Your release after a DWI arrest while you await blood test results is a good thing. Cite and release arrests for DWI in Texas have rarely been done, however, in some instances when a person consents to a blood draw, police will release the person to a sober detox facility. The police wait for the blood test results. If the blood test results are above the legal limit for alcohol (or if impairing substances are found), legal charges are then filed and a to be warrant is issued for your arrest.
What can you do in the meantime to improve your chances of no charges being filed? You may have already taken the right immediate actions after your DWI arrest, like remaining silent rather than speaking to police and posting a bail bond t to secure your release. You may already be busy satisfying the conditions for bond that the judge may have imposed for your release. If you have navigated these important first steps, obtaining your release, then you already know that your attitude, decisions, and actions are likely to be important to the successful defense of your DWI charge. Yet there you are, awaiting blood test results. And you may be thinking that you must have something more and something better that you can do than to simply wait for the proverbial shoe to drop. Blood test results are important, but they are not the only important thing. You have other important things you can and should do while awaiting blood test results.
Make the Best Use of Your Time
That's right: make the best use of your time awaiting blood test results on your DWI charge--seek a board certified DWI defense attorney specialist. A board certified DWI specialist can discuss with you options of potentially making a decision to revoke and rescind any consent you allegedly provided to law enforcement to take your blood. This is your decision and you decision alone to make. This decision must be voluntary, intelligently made free of any psychological and physical coercion. Believe it or not, what you do with your life outside of the DWI proceeding can significantly impact the outcome of your DWI charge. If, for instance, you make a mess of your life, ignoring your health, family, and job or business while awaiting blood test results, then you are not helping yourself. If you ignore your other basic responsibilities because of your pending DWI charge, then you may lose important sources of structure and support that could have helped convince a judge, prosecutor, or another official to give you a well-earned opportunity, plea bargain, charge or sentence reduction, or other breaks. Your release awaiting blood test results has given you the opportunity not only to address your DWI charge but also to continue on with your life. Your release may mean returning home to care for family members and returning to work to earn an income. These are all good things. Keep your figurative and literal house in order, and you'll have done yourself a good thing. But you need a DWI specialist to fight for your rights before charges are filed.
Police Right to Draw Blood for DWI Testing
Consider a couple of points explaining why you are awaiting blood test results before thinking about what you should do while you wait. First, you are certainly not alone if you are awaiting blood test results on a DWI charge. More significantly, you may not have done anything at all wrong, either in committing a DWI or in submitting to a blood draw. The police may also have violated your constitutional rights when drawing your blood without a warrant and without consent. Texas Transportation Code §724.012 used to permit police to draw your blood without your consent and without a warrant if the officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The same code section even required the officer to draw blood if the DWI suspect was in an accident in which someone died, suffered serious bodily injury, or was taken to a hospital or other medical facility for medical treatment. But the U.S. Supreme Court in Missouri v McNeely held a similar statute unconstitutional as a violation of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Police would have needed to go get a warrant from the magistrate before drawing your blood if you did not consent.
Waiting on Blood Test Results
Make no mistake: your blood test results are important. Your blood test results are likely going to affect your DWI defense strategies, one way or another. Texas DWI crimes include specific charges that rely on blood test results. Those charges include first DWI with a blood test, second DWI with a blood test, third (felony) DWI with a blood test, and fourth DWI with a blood test. Blood test results matter as an element of these DWI charges. Of course, results below the .08 legal limit for a Texas blood test DWI charge are generally a good thing. Blood test results below the legal limit can warrant dismissal of the blood test charge. But favorable blood test results do not necessarily mean dismissal or abandonment of all DWI charges. Prosecutors may decide to rely on other evidence of intoxication. Prosecutors may charge other DWI crimes that do not require blood test results exceeding the legal limit. And results above .15 blood alcohol level could mean a more serious Class A misdemeanor charge. Bad results can increase the charge, just as much as good results can defeat, weaken, or change the charge. Blood test results aren't everything to a DWI charge, but they matter. You may be on pins and needles waiting for your blood test results.
Your Right to Learn of Blood Test Results
Your delay in learning your blood test results may have you wondering whether police and prosecutors can conceal your blood test results from you. They cannot. You have the right to learn of your blood test results. Texas Transportation Code §724.018 provides, “On the request of a person who has given a specimen at the request of a peace officer, full information concerning the analysis of the specimen shall be made available to the person or the person's attorney.” When you or your Texas DWI defense attorney ask for your blood test results, police and prosecutors must give those results to you. You will learn, sooner or later. And that right is important. Your blood test results may incriminate you, but they may conversely exonerate you. Either way, you need and want to know. If the results are bad, then you need to prepare to challenge the results through your DWI defense. If the results are good, then you need to prepare to use those good results in your DWI defense. Retain premier Texas DWI attorney Doug Murphy to obtain your blood test results for you and to help you apply the strategies to put those results to your best DWI defense.
How Long You May Wait for Blood Test Results
After a DWI charge involving a blood test, you are soon going to hear the results of your DWI blood test. But how soon? The answer can depend on who took your test and under what circumstances. A hospital test, often taken when the DWI defendant has suffered an injury, returns swift results. But tests that police administer at the station after an ordinary DWI arrest can take much longer. The drawn blood may have to make its way to a state laboratory with a history of serious backlogs due to a lack of sufficient numbers of analysts. Test results may be available within ten days of arrest, or they may take a couple of weeks. In extraordinary cases, test results have taken months. You will hear, but you don't necessarily know when. The point, then, is to make the best use of your time while awaiting blood test results on your DWI charge. Here are key steps to take to defend and defeat your DWI charge while you await blood test results.
Get Past the Shock of a DWI Arrest
First, you must get past the shock of your DWI charge so that you can turn your attention to your effective defense. Don't be a deer in the headlights of a DWI charge. A DWI arrest can certainly shock the system. Expect to feel that shock and to deal with its confusing effects. A DWI arrest's fear, fright, shock, and confusion can be especially disconcerting for a first-timer who has never before faced arrest. When Texas police arrest you for a DWI and draw your blood, they will likely release you pending blood test results. As soon as the arrest's shock wears off, you need to educate yourself to take the right action promptly. You need to clear your head and start thinking. Your release starts the clock ticking on some critical decisions. You need to know what to do after your DWI arrest. You need to take the right actions and make the right decisions. Only with the right information and a clear head can you make the right decisions. To help you get past the shock of a DWI charge, and to start thinking properly about your winning DWI defense, retain premier Texas DWI attorney Doug Murphy. Attorney Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers holding both DWI Board Certification and Criminal Law Certification.
Don't Rely on the Authorities
A second thing to keep in mind while awaiting blood test results on a DWI charge is that the criminal justice system makes the authorities your adversaries, not your friends. The police who arrested you and the prosecutors who are handling your case are not trying to be fair and balanced. They are trying to charge and convict. Police and prosecutors know the disadvantage at which a DWI arrest puts the defendant. And although you have clear and helpful rights when arrested for a DWI, police and prosecutors can be only too willing for you to misunderstand, underestimate, forget, and forgo those rights. You may get some information from the police and prosecutor who charged you with a DWI, but that information could well be unhelpful and incomplete. What you know can help you. What you don't know can hurt you. Don't rely on the authorities. Get your own independent advice. Promptly retain Best Lawyers in America's 2021 Lawyer of The Year attorney Doug Murphy. Rely on attorney Murphy's advice and counsel, not on incomplete information you receive from adversarial authorities. Let attorney Murphy respond to the authorities as your advocate. Don't rely on your adversaries.
Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent
A third thing to remember while awaiting blood test results on your DWI charge is to rely on your right to remain silent. Don't speak to police, investigators, or prosecutors. You've probably heard of your Miranda rights. The police may have told you at your DWI arrest that you have the right to remain silent. The police may have told you that they will use anything you tell them against you. According to the landmark 1966 Miranda v Arizona case, the police must tell you those rights before any custodial interrogation, or they don't get to use your incriminating answers. Other than confirming your name and address, you generally don't have to speak with the police. You don't have to answer questions but may instead remain silent. Use those rights. Those rights are there to protect you. Police can be good at inducing your conversation. They have a purpose, and that purpose is to investigate and prove a crime. It's not your role or responsibility to help them prove your own guilt. Far better to remain silent. Retain Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy to communicate with the authorities.
Attend Your Arraignment
When facing a Texas DWI charge, you need to understand the DWI procedures, including your first court appearance. You need to know the significance of your court arraignment. Police may have taken you to the station for booking after your arrest. But you need to learn the exact nature of the DWI charges against you. You also need to hear of your other important rights. You also need to enter a plea, let the court know of your plans to retain an attorney, secure your release, and learn of any terms or conditions of that release. All of these things and more occur at your arraignment. Your first court appearance on your DWI charge will be your arraignment. You need to attend your arraignment. You also need to conduct yourself at the arraignment in the manner best fitting to your successful defense. That best approach begins with remaining silent as to the circumstances leading to your arrest. You should also indicate your desire to retain premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy to represent you.
Plead Not Guilty at Arraignment
You will also need to enter a plea at your arraignment. The court will ask how you plead to the DWI crime or crimes that the court has described for you. The court will give you these three choices:
● guilty, meaning that you admit that you committed the acts constituting the DWI crime and that you are giving up your right to challenge the evidence, assert constitutional and statutory rights, and have a jury of your peers decide;
● not guilty, meaning that you refuse at this time to admit to all the acts constituting the DWI crime and that you instead intend to rely on your constitutional, statutory, and procedural rights to have the prosecutor prove each element of the charged crime;
● no contest, meaning that you will not dispute that you committed the acts constituting the DWI crime and that you are giving up your right to challenge the evidence, assert constitutional and statutory rights, and have a jury decide, but that you do not admit civil liability relating to the crime.
When you face arraignment on the DWI charge, do not plead guilty, and do not plead no contest. Instead, plead not guilty. Then, retain premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy to help you with your best DWI defense.
Why Plead Not Guilty
Many DWI defendants make the mistake of pleading guilty at arraignment rather than not guilty. They may feel that, in fact, they have done something wrong, or they may believe that things will go better for them if they admit to all charges whether they did something wrong or not. Don't think of all the reasons to plead guilty. Instead, think of the plain reason to plead not guilty. At this earliest stage of your court proceeding, you do not have the advice, information, and evidence you need to know what is your best option. That's why pleading anything other than not guilty is generally an unwise, even foolhardy, decision. Even if you believe that you were, in fact, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, you very likely do not know the level of your impairment, the lawfulness of the police stop, the reliability of the prosecution's alleged evidence, your option for deferred adjudication, and other things critical to an informed decision on the charges. You need to know these things before you can make an intelligent decision. You need to retain national speaker and premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy to help you get these answers. To make an informed decision, plead not guilty at arraignment.
Request an ALR Hearing Within 15 Days
Another thing to keep in mind while awaiting blood test results on your DWI charge is that you have an administrative matter that you will likely need to pursue. And you don't have much time at all to pursue it. Police probably confiscated your driver's license at your DWI arrest. Texas Transportation Code §724.024 and other law generally requires police to do so unless you are an out-of-state driver, perhaps one in Texas on vacation. When police released you, they likely gave you a temporary license on pink paper. That temporary license ordinarily lasts for forty days, although certain circumstances can extend it beyond forty days. Your pink temporary license serves as notice that you have just fifteen days to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. If you don't request an ALR hearing within fifteen days, the state will suspend your license. The Administrative License Revocation program isn't the same as your DWI criminal proceeding. The ALR administrative procedure that you need to invoke within fifteen days to save your license from suspension is separate from your court-based DWI proceeding. When you request an ALR hearing according to the proper administrative procedure, your pink temporary license can last beyond forty days until the administrative judge rules on your request. Timely request an ALR hearing. Retain premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy to represent you at your ALR hearing.
Get Educated About Your DWI Charge
You've seen from the above that the main thing you are doing while awaiting blood test results on your DWI charge is educating yourself about DWI laws and procedures. You need to know certain things after your DWI arrest and while awaiting blood test results. Learn about DWI charges and procedures. In legal proceedings, as in other things, knowledge is power. If you don't know what's coming, you can't prepare for it. You need to know what happens when you get a Texas DWI because you need to know how to conduct yourself at each of those events and stages. You also need to know your options. If you don't know your options, you can't choose the best one for you. Learn the role of blood tests in a DWI arrest so that you are ready to help your DWI attorney deal with your blood test results. Learn about the prosecution's challenge in showing that authorities properly calculated blood test results so that you can decide whether to proceed to trial to challenge that evidence. Educate yourself while awaiting blood test results. DWI knowledge can be power in your defense. Retain premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy to help educate you about your DWI charge.
Avoid Acting on Misconceptions
Educating yourself about your DWI arrest is especially important because of the serious misconceptions people have about DWIs. Urban legend is one thing. Accurate information is quite another thing. Don't listen to the myths. When you make important decisions about your DWI defense, don't rely on things that your buddies may have told you or that unreliable sources post on social media. For example, legend may have it that you can sleep off drunkenness behind the wheel of your parked car. You can't. Police will arrest and prosecutors will charge an intoxicated operator behind the wheel of a parked vehicle. You may have heard that blood test results are always right, a prosecutor's sure thing. Blood test results are not always right. To make an effective defense to the DWI charge, Texas DWI specialist attorney Doug Murphy can challenge blood test results, casting reasonable doubt on their reliability. Don't follow urban legend. Educate yourself to avoid common misconceptions.
Adopt Strategies Fitting Your DWI Charge
Another misconception defendants have is that DWI charges are all pretty much the same. A DWI is a DWI, the myth goes, so why even bother doing much about it? Nothing could be further from the truth. DWI charges vary widely in their elements, proofs, and penalties. Strategies for defending first DWIs differ a lot from strategies for defending second, third, and fourth DWIs. The strategies for defending a first DWI with a blood test differ from the strategies for defending a first DWI with a breath test, which differ from strategies for defending a first DWI with an accident. Strategies for defending DWI charges without injury differ from strategies for defending DWI charges with injury, which differ from strategies for defending DWI charges with death. Strategies for defending DWI charges involving a child passenger in the vehicle differ markedly from strategies for defending DWI charges involving no passenger or only an adult passenger. And strategies for defending DWI charges based on marijuana can differ from strategies for defending DWI charges based on prescription drugs or alcohol. Premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy knows the strategies to fit your defense to your DWI charge. Use the time you have awaiting blood test results to develop the right defense strategies.
Adopt Strategies Fitting Your DWI Case
DWI cases also vary widely from case to case, especially from court to court, judge to judge, jury pool to jury pool, and prosecutor to prosecutor. While Texas state laws are uniform from county to county, and state rules of criminal procedure are also uniform, every county can have its own practice, tendencies, and preferences for handling DWI cases. Different prosecutors charge and plea bargain similar DWI cases differently. Different judges have different tendencies when deciding on deferred adjudication, constitutional challenges, and questions over the admissibility of critical evidence. And jury pools differ between rural and urban populations, agricultural and industrial counties, and rich and poor counties. Strategies for defending a rural DWI charge can differ from strategies for defending a suburban DWI charge. What might be a strong DWI case in one county before one judge handled by one prosecutor could be a weak DWI case in another county before another judge handled by a different prosecutor. Because of his extensive statewide and national experience in DWI cases, premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy knows the strategies fitting to different cases. Use the time you have awaiting blood test results to fit your defense strategies to your DWI case.
Adopt Strategies Fitting Your DWI Evidence
The circumstances of your DWI arrest should also affect your defense strategies and options. It's not just the charge or case that matters to shape your defense but also the circumstances and evidence. A motorcycle DWI or off-road DWI can, for instance, present different issues than a DWI arrest in a truck or car. DWI arrest with passengers in your vehicle can present other issues, while a DWI after evading arrest presents other concerns. A Texas DWI while operating a golf cart differs from a DWI operating a boat or a commercial vehicle. A DWI on federal property in Texas has its own peculiar concerns. Premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy knows how the particular circumstances of each case and the specific evidence in each case affect defense strategies. Use the time you have awaiting blood test results to let attorney Murphy help you fit your defense strategies to your DWI case's peculiar circumstances and specific evidence.
Adopt Strategies Fitting You
Your DWI case also differs from the DWI case about which you heard or read in the news, just as it differs from the DWI case about which you heard from a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. The right strategy for the family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, politician, athlete, or celebrity may not be the right strategy for you. The strategies can be different for different DWI defendants. Professional athletes charged with DWI certainly have different interests and concerns than, say, a college student charged with DWI or a minor charged with DWI. An out-of-state resident charged with a Texas DWI has different interests, needs, and concerns than a Texas resident charged with a DWI. If you have a commercial driver’s license to preserve and protect, or you are in the military, then your DWI charge raises other concerns. If your DWI charge occurred while you were in drug or alcohol treatment, then you face other concerns. Premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy knows that every DWI defendant is different. Use the time you have awaiting blood test results to let attorney Murphy help you fit your defense strategies to your personal interests, needs, and concerns.
Know and Rely on Your Rights
While awaiting blood test results and learning about your DWI charge, above all, discover, embrace, and rely on your legal rights. If you don't trust your legal rights and your expert DWI defense attorney's ability to enforce them to your best advantage, then you may not stand much of a chance of a successful outcome. Learn about your constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure in a DWI arrest. Know the role of reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop and probable cause for a DWI arrest so that you can help your attorney evaluate those aspects of your constitutional defenses. Learn how violation of your Miranda rights could lead to the exclusion of your confession or other incriminating evidence. Appreciate your expert DWI defense attorney's opportunity to file and argue a motion to suppress incriminating evidence police obtained violating your constitutional or statutory rights. Premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy knows how to identify violations of your rights and how to use those violations to defeat DWI charges. Trust that with the right expert advocacy from a Texas DWI specialist, you may well be able to beat your Texas DWI charge.
Retain a Premier Texas DWI Specialist Attorney
You can see from the above that your best move while you await blood test results after your DWI arrest and release is to retain Best Lawyers in America's 2021 Lawyer of The Year attorney Doug Murphy. Yes, you need to educate yourself to prepare to assist with your best DWI defense. But know the pitfalls of representing yourself against a DWI charge. Don't think you can handle your own Texas DWI defense. You instead need an expert DWI defense attorney to aggressively carry out your defense. You need to be informed and to make good decisions. But you also need a premier Texas DWI defense attorney to carry out those decisions in the manner that will achieve your DWI defense goal, to beat your DWI charge. Aim to retain the best available Texas DWI defense attorney. If police arrested you for a Texas DWI but released you pending blood test results, then promptly retain premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy.
What Your Expert DWI Defense Attorney Can Do
Expert Texas DWI Specialist defense attorney Doug Murphy can do several important and helpful things while you await blood test results on your DWI charge. Don't assume that premier defense attorneys do nothing but appear at trial to make winning arguments before a jury. Preeminent trial skills like those that attorney Murphy possesses are a definite advantage not only at trial but also in negotiating plea bargains. Retaining a winning trial lawyer can get the DWI defendant a better plea offer. Yet, the skills of a premier DWI defense lawyer go well beyond what happens at trial. A winning defense starts early, laying the groundwork for what happens later. An expert DWI defense attorney can significantly advance your defense with any or all of these early actions:
- explain the law pertaining to consent and discuss whether you would like to revoke and rescind your consent to a blood draw requiring the prosecution to obtain a warrant to test your blood.
- help you attend the arraignment, understand the DWI charges against you, and enter a not guilty plea at arraignment;
- advocate for reasonable terms and conditions of bond or relief from unreasonable bond terms and conditions;
- help you preserve physical, medical, electronic, and other exonerating evidence for use in your defense;
- demand that authorities preserve and disclose video, physical, electronic, and other evidence, whether exonerating or incriminating;
- help you identify and confirm the observations of exonerating witnesses while disclosing those witnesses as the court may require;
- help you timely request an ALR hearing to preserve your driver's license within the required fifteen days, and represent you at the ALR hearing advocating for your driver's license;
- obtain and review police records and reports, medical records, lab records and reports, and other documentary evidence;
- identify, research, and evaluate your constitutional and other defenses to your stop, arrest, and blood draw in anticipation of a motion to suppress evidence;
- communicate with the court and the prosecution, ensuring that you preserve your substantive and procedural rights;
- advise you of all court appearances and other appearances or conditions for your effective management of proceedings;
- entertain and evaluate plea bargains with the prosecution;
- help you communicate and address other obligations with your employer so as to preserve your employment;
- help you communicate with any agencies or associations with which you hold a license or certification so as to preserve the license or certification; and
- ensure that authorities share your blood test results timely and fully.
Ensure Your Premier Texas DWI Defense Representation
To confirm that you are retaining an expert DWI attorney advocate for your defense, know how to interview your Texas DWI lawyer, including the questions to ask and answers you need to hear. And know how to choose a Texas DWI lawyer. To be sure that you have retained a premier Texas DWI defense attorney, understand what a Texas DWI Specialist is. The process of becoming a DWI Specialist entails not just proven study, skill, and experience but also passing a rigorous certification exam. That rigorous exam is why few Texas attorneys have been certified as DWI Specialists. Yet as indicated above, premier Texas DWI defense attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers holding both DWI Board Certification and Criminal Law Certification. Attorney Murphy's dual certification means that he is an expert not just in DWI defense but in defense of other criminal charges. Attorney Murphy's rare, nearly unprecedented dual certification proves that he is up to the task.
Don't Delay; Act Now
If you are awaiting blood test results after your DWI charge, then the chances are good that you are still early in your DWI case. The time to retain expert DWI defense representation is early in your DWI case. Don't think that it's best to wait things out and see how they go before you retain an expert DWI defense attorney. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that you will compromise your defense. You may lose evidence, lose procedural rights, lose your driver's license, lose your job, and lose a professional license or certification. You may also lose your DWI case because you didn't act promptly on your legal rights. You have too much to lose by waiting for blood test results. You don't know how long you may wait, and you don't know what may happen in the meantime. Every day you delay is a day lost to your aggressive and effective defense. Every day you delay is another day of letting your DWI charge loom. Don't leave things to chance. Act now. Contact Best Lawyers in America's 2021 Lawyer of The Year attorney Doug Murphy now either online or at (713) 229-8333 to discuss your case.