Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) cases require immediate attention on your part. Texas DWI cases, whether the charge stems from alcohol use, drug use, or another intoxicant, usually involve both a criminal case, and an administrative/civil component. Most folks focus on the criminal case while foregoing the administrative law case, which can cause complications for you. If you are arrested for DWI, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.
You only have 15 days from the date of arrest to seek an administrative hearing relating to the suspension of your driver’s license. Missing that 15 day deadline by one day results in the denial of your administrative hearing request. For a first time offense, this means a mandatory 90 day suspension of your driver’s license, even if your criminal case is still pending, or if you are ultimately acquitted, or the criminal case is dismissed.
Because the administrative case requires a hearing if you contest the case, it allows your attorney a chance to box the police officer in regarding their testimony so that they cannot change it should the criminal case go to trial. Why is this a big deal? Simply put most officers do not spend enough time preparing for the administrative hearing as they would a criminal trial. This can provide a distinct advantage come the criminal case because the officer may be forced to explain why his testimony is different now when compared with the administrative hearing, which is also under oath. Such discrepancies can provide significant advantages in the criminal case and a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help.
It is important to remember that a DWI charge is not limited to those times when you drink. There is an ever-growing number of Driving While Intoxicated – drug cases in Williamson County. Local law enforcement is spending more time investigating cases that involve folks driving after taking medications through the use of a “drug recognition expert” – think police officer with an additional class – and a series of extra tests to try and determine what class – stimulant or depressant – of drug the driver is on. Because certain prescriptions are more likely than others to cause such a problem, it is extremely important that you do NOT answer any questions concerning medications that you take if stopped, that you exercise your right to remain silent, and that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. While you may think that it is o.k. to drive after taking your prescription medication, if the medicine, or combination of medicines, cause a loss in your normal mental faculties, you can face a DWI charge.
When looking for a criminal defense lawyer to a DWI charge, make sure that they provide representation in both the ALR hearing and the criminal case. If not, you could be placing yourself in a disadvantaged situation.