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Grant M. Scheiner - Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Another Case Dismissed – Lack of Reasonable Suspicion for the Stop and Insufficient Evidence of DWI

This week we were glad to see another one of our clients’ cases dismissed. Our client – I will call her Maria – was arrested a few months ago by the Jersey Village Police Department. Maria was coming home from a party and tried to take a shortcut through a parking lot that, according to police, was in an area known for drugs and prostitution.  The police, who were monitoring the area, saw Maria trying to take the shortcut and pulled her over. When the officer approached Maria’s vehicle, he told her – surprisingly – that she was being stopped because of the area she was coming from.  Maria was then asked to step out of her vehicle, given standardized field sobriety tests, and arrested for DWI.

There were several problems with this case that highlight the need for hiring an experienced attorney in any DUI or DWI case. First of all, the police had no valid reason to stop Maria. Coming from an area known for high crime – without more – is simply not a valid reason to pull someone over. Stopping someone in this case does not meet the requirement of reasonable suspicion, and we were determined to get the case dismissed for this reason.

Additionally, there were problems with the State’s DWI case against Maria. The officers who administered the field sobriety tests did so incorrectly for several reasons. For example, when officers administered the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (which tests for an involuntary “jerking” of the eye, supposedly after alcohol consumption) their lights on their cars were flashing. This may invalidate the test because it could create the illusion of jerking. But even if officers had administered the tests correctly, Maria did not appear intoxicated, and she declined to blow into the police’s breath test machine.

At our urging, the prosecutors in this case did the right thing and dismissed Maria’s case. But as in all of our cases, we were prepared to protect Maria’s rights and go to trial. DWI and DUI cases can be very specialized and it is important to hire a lawyer experienced in defending these cases who can spot problems with the State’s case, and who is prepared to go to trial. If you or a loved one is arrested for an alcohol related offense, the attorneys at Scheiner Law Group are an excellent choice.