If you have been charged with DWI, you may be worried about your future. In Texas, DWI convictions carry with stiff penalties – especially for students. A drunk driving conviction could lead to jail time, fines and driver’s license suspension. As a student at Texas A&M or one of the other colleges in the Bryan area, you may also face penalties from your school’s disciplinary board.
To avoid the serious penalties and a blemish on your record, it is important to challenge the charges against you. Fortunately, there are several ways to challenge DWI charges.
Challenging the traffic stop
Most DWI charges begin with a traffic stop. In order to pull a driver over, police must have reasonable cause to do so. Swerving, speeding or violating other traffic laws, for example are all reasons to stop you. If you were not pulled over for a good reason, it may be possible to show that the entire stop was unlawful. Any evidence collected during an unlawful stop – including breath and field sobriety test results – is not admissible.
Challenging the breath and blood test results
Police and lab technicians are not infallible. Sometimes they make mistakes when administering a breath test or testing a blood sample. There are ways to determine whether there may have been a mistake in a test that could have resulted in an inaccurate reading.
Challenging the field sobriety test
It is common practice for police officers to administer a field sobriety test during a DWI stop. The officer may ask you to follow a light with just your eyes, walk in a straight line or stand on one leg. Certain medical conditions can prevent some people from passing a field sobriety test.
Additionally, the roadside conditions could also play a role in the results. Maybe you were wearing high heels that made it difficult to walk in a straight line, or maybe the ground you were asked to walk on was not level. It may be possible to demonstrate that the test was not administered fairly.
Protect yourself by getting legal advice
If you are charged with DWI, it is important to talk to an experienced attorney. An attorney can carefully assess your situation, look for holes in the case against you, and help you determine how best to move forward.
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