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SFSTs are Junk Science!

Most people are award of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). Unfortunately, a large number of people are also personally familiar with them. The three standard tests are: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), also known as the "eye test"; Walk-and-turn (W&T), sometimes called the "walk in a line" test; and One Leg Stand (OLS) What many may not know, however, is that the SFSTs are a bunch of junk science. As those who have done the tests may say, these tests can be very hard to do even when sober. For example, there are at least 86 different types of nystagmus, many...

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DWI Superfine

As of September 2019, the "surcharge" program by Texas DPS no longer exists. While that may sound good, it has been replaced by a "superfine" system for DWI convictions. Put another way, the "surcharge" for DWI convictions still exists, while the "points" system for things like traffic tickets is history. Let's take a quick look at what is new, and what is not (at least in terms of DWI). Surcharge v. Superfine Old System - Surcharge The surcharge system issued a fine based on either "points" or convictions. Regardless, putting "points" on a person's license only happens after a conviction. The old system...

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Blood Draw Requirements

Here is a simplified explanation of the blood draw requirements from a DWI Lawyer in Arlington. A blood draw performed at an officer's request after a DWI arrest has two main requirements: 1) a qualified person must perform the blood draw, and 2) the blood draw must occur in a "sanitary" place. Texas Transp. Code § 724.017(a) and (a-1). Qualified Person Requirement The statute lists five broad categories for persons qualified to perform a blood draw: a physician; a qualified technician; a registered professional nurse; a licensed vocational nurse; or a licensed or certified emergency medical technician-intermediate or emergency medical technician-paramedic (EMTs)...

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Accidents Involving Injury

*Warning* The punishment for not stopping at accidents involving injury is a unique type of punishment! Stress can cause a person to act differently. Most people would hopefully agree that a car accident can be a very stressful event. Further, most people would hopefully agree that we should make sure no one in injured after an accident. But, again, stress can sometimes cause a person to do something they wouldn't normally do, including leaving an accident. The problem, though, is that leaving an accident may lead to criminal punishment, not just a personal injury case. Texas Transportation Code § 550.021 defines the...

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License Suspension, Revocation, and Disqualification

There are a variety of driver's license suspensions that can impact your ability to apply for or renew your license. These include suspensions for actions that did not even occur in Texas! You read that right, a suspension in another state can (but won't always) impact your ability to drive in Texas. Typically, for DWI arrests, this comes in the form of an ALR suspension. But, DPS can also suspend your license for not completing a DWI education course while on probation, for example. For some of these suspensions, you may need to petition for an ODL in order to drive....

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Pretrial Torture

*WARNING* BOND VIOLATIONS CAN HURT YOUR CASE. WE DO THE BEST WE CAN TO ADDRESS ANY VIOLATIONS. According to the United States and Texas Constitutions, the law presumes a person innocent until proven guilty. That presumption even applies to arrests, but you wouldn't think so sometimes. In many cases, the worst part of a DWI is the pretrial torture. For example, this torture can include license suspensions, interlock requirements, and more. Some counties (especially Johnson and Parker County) will put people through hell before their case is even addressed. Sometimes, even before the DAs file the case! This pretrial torture can...

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Administrative License Suspension Injustice

Did you know: That DPS can suspend your license for refusing to give breath or blood? While this is somewhat common knowledge, there is a grave injustice in punishing someone for exercising the right to refuse. This is what Texas calls its "implied consent" law for license suspensions. Under this rule, Texas says you are deemed to have consented to "the taking of one or more specimens of [your] breath or blood" after an arrest for DWI, DUI, or BWI. In other words, your refusal means absolutely nothing other than the length of suspension DPS issues. The statute does have a bit...

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DWI & DUI: What’s The Difference?

Many people tend to use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably. However, in Texas, the two can be quite different in practice. DUI vs. DWI DUI is the term usually used when the arrest involves a minor (someone below 21 years old). Meanwhile, DWI is the term used for the more severe charge. Here's the kicker, though: The police can still charge a minor with a full-on DWI. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code contains the statutes regarding DUI by a minor. Section 106.041 of that Code states: (a) a minor commits an offense if the minor operates a motor vehicle in a public place...

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Know Your Rights

The police did not read me my rights at the scene! Can they dismiss my case?! The answer is a confusing "yes and no". The Miranda warnings are somewhat popular due to inclusion in many television police dramas. What you may not know is that there is no specific language for the warnings. However, the warnings must, using whatever language convey 4 basic warnings: The right to remain silent; That anything you do say may be used against you; (Note that it "may", not "will" be. The rules of evidence prevent some statements from admission.) That you have the right to...

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DWI Deportation Warning

No more "three strikes" law for deportation Almost everyone knows one of the basic rules of baseball is "Three strikes, you're out"! For the longest time, DWI deportation (and some other areas of the law) operated on the same premise. A person is not subject to deportation until their third "strike" (meaning their first felony DWI). Unknown to most of us, this has started changing in the shadows. Immigration has now started to deport people for a second DWI conviction instead of waiting for a third. There does not seem to be any clear rhyme or reason to this change. But,...

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