Ethan Couch "Affluenza" Probation Violation

Ethan Couch, who at age 16 killed 4 people while driving drunk and was sentenced to rehab and 10 years probation, has gone on the lam with his mother after a video surfaced which may prove he violated his probation terms.

He has 8 years left on his probation. I know, when caught and brought back to Texas, that he can be sent to prison for those remaining 8 years.

What I was wondering is if, under Texas law, he could be given additional penalties for the probation violation or if becoming a fugitive is a separate offense that he could be charged with?

What I also wonder, in addition to all the above, is how strong the presumption is that he did violate his probation in the first place. From the account I read, the video showed him being present at a beer party, but didn’t actually show him drinking any. Was his mere presence at such a party per se a violation of his probation? Or is it merely presumed that if he was there, he was drinking and thus violating his probation? (I mean, of course, with this guy’s history, that would be a very strong presumption, I guess.)

the video isn’t the only thing, he also failed to check in with his probation officer at least once, which is in and of itself a violation.

Yeah, the party is now hardly relevant, if the news stories are correct. The probation officer has been unable to reach him or his mother, and appointments have been missed.

However, I predict he will be forgiven, and there won’t be any negative consequences. After all, he simply doesn’t understand “wrong”, so what would be the point? :rolleyes:

I think it depends on whether the book can be thrown at him (IANAL, much less one in TX). If he can only be charged as a juvenile for the parole violation because his crime was committed as a juvenile then he’ll get another hand-slap. But if he can be charged as an adult (which I think is more likely the case) I would hope that he would receive a good 5-10 years, which would hopefully set him straight (I’m sure a pretty boy like him would get a real wake-up call in prison).

My question is was he required to surrender his passport as a term of probation? That’s a common condition on lengthy probation terms.

That’s assuming he even has a passport, many Americans don’t.

The wiki page linked above mentions that his passport (along with his mother’s) was noted as missing, indicating that they may have fled the country.

And while I am not sure, I believe that in many situations, just being in a place where alcohol is being consumed is enough to violate probation/parole. I once knew a guy who was on parole for something, and (iirc) he told me he was not allowed at such places and events. At least not without a discussion with his parole officer.
It could depend on the terms of his probation, and I could be way off anyway, just wanted to mention.

The Couch case is/was infuriating. I hope he is found.