How to Fight (and Beat) a DWI: Courtroom Strategies from Mark Thiessen
It’s a nightmare scenario: a cop has you pulled over on the side of the road, and you blow a .09 on the Breathalyzer. The cuffs go on, you’re put in the back of the squad car and things start to seem pretty hopeless. You might start thinking “they just proved me guilty” or “my life is ruined,” but that’s just what they want you to think.
DWI charges can be fought, and even more importantly, they can be beaten. I win DWI cases all the time, and while each case is different, there are some consistent factors at play that cops and prosecutors won’t tell you about. Before you give up hope and throw in the towel, check out some of the trial-tested courtroom strategies that could make the difference in your case.
Blinding Them with Science
You know that old saying, “fight fire with fire”? Replace “fire” with “science” and you have one of the major keys to fighting a DWI charge. Determining intoxication is far more complicated than blowing into a box on the side of the road. When a good person’s freedom is on the line, test results should be airtight before the judge starts handing down a verdict. More often than not, that isn’t the case. As a Lawyer-Scientist, I possess both the scientific and legal knowledge necessary to fight and discredit bad toxicology work, and cast enough reasonable doubt to win my cases for my clients.
For starters, the most commonly used device to test blood alcohol levels in Texas is a machine called the Intoxilyzer 5000. Sounds fancy, right? It isn’t. This machine is horribly outdated and even uses the same microprocessor as an old Atari video game system.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the science behind these tests is mostly junk. It utilizes the theory of infrared absorption, analyzing the behavior of light molecules after a suspect blows into the device. In theory, the infrared light will cause any detectable alcohol molecules to vibrate, which the machine then analyzes to determine a BAC score. The only problem is that a lot of things can set it off, including soy sauce, diet soda, aspirin and even common health problems! Blood tests may be harder to fight, but they are often mishandled and can be beaten by a lawyer who understands the science at play.
Roll The Tape
Any lawyer worth their salt will actively seek out any existing video from your initial traffic stop and arrest. Given how lousy the science used by police to determine intoxication is, a good police tape can be your ace in the hole. When a client looks excellent on video, but the tests yield a high BAC, it makes it much easier for the jury to doubt the state’s evidence. Actions speak louder than words, and when your video shows you speaking clearly, walking straight and behaving like a sober person, that alleged .20 BAC starts looking like nonsense pretty fast.
Give Them a Taste of Their Own Medicine
If the law won’t excuse even simple mistakes made by good people, then why should the defense treat them any differently? Cops, analysts and prosecutors slip up all the time, and when their goof-ups jeopardize someone’s freedom, we strike back. As we prepare for trial, we leave no stone unturned. The following are just a few of the mistakes we’ve pounced on to win cases for our clients.
- Warm, expired blood samples left out of proper refrigeration
- Dirty, expired test tubes that turned blood green
- Lying and disobeying protocol during a traffic stop
- Questionable Facebook posts
And the list goes on…
Facing DWI? The Best Offense is a Great Defense
DWI charges are no joke. Even though the science and behavior behind the charges may be laughable, the consequences of conviction are anything but. For an aggressive defense that tackles your case from every angle, trust the pros at Thiessen Law Firm to represent you with respect and dedication.
If you’re facing a DWI, the clock is ticking. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and get your case started on the right track.