Nick Spears Vs. Texas Penal Code: Case Study

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The court will most likely find that Nick Spears is guilty of driving while intoxicated under Texas penal code. In Texas, a defendant can be convicted of driving while intoxicated if the defendant is (1) intoxicated while (2) operating (3) a motor vehicle and in a (4) public place Tex. Code Ann. §49.04 (Vernon 2011). Although there are some exceptions in the definition of each element of this rule, Spears does not fall under any of those exceptions. Spears has admitted to his intoxication and therefore meets the intoxication prong for the statute of driving while intoxicated. The prosecution will have to prove the other elements of the statue such as; operating, a motor vehicle, and in a public space. The legal questions left to
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For a vehicle to be considered “operated” an individual only needs to take an action, rather successful or unsuccessful, in preparation toward operating the vehicle and on the roadway. In Whistler, the court held that the only requirement for “operating a vehicle” is taking an action to try to operate the vehicle. The court found that past precedents revealed that it was not necessary for the attempt to operate the vehicle to be successful. The court ruled with these precedents declaring that any action toward operating a vehicle was sufficient in finding that someone “operated a vehicle” in accordance with driving under the influence for the Texas statute. Also, in Morris, the court found that without an action displaying that a person put forth effort to attempt to operate the vehicle and if the vehicle was not on a roadway then the defendant could not be “operating” a vehicle under the…show more content…
As in Whistler, Spears also had the golf cart running, the parking brake was disengaged, and the transmission was also in drive. The defendant of Whistler argued that he never drove the vehicle, however the court found the fact that he took an action towards operating the vehicle by putting it in drive as sufficient for finding that the defendant was operating the vehicle. Spears, similarly to Wilson, also put the car in gear and it may be inferred that Spears action was towards operating the vehicle and that if he did not fall asleep and was not wedged against the mailbox that he would have driven the vehicle. Further, in Morris, the court found that a defendant could not be found to “operate” a vehicle just because the car was running. In order for a car to be considered “operating” the defendant has to engage the transmission or show evidence of manipulating the controls of the vehicle to show an action sufficient for finding that the defendant was “operating” the vehicle. Unlike the defendant in Morris, Spears was located on a roadway, the street in front of Tapken’s home, and displayed action sufficient for consideration in operating the vehicle by putting the car in drive and

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