A young man came in recently to talk about a DWI he was charged with in Houston. His was a very familiar story: He was pulled over speeding, given field sobriety tests, and allegedly blew over the limit. His question was, is his case cut and dry? Is there anything he can do to try to restore his name and protect his record? The answer is yes, there are issues in every case that a top DWI attorney will use to maximize a clients chances at protecting his record and receiving an optimal result. Below are some of the most common:
Suppression issues: The United States and Texas Constitutions limit the way that police can conduct DWI investigations. In order for the police to pull someone over, they need to have probable cause that a traffic offense (or some other crime) has been committed. If the police cant show a good reason for pulling you over, then a top DWI attorney may be able to have the evidence thrown out in court.
Improperly administered field sobriety tests: Even if the officer had a valid reason to stop you, he may still not be able to use field sobriety tests against you in court if they were administered incorrectly. The most common field sobriety tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (often referred to as the eye test), the one leg stand test, and the walk and turn test. These often form the basis of a DWI investigation. However, in order to be admissible in court (in other words, in order for them to be used to prove you guilty of DWI) the State needs to show that the tests were administered correctly. This is trickier than it may sound. The guidelines for these tests appear in publications from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). A top DWI lawyer will be familiar with these guidelines.
Issues with scientific evidence: For many, scientific evidence like a breath test or blood test seems like powerful evidence that cannot be overcome in a DWI case. But this is often incorrect. Just as machines commonly malfunction in everyday life, so do they in the world of DWI investigation. As we have covered in this blog, it seems like almost every week there are new stories about malfunctioning breath test machines or inaccurate blood test evidence. But because this is a specialized area, it may be wise to hire an attorney who specializes in criminal law and understands the science beyond DWI cases.
While these are some of the common issues with DWI cases that a top attorney will use to give you the best chance at keeping a charge off of your record, every case is different, and presents unique issues that can be used to your advantage. If you or a loved one is charged with DUI or DWI in the Houston, Texas, area, the attorneys at Scheiner Law Group are an excellent choice.