TDCAA    TDCAA Community  Hop To Forum Categories  Criminal    DA on DWI
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
DA on DWI Login/Join 
Member
posted
As often happens in rural counties, we get people from the big city who tell us how things work where there from. Today I had an attorney from Houston, represent that Harris County was offering Deferred Adjudications for DWI, and would like us to do the same. When I asked if he was confusing this with some type of Pre-Trial diversion, the attorney said no it was Deferred Adjudication on a DWI. To my knowledge this is not an option, even though it has been proposed. The Attorney represented that the Harris County DA office was doing this because they felt it was right, and wanted a change in the law.
Primarily I wanted to make sure I am not missing something, or understand what the attorney may actually be talking about.

Caveat: This information came from a Defense attorney who wanted a dismissal, reduction, or a DA, so obviously take this with a big salt lick.
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Groesbeck, Texas | Registered: June 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
DFAJ is illegal on DWI cases. I think the defense attorney is either confused or he/she is beign untruthful. Harris County has a diversion program for first offenders which does not result in a conviction for DWI. I would suggest you contact someone in Harris County directly for the details of how their progrma works. I have had similar requests made for our County to have such a program and I have made it clear that will not happen in Tarrant County.
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Previous studies of sentencing have shown that, statewide, someone is giving people deferred adjudication for DWI. I recall seeing a state report that showed quite a few DWI cases resulting in deferred adjudication.

I agree it is illegal. Perhaps even unethical if done knowingly.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I was contacted last year by news media about data that seemed to show a DA's office in Texas was offering DFAJ on a large number of DWI's and when the dust settled it turned out they were deferring DWI's that had been reduced to Obstructing HWY and it was the way those were reported that was off. I hope that is the reason there is data that still shows DFAJ being offered in these cases.
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Judges have stated, basically, that, if no one complains, where's the harm? Well, how about knowingly entering void judgments? And how do you revoke a deferred that is void? That escapes the judge's reasoning. Prosecutors who go along with it aren't doing their job, in my view.

I have long thought it peculiar that you can get a deferred for murdering someone, but have one too many drinks on your wedding night and be a block from home, and all hell breaks loose. Until the legislature changes their minds, however, the law is the law. Pretrial diversion? In some cases it is called for, as it may be for other offenses. But a deferred adjudication is not an option.
 
Posts: 218 | Location: The Border | Registered: April 08, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I remember talking to Tony Fabelo about the data on deferred adjudication for DWI. He claimed it really, really was for DWI. Tony is the former executive director for the texas public policy council, that collected such statistics.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by MDK27:
I have long thought it peculiar that you can get a deferred for murdering someone, but have one too many drinks on your wedding night and be a block from home, and all hell breaks loose. Until the legislature changes their minds, however, the law is the law.


FYI, the Lege DID change their mind--but only as to deferred adjudication for murder, which (as of 9/1/2011) will be restricted only to certain offenders convicted as a party. To learn more about what they did on this and other issues, be sure to come to one of our Legislative Updates this summer!

As for DWI deferreds ... how is giving deferred for DWI any different than giving a 30-day sentence for murder? Both are void, and the fact that no one complains does not make it legal--it just means that someone got preferential treatment.
 
Posts: 2412 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
that the leg did change the murder deferred - and I agree with you 100% - void judgments are evidence of preferential treatment.

I need the update - Trying to follow it all was too confusing.
 
Posts: 218 | Location: The Border | Registered: April 08, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Where are the prosecutors when an illegal sentence is handed down? They have the right to appeal the sentence under CCP 44.01. Although I have not had to appeal for a DWI deferred, I have appealed an illegal sentence. Why are the prosecutors not willing to appeal, or is it the prosecutors that are encouraging these illegal sentences?
 
Posts: 419 | Location: Abilene, TX USA | Registered: December 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Thanks for the responses. This is not something our office was even considering doing, but I wanted to clarify what I was being told.

As to the traditional if no one complains what is the harm argument. The Harm is to the integrity of the system, if justice is for them not to be prosecuted then Art. 2.01 applies. But in all of these what's the harm scenarios in my experience the people always have significant evidence against them. (In my case in addition to other facts the defendant was .18)


Since the posting I ran across the following article, and perhaps it is a misunderstanding on the attorneys fault.

But I do pause for concern, when an attorney represents something that appears to be illegal, then implies or states that a DA or a DA office is doing that practice.


http://origin-www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/7638175.html
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Groesbeck, Texas | Registered: June 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Getting someone to sign a confession and stipulating to its admissibility at a later time may be considered by some to be a "guilty plea", but it's not; it's simply an admission of guilt.

I have a couple of questions - is there a DWI diversion program, sanctioned by the State, anywhere akin to the drug court programs? If not, how are the judicial districts funding it, and where is the Court's authority?

Have there been any studies done about the effectiveness of such programs?
 
Posts: 218 | Location: The Border | Registered: April 08, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Member
posted Hide Post
 
Posts: 2412 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
for the education. Interesting.
 
Posts: 218 | Location: The Border | Registered: April 08, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I know that we are having problems with our reporting in OCA. For instance, it reports that we have NO drug cases indicted in Kenedy County, but I know for a fact its over 60% of the cases filed. Therefore, it may be reported as DWIs, but honestly may be an error in reporting. Just an idea.
 
Posts: 108 | Location: Kingsville, Texas, USA | Registered: July 19, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

TDCAA    TDCAA Community  Hop To Forum Categories  Criminal    DA on DWI

© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.