The financial and emotional strain around DWI can be exhausting. A conviction can lead you to immense fines and even time behind bars. Not only this, but your sentence could include additional conditions such as DWI classes, community service, and probation. DWI charges are overwhelming, but they can be fought. You can challenge DWI charges in a variety of ways with the help of an experienced attorney. A skilled attorney can assess your case to uncover all your available options. They can negotiate with prosecution on plea deals or aggressively battle for you in trial if necessary. Don’t agonize over your DWI for another moment. If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s imperative you contact a skilled attorney.
Attorneys Explains How to Fight a DWI in Texas
Texas is infamous for having some of the most restrictive DWI laws in the U.S. You could be saddled with fines and possible incarceration. This doesn’t even include the social consequences to your employment, education or personal relationships. If you’ve been charged with DWI, then it’s time to act now. Contact an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. for quality legal representation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. is a group of criminal defense attorneys with a special focus in DWI law. We strive to provide quality legal service in everything we do. This includes collecting evidence, filing motions, subpoenaing crucial witnesses and fighting for you in court. Additionally, our firm founder Tyler Flood has been designated as an ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientist. The award is only given to people who possess an in-depth understanding of the science behind a DWI, meaning he is capable of analyzing evidence-gathering procedures for DWIs as they relate to the specifics of each case. Act now by calling (713) 224-5529 for a case evaluation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Tomball, Houston, Bellaire and Pasadena. Overview on How to Avoid a DWI Conviction
- Be Polite and Don’t Resist
- Stay Silent If You’re Arrested
- Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
- Say No to Breath Analysis, Urinalysis and Blood Analysis
- File a Request for an ALR Hearing
- Hire Quality Legal Representation
- Additional Resources
1. Be Polite and Don’t Resist
It’s natural to panic during a DWI stop, especially if you’ve been drinking. Despite this, it’s imperative you don’t insult, flee or resist the officer. Avoiding an arrest will only aggravate your situation. You could face additional charges such as evading or resisting arrest, which also carries criminal penalties. Courtesy can get you a long way. Being polite and friendly throughout the exchange could help you avoid DWI charges. If you’ve been drinking, then it’s important you don’t speak more than necessary. Not only could you incriminate yourself if you’re arrested, but the officer is looking for signs of intoxication. If you have alcohol on your breath, you’ll probably be arrested because the officer has probable cause you’ve been drinking.
2. Stay Silent If You’re Arrested
It can feel like the world is ending when you’re charged with DWI. However, it’s important to understand you have rights in the legal justice system. These rights cannot be invalidated, no matter how guilty you are. If you’ve been pulled over for DWI, it’s highly recommended you exercise you right to remain silent. Once the handcuffs click behind you, anything you said can be used against you in court. Even passing statements can be evidence for the prosecution. A way to avoid further incriminating yourself is to remain silent and ask for an attorney. No police officer can force you to talk even if they use intimidating tactics. You can hire an attorney to advise or speak for you during police interrogations. It’s likely that law enforcement won’t even bother to question you after you’ve retained legal counsel.
3. Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
Texas law enforcement use field sobriety testing to determine if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol. The tests are a series of physical exercises designed to measure your physical and mental faculties. While you may see a variety of field sobriety testing on the internet, only three field sobriety tests are admissible in court. These are the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus A suspicious police officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests. If this happens, it’s extremely important that you refuse. Field sobriety testing is by no means flawless. Many sober people have reported failing field sobriety testing because of a variety of factors. Something as simple as wearing the wrong pair of shoes could influence your test results. Refusing field sobriety tests also means you’re not giving the prosecution any ammo. The District Attorney will use dashcam or police reports of your field sobriety tests results in court. However, if you refuse testing the prosecution will have only objective evidence against you.
4. Say No to Breath Analysis, Urinalysis or Blood Analysis
Another form of DWI testing is chemical testing, which includes breath analysis, urinalysis and blood analysis. All three tests are designed to measure blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) or the number of grams of alcohol per:
- 210 liters of breath;
- 67 milliliters of urine; or
- 100 milliliters of blood
The majority of attorneys would advise you not to submit to chemical testing. Chemical testing has been known to give misleading results due to a multitude of factors. Samples can be contaminated by lab personnel or not handled properly. Additionally, the equipment used to measure your BAC may be outdated or poorly maintained. The risk of chemical testing isn’t worth the chance. It’s important you remember refusing chemical testing has consequences. Texas has implemented a set of laws called implied consent laws. This statute states you’re agreeing to comply with testing by law enforcement if you’re using Texas public roads. Violating implied consent laws will lead to a license suspension, which includes:
- 180 days for a first refusal; and
- 2 years for a second or subsequent refusal
You must also be aware that refusing chemical testing can result in an arrest. The officer may decide to arrest you on the grounds of probable cause. Probable cause is when an officer has a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances, that a crime did or is about to take place. The officer could take your refusal as proof you’re intoxicated. Any time spent in jail is overwhelming, but it may be the best option for you. You’ll only be detained for a short time and the prosecution will have no concrete evidence against you. It’s much easier to fight DWI charges if the prosecution doesn’t have any chemical testing evidence.
5. File a Request for an Administrative License Revocation Hearing
If you refused or failed chemical testing, your license will be suspended for a period of time. The suspension is an administrative penalty from you violating implied consent laws, which means you can contest it. However, you must act quickly. You only have 15 days to file a request for an administrative license revocation hearing. At the hearing, your attorney can challenge your license suspension. An administrative license revocation is also a good opportunity to question your arresting officer. The prosecution won’t be present at the hearing, so the officer won’t be prepped for vigorous questioning. In addition, the transcripts from the hearing could be used as evidence if the court allows it.
6. Hire Quality Legal Representation
Driving while intoxicated is a common charge with complicated legislation. There is little to no room for mistakes when fighting for your future. To ensure your success, it’s imperative you contact an experienced DWI attorney. Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges. A skilled attorney should build a strong DWI defense by:
- Having an in-depth understanding of DWI;
- Knowing the scientific aspect of DWI;
- Thoroughly investigating all the facts of your case;
- Subpoenaing important witnesses or information;
- Filing crucial preliminary motions;
- Cross-examining the District Attorney’s witnesses; and
- Being experienced in both ALR hearings and DWI cases
DWI Task Force – Visit the official website of the Houston Police Department to learn more about their DWI Task Force. Access the site to learn about DWI statistics, how to prevent crime and their contact information. Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Penal Code to learn more about driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws. Access the statute to learn the charge specifics, penalties and aggravating factors for driving while impaired.
Lawyer Discusses How to Avoid a DWI in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s crucial you gain skilled legal representation. Your attorney can evaluate your case and create a strong defense plan for you. They can also fight your license suspension, so you can retain your driving privileges. Call us now at (713) 224-5529 to speak to an experienced attorney. We are passionate about defending others with DWI charges. Our attorneys want to ensure you get your life back. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston area and surrounding communities such as River Oaks, Bellaire, Pasadena and Uptown.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.