A Houston driver was arrested for driving while impaired after driving the wrong way down the Southwest Freeway. Police caught up with the driver at the Kirby exit, where the vehicle was parked in the main lanes of the highway. The driver's doors were locked and he was asleep inside his vehicle. After being woke up and failing a field sobriety test, the man was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired.
While the example above is a case where police may have investigated a person for DWI lawfully, it is always important to know your rights during a DWI investigation. Here is a reminder on the Fourth Amendment as it pertains to your rights and DWI charges in Texas.
DWI Charges and the Fourth Amendment
Each and every person in the United States is guaranteed certain rights by the United States Constitution. Among these rights are those afforded by the Fourth Amendment, which states that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." When put into effect with respect to driving, the Fourth Amendment protects a person from being pulled over by a law enforcement officer for no valid reason. Instead, an officer must have reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation or other offense has been committed.
Actions like speeding excessively or swerving in and out of a lane are traffic violation that can lead to a traffic stop. They are also indicators to an officer trained in DWI detection that a person may be driving while impaired.
What Happens if a Police Officer Didn't Have Reasonable Suspicion to Pull Me Over?
If your criminal defense attorney is able to prove that your arresting officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, a court can exclude evidence that supports you driving while impaired under the "exclusionary rule." In essence, your attorney can assert that since the officer did not have a valid reason for your stop, any evidence flowing from that constitutional violation is spoiled by the improper traffic stop, including evidence of any impairment.
A state prosecutor relies on evidence from a traffic stop showing that you were driving while impaired in order to make his or her case against you. If your attorney is able to successfully exclude such evidence, a prosecutor's case can become so weak that he or she may be forced to drop the criminal charges pending against you.
Charged with DWI in Texas? Contact Doug Murphy Today
If you have been arrested for driving while impaired in Texas, the best decision that you can make for your case is to enlist the help of a competent DWI defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of DWI charges in the state. As one of only two Texas attorneys in the state of Texas to receive board certification in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Doug Murphy is dedicated to providing Texans with the legal experience they need to fight against their DWI charge. Don't wait until it is too late to defend against your charge--fill out an online contact form or call (713) 229-8333 today.