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Tonya Couch to face felony charge in Texas

Thanks to continual and ongoing news coverage, the vast majority of people in Texas are intimately familiar with the Ethan Couch's criminal case. Deemed the so-called affluenza kid by media, he has been the focus of intense news coverage. Now, his mother is also facing a felony charge for the alleged role she played in her son's alleged flight from Texas authorities.

Ethan Couch apparently did not attend a scheduled probation meeting last Dec. 2015. In that same time frame, a video depicting what appeared to be a party involving alcohol and featuring the teenager was uploaded online. These two instances sparked concern with the authorities. They attempted to contact Ethan, only to discover that both he and his mother, Tanya Couch, were missing.

Eventually, the two were discovered by Mexican authorities and taken into custody. Tanya Couch has already been returned to California and is currently awaiting extradition back to Texas. Once she arrives in her home state, prosecutors are expected to file hindering apprehension charges against her. It has been speculated that prosecutors are likely already combing through cell phone and other records in search of evidence that might prove intent on her part.

A conviction for hindering an apprehension could net a prison sentence of up to 10 years, but the charge is not necessarily as straightforward as it might seem. A 1990 conviction for the same felony charge was successfully overturned when the defendant argued that he had not concealed a person wanted for a crime, but rather for a mere probation violation. Since Ethan Couch's current criminal concerns are related to violating his probation, it is as yet unclear how successful pursuing this charge against the mother will be. No matter, virtually all defendants in Texas can benefit from preparing a strong and secure foundation for their defense regardless of whether they personally believe the criminal charges are warranted or not.

Source: wfaa.com, "Ex-prosecutor says Tonya Couch's criminal charge 'rare'", Lauren Zakalik, Jan. 4, 2016

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