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Why Would A DWI Case Get Thrown Out In Court?

Texas DWI attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), it’s easy to think you don’t have any options. The police officer took a breathalyzer test soon after they stopped you. Or maybe they took a blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

But just because you were stopped and charged with DWI doesn’t mean you will automatically be convicted of driving under the influence. There are many circumstances in which DWI cases get thrown out of court. That’s why it’s important to fully understand your legal options.

DWI criminal defense attorney Amanda Webb and her legal team at The Webb Firm, P.C. in Conroe, Texas are familiar with the reasons why DWI cases are thrown out of court. Below, you can learn more about some of the reasons why. We also strongly encourage you to contact our firm since each case often has its own, unique circumstances. No two DWI cases are exactly alike.

What are some of the reasons why DWI cases are thrown out of court?

There are many reasons why DWI charges are thrown out of court and charges are dismissed. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • The traffic stop was not valid – Police officers need to have a reason to stop someone on the road. Specifically, they need to have a “reasonable suspicion” that you are under the influence of alcohol or appear to be violating the rules of the road. If the police cannot properly demonstrate why they stopped you, any evidence obtained during your traffic stop may be inadmissible in court, including any breathalyzer or field sobriety test results.
  • The field sobriety test was not valid – Some police departments ask people stopped for suspicion of driving while intoxicated to take a field sobriety test (FST). Such roadside tests include a one-leg stand (OLS), the walk and turn test (WAT) and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN). However, such test results are often thrown out of court for many different reasons, including:
    • The lighting conditions were too dark and caused the driver to make mistakes.
    • The pavement surface was uneven and the driver reasonably lost their balance.
    • The driver was not wearing the proper footwear, including sandals.
    • The police officer did not properly explain the test before administering it.
  • Chemical tests were not done properly – Police officers need to follow very strict rules and guidelines when administering chemical tests to determine if someone is legally intoxicated. Such tests often include breathalyzer tests, urine tests and blood tests. When mistakes are made, the test results may not be accurate and should be thrown out of court.
  • Test samples were not stored properly – Test samples from BAC blood tests, urine tests and breathalyzer tests need to be stored properly in a temperature-controlled environment. Otherwise, the samples can become contaminated and may affect test results based on improperly stored samples.
  • Questions about who was driving – This situation happens more often than many people might realize. If a police officer arrives at the scene of a solo car accident and it’s not clear who was driving, the officer cannot simply assume who was driving the car. Just because you own the car, for example, doesn’t mean you were the driver. And unless police can prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you were driving the car, your DWI case may be dismissed in court.

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas, don’t simply assume that you will be convicted of DWI. Learn more about your legal options and schedule a free consultation with one of our Montgomery County DWI defense attorneys at our law firm. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

The Call You Need to Make After Being Arrested for DWI

Texas DWI attorney

Every year in the U.S., more than 10,000 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That means that every day, approximately 30 people are involved in fatal crashes caused by drunk drivers. With those staggering numbers in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that driving while intoxicated (DWI) is considered a serious crime and something that all states, including Texas, are constantly trying to combat.

One of the biggest campaigns to battle the DWI epidemic is the 2020 national enforcement mobilization "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," which officially goes into effect across the country from August 19 to September 7, 2020.

During this time, law enforcement officials will be on high alert and on the lookout to stop drivers for suspicion of DWI. While those who make the decision to drink and drive can be pulled over and charged with driving while intoxicated, sometimes police make mistakes and arrest innocent drivers, too.

What is the punishment for a DWI in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI conviction carries severe consequences and harsh penalties. For first-time offenders, you could face up to six months in jail, a $2,000 fine and the loss of your license for up to a year. DWI with a passenger younger than 15 can also result in severe punishment. Multiple DWI convictions may result in up to 10 years of jail time and fines as high as $10,000 – not to mention the annual fees you may be forced to pay if you want to keep your driver’s license.

What mistakes do police make during a DWI stop?

Common mistakes that law enforcement officers make when stopping drivers for suspicion of DWI include:

  • Stopping a driver based solely on an anonymous 911 call
  • Following a driver to their residence without permission or probable cause
  • Making an arrest based on just the statements of the driver
  • Detaining a driver for longer than necessary
  • Stopping a driver based on a “hunch”
  • Stopping a driver solely for the purpose of checking the driver’s license and registration
  • Stopping a driver for driving too slow or too fast without further proof of DWI
  • Stopping a driver for weaving within a single lane
  • Making a mistake about a traffic violation
  • Failure to follow Texas Breath Testing Regulations
  • Failure to follow DWI training
  • Arresting drivers who are not intoxicated

Let DWI defense attorney Amanda Webb protect your rights

DWI and DWI charges should always be taken seriously, which is why you should take every measure possible to protect your rights and keep your freedom. With so much at stake, getting experienced representation from a qualified DWI defense lawyer is critical.

DWI defense attorney Amanda Webb has been practicing criminal defense in Montgomery County since 2009 and has an in-depth understanding of the court system and DWI laws in Texas. If you were arrested for DWI in Conroe or anywhere in the Houston area, give your case the attention it deserves and contact us today.

Police will be cracking down on drunk drivers this 4th of July

Texas DWI attorney

The 4th of July is just around the corner. People all over the state of Texas are preparing to celebrate the independence of America with a day of congregating with friends and family, boating and barbecuing.

A fun holiday celebration can take a turn for the worse when police become too aggressive in their efforts to crack down on drunk driving. Not only is the 4th of July a popular holiday, this year's celebration will fall on a Saturday. For this reason, law enforcement officers across Texas are expecting to make hundreds of DWI arrests.

Will I encounter a sobriety checkpoint this 4th of July?

Unlike many other states, sobriety checkpoints are illegal under Texas's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. In 1991, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that sobriety checkpoints violate drivers' Fourth Amendment rights.

That doesn't mean that police won't use other tactics to crack down on suspected drunk drivers. If you're driving at night on the 4th of July, be aware the police may hide in plain sight and be poised to pull over anyone who speeds or violates a traffic rule.

Police may even become aggressive enough to follow drivers and wait for them to make the slightest traffic infraction.

What are my rights if I get pulled over?

If you are pulled over by police, you must always comply with their orders. You can put the officer at ease by putting your car in park and shutting it off, rolling down your window and placing your hands on the steering wheel.

When the officer asks for your driver's license and registration, you must provide it. If the officer asks you any other questions, however, you have the right to remain silent. In fact, remaining silent can save you a lot of legal trouble in court if you're arrested and charged with a DWI.

If an officer suspects that you were driving drunk, and administers a roadside breath test, you could be placed under arrest, even if your BAC level is below the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

What should I do if I'm arrested and charged with a DWI?

Should your 4th of July celebration end in a DWI arrest, it's critical that you consult with an experience DWI defense attorney who can help you fight the charges.

When it comes to DWIs, Texas doesn't mess around. A first-time DWI offender can face up to six months in jail, a $2,000 fine, a 90-day license suspension, probation and a license reinstatement fee of $3,000.

DWI lawyer Amanda Webb can help you avoid these harsh consequences by devising a strong legal defense. To find out how, contact us and schedule your free case evaluation.

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.