If you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas you know there’s a lot at stake. Since you could lose your driving privileges, your freedom, and lots of money, you need to mount the strongest possible defenses. Even if the state seems to have lots of evidence against you, an experienced DWI attorney can help you.
The approach a DWI lawyer will take regarding your defense depends on the facts of the case. Some of the things they may challenge include:
- the traffic stop and arrest
- the way the officer conducted the breath or blood test
- the way the police questioned you
You may be tempted to plead guilty just so you can put the case behind you. However, you should reach out to an attorney for advice and representation. Let’s look at some of possible defenses they can draw on.
Traffic Stop Defenses Your DWI Attorney in Houston May Use
In Texas, the court can convict you of a DWI if you were operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxication can mean that you:
- Had a blood or breath alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of .08
- Lost the normal use of your physical or mental faculties because of alcohol or drugs
In order for the police to lawfully stop you, they must have reason to suspect you committed a violation. Officers can use speeding, swerving wildly or running a red light to justify a traffic stop. If the officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion for making the stop, the court may reject any evidence they collected. This includes the results of the field sobriety test and any chemical tests.
Even if the officer had reasonable suspicion for pulling you over, they would need probable cause to detain you further. Let’s say you ran a red light. The officer can only keep you for as long as it takes to give you the ticket. The only way to they can keep you longer if they have probable cause to believe you were intoxicated. They will usually base their suspicions on things like:
- Slurred speech
- The smell of alcohol on your breath
- Spotting an open container in your vehicle
- Your lack of coordination
If the police arrested you without probable cause, your attorney will challenge it. If the police didn’t give you a Miranda warning or you were denied an attorney, this can also be used in your defense.
DWI Test Defenses Available to a Houston DWI Lawyer
Maybe everything was above board regarding your traffic stop. However, there may be problems with your field sobriety tests. Officers in Texas use the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus to help determine your sobriety. They are supposed to test whether your motor skills and ability to concentrate are impaired. However, the results can vary based on several factors like medical conditions, physical limitations, and fatigue.
There may also be an opportunity for your attorney to challenge the way the officer administered your DWI test. In addition, they can contest the accuracy of your test results. DWI cases often rely on evidence that your BAC was above the legal limit. If you can show the test was inaccurate or the results were invalid, you may have a solid defense strategy.
Breath tests are not foolproof. If you have a medical condition or residual alcohol on your breath from dental work, it may seem like you’re intoxicated. Furthermore, if the machine malfunctioned or lacked proper maintenance, a false positive may occur. If there is no real proof of your impairment, the prosecutor can’t move ahead with the case.
Your attorney may also raise additional questions regarding your blood test. If an officer gets a warrant for a blood test, they must have probable cause. If the officer had no probable cause to support the warrant, the evidence can be contested. Even if the sample was legally obtained, it can be compromised at any point from collection to analysis. Your attorney will know exactly what to look for.
Contact a Texas DWI Lawyer at Eddington & Worley Today
If you are facing DWI charges, you need to contact an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible. If you were wrongfully arrested, you need to fight for your rights. At Eddington & Worley, we will listen to the facts of your case and review all the evidence. We will then craft a strong DWI defense strategy to help ensure you get the best outcome possible. If you want to defend yourself against the charges, call us today to schedule a consultation with a skilled lawyer in Houston, Texas.