By: Mark Diaz
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Arrests Over NYE Weekend – Innocent Until Proven Guilty
New Year’s Weekend Arrests In Galveston
Hello, happy New Year y’all. I wanted to keep up with what I’ve been doing lately and look at some of the arrests over big holidays/event weekends. I suspected that we would see a lot of DWI arrests over New Year’s Eve weekend, and in my opinion, we did.
I looked at the arrests for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday was the lightest of days with a total of 35 arrests. More than anything else I was interested in DWI arrests because I figured there would be a lot of people drinking and driving over that holiday weekend.
Out of those 35 arrests on Friday, only four were DWI arrests. Friday was not that bad. 35 Total arrests with only four DWI cases, which is probably about the same as a normal weekend. Then Saturday stepped it up a little bit. Saturday, we had a total of 57 arrests out of those 57, nine were for driving while intoxicated.
You’ve got to keep in mind that when I say Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it stops at midnight. A lot of these on Saturday look like they were between midnight and 3 in the morning. Out of nine total, about half of them happened in the middle of the night. The rest were during the day. The biggest number comes from Sunday, technically, but remember the first started at midnight.
We had a total of 12 DWI arrests on that Sunday the first of the year. Out of those, 11 of them took place overnight. That is a huge number to me, to get 12 DWIs in one night is a big number to make. So y’all can go back and look at other holiday weekends I’ve done and see what the numbers were but 12 seems like a very high number to me.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Now when I do these videos looking at the arrests, it reminds me of something that I’ve had to talk to some clients about recently. That is, you know when someone’s charged with a crime, in our system of justice, you are innocent until proven guilty.
For some reason, it seems like social media is helping erode that. What I mean is when you see various Facebook groups or just people’s posts, and you see someone post about an arrest of a suspect for a crime. If you start looking at the comments, and this happens in the comments section for the daily news online publication as well, you see people commenting, calling the suspect a POS or you know, saying various negative things about people.
What comes to mind is a recent one that happened, there was a prostitution sting and people had lots to say about the men that were arrested. Again, because someone is charged with a crime, doesn’t mean they’re guilty of that crime. I’ve had instances over the years where I’ve had to write letters on clients’ behalf to their employers, reminding them that a charge is merely a charge, it’s an accusation, it is not a conviction, and cannot be held against someone.
Under our system of justice, you’re innocent until proven guilty. I get frustrated sometimes when I see all these posts on social media labeling someone one way or another because of a charge. When I look at all of these arrests, I see the DWIs like I said 12 seemed like a high number for me on January 1. I didn’t say any of the 12 people that were arrested were guilty. We don’t know, I don’t know anything about their cases. I know the person’s name, what time they were arrested, and a basic location of where they were arrested. I don’t know anything else about their case.
I certainly wouldn’t say any of these people are guilty of driving while intoxicated, they did get arrested for driving while intoxicated, but that does not mean they committed the offense. This is hard for us as defense attorneys to go over when we’re picking juries because it’s important that as prospective jurors, the people realize that a charge is merely a charge. It is not evidence of guilt.
I think about that, from time to time. As you know I always look at these arrests, I see all the arrests in the newspaper, all the crime stories, I look at everything just like everyone else does, and I probably pay a little more attention because it’s what I do for a living. The other thing I like to do is look at the online version of the paper, and on Facebook at the comments that people make, to try and get an idea of what people’s mindsets are.
I wish everyone would always remember that any accused citizen is innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in front of the jury. If you look at public records, you will see cases get dismissed all the time. If you look at the reason for the dismissal, sometimes the reason is insufficient evidence. If you follow us, you see that we’ve gotten a couple of not-guilty verdicts recently. Which means that the person was accused of a crime and later found not guilty.
One of those was one of my clients charged with murder. The jury acquitted him of that murder. He was found not guilty of murder. Another one was a young man accused of sexual assault of a child. He was acquitted of that. I imagined that, especially with the kid charged with the sexual assault, there were people in his life and his family’s life that had labeled him a monster. Then, of course, he is found not guilty.
It’s just an important concept that runs throughout our judicial system. I wish you would all keep that in mind before you comment on people’s situations. Once they find themselves charged with a crime it’s a long and serious process. A lot of times people are vindicated and found not guilty of what they were charged with. Just keep that in mind. Again, happy New Year. Hope y’all have a great year. I’ll be back as soon as I have a new topic.
Contact Galveston DUI Defense Attorneys
Some people think a DWI charge is no big deal, especially if this is their first offense. But even if you manage to avoid jail time, having a DWI on your record can follow you for a long time and negatively affect many aspects of your life. The truth is, you have every right to fight a DWI charge in court, and a qualified Galveston DWI and drunk driving lawyer can help.
Galveston DWI lawyer Mark Diaz and his team will work tirelessly on your behalf to obtain the best possible outcome for your DWI case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can sit down and learn more about your situation.