You know you've had a few drinks, but you're pretty sure you can still drive. So you grab the 10 and 2, put the cellphone away, hyperfocus on driving perfectly, and check all the boxes:
A big part of what we do as DWI defense lawyers is explaining the potential consequences of a DWI arrest or conviction. The list of potential consequences is lengthy and includes probation, community service, jail time, financial penalties, and court costs, among other things. As a part of the probationary process, many drivers will be forced to install an ignition interlock device in their car. An ignition interlock system is a small tool that is used to measure the amount of alcohol in an a driver's system. If the device measures an amount of alcohol over the designated limit, the car will not start. Basically, these are breathalyzer tests for your car.
Why is this a big deal?
Most DWI lawyers, and criminal defense attorneys in general, have absolutely zero knowledge of the immigration consequences of the plea agreements that they ask their clients to agree to. The truth is that for the average DWI defendant, it does not matter if they plead guilty or no contest to a charge of Driving While Intoxicated. Unless there is a civil case associated with the charges, usually due to a car accident, these two pleadings have very little effect on the driver. Prosecutors on the other hand seek convictions, and the average DWI lawyer will use this as a tool in plea negotiations. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost to migrant clients who risk losing their current or future immigration status in the United States due to a conviction. The conviction may lead to issues for admissibility purposes as a “record of criminal arrests and/or convictions for alcohol-related driving incidents may constitute evidence of health-related inadmissibility as a physical or mental disorder with a associated harmful behavior.” 8 USCIS PM, Part B, Chap 7, B, 1. It can also be used as evidence of alcohol dependence which may be another ground of inadmissibility. And sometimes, Driving While Intoxicated with a revoked, suspended, or cancelled license may be a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude which raises even greater immigration concerns. The bottom line is that if you are an immigrant in this country, whether undocumented, a lawful permanent resident, or a visa holder, you need an attorney that understands the immigration consequences of your pleas, of your charges, and of the recommendations that they give to you. Armin Salek of the DWI Team has worked with migrants from around the world, helping them come to the United States lawfully, remain here, and stay on course toward citizenship. Much of his practice has involved assisting migrants who have been charged or convicted of criminal and immigration violations. If you want a DWI attorney who understands the immigration consequences of criminal charges, call 512 89 89 DWI and speak with Armin Salek of the DWI Team.
Absolutely! In Texas, intoxicated is defined as:
If you get arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, your license will be automatically suspended if you do not take immediate action before 15 days expire! This is a result of the 15-day deadline for requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. Unlike your criminal case, this civil side of the DWI process cannot result in a conviction and only affects your license. Still, it is important to hire a DWI attorney for several reasons.
Thinking about trying to deal with your DWI charges without a DWI attorney? Please take a look at what is on the line. These are very serious punishments and should be avoided at all costs by calling on a DWI lawyer to represent you in court.
Most DWI lawyers will tell you to never consent to a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), and we agree! The DWI Team’s goal is to help you get the charges dismissed, and saying no to the SFST will help us achieve that for you!
There are three tests that comprise the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn, and the One-Leg Stand. The problem with these tests is that they are highly unreliable. Even some people who are sober can fail them, and this can be extremely damaging in court.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
Call us immediately at (512) 898-9394 if you or a loved one needs help fighting a DWI.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you…” We’ve all seen it on TV, yet most drivers when pulled over choose not to exercise this right. We tend to assume that once we are stopped, we have a duty to prove our innocence. This is absolutely untrue. But when drivers get nervous, they tend to make statements which they believe will get them out of trouble and it often results in the exact opposite. Here are two classic mistakes you should never make.
1. “Officer I was at a bar but I did not drink.”
NO! Until you answered that question, the officer most likely did not know that you were coming from a bar. You very well could have been at a library, a coffee shop, or even at home. But when you admit to having been at a bar several things have gone wrong. First, that officer may now have enough evidence to warrant a full DWI investigation. Second, that response may be used to arrest you, and later to convict you. Judges, juries, and prosecutors do not like the sound of someone going to a bar and saying they did not drink. So please take a deep breath and say, “Officer, I have been advised not to answer questions about where I was prior to any traffic stops.”
2. “Yes I was drinking, but I only had two beers.”
Drivers think they are proving that they only had two beers, but in reality you have just handed them evidence that you were in fact drinking prior to the stop. REMEMBER you are innocent until proven guilty. Your silence is your best friend and goes a long way in defending you in court, and potentially getting your charges dismissed. Help us help you and tell the officer “I apologize, but I have been advised not to answer questions about what I was doing prior to any traffic stops.”
Prosecutors in DWI cases often try to use the smell of alcohol emitting from pulled over vehicles to support their cases against DWI defendants. This is often highly effective in misleading the jurors and many criminal defense lawyers are not aware that the strength of the smell of alcohol is not represenative of the amount of alcohol consumed. What the officer may have smelled on your breath is probably not alcohol and may actually be some of the other ingredients in your drink, including artificial flavorings. Different alcohols contain different flavorings that have a variety of effects on your breath. As a result, a drink that is heavier in alcohol may have less of an effect on your breath. So when an officer or prosecutor tells you that they smelled a strong odor of alcohol on your breath, remember that this evidence is highly misleading and a good attorney will prevent it from swaying a jury. For an attorney that knows how to use science to defend you in court, call or text 512.898.9DWI.