Criminal Defense Lawyer Defends Texas Boy Charged with Manslaughter

Some of us have never heard the term “affluenza” until this week when a young Texas man appeared before a judge at his sentencing hearing.  Ethan Couch is 16 years old and apparently suffers from affluenza – growing up with wealthy parents who let children get away with anything and everything.  In other words, affluenza could also be defined as being too rich to know the difference between right and wrong.  This condition actually saved him from serving a 20-year prison sentence for a serious mistake he made on June 15th.  That night, Couch and some of his friends stole some beer from a local WalMart store.  After consuming the alcohol, Couch drove his pickup truck to another location with his friends in tow.  Just up the road, a woman had broken down in her vehicle.  Two people who lived nearby were at the woman’s aid, along with another passerby.  This is when Couch’s pickup truck slammed into the four people, killing all of them.  Additionally, Couch injured two of his friends that were along for the ride that night.  One can no longer move or talk due to the severity of the injuries he sustained.  According to Couch’s criminal defense lawyer, he judge “fashioned a sentence that could have him under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years.”  Couch ended up being charged with 4 counts of manslaughter by intoxication and 2 counts of assault by intoxication causing bodily injury.  At his sentencing, he was ordered to 10 years probation and no prison time.  As a part of his sentence, Couch was ordered to an in-patient rehab center near Newport Beach.  His family will spend the yearly fee of $450,000 to have him stay there.  Additionally, should Couch violate his probation terms, he could face up to 10 years in jail.

Sentencing guidelines for this type of crime in Texas call for fines up to $10,000 and between 2 and 20 years in a state prison.  The lenient sentence handed down could be due to Couch’s criminal defense lawyer calling upon psychologist Dick Miller to testify at the hearing.  The doctor revealed many things about Couch and his family life that may have swayed the judge’s opinion of him.  For instance, it was revealed that Couch’s parents were so lax in their discipline that they allowed the boy to start driving at age 13.  They also gave Couch no punishment when he was 15 years old, and police officers found him inside a  parked vehicle with a passed-out and naked 14 year old girl.  The doctor completed his testimony by saying that Couch was “emotionally flat and needed years of therapy.”  The doctor clearly holds that defendants fare better through rehabilitation services rather than jail-time.

In the same county one month after this deadly accident occurred, a 19 year old pleaded guilty to the same crime, intoxication manslaughter.  His carelessness ended up claiming the lives of 3 people.  Instead of probation, that young man was sentenced to 8 years in prison and he will have to serve at least 6 of those years before he will be eligible for parole.  Furthermore, the same judge who presided over Couch’s case has handed down heavy sentences including ten years for a punch that killed a stranger and ten years for robberies at a Halloween party which lead to one injury.  Clearly, Couch’s sentence is extremely lax compared to sentences given to others for similar crimes.

However, as most criminal defense lawyers are aware, despite how “clear-cut” a case may seem to onlookers, there is always the possibility that weak arguments are made against a defendant or the state prosecutors may make mistakes.  Especially when handling cases related to driving while intoxicated, authorities are required to follow certain and specific protocols.  If they do not follow these standards, any case against the defendant may hold less water in court.  This is another reason why each and every case should require careful and meticulous review by the criminal defense lawyer who is handling it.  Another challenge in defending this type of case is being able to convince a jury to look beyond the fact that lives have been lost and focus on the facts of the case to determine the fate of a defendant.

For those charged with this type of case, it will be very important to speak with and hire a criminal defense lawyer who completely understands all the issues and complexities that go along with the charges.  The Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyers at The Mace Firm spends a significant amount of time in criminal courts throughout all over the United States. There are criminal lawyers all over the country, but few practice criminal defense in Charleston, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Columbia and several other areas.

If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal or state criminal charges, you will need to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call one of our criminal defense attorneys to schedule your free consultation.

3 From “Myrtle Manor” Cast Arrested in Less Than One Week

Over a span of three days, three members of the cast of TLC’s ‘Welcome to Myrtle Manor‘ were arrested in Myrtle Beach.

In the early hours of April 26, the first to take a trip to the slammer, Amanda Adams, was taken in for driving under the influence.  Officers responded to a call regarding a car crash involving a single vehicle and an electric pole.  When the officers arrived, they found Adams and her wrecked Jeep Wrangler next to the downed pole.  When questioned, Adams admitted to consuming three beers and a shot.  Adams reportedly changed her story once she arrived at the jail, saying she had four shots instead of one.  Adams was booked with a BAC of .20.  Adams will likely require the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help her out of this jam.

On April 27, the following night, another cast member, Taylor Burt, was arrested for something a little more serious–having sex with a minor under the age of 16.  The teen girl said she asked her mom to drop her off at the Sound Hole concert venue around 6:30 p.m.  Once there, she claimed she messaged Burt about wanting to “hang out.” The girl’s mother had her go to the local hospital to be examined where the girl reportedly refused the exam. She says Burt came to the venue, picked her up, and took her to his apartment.  She claims the pair had sex and Burt told her to not tell anyone because he could get into trouble.  When the victim’s mother picked her up, she said the teen was not acting right and asked her what was wrong.  The girl’s mother then took her to the police department to file a report.  They also went to the local hospital to be examined, but the report notes that the girl refused the exam.  Also, police failed to find any text messages between the victim and Burt on her phone; she claimed they had been deleted.

Police released Burt from custody the next morning on $25,000 bond.  Once an investigation has been completed, the girl’s story could be found true or false.  Should her story be true, Burt will need to call a reputable Myrtle Beach law firm so he can be sure he is properly defended by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

The final arrest occurred on Sunday.  A third cast member, Lindsay Colbert, was taken into custody for driving under the influence and speeding.  Colbert’s BAC was above .15.  According to the police report, an officer pulled Colbert over shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning in the area Waccamaw Boulevard and Route 501.  The officer had witnessed Colbert driving at 62 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone.  Once he pulled her over, he began questioning Colbert in her car.  The officer reported smelling alcohol and seeing an open bottle of rum partially hidden under her driver’s seat.  The officer then administered sobriety tests to Colbert, who at one point said “are you just giving me [a hard time] ’cause I am on the show?”  Also according to the report, she attempted to insult the officer by making racial slurs and other comments during the ride to jail.  Colbert would be better off if she calls a Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer to defend her case.

Police Officer Arrested

An Horry County police officer was arrested for Driving Under the Influence near Glenns Bay Road just South of Myrtle Beach. DUI arrests are common place in the Myrtle Beach area, along with many other alcohol related violations. Public intoxication is a very common case for Myrtle Beach lawyers to defend. Many good lawyers in Myrtle Beach specialize in these types of cases in municipal and city courts.

The need for an attorney in this type of criminal case depends on the value it may have for the particular defendant. Many people do not care about having a conviction on their record, but many cannot afford the increase in the insurance and possible court fines for being found guilty of a DUI.
This particular Horry County officer (Parker) would do well to hire a reputable attorney to represent him in this case. He is now suspended without pay most likely and will need to get the case resolved as soon as possible. A good Myrtle Beach criminal lawyer could handle the case quickly for him.

A Myrtle Beach criminal lawyer will help with many DUI arrests. There are also lawyers in North Myrtle Beach that may help with this type of arrest.

Myrtle Beach Checkpoints

In recent news, the Myrtle Beach police announced that they issued over 45 citations and made seven arrests at a checkpoint set up on 17 business near highway 15 in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday morning. Five cars were towed from the scene, and the citations ranged from insurance violations, to driving under suspension, and vehicle registration violations.

The Myrtle Beach and Horry County police have also been setting up additional checkpoints and roadblocks at night to conduct sobriety tests as well as other illegal activity in an attempt to enforce South Carolina’s DUI laws. Myrtle Beach lawyers have learned from the local police that an effort is being made across the state to crack on on drunk drivers as a result of the number of deaths associated with drinking and driving in the state last year.

The local police have also cracked down on other offenses related to drugs and alcohol by conducting checkpoints near popular nightclubs in the area. This has resulted in many arrests of tourists, students and locals for disorderly conduct, minors in possession of alcohol, resisting arrest, drug possession, simple assault and battery.

When charged with a crime, including a misdemeanor, it is important to consult with a Myrtle Beach lawyer or a criminal attorney in the area to discuss your options. By pleading guilty to one of these offenses, it could impact your future employment. Additionally, if you are student and you are convicted of a criminal offense, you could be expelled from school.

The Mace Firm has an office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the attorneys in Myrtle Beach handle State and Federal criminal charges in Horry County, including North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Conway, Surfside Beach, as well as Charleston, Florence and Columbia.