Were you charged with a DWI in Texas? You do not have to accept the often severe consequences that come with a conviction, and legal help is available to you. Criminal defense attorney RJ Harber has the experience that comes with being a former prosecutor, and he knows how to build a strong case in your defense.
The financial impact of a DWI conviction can impact your ability to work, care for children, and live freely for months, if not years. Add the criminal impact that a conviction can have on your record, and a defendant could lose their job, their vehicle, or their freedom. Fortunately, your have the right to defend yourself against these charges, and with an experienced lawyer who knows Texas DWI laws, you could have them reduced or dropped.
The Law Office of RJ Harber defends those who have been accused of DWI with integrity, authority, and the level of excellence defendants deserve when faced with an uncertain future. No driver wants to lose their driving privileges, and nobody wants to spend time in jail. With our office fighting for your rights, the chances of getting your charges reduced or dismissed are much greater than if you try to fight prosecution alone.
Can I Get My DWI Charge Reduced in Texas?
As a former prosecutor who tried many DWI cases, RJ Harber can examine your case and the facts which led to the state charging you with DWI. He will look at whether your arrest was legal, identify if any procedural errors such as illegal search and seizure took place, and examine the police report to determine whether you were legally intoxicated according to Texas law.
Although some states have anti-plea bargaining laws when it comes to driving while intoxicated, Texas prosecutors have discretionary power to reduce charges prior to trial.
Our team can work to get your DWI charges reduced by working with the prosecutor to trying to:
- Get your case dismissed for lack of evidence;
- Drop charges based off illegally obtained BAC tests;
- Negotiate a fair plea deal based off the defendant’s lack of criminal record; or
- Provide evidence to lower felony charges to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of a highway.
Pursuing these options with our office may spare your license, lower or dismiss criminal charges, and spare you any fines, fees, and probation that come with DWI sentences.
Steps to Getting DWI Charges Lowered
In Texas, prosecutors must prove beyond a doubt that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Although interpretations may vary, the general assumption is that one must be physically driving their car while drunk, high, or in any other condition that would impair normal operation. If your circumstances are any different, the prosecutor will find securing a conviction challenging; this is where charges may get lowered.
Some basic steps you can take if you’re arrested include:
- Avoid providing incriminating answers to questions, such as “How much have you had to drink tonight?” You can exercise your right to remain silent until you speak with an attorney.
- In Texas, you can refuse the field sobriety test; these tests include Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (flashlight test), one-leg stand, and walk and turn. Refusal of these tests is not grounds for arrest; in fact, these tests give officers greater probable cause to arrest you.
- Do not resist arrest. If police are inhumane or unusually cruel, their dash cam or body cam video will provide enough evidence for your attorney to leverage in or out of court.
- Request a signed warrant to enter your vehicle if probable cause has not been established.
While an officer may be more than willing to wake a judge to get a search warrant, you have the right to see proof of that warrant.
Many DWI defendants are misled into believing an arrest means they’re automatically guilty. If one procedure was performed incorrectly or in violation of your constitutional rights, that’s leverage our office will use when negotiating reduced charges or dismissals.
Can I get a DWI if I’m passed out in my back seat?
This question is the subject of speculation in court and in some legal circles. Prosecutors must have proof beyond reasonable doubt the defendant:
- Operated a motor vehicle and,
- Operated that vehicle while intoxicated
We’ll emphasize “operated” because sleeping in your back seat with the vehicle off could mean you once drove while intoxicated but stopped to be safe. Since DWIs are “sight” charges, an officer must have seen the defendant driving, or have reason to believe the defendant drove at some point, in order to substantiate an arrest.
If the defendant left their keys in the ignition, an officer would have enough proof the vehicle was in operation at some point. The real question is, was the defendant drunk when operating the vehicle? Perhaps another person drove drunk, pulled over and left, ditching their buddy in the back seat with the keys in the ignition. There’s too much room for speculation in these cases.
If your situation is similar to this, contact a lawyer immediately. DWI cases like this are tricky and must be handled professionally to assure proof is preserved.
Does a statute of limitations apply in DWI cases?
Rarely will you find a prosecutor too busy to file charges against an individual for DWI. In the event there was a delay in charging you, the state has two years to file misdemeanor charges, and three years for felonies, except capital crimes.
What happens if I decided to refuse chemical testing?
You are legally allowed to refuse breathalyzers and blood tests; however, you will then have 15 days to attend an Administrative Law Hearing (ALR) to save your license from suspension. This requires showing cause as to why you refused.
RJ Harber Has a Track Record of Success
DWI charges are punished heavily in Texas. License suspension, fines, potential jail time, and probation are possible with or without a criminal record. Remember, many companies who employ drivers will terminate employment if you’re convicted of DWI, since their liability insurance will not cover you.
Because RJ Harber is a former prosecutor, he is uniquely positioned to see cases from both the state’s and the defense’s point of view. This tactical advantage allows our team to get DWI charges reduced or dismissed when the evidence against you is weak.
Contact The Law Office of RJ Harber today, and we’ll schedule your consultation. Remember, even if you believe that there is sufficient evidence against you, you are presumed innocent until the state proves otherwise. There may be other options available to you other than accepting the full penalties applied by the prosecutor. To discuss your rights with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call us at (214) 389-1189 today.