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DWI – FAQ’S

1. I was just arrested for DWI; should I wait to hire an attorney?

NO.  You have only 15 days from your arrest to request a hearing on your driver's license.  This hearing is very important to your case.  You should act fast.

2. I was arrested; is this something I can really fight even if I don't look good?

YES.  An experienced DWI attorney can defend a DWI case even if you look bad on tape or you failed the Breath test.  There are several legal requirements that officers must follow on a DWI arrest.

3. The officer told me he had me on tape; will that work against me?
          
NO.  A video tape can often aid in your defense.  You may look better than you thought, and the officer may have not done what he is trained to do.  An experienced DWI attorney can make the tape work for you.

4. I took the breath test, and I think I failed; is the case over for me?
  
ABSOLUTELY NOT.  There are several things an officer must do in giving you a Breath or Blood test.  Also, juries can return a not guilty verdict even with a Breath or Blood test.

5. I was told never to take a breath test.  I was arrested; how do they show I was drunk?
         
In Texas; intoxication can be proven one of three ways: (1) 0.08 or more, (2) not having your normal mental faculties, OR (3) not having your normal physical faculties. 

6. If I take the Breath test or Blood test and pass, will the Police release me to go home and not file the DWI?
           NO. There are three ways the Government can prove intoxication.  Police do not let you go home.  When you are requested to take a Breath or Blood test, you are ALREADY UNDER ARREST.  The Breath or Blood test is only a formality.  The Police will not un-arrest you if you pass the breath test.  A Blood test takes time get back from the lab. 

7. Can I refuse the Breath or Blood test?  Can the fact that I refused be used against me?
          
Yes. The fact that you refused the Breath or Blood test can be used against you in your DWI trial; however, most people have been advised by friends, family, and others not to take the test.  Unless you are POSITIVE you will pass, you probably should not take the Breath or Blood test. In a "NO REFUSAL" jurisdiction or county, if you refuse, the police officer may attempt to obtain a search warrant to force a blood specimen from you against your will. This tactic has become increasingly common in the last few years.

8. I was involved in an accident and the officer requested that I take a Blood test; can they to that?
          
Yes.  In Texas, the officer has the option to request a Breath or a Blood test. As stated above, in a "NO REFUSAL" jurisdiction or county, if you refuse, the police officer may attempt to obtain a search warrant to force a blood specimen from you against your will. This tactic has become increasingly common in the last few years.

9. I decided or was forced to take a Blood test; can the case be defended?
          
Yes. Blood tests are tough because juries tend to rely heavily on a Blood test.  However, a skilled DWI lawyer who knows the procedures on how blood is tested and how blood is handled by police and the labs can give you the best defense possible.  Just because you took the test does not mean the Government can present it to a jury in your DWI trial.

10. Can I be charged with DWI when all I did was take the medication the doctor prescribed?

YES.  The law allows you to be charged with DWI when you have legally taken drugs.  You need a skilled DWI lawyer to address these issues.

11. The officer had me do some tests; what are they for?
          
These were Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).  There are three standardized field sobriety tests - the HGN (eye test), the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg stand.  Police use them when investigating a DWI to try and determine whether someone is intoxicated.

12. What does "standardized" mean, and how does that affect me?

Standardized means that tests must be demonstrated, instructed, and performed the same way every time.  It is important to have a skilled DWI attorney who knows what to look for to make sure the police officer demonstrated, instructed, and performed the tests with the adopted procedure.

13. What is an ALR, and can it be won?
          
An ALR hearing is an Administrative License Review hearing.  This is the hearing that determines whether or not your driver's license will be suspended as a result of refusing or failing the breath or blood test when you where arrested for DWI or DUI.  Yes, an ALR can be won.  These hearings offer a wealth of information and are very important to your case.

14. I have to drive for work and there is no public transportation; how do I get there?
          
If an ALR hearing is requested within the first 15 days, your driving privileges are restored until the ALR judge makes a determination to suspend your driver's license.  If the judge suspends your driver's license, you may be eligible for an occupational driver's license.

15. If I win my DWI trial, can I get the records destroyed?
          
YES.  In most cases, if you are acquitted of DWI or DUI, you are entitled to have those records expunged (destroyed), and often the ALR suspension can also be removed from your driving record.


If you have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated, and want a trial attorney who will aggressively fight for you, call today for a free consultation.

(830) 627-3123             (512) 686-5100
Law Offices of
Darren Lee Umphrey
The Law Offices of Darren Lee Umphrey represents clients throughout Texas including San Antonio, Houston, New Braunfels,
San Marcos, Seguin, Austin, & Dallas in matters of criminal law.
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