A weapons charge and a charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) have been filed against a county employee’s daughter who was spared a weekend in jail, thanks to a late night arraignment by a peace justice.
Camille Matthews will find out today whether she will lose her driver’s license for a year because of her July 7 arrest. She is scheduled for an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing in Fort Worth at 1 p.m., according to a staffer at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
Matthews, a 25-year-old law student at the time she was arrested on suspicion of DWI, also has been charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun by a licensed holder. Though she has a license to carry the weapon, her arrest for DWI meant that having the gun in her possession was illegal.
The DWI charge is a first for Matthews, and is a Class B misdemeanor. It carries the potential for community service and a fine of up to $2,000. Those who commit DWI offenses also pay a yearly license surcharge to the state for three years. For a first-time offense, the yearly charge is $1,000.
The weapon charge is a Class A misdemeanor. It carries the possibility of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
The Hood County News typically does not name those charged with misdemeanors. However, the situation involving Matthews’ release within 46 minutes of being taken into custody has raised questions of special treatment.
Precinct 1 and 2 Justice of the Peace Martin Castillo went to the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) after 2 on a Sunday morning after receiving a call from Matthews’ mother, Natalie. Natalie Matthews works at the Justice Center, in the office of the district clerk. That’s where Castillo’s office is.
Shortly after Camille Matthews was pulled over by State Trooper Thomas Anderson, county Court-at-Law Judge Vincent Messina signed the “blood warrant” the trooper requested, requiring that blood be drawn to determine Camille Matthews’ Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
The legal limit in Texas is .08 for those 21 and older.
The results of the blood test are not part of the court documents filed with the County Clerk’s office, but could be a factor in today’s ALR hearing when a judge will determine whether Camille Matthews can keep her license.
District Clerk Tonna Hitt said she was angry when she found out that Natalie Matthews had phoned the personal numbers of Messina and JPs Castillo and Danny Tuggle. Matthews had been driving in the vehicle ahead of her daughter when the traffic stop occurred on South Morgan Street.
Natalie Matthews said she did nothing wrong in calling the elected officials, and never mentioned her boss’ name. Castillo denied that the 2 a.m. arraignment was special treatment. However, Sheriff Roger Deeds said it was unusual. Charlie Cloud, a major with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), said that it was “obviously” special treatment.
Messina said shortly after the incident occurred that if charges were filed against Camille Matthews, he would recuse himself and have an assigned judge preside over the court proceedings. His court handles misdemeanor cases.
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