Understanding how police mistakes can be used to protect your freedom
Getting arrested for DWI can be very upsetting, and a conviction can have serious consequences. These include loss of license, fines, and possibly even jail time. But prosecutors still need to be able to prove their case. That's why having an experienced DWI lawyer fighting for your rights is important.
Your lawyer will carefully review your arrest to check to see if any mistakes were made. Here are ten mistakes police sometimes make when making a DWI arrest.
1. Stopping a person based only on an anonymous 911 call.
For a 911 call to justify a stop, the officer must have specific information about the caller and independent reasons to stop a moving vehicle. In DWI law, this is a contentious issue as the tip may come from an unreliable source, such as a vindictive ex-partner or a victim of road rage.
2. Following a driver into a residence without permission or probable cause.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution safeguards your home against unauthorized entry. Police require permission from you or a warrant from a judge to enter your home, even if running inside won't prevent a DWI.
3. Basing an arrest solely on the statements of another driver.
In cases of accidents, law enforcement officers must have either personal knowledge or independent corroboration of statements. Without concrete evidence, such as the time of driving or the identity of the driver, obtaining a conviction can be difficult. This scenario often arises in cases of reduced driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges, where there is insufficient proof to support the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
4. Detaining someone longer than necessary.
Officers can perform traffic detentions to enforce traffic laws but cannot hold someone indefinitely without reasonable suspicion of a crime.
5. Stopping a car because of a "hunch."
A law enforcement officer can only stop a driver if they have reasonable suspicion of a crime being or having been committed. Any evidence obtained during the stop and arrest cannot be used in court without specific facts to support the suspicion.
6. Stopping a car for going too fast or too slow without more proof.
Laws governing speed were put in place to ensure safety on the streets. Evidence is needed to prove that driving too slowly or exceeding the speed limit was unreasonable or imprudent.
7. Stopping a car for weaving within a lane.
Drivers are legally required to remain in their lane as much as possible. But drivers are also allowed to leave the lane slightly to dodge potholes and debris. That's why an investigation of the scene is needed.
8. Failing to follow state breath testing regulations.
There are strict procedures that must be followed under Texas law regarding the collection of blood and breath samples. If procedures are not followed properly, the test results will not be allowed as evidence.
9. Failing to follow field sobriety test procedures properly.
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) sponsors training for officers. If the SFST is not administered properly, the results can be challenged in court.
10. Arresting someone who was not intoxicated.
Police officers are human beings and sometimes react poorly. For example, they may arrest someone who was merely coming from a bar or was in an area where there are several bars. They may arrest someone who they felt was being confrontational when pulled over.
Contact Amanda Webb - DWI Attorney today
If you've been arrested, call an experienced DWI attorney. Attorney Amanda Webb has been defending clients in Montgomery County since 2009. She knows how to build a strong case and what it takes to get charges reduced or, in some cases, even completely dropped. Learn more about how she can help. Contact us for a free consultation.