Criminal defense attorneys represent a range of cases, but recently, one case caught the media’s attention again, the “Affluenza” case. After killing four people in a drunk driving accident at the age of 16 in 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas, Ethan Couch was convicted of four counts of intoxication manslaughter but was not sentenced to any jail time.
Recently, Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch went missing after Ethan didn’t show up to a check-in with his probation officer. This resulted in U.S. Marshals releasing a wanted poster and announcing a $5,000 reward for details about Ethan Couch’s location.
After being found in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Ethan Couch and his mother were arrested. Tonya Couch was extradited back to the United States while Ethan remains in Mexico. Questions still remain as to why Ethan and his mother fled to Mexico in the first place.
Either way, the fault of the case seems to be with the prosecution. While the “Affluenza” defense is not common, Ethan’s lawyers presented a case that worked for their client and proved that due to Ethan’s upbringing, there were never any consequences associated with his actions because in his mind, wealth could fix anything.
The irritating factor is that the government seems to have given Ethan a better deal due to the fact that he had money.
It can be difficult to understand cases like this one. It seems that this case was given more consideration by the court due to the money behind it. Prosecutors work on statistics and there are only so many “get out of jail free cards”.
In this situation, the advancement of the arguments continued, then the case went to sentencing where most likely, several politically important people spoke, a crucial factor in any case. However, when looking at this case from a criminal defense perspective, it’s frustrating.
Corso Law Group works with clients all the time that ask, why not me? the end, the state’s decision will not help anyone.
As of now, Ethan Couch remains in Mexico. What will happen when he returns the United States is still in question. After a Mexican judge granted the “Affluenza” teen a temporary stay in Mexico which in return stopped transfer proceedings, it’s difficult to say if he will face jail time in the United States.