In 2013, a Travis County DWI arrest and subsequent fallout made headlines across the country. The county’s famous District Attorney was arrested on suspicion of DWI, and her reaction was an internet sensation. Video of how this District Attorney treated jail employees was released, and showed the prosecutor asking the officers whether they called the sheriff yet, that they would be in trouble, and eventually evidence that she had to be restrained.
The prosecutor eventually calmed down and went to court where she plead guilty to DWI. She received a stiff penalty of 45 days in jail and a $4,000 fine, which is harsher than most first time offenders, but the stiff penalty made sense given the situation. Here was the head prosecutor in the county in charge of making numberless DWI case every year, and she herself was guilty of DWI.
This is a scenario we see all too often in Texas. Judges and prosecutors are too often charged with DWI, the crimes they pass judgement on for other suspects time and time again. As a society, we hold prosecutors and judges to a higher standard because of the power they wield over our lives, liberties, and property.
Governor Pressures for Resignation
Once the governor of Texas got wind of this scandal, he requested that the D.A. step down from her position as a prosecutor. But the D.A. refused to resign her position. In response to this refusal, the governor threatened to veto a bill that would fund an important task force headed by this D.A. Whe she still refused to resign, the governor vetoed the bill. Sounds like politics, right? Wrong, the governor faced criminal charges over his actions.
Once the governor saw that the D.A. was not going to resign, he went ahead and vetoed the bill. Of course this did not sit well with the D.A. and her supporters, so an indictment was filed against the governor accusing him of felonies. As a result of that indictment a political firestorm happened which pitted the governor against the prosecutorial system.
As soon as the case was filed, the governor’s legal team filed for a dismissal based on a number of arguments. Most legal experts agreed that the case would not see the light of day, and once it got to the court of appeals, it was dismissed, but not entirely. That is when the case went to the highest court of appeals for criminal matter in Texas, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. There, the high court dismissed the charges and announced that the law and process against him was largely in violation of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.
Protecting Your Constitutional Rights
Thankfully we each have the protections afforded us in the U.S. and Texas Constitutions. Those rights are constantly the basis for criminal defenses and protect us from unreasonable police and state actions in all prosecutions. If you are facing charges of DWI, contact us. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm we know how to preserve and protect your rights in the course of your DWI prosecution.