Getting charged with a DWI in Texas is no laughing matter. Even a first time DWI offender can face 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If you are facing DWI charges, it can be beneficial to meet with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss potential defense strategies. Some of the most common strategies to defend against DWI charges are discussed below.
Claim violations of your Constitutional rights
Many DWI defense strategies are based on the fact that the driver’s Constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement before and during their arrest. These violations may include:
- Lack of reasonable suspicion for initial stop: Police pulled you over based on a “hunch” rather than reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime.
- Unlawful search and seizure: Police searched your vehicle without probable cause (reasonable belief that crime is being committed), consent, or a valid warrant.
- Failing to read Miranda warnings: Once you have been arrested, police must read you your Miranda warnings before interrogating you. These warnings inform you of your right to remain silent and a right to an attorney.
Challenge breath test/field sobriety test results
If an officer suspects you of driving under the influence, it is likely that they will ask you to submit to a breath test and field sobriety tests to determine your level of intoxication. However, even the slightest mistake in the administration of the test may result in inaccurate results. To dispute these results, your attorney may claim:
- Law enforcement lacked proper training to administer the test.
- The breath test device used was not properly maintained or calibrated.
- Increase in blood alcohol concentration from time of traffic stop to time of test.
- Physical factors that may impact results (e.g., vomiting).
It can be difficult to defend against drunk driving charges in Texas. A criminal defense attorney can help tailor a defense strategy to fit the specifics of your case.