Common Questions About DWI Charges
Have questions about your pending DWI case? This can be a complex area of the law – especially for those who have not had to deal with criminal law before. At my firm, I recognize the confusion that can surround this area of the law and I am dedicated to helping my clients get the information that they truly deserve. If you are interested in getting answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, you should not hesitate to read through our FAQs below. If you read through these and still have further questions which remain unanswered, you should immediately contact a member of my firm to schedule your initial case consultation.
Can officers pull over anyone that they think may be drinking and driving?
There is a common misconception that law enforcement officers are able to pull over whoever they want on a whim. The truth is that there must be what is known as "probable cause" to perform a traffic stop. Having a gut feeling that someone was drinking (ex: seeing them leave the parking lot of a bar) is not enough. There must be some sort of violation of traffic law. Things which can be used as probable cause include weaving, braking erratically, tailgating other drivers, speeding or ignoring traffic signals. It could also be something unrelated to the drinking, such as having improperly functioning brake lights.
Should I try to talk my way out of a DWI?
Absolutely not! In most cases, the less you say, the better. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and it is there to protect you. Many people think that they can simply talk their way out of an arrest, but the truth is that these are serious charges and should be treated as such. If you are being pulled over, you should be polite but should not answer any questions other than what is required (name and address). If they begin questioning, you should inform them that you would like to have an attorney present.
If I "fail" a field sobriety test will be arrested for sure?
Not necessarily! Field sobriety tests often will be a cornerstone of the prosecutor's case, but that does not mean that they are flawless evidence of intoxication. The truth is that there are several points where a field sobriety test can be completely flawed. For example, extenuating circumstances which may make even a sober person appear drunk – such as injuries or illnesses. The NHTSA has even admitted that not every sober person can perform these tests. Therefore, the right attorney may be able to prove that these tests were administered incorrectly, the results were misjudged or that there were other factors affecting the test.
What is the ignition interlock device?
The ignition interlock device (IID) is a penalty which is commonly being used in Texas cases of DWI. It is basically a small device the size of a cell phone which would be installed and attached to the engine of your car. For the car to be started, they will require a clean breath sample. A sample with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the machine's threshold or no sample will have the same result: a car that won't start. If, however, the driver gives the sample, everything will proceed as normal.
Is there are certain amount of drinks which will result in a 0.08 percent BAC?
The truth is that BAC is affected entirely by several different factors which will differ from person to person. One person may drink twice as another but have a lower BAC – this could be because they were drinking "weaker" alcoholic beverages, were drinking over a longer period of time or weighed more. While there are certain calculators which can estimate what the BAC of a person would be, the truth is these depend on the person.
What terms usually accompany DWI probation?
If convicted, one penalty which may be imposed is probation. This is essentially a sentence where you will be expected to abide by certain "rules" – which are the terms of the probation. In most cases, these will not be difficult to follow and will include things like not committing a crime. Some, however, may be more complicated – such as avoiding certain people and places, maintaining employment, not moving without altering the Court or even abiding by a certain curfew. If you are found to be violating any of these terms, it could result in the probation being extended or even revoked in lieu of jail time instead.
What can I do to keep my license?
It is necessary to request a hearing in order to challenge your license suspension. If this is not done within 15 days of your arrest, your driving privileges will be taken away. Hiring a highly skilled DWI attorney from our firm can substantially improve your chances of retaining your license.
What will happen to my insurance if I am convicted of a DWI?
Those that are convicted of a DWI generally face one of two outcomes. They may have their insurance premiums increased significantly and be labeled as a high-risk driver, or they will have their insurance cancelled by the insurance company at the end of the term. In order to prevent this from happening, improve your chances of avoiding a conviction by speaking with an attorney at your earliest convenience.
Should I represent myself?
We highly advise that individuals facing DWI charges in Texas do not attempt to represent themselves. This is due to the fact that if you are convicted due to lack of representation, the ramifications of your conviction will last a lifetime. You will be greatly improving your chances of avoiding harsh penalties when you hire an attorney.
Won't I get convicted no matter what?
This is absolutely not the case. Our firm has helped countless clients to overcome serious DWI charges. It is possible for police officers to make significant mistakes that could alter the outcome of your case if exposed by a highly trained and qualified attorney. When you are faced with a DWI charge, the attorney that you hire will matter a great deal to your case. I ensure that all of my clients are provided with a high level of unwavering service. I represent many professionals and do everything in my power to obtain the case outcome that my client deserves.