Protecting client rights in Lubbock, Texas.
You are driving down the road. Just one more turn and you are there. Flashing lights seem to come out of nowhere and you are forced to pull over. You apply your brakes and roll down the window. Looking at the officer's badge, it becomes difficult to focus on what the officer is telling you. What do you do now?
If you are in Lubbock or a surrounding county, your best course of action is to contact Nicky Boatwright, a Texas criminal lawyer experienced in defending clients against drunk driving and criminal offenses.
The stop...be courteous to police, but do not answer questions or permit searches.
Texas police can stop you for reasonable suspicion. Regardless of whether you believe you are guilty of any infraction, it is important for you to remain polite, cooperate with reasonable requests and provide your driving, insurance and registration credentials. Refusing to cooperate with police can result in additional charges that may end up being more serious than those causing the original stop. However, you are not required to answer questions beyond contact information or allow police to search your vehicle. If asked, respectfully decline and ask for a lawyer.
Reasonable suspicion may include weaving between lanes, reckless driving, failing to maintain the proper speed or simply a broken tail light. Once you are pulled over, however, the officer has an opportunity to develop probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or possibly DUIM if you are under 21 years old. Even if you are under 21, law enforcement may still arrest you for a DWI. Causes may include odor of alcohol, a visible open container, slurred speech or lack of coordination.
If the officer has reason to believe you are impaired, you may be asked to perform a set of field sobriety tests. You have an absolute right to refuse to take these tests. If you perform poorly or refuse to take the tests and there is still probable cause to arrest, you are arrested for DWI and escorted to the police station. At the discretion of law enforcement, your vehicle is either towed and impounded or you sign a vehicle release form and your vehicle is left at the scene, if legally parked, or released to a designated third party.
You may refuse to submit to alcohol testing.
Texas is an implied consent driving state. This means you are deemed to have given consent to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the alcohol and/or drug content of your blood when operating a motor vehicle. A breath test is usually used, but the police may request a blood sample. You may refuse a breath or blood test — except under certain circumstances — forcing police to obtain a warrant to test you. Note that warrants are not always pursued. If you have a choice, it is usually better to refuse breath and blood tests.
Special circumstances. If you already have at least two DWI convictions, were in an accident involving a fatality, or other special circumstances, you can refuse to provide a breath or blood sample for alcohol testing, but law enforcement without a warrant can take you to the hospital for a blood specimen. It is important to consult a lawyer immediately to ensure your rights are protected.
You must take immediate action to retain your driver's license.
The Texas Department of Public Safety enforces an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. If you are arrested for a DWI or DUIM, you are served with a Notice of Suspension - Temporary Driving Permit and must surrender your license on the spot. If you have not yet contacted an attorney experienced in Texas DWI laws, call Nicky Boatwright immediately for help.
Regardless of your age, you have 15 days from the date of arrest to respond to the Notice of Suspension and request a hearing for your driver's license. If you do not respond, your suspension automatically goes into effect on the 41st day after the notice was served. If you do request a hearing, your temporary driving permit is in effect until the day the administrative law judge renders a final decision in your case, as long as your license was valid at the time of the stop. At the hearing, the presiding administrative law judge determines whether there is reasonable suspicion to stop and probable cause to arrest you based on the preponderance of evidence. This is when all the preparation that went into your case is used by your DWI lawyer to challenge the prosecution's case. In order to get your license back, you must pay a $125 reinstatement fee.
Begin your DWI/DUIM defense ASAP.
I know how traumatic the stop, testing and escort to the police station can feel. It is important to begin your defense as soon as possible, including thorough research into the cause of the stop, the legality of searches, whether faulty testing equipment was used and detailed accounts of the hours before your arrest. At our initial meeting, I review everything with you including your witnesses' accounts, your recollections of the incident, police reports, and medical and physical evidence. You come away knowing you are in good hands with Nicky Boatwright.
Penalties may vary...but repeat offenses always mean harsher penalties.
Penalties if convicted of DWI or DUI charges vary by the driver's age and number of prior convictions. Penalties may include jail time, loss of license, fines, court cost, mandatory classes and surcharges. You may also be forced to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle once your license is restored. With each conviction, the amount of the fine, the length of jail time and license suspension, and other penalties become greater. Every DWI charge, even the first, can permanently affect your life.
Texas underage drivers may receive DWI or DUIM.
Texas has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. If you are stopped for reasonable suspicion under the age of 21 and are found to have any alcohol in your system, or even an alcohol odor on your person, the consequences may be severe. You may be convicted of a DUIM, an offense carrying lesser penalties and the possibility of expungement. However, you may be charged with a DWI as an adult without even being chemically tested for positive alcohol results if the police officer determines that you are impaired.
For aggressive yet affordable DWI/DUI and criminal defense, contact me.
When you, your child or a friend needs an effective defense for DWI, DUI or other criminal charges, call Nicky Boatwright at 806.747.8002 toll free at 888.697.2919, or contact me online. I am here to help. With more than 15 years' experience, I can answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Your defense deserves a strong fight for your rights. Contact us today for your free initial consultation. I am on call 24 hours a day.