You have a right to remain silent. That is, you do not have to answer any
questions which a police officer asks you during a DWI encounter. Remember:
everything you say (even things which you may think are helpful to you)
will be used against you.
You are not required to perform field sobriety tasks. If you believe that
you may be intoxicated, a polite refusal to perform these tasks will benefit
you greatly in the inevitable proceedings which will follow. Politely
refuse and look down or away when the officer attempts to perform the
"pen test" on your eyes. Remember: if it is after dark and you
have the odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath, the officer is
going to arrest you whether or not you think you have passed the tests.
You have a right to refuse a breath or blood test. You are not required
to blow into the hand-held machine at the scene of the traffic stop. There
is no penalty for this refusal. The results of this machine are not admissible
in court. If you are asked to perform a breath test after you are arrested
and while you are at the police station, you are not required to submit
to this test. There is currently no criminal sanction for this refusal.
However, there is a potential driver's license suspension sanction
for a refusal.
You have a right to a hearing before your license is suspended. Whether
you fail a breath test or you refuse a breath test, the Department of
Public Safety will attempt to suspend your driver's license. However,
they are not always successful. You or your lawyer MUST request that hearing
WITHIN 15 DAYS OF YOUR ARREST DATE or the hearing is WAIVED AND YOUR LICENSE
WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDED.
Contact us today to avoid your license from being suspended.
You have a right to a lawyer and a jury trial. Most people believe that
they have hopeless cases, that a defense is too expensive, that most people
lose their cases, and that a guilty plea is their best and cheapest option.
All of these concerns are inaccurate assumptions, or just plain wrong!
You are not in a position to judge your case, you need a lawyer.
Many lawyers now take credit cards or other means of payment.
Modern jurors are aware of the problems associated with police officers
in traffic stops, and they find people not guilty in DWI cases every day.
There is very rarely a "hopeless" case. This is an evaluation
which only can be made with the advice of counsel.
Probation means a criminal conviction which remains on your record for
the rest of your life. You must pay a fine, pay court costs, do dozens
of hours of community service, take psychological evaluations, report
monthly to a probation officer who has the power to put you in jail for
failures of your probation conditions, take urine tests, refrain from
the use of alcohol and going to places where alcohol is served, and in
some counties in Texas the judges will require you to serve a jail sentence
as a condition of probation.
If it is your second DWI, the jury is ordinarily not allowed to know of
your prior conviction. Since a prior offense is a punishment issue, going
to the court for punishment effectively prevents the jury from knowing
about your prior case when they determine your guilt or innocence.