Driving While Intoxicated & Driving Under the Influence
Are you facing a drunk driving, DWI, or DUI charge?
What’s so bad about a DWI/DUI conviction? It seems that every two years our legislators adds new penalties and fees to DWI/DUI convictions. Currently a first offense DWI/DUI conviction contains the following penalties:
- up to 180 days in the county jail
- up to a $2,000 fine
- ignition interlock as a possible probation condition
- mandatory “DWI is bad” classes
- a lifetime conviction that can never be sealed or expunge
- a lifetime conviction that can be used against you forever
- thousands of dollars in “surcharges” to keep your license.
These penalties could potentially last years after your conviction in addition to more and more court costs.
The first thing the court will look at is you. What do you remember from the night you were arrested? How were you feeling? Let’s discuss your medical history? What possible physical conditions could give you trouble on roadside balancing tests?
The officer who arrested you has no idea of who you are or that you might have bad balance, or have an some other old injury or medical condition that would affect your ability to perform some a roadside sobriety test. At the Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC our attorneys will find out and will use this information to help your case.
The Texas criminal justice system follows the “exclusionary rule;” which means the police must have a legitimate reason to stop your car, pull you over, investigate for DWI, and/or arrest you. Many cases have been dismissed outright because the officer had no reasonable justification to stop the driver. Let the Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC investigate your stop to see if we can get your case dismissed.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
Did the officer ask you to perform some balancing or other tests to see if you were “ok to drive?” Many defendants have complained about these tests and with good reason as not only trial courts, but also appellate courts allow these tests as evidence against you. Thankfully, there are ways to fight these tests.
First, did the Officer administer the tests correctly? In Texas, officers sit through only a few hours of field sobriety training; so shouldn’t be a surprise that some officers cannot correctly administer or evaluate these tests.
More often than not, officers failing to give the correct instructions or use the correct grading criteria is the reason some charges are dismissed. The State will argue that any little mistake you made on these balancing tests “proves” you were intoxicated at the time of arrest; however, the prosecutor will argue in the very same breath that any mistake the officer made should be ignored. The Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC will stand up to this double standard.
HGN- THE EYE TEST
Just like with roadside balancing tests, officers can fail to administer an eye test correctly while the State will continue to argue waiving a pen in front of your eyes can prove that you were intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt.for a few seconds. Just like with roadside balancing tests, the Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC will also stand up to this double standard.
DWI IS AN OPINION CRIME
Intoxication in Texas is an “opinion crime;” the arresting officer has the opinion that you are intoxicated, and you and the jury have every right to disagree. “Intoxication” in Texas is that an individual has lost the normal use of his or her physical or mental faculties.
Unfortunately, there is no reliably objective measurement for exactly what “normal use” is under the law. This why there is such a strong focus on the individual. What are your “normal” mental faculties? Do you get nervous when being interrogated by the police or other authority figures even when you haven’t done anything wrong? Do you have poor balance from an inner ear issue? Do you perform poorly under stress?
You can fight the officer’s opinion with the truth about who you are, and how you behave normally. Every person has different personality, skills, and abilities. Every person will perform differently, or appear differently, under the stress of a DWI/DUI investigation and arrest.
Above all else, please remember that just because an officer says you “failed” his roadside tests, does NOT mean you were intoxicated, and it most certainly does NOT mean that you must plead guilty.
DO NOT SUBMIT TO A BREATH TEST. These tests are performed in government labs on government machines; which means that nit only will the results be delayed, but also that the State will never allow a defense lawyer access to its equipment. This prevents your defense lawyers from discovering defects in the machine’s design, manufacture, or it’s programming code.
It is important for you to know that there are many factors that influence a breath test score. Not only that, but these machines are manufactured with built-in “acceptable” rates of error that can give a higher score to a person who simply breathes harder during the test.
DWI/DUI enforcement in Texas collides with civil liberties and 4th Amendment activists when it comes to drawing the blood of people who refuse to submit to a breath test.
Blood tests are done in either a local hospital, or at a government lab. If you were taken to a hospital and had blood drawn after an accident, the State can and will seize your private medical records to use against you in court.
There can be problems with hospital testing; with the most obvious one being that hospitals draw blood for diagnostic, not forensic, purposes in order quickly assess how to best treat and care for a patient.
Asa result, government blood tests are becoming more common. While alcohol blood testing is done locally, if your blood is tested for drugs, then the samples will be sent to Austin. This can cause unnecessary delays in your case because blood testing is much more complicated than breath analysis testing. Let the Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC challenge these breath and blood tests.
Contact the Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC today at 1-844-LAW-2121.