If the police arrest you for a DWI, you have rights. We've all seen the legal dramas, and we know that we're innocent until proven guilty. As a result, you may assume that the police and prosecutors will treat you as innocent accordingly. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. On Thanksgiving day, UFC welterweight Geoff Neal was arrested for DWI, demonstrating the due process that everyone should receive after an arrest.
Arrest for DWI and Weapons Charges
Police arrested Neal in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving for DWI ad unlawfully carrying a weapon in Texas. Neal's attorney stated that he volunteered for a blood test at the time of his arrest, and they believe the results will exonerate him. The results could take anywhere from six weeks to six months to come back. His attorney wasn't aware of the probable cause for the arrest because police had not yet released the arrest report to him.
The prosecutors won't produce a case file until those results come back. His attorney also explained that Neal was legally carrying a licensed weapon in his car and was only charged because it is illegal to have a firearm in your possession while committing a crime. Prosecutors will drop the weapons charge if his BAC is below .08%.
A Typical Texas DWI Arrest
Typically, the police can't pull you over for no reason in Texas. Rather, they must have reasonable suspicion that you've committed a crime to stop you. The crime can be a traffic violation like running a red light, speeding, failing to yield, or switching lanes without signaling.
After stopping your car, the police will observe your behavior, speech, and demeanor during your stop. If they suspect you are driving while intoxicated, they will ask you to perform several field sobriety tests. One of the most common field sobriety tests involves asking the suspect to walk a line, heel to toe as if walking a tightrope. Another involves standing on one leg and balancing for 30 seconds. After observing your physical reactions during field sobriety tests, the police may ask you to submit to a breath or blood test to measure your blood alcohol content.
To arrest you, search your car or your person, or obtain a BAC test without your consent, the police will need “probable cause.” Probable cause is a more stringent standard than reasonable suspicion, requiring the police to have a reasonable belief, considering the facts and circumstances, that you've committed a crime.
Hire a Texas DWI Expert
It's important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Even if the police arrest you for DWI, an experienced DWI can challenge every step of your stop, police observations, field sobriety tests, and BAC testing. That's why it's so important to make sure you have an expert in DWI defense protecting your rights and your due process.
Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in Criminal Defense Law and DWI Defense. He is one of only two attorneys in Texas Board Certified in both these specialties, making him an authority in DWI litigation recognized by his peers. Recently, Best Lawyers in America also named Doug a “Lawyer of the Year” for Houston DWI defense. Find out how he can help you. Give the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. a call today at 713-229-8333, or contact them online to schedule your consultation.