Texas has an increasing problem with people driving while intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated in a 2016 report that 1,676 people died in DWI-related accidents, which is a 7 percent increase from the previous year. With the rising death toll, the District Attorney’s Office aggressively prosecutes people accused of DWI.
In addition, DWI laws in Texas are especially harsh. Even first-time offenders sometimes face court-ordered conditions including community service, DWI school and license suspension. You can also face expensive fines and possible incarceration. If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving while intoxicated, it’s important you visit this article for important information regarding DWI charges.
Attorney Explains 50 DWI Facts You Didn’t Know
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s imperative you contact a skilled attorney. A DWI conviction can cause you issues in the future. You could have problems obtaining loans, applying for housing, and gaining employment. Don’t let one night affect you years in the future without a fight. Call Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. for an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Our attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. have years of knowledge from Texas criminal courts. We possess the necessary skills and experience needed to defend your case. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. can look over your charges to identify any gaps made by law enforcement. In addition, we can keep you informed and walk you throughout the entire process to ensure you’re never in the dark.
Call us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represents people accused of crimes throughout the Houston area including Bellaire, Pasadena, Tomball and River Oaks.
Overview of 50 Texas DWI Facts
- 6 Things the Prosecutor Does Not Want You to Know
- 3 Things That Can Stop Your License from Being Suspended
- 5 Facts That Must Be Proven to Convict You of a DWI
- 3 Ways to Discredit the Testimony of Your Arresting Officer
- 5 Requirements for Chemical or Field Sobriety Testing to be Valid in Court
- 2 Things That Can Save Your License if You’re Convicted of a DWI
- 4 Preliminary Motions That Should be Filed for DWI
- 7 Defenses Your Attorney Can Use for Your Case
- 10 Questions Your Attorney Should Ask You
- 5 Items Crucial to Your Defense
- Additional Resources
6 Things the Prosecutor Does Not Want You to Know
It’s important to remember the District Attorney’s Office is a framework of prosecutors. The District Attorney is the chief prosecutor who leads a staff of prosecutors. They are under the authority of this chief prosecutor who is responsible for representing the state of Texas.
6 things the District Attorney doesn’t want you to know about your DWI case:
- They could agree that your charges should be reduced, but their superiors want them to prosecute the case;
- They may think the evidence supports your story, but still will try to convict you;
- They want you to submit to chemical or field sobriety testing because it makes the prosecution’s case a lot easier;
- They are planning to dismiss your case anyway once you’re at trial;
- They have the highest burden of proof; and
- In some cases, they are using confusing tactics to intimidate you into pleading guilty
3 Things That Can Stop Your License from Being Suspended
A common consequence from a DWI stop is to have your license suspended for a period of time. A DWI conviction automatically results in a license suspension for up to one year. If you refuse submit to chemical testing or field sobriety tests and fail, you’ll likely have your license suspended for up to 180 days. Repeat refusals will enhance the suspension for up to two years.
3 things you can do to stop your license from being suspended for a DWI:
- Ensure your arresting officer provided you with the appropriate paperwork about your driver’s license suspension (this is required of them);
- File an Administrative License Revocation hearing within 15 days of receiving your notice of suspension; and
- Be prepared to contest your suspension at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
5 Facts That Must Be Proven to Convict You of a DWI
The District Attorney’s Office has the hardest job of all because they must prove all the facts of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard of proof. All criminal offenses have specific elements outlined in the Texas Penal Code which the prosecution must prove.
5 elements the prosecution must prove to find you guilty of a DWI:
- You were operating a motor vehicle;
- The vehicle was being driven on Texas public roads;
- It was shown you were intoxicated by either;
- Your blood-alcohol concentration which was .08 or higher; and
- Your physical and mental faculties were impaired by drugs or alcohol.
3 Ways to Discredit the Testimony of Your Arresting Officer
One of the most important aspects of a DWI case is cross-examination. Your attorney will have a chance to ask questions to the District Attorney’s witnesses. The most significant of these will be the officer that arrested you. If your attorney is able to discredit their testimony, the prosecution’s case will be considerably weaker.
3 ways your attorney can discredit the officer who arrested you:
- Drawing out any inconsistent statements or failure to recollect;
- Pointing out missed procedures for chemical or field sobriety testing; and
- Having the officer admit to the jury they do sometimes make mistakes.
5 Requirements for Chemical or Field Sobriety Testing to be Valid in Court
The officer who arrested you may have used field sobriety tests or chemical tests to assess your impairment level. These tests have strict procedures and if they’re not followed the results could be deemed inadmissible in court. For a strong defense, it’s imperative your attorney is aware of the requirements for field sobriety tests and chemical tests.
5 requirements for chemical and field sobriety testing so they’re admissible in court:
- The officer is required to have a reasonable amount of suspicion you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Police officers can only ask you to submit to DWI testing or arrest you if they have probable cause;
- The officer is not allowed to force you to comply with chemical or field sobriety tests;
- Law enforcement are required to inform you of your rights before administering a chemical test; and
- If the officer plans to interrogate you, you must be arrested and have your Miranda Rights read to you during the arrest
2 Things That Can Save Your License if You’re Convicted of a DWI
A DWI conviction can bring a lot of grief, including a license suspension. If you’re convicted of a DWI, your license will be suspended for up to one year. Multiple DWI offenses may result in a two-year license suspension. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you can’t drive. An occupational license will allow you to drive for essential needs such as work, household errands and child care.
2 things that can help you drive again after a DWI conviction:
- Request an occupational license hearing with the DPS; and
- Hire an experienced attorney to contest your suspension
4 Preliminary Motions That Should be Filed for DWI
A motion is a formal request by your attorney to the court for a decision to be made about the case. The majority of motions are written and served in advance along with some kind of written legal argument that justifies the decision. Attorneys do the bulk of their work through motions, so they are incredibly important.
4 preliminary motions that should be filed in your DWI case:
- If you were unconstitutionally stopped, you need a motion to suppress evidence;
- If you endured an unconstitutional search, you need a motion to suppress evidence;
- If you were never given your Miranda Rights, you need a motion to suppress statements; and
- Your attorney should file a motion for discovery for all evidence
7 Defenses Your Attorney Can Use for Your Case
There are a multitude of ways to contest a DWI. It’s important you have a skilled attorney who can evaluate your case thoroughly. It’s their job to spot inconsistencies, unconstitutional practices and any other evidence to reduce or dismiss your charges.
7 defense tactics your attorney should utilize in a DWI case:
- Was the stop made without probable cause or reasonable enough suspicion;
- Were the field sobriety tests or chemical tests administered properly;
- Did the officer read you your Miranda rights during your arrest;
- Did any lab personnel contaminate your samples;
- Was the equipment used for your chemical testing outdated or not working;
- Were you subject to an illegal search and seizure; and
- Did external factors affect your field sobriety test results
10 Questions Your Attorney Should Ask You
It’s highly recommended you seek legal counsel if you’re charged with DWI. A skilled attorney should assess your case thoroughly, so they can find any mistakes made by law enforcement. It’s also important your attorney understands all the facts of the case, this will ensure they are prepared if the case goes to trial.
10 questions your attorney should ask you if you want to win your DWI case:
- What were you doing prior to the arrest;
- How many alcoholic beverages or drugs you consumed;
- Observations of the officer’s actions during the stop;
- The officer’s reasoning for stopping you;
- Were you asked or ordered to submit to DWI testing;
- If you submitted, what was your performance on the roadside tests;
- If you refused, what was the officer’s reaction;
- Any statements you made to the police officer;
- The results of your blood, urine or breath tests; and
- Were there witnesses to your arrest
5 Items Crucial to Your Defense
A driving while intoxicated offense can be tricky to defend. You may have caused property damage or injured someone, which can make the case even more complicated. Hiring an attorney experienced in DWI can significantly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your DWI charges.
5 items crucial to having a strong defense against DWI charges:
- A thorough investigation of the facts;
- Vigorous cross-examination of the District Attorney’s witnesses;
- Knowledge behind the science of chemical testing;
- An in-depth understanding of your constitutional rights; and
- Years of experience in DWI cases
Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about the driving while intoxicated statute. Access the laws to learn more about DWI penalties, enhanced DWI offenses and other alcohol-related crimes.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about administrative license revocation. Access the site to learn how to contest a license suspension, suspension periods and how hearing are conducted at DPS.
Lawyer Discusses 50 DWI Facts in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s important you gain legal representation. If you’re convicted, you could face community service, a license suspension, steep fines and even time behind bars. However, don’t panic because you have options.
You can hire an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. to represent you. Our attorneys are experienced in criminal defense with years of DWI defense practice. We will utilize all our resources, skills, and defense strategies to fight for your rights. Call today at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation.
We accept clients throughout the greater Houston area including Bellaire, West University Place and Pasadena.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.