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Getting a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge in Dallas, Texas comes with its fair share of complications. Aside from criminal penalties, a drunk driving conviction can cause drivers to suffer additional consequences in their personal lives, including the loss of their job, inability to obtain new employment, and can even lead to financial obstacles, such as the denial of a loan or rental property. But what happens when a DWI arrest is not justified?
What to do if you are falsely accused of DWI
While many drivers are apprehended for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence with due cause, unfortunately, not every DWI arrest in Dallas is the result of hardcore evidence. Though authorities should perform a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test to determine the exact percentage of alcohol in the suspected driver’s system, many times, officers make an arrest solely based on suspicion of intoxication.
A number of factors may lead an officer to suspect that a driver is intoxicated, such as weaving in traffic, failure to make a complete stop at a red light or stop sign, speeding, or even driving under the speed limit. However, none of these actions alone can directly prove a driver was, in fact, intoxicated. They are merely reasons that officers can list as probable cause to stop the driver.
A DWI stop can be extremely stressful and uncomfortable situation, even for drivers who are fully aware of the fact that they are not intoxicated and who did not consume an alcoholic beverage prior to getting behind the wheel. Yet, when confronted by interrogating officers, these individuals may panic, and out of fear that they will incur exponentially worse charges, stay quiet and accept their arrest.
Drivers who are not aware of the DWI laws in place or their rights may feel as though their testimony will not stand a chance compared to that of the arresting officer and often end up pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit, never realizing the full scope of the options available to them. In order to avoid a false drunk driving conviction, the individual should consult with a DWI attorney in Dallas as soon as possible to review the circumstances surrounding the arrest and the best way to contest the charges. Robert Gregg with The Law Offices of Robert Gregg provides legal representation for those accused of drinking while driving.
The importance of knowing the law
Although seeking legal counsel should be the first course of action to take after being arrested, the best way for a Dallas driver to avoid incurring a false DWI charge is to have a full understanding of the law beforehand.
Texas enforces what is known as the implied consent law, which states that anyone who is operating a motor vehicle in the state must submit to a chemical test to determine their BAC and, consequently, intoxication. This test can be performed by checking the driver’s breath, blood, or urine. If a motorist refuses to be tested, their license will be automatically suspended and the refusal may be used as evidence against them in court.
While the thought of submitting to a BAC test may be frightening for those who have consumed alcohol, for individuals who are fully aware that they had nothing to drink prior to driving, this test is the best way to prove their innocence. If the arresting officer does not perform an official BAC test, the case is likely to be dismissed in court. However, it is in the sober driver’s best interest to request that the test be issued so as to leave no trace of doubt that they were not under the influence.
In addition, it is important to remember that individuals have a right to remain silent while being interrogated by police officers, even if an arrest has not been made. In a moment of panic, suspected drivers may utter an incriminating statement unintentionally that can be used to their detriment in court. When approached by an officer after being stopped, drivers should try to remain as calm as possible and inform the officer that they are invoking their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and will not answer any questions without a lawyer present.
Being aware of the laws and driver rights can help prevent a false DWI arrest, but in the event that an arrest is made, it is crucial to consult with a Dallas DWI lawyer like http://www.gregglawdallas.com, who can help ensure unsubstantiated charges are dismissed in court.