The consequences of DWI in Texas can be very harsh. With the help of an experienced Houston DWI attorney, you can avoid those consequences and protect your future. Contacting the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is the best thing you can do after you or someone you love has been arrested on suspicion of DWI.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our Houston DWI attorneys. We will review the details of your alleged crime, determine the best strategy for defense, and explain how we will fight to win your DWI case.
Hire an Attorney You Can Trust
What will it take to win a DWI case in Houston? First, you must hire an attorney you trust who has relevant experience, an established and demonstrated record of success, and the tools that are required to navigate a complex legal case. Your choice of attorney will be crucial to the ultimate success of your case. If you want to win, you need Board Certified DWI Specialist Doug Murphy by your side.
Doug Murphy is one of two attorneys in the state of Texas who is formally board certified in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, and also board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Why are these accreditations and certifications important to your DWI case? Simply put: these accolades recognize Attorney Doug Murphy as one of the pre-eminent DWI defense attorneys in the state of Texas. These accolades mean that he has proven to be a fierce and successful advocate for his clients. His in-depth understanding of the law, unique approach to DWI defense, and tenacious legal strategies have helped to set him apart from other DWI attorneys in Houston.
The best way to win a DWI case is to have solid legal representation. When you hire Doug Murphy to handle your Houston DWI case, that's exactly what you'll get.
Arguments Used to Win DWI Cases
Hiring an attorney is the first step in successfully defeating criminal DWI charges in Houston. The next step is recognizing the arguments and defenses that can be the best tools for the job. Remember, you can only be convicted of a crime if the state can prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney's job is not only to gather evidence and information to prove that you have not committed a crime but also to attack the state's case against you. Introducing doubt as to your guilt can be just as powerful a tool as proving your innocence.
Challenge the Validity of the Traffic Stop
Police can't simply pull you over because they feel like it. In Texas, police must see you commit a driving offense (e.g., speeding, failure to use a turning signal) or have reasonable suspicion to believe that you've violated the law to execute a traffic stop. Reasonable suspicion is less than probable cause, but more than a hunch. Police must have “specific and articulable facts” from which “rational inferences” of misconduct can be drawn. In other words, police must have some kind of evidence to make them believe that you've violated the law.
In the context of DWI, reasonable suspicion may exist if you change speeds frequently, drive below the speed limit, or have difficulty maintaining your lane. These may not necessarily be driving infractions but could lead a reasonable officer to believe that something is wrong.
One way that a DWI case can be won is by attacking the validity of the traffic stop itself. If police cannot articulate why they pulled you over and/or provide some sort of rationale, the evidence and charges against you cannot stand. Your attorney will force police to prove it had a lawful reason to stop your vehicle. If the state can't back up its actions, you can win your DWI case.
Challenge the Validity of Chemical Tests and Results
Breath tests and blood tests are given after a person is arrested and are frequently used to prove that a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of driving. If the state is relying on the results of breath or blood test in your case, it is important to hire a qualified lawyer who knows how to successfully attack the validity of breath or blood results and demonstrate reasonable doubt as to the accuracy and reliability of those tests.
Breath Tests: Breath tests are inherently unreliable. The Intoxilyzer 9000 is a one-size-fits-all approach to breath testing that does not fit the average person because the average person doesn't exist. The Intoxilyzer 9000 makes many assumptions that are rarely true in any given case. The manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer 9000 put many safeguards in place to prevent false errors causing a person from a machine reading that a person is intoxicated even when they are not. Texas Department of Public Safety dismantled those safeguard when they placed the Intoxilyzer 9000 machines into service. DPS is using these machines in a way that they were not manufactured to be used. This is one of many reasons we have been able to demonstrate and persuade juries that these breath test machines are unreliable and not to be trusted. If the machine itself is not cared for in a very particular way, the reliability of any test results will be questionable, at best.
There are also many factors that can affect the reliability of breath tests, including substances in the mouth, diet, medication, age, weight, and the type of breath used to perform the analysis. The more factors that are in play in your case, the better the chances of undermining the validity of the results.
Blood Tests: Blood tests are generally more reliable than breath tests if everything is done correctly. However, many mistakes do frequently happen that compromise the validity of blood test results. There are many people are involved in the chain of custody of blood, and mistakes and accidents occur with greater frequency than one would expect. The best results occur when attorneys attack the pre-analytical error, and the blood test procedures and protocols, themselves. Blood tests must be performed in compliance with strict rules, and any deviation can result in an unreliable result.
Questioning the chain of custody can also be an effective tool in challenging blood testing. The chain of custody refers to the paper trail documenting where your blood sample has been, who has had access to it, and when. The chain of custody is vital. If the chain of custody is broken, meaning that there is a gap in the paper trail and timeline, the validity of the evidence comes into question. This doubt can invalidate evidence or simply add to the doubt that your attorney is building.
Challenge the Reliability of Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are used to help police determine if a driver is intoxicated. Many times, however, police are not properly trained in how to implement these tests or have forgotten this vital training. If a test is not administered properly, the accuracy of any results will not be reliable. Police have an obligation to make sure that tests are accurate indicators of a driver's impairment. This can include taking specific steps to ensure that no outside factors or elements affect the test. If you performed poorly in field sobriety tests, you can argue that any of the following factors can be used to explain the results:
- Uneven or sloped surfaces
- Road conditions
- Poor lighting
- Inclement weather (e.g., rain, wind, hail)
- Footwear (e.g., flip-flops, sandals, heels), or
- Officer intimidation and related anxiety.
If you're generally a clumsy person who is not particularly coordinated, you can also use this to defend a failure of field sobriety tests. Sober people fail these exercises even when not impaired.
Introduce Contradictory Evidence
Just because the state has evidence to show that you were intoxicated does not mean that it is accurate. If you've been arrested on suspicion of DWI and strongly disagree with that assessment, you may want to consider getting a blood test of your own. While this blood test will be taken after your DWI stop, and therefore not be as accurate as on-the-spot testing, it can be a powerful tool in fighting your criminal DWI charges.
Your attorney can draw inferences from your blood tests results to show that you were not intoxicated at the time of your arrest. For example, let's say you were arrested for DWI with a breath test that showed you had a BAC of .08 percent. Two hours later you get a blood test of your own which reflects a BAC of .04 percent. Your attorney could take these results and argue that there is no way your BAC could have dropped from .08 percent to .04 percent in a matter of two hours. Blood tests are generally more trustworthy than breath tests, which will help your argument. While this may not be proof positive that you're innocent of DWI, it can help to cast doubt as to your guilt.
Houston Criminal DWI Attorney
Have you or someone you love recently been arrested for DWI in Houston? If so, it important to understand that the consequences of a DWI conviction can be very severe. A strong and persuasive criminal defense can help to minimize the consequences of your arrest and protect you from harsh penalties. The best defense will be led by an experienced and qualified Houston criminal DWI attorney.
Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to schedule a free case evaluation. Our Houston DWI attorneys know that your future is in jeopardy and will fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. It's important to act quickly, so do not hesitate to call us for help now.