Money and Gavel

The famed 'affluenza' teenager from Texas is back in police custody. This time, he was arrested in Mexico for a probation violation.

Ethan Couch, now 18, became famous after he was given a break on sentencing for the deaths of four people in a 2013 drunk driving crash. Couch was operating a vehicle at three times the legal blood alcohol limit. A motorist and three Good Samaritans, who were helping the motorist with a broken down vehicle, died in the collision. Several of the young man's friends who were riding with him were injured, one of whom suffered brain damage, according to online sources.

Defense attorneys argued that the teenager should be given a less severe punishment because he suffered from 'affluenza,' which meant that he had been so spoiled during his childhood rearing that he did not know the difference between right and wrong. The defense succeeded in sidestepping jail time in exchange for 10 years of probation. The 'affluenza' argument caused an uproar, and the boy has been called the 'affluenza teen' ever since.

Violated Probation and Fled the Country Earlier This Month

Earlier in December, the 18-year-old and his mother disappeared and, according to authorities, the teenager was put on the most wanted fugitive list in Tarrant County, Texas. A warrant was also issued for his arrest.

The U.S. Marshals Service offered a $5,000 reward for information about the teen. Later, police came into possession of video showing the young man at a party, and likely violating his probation.

Last week, Sheriff Dee Anderson said that the teen and his mother might have left the country because their home had been emptied. The father of the boy, who was helping authorities, indicated that both of their passports were missing.

On Monday, a Tarrant County police representative said that the man was captured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. According to a news report by CNN, the teenager was with his mother in Mexico, and he will soon be handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Difficult Side of Probation

This case highlights how probation in lieu of jail time is not always the easy way out. There are a lot of strict rules one must follow on probation, and one misstep could put someone in serious trouble with the law -- and ultimately result in a more severe punishment than the person would have faced otherwise.

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