Scientific evidence is paramount for most of the cases our law firm wins. As a defense attorney serving Greater Houston for over 24 years, I’ve defended thousands of our friends and neighbors charged with DWI, among other criminal offenses, and winning DWI cases can hinge on how well a lawyer is trained to handle evidence. Once a person is arrested for drunk driving it’s normal for the arrestee to assume guilt, but that’s because they don’t understand the nature of the required scientific evidence prosecutors are burdened with.
To be frank; you may be right in your assumption about being intoxicated if you know you had too much to drink, but this isn’t the law.
Texas law is fairly clear about what the prosecution must do in order to win a conviction against you. You can only be convicted of Driving While Intoxicated if you plead guilty, an admission of wrongdoing, or if the the Harris County Dist. Atty’s Office can prove that you were intoxicated.
The good news for our clients: the proof is science, not perception and/officer opinion.
Science & Evidence Collection by Houston Police
About a year ago we had a client who has arrested near Fondren Rd & Southwest Fwy who readily admitted to us that he was intoxicated when he was arrested by police. He came to our office to talk with us after he bonded out of the Harris County Jail to see what his options were. He saw one of our ads and took advantage of our free consultation and came by our law office to have a sit-down with me and Amber.
We explained to him that if the case against him is as good as he thinks it is, then we might to see if the evidence collected will support the Dist. Atty’s charges.
If the evidence did support the charge, we told him, then fighting the charge may be moot.
However, on the flip side, if the evidence wasn’t collected using the established standards, was poorly stored, or that if any of the technological devices used during evidence collection were not up to code, then the evidence can not be trusted.
If the evidence in a DWI case is in question, the prosecuting attorney’s case is in question. When this happens, the defendant walks.
We served our client successfully on that particular DWI charge. The Houston Police Department was unable to produce the evidence. Lucky for our client, the Harris County Dist. Atty’s Office didn’t have a leg to stand on.
Science & Your Body Chemistry
In Texas, you break the law if you operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated on alcohol, or “impaired” by any other substance including prescription drugs.
It is not illegal to have a medical condition.
It is not illegal to drive after drinking alcohol.
Drink, Drive, Go To Jail (a popular moniker) is not the law.
The biochemistry of the individual has oftentimes served as the basis of some of our best experiences with defending the accused. There are a number of ailments and illnesses that may cause a person to exhibit some of the same attributes as an intoxicated person. Slurred speech, off-balance walking, and other tell-tell signs associated with persons who are intoxicated are often the basis of misdiagnosing a person as a drunk driver, when they suffer a medical condition.
Again, driving under the influence of prescription drugs is a crime, however, having a medical condition can not be a crime. With public safety at the forefront, and training which dictates that officers not trust the public, police make false DWI arrests quickly and often.
Science & DWI Field Sobriety Testing
If you were stopped by police on the basis of suspicion of drunk driving, and you know you’re sober, its probably smart to cooperate (in some cases). However, if they ask you to stand on one leg, put your arms out, spin on one toe, and perform all sorts of roadside circus acts, you have the right to decline, and you should.
Failure to pass these preliminary field sobriety tests to the liking of the officer may result in an arrest anyway, so it’s best to avoiding providing evidence by abstaining from field sobriety testing. Keep in mind that police have the option to obtain a warrant for a forced blood draw if they deem it necessary, but don’t panic in these cases either, call Tad Nelson and Amber Spurlock instead.
Science & Your Attorney
Few criminal attorneys in southeast Texas have similar or equivalent scientific and forensic training as Tad Nelson & Amber Spurlock. Both of the attorneys on our legal team have multiple years of experience defending the criminally accused. Both lawyers are certified ACS/CHAL Lawyer-Scientists, and have been recognized by SuperLawyers® as premier defense attorneys for the Houston area.
If you need to talk to a lawyer about probation, criminal defense, false DWI arrests, or any other legal matter requiring an experienced eye and litigious know-how, call our law firm at 713-489-7373 to schedule your free consultation.