How do you get out of a DWI in Texas? Wouldn't everyone like to know the answer to that question! The most simple answer, of course, is: don't drink and drive. But we are adults. We can be responsible. We can have a drink and then drive safely home. Others, true, may have a drink too much. But that shouldn't mean he or she spends the rest of his or her life paying for it. So, if you don't want to pay the consequences of a DWI forever, you need to fight it.
But how? A lot of it comes down to: do we really trust the police or the results of field sobriety tests, breath tests, and blood tests? In a perfect world, maybe yes, we can trust them. But in our world, no, they are not to be trusted but should be challenged -- if you really want to uncover the truth of the matter. And therein lies the second part of beating a DWI in Texas: retaining the best DWI attorney for the job.
Doug Murphy has two decades of DWI experience. He has successfully taken case after case to trial that other lawyers refused to try. He has worked with the State, with the police, with forensic experts, and others, and has built strong relationships and a reputation for being persistent, knowledgeable and fearless. He knows the court system. He knows what juries expect, want, and don't want. He has the insight and the expertise to help you beat your DWI case in Harris County, Texas, or in any surrounding county. Contact his office today at (713) 229-8333 to learn more. In the meantime, get to know more about what it takes to beat a DWI in Texas.
In Texas DWI cases, what is it you need to beat?
If you are arrested for a DWI or DUI in Harris County, you need to keep in mind that it's not only the criminal aspect of a DWI or DUI you need to beat but an administrative license revocation (ALR) procedure against your driver's license that you also need to beat. Although the criminal and driver's license cases are separate in different courts, the overall strategy remains the same--use both to beat your DWI.
How to Beat an ALR Hearing in Texas?
A DWI arrest carries with it both criminal and civil penalties. In terms of civil penalties, an arrest means automatic license suspension. Your driver's license is confiscated at the time you are arrested and, at the time you are released, you are provided a pink paper, otherwise known as a notice of suspension. You have 15 days upon receipt of this notice to request an ALR hearing. At the ALR hearing, you will contest the suspension of your license. And you need a Houston DWI attorney for this. The purpose is threefold:
1. An ALR hearing is not a criminal hearing, but it feels and acts like one in many ways, including having specific rules to be followed. An experienced DWI attorney will know the rules and what the process is.
2. An ALR hearing is your opportunity to protect your driving privileges. Your DWI attorney will hold the State accountable for proving its case. Albeit, the State's burden of proof is much lower than it is during a criminal procedure, but it still must prove that you more than likely committed a DWI via a preponderance of the evidence. The State must have had a valid reason to pull you over and a valid reason to arrest you.
3. An ALR hearing is the perfect opportunity to get a good look into the State's DWI case against you. Your DWI attorney will use this hearing as an opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer and to force him to commit to his side of what happened.
So, in a Texas DWI case, your first step to beating a DWI is retaining an experienced DWI attorney who can provide a strong ALR defense. The second step is fighting the civil consequences of your DWI arrest.
How to beat a Texas DWI?
There are some attorneys who will make you believe they can help you beat your DWI, but to them, beating a DWI means accepting a plea deal. That's not beating a DWI charge, that's throwing in the towel. Beating a DWI is not trading one offense for another offense just so you can get a reduced sentence. Beating a DWI is not accepting a program, like deferred adjudication, where with one misstep, a guilty verdict stands and you get sentenced. In these situations, once you throw in the towel, it's settled. There is no going back and no opportunity to fight the DWI.
Beating a DWI can manifest in different forms. For the sake of organization, these “forms” are divided into two groups: (1) your actions and (2) the evidence.
Your Actions: What You Should Do to Beat a DWI Charge
There's a lot that you do before, during, and after a DWI event that can either mitigate the circumstances or aggravate a DWI event. By watching what you say and how you behave, you can improve your chances of beating a DWI.
Pre-Arrest Actions to Take to Beat a DWI Charge
The first thing to beating your DWI is knowing your rights. And you want to know these before you are arrested so you invoke those rights when needed. These rights are the core of your DWI defense and include important things like:
- The right to remain silent, including not incriminating yourself by speaking to the police without an attorney present.
- The right to retain a DWI defense attorney.
- The right to a jury trial.
- The right to defend yourself, including the right to contest:
- The constitutionality of the stop, i.e. there was reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- The constitutionality of the administration of roadside tests, i.e., the police administered the field sobriety tests properly.
- The constitutionality of the probable cause to arrest, i.e., there was cause to arrest you for drinking and driving.
- The constitutionality of the Miranda rights, i.e., they were properly and timely provided to you.
- The use of any blood or breath test, i.e., the breath or blood specimen was taken, handled, tested, and analyzed properly.
Apart from knowing your rights, things you should do prior to an arrest, even prior to a traffic stop, include:
- Adhering to all rules of the road;
- Maintaining control of your mental and physical faculties;
- Remaining polite because the police body cam or dash cam may be taping you; and
- Handing the officer your identification and insurance information without providing the officer any information on your evening, where you were, where you are going, what you were doing, among other information that could potentially be used against you.
Actions to Take When Under Arrest for a DWI Charge
If you failed field sobriety tests, failed a portable breath test, or otherwise indicated to the officer that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be placed under arrest. It is even more important during this time to:
- Remain silent; and
- Be on your best behavior.
Again, the reason for remaining silent is simple: because you can. It is your constitutional right to remain silent, so do not speak with the risk of incriminating yourself. The police are smart. They will try to persuade you that they are doing you a favor… just give them a little information. Unwittingly, you provide that little bit of information and thus just did them a favor, not yourself.
And you want to be on your best behavior because, again, you may be videotaped. The videotapes will be submitted as evidence. How you act will influence the jury's opinion of you.
Post-Arrest Actions to Take to Beat a DWI Charge
After you have been arrested, keep these things in mind:
- Do not refuse a breath test. Blood tests are generally more reliable and therefore more difficult to challenge.
- After you have been released from jail, do not post anything on social media about it. The police search these sites for evidence.
- Likewise, do not tell anyone about what happened, specifically if you drank alcohol and how much you drank. You do not want to create any witnesses that the State can call against you.
In addition to common sense acts, contact a Board Certified DWI attorney. Doug Murphy will review your case and begin investigating it immediately to ensure there is ample time to build a strong, strategic defense to beat your Texas DWI charge.
The Evidence: What Your Board Certified DWI Attorney Will Do to Beat a Harris County DWI Charge
There is a lot of physical evidence that can be used in addition to the expert and layperson testimony. Here's what to know about the evidence to help you beat your DWI charge in Texas.
The Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are not scientific. They are created by the police for the police. They are primarily subjective in nature. They must also be strictly administered according to the guidelines. There are many different ways these tests can be challenged and videos of the DWI event may be used to support those challenges.
The Breath & Blood Tests
Determining intoxication is more complex than a breath or blood test would have you believe. Many times, especially with breath tests, a positive result can be the product of something other than alcohol, like a health condition, a particular diet, or even recent use of mouthwash. Other times the results are the result of bad toxicology, bad mishandling, and/or bad administration of the tests. For example, the intoxilyzer is a machine that needs to be handled properly and calibrated regularly. If not, the results could be inaccurate and vulnerable to a motion to suppress or may be used to inspire doubt among jurors.
The Police Report
The police report establishes the time, date, and reason for the traffic stop and subsequent arrest. So, via the police report, your attorney may be able to identify if reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop and if probable cause for the arrest both existed. If not, Doug Murphy will build a case to move the court to dismiss the case if either is lacking.
The police report also provides the police officer's report of what happened and a list of any witnesses and what they had to say if anything. This information can prove to be quite useful, too. It just depends on the circumstances and how good your DWI attorney is. Doug Murphy has reviewed thousands of police reports. He knows what to look for and how to determine what information is absent and what that may mean for your case.
The Police Recordings
Nowadays, the police are wearing cameras as much as they are using dash cams. So, if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, chances are: you are being recorded. And chances are if you perform well on the video -- you are polite, your behavior is unremarkable, you are otherwise acting normally -- then if the police try to state you failed the field sobriety tests, it is hard for a jury to believe it in the face of visual contradiction.
Body and dash cams can prove very beneficial to your defense. But that's why you need to be on your best behavior. Smile! Because you are likely on camera.
The Expert Testimony
A good, knowledgeable DWI attorney will know how to cross-examine expert witnesses, including police officers and forensic specialists. Finding inaccuracies, contradictions, and other relevant information can be important to weaken the State's case against you. Offering counter expert testimony can also be very important.
The Layperson Testimony
Laypersons are just like you or any other person: they remember, they forget, they get confused, among other things. A good, experienced DWI attorney will know how to handle these witnesses. Doug Murphy can read jurors and laypersons. He will gently but assertively ask questions. He will expose any witness who is not credible. He will provide testimony that is in your favor. He will be strategic and specific.
Second, Third, or More DWI Convictions: Are they also Beatable in Texas?
The answer is: yes. Of course, due to prior convictions, there are assumptions and pre-judgments that make the fight, especially in front of a jury, more difficult. That said, they can be won. It just takes a little more preparation and a little more convincing. But with an attorney who can provide a compelling argument and has proven to do so, you have a good chance at beating the charge.
Beat Your DWI Charge: Contact an Aggressive, Resourceful Board Certified DWI Attorney
Anyone can get arrested for a DWI, that includes law enforcement agents themselves. This is a crime that is never planned. And though anyone can get arrested for a DWI, not everyone can defend a DWI charge. That takes planning, and lots of it -- along with skill, knowledge, and strategy.
Doug Murphy has the courtroom skills and the scientific knowledge required to understand breath and blood tests. Doug Murphy has the resources and the insight to win DWI cases. He does not back down. He fights. And he will continue to fight each day on behalf of hard-working people who are indeed innocent or who deserve a second chance. Contact Doug Murphy today at (713) 229-8333 to beat your DWI charge.