In Texas, law enforcement officials take a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge very seriously and are prosecuted with a stern hand. DUI charge is a criminal offense with severe consequences, including imprisonment and fines. Many people need to be made aware of the legal ramifications and defenses available when dealing with a DUI charge. Therefore, in this blog post, we will discuss ten reasons that a criminal defense attorney can use to fight a DUI case and the possible consequences of a person charged with DUI in Texas.
Ten Possible Defenses Against a DUI Charge in Texas
1. Unlawful Stop
A police officer must have a valid reason for stopping you, such as erratic driving, speeding, or a faulty headlight. If the officer did not have a good reason for stopping you, your attorney may be able to argue that the stop was unlawful and the evidence obtained after the stop should be suppressed.
2. Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are not always reliable indicators of intoxication. If the officer fails to administer the tests correctly, your attorney may be able to challenge the results.
3. Inaccurate BAC Test Results
Breathalyzer and blood tests can be affected by several factors, including diet, medical conditions, and the testing equipment's accuracy. Your attorney may be able to challenge the validity of the results if certain elements were not met before administering the test.
4. Police Misconduct
If the officer engaged in police misconduct during the stop or arrest, such as using excessive force or failing to read you your Miranda rights, your attorney may be able to challenge the charges.
5. Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration
If you consumed alcohol right before driving, your BAC level may still rise, making it appear as if you were intoxicated. Your attorney can argue this point to the court.
6. Medical Conditions
Medical conditions such as acid reflux, diabetes, and GERD can cause false positives on a breathalyzer test. If you have such needs, your attorney may be able to argue in your defense.
7. No Probable Cause for Arrest
A police officer must have probable cause for an arrest. If the officer did not have a valid reason for arresting you, your attorney may be able to challenge the arrest and suppress any evidence obtained after your arrest.
8. Lack of Miranda Warning
A Miranda warning must be read to you before questioning. If the officer failed to read you your Miranda rights, any statements you made could be thrown out in court.
9. Inconsistencies in the Officer's Testimony
Inconsistencies in the officer's testimony can be a powerful tool in your defense. Your attorney can use these inconsistencies to challenge the prosecution's case.
10. Improper Police Procedure
Suppose the police did not follow proper procedures during the stop, arrest, or testing. In that case, your attorney may be able to argue that any evidence obtained during these procedures should be suppressed.
Possible Consequences of Being Charged with a DUI in Texas
If you are charged with a DUI in Texas, you could face serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and a suspended driver's license. First-time offenders can face up to $2,000 in fines, 72 hours to 6 months in jail, and a one-year driver's license suspension. Subsequent offenses carry even harsher penalties. The consequences of a DUI conviction in Texas can also go beyond legal penalties and affect your personal and professional life, including your ability to obtain employment, housing, and even loans.
Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial if you are charged with a DUI in Texas. A good attorney will fight to protect your rights and explore every possible defense to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. To increase your chances of success, appear in court on time, follow your attorney's advice, and attend any treatment programs recommended. It is important to remember that even if you are charged with a DUI, you still have a Constitutional right to defend yourself. The defenses discussed above may not work in every case, but they illustrate some potential strategies that your attorney may employ to defend you against a DUI charge in Texas.