An active warrant has been issued and Tonya Couch has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a known felon. After being arrested in Puerto Vallarta, she was deported to Los Angeles. And on Tuesday, after a brief hearing, she waived extradition and voluntarily agreed to go back to Texas. Tonya Couch will remain in custody without bail until Texas authorities come and get her. Once she is handed over to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department, Tonya Couch will have to post a 1 million dollar bond in order to get out of custody.
Tonya Couch’s attorneys, Stephanie Patten and Steve Gordon, are confident that she did not break any laws. In a statement to WFFA ABC News channel 8, Tonya Couch’s attorneys said “She looks forward to being returned to Texas as quickly as possible” and “while the public may not like what she did, may not agree with what she did, or may have strong feelings against what she did, make no mistake – Tonya did not violate any law of the State of Texas and she is eager to have her day in court.” While her attorneys may be confident in her innocence, there is a long uphill battle ahead of them and you can be certain that the community, as well as the District Attorney will not be looking to hand out any favors.
Tonya Couch appears to have the financial means to bond out and will likely pay whatever fees necessary to get her case dismissed. Whether or not her legal counsel will be able to obtain that outcome for her is unknown at this time, but there is something important to point out about this situation. Tonya Couch is currently facing more prison time than her son, Ethan Couch, and yet he is the one who killed four innocent people and seriously injured two others.
One might ask: how could this possibly be when all she did was help her son flee the country?
The reason for the drastic difference in punishment is because Ethan Couch was a juvenile when the original offense occurred so his case was prosecuted through the juvenile system. The purpose of the juvenile system is to rehabilitate, not punish, which is likely one of the many reasons why his sentence was 10 years’ probation and not jail time. Since the juvenile court currently maintains jurisdiction over his case, Ethan Couch’s maximum punishment for violating his probation would be 120 days. Tonya Couch, on the other hand, is facing anywhere from 2 to 10 years in prison if she is ultimately convicted of the felony charge. A reality, I bet, that was not running through Tonya Couch’s mind when she was driving Ethan Couch across the Mexican border.
If you or a member of your family is facing a criminal charge, then time of essence. Contact a proven Forth Worth criminal defense attorney at Alband, Lane & Balderama to start exploring your defense options. Request a free case evaluation today.