After an arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, many people automatically assume that a conviction is automatic. The truth, however, is that any number of factors could lead to the criminal charges being reduced or completely dismissed.
A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an alleged offender was intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Any lack of evidence or improper police action leading up to the arrest can potentially prevent the prosecution from obtaining a conviction.
Fort Worth Lawyer Discusses Defenses Against DWI Charges
Were you charged with DWI in the greater Tarrant County area? Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC aggressively defends clients in Fort Worth, Arlington, Weatherford, Cleburne, and many surrounding parts of North Central Texas.
As former felony prosecutors and assistant district attorneys, our Fort Worth DWI attorneys utilize more than 30 years of combined legal experience to determine the best possible defenses in drunk driving cases. Call 817-502-3600 right now to receive a free review of your own case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of DWI Defenses in Tarrant County
- What are some of the most frequent successful drunk driving defenses based on?
- How do police officers mistakenly assume people are intoxicated?
- Where can I find more information about Texas DWI laws?
From the moment that a police officer activates his or her lights to pull over an alleged offender, every aspect of a DWI arrest needs to be investigated and scrutinized. Any error or improper action by law enforcement during an encounter can essentially negate the criminal charges.
A few of the defenses that Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC commonly use following an investigation include, but are not limited to:
- Probable Cause — Evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed is considered probable cause. When a police officer arrests a person without any observations or evidence that the alleged offender was intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle, then this could be considered a lack of probable cause that leads to the case being thrown out.
- Reasonable Suspicion in a Traffic Stop — Reasonable suspicion is a standard that is less than that of probable cause that justifies a police officer’s initial traffic stop. Authorities cannot justify pulling over alleged offenders for DWI based on anonymous tips or mere hunches.
- Attacking DWI Test Results — Even if an alleged offender agrees to perform field sobriety tests or submits to chemical testing, failing these tests does not automatically translate to a conviction. Errors in the administration of these tests or faulty equipment can contribute to false positives that ultimately lead to the results being inadmissible in court.
Police reports after DWI arrests often contain many of the same observations. Virtually all of the signs that alleged offenders were intoxicated could have perfectly reasonable explanations to the contrary.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Flushed Face — Again, an officer has no way of knowing what the everyday color of a driver’s face is;
- Red, Watery, Glassy, and/or Bloodshot Eyes — Motorists may be fatigued from working long hours or simply dealing with allergies because of ragweed, pollen, or mold in North Central Texas;
- Slurred Speech — A police officer has no way of knowing how an alleged offender normally speaks;
- Strong Odor of Alcohol on Breath — Not only does the basic smell of an alcoholic product fail to automatically equate to intoxication, but it is entirely possible that another product cause this odor—including non-alcoholic beer; and
- Stumbling, Swaying, or Staggering After Exiting Vehicle — Any motorist who has been behind the wheel for an extended period of time can have an understandable degree of difficulty regaining his or her regular legs after being seated for so long.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program | Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — You can learn more about how to request a hearing for an ALR to contest the suspension of your driver license after a DWI on this section of the DPS website. During a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge listens to evidence from all parties, after which he or she issues a final, appealable decision and order that will be sent to the parties. Hearings are conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings, which has a main office in the state capital and seven field offices.
State Office of Administrative Hearings
6777 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76116
Texas Penal Code | Chapter 49 — Title 10, Chapter 49 is dedicated to intoxication and alcoholic beverage offenses, including various DWI offenses. You can learn more about the specific laws relating to DWI as well as enhanced offenses and penalties.
Find a DWI Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, TX
If you have been arrested for DWI in the Lone Star State, you do not have to go to court hoping for mercy from the prosecutor and judge handling your case. Instead, you can have legal counsel that will develop the most effective defense against your criminal charges.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC represents residents of and visitors to communities in Tarrant County, Parker County, Johnson County, and surrounding areas in North Central Texas. Our Forth Worth criminal defense attorneys will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your options as soon as you call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form today.