DWI Defense Strategies
DWI Defense Strategies For Clients Throughout Travis County & Austin
Being arrested for DWI can have serious consequences, including fines and the loss of driving privileges as well as potential imprisonment. In most cases, the police will collect various types of evidence, including breath tests, blood tests and field sobriety tests. This doesn’t mean, however, that a conviction is inevitable. By enlisting the services of an experienced DWI attorney, it is possible to defend against such charges.
Phil Baker, P.C. has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against DWI charges throughout the state of Texas. Whether it’s challenging the accuracy of the DWI tests or discovering potential civil rights violations, our team will work to protect your driving record and achieve the best possible outcome.
What is the definition of DWI?
In Texas, you can be charged with DWI if you are intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Intoxicated is defined as either (1) having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, or (2) lacking the normal use of mental or physical faculties after ingesting alcohol or drugs.
Additionally, you may still be arrested for DWI even if your BAC does not exceed the legal limit when the police make the certain observations about your appearance or behavior such as:
- Slurred speech
- The odor of alcohol on your breath
- Having an open container in the vehicle
- Lack of motor coordination
If you fail a field sobriety test, an arrest is also likely. As you can see, the police have a great deal of discretion when making DWI arrests, Nonetheless, an officer must have a reasonable suspicion to make a lawful traffic stop, that is a reason to believe a crime has been committed, such as traffic law violations, speeding, erratic driving or swerving.
When an officer observes physical intoxication, he or she may administer a field sobriety test as well as a breath test to measure your BAC. If you fail either of these tests, the officer has probable cause to arrest you for DWI. If the police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, however, any evidence collected while you were detained, including DWI test results, may not be admissible in court.
What is the implied consent rule?
In Texas, as in most states, there is an implied consent rule in effect. This means that all individuals who obtain a license in the state agree to be chemically tested — by a breathalyzer or blood analysis, for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you refuse to submit to such testing, your license may be automatically suspended, and you will have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a license suspension hearing. At Phil Baker, P.C. we routinely represent clients in these administrative proceedings and work to protect their driving privileges.
Possible DWI Defenses
If you have been charged with DWI, we will conduct a thorough investigation of your case to determine the relevant facts. This includes obtaining and reviewing a copy of the police report and conducting an analysis of DWI test results. We will work to challenge the way in which the following DWI tests were administered or the accuracy of the test results:
- Field Sobriety Tests — The police typically use three field sobriety tests to measure motor skills and coordination — the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus or HGN. These tests are flawed because results can vary greatly from person to person and are based on the subjective determinations of the arresting officer.
- Breath Tests — The machine that law enforcement uses for breath tests in Texas measures BAC through technology that may not be 100 percent accurate. Results may be skewed by residual alcohol from mouthwash or dental work, the temperature of your breath, or the machine not being properly calibrated or maintained.
- Blood Tests — These tests may be administered to measure your BAC provided that you give your consent. If you refuse, the police may obtain a search warrant forcing you to provide a blood sample. It is possible to challenge the accuracy of blood tests that may be compromised by human error during the collection, handling, testing or analysis of the sample.
Texas DWI Defense Attorney
If you are facing DWI/DUI charges, you need the aggressive legal representation that criminal defense attorney Phil Baker, P.C. is uniquely qualified to provide. Because a DWI conviction can have serious consequences, we will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Our attorneys are highly regarded for being able to successfully challenge DWI evidence, police testimony and lab technicians involved in analysing DWI tests.
In some cases, the arresting office may have failed to recite the Miranda Warnings (“you have a right to remain silent…”), in which case any evidence against you may be deemed inadmissible in court. Guided by a principle that anyone arrested for DWI is innocent until proven guilty, we will work diligently to protect your driving privileges and your good name. Depending on the strength of the evidence against you, however, we may move to have the charges and related penalties reduced. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, get in touch with us by calling our office or completing the contact form on our website.