If you are facing criminal charges for DWI or related offenses, you probably have a lot of questions. Most of those questions generally involve uncertainty about how sobriety balance and coordination exercises, and/or blood alcohol (BAC) tests (e.g., breath or blood tests) will impact your case. Some of you may already assume that if you failed one or more of these tests, you are just-as-well convicted of the crime so might as well plead guilty.
Doug Murphy Law Firm wants you to know that:
- DWI is an opinion crime. It starts with the officer's opinion and ends with the jury's opinion. Field sobriety exercises are not based on facts or science;
- You are not guilty unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt regardless if you were not legally intoxicated but wrongfully accused, or if you committed a mistake by getting behind the wheel after having one too many drinks; and
- Doug Murphy is a Board-certified DWI and Board-certified criminal defense lawyer who pursues dismissal before trial or acquittal at trial by holding the prosecution and jury accountable to the principle of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt."
The Use of Sobriety Field Tests and Blood or Breath
The State's tools against you in a Texas DWI case are the results from a sobriety field test or breath or blood test to determine your BAC level. But these are also powerful sources for your defense.
Field sobriety tests are most often performed at DWI traffic stops. There must, however, be probable cause to (1) pull you over; and (2) request that you perform a field sobriety test. You are not required by law to perform the test, but if you do, there is specific protocol and procedures that the police officer must follow in order for the results to be admissible as evidence. Anything less than proper procedure provides space for an experienced DWI attorney to file a motion to suppress the evidence and/or to use it as a negotiating tool to get your charges dismissed.
Breath tests must also be conducted under strict procedures. In addition to adherence to strict procedures, breathalyzers must be maintained properly and serviced regularly. Apart from procedures and maintenance, breath tests themselves are not reliable and can be challenged.
Blood tests are generally the most accurate of all the tests, but here, too, there are problems. One specific problem is the chain of custody of the blood sample. Blood samples are handled by different personnel, and through this lengthy process, blood samples can be, for example, mixed or contaminated. Sometimes, too, DWI suspects refuse to provide a sample, and the prosecution may use this against the individual. Refusing to provide a blood sample is your right, though it can carry consequences with it just as giving a blood sample and being above the legal limit. Doug Murphy is prepared to counter this kind of evidence before or at trial.
To inform yourself of the specific challenges that can be made against these tests, take a moment to review Doug Murphy's pages on the same. He provides a detailed discussion of what the major issues are with these tests and how he may be able to use them to advance your defense. Please remember, however, that each case is different, and the facts will matter greatly to determine what defense works best for you. An experienced DWI attorney recognizes the same and will develop a strategic defense according to the specific circumstances of the DWI event.
Expectations of Legal Representation
You expect that your legal representative, your defense attorney, whether a public or private DWI defender, has your interests as the priority of your defense. Unfortunately for so many, this is not the case. These "defenders" will settle for a plea deal, and many DWI suspects accept it because (1) they assume the defense attorney knows what he or she is doing; and (2) they think the plea deal is the best they can get. That's simply not true. You likely can get a better deal, in fact, you can fight your case with the aim to have charges dismissed.
Doug Murphy has your interests as his priority. He knows we all make mistakes, and he knows, too, that police officers make mistakes. He knows the legal, procedural and technical aspects of DWI cases and fights for your rights and your freedom. There's a lot at stake when it comes to a DWI charge and subsequent conviction. Contact Doug Murphy, Board-certified DWI and Board-certified criminal defense attorney, today either online or at 713-229-8333 to discuss your case.