THE BEST DWI DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE
Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence (DWI or DUI) are serious crimes that can have physical, personal, and professional implications capable of haunting you the rest of your life. A strategic and competent legal strategy is required if you hope to beat the charges or minimize the impact they have.
At Davis, Ermis & Roberts, P.C., we have offered smart DWI/DUI defense strategies to our clients for many years.
Our approach is to not accept everything at face value. We dig deeper into the situation and ask the types of questions that get results — the kinds that prosecutors should be asking before attempting to throw the book.
We’ll get into more of the details behind that in a moment. But first, let’s ask the question:
Each year more than 1,000 people in the state of Texas die in an alcohol-related traffic accident. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired will unquestionably put others at risk, not just the driver. It’s understandable why the courts take it as seriously as they do. But it’s important to note that not all DWI/DUI arrests are cut-and-dry.
In fact, one of the most significant defenses taps into this very premise: why do people choose to drive while intoxicated? The obvious answer is that they’re judgment-impaired at the time of the decision. So then, the question becomes: what led to that condition?
Were they operating a motor vehicle to prevent a greater evil? Were they forced into the driver role by another person? Was their drink spiked, unbeknownst to them, by another individual? Did they believe the effects of a legitimate medication had worn off? Were they targeted and encouraged to drive by another non-impaired individual — maybe even a police officer — who clearly saw their judgment was impaired?
From each of these situations, you can see how the answers to that above question are many and not so black-and-white. So why should each case be treated as if it’s a first-degree felony?
The Burden of Proof
As someone accused of DWI or DUI, you benefit from the American justice system’s creed of “innocent until proven guilty.” The burden to prove a supposedly criminal act clearly rests on the shoulders of the prosecution. And guilt can be more difficult to prove than you might think, especially when you have an experienced legal team that understands the process for how prosecutors think and their work to establish guilt.
Testing for DWI
With DWI or DUI, the go-to maneuver is testing at the time of the incident. Have you ever noticed how law enforcement has a variety of tests when determining the level of intoxication? The Breathalyzer, the BAC Blood Test, Urine Test, or field sobriety — you know, “Get out of the car, please. Walk that line.”
There are many different ways to test. Why? Because they all have their flaws, and, in our opinion, cannot necessarily prove beyond a shadow of a doubt your level of intoxication. Some tests have a higher degree of accuracy than others from the outset. Even so, limitations in police resources and training, improper administration of the test itself, and contaminated evidence can and do call all outcomes into question.
They also say very little about circumstances or motivation that led to the traffic stop in the first place, and that can be just as important when it comes to trying your case.
Why Were You Stopped?
A particularly effective defense strategy is to ask the motivation for the stop. Did probable cause exist? Was the officer acting on hearsay but unable to detect improper driving on your part? Did they not adequately inform you of your rights during the traffic stop and force you into a field sobriety test?
Situations like this can contaminate the results of testing, even if police have you on film flunking the “stupid human tricks.” In fact, we’ve managed some pretty satisfying outcomes for clients who didn’t perform their best while on film.
We will target each of these factors because we believe every client deserves the best defense possible when standing before a court of law.
SO, LET’S PLAY SOME OFFENSE
Don’t merely accept your fate, especially if you feel that it’s unwarranted. And remember: everyone deserves the best defense possible. Your quality-of-life, family stability, social standing, and professional ability may hang in the balance. At Davis, Ermis & Roberts, P.C., we have decades of experience digging deep into the circumstances of every DWI or DUI arrest, and we’ll do the same for you regardless of your status. If you’ve been arrested, or know someone who has and