DUI And DWI 101: Everything About Defense Strategies
If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI offense, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take. Indeed, being accused of a DUI or DWI is never easy, but there are steps you can take to defend yourself in court. The best way to protect your rights is by understanding the law and the different defense strategies you can use in your case. Here are some common defense strategies for making an informed decision about proceeding with your case.
Common Defense Strategies Against 1st, 2nd, Or 3rd DUI And DWI Offenses
There are several ways to defend against a DUI or DWI charge, and the best defense strategy will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. But first, ask yourself the following questions with your skilled DUI attorney after a DUI:
- Was the arrest conducted under legal statutes and guidelines?
- Was the test adequately conducted and administered? The officer could have administered the tests incorrectly, or environmental factors could have affected your performance (such as poor lighting or uneven pavement).
- Is there a reason why the police stopped you in the first place? Were they acting legally during the initial stop? If the police arrested you without a valid cause, any evidence they obtained might be inadmissible in court.
- Was there a legitimate legal justification for the police to demand that you step out of the car?
- Was the proper protocol followed when you were pulled over and a blood alcohol test was conducted?
- Was the breathalyzer equipment correctly calibrated and kept up to date? Challenges to breath test results include challenging the machine used or the officer’s test administration.
Drinking And Driving In Texas
In Texas, while DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. DWI is charged when the person is driving with a BAC that goes above 0.08, OR their mental/physical faculties are affected. A DUI is charged when a MINOR is driving and is found to have ANY AMOUNT of alcohol in their system, even if it does not reach the legal limit.
DWI: Driving While Intoxicated
DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated,” and it is a criminal offense in many states. DWI laws vary from state to state, but they all make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DWI is a more severe offense, is prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor, and can be upgraded to felonies in some cases.
Understanding The Differences Between DWI And DUI In Texas
DUI (driving under the influence) is punishable by up to 72 hours in jail and a $500 fine in Texas. DWI is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
There is a big difference between the two offenses regarding intoxication levels. A DWI requires a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, whereas a DUI is issued to minors driving with ANY amount of alcohol in their system, even if below the legal.
Furthermore, DWI carries harsher penalties for drivers with prior DWI convictions, unlike DUI, which does not require proof of impairment. In Texas, DUI is reserved for minors under the age of 21. DWI, on the other hand, can apply to both minors and adults.
Common Mistakes Of Police
There are several common mistakes that police officers make when investigating and arresting individuals for DUI/DWI. These mistakes can include the following:
- Failing to administer field sobriety tests properly
- Failing to administer breathalyzer tests properly
- Not correctly documenting the arrest and investigation
- No warnings during the arrest process
- Making arrests without probable cause
If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can review the details of your case and look for any potential mistakes that may have been made. An attorney can also help you determine the best defense strategy for your case.
Factors That Can Lead To A DWI Arrest
The police officer may have observed erratic driving, observed signs of intoxication, or received a report of reckless driving. During the stop, the officer will likely observe your appearance and behavior for signs of intoxication.
There are many reasons why police may stop you while you are driving. Some of the most common causes include:
- Making an illegal turn.
- Failing to signal when changing lanes.
- Driving without headlights at night.
- Running a red light or stop sign.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
Answer DWI Stop Questions With An Attorney
It is important to remember that you are not required to answer any questions other than those regarding your identification. If the officer asks you how much you have had to drink, where you are coming from, or where you are going, you can politely decline to answer. It is smart to wait for your DWI lawyer before making any statements to avoid putting yourself in a difficult position.
Being polite and remaining calm is the best thing to do if you are pulled over. You must comply if the officer asks you to step out of the car. The officer may be looking for any signs of impairment, so don’t give them any reason to suspect you’re intoxicated. The officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests when you exit the vehicle. Even sober people can have difficulty completing these tests.
What Do Officers Look For In A DWI Stop?
When a police officer makes a DWI stop, there are certain things they will look for to determine if the driver is intoxicated. These include:
- The driver’s appearance. Officers will look for signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.
- Intoxicated drivers may be observed fumbling with paperwork, swaying while standing, or having difficulty exiting their cars.
- Officers may ask the driver to walk in a straight line or recite the alphabet to determine the driver’s level of intoxication.
Breath And Blood Alcohol Tests
The first step in any DUI or DWI arrest is administering a breathalyzer or blood test. The results of these tests will determine if the driver is impaired and over the legal limit. If the results of the test show that the driver is over the legal limit, they will be charged with DUI or DWI.
Ways That A Breathalyzer Can Be Administered
The most common way is for the officer to blow the driver into a handheld device. This device will then measure the alcohol in the driver’s system and estimate their blood alcohol content (BAC).
Another way that a breathalyzer test can be administered is through a machine called an intoxilyzer. This machine is usually found at police stations and uses a sample of the driver’s breath to determine their BAC.
A third way a breathalyzer test can be administered is through a blood test. This is usually done when the police believe that the driver may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. A blood sample will be taken and sent to a lab for analysis. The results of this test will take longer to come back, but they will be more accurate than either of the other two methods.
No matter which method is used, if the results of the breathalyzer or blood test show that the driver is over the legal limit, they will be arrested and charged with DUI or DWI.
Why You Need A Highly Reviewed Fort Worth DWI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DWI in Fort Worth, hiring an experienced DWI lawyer to represent you is essential. A DWI conviction can result in jail time, loss of your driver’s license and high fines, but with the help of an experienced DWI lawyer, you will know how to investigate the charges against you and build a strong defense.
An experienced DWI lawyer will have the knowledge and skills to investigate the charges against you and help build a strong defense. An experienced DWI lawyer will also be able to negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced charge or sentence. If you are facing a DWI charge, do not try to go it alone – hire an experienced DWI lawyer to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome in your case.
DUI Attorneys From Top-Notch Criminal Defense Firm The Medlin Law Firm In TX
A DUI attorney thoroughly understands the laws and procedures related to DUI & DWI cases in Texas. With The Medlin Law Firm DUI attorneys on your side, you can protect your rights and navigate the criminal justice system. The firm is dedicated to working assiduously to uncover any procedural errors or violations of your constitutional rights. These errors may be used in your defense and ensure your rights are completely protected.
The firm begins every case to get your case “dismissed.” Consulting with a DUI lawyer from the firm will help you challenge the prosecution’s case against you. They can help bargain with prosecutors to get charges reduced or dismissed and defend you at trial if necessary. The Medlin Law Firm has fought for thousands of cases before and can help you to build a strong defense against the charges against you.