If you're charged with DWI in Texas, you may already know that the consequences are steep. However, you can fight a DWI. The things that you do immediately after your arrest and during your legal proceedings can make it easier to fight your DWI. Here are eight tips to make your Texas DWI arrest easier to fight from the Austin criminal defense team at the Smith & Vinson Law Firm.
1. Refuse the Chemical Test
In nearly all DWI cases, you're offered a chemical breath or blood test. The results are often more accurate than those obtained from a roadside breath test, making them harder to challenge in court. Although implied consent laws say that you have agreed to be subject to chemical DWI testing, you can refuse. You should politely decline to participate in a chemical test, as it could incriminate you later. A refusal may mean an administrative suspension of your driver's license, but it could also mean the difference between a criminal conviction and your freedom.
2. Get Started Working on Your Case Right Away
Timelines to fight your DWI are strict. You might appear before a judge in only a few hours or days after the arrest. In addition, if you want to contest the administrative suspension of your license for refusing a chemical test, you have only 15 days from the date of the arrest. Time lost is case lost. You must work quickly to locate witnesses, secure evidence, and build a strong defense. The sooner you get started, the easier it is to fight your DWI charges.
3. Request All of the Evidence
Discovery is an essential part of any DWI case. You have a right to know the evidence against you. However, the district attorney isn't just going to volunteer information. There are several ways that you can gather evidence, including serving a discovery demand on the district attorney and bringing Freedom of Information Act requests to law enforcement agencies. Gathering the evidence can help you learn where the state's case is weak so that you can fight your DWI.
4. Talk to the Witnesses
The district attorney should give you a copy of the police report upon your request. That report should be just the start of your investigation. Of course, the police want to prove their case. For that reason, their police report may only state things that are favorable to them. In addition, you can't count on the police to ask questions to help your defense. Conducting your own investigation by talking to witnesses yourself is an important part of fighting your case.
5. Understand the Chemical Test
A chemical test is only good if it's conducted properly. For a breath test machine, there may be logs that the police keep that indicate whether the police have taken the necessary steps to calibrate the machine. In addition, there are protocols that the police should follow when they give the test. You can make your DWI arrest easier to fight by learning about chemical testing procedures and seeing if the police failed to follow them.
6. Review Field Sobriety Protocols
Just like there are rules for chemical testing, there are also rules for giving field sobriety tests. Only certain types of tests are standardized. The police have to give the test in a certain way. It's easier to fight your DWI test when you know what to look for in the police DWI field sobriety tests.
7. Comply With Bond Conditions
The court may give you conditions to follow while you're on bond. Follow those conditions. If you don't follow your bond conditions, you may find yourself back in jail. If you're back in jail, you can't be working on building your case. Always comply with your bond conditions so that you can work on your case.
8. Believe That You Can Fight Your Case
Don't let the police make you believe that the case against you is all sewn up. It's the jury that decides whether to convict you. Ultimately, the opinion of the police is just an opinion. Begin with the mindset that you can fight your DWI case.
Work With Our Austin Criminal Defense Team
An experienced Austin criminal defense team can help you make your Texas DWI arrest easier to fight. We know how to fight a DWI charge aggressively.
Call the Smith & Vinson Law Firm today (512) 359-3743 to learn more about how we can help protect your rights and your future.