If you are arrested for a DWI in Texas, you have more rights than you believe. Now, that doesn’t mean you can evade arrest, but it does mean that you don’t have to willingly agree to all “requests” made by the arresting officer.
Your Rights During the Traffic Stop
While some DWIs come from checkpoints, the majority of them come from traffic stops. Many of these traffic stops begin when a police officer pulls someone over for breaking a traffic violation. Once the officer’s lights are on, you are legally bound to stopping and pulling over, so be sure to do so. Failing to stop can result in additional penalties for “evading arrest in a motor vehicle,” which is a serious felony offense.
During the traffic stop:
- DO NOT drive away
- Use your blinker
- Move to the far right of the road
- Park away from the flow of traffic
Once you’ve been pulled over, it’s important to remember to respect the officers. Now isn’t the time to begin your legal battle—save that for your attorney. It is, however, important to remember to say as little as possible to the officers.
According to the 4th Amendment, you have the right NOT to be stopped without legal justification. If the officer has no probable cause, they violated your rights, and you should fight your charge—as the state will have an extremely hard time building a case against you.
Speaking to the Officer
Next, the officer will make contact with you. They will ask for your license and registration, and sometimes they will spark up a conversation. It is crucial for your case not to disclose too much information. Officers often make “small talk” to get you to incriminate yourself, which strengthens their case.
You will likely be asked questions like:
- So, where are you headed?
- Are you lost?
- Have you had anything to drink tonight?
- Were you at a bar?
- Do you smell alcohol?
Remember that you have the right to remain silent, and you should do so. Refusing to answer their questions will likely not get you out of an arrest, but it will surely keep you from incriminating yourself.
Speak With our Team Today
People often believe they are automatically guilty once arrested for a Texas DWI. However, there are many options available to protect your rights and your future. Working with an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney, like our team at Smith & Vinson, will help ensure the best chances of successfully fighting your charges.
Don’t let a mistake shape your future. Our team can help. Call us today (512) 359-3743 to learn more over a free consultation.