Defenses to DWI
If you have been arrested for any driving while intoxicated offense (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance, the charges against you do not necessarily have to result in a conviction. There are many types of defenses or mitigating factors that can result in excluding evidence crucial to the prosecutor’s case or a dismissal of the charges against you. Some of the most common defenses available in DWI or DUI cases can include:
- Violation of Constitutional Rights
- Chemical Testing Inaccuracies
- Illegal Search
- Failure to Give Miranda Warnings
- Lack of Probable Cause to Pull Over
- No Actual Physical Control
Women may have additional defenses, including a skewed body partition ratio, inflated reading from body temperature, and difficulty obtaining an accurate reading from a smaller lung.
If you have been arrested for a DWI-related offense, it is important to contact a knowledgeable Dallas DWI lawyer. Timing is crucial as important evidence may be lost, changed, or destroyed.
Dallas DWI Defenses
If you have been charged with a DWI offense in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie,Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Attorney Richard McConathy will make every effort to find mitigating factors or defenses applicable to your particular DWI offense.
Call The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 about the facts of your DWI charges. Call or send an online message to learn who we can help safeguard your future.
Defenses to a Dallas DWI Information Center
- DWI Evidence Not Admissible
- Elements of a DWI in Dallas Not Met
- Failure to Follow Dallas DWI Procedures
- Constitutional Violations for Texas DWI
- Dallas Resources for DWI Defenses
Often, evidence in DWI cases will not be admissible for various reasons, including certain procedures were violated by law enforcement officials, the arresting officer failed to give you Miranda warnings, law enforcement officers continued to question you after you were arrested and you requested a lawyer, you were arrested even though the law enforcement officer had no probable cause to arrest you for DWI, you were given a chemical alcohol concentration level test after you refused, or the results of your chemical breath, blood or urine test were inaccurate or unreliable.
If any evidence is not applicable in your particular situation, your attorney will likely file a motion to suppress the evidence that was illegally obtained. Typically, the prosecutor will not be able to proceed with DWI charges if they do not have enough evidence to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for each element of a DWI offense. Therefore, if they do not have sufficient evidence, the charges against you will either be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
In order to be convicted of a DWI in Dallas, the prosecutor is required to prove every element of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution cannot meet this extremely high burden of proof, they will not be able to convict you of your alleged DWI charges.
Driving while intoxicated is defined in Texas law as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, according to Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.04. A person is intoxicated if their normal mental or physical functions are impaired from alcohol or controlled substances, or they have an alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.
State prosecutors often attempt to charge individuals without having enough evidence to convict the alleged offender of the criminal charges. A common element of DWI offenses that usually does not have enough supporting evidence is whether the individual had actual physical control of the vehicle. Actual physical control occurs when a person actually drives or operates the vehicle. An individual cannot usually be convicted of a DWI offense in Texas if they are sitting in the driver’s seat without the keys in the ignition.
Occasionally, law enforcement officers fail to correctly follow procedural requirements that are guaranteed to every driver in Texas. For example, if the law enforcement officer did not give you Miranda warnings, such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, after you were arrested, anything you said after you were arrested could be inadmissible at trial. If the prosecutor does not have enough other evidence, the charges against you may be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
Another type of procedural violation usually occurs when a law enforcement officer continues to interrogate you after you’re in custody and before you have been Mirandized. This is typically called custodial interrogation and must not occur before you have been given proper Miranda warnings. An individual is usually considered in custody if they feel they are unable to leave the presence of the law enforcement officers. Interrogation can be any type of question or coercion to have you answer a question in a particular way.
A constitutional violation can occur if the law enforcement officer lacked probable cause to stop your vehicle. If you were not swerving out of your lane, violating any traffic laws, or the officer had no reason to believe you were drinking, but stopped you anyway, they may have violated your Fourth Amendment rights.
Further, if the officer made you perform field sobriety tests, undergo chemical alcohol concentration level tests, or subsequently arrested you for DWI without any probable cause, your constitutional rights may have been violated.
Texas Penal Code – General Defenses – This link is to general statutory defenses in Chapter 8 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines general defenses to criminal responsibility in Texas, including insanity, mistake of fact, mistake of law, duress and entrapment.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates the alcoholic beverage industry throughout Texas and provides information on signs of intoxication, the state’s DWI laws, and charts pertaining to blood alcohol level concentration. A local field office is located at:TABC
2225 East Randol Mill Road, Suite 200
Arlington, Texas 76011
Phone: (817) 652-5912
Texas Breath Alcohol Testing Program Requirements – This link is to the operator’s manual of the Texas breath alcohol testing program, which contains information breath testing in Texas, required maintenance and use of the Intoxilyzer 5000 and proper breath testing methods.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Forth Worth Defenses to DUI
Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your DWI-related offense in Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas DWI defense attorney who will make every effort to help you have your charges reduced or even dismissed if certain defenses are applicable in your unique case.
Call (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your DWI charges throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County,Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County and Tarrant County.