Charged with a DWI After a Traffic Stop?
DWI Defense Attorneys in Denton County
When it comes to defending against a DWI, no two strategies are alike. Our Denton County DWI lawyers at the Law Offices of Tim Powers work hard to tailor our defense based on each client's specific circumstances. We utilize our experience to approach every case in a different manner
Most DWI prosecutors follow their same pattern, mainly because the officer is trained to conduct the same investigation each time.
The following investigative steps are typical:
- The officer stops a driver for a traffic violation
- The officer identifies that the driver has been drinking
- The officer administers field sobriety tests
- The officer administers a chemical test to verify the alcohol content in the driver's body
Understand Your Rights During a Traffic Stop
It is unconstitutional for an officer to stop a vehicle without cause. Even in instances where law enforcement has set up road check points, they must have a significant reason and follow a set pattern in order to avoid running afoul of the U.S. Constitution. If the stop is without cause, all the evidence that is accumulated thereafter to prove a person was driving while intoxicated will be suppressed.
Typically, an officer will stop because he or she claims to have witnessed a traffic violation; speeding, for example. Even in the tactical situation where a DWI Task force officer is looking only for a reason to stop, having in mind the ultimate goal of investigating for the crime of DWI, the stop will be upheld if the driver legitimately violated a traffic law. Intent for the stop is irrelevant as long as the officer had cause to do so.
Despite the boisterous claims made by so many defense attorneys on their websites, it is extremely rare for an attorney to convince a judge that a stop was without cause, when the only evidence presented at the suppression hearing is that the officer and the client disagree about whether a traffic violation in fact occurred. Usually, there needs to be more, and this is where hiring the right lawyer makes all the difference.
How can the Law Offices of Tim Powers help me?
Here's an example of a case we handled: The officer alleged that he stopped our client because he observed him driving over the center line a couple times. In this case, the officer testified that the traffic violation he observed was failure to maintain a single lane of traffic. There is in fact a requirement in the Texas Transportation Code § 545.060 that requires a driver to stay within his lane. If our client had testified that he did not run over the line, and nothing more was presented, it would have been highly unlikely that the judge would have suppressed.
Our client didn't need to testify to get his case dismissed. A close look at the case law and the wording in the Transportation Code shows that a driver is not expressly prohibited from driving from lane to lane. It mandates that a driver must "drive as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane, and may not move from the lane unless that movement can be made safely". In this case, we established during cross examination that the lane movement occurred at 3 a.m. and that there was very little traffic in the area. We further showed that at the time the officer observed the lane crossings, there was no oncoming traffic and no danger presented to other drivers behind our client. The judge suppressed.
Another good example is a client who was traveling from another state and was pulled over by a DPS trooper for not having a front license plate. The law in Texas states that a driver must display both a front and back license plate. However, how would that apply to a visitor with an out of state registration when his state did not issue a front license plate? The right question got our client's case dismissed.
This is the kind of representation you can expect from our firm. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
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