Monday, May 19, 2014

Is Affluenza real?

Well another rich guy seemingly got off on his DUI and now there is an uproar by the general public over the sentence.  And the term "affluenza" has been raised again.  In case you didn't hear it the first time.  "Affluenza" was an actual defense coined by a defense attorney in the defense of a texas teen who received rehab at a luxurious 4 star resort rather than go to jail.  This time the term  is being thrown around here in Washington State due to a sentence a repeat DUI offender received last week.

I have to say as a Seattle DUI Attorney I'm slightly miffed by the general public's reaction to this latest case.  Long story short.  A guy driving a Ferrari gets into an accident, leads police a high speed, subsequently pleads guilty to DUI, and gets work release in lieu of 24 hour confinement in jail.  Basically he leaves jail in the morning.  Goes to work and runs his business which employs many people.  Goes back to jail and spends the night.  Gets up and does it all over again.

The people that are upset need to realize a couple of things.  First a DUI carries a max penalty of 1 year in jail here in WA State.  That is what this guy agreed to.  The max penalty, he couldn't agree to do more.  Secondly work release is a common alternative given to those in custody.  I have seen homeless folk get granted that type of sentence from a Judge (now whether they actually qualified is a different story).  Lastly there is a reason this guy got that sentence despite his prior DUI arrests.  The case most likely was dog shit for the Prosecution.  They offered a plea deal because there was proof problems.  That is how the system works.  If a Prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt a defendant is guilty than they ethically shouldn't proceed to trial.  

This is just my opinion.  Yes Im a DUI Attorney in Seattle.  But I'm also a resident of the State of Washington and I still feel safe despite this guy going to work in the mornings.

Here is my website.  

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