Being arrested for driving while intoxicated can be extremely intense, especially if you have never experienced anything like this before. While you may be afraid and unsure of what to do next, know that you may be able to defend yourself in court. There are defenses that can lead to dismissals, as well as mitigating factors that force the prosecutor to exclude crucial evidence.
● Actual Physical Control
● Errors in DWI Blood Tests
● Miranda Warnings
● Illegal Stops
If you have been charged with DWI, your circumstance may feel dire, but there are defenses that may be able to be used. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s important to hire a Fort Worth DWI lawyer as quickly as possible. Serving Tarrant County and its surrounding areas, The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is ready to give you the legal representation you need. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Driving while intoxicated is defined in Texas law as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, according to the Texas Penal Code Ann. § 49.04. A person is intoxicated if their mental or physical functions are impaired from alcohol or controlled substances, or they have an alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.
However, to be charged and convicted of a DWI, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you had actual physical control of your vehicle while intoxicated.
A common circumstance amongst defendants is being arrested for DWI while sleeping or resting in your car. If you are found in your vehicle, under the influence of alcohol or another controlled, and you have access to your keys, you may still be arrested. In most cases, individuals cannot be charged with DWI if they do not have access to their keys and/or ignition starters while being inside of a motor vehicle.
DWI Blood tests have been outlawed in some states, but in Texas, this is still a major aspect of the DWI process. Drivers who refuse roadside breathalyzer tests during their traffic stops are typically arrested and taken down to the precinct for a forced blood draw. In some instances, individuals have even been strapped down against their will while the blood test is conducted.
Blood tests are typically more accurate than breath tests, but there are still problems that can occur during this process. For example, blood samples should be immediately sent to a lab for testing within the Department of Public Safety. Samples are supposed to be refrigerated if they are not able to be immediately sent over, but this does not always happen. Sometimes, samples are left out and become heated, causing the blood to ferment and increase alcohol concentration.
DWI blood samples are typically handled by multiple people, commonly referred to as the chain of custody. When a blood test is being stored, tested, and passed around, each transition is supposed to be documented. If this fails to happen, suspicions are raised are people become concerned about potential contamination or deliberate mishandling.
It is not uncommon for state prosecutors to attempt to charge individuals without having sufficient evidence. You may feel like you’re one of these individuals, and if so, we can help. With multiple decades of experience fighting DWI and DUI cases in Fort Worth, the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has everything you need to create a great defense. Call us today for your free, no-obligation consultation. The sooner we know the details of your case, the sooner we can create your legal defense.
On occasion, a police officer may fail to read you your Miranda warning. If the officer conducting your traffic stop failed to recite your Miranda warning, anything that you might have said after your arrest may be inadmissible in court.
Something else to remember is that police officers are not allowed to continually interrogate Texas drivers before reading their Miranda warning. Known as custodial interrogation, this is a scare tactic that law enforcement typically uses after a subject is in custody, and before they are aware of their Miranda rights.
You have the right to remain silent, and it is the law enforcement officer’s responsibility to make you aware of this during your arrest. If the officer failed to do this, you may have a valid defense for your DWI charge.
There are also an assortment of reasons why an officer may pull you over and conduct a traffic stop. However, not every traffic stop is necessarily legal. Arrests for DUI and DWI typically arrive from two instances: either a patrol officer notices signs of impairment while conducting a regular traffic stop, or the officer has observed driving activity that is indicative of an intoxicated driver. Some of these activities include:
● Failure To Maintain Lane
● Wide Turns
● Driving Over or Under the Speed Limit
While most would agree that these are relatively common, minor driving mistakes that motorists are prone to make at times, some officers will use these errs to pull you over and investigate you for driving under the influence. If you are offered a field sobriety test, it is in your best interest to refuse, as failure will lead to an immediate arrest for DWI.
If you were the subject in an unlawful stop and now you are charged with DWI, you may be able to fight this. Unlawful traffic stops are unfortunately more common than you may realize, and if you recently went through this, we’re ready to help.
Defending your DWI charge may seem impossible, but with the right legal staff, you’ll have a chance at experiencing a favorable outcome. For more information on how we can help, call The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today. Our litigation team has decades of experience, and together, we have all the manpower you need to defend yourself in a court of law. Get in touch now so we can begin building your defense.