Texas DUI and DWI charges catch even the most responsible drivers by surprise. You are home from a work event and out of nowhere, you hear a siren and see the flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. You were sure that you did not drink too much at the event, but the police officer ends up arresting you and taking you to the police station. Now, you are facing serious consequences that could negatively affect your life for years to come. Seeking the help of experienced DWI lawyers can help you fight your DWI charges effectively.
Our Texas DWI Defense Lawyers Know How to Develop a Winning Strategy
When prosecutors charge drivers with driving while intoxicated (DWI), the defendants have a right to make the best defense possible. The best way to fight a DWI charge is to choose a compelling and tailored defense strategy.
At Jumes Law, our Fort Worth DWI defense lawyers listen carefully to the facts in each of our client’s cases. We understand that throwing every possible defense at the wall is too exhausting for jurors and not effective. We pick the top defense or defenses specific to the facts of the case and fight compellingly at all levels of the Texas DWI process.
The Facts of the Case Should Dictate the Defense Strategy
Not every defense will work effectively in a given Texas DWI case. Instead, the defenses should be tailored to the facts of the case. Even the most simple defense of “I didn’t drive while intoxicated” might not be the most effective defense. The best legal defenses arise naturally from the facts of the case.
At Jumes Law, we treat each case individually so we can tailor a unique defense based on the unique facts in your case. For example, in some cases, police officers engage in misconduct. Focusing on the misconduct could be a better strategy than trying to prove that the chemical alcohol tests were not working.
Common Defenses to DWI Charges in Texas
Every DWI case is unique and requires a unique defense. The following defense strategies can be extremely compelling:
- Challenging field sobriety tests
- Challenging blood tests
- Challenging breath tests
- Challenging drug recognition expert testimony
- Seeking the suppression of evidence, to include expert witness testimony
- Challenging the testimony of police officers
- Proving that an accident stemming from the DWI was not your fault
- Using police reports from the accident to challenge the police officer’s testimony
- Claiming that law enforcement violated your constitutional rights, like not having a reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- Claiming that law enforcement engaged in an unconstitutional search and seizure of your property or your person
Affirmative Defenses to DWI Charges in Texas
An affirmative defense presents facts that justify the crime while admitting some or all of the criminal charges. Some affirmative defenses are found in statutory law. The following affirmative defenses are always on the table and might be effective, depending on the facts of the case:
- Mistake of fact
The insanity is not widely used, especially in DWI cases. Duress is also rare in DWI cases but could apply if someone threatened you using violence to get into the car and driver. A mistake of fact happens when the defendant, due to a mistaken belief of fact, forms a reasonable belief that negates the culpable mental state required for a criminal conviction. Most defenses to DWI are not affirmative defenses.
Challenging the Reliability of DWI Blood and Breath Tests
In many cases, the best defenses attack the reliability of breath tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests. To win a DWI conviction in Texas, the prosecutor must prove that the DWI happened beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the most difficult legal standard to meet. The state of Texas has the burden to prove the crime using their evidence in terms of blood and breath tests. When law enforcement fails to property execute blood or breath tests, or the lab fails to accurately conduct the blood tests, the judge will throw out the evidence.
Law Enforcement Lacked Probable Cause
The state has a duty to prove every single DWI element beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, law enforcement officers cannot arrest someone without probable cause. When law enforcement officers did not have probable cause, a court will throw out any evidence gained against the defendant at the stop.
When law enforcement makes the traffic stop, they must be able to prove that they had probable cause to do so. Officers must be able to prove that it is more likely than not that the suspect was committing a crime or had committed a crime. Most law enforcement officers use the suspect’s slurred speech, the odor of alcohol, and bloodshot eyes to prove that they had probable cause.
However, these observations are easily challenged. A person could have allergies or be extremely tired, causing their eyes to be red. We can also challenge slurred speech rather easily. After all, the police officer does not know how the defendant usually speaks. When it comes to the odor of alcohol, remember that it is not illegal to drink, it is only illegal to drive while intoxicated.
The State of Texas Must Prove Every Element in a DWI Case
Depending on the facts of the case, our lawyers will decide which elements of a DWI to attack. If law enforcement and labs failed to accurately process the blood test, we challenge the blood test aggressively. When the arresting police officers lacked probable cause, we argue that the judge should reject evidence gathered from the unconstitutional search. When there is a hole in the prosecution’s case, we find it and exploit it to benefit our clients.
Our DWI Defense Lawyers can Help
At Jumes Law, our legal team has extensive experience fighting Texas DWI charges. If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, you need a strategic defense. Contact our experienced Fort Worth DWI lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.