Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Actions of Texas Teacher May Overturn Thousands of DWI Cases

Most people appreciate being honored as a stellar participant in their chosen profession after working so many years. An engraved gold watch, a plaque to hang proudly on the wall of the office, and a specially marked parking space right next to the front door of her place of employment are all small gestures that make exceptional workers feel appreciated and respected. There is little doubt that Deetrice Wallace felt a deserved sense of pride when she was named 2006 Harris County Teacher of the Year award from the Education Foundation of Harris County, which was preceded by her selection as Teacher of the Year Award at Sharpstown Middle School. However, it is her second job that is now putting a damper on her achievements in the classroom.

Ms. Wallace was under contract with several police departments in the Houston area to maintain the accuracy of their breath-test machines. The Texas Department of Public Safety has discovered that she falsified records to make it appear that she had tested and adjusted the calibrations of the machines as needed. It appears that she had been practicing this deception for a year. Now, she finds herself facing charges of falsifying government records. She faces six months to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Until a resolution is reached in this case, Ms. Wallace has been reassigned to a position outside of the classroom.

This revelation is likely to affect many lives beyond those of Deetrice Wallace and her students. There are more than 2600 DWI cases that may possibly be revisited, as some of the evidence used in the convictions came from the breathalyzers that were in Ms. Wallace's care. For sure, Harris County criminal defense attorneys are going to be quite busy in the upcoming months!

If you have been convicted of a DWI in Brazoria, Galveston or Harris counties and believe you may have been a victim of inaccurate evidence, please contact the Houston office of Bertolino LLP today. We can help you get the justice you deserve.

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