It is no secret that the vast majority of arrests for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Houston occur during traffic stops. Typically, police officers will pull over a suspect for some sort of moving violation or infraction. This could include anything from speeding to driving with expired tags. If the officer at the traffic stop suspects the driver is intoxicated, they normally investigate the case and make an arrest immediately.
However, a driver that makes it home after drinking and driving may not necessarily be in the clear. While rare, it is possible for the police to arrest you for DWI in Houston after the fact. This is most likely following an accident where the suspected driver left the scene.
While these charges are possible, they are difficult for the state to prove. An arrest after the fact will not have a breath, blood, or urine test to rely on. In many cases, the prosecutor could have a difficult time even proving a person was driving, let alone intoxicated while doing so. If you have been charged after the fact with DWI in Houston, let attorney Doug Murphy evaluate the strength of the charges against you.
Texas Time Limit to File a Charge
The police are not limited to filing criminal charges moments, days, or even months after a supposed drunk driving incident. That said, it is unlikely a DWI charge will be delayed long. In most cases, the prosecutor will move forward on a charge even if the evidence provided by the police is thin.
There is a hard deadline for the filing of criminal charges in Texas. This deadline – called a Statute of Limitations – exists to protect people from unfair and lengthy delays in prosecution. Once this deadline passes, the State of Texas is forever barred from bringing a specific charge.
The statutory period begins to run from the moment a person is alleged to have driven while intoxicated. The amount of time the State has to bring charges varies, depending on the severity of the case. These time limits include:
- Two years for misdemeanor DWI charges
- Three years for felony DWI, DWI with a child passenger, or intoxication assault
- Unlimited time to file for DWI manslaughter.
Evidence The State of Texas May Use
Without a test result showing an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or a refusal to take such a test, police are often in a difficult position to prove that a person was intoxicated.
In these cases, their best evidence usually involves witness testimony regarding the amount they consumed. Video showing a person unsteady on their feet as they leave a bar could also be convincing. Ultimately, an admission of drinking by the defendant could put them in real jeopardy.
How a Houston DWI Board Certified Attorney Could Help
Prosecutors in Texas typically take the evidence handed to them by the police and move forward, regardless of how thin it is. This is common with misdemeanor crimes where the prosecutor has limited time to review each case. Board DWI Defense Attorney Doug Murphy understands the potential weaknesses of these cases and could help you prevail at trial on a delayed DWI charge. To learn more, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.