Facing charges for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in many Texas jurisdictions, Texas can be a worrying and demoralizing experience, but it is possible to have your DWI dismissed under certain circumstances. Read on to learn more about how to get a DWI dismissed in Travis County, Texas.
Understanding DWI Dismissal
First of all, it is fundamental to understand what a DWI dismissal is and what it involves. According to the legal dictionary of Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, “A dismissal refers to the court’s decision to terminate a court case without imposing liability on the defendant.” So, when a DWI case is dismissed, it means that the charges against the offender are dropped, so he or she is no longer legally responsible for the offense. This outcome allows the offender to avoid harsh Texas consequences associated with a conviction, such as fines, license suspension, and jail time.
Reasons for DWI Dismissal in Travis County
One common reason for DWI dismissal is a lack of probable cause for the traffic stop or arrest to have happened in the first place. Law enforcement officers must have probable cause–a valid reason–to stop a vehicle and subsequently arrest the driver for DWI. If there was not sufficient probable cause, the evidence gathered during the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court, which could lead to a dismissal.
Breathalyzer and blood test errors are another reason for many DWI dismissals. These tests can be used to measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but they are not perfect. Errors such as calibration errors or mishandling of samples can occur during administration and analysis. If there were issues with the testing process and/or analysis, it may result in a dismissal of DWI charges.
Another reason for DWI dismissals that can happen is law enforcement’s failure upon arrest to inform a DWI suspect of his or her Miranda rights, which are guaranteed by the US Constitution. If the arresting officer fails to inform a suspect of these rights or conducts an interrogation without proper warnings, any statements made by the suspect during questioning may be deemed inadmissible in court, weakening the prosecution’s case. This could lead to a dismissal.
Problems with field sobriety tests conducted at the scene of a traffic stop to assess driver impairment can also lead to a dismissal of DWI charges. Field sobriety tests can be subjective, and various impacting factors (e.g., medical conditions, nerves, etc.) that can affect a driver’s performance on the tests are often overlooked. If the defense can show that the tests were administered incorrectly or unfairly, it could be grounds for dismissal.
How to Get a DWI Dismissed in Travis County
The first step towards securing a DWI dismissal is to consult with an experienced DWI attorney in Travis County. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will assess the details of the case, and develop a strategy for seeking a dismissal. Your attorney will identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence and gather counter-evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, medical records, and any other relevant information that can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. Your attorney may file motions to challenge the admissibility of evidence in court. These motions can be instrumental in convincing the court to dismiss your DWI charges. That said, in some cases, it may be possible for your attorney to negotiate with prosecutors to have the DWI charges reduced or dismissed through a plea bargain which often involves agreeing to attend alcohol education programs or complete community service in exchange for a dismissal.
Getting a DWI dismissed in Travis County, Texas can be accomplished with the help of a professional attorney. It requires a thorough understanding of the legal process and skilled legal representation. While a DWI dismissal is not guaranteed, fighting for one offers a chance of avoiding the severe consequences associated with a conviction. If you are facing DWI charges, consult with an experienced DWI attorney who can guide you through the process and help you pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Consider seeking professional legal counsel from the reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney Brian Erskine of Erskine Law. Based in Austin, Mr. Erskine is a board-certified criminal defense lawyer with years of experience handling DWI cases. He is available to answer questions and provide legal guidance about your case and the possibility of getting a DWI dismissal. Contact Erskine Law today to schedule a free consultation with Law Maverick Brian Erskine.