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Second opinion] So, I am...
Second opinion] So, I am not sure if a lawyer can even answer this question, but hopefully you can give me some insight. My husband is facing his 3rd DWI charge, the last occurring while he was on probation for the second. He also was arrested for domestic violence but his lawyer was able to have that dismissed. His hearing is coming up and we are obviously nervous about the outcome. His lawyer has been paid a hefty sum in full and indicates (in not so many words) that he is friends with the prosecutor (which is why we have been awaiting trial so long) and that my husband has nothing to worry about. We are hoping for no jail time which is what the attorney seems to think we can get.
My question is, do these deals really happen or did we just pay a lot of money for something that happens a lot anyway. We are in the state of Texas and I believe the 3rd offense of DWI will likely get you jail time and pair that with a violation or two...Just seems like a lot to wash a way with a deal. Any clarification you can provide would be appreciated. I know you can give me guarantees and have limited knowledge of the cases.
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Answered in 3 hours by:
3/9/2018
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok thank you.

Good evening,

As the previous attorney said, I would certainly hope that your husband's attorney isn't promsing a particular outcome, as that would be an ethical violation. That said, a good majority of cases -probably 95% --are resolved via plea deals between the prosecutor and defense attorneys. And there are definitely criminal lawyers who may have better relationships with particular prosecutors (for example, I have a friend who used to work for the state attorney's office and knows many of the assistant state attorneys in his area, and is especially good friends with one that he used to work on cases with). So I do think that sometimes the offers can be a little bit more favorable. And some judges are are lot more forgiving, also, and lawyers get a feel for knowing how a judge might sentence someone. Now, that being said, any plea offer from the prosecutor still has to be approved by the court -so if the judge feels that the punishment doesn't fit the crime, they may reject it.

Unlike many states, a conviction for a 3rd DUI doesn't carry any minimum jail time, so it is possible that he could avoid it entirely. But, he's also looking at a violation of his probation by having been charged with another crime, so the court will likely want to know what his probation officer is thinking is appropriate. Their opinions aren't binding on the judge, but they do weigh heavily. Certainly a court has a lot of options there, too - they could dismiss the rest of his probation outright, extend his probation term, and/or add more strict terms to his probation. If he's at the end of his probation sentence and hasn't slipped up before, it would definitely be better for him than if he's only been on it a few months and found himself in trouble again.

I don't think it's likely with a violation and a 3rd DWI that he won't get any jail time, but then I don't have the benefit of knowing everything your husband's lawyer knows or sees, and I don't know the judge and prosecutor like they do. I am not passing judgment on your husband, who clearly is struggling with his addiction, but it's clear that he's not in control of his drinking and everything up to this point hasn't worked. At some point, a judge is going to ask themselves how many chances a person can be given. If he does walk away with no jail time, expect him to be on a very short leash and that any future trouble will result in a lengthy sentence.

RobertJDFL
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
You have helped tremendously. Thank you for the insight.
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