Less Resets - More Coercion with the DIVERT Program

It seems the new DIVERT Program is again changing without a real reason why.  As of last week, the county court prosecutors learned that the DWI cases that may be DIVERT eligible must now be set up for DIVERT no later than the second setting.  For the record, the first setting is generally scheduled for 1 week after the arrest.  The second setting normally will be approximately 3 weeks later.

The new policy mandates that a person arrested for a Harris County DWI must make a decision about his/her case within a month of the DWI arrest.  Mind you, no person charged with any other offense in Harris County has to make a decision within the first month - only those that may or may not want to participate in the DIVERT Program will be required to make that life altering decision this quickly.

It appears that this is more coercion by the district attorney's office to force people to take the DIVERT Program.  There are cases where we don't have the offense report or video within a month of the arrest.  Without such basic information about the case, how can a person be expected to make a rational decision about his/her case within a month of the arrest?  Wouldn't you expect your DWI lawyer to have all information about your case before having to make that major decision? 

Is it because the Harris County District Attorney's office has lost so many DWI cases recently?  Do they not want us to have the information?  Are they tired of losing so many DWI cases?

My questions to the policy makers:  What is the rush?  Why not let us properly evaluate these cases like the rest of the cases?  What are you scared of?

Texas Drunk Driving Campaign - False and Misleading

This billboard image was recently sent to me and it reminded me of the Texas DWI campaign,

DRINK, DRIVE, GO TO JAIL

The problem that Houston driver's face - Houston Police officers believe the statement to be true.  Unfortunately, the statement is very true for all intents and purposes.  Many citizens are arrested simply because they have had a drink, smell like alcohol and are driving.

This is just simply not the law.  The law allows a person to drink and then drive so long as they are not intoxicated at the time they are driving. 

I believe the Texas Department of Public Safety is not only trying to curb the number of people that drive while intoxicated, but also to taint the jury pool for DWI cases.  The state and DPS  are purposefully misstating the law on the  DPS signs in the hope that jurors will believe that the law is any drinking and then driving is enough for a DWI conviction.

Is the Driver of this Houston Police Vehicle Intoxicated?

I took this photo this morning at the State Office.  Presumably, the cop that drove this Houston Police vehicle was at the State Office for an ALR hearing to suspend the driver's license of a person the officer arrested for DWI.

Do you think the officer would consider this a sign of intoxication if the driver was one of our clients?  Would he listen to the innocent reason our client had for the reason he parked the entire front of his car on the curb?  Would this Houston police officer give our clients the benefit of the doubt?  Was this cop DWI?  Had he been drinking?