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What does it take to build a strong DWI defense?

Texas DWI attorney

Being arrested and charged with a DWI can be scary, especially the first time. You may not have had anything to drink, or perhaps your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was well within the legal limit. Yet, a breath test yielded a BAC reading of 0.08 percent or greater.

Once a police officer decides to place you under arrest and charge you with DWI, you can't talk your way out of it. Anything you say to an officer — even when arguing your innocence — can later be used against you.

If you were arrested, booked, and charged with DWI, you may be under the impression that your life is about to change for several months or years. It's important to know that you have legal options and rights that must be upheld. After your arrest, your first course of action should be to consult with an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney.

What can I expect during my consultation?

During your DWI defense consultation, your attorney may ask you some questions regarding your arrest, such as:

  • If the police officer had a probable cause to pull you over or if you committed a traffic violation
  • If a field sobriety test or breath test was administered
  • What results the breath test yielded
  • Any statements you made to police before or after your arrest
  • If your driver's license was suspended or revoked

Your attorney will need to know all the details of your DWI arrest to determine a viable strategy for your defense. Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.

How can my defense attorney help me fight the charges?

Your attorney can help you build a strong legal defense based on the information you provide during your consultation and through an investigation.

When your case goes to trial, the prosecutor will use any evidence brought forth by the arresting officer to convict you. If the only evidence is a breath test result, the prosecutor will rely primarily on that. Breath test results can be disputed in court since they don't always produce accurate results, however. If your BAC reading was only slightly over the legal limit, then it may be difficult to prove that the test results are accurate.

Your attorney may also argue against the police officer's reason for pulling you over. DWI checkpoints are illegal in Texas, but that doesn't mean an officer's suspicion alone won't lead to a traffic stop. In many cases, police will follow an individual and wait for the slightest traffic infraction. This could include not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or crossing a line in the road.

If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, don't hesitate to get legal help. Contact Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer online or call our Conroe office at 800-395-5951.

How your actions during a traffic stop can affect your DWI case

Texas DWI attorney

Police officers often know what to look for when cracking down on drunk drivers. Some indicators that someone may be driving drunk include minor traffic infractions, not staying within the lines in the road, or driving late at night or during the early morning hours.

These are only indicators that could lead to suspicion. Sometimes, police do make errors in judgment, however. These errors can lead to someone being falsely arrested and charged with DWI.

That's why it's important to know your rights during a routine traffic stop. If you are facing DWI charges, it's critical that you consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you fight the charges.

How can my actions impact my DWI case?

It's important to understand that the job of law enforcement is to keep our communities safe, including keeping drunk drivers off the road. Sometimes, police may take a cookie-cutter approach to cracking down on drunk drivers. While they don't act as judge and jury, they can gather evidence that can be used against you in court.

Hiring an attorney to handle your DWI case is only half the battle to fighting the charges. The actions you take during a traffic stop can dictate the course of your DWI case.

What you should do

Here's how you can save yourself a lot of legal trouble in court:

  • Remain calm during a traffic stop: Being pulled over can be frustrating and frightening. You may not understand why you're being stopped and may believe that it's justified.  It is important not to panic, get angry, or argue with a police officer, however. This can lead to more problems, and potentially, additional charges. It's best to stay calm, keep your hands on the wheel, and do your best to put yourself and the officer at ease.
  • Remain silent: When an officer asks for your name, driver's license, and vehicle registration, you are required to provide them. You are not required to answer any additional questions, however. A police officer may ask you if you've had anything to drink. Your answer can lead to more suspicion and probing. Also, anything you tell a police officer can be used to convict you in court.
  • Understand your rights during a roadside test: If a police officer suspects that you were driving drunk, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test or roadside breath test. A field sobriety test doesn't necessarily provide hard evidence that you were driving drunk, as these tests may be difficult for the average person to perform. There is no law requiring you to take this test. Breath tests are different, however. They can provide evidence that can be used against you. Under Texas's implied consent law, you can refuse a breath test, but can still be arrested and have your driver's license suspended for 180 days. If you take a breath test, the results can be disputed in court since Breathalyzer readings aren't always accurate.

How can a criminal defense attorney help me fight a DWI charge?

The actions that you take during a traffic stop may not prevent you from being arrested and charged with DWI. The less evidence that can be used against you, however, the easier it will be for your attorney to help you fight the charges.

If you are facing DWI charges, don't hesitate to consult with Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer. Attorney Webb can investigate your DWI case and devise a winning legal strategy. To learn more, contact us online or call 1-800-395-5951 to schedule your free DWI case evaluation.

DWI arrests likely to increase this St. Patrick's Day

Texas DWI attorney

St. Patrick's Day is a yearly tradition for many Texas residents. It's also one of the most popular holidays for drinking. Texas law enforcement officers know this and may become increasingly active in their efforts to catch DWI offenders.

The St. Patrick's Day festivities will commence on Friday, March 13th and continue through the 18th. Several cities are hosting parades and festivals this year. Police officers will be stationed in areas where drunk drivers are most likely to travel. In addition, they will likely increase the number of officers on patrol.

Drunk driving suspicion heightened during St. Patrick's Day

Like all other holidays, police suspicion of drunk driving is often heightened during St. Patrick's Day. Even the smallest traffic infraction could trigger a traffic stop. If police suspect that you've been drinking, they will likely probe you for more evidence. Here's what to expect:

  • Police will ask questions: The officer who makes a traffic stop will ask for your license and registration. He or she may likely ask where you are going, where you're coming from, and if you had anything to drink. You must provide your license and registration, but you are not required to answer any questions. Doing so could increase the chances of the officer administering a field sobriety or breath test, which can lead to an arrest, even if you are sober.
  • You may be asked to step out of your car: If the police officer asks you to step out of your car, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test. It's best to remain calm and don't argue with the officer when this happens. If the police officer asks to search your car, you may decline.
  • Field sobriety test: Police administer field sobriety tests as a preliminary test to determine driver impairment. However, this type of test is flawed since many people have a difficult time performing it. A field sobriety test usually involves:
    • Horizontal gaze nystagmus: Police will ask you to follow an object visually and look for jerking of your eyes.
    • Walk-and-turn: Police will ask you to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line and then turn and walk back. Police do this to evaluate your balance and physical coordination.
    • One-leg stand: Police will ask you to lift one foot six inches off the ground and count until told to put your foot down. Police do this to evaluate balance.
  • Breath test: Police may ask you to blow into a breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. These devices may not always be accurate, however. Even if you're completely sober, the use of mouthwash could yield a high BAC reading.

Why hire a criminal defense attorney after your DWI arrest?

A first-time DWI charge in Texas can carry harsh legal consequences, including:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A fine of $2,000
  • License suspension from 90 days to one year
  • An additional state traffic fine of $3,000-$6,000
  • Possibly probation

If your St. Patrick's Day celebration ends in a DWI arrest, it's critical that you seek legal advocacy as soon as possible. A Texas attorney at Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer can help you devise a legal strategy to fight the charges. Contact us online to find out how.

Can I be charged with drunk driving if my BAC is below 0.08 percent?

Texas DWI attorney

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level in Texas (like most of the United States) is 0.08 percent. This means that those who drive impaired by alcohol at this level are legally considered too drunk to drive.

There is a dangerous myth surrounding DWIs in Texas. Many people believe that they can't be arrested and charged with DWI if their BAC is below 0.08 percent. Wrong.

DWI errors in field sobriety and breath tests

Police often make errors in judgment when suspecting that someone is driving drunk. They can make an arrest if they have determined that you were driving impaired. Police will administer field sobriety tests and breath tests. Neither of these are foolproof, however.

Field sobriety tests involve three tasks to assess a person's balance, coordination, and ability to divide attention. These tasks include:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus: An officer asks the driver to visually follow an object from side to side. This method determines if the driver's eyes fail to follow the object smoothly or if there is jerking in the eyes.
  • Walk-and-turn: An officer asks the driver to take nine steps heel-to-toe on a straight line, then turn on one foot and do the same in the opposite direction. This method determines if the driver fails to maintain balance and coordination or follow directions.
  • One-leg stand: An officer asks the driver to stand on one leg with the other foot six inches off the ground and count from 1,001 until instructed to put the foot down. This method determines if the driver fails to maintain balance and coordination.

A person may fail a field sobriety test if he or she suffers from a certain medical condition or disability, has sustained an injury, is fatigued, or is taking certain medications.

Police administer breath tests to determine a driver's BAC. Drivers blow into a small device, which then yields a reading.

As we discussed in December 2019, breath tests have been found to be unreliable in many cases. In fact, several people have been wrongfully convicted of DWI due to a false breathalyzer reading.

Police can arrest you for 'noticeable impairment'

Even if you have a BAC level below 0.08 percent, you can be arrested if you're deemed "noticeably impaired." This happens if:

  • A driver has a low tolerance to alcohol
  • Suffers from fatigue
  • Has taken prescription medication
  • Suffers from mental illness, a medical condition, or disability

If you have been charged with a DWI in Texas, the consequences can be more than just a nuisance. First-time offenders could face up to six months in jail, a $2,000 fine, license suspension of 90 days up to one year, pay an additional state traffic fine of $3,000-$6,000, and even face probation.

You need a strong legal defense to help fight the charges. With more than 10 years of trial experience, DWI lawyer Amanda Webb can help you do that. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Texas police may soon use breath tests to detect THC on drivers

Texas DWI attorney

How can police tell if a driver is under the influence of THC? Traditional methods have included the keen judgment of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), as we have discussed in a July 2019 post. This includes asking questions, observing suspects' behavior, checking suspects' pupils, and calling on suspects to submit to blood tests.

Determining someone's level of impairment from THC may be difficult, however. That's because THC can stay in a person's system for days after using marijuana.

Two researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a device that may detect THC on someone's breath, according to NPR. Chemistry professor Alexander Star and electrical and computer professor Ervin Sejdic built the prototype in 2016. This came on the heels of several states legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

How does the THC breathalyzer work?

The device uses carbon nanotubes that are 1,100,000 the size of human hair. When a person blows into the device, the THC molecule binds to the nanotubes. Moreover, the device is sensitive enough to bypass alcohol and other substances and exclusively sense THC.

The developers have also placed a limit on how much THC the device can detect. This threshold may allow the device to differentiate between someone who used marijuana days ago from someone who is currently under the influence of THC.

Star says that the device is only one step away from mass-production.

Challenges posed by THC breath tests

A device similar to the one developed by Star and Sejdic has already been tested by police, according to NBC's Today. Hound Labs in Oakland, California developed the device. It can reportedly detect THC from all cannabis sources.

The use of a THC breathalyzer poses some legal challenges, however. For one, there is currently no standard legal limit for THC. Any amount of THC on someone's breath could potentially lead to an arrest.

Another legal issue posed by THC breathalyzers is reliability. Standard alcohol breath tests have led to DWI arrests and convictions for years. Investigations have revealed that these devices can produce inaccurate results. So, who's to say that a technical hiccup in a THC breathalyzer won't produce erroneous evidence against an innocent person?

If you were arrested and charged with DWI in Texas, the consequences can be harsh. A first offense can result in three days to 180 days in jail, a fine up to $2,000, loss of driver's license up to a year, and annual fees up to $2,000 to retain your driver's licenses. The penalties can be more severe for second and subsequent convictions.

That's why it's critical that you consult with an experienced attorney. Texas DWI attorney Amanda Webb can launch an investigation and help you devise a strong legal defense. To learn more, contact Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer online today.