What do I do if I got a DWI?

I didn’t blow or give a blood sample. I didn’t have my keys in my truck when the cops arrived. I was looking for them in the grass (friend threw them in an argument). After being questioned the officer asked me to complete a field sobriety test to see if I was okay to drive home. I told him that I had 2 drinks at 11:30 pm. and hadn’t had a drink since then. It was 2:30 when the cops arrived. I did the “Follow the pen” test but when I was asked to walk three steps and turn around and do 3 more I wobbled on uneven/slanted road and he decided to take me in. I don’t work and was wondering if a court appointed attorney could easily dismiss this case?

Asked on March 24, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No one can guarantee a dismissal---but the first big issue that the officer is going to have is proving that you were driving, especially if a friend had hide your keys.  However, the charge may not go completely away.  It may simply get reduced to public intoxication, a ticketable offense.

As far as challenging the officer's determination that you were impaired, that will depend on what he wrote in his report and how you appeared in the video of the tests.  Any attorney, appointed or retained, will simply have to work with facts, or absence of facts.  Over the last several years, these tests have come under attack by several groups questioning their reliability, but juries still tend to fall for them. 

You may want to start out with a public defender and get a feel for how they see to handle your case.  If you are not happy with the appointed attorney, then you can always hire a private attorney.  In Texas, there are attorneys that specialize in criminal law--- but what you need is an attorney that frequently handles DUI's so they can spot the flaws (if any ) in the techniques used by the officer to administer your tests.


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