‘Affluenza’ Teen Sentenced

It was the case heard round the world. News outlets, blogs, and websites across the country reported the news of a teen who got probation after being accused of driving under the influence and getting in an accident that ended four lives. It was not the sentence or story itself that caused the national attention, but the defense used by the teen’s attorney in the case.

According to reports, the teen created a unique and unheard of defense in his case to get sympathy from the judge. His attorneys argued that he drove under the influence and made the poor decisions that he did because of his upbringing. That, in itself is not a remarkable defense. In fact, it is a popular and important defense that has been used to show that a person raised in poverty will make bad decisions. But that is not what happened here.

In this case, the teen did not rest on a past filled with poverty, victimization of abusive relationships, or a rough luck life. His attorneys argued that it was his affluence, riches, and life lived without consequences that caused his poor decision to drink, drive, and get into an accident. Once the news media got wind of this defense, the story blew up.

Not to be out of the headlines for long, the teen soon made headlines again. According to reports, in violation of the terms of his probation, the young teen fled the country and went to Mexico. He was arrested in Mexico and brought back to the states, and people again could not get enough of the story.

His case once again went in front of a judge, this time for probation violations. In high-profile cases such as these, it is difficult to get a fair shake because of the scrutiny any decision will get. The judge took all the facts into account, and ruled that the teen would have to spend two years in jail for violating his probation. For now, the story is over.

A Good Defense is Critical

No matter what your take of this case is, there are at least two important takeaways. The first is how important it is to get the right, talented, experienced attorney to represent you in a DWI case. No matter what your situation is, there is a defense out there to fit your facts, and present your case in the best light possible. This is a lesson in that principle.

Another major takeaway is how important it is to obey the terms of a judge’s order. Most cases in this country are resolved through a plea negotiation and deal. This means that a judge will hand down a sentence with terms and conditions attached to it. For a sentence of probation, as this was, those terms must be followed. Otherwise, a judge will be free to sentence you to the entire suspended sentence you could have received in the case.

If you are charged with DWI in the Dallas area, contact us. One of the most important decisions you make in your case is who will represent you and your interests in front of the prosecutors and judge. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm DWI defense is what we do. Keep that in mind as you make your decision.