a former Republican State District Judge and is the proud father of two college-aged daughters.




Criminal District Court #3


  1997 - PRESENT
    State District Judge: Criminal District Court No. 3 Dallas County
  2001 – November 2007
    Presiding Judge: Dallas SAFPF ReEntry Court
  1991 - 1996
    Private Practice of Law
  1985 - 1990
    Assistant District Attorney: Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
  May 1985
    Graduate South Texas College of Law, Juris Doctorate
  May 1982
    Graduate The University of Texas at Austin,
    - Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance
  May 1977
    Graduate Richardson High School
  Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist
    - Texas Board of Legal Specialization since December 1992
  Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals
    - President in 2005 & 2006
  Texas College of the Judiciary
    - 1st graduating class, 2004
  State Bar of Texas: Judicial Section
    - Criminal Justice Legislative Committee, 2004-2008

State Bar of Texas: Criminal Justice Section Council

    - Board Member, Term began 2006 expires 2009
  Texas Center for the Judiciary Member
  College of the State Bar Member since 1991

Recipient of Presidential Commendation, June 16, 2006


-  President of the State Bar of Texas

  Recipient of  Gubernatorial Commendation, September 23,2004
    -  Governor Rick Perry
  2007 Instructor: Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants,
    -Peer Assistance Conference
  2007 Panelist: Black and Brown Summit on ReEntry and Recidivism,
    -Dallas, Texas
  2007 Panelist: Texas ReEntry Roundtable,
    -Austin TX
  2007 Presenter: Military Order of the World Wars Leadership Conference,
    -Corpus Christi TX
  2007 Faculty: Texas Center for the Judiciary Winter Regional Conferences,
    -Ft. Worth and Dallas, TX
  2007 Legislative Liaison: Judicial Section of the SBOT
    -Committee work, testifying as a resource witness
  2007 Board Member: Criminal Justice Committee of the SBOT
  2006 Faculty: Texas College for New Judges, Austin TX
  2006 Panelist: Urban Institute, Washington DC-ReEntry Policy for The Future of America
  2006 Faculty: TCDLA Prairie Dog Law/Criminal Law Update - Lubbock
  2006 Faculty: TCDLA Red Blood, Black Robes & Deep Ellum Blues
    Criminal Law Update - Dallas
  2005 Faculty: The Center for American and International Law
    - Capital Murder Trial Issues for Judges
  2005 Legislative Liaison: Judicial Section of the SBOT
    - Committee work, testifying as a resource witness
  2004 Instructor: Judicial Section Regional Conference
    - Corpus Christi and Dallas
  2004 Presenter: Judicial Advisory Counsel Conference
  2004 Presenter: African-American Legislative Summit
  2004 Presenter: Breaking the Chains Conference
  2003 Presenter: Judicial Advisory Counsel Conference
  2003 Instructor: Judicial Section Annual Conference
  2003 Faculty: Texas College for Judicial Studies
  2003 Panel Member: Re-Entry Policy Council
    - Council of State Governments
  2003 Presenter: Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals
  2003 Presenter: Hugh O’Brien Leadership Symposium
  2002 Presenter: Hugh O’Brien Leadership Symposium
  2001 Presenter: University of Texas Law School
    - Tom Slick International Law Symposium
  Lecturer at Dallas Area High Schools and Community Colleges since 1998
  Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
    - President 1996
  National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  Texas District and County Attorneys Association
  Coppell Lions Club - Past President
  YMCA Indian Princesses - Two daughters
  Jim Oatman Charity Golf Tournament - Past Director
  Re-Entry Court Charity Golf Tournament - Founder
  Habitat For Humanity
  Hunters for the hungry

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Copyright © - The Judge Robert Francis Campaign Pol. Adv. Paid for by the Elect Judge Robert Francis to the Court of Criminal Appeals Place 4 Campaign, Lalon Peale, Treasurer, in compliance with the voluntary limits ofhe Code of Fair Campaign Practices and the Dallas Bar Association’s Judicial Election Creed.