Secure Your Future Following an Arrest with a DWI Attorney in Dallas, TX
Driving is considered a privilege rather than a right, but when you’re facing a DWI charge, you do have certain legal rights. Since those rights are a bit unclear for the majority of Texas citizens, hiring a DWI attorney in Dallas, to fight for you will be your best course of action if you’ve been charged with such an offense. Reaching a favorable outcome for your case could depend on the level of knowledge your attorney in Dallas, has in regard to relevant laws and procedures, so it’s important to choose your defense carefully.
Possible Consequences of a DWI Charge in Dallas
Regardless of age or circumstances, being convicted of a DWI could greatly alter your life. For adults, a conviction could mean you are no longer allowed to drive to and from work or even take your children to school and run everyday errands; on the other hand, if you’re under the age of 21, a guilty verdict could alter your lifestyle before you’re even sure of what your future holds. Some of the potential results of this type of charge without seeking assistance from competent legal counsel include:
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000
- Jail or state prison incarceration for 3 days to 10 years
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 2 years or a preventative yearly surcharge
- Required alcohol education and intervention
- Mandatory ignition interlock device
These are only the common legal ramifications. A conviction could also linger on your record for years, remaining visible to anyone who runs a criminal background check on you. This could repel future job offers and even potential dates. The results of your individual conviction will depend on a number of factors, such as your age, previous offenses and, of course, how well versed in these situations your attorney in Dallas, happens to be.
What to Look for in a DWI Attorney in Dallas, TX
First of all, you need to find an aggressive attorney in Dallas, who focuses on this area of the law; only then can you be confident your legal counsel is aware of how these types of cases are tried and is able to accurately explain how strong the arguments against you seem to be. You also need to hire a DWI attorney in Dallas, TX who is willing to listen to your individual circumstances and can be sympathetic of how a conviction could impact your life and those of your family.
While you’re consulting with various attorneys in Dallas look for one who is backed by training under certified instructors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well. This asset could give you a substantial advantage in the courtroom. In all likelihood, you were subjected to a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. Although this may have been your downfall at the time of your arrest, it could also become the prosecution’s undoing if your DWI attorney in Dallas, TX has a thorough understanding of how these tests work.
Standard Field Sobriety Tests
Only 3 SFST’s are recognized by the NHTSA. They are used by law enforcement officials to determine whether or not drivers are too intoxicated to safely operate a vehicle. Each test holds its own set of criteria, and all must be carried out in a specific manner. Whether or not this was the case can be argued by your legal counsel when the time comes. The tests are as follows:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: Much like a typical clinical eye exam, the subject is asked to hold his or her head still and follow the movements of an object with eyes only. The officer will be looking for 3 different elements in each eye for a total of 6 criteria.
- Ability to smoothly follow the object without moving the head
- Jerking movements of the eye, or nystagmus, before reaching a 45 degree angle in any direction
- Significant nystagmus beyond the initial 45 degrees
If the officer notices 4 or more of these, you will be deemed intoxicated.
Walk and Turn: This is the popular “walk the line” scenario. The suspect is asked to take nine heel-to-toe steps along a straight line. Then, he or she is required to turn around using the same types of steps and proceed back to the starting point without raising the arms. The officer will be looking for 8 different patterns during this test.
- Inability to balance before being instructed to begin
- Starting to walk too early
- Veering off the straight line
- Failing to touch the heel to the toe with each step
- Turning improperly
- Stopping at any point during the test
- Trying to use arms to help with balance
- Taking the wrong number of steps
Any 2 of these false moves will result in being labeled as intoxicated.
One-Leg Stand: This test requires the subject to stand on 1 foot while looking at his or her toe and counting off 30 seconds aloud. The law enforcement official will be looking for the use of arms to aid in balance, putting the foot down during the test and losing count.
How These Tests Could Work in Your Favor
There are a number of problems with these tests, one being suspects are not told what the officer is looking for during the evaluation. While failing the finer points of the tests could be a clear indication of intoxication, they could also be a sign of other issues such as nervousness, exhaustion from being on your feet all day at work or simple lack of coordination. Very few people are able to pass these tests even if they are completely sober. In a sense, you’re being set up for failure once you’re asked to get out of your vehicle, but your DWI attorney in Dallas, TX can help you fight this fact.
A DWI attorney in Dallas, TX will consider the circumstances surrounding your test and may be able to combat the arresting officer’s findings. Some of the factors your attorney could use in your defense include:
- These tests are not always solid evidence of intoxication due to the many variables involved, which can be highlighted by your DWI attorney in Dallas, TX.
- The arresting officer may not have been properly trained in performing the tests.
- The law enforcement official did not follow standardized protocol with the test.
- You weren’t given proper instructions prior to being evaluated.
- Outside factors affected testing conditions.
- Your age or weight played a role in your inability to pass the test.
- Physical disability impacted your ability to properly adhere to the requirements of the test.
- An emotional or psychological disability rendered you an unsuitable candidate for the test to which you were subjected.
All these factors could affect the outcome of your case, and an experienced DWI attorney in Dallas, TX has the training to use them in your defense. Not all of these points will apply to every case; therefore, you need a DWI attorney in Dallas, TX who is knowledgeable enough to determine which ones will build the strongest argument in your unique situation. This is critical to reaching a favorable outcome.
How Hiring a DWI Attorney in Dallas, TX can Benefit You
A DWI attorney in Dallas, TX will be your ally in fighting a conviction, and contacting him as soon as possible is vital. He can help you properly file for your license suspension hearing before your 15-day time limit has passed. If your particular case leaves no hope of retaining your license, the attorney can argue the need for an occupational driver’s license to allow you to legally drive to and from work and take part in other necessary travel. Your DWI attorney in Dallas, TX can also plead your case to have your conviction expunged from your record or kept hidden, so it doesn’t impede your eligibility for future jobs.
Your DWI attorney in Dallas, TX may be able to have your charges overturned or thrown out of court due to specific circumstances surrounding your case. If not, there’s a good chance he can have them reduced to minimize the impact they have on your life. Being arrested and convicted of driving while intoxicated involves a blend of law, science and happenstance, so having a DWI attorney in Dallas, TX who understands all these elements and how to combine them in your favor could be the deciding factor in how your future plays out once such charges have been brought upon you.
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