Each DWI case is unique and requires a criminal defense lawyer who is knowledgeable in defending DWI cases to defend your case. Dayna L. Jones is experienced in the legal and scientific aspects of a DWI case. It is especially important to contact an attorney immediately because in Texas, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended on the 40th day after your arrest. You may contest the suspension by filing a request for an Administrative License Revocation Hearing within 15 days of your arrest. Because of these short deadlines, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as you are arrested!
DWI is a very common offense that happens to many individuals everyday. In Texas, DWI first and second offenses are misdemeanors, but can carry a lot of penalties if you are convicted. A DWI conviction in Texas will be permanently on you record and you will not be able to get it taken off. Because there have been a recent increase in DWI accidents injuring San Antonio police officers, the Bexar County District Attorney's office has increased the minimum plea offers that they make in these type of cases. Defending your case will depend on a number of factors including whether you blew into a breath test machine, had your blood drawn, the law enforcement agency that arrested you, whether you took the Field Sobriety Tests, whether there was an accident, etc.
Defending a DWI Case
At trial, the prosecutor must prove that the person charged with a DWI was: 1) operating a motor vehicle, and 2) lost the normal use of his or her mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol into his or her body or 3) was driving with a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or greater.
In every DWI case, the reason the officer decided to stop the driver is always important. If the police officer did not have a lawful reason to stop the vehicle, then the driver's rights have been violated and any evidence the officer learned after the stop cannot be used against the driver at trial. In all San Antonio DWI cases it is important to have a lawyer who knows how to challenge the traffic stop.
Bexar County uses a breath test machine at the jail in order to determine whether the driver has a blood/alcohol concentration over the legal limit. A driver always has the right to refuse a breath test. There are many steps that an officer must follow before the breath test is taken to ensure that the number produced by the machine is reliable. Having a lawyer who knows whether the breath test score produced by the machine is accurate and reliable is essential in a DWI. Attorney Dayna L. Jones has successfully prevented a prosecutor from admitting the breath test score during trial by proving the officer did not follow proper procedure when taking the client's breath test.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
After stopping a driver the officer develops a reason to believe the driver is impaired, the officer may ask the driver to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (or SFST’s). A driver has the right to refuse to perform these tests. The SFST’s are a series of tests which were designed to determine whether the driver is impaired to operate a vehicle. But, as with any test, the results are not valid if the instructions are not properly explained. Also, the tests may produce invalid results if the driver has a physical issue (head injury, overweight, age) that would cause him or her to perform poorly on the tests. Finally, it is important to remember that these tests are based on the observations of an individual police officer and are therefore subjective. There is usually a defense or an explanation as to why someone may have failed the field sobriety tests, aside from drinking alcohol as the arresting officer will say, but you need an experienced lawyer who will be able to recognize the important issues in your case.
Administrative Driver's License Suspension
Once someone is arrested for a DWI, their driver's license will be suspended on the 40th day after the arrest, unless the individual files a written request for a hearing on the suspension. Only after losing the hearing will the driver's license be suspended. Hiring an attorney to conduct this hearing is important because it gives the defense attorney a chance to cross-examine the arresting officer and determine whether the officer had legal grounds to stop the vehicle and whether he had probable cause to arrest the driver. If your driver's license is suspended, you may be allowed to get an occupational license which allows you to drive for work and other household reasons.
Contact the Law Office of Dayna L. Jones at (210) 255-8525 to set up a free consultation regarding your DWI case. Remember there are important deadlines once you are arrested, so its important to call immediately.