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Old 12-09-2012   #41
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
I related my story more to point out the fact that it was the offender's 4th time being caught and he had never previously served time. He made the assertion that TX was tough on DUI. I kind of dispute that. Sure, if someone is killed, they'll jail the guy. But if not, the offender is basically put back out on the road until he does kill someone. As for things being tougher now, I hope so. Next April will be the 15 year anniversary.
Mandatory 3rd degree felony for a 3rd DUI, punishable by 2 - 10.
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Old 12-09-2012   #42
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Mandatory 3rd degree felony for a 3rd DUI, punishable by 2 - 10.
Do you consider that tough?
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Old 12-09-2012   #43
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Do you consider that tough?
Frankly, if nobody is injured, yes.
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Old 12-09-2012   #44
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Frankly, if nobody is injured, yes.
Looks like a third degree felon can get off with no jail time. Is this the case or am I misreading this? Would invite your input.
Quote:
Section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code sets out the punishment range for a third degree felony in Texas. According to the Texas Penal Code a third degree felony is punishable by:

(a) Confinement in prison for a term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years; AND
(b) A fine not to exceed $10,000.

Community Supervision and a Third Degree Felony

If a person is eligible for probation, he or she may be place on probation instead of imprisoned for:

a) Up to 10 years of deferred adjudication community supervision; OR
b) From 2 to 10 years of post conviction community supervision; AND
c) Up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of probation.
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Old 12-09-2012   #45
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Looks like a third degree felon can get off with no jail time. Is this the case or am I misreading this? Would invite your input.
You're reading it correctly. To be frank, I like latitude in sentencing. As an example from this context, I know a woman who left a bar to drive herself home, traveled a few blocks, decided it would be better not to drive, pulled over and parked to sleep. An officer spotted her, she was honest and then blew the minimum .08. Now my example comes from a 1st offense but my point is context matters.

10 years in jail is a damn serious sentence for something which doesn't involve anyone being injured. There are armed robbers, sexual assailants and even rapists who don't get 10 years of jail time.
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Old 12-09-2012   #46
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Looks like a third degree felon can get off with no jail time. Is this the case or am I misreading this? Would invite your input.
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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
You're reading it correctly. To be frank, I like latitude in sentencing. As an example from this context, I know a woman who left a bar to drive herself home, traveled a few blocks, decided it would be better not to drive, pulled over and parked to sleep. An officer spotted her, she was honest and then blew the minimum .08. Now my example comes from a 1st offense but my point is context matters.

10 years in jail is a damn serious sentence for something which doesn't involve anyone being injured. There are armed robbers, sexual assailants and even rapists who don't get 10 years of jail time.

I will need to ask my brother (which i doubt he would know since he is a police officer not a lawyer), but I thought they put in a provision to where that was not possible (probation) for DUI.

I do know that deferred adjudication is not available for a first offense. Friend of mine got one in Austin in 2008 and her lawyer said it was not available.
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Old 12-09-2012   #47
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by Specnatz View Post
I will need to ask my brother (which i doubt he would know since he is a police officer not a lawyer), but I thought they put in a provision to where that was not possible (probation) for DUI.

I do know that deferred adjudication is not available for a first offense. Friend of mine got one in Austin in 2008 and her lawyer said it was not available.
Gary Trichter is a pretty big dog on the issue. He literally wrote the book on Texas DUI law. Link

Also look at #12 under FAQ.
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Old 12-09-2012   #48
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Looks like a third degree felon can get off with no jail time. Is this the case or am I misreading this? Would invite your input.
Pretty sure deferred adjudication for DWI ended in the early 1980s?

I personally don't think Texas laws are tough at all on DWIs -- not effectively tough.

A good attorney can plea bargain a 5th DWI down to a misdemeanor to give a judge the latitude not to impose a prison sentence -- less than a year.

Now things usually get tougher when there's a manslaughter involved, but mostly because of groups like M.A.D.D. who'll send a representative to the court to monitor the proceedings. They make sure the court is aware of their presence.

But for comparison, here's Arizona: 22 year old, first offense, first anything with the law. Drove drunk at dusk on a two lane road, hit and killed two people walking on the side of the road ... he just didn't see them. BAC of .11. After over 200 people testified or wrote letters on his behalf, including a few members of the victim's family, he was sentenced to 14 years. And he had a good lawyer. [He was released after 7 years after becoming the model inmate. One thing he did was fight those west coast fires -- they'd take a group of trustees right into the middle of it.]

My opinion is, he would have done some state jail time and been put into a diversion program in Texas. Total time at worst 18 months. JMO.
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Old 12-09-2012   #49
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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A good attorney can plea bargain a 5th DWI down to a misdemeanor to give a judge the latitude not to impose a prison sentence -- less than a year.
You know a lot of 5 time DUI folks to be able to make this judgment?

Quote:
But for comparison, here's Arizona: 22 year old, first offense, first anything with the law. ...

My opinion is, he would have done some state jail time and been put into a diversion program in Texas. Total time at worst 18 months. JMO.
I am once again wondering where you are forming these opinions. Intoxication manslaughter carries up to 20 years. Here is a recent report of a guy taking a plea to 16 years in Texas - Link 15 years - Link. Here is a guy who got life in prison with no chance of parole for 30 years for repeat DUI (no injuries) - Link
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Old 12-09-2012   #50
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

After doing some research I take back everything i said.

This is flat out amazing

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/a...led-two/nS7hw/

I am shocked, is all I can say.
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Old 12-09-2012   #51
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

Why are not ALL intoxication manslaughters also intoxication assault?
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Old 12-09-2012   #52
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Why are not ALL intoxication manslaughters also intoxication assault?
Double jeopardy. You can charge someone for both as a lesser included offense but not as separate offenses. You see these kinds of convictions where some people die and others are injured.
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Old 12-09-2012   #53
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Frankly, if nobody is injured, yes.
Sorry, I don't think you should be put back out there repeatedly until you do hurt someone. I'm not commenting on the amount of time, but the mere fact that 3-time offenders exist (4-time, in my personal experience) tells me all I need to know about the severity of the first two (three) punishments.
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Old 12-09-2012   #54
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Sorry, I don't think you should be put back out there repeatedly until you do hurt someone. I'm not commenting on the amount of time, but the mere fact that 3-time offenders exist (4-time, in my personal experience) tells me all I need to know about the severity of the first two (three) punishments.
I am with Eriadoc on this one. It is like playing russian roulette. Just because you got lucky and didn't hurt someone, doesn't mean you shouldn't be taken off the road and stuck in a jail cell. Too many cases of repeat offenders.
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Old 12-09-2012   #55
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Sorry, I don't think you should be put back out there repeatedly until you do hurt someone. I'm not commenting on the amount of time, but the mere fact that 3-time offenders exist (4-time, in my personal experience) tells me all I need to know about the severity of the first two (three) punishments.
I believe a first offense that someone should receive probation and counseling. If they can not afford the counseling then the state should foot the bill, because in the long run it would save the state money and it would save lives.

Most people who drink have driven intoxicated (by the letter of the law). A couple glasses of wine with dinner can put you over.

You do not want to destroy someones life over one mistake. I am sorry if i offend anyone but a first time offender deserves a chance to prove he has learned his lesson. Why make it so the person has no other choice but to turn to crime to put food on the table.
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Old 12-09-2012   #56
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

Let me add that I am referring to if no one got hurt and no accident.
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Old 12-09-2012   #57
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Sorry, I don't think you should be put back out there repeatedly until you do hurt someone. I'm not commenting on the amount of time, but the mere fact that 3-time offenders exist (4-time, in my personal experience) tells me all I need to know about the severity of the first two (three) punishments.
Respecting your position, please spell out the sentencing structure you would suggest.
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Old 12-09-2012   #58
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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Respecting your position, please spell out the sentencing structure you would suggest.
First time should be as harsh as you can reasonably impose without jail sentencing. I'm talking probation, community service, and mandatory counseling with some AA-type organization. Maybe make them go out and clean up some drunk driver accident sites. Second time should be jail. If you didn't learn your lesson from that first set of punishment, then you're not going to stop doing it. I don't know how long in jail, but assuming no injury to anyone, maybe 6 months. Once you get out, driving privileges should be revoked or severely restricted. If you fk up a third time, you go away for a long time - maybe not ten years, but a long time. If you injure and/or kill anyone in any of those incidents, there should be a separate crime and sentencing structure. Frankly, I don't find the punishment for intoxicated manslaughter to be harsh enough, but that's just me, I'm sure.

I agree there should be latitude in sentencing, as you alluded to above. There are very few, if any, things in life that I go zero tolerance on. But in the case of drinking and driving, that decision is made before you ever pour alcohol down your neck. We have fostered a culture in this country where it's OK to "just have a couple" and then drive home. The problem with that is you leave the judgment of whether or not impairment exists to the person who's impaired.

At the end of this all, people need to recognize that drunk driving is one of the biggest killers in this country, and it's not self inflicted. It's people deliberately choosing to risk other people's lives. That is unacceptable.
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Old 12-09-2012   #59
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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If you injure and/or kill anyone in any of those incidents, there should be a separate crime and sentencing structure. Frankly, I don't find the punishment for intoxicated manslaughter to be harsh enough, but that's just me, I'm sure.

I agree there should be latitude in sentencing, as you alluded to above.
I do not disagree with you at all.
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Old 12-10-2012   #60
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Default Re: Cowboys .. NT Manslaughter

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After doing some research I take back everything i said.

This is flat out amazing

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/a...led-two/nS7hw/

I am shocked, is all I can say.
This case is all over the place. There's underage drinking & driving without seatbelts.

If the thought is that seat belts could have saved those kids, I don't think the driver should be held accountable for those deaths.

I think whoever is responsible for the kids getting the alcohol should be held responsible. This may be the driver for all I know.

Probation plus 180 days in jail... hmmmmmm
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