There are no other criminal charges quite like DWI. Those facing DWI charges in Texas or elsewhere will always be fighting an uphill battle because of how much public attention it gets. It seems that everyday the news media features celebrities, politicians, and other who are arrested for DWI, and consistently publishes editorials calling for stricter DWI laws.
This is in addition to the public and privately funded campaigns that barrage the public with advertisements warning against drinking and driving, and threatening those who choose to do so. This environment is designed to bring about two things: less drinking and driving and more DWI convictions. But what does this do to our system of justice?
A person accused of DWI should not be treated any differently than people accused of other crimes. In our system of justice a defendant should enjoy a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The standard we should each look to is one where it is better for a hundred guilty to go free before an innocent person is wrongly convicted and imprisoned.
Neighbor State Increases Public Exposure of DWIs
A neighboring state of Texas, New Mexico, just went even farther to harshen the DWI environment. According to reports, that state has given a grant to a prominent national anti-drinking and driving institution to shame those involved in the DWI process. This grant, reportedly worth more than $800,000, pays to have people follow the DWI process and send out Tweets or Facebook updates to apportion shame when their sense of justice is offended.
This approach will not be limited to DWI offenders, but to judges, lawyers, and others. If a DWI convict gets too little jail time in a case, the worker will reportedly Tweet about it, calling attention to it. But what are the practical effects of such an approach? Judges and lawyers are already bound to justice, so what exactly will this new approach accomplish?
One potentially negative effect of this new system will be how it will cause judges and prosecutors to look at cases. If they did not already feel pressure from all the public campaigns about DWIs, they will if their jobs are at stake for not handing down harsh enough penalties for DWI cases.
The truth is that a campaign such as this does not belong in the courtroom, but at the legislature. The courtroom should be a place where passion and emotion are not relied on as much as law and facts to determine the outcome of a case. Putting outside pressure on a judge to rule a certain way violates the norms of justice that are bent towards getting results right.
Defending Your Rights
As a U.S. citizen, you have rights. If you are charged with DWI it is up to you and your legal team to defend those rights. At the Wilder DWI Defense Firmour team of dedicated experts will work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure your get the best DWI defense possible. If you are charged with DWI contact us. We will get to work defending your case right away.