An arrest for a DWI in Houston can lead to serious consequences. Even a first-time DWI with no aggravating circumstances can lead to DWI penalties that include jail and a pretty steep fine. After your DWI arrest and when you are finally home and rethinking the arrest, your first worry may be about what this will do to your job or to your family. Those are important considerations, and so your second thought may be: how do I get these charges dismissed?
Getting DWI charges dismissed is not an easy thing, for sure – but it can be done. With the help of an experienced, committed, aggressive Board Certified DWI defense lawyer, your charges could be dismissed. Dismissal of the charges (or a DWI acquittal at trial) is Doug Murphy's goal. He develops a defense strategy with that in mind.
Of course, each case is different, but the important thing to remember is this: you can fight and win a DWI case in Houston, Texas. Here's an overview of how DWI charges could be dismissed in Houston prior to trial. If you have questions about your own DWI defense or have been arrested and want to start fast on a strong, aggressive defense, reach out to Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today.
Dismissal Begins with a Thorough Investigation into Your DWI Arrest in Houston, TX
Any criminal case rests on the thoroughness of the investigation. Evidence cannot be properly challenged or discovered without it. Doug Murphy has the resources and commitment to uncover any kernel of truth or bit of evidence that can help your DWI case.
To start the investigative process, questions like the following need to be answered.
Why were you pulled over? Do you know the exact reason why you were pulled over? Many times officers fail to identify a reason or just copy and paste from other police reports. Doug Murphy can identify when there are problematic signs, and if the officer had no reasonable suspicion to pull you over and/or conduct a DWI investigation, the traffic stop may have been unlawful.
What tests were given to you to determine you were unlawfully intoxicated and should be arrested? The police may ask you to perform field sobriety tests (FST). These tests are notoriously subjective and inaccurate. Besides those points, FSTs also have to be administered property. The same can be said for preliminary breath tests (PBTS) – these tests too are known to be inaccurate and aren't even allowed to be admitted into evidence, but can be used as probable cause for an arrest. Breath tests (those administered at the police station) and blood tests also must be administered properly, the sample must be handled properly, and the samples must be tested using properly maintained equipment. If you refused a breath test, a proper warrant must have been obtained, too, before blood is drawn for a blood test.
In general, did the police follow all protocols? As suggested already, the police must adhere to certain rules and protocols when conducting DWI tests and DWI arrests in Houston and elsewhere. For example, to not violate your constitutional rights, the police must conduct searches and seizures per specific guidelines and make an arrest only if probable cause is satisfied.
Are there any videos and what do they show? The police could have had dash cameras or cameras on their persons. There could also be surveillance video from the streets or any nearby structures. Witnesses could have also take a video with their smartphones or cameras in their cars. These videos need to be analyzed and compared to police testimony.
What do the police reports say? Many times the police just copy and paste information into their police reports. Looking for inaccuracies, errors, etc. can be important to a DWI case.
What did the police testify to at your administrative hearing? You should also request a hearing for your driver's license suspension. During this hearing, Doug Murphy will use it as his first opportunity to learn what kind of case the State may have against you and to lock in any testimony the police say. Sometimes, this testimony can be used against the police later.
Was there an accident, and if so, to what extent was the property damage or harm to other people? More importantly, who caused the accident? An accident reconstruction report can be created by an expert. This report can suggest – through concrete analysis – how the accident was actually caused.
There are many other areas of a DWI case that Doug Murphy may investigate. It is case-specific. The thing to know is that he has the skill and insight to recognize what needs to be investigated. And he will hold the State accountable.
Next Steps in the Criminal Process Toward Dismissal of DWI Charges in Houston
A thorough investigation and keen eye may reveal one of several common reasons or causes that lead to dismissals either by the prosecutor dropping the charges or the judge ordering a dismissal. It is important what happens next.
When appropriate, Doug Murphy will move the court to suppress evidence that flows from constitutional violations. He will negotiate hard with the prosecutor, pointing out serious weaknesses in the case. If the State, however, does not dismiss the case, then – again when appropriate – Doug Murphy will move the court for a dismissal based on insufficient evidence and other applicable reasons.
Doug Murphy is persistent in his efforts to get a dismissal. But in the event charges are not dismissed, he will fight on your behalf at trial to win an acquittal. But always, keep in mind, each case is different.
Caution: Plea Deals are Not the Same as "Case Dismissed"
In many cases, when the investigation turns up facts that could lead to a dismissal, the prosecutor may try to persuade an attorney to settle for a plea deal, and that attorney may then try to get you to accept the plea deal. It is important to remember what your original goal was: dismissal of the charges so that the impact the DWI arrest has on your career, family, and overall quality of life is minimal.
Most plea deals still end with you pleading guilty. Now, too, first-time DWI offenders can be offered deferred adjudication, but even with that, there are serious risks, and you can end up before a sentencing judge without the right to defend yourself (because you waived that right when you accepted the deferred adjudication program).
Where to Get Help if You Want to Try to Get Your DWI in Houston Dismissed?
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Houston, it is important to retain a lawyer who truly works for you, understands the impact a conviction will have on your life and knows how to strategically work the criminal justice system. You have rights. Doug Murphy upholds these rights. You can have a good defense. Doug Murphy will pursue a defense that is strong and viable. You also have a future. Doug Murphy will do what he can to make sure you suffer the least impact as possible from a DWI arrest.