Beating a DWI in Texas is not a lost cause. If you get pulled over and the police officer believes you’re exhibiting signs of drinking and driving, this doesn’t necessarily mean “game over.” This also goes for when you fail a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test.
You. Can. Fight. Back.
And win, too.
When it comes to beating a DWI charge in Texas, there’s The Before and there’s The After. The Before is your entire pullover experience: what happens, how you’re behaving, and what will and won’t work against you. The After is everything you and your lawyer bring together to help you overcome your DWI charge in court: the evidence, your defense tactics, and your overall fight.
As a top DWI law firm in Houston, Thiessen Law Firm has learned what it takes to beat a DWI during both The Before and The After phases of our DWI case. We have gathered that knowledge together to share here so that you can have the best chance possible at beating a DWI charge.
So if you’re thinking about automatically giving up and pleading guilty to a DWI charge in Texas, stop. Remove those thoughts from your head immediately and take a look at our expert tips on how to fight a DWI in Texas.
How to beat a DWI charge: “The Before”
Unfortunately, if you are drunk and blacked out in the moment, this section won’t do much good for you. However, if you’re not in that category, following these tips can give you the upperhand in court and make it substantially easier for your lawyer to lock down a Not Guilty charge.
We’ll do two things for you here.
- We’ll provide a brief overview of what to do when pulled over by the police.
- We’ll provide you with a list of additional resources to check out that expand on the majority of these pullover do’s and don’ts.
Pullover tips that can help you fight a DWI charge in court:
Blow, don’t bleed
In the majority of cases, it is our recommendation to take a breathalyzer test as opposed to a blood test. There are a handful of reasons we recommend this, but this primarily resides in accuracy and perception. The accuracy of breathalyzers is highly debated, and jurors perceive breathalyzers to be less effective and reliable than blood tests.
Read more about it: Why do not blow is bad advice
Be on your absolute best behavior
A police officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull you over for a DWI, and they need probable cause to arrest you for a DWI. Don’t give them the luxury of probable cause. Now, if you’re way over a .08 BAC level, this is easier said than done. But if you’re not, do everything within your power to appear completely and utterly sober. Don’t slur your speech. Pay attention. Remain polite and non-confrontational. Provide all the proper documentation. Stay calm.
Read more about it: Probable causes for DWI arrest
You have the right to remain silent, and you should invoke this right when you’re pulled over for a DWI. We CANNOT stress this tip enough. You may think being open and forthright with a police officer will only help you, but this is incorrect. A police officer won’t differentiate between a drink an hour ago and a drink 5 minutes ago. A police officer also won’t differentiate between 3 drinks and 1 drink. It is better to invoke your right to remain silent then to dig yourself into a hole that might be impossible for your lawyer to dig you out of.
Read more about it: DWI mistakes to avoid
Know what you need to do and don’t need to do
Beyond your right to remain silent, you have other rights. At the same time, there are things that you are required by law to do during a pullover. Knowing these rights can help you in court, and simultaneously, refusing to do certain things that you’re not allowed to refuse can hurt you in court. For example, you do NOT need to consent to a search of your vehicle; however, you DO have to answer specific questions and provide specific documentation by law. Understanding and practicing these do’s and don’ts can put you in good standing with the court. Imagine if you refused to hand over your driver’s license or even tell the police officer your name. How do you think a jury would respond to that?
Read more about it: What to do when pulled over by the police
How to beat a DWI charge: “The After”
After all is said and done — you’ve been picked up by a police officer and charged with a DWI — now it’s time to plan your defense. Many of the “how to beat a DWI” tips in the section work hand-in-hand with “The Before.” So, if you fail to follow a tip from the above category, it could directly impact one, some, or all of the following tips. In other words, beware. Try your best to adhere to all of the tips we’ve provided above, so your lawyer can work their magic with the tips below.
Evidentiary tips that can help you (and your lawyer) fight a DWI charge in court:
Know the weaknesses of breathalyzer tests, blood alcohol tests, and field sobriety tests
Whether it’s a field sobriety test, a breathalyzer test, or a blood alcohol test, these tests all have the opportunity to work in your favor (even if you fail them). They all have strict guidelines to follow, and they all have their controversial downfalls. Your lawyer should recognize this, and use it to your advantage.
For example, as we mentioned earlier, you should opt for a breathalyzer test. There are a million and one things that can negatively impact and sway the results of a breathalyzer test — from improper handling to poor calibration to current health conditions. All of these, can put the breathalyzer results into question and can improve your chances of a dismissal of DWI in Texas. While there are certain issues with blood tests, they are weak in comparison to those of a breathalyzer.
Read more about it: Faulty BAC tests
Use video evidence and police reports to your advantage
We said earlier, behavior matters, and if your behavior was top-notch during a pullover, your lawyer can use this to achieve a Not Guilty verdict. It is important that your lawyer seeks out the video of the incident and matches it up with the police report. For example, if they’re saying your intoxication level was 2x the legal limit, but the video shows you behaving like a completely sober individual, this will raise extreme doubt.
However, it’s important to recognize that this can also work against you. If the video shows you acting belligerently and seems to correspond with the documented BAC level, and your lawyer is trying to argue a faulty test, the defense will likely fall flat.
While we’re on the subject of documentation and police reporting, there are certain elements that are required and should not be lacking. Your lawyer should know what to look for. Missing information can help you in the long run.
Read more about it: How to avoid being tricked by the police
Hire a DWI specialist
Did you know that not all lawyers who claim to be DWI specialists are actually DWI specialists? In order to be officially recognized as a national expert in DWI law, you must first be Board Certified in DWI Defense Law by the National College for DUI Defense. Only a handful (5, as of this writing) of lawyers in Texas are certified, and Mark Thiessen is one of them.
Of those 5, only 3 are also Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mark is one of those 3.
And of those 3, Mark is the only lawyer who is also certified as a Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemistry Society and the Chemistry and the Law Division.
In other words, Mark is one of the most qualified lawyers to handle a DWI case in Texas. Period. End of story.
As a DWI law firm talking about how to fight a DWI in Texas, we obviously believe the number one tip is to seek out guidance from an experienced lawyer. When you’re considering what to do when you get a DWI in Texas, this is the very first and most important tip. A DWI can remain on your record permanently and impact your life for decades to come. And whether or not this is a DWI in Texas first offense, doesn’t matter. It is possible to fight and win against a 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th DWI charge. Don’t give up too soon.
Read more about it: Mark Thiessen, DWI specialist in Houston
Beating a DWI in Texas starts with Thiessen Law Firm
At Thiessen Law Firm, we have the experience and skill you need to beat a DWI charge. Mark Thiessen has successfully achieved over 100 Not Guilty verdicts and thousands of dismissals, making Thiessen Law Firm the go-to law firm for DWI cases in Houston. We’ve helped our clients through seemingly impossible odds, including difficult intoxication manslaughter cases and felony DWI cases.
If you’ve been charged with DWI, don’t wait. Give us a call at 713-864-900 or fill out our online form to request a free DWI consultation today.
Want to go deeper and learn even more about how to overcome a DWI charge? Check out Mark Thiessen’s eBook on Beating a DWI. You’ll learn everything you need to know about successfully fighting a DWI and more.
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