If you are arrested for drunk driving, you may think the odds are immediately stacked against you, but they are not. No matter the circumstance, never plead guilty to a DWI without consulting an attorney! The most important decision you will need to make immediately is hiring an attorney to help you fight your charges. There are several defenses to a drunk driving charge and you can still win your case with a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side.
An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will know the wide variety of defenses available to you and more importantly, know how to use them in your case. Some affirmative defenses include necessity, mistake of fact, involuntary intoxication, duress, and entrapment. The more commonly used defenses, which target improper police investigation before, during, or after a DWI arrest, include:
- Improper stop – lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your car.
- Improperly administered field sobriety test – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created national standards for how officers are to administer the three field sobriety tests: the Walk-and-Turn Test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), and the One-Leg Stand Test. Unfortunately, many officers fail to follow the national guidelines, and some never receive proper training on the national guidelines at all. These guidelines are published in the NHTSA DWI Detection Manual. Commonly referred to as the DWI Bible to law enforcement.
- Inaccurate results from a field sobriety test – Inaccuracies can result from unfair test conditions, such as the test area being too dark, cold temperatures, wind, rain, distraction from flashing lights, or street traffic. Can also be unfair because of a person’s age or physical condition. If the conditions are so unfair that even a sober driver could not successfully do it, we can challenge the results.
- Improperly administered breathalyzer test – A common challenge is whether the device used was properly maintained and calibrated or the officer not having the proper waiting period before conducting the test.
- Improper administration of blood test in chain of custody – Was the test tampered with or mishandled at any point while in the hands of the authorities?
- Improper police actions – A DWI charge can be aggressively challenged if there was a violation of the defendant’s civil or constitutional rights, such as a failure to read you your Miranda rights.
- Rising blood alcohol level defense – A driver is guilty of driving while drunk when the blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit at the time of driving, not at the time the BAC is given. Usually while driving, an accused may have been under the limit, but then over the limit minutes later. If there is any extended amount of time between an officer stopped you and taking the test, this defense will be critical.
Prosecutors Must Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, which means they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime for which you are charged. Much of the prosecution’s case depends heavily on field sobriety tests and breath and blood tests. A skilled criminal defense attorney will know several ways to have the results of these tests completely excluded from evidence, which would then completely destroy much, if not all of the prosecution’s case. We do it all the time and the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates!
Consult a Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer
DWI offenses are harshly prosecuted in Texas and the consequences of DWI can be very severe. For many the primary concern is not being able to drive again, but the possibility of jail time, fines, and a having a DWI on your record are just as terrifying.
These are some of many defenses available to person facing a DWI charge and the best defense will ultimately depend on the facts of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to skillfully challenge the evidence against you to have the charges either, reduced, dismissed, or acquitted.
If you have been charged with a DWI in the Texas, there is a lot at stake. Having superior defense is critical. Tad Nelson or Amber Spurlock at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates can help develop the best defense strategy to challenge and rebut the evidence against you. Both are highly trained and motivated to help you in Galveston, their hometown! Contact us today at our Galveston, Texas office at 409-765-5614.