Travis County DA to Plead Guilty

This is a sad story and I’m not sure if I agree with the accused’s decision to plead guilty so quickly. Travis County District Attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, was arrested on April 12, 2013 for allegedly driving while intoxicated.  In a letter to the court this week, she entered a guilty plea to “whatever level of offense is determined to be justified by the facts.” Although I may understand her desire to put this embarrassing event behind her as quickly as possible, I can’t help but believe her decision is motivated more by politics than by her desire for a just outcome. I would never advise a client to plead guilty without a full and in-depth investigation of the law and facts applicable to the case. Our system is designed to force the government to prove guilt, beyond a reasonable doubt. The issue in a criminal case is not whether a person “is guilty.” The true issue is whether the State can “prove a person is guilty.” Although Ms. Lehmberg probably regrets driving last Friday night after consuming alcohol, I hope she never regrets such a quick decision to forgo her right to a trial, her right to remain silent, and her right to confront and cross-examine witnesses.

 

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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By | 2018-05-30T17:37:08+00:00 April 16th, 2013|Categories: Bryan College Station DWI|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Stephen Gustitis has practiced criminal law exclusively since 1990. First as an assistant district attorney with Brazos County and then in private criminal defense practice. He is Texas Board Certified in criminal law.

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