A few months ago, a Spanish-speaking client from Mexico hired us to defend him in a DWI case. The prosecutors assigned to the case wrongly believed that the client who Ill call Carlos had previously been convicted of DWI, and had enhanced his charge accordingly (in Texas, the penalties for a second DWI conviction are double the penalties for a first). Carlos, who has been in this country for several years, was frightened by the prospect of going to jail and jeopardizing his status in this country.
Last week, Carlos case was dismissed. To the prosecutors credit, they realized that they had made a mistake in thinking that Carlos had previously been convicted of DWI, and also saw that their case was weak and needed to dismissed. Although we are always happy when we get a case dismissed, this case was a reminder of the impact a criminal case even a relatively minor case can have on the lives of our clients. When he came to our office, Carlos had only a vague idea of how our legal system functions, and was genuinely scared that the charges against him would alter his life forever. Several months later, Carlos has his life back and we are humbled by the difference we can make in our clients lives through thorough, zealous advocacy.