Monday, June 1, 2009

A Side Effect of Lykos' DWI Announcement

Defense Attorneys at the CJC who approached prosecutors asking for their pre-trial diversions for first time DWI cases were told by Harris County Prosecutors that no such animal exists quite yet. The official word coming from prosecutors is that it is a plan that is still being worked out and will take a while. The word on the street is that nothing will be ironed out before August of this year.

So, I know that Lykos needed her daily affirmation of love from the Press and that's why she made her announcement before actually thinking out how the plan would work, but let's now examine the consequences of her premature announcement.

Say you are a defense attorney who is representing a client charged with Driving While Intoxicated for the first time.

Wouldn't you pretty much be committing malpractice to plead that client out right now, if you know that the D.A.'s Office is going to be offering the Pre-Trial Diversions in a few months?

My prediction is that first time DWI cases are about to come to a complete stand-still in the County Courts until Lykos and the Gang figure out how to implement her plan and get it rolling.

Maybe next time, Lykos will think before she shoots off her mouth.

Nah.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Defense Attorney: I am requesting the reset because I will get PTD from Lykos in a few months.
Judge: Of course I will reset this and all other DWI first. My docket does not matter.

"A fictional conversation at the Harris County Courthouse"

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!Excellent point, Murray. Where the fuck is Brian Rogers on this?

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!Excellent point, Murray. Where the fuck is Brian Rogers on this?

Anonymous said...

Lykos will have to preclude grandfathering in any offense that occurred prior to her new insane policy taking effect or there will be anarchy. Then it's time to PARTY boys and girls.

Murray, any word when the cervesa vending machines will be installed on the 6th floor? And when will we get our smoking lounge?

Anonymous said...

Speaking before thinking by Lykos is beginning to be a pattern. She called her prosecutors incompetent and then apologized. Her First Assistant announced a "whale" trial policy and then crawfished. Now, she announces a DWI diversion that doesn't exist. That's just bad politics.

Anonymous said...

It might be for the best that Lykos threw out the idea now and can receive feedback about potential problems or sticking points. By the time she has it ironed out everyone will have had a chance to put their 2 cents in. I suppose she could have kept it under wraps while quietly seeking input and soliciting support but that could have been a disaster. The spin would be that she was secretly attempting to slide something in place without the public's knowledge. She followed this procedure with providing offense reports and working out the kinks and it all worked out OK.

Anonymous said...

The pickled Chuckster is on board and totally supportive of Pat's new plan. So for those of you nay sayers who whined that the new and old regimes at HCDAO would never agree on anything, shut the f*ck up--Pat has bridged the gap with a simple vodka martini mandate.
No more need to hide those pesky vodka bottles in the garage dumpster.
Just think how much more tolerable Jimbo and the troll will be after a few early morning cocktails.

Anonymous said...

Pandering Crackhead 2:28,
When Pat suggests PTD for 1st time non capital murderers of illegal aliens based on the premise that the crime would not have occurred but for the illegal aliens unlawful entry into the United States I'll bet you support her on that crazyness as well.
The bottom line is that Pat Lykos has no more business running a district attorneys' office than Jimmy Leitner has commanding a carrier strike force into combat.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 2:28 p.m.,
Give me a break. You are taking being a Lykos Apologist to a whole new level.
Please keep in mind that this ain't Youth in Government Day and Lykos has been out of high school for over 50 years.
This is the real world boys and girls and the Criminal Justice System is no place to start social experimentation. You would have thought that she might have talked to a few people before holding a press conference, but that ain't her style.
She's an amateur (if that) in a job that calls for professionals.

Anonymous said...

Who vets Pat's half baked ideas? Chuck might have screwed his secretary but Pat's running things like an angry old menopausal Madame.

Anonymous said...

AHCL: I don't understand the "social experimentation" remark. Many other counties offer pretrial diversion to DWI defendants so this is hardly a pilot project. I'm sure each defendant will be considered for the program if he is a first time DWI defendant but there will be other requirements as well.

I think showing her hand on what she plans to do and then taking the time to iron out the details before she implements it is a responsible way to handle this.

Just to be clear: I don't do crack, drink Lykos koolaid, my name is not Clint nor do I apologize for the actions of Pat Lykos. I just happen not to share your opinion on the matter.

Anonymous said...

AHCL,
Do you think Pat Lykos will advocate extending her PTD policy to include 1st time DUI and/or narcotic possession cases?
Your buddy Mark Benit who used to be president of some criminal defense organization will surely take a big hit if that happens, as will the criminal defense lawyers in general. (There is a silver lining.)
I can't see how any of this is even legal? I remember when she wanted the Harris County District Attorneys' office to deport undocumented workers earlier in the year. She also wants to usurp the homicide division's authority on old unsolved murders but won't let Special Crimes accept charges on new murders? I can tell you that law enforcement is getting pretty fed up with all this.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Okay "Not Clint",
What other counties offer pre-trial diversions on ALL first time DWIs. I absolutely call "bullshit" on that remark. It is social experimentation because she is tweaking with the laws on the books by ignoring them as the elected D.A. She does so without thinking them out or doing any type of research, so therefore, it is just an experiment.
And for future reference, why don't you assignment yourself some sort of identity for blog purposes so that you can participate in the conversation as one entity, rather than seeming like mulitple ones?
For the time being, we'll just call you "Not Clint".

jigmeister said...

WTF special crimes can't file murder cases?

Anonymous said...

Based on the stupid shit that 3:45 AKA 2:28 supports I think the moniker "crackhead" is more befitting than "Not Clint". "Not Clint" would imply the antithesis of stupid while crackhead personifies a knucklehead.

Anonymous said...

Jigmeister,
Special Crimes can only take charges on the "complicated" murders. The "simple" murders go through intake. Only Patsy can arbitrarily distinguish between the 2. Patsy's agenda is to basically dismantle Special Crimes my old friend.

Anonymous said...

Some of you people need some serious experience in the real world. The diversion program in the rest of the state is nothing new. If you do not know that then you have never been out of Harris county or when you were you did not have enough sense to ask about a diversion program. Some of you bitch like a bunch of old women. Grow UP

Anonymous said...

AHCL: Clearly Lykos will not be able to offer PTD on all first time DWI's and I'm sure she mispoke when she said that or it will be one of those details that are ironed out before the plan is actually implemented. I am willing to bet what happens (if it happens) is that first timers will all be considered but there will be other criteria involved just as on other PDT's it will be case by case. I think the big change here is that Harris County will finally consider DWI cases for pretrial diversion along with all other cases instead of treating all DWIs offenders as pariahs. I would have to agree making blanket rules whether for punishment or leniency do not serve justice and that the cases should be decided on an individual by basis. Since we can agree that there is room for some change in the current policy, why don't we just wait and see what the plan is in August.

"Not Clint"

Anonymous said...

anon 2:28,
providing ORs to defense attorneys was originally the idea of a former DA candidate, not Judge Lykos.the Judge does get credit for it's implementation,however.
but this proposed plan is as thought out as the one requiring suspected illegals to swear to their immigration status prior to adjudication;the lame brained idea disallowing the state's peremptory strikes while allowing the defense bar to retain theirs;and forcing baby prosecutors to try whale cases that defendants wanted to plea out.
it just goes to show that total lack of experience and understanding combined with a complete disregard for the law is not generally an asset of quality leadership....but who knew?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Well, I suppose we could sit around and wait for August, or . . .

We could point out that this was an insanely stupid policy for her to announce off the cup so that she get her warm and fuzzies from the media when she had no realistic plan on how to make it happen. And, no, she did not say it would be used "some". She said it would be used for "all".

And I would love for the jackass who is saying that Harris County prosecutors need to get some more "real world" experience to identify himself. Clearly, he needs to learn how things really run in a D.A.'s Office and not just in Snookem's world.

Anonymous said...

You're right Murray, Char is an excellent idea for tonight! Have a great time.

"Not Clint"

Anonymous said...

Not Clint,
Crawfishing so early? Of course Pat's blanket PTD offer for all 1st time DWI's is ludicrous. That is the friggin point of all this. Your excuse is as lame as when Roger Clemens said Andy Petite "misremembered" and when Bill Clinton argued in deposition "it depends on the meaning of is". And I guess you think oral sex isn't sex either.
Your form of PTD will be a perfect way for political Pat to repay her big supporters....isn't that right Bobby Echols?
Anon 4:43 was correct: you are a crackhead.

Corey said...

What irks me is the knee-jerk response to this plan by MADD. The plan is aimed at preventing recidivism. And MADD is against the plan. I didn't know that the ADD in MADD stood for Attention Deficit Disorder. That's it. I'm starting my own group - Fathers against MADD. Or, FvMADD. Anyone can join, as long as they are not a Muther!

Corey said...

What irks me is that MADD has stated they are already against the plan. The intent of the plan is to prevent recidivism. And MADD is against it? That is really putting the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in MADD. That's it. I'm starting Fathers against MADD. or FvMADD. Anyone can join, as long as your not a muther!

Anonymous said...

The Chron article did say August, although it was probably a premature announcement given that no clear details were given and people will, of course, want to reset their cases. Who wouldn't?!

Anonymous said...

Some of us have been prosecutors and defense lawyers. I agree with previous post. Some of you whine about everything.Lawyers are getting offense reports and now a diversion plan that will help some first offenders,but all are not going to be elgible. Come up with something else to cry about. Looks like the kool aid is on both sides.

jigmeister said...

Anon 4:58

How many of these other counties grant PTR WITHOUT charges being filed? There are some 40 law enforcement agencies in Harris County. Do you just distribute contracts to them so they can sign up those they arrest. How many hours do they wait after arrest so the drunks are sober enough to enter into a contract? Are the contracts so simple that a PCT.4 deputy can give advice to the drunk and properly screen or no screening necessary? I never rejected a DWI, so no worries about innocent people getting PTR.

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter. If this Pre-trial diversion has half as many conditions of the defendant that probation has, most of them will screw up or not abide by these conditions during their "diversion" period and end up back in jail anyway.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

For those of you out of the loop,
Anon 5:10 (AKA "Not Clint")'s mention of me being at Char was a way of letting me know that he or she keeps up with my Facebook status. Don't know why they felt the need to do so, but I find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll open up an ignition interlock franchise. If GM & Chrysler would only have known about this they could have installed interlocks on all vehicles and avoided bankruptcy by selling cars to HC. LOL !

You do have a point about any defense atty pleading out a first offense DWI to anything more than PTD is committing malpractice.

Anonymous said...

All defense attorneys with first time DWI clients will just reset their cases until August. Nice clogging of the dockets, Pat.

And why do people keep calling her Judge. That is ridiculous. She is, unfortunately, the current elected DA. To call her Judge is a contradiction to her current post.

Get over yourself, Pat. You are not a Judge.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:47.
Judge Pat IS a judge and always will be just like a former President or Senator will always retain that title.
Once Judge Pat has garnered the requisite respect from her minions then and only then will she consider being referred to in a less formal manner.
So stop whining and show some respect to the JUDGE or the hammer may fall on you.

JHarley said...

Maybe she will now decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine heard Gary Trichter speaking on the Outlaw Dave Show about this program. He stated that as a "citizen first", he was basically not in favor it. I always knew community safety came first with Mr. Trichter, this just proves it.

Arthur Seaton said...

Anon 1249,

Gary is a "money" first, not "citize" first. He's opposed because why would anyone hire him for 10k when they can get Joe Blowmie to get a them pretrial diversion?

Anonymous said...

Why does her plan ASSUME first offenders NEED treatment?

And how can they not be charged first? The story in the chronicle states "if they’re successful, the charges are not filed.” Then why are they in court?

Charges have to be filed. I think the reporter meant that "if successful in the program, the charges are dismissed.'

Anonymous said...

Corey,
Pat's "aim" is way off target; the result of this dimwitted plan will be to promote not curb DWIs.
You are obviously not a student of human nature or common sense....Pat could use you in her administration.

Anonymous said...

So how is this pre-trial plan different that deferred??? It looks the same, and sounds the same.. Complete these conditions and you don't have a conviction? Sounds like the is trying to go around the ban on deferred for DWI. Deferred did no tmake it through in Austin again this year so how does this plan work?

Anonymous said...

Anon, 8:31, aka Pat,
I don't work for Pat Lykos so she can stick her hammer where ever she likes. I find it offensive that she demands to be called a judge. None of the other former judges I know demand to be called judge. And I know several.

If she wanted to be called DA Lykos, I would be fine with that because that is what she is (unfortunately) at the moment. But the DA and a judge have two very different roles in our criminal justice system. She continues to make a mockery out of her current post. She's a bigger joke than any DA who ever served in Harris County.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:07,
The JUDGE obviously intimidates you. Grow up and stop acting like a spoiled little baby.
BTW, 8:31 is a man with something you are obviously lacking.....a pair of balls

Anonymous said...

Anon 641,
If Patsy knew what she was doing she wouldn't be doing what she is doing.
If you understood the concept of "you can't fix stupid" you would understand Patsy's plight.
Patsy is merely a very very very dumbed down version of Richard Nixon absent any true meritorious accolades of distinction.

Anonymous said...

Honorable Anon 8:31,
OMG I am really scared now.
Minion

Anonymous said...

Patsy is merely a very very very dumbed down version of Richard Nixon absent any true meritorious accolades of distinction.

Nixon was deserving of accolades? The man who said that if the president does it, it's not illegal?

No wonder you don't like what's going on at the DAO right now. You have a corrupt sense of right and wrong.

Anonymous said...

So as long as the defendant is smart enough to file for expunction as soon as he is eligible, then he's clear for his next DWI, and another round of PTD. What a plan!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:08,
The Nixon analogy was solely meant to express the similarities in narcissistic sociopathic arrogance and corruption between he and Lykos.
As equally despicable as these two (2) politicians were and are; unlike Lykos, Nixon was not totally devoid of meritorious accomplishments and I did not want that to be brought up to cloud the issue.

I hope this clears up any confusion or misunderstanding you gleaned from my earlier post.
Anon 10:51

Anonymous said...

anon 4:08
Huh?
I think the point was that Nixon was a smart corrupt politician and Patsy is a stupid corrupt politician.
Whether or not in the process Tricky Dick actually accomplished anything good or positive for his constituency is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

Anon, 10:36,
WTH? How do you think I am acting like a spoiled baby? I don't work for her. She had no hold on me. She doesn't intimidate me. As a voter, and citizen, in this county, I am outraged by the circus that she has orchestrated at the DAO. I have no dog in this hunt. But Pat is a joke. Deal with that.

Anonymous said...

Here's the current word on how this is supposedly going to go: a case comes in, just like normal. Yes, people will be charged and come to court. PTD is not automatic... It is one option available in addition to jail time, probation, time served and a fine, or trial. There will be the standard DWI recs for a person to consider. However, if eligible, (clear history, first time DWI) a person will also be offered a PTD. It will be 2 years, GI, restitution if applicable, and treatment deemed necessary, like AA's or the standard stuff you see on most DWIs. The defendant will also have to stipulate guilt, although we'll see how that works... At least that's the "word" this week.

jigmeister said...

Anon 10:40:

Are you speaking from Rumor or a memo? Sounds like "she" finally took some advice from some of her line troops on the practicalities of her "program", like charge first!

Still, I don't like the provision of PTR for those who owe restitution. That sounds like accident cases will be eligible. Those folks need more supervision that the threat of revocation provides, to insure victims are made whole.

Don't know what the law is on the admissiblity of a confession would be. Perhaps is made a judicial confession on the record with appropriate voluntariness warnings would solve that, and bring the judges into the picture. I sure would like Alan or some appellate type to voice an opinion.

Anonymous said...

Todays column by Lisa Falkenberg titled DWI plan's details need working says it all . Pat jumped the gun once again without any thought or planning.

Apparently she did not notify her staff of this so they learned about it in the article in the chronicle.

What a poor leader she is. It is obvious that she thinks she is one smart cookie and does not need any advice from her staff. She must know it all. Ifeel sorry for the people that have to work under her.

This will be the longest four years for the employees that are still left.

Anonymous said...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/falkenberg/6457158.html

Anonymous said...

Jig,

What I heard was from word of mouth, not any official memo. Although I think Fallenberg's article shed's a little more light on some some of the possibilities.

Anon 10:40

jigmeister said...

Anon 10:40

I read it. Sounds like deferred. Now you have to plead guilty--maybe what Roger meant was admit guilt. Guess we will wait for the memo. Ha Ha.

JIM PHILLIPS said...

I THINK JUDGE LYKOS IS DOING A GREAT JOB FOR HER D.A. DUTIES.MURRAY GET OVER IT THE OFFICE IS GOING FORWARD WITHOUT YOU AND YOU SEEM PISSED OFF. YOU HAVE ALWAYS CARRIED AN ATTITUDE ON YOUR SHOULDER SINCE SHE WON THE ELECTION.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Jimbo,
I carried an attitude with me long before she won the election. Just thought I would clarify that.