The trial of Jesus Cisneros, a former undercover narcotics officer for the City of Fort Worth, has begun. Cisneros is being charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of Sonia Baker (27), who was killed in December of 2009 in an accident prosecutors say was caused by Cisneros. Prosecutors laid out their case claiming that the crash came after Cisneros attended a birthday party for a fellow officer at a Fort Worth bar. Prosecutors claim they have video recorded at the party show the officer drinking heavily. Yesterday, accident investigator Tim Lovett testified that alcohol caused the wreck.

The defense has suggested that the crash was unavoidable because Baker pulled in front of Cisneros while other testimony is showing that Cisneros was traveling at a high rate of speed.

Drunk driving is clearly a problem, and the problem reaches out across all walks of life. Each year, several members of various police agencies are charged with drunk driving. Despite the fact that we count on these police officers to be in control and to enforce the laws against drunk driving, we continue to see stories such as this where it is the officer who is charged with an alcohol related offense. These first responders are often the first ones to arrive at the scene of drunk driving wrecks, and they see first hand the injuries, the deaths and the tragedies associated with drunk driving, yet the story repeats itself.

We hope that you are never in a wreck much less a wreck caused by a drunk driver. However, if you are it is important that you understand your legal rights. Although in Texas there is a 2 year statute of limitations, when the person driving a vehicle is a local or state government employee, the law (the Texas Tort Claims Act) requires that you submit written notice of your claim to the correct governmental entity within a much shorter time period, usually within 6 months from the date of the wreck. If the case involves a federal employee, there may be different notice requirements. In any event, failure to provide the proper and timely written notice of your claim, may cause you to lose all of your rights against the responsible person even if you file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations. Don’t be a victim twice. If you are in an accident, contact an attorney, and make sure you know what your rights are and how to protect your rights.

Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Attorneys: Rachel Montes

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone: (214) 522-9401

Facebook at Montes Law Group, P.C.

1 Comment

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