January 17, 2024
Getting charged with a DUI in Texas can have steep consequences. It can become part of your public record, which means it’ll continuously show up in background checks. This can be a serious issue with your current, and possibly future, employer.
While Texas is one of the top states with the highest rates of drunk driving, it’s also one of the top places where wrongful convictions are quite common.
This makes it possible to fight your DUI conviction, which means it isn’t a lost cause. You can fight back and even win as long as you understand what your options are. That’s why you should familiarize yourself with the things you can and shouldn’t do after the arrest and during the legal proceedings in order to make beating this charge that much easier.
To help you protect your constitutional rights, we at Napier Law Firm have rounded up the top five ways to beat a DUI in Texas.
Let’s take a look.
- Hire an Experienced Lawyer
Let’s start by saying that the surest way to beat a ‘driving under the influence’ (DUI) charge is to not drink and drive. If you know you’ve been drinking, call a rideshare app like Uber or another type of transportation service. You can also enlist the help of a designated driver to help get you home safe and sound.
However, if you didn’t do any of these things and you’ve been arrested for a DUI, your first priority is to hire a criminal defense attorney who understands DUI law and has experience dealing with similar cases.
If there’s sufficient evidence against you, your lawyer will ask the prosecuting attorney to reduce the charges. Consequently, the penalties you’ll be facing will be reduced as well.
Depending on the evidence they have and if you have any prior record, your lawyer can also get the charges dismissed entirely. This means that the DUI charge doesn’t remain on your record permanently and impact your life for years to come.
- Consent to a Breathalyzer, Not a Blood Test
In most DUI cases, you’re offered either a breath or blood test. Even though it may be implied that you have to agree to the latter, you can politely decline.
Instead, agree to a breath test, which is often less accurate than a chemical blood test. In fact, surveys show that jurors perceive breathalyzers to be less reliable and effective
This makes it easier to have them challenged in court.
We should mention that there’s a chance a refusal can result in a temporary administrative suspension of your driver’s license. Yet, it could mean the difference between having a criminal conviction and getting off scot-free.
- Be on Your Best Behavior
To pull you over for a DUI, a police officer needs to have reasonable suspicion. Yet, to arrest you for one, they need probable cause.
While the first is highly out of your hands, you can certainly control the narrative when it comes to the second. In other words, don’t give them the luxury of finding probable cause.
Try to the best of your abilities to appear completely sober and lucid. This means paying attention to what’s being said, avoiding slurring your speech, and providing the police officer with all the necessary documentation.
Remember to stay calm, polite, and compliant. It’s also crucial that you avoid being confrontational. Only answer questions directed at you, but other than that, don’t volunteer any information.
- Know What You Can and Can’t Do
The right to remain silent isn’t your only right when you’re pulled over. You have other rights as well. At the same time, there are certain things you’re required by law to do during a pullover.
Knowing what you can and can’t do can help you beat your DUI charge in court.
For starters, you have the right to refuse for the police to search your vehicle. If the police officer doesn’t have a search warrant and there’s no valid reason to do so, then, under the Fourth Amendment, you have the right to refuse the search.
Alternatively, you’re obligated by law to answer questions like how fast you were driving, why you were stopped, and possibly where you’re going. You also need to provide law enforcement with any specific documentation, such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
- Gather All the Evidence
This is what lawyers refer to as ‘discovery.’ You and your attorney have a right to all the evidence being used against you, but the district attorney isn’t obligated to volunteer the information unless asked.
So, it’s up to you and your lawyer to request the evidence by serving a discovery demand on the district attorney. It also requires sending law enforcement agencies a Freedom of Information Act request.
Once you have all the necessary evidence at your disposal, you and your lawyer can start to look for loopholes in an effort to fight and beat your DUI.
The evidence you’ll be presented with can include the following:
- A copy of the police report
- Body cam footage from the arresting officer
- A list of witnesses
- Results of the breathalyzer test
- Video footage or images from bystanders’ smart devices
A Final Note
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, you can use these top five ways to beat a DUI in Texas, starting with contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help make the fight against your DUI go much more smoothly.
At Napier Law Firm, we’ve represented numerous clients successfully. We know how to pick apart every piece of evidence and use it to our advantage, which makes us confident that we can help with your case.
We’ll walk you through each step so you know what to expect, and we’ll do everything in our power to get the charges dropped or reduced as quickly as possible so you can finally get back to your everyday life.
Contact our offices today at (713) 766-5610 for a free consultation.