Articles Posted in DWI Defense Lawyer

In a recent opinion from a Texas court, the defendant successfully argued that his motion to suppress should have been granted. Originally, the defendant was pulled over in a traffic stop, and the officer pulling him over arrested him for driving under the influence. When the defendant filed a motion to suppress the incriminating evidence proving he was intoxicated, the court at first denied this motion. Later, though, a higher court agreed with the defendant, finding that the evidence should have been suppressed in the first place.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, an officer was patrolling the roads one evening when he stopped the defendant’s vehicle for failing to maintain a single line of traffic. In the officer’s testimony, he stated that the only reason he stopped the defendant’s car was for this one reason – there were no other factors that went into his decision to pull the defendant over.

During the traffic stop, the officer saw that the defendant appeared to be intoxicated. He arrested the defendant for driving while intoxicated, and the defendant soon after filed a motion to suppress the evidence of his intoxication. The defendant argued that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull him over in the first place, and since the officer should not have initiated the traffic stop, the subsequent evidence of intoxication was unfairly included in the State’s case. The court denied this motion to suppress, and later the defendant pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. Continue reading

In a recent opinion from a Texas court involving a DWI, the defendant’s request for incriminating evidence to be suppressed was denied. The defendant was found guilty of driving while intoxicated and appealed by arguing that the court improperly admitted his blood sample as evidence at trial. The court disagreed, ultimately denying the defendant’s appeal.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, an officer in Texas stopped the defendant after observing his vehicle weaving from one lane to the other. The officer also saw that the defendant’s middle brake light was out and was concerned about the vehicle’s defective equipment. During his testimony, the officer explained that he originally looked for the defendant’s car because a bartender had called the police station saying she was concerned that the defendant might be heavily drinking and driving after having departed her establishment.

After stopping the defendant’s vehicle, the officer noticed the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and that the defendant was sleepy and swaying. While the defendant admitted to drinking alcohol, he refused to submit to a blood test. Based on the officer’s statements, however, a judge found that there was probable cause for a search warrant, and decided that the officer was legally allowed to take a sample of the defendant’s blood regardless of whether or not the defendant was willing to give it. The defendant’s blood sample was thus obtained and eight days later, was delivered to the Texas Department of Public Safety. An analysis of the sample showed that the defendant’s blood-alcohol level had been .170 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. He was convicted for driving while intoxicated.

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Manejar un vehículo de motor bajo los efectos de bebidas embriagantes

¿Se enfrenta usted a una alegación de conducir un vehículo en estado de embriaguez? Existen varios detalles que usted debe saber sobre las penalidades y multas de un DWI.  ¡De ser arrestado por un DWI se enfrenta a la suspensión de su licencia de conducir, pero der ser encontrado culpable de manejar bajo efectos embriagantes, usted podría enfrentarse hasta 10 anos de prisión! 

¿Enfrentarse a tal acusación crea miedo, no? 

If my license is suspended for DWI, can I still drive to work? 

If you are facing a charge for DWI and your license is suspended, you may be eligible for what is known as an Occupational Driver’s License or ODL for short. This type of license allows a person to drive a non-commercial vehicle if their license is suspended, revoked, or denied because of DWI. 

Eligibility. 

I meet a lot of people during consults. A lot of people who are going through the trauma of being arrested for a felony DWI case. They are ashamed, scared, sad, angry at themselves, and now facing the possibility of prison time. Whether it’s their 3rd, 4th, or 5th DWI, or a DWI with child, or an intoxication assault, they are all scared and wondering what to do next. I tell these potential clients to seek help immediately for possible substance abuse. I recommend they complete the most intense rehabilitation program that they can, and seek the advice of their PCP as well. Why?

You’ve got time before we go to court, you need to use it

We usually have a lot of time between a felony DWI arrest and going to court. Felony DWI cases almost always go before the grand jury before they are filed. You can waive a grand jury, but it’s rare. In Kaufman County it’s not uncommon for 4-6 months to pass between an arrest for felony DWI and an indictment. The State has to wait on blood results from the lab, and that can take a few months. If there is an accident, then they may need to gather medical records and the accident reconstruction can take time. Which means my client, who is looking at prison time since it’s a felony, can use their time to start treatment and rehab now.

Texans love guns. We love booze. We live in a state with crappy public transportation. The result? A lot of people with concealed handgun licenses (CHL) get arrested for DWI in Texas. And a lot of people who want to get a CHL have a DWI conviction on their record.

The answer is no, you can’t get a CHL after a DWI conviction, at least for a while.

A misdemeanor DWI conviction will disqualify you from getting a CHL for a period of 5 years. Don’t take my word for it. Here is a DPS statement on the subject

If charged with an offense and want to hire an attorney but can’t afford one you may qualify for a court appointed attorney.

In some situations, you may not be happy with the court appointed attorney. But, it is unlikely that the court will appoint someone else. Unless you want to hire your own attorney, you are pretty much stuck with whoever the court appoints.

What if the attorney isn’t telling me what I want to hear?

Good news in the world of DWI’s has emerged from the 85th Texas Legislature. If certain criteria are met, now, it may be possible to file a petition for non-disclosure on DWI convictions. Texas House Bill 3016, Government Code 411.0731, defines the procedure and criteria. Section 411.0716(a) explains that this new act will apply to DWI’s committed before, on, or after September 1, 2017.

Does my DWI conviction qualify?

This new section will only apply to a person who has successfully completed a term of community supervision. This means that your community supervision was not revoked, you successfully served any jail time given and you paid all court costs, fines, and any other restitution imposed as part of the conviction.

Potential Rockwall DWI clients are usually surprised to learn that they havd the right to refuse to participate in their DWI investigation. All you are required to do is provide your license and insurance. If you’ve been drinking at the Harbor and get pulled over you’re going to jail anyway. It’s just going to happen. Not getting arrested isn’t the goal, the goal is to not give the State fake junk science evidence (field balancing tests) they will use to convict of DWI (and DWI is the most expensive misdemeanor conviction in Texas).

That’s right, in Texas you do not have to answer any questions, including the most common DWI questions such as

– where you are going

One reason we needed the Michael Morton Act (which improved on our State’s horrible discovery rules in criminal cases) is that the State was hiding evidence which convicted innocent people. One problem with the Michael Morton Act, and the prior discovery rules is that there is no penalty if the State fails to turn over evidence, and then chooses to surprise the defense at trial with secret evidence. Let’s contrast this situation to the standard that we hold defendants, in which they are penalized at every stage of a proceeding for the slightest error. Defendant has work and misses a court date? Warrant! Defendant objects to the wrong subarticle of the Code of Criminal Procedure, that issue is waived on appeal! They created a new board certification for criminal appeals in Texas. But you don’t have to be an appellate genius to guess the outcome of any criminal appeal. 95% of the time whatever violations of the evidence rules, code of criminal procedure, or Constitution will be overlooked if the court of appeals can uphold a conviction. That’s the purpose of appellate courts in Texas, to uphold criminal convictions, and to reverse judgments for damages against Defendants in civil cases.

This leads me to our case of the day- Laura Sanders vs State of Texas

What happened?

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