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  • Bryan-College Station DWI Bond Conditions Violate Right to Silence
Bryan-College Station DWI Bond Conditions Violate Right to Silence November 12, 2013

Persons accused of DWI in Bryan-College Station are often subject to “conditions of bond” imposed by the judge who set bond after arrest. In cases where the person is alleged to haveBrazos County Bond Conditions
a BAC of .15 (or above) the judges have imposed conditions including the installation of an alcohol detection device (Interlock), a driving curfew, monthly reporting, paying supervision fees, and many other conditions. Of particular concern is condition number nine (9) which states: “Submit to a risk/need assessment required by the Brazos County Community Supervision and Corrections Department or any other supervising agency over your case, and submit to a substance abuse evaluation, psychological assessment, psychiatric evaluation, anger management evaluation, sex offender evaluation, or other evaluation to determine the course of action that will assist in overcoming obstacles to successful completion of the supervision term.”

 

During our initial consultation with prospective Bryan-College Station DWI clients subject to these bond conditions, we frequently recommend violating condition number nine. We advise prospective clients to refuse to submit to such evaluations. This free advice is grounded in our client’s constitutional right to remain silent. What the bond supervision officer doesn’t tell you is anything you say during supervision visits (or on these evaluation questionnaires) can be used against you in criminal court. There is NO privileged communication between the bond supervision officer and the accused, nor is there any privileged communication between the accused and service providers who may become involved after the evaluation is complete.

 

Our advice to violate condition number nine has been supported by local judges who’ve ruled on writs of habeas corpus alleging condition #9 violates the defendant’s absolute right to remain silent. Consequently, our rule-of-thumb is for persons on bond supervision to keep quiet and provide the supervision officer with the bare minimum of information. Do not submit to these evaluations since a prosecutor can easily subpoena the records and use the information to prosecute you.

 

Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.

 

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