Recent blog posts

Illegal Traffic Stop Can Sink DWI ChargePolice officers must follow several legal steps when arresting you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. A mistake at any point in the process can result in the DWI charges being dropped. For instance, a police officer must have a legal reason to stop you leading up to your DWI arrest. If the officer performs an illegal stop, evidence of your alleged DWI may be inadmissible in court, including blood alcohol content and field sobriety tests. Without this key evidence, you can petition to have your DWI charge dismissed.

Reasonable Suspicion

Because most DWI arrests do not involve warrants, a police officer must have some cause to pull over a driver. Unfortunately for DWI defendants, Texas allows DWI traffic stops based on the broadly defined standard of reasonable suspicion. Unlike probable cause, reasonable suspicion only requires that an officer have some reason to believe that the driver committed a traffic violation or was driving dangerously. The officer can be mistaken but still justified in performing the stop if it was based on a reasonable belief. Valid reasons for DWI traffic stops include:

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Facing Intoxication Manslaughter in TexasProsecutors charge a defendant with manslaughter when the defendant unintentionally kills someone through his or her reckless behavior. Many states have different classifications of manslaughter, including vehicular manslaughter for when a driver acts recklessly. Texas law has a charge of intoxication manslaughter that is separate from vehicular manslaughter. Texas prosecutors bring intoxication manslaughter charges against defendants involved in fatal accidents who are suspected of driving while intoxicated. Defendants who are convicted of intoxication manslaughter may receive severe penalties.

Intoxication Manslaughter Charges

The difference between vehicular manslaughter and intoxication manslaughter is the allegation of intoxicating substances being involved the incident. The victim can be someone in another vehicle, a passenger in the defendant’s vehicle or a pedestrian. In order to prove intoxication manslaughter, the prosecution must show that:

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How Video Evidence Can Help Your DWI CasePolice video of your arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated has the potential to help or hurt your defense case. A recent and famous example is the video released of Tiger Woods’ arrest. The video portrayed him as being confused as police officers questioned him and administered field sobriety tests. The tape made him look guilty in the court of public opinion. Regardless of its contents, it is vital for your defense to see any video of your DWI arrest. An experienced DWI defense attorney can find useful evidence in an arrest video that a normal person would not think to look for.

Accessing Video Evidence

Police departments commonly install dashboard cameras in their vehicles to record arrests. The prosecution can use the video footage to support the charges brought against you in a DWI case. Your defense also has a right of discovery that allows it access to evidence the prosecution has against you. Upon your request, the prosecution must provide you with a copy of the arrest video. Failure to comply may result in your case being dismissed. However, the prosecution is only required to turn over the video evidence if your defense makes a formal request.

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Beware Boating While Intoxicated ChargesThe summer can be the height of recreational boating season in Texas, particularly during holidays such as the Fourth of July. Police are aware of this and will be on the lookout for people who have had too much to drink. Boating While Intoxicated is just as serious a charge in Texas as Driving While Intoxicated. People accused of BWI must take the same measures to protect themselves as if they were stopped for a DWI.

Defining Boating While Intoxicated

BWI occurs when a person operating any motorized aquatic vehicle is legally intoxicated, which is defined as having a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. Just as with a DWI, the punishment for those convicted varies, depending on the offender’s history and aggravating factors:

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Texas Close to Passing Second Chance Law for DWI OffendersA conviction of driving while intoxicated in Texas has consequences beyond the court-issued punishment. The conviction will show up on your criminal record when someone conducts a background check on you. A DWI record could prevent you from getting a new job, bank loan or lease on an apartment. Proposed Texas legislation would allow one-time offenders to seal their DWI records. The “Second Chance Bill” has passed the Texas House of Representatives and Senate and is awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s approval. The bill has received bipartisan support, based on the idea that an isolated DWI incident should not punish a person for the rest of his or her life.

How It Works

The bill would amend the Texas code regarding the nondisclosure of non-violent class C misdemeanors and DWI convictions with a blood alcohol content level of less than 0.15. Texas passed a similar bill in 2015 that applied to non-violent class A and B misdemeanors. A person could petition a court to seal the record of his or her DWI conviction in Texas, as long as:

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