The authorities seem to think there’s a good chance the “affluenza” teen and his Mom have fled the US. What are the potential penalties for her if they are caught?
Apparently Couch got caught on a beer pong video (see “Outrage, but not surprise” link below) and as that was a violation of his “violate this and go to prison for 10 years” probation sentence he and mom took it on the lam. Possibly to another country.
What happens to Mom if she is determined to be assisting her 18 year old fugitive son in this scenario?
The background to this is kind of stunning and is laid out in this article below.
‘The Tarrant County DA’s office has not charged Tonya Couch with any crime yet. According to Houston lawyer Robert Hampton Tuthill, under Texas law “Texas has a criminal offense entitled “Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution.” It is under 38.05 in the Penal Code. It is a Class A Misdemeanor or a Third Degree Felony depending on the circumstances.” If convicted on a Third Degree Felony charge, a person could face “not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.”’
Now that he has been caught and is being returned to the US by the Mexican authorities, what is the worst that can happen to him? He’s 18 now, so can they punish him as an adult for breaking his juvenile punishment? He’s served 2 years probation with 8 years remaining, does that mean he’s likely to spend the next 8 years in jail?
wow, thanks for that link. So 120 days in jail is the worst than can happen to him. I always thought probation meant that if you broke probation you served the real time. As for mom, I hope they give her the whole 10 years. According to the previous trial, it’s her fault he killed those other children because of the way she raised him.
I think the disparity in sentencing is appropriate. He was a minor when the fatal accident occurred, his sentencing is based on that disposition. But she was really responsible for turning him into a useless bag of meat to start with. There’s some chance (slim I admit) that this guy’s life can still get turned around. She’s a fully cooked adult that should have known better to start with. Too bad she couldn’t have been thrown in jail to start with.
I feel the same way. The issue with the beer pong video was probably manageable by his lawyers, but then going on the lamb under the protection of his helicopter mom makes things much harder now. The sooner he gets far from his mother the better-off he’ll be. That mug shot of him with the re-colored hair just after getting captured screams “Thanks for ruining my life, mom!”
I’m not sure about Texas law, but in my state, it depends. If you violate another criminal law, your probation can be revoked and you serve the remainder of the underlying sentence. (For example, a sentence may be 1 to 5 years in the penitentiary, but it will be suspended for, say, 2 years of probation. Even if you do 1 year and 10 months of probation and you violate it, then it could be off to the joint to begin a 1 to 5).
If you violate an administrative condition of your probation which is not a crime for the general public (consuming alcohol, failing to report to your probation officer, staying out after curfew, etc.) then around here, the max penalty for 1st offense violation is 30 days in jail (which counts as credit for time served on the underlying sentence), 2nd offense is max 60 days in jail, 3rd offense can result in revocation and off to your original sentence.
Again, I’m not sure about Texas law, but surely this kid committed some crime on his way to Mexico that could act as a crime for revocation purposes.
I think the issue is that legally he has to be considered a juvenile up to the age of 19 for probation violations since he was sentenced as a juvenile. The actual they (real world) sanctions they can put on him is pretty limited for bolting. Mom not so much.
Can anyone explain what they hoped to do. Hole up in Mexico undocumented for the rest of his life? I mean probation is hardly the worst punishment imaginable. Couldn’t he just suck it up? But mainly, what were they planning? The whole affair just doesn’t make any sense.
Let me observe that an earlier case of affluenza causing death turned into one of the most effective US senators in history. But he wizened up, that’s certain.
Again, I don’t know Texas law, but couldn’t he be charged as an accessory to Mom’s hindering the apprehension of a juvenile? Conspiracy? He is 18 now, and I would guess legally an adult. That would be a new crime that he could be sentenced for, or am I incorrect?
The news just said that the lawyers are fighting extradition so it will be delayed for a few weeks. Do his clients really want to sit in a shithole Mexican jail for weeks? I would be asking for the first flight home to a Texas jail.