Who Is Allowed to Conduct a Blood Draw in a DWI Case?

October 14th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

When a police officer has probable cause to believe that drunk driving has occurred, the officer may ask the suspect to consent to a blood-alcohol test. If the suspect denies their consent, a judge or magistrate must issue a search warrant before the test can proceed. Once a blood test is authorized, Texas law states […]

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Can an Off-Duty Officer Working a Second Job Detain Me on Suspicion of DWI?

September 15th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

Although most DWI arrests come from traffic stops, the truth is that anytime a police officer observes–or is informed of–possible evidence of drunk driving, you may be subject to questioning and arrest. That is why you always must remember you have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions posed by an officer, […]

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How Can a Decision Not to Testify Affect the Outcome of My DWI Case?

August 14th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

In any criminal trial, the defendant has a constitutional right not to testify. The jury is not allowed to infer a defendant’s guilt based on such a refusal to testify. However, this also means that the defendant waives their right to personally rebut or contradict any testimony offered by other witnesses, which in turn can […]

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Appeals Court Refuses to Reverse DWI Conviction of Austin Man Who “Unequivocally” Decided to Represent Himself

July 17th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

A DWI charge is not a parking ticket. It is not something that you should try to contest yourself without the assistance of experienced counsel. While you do have a constitutional right to represent yourself in any criminal matter, that does not make it a good idea, especially since the potential penalties can be quite […]

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The “Community Caretaking” Exception and Drunk Driving Cases

June 15th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

Normally, a police officer requires “probable cause” to initiate a traffic stop or investigate a person suspected of DWI. But an officer may also engage in what is known as a “community caretaking” function. Basically, if the officer believes someone needs help, the officer can stop and offer assistance. And if the officer then happens […]

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Does an Illegible Signature On a Warrant Invalidate the Results of a DWI Blood Test?

May 14th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

If a police officer suspects you of drunk driving, they can ask you for consent to perform a blood test. Should you refuse–as is your constitutional right–the officer must then obtain a search warrant before proceeding any further. Texas law requires the warrant to be signed by a magistrate “in clearly legible handwriting or in […]

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Can I Be Tried a Second Time for DWI If the First Trial Ended in a Mistrial?

April 15th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in DWI

The United States Constitution states that no person may be “subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” In plain terms, this “double jeopardy” clause means you cannot be tried by the state twice for the same crime. So if you are acquitted by a jury of an […]

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Can the Police Detain Me on Suspicion of DWI Based on an Anonymous Tip?

March 19th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drunk Driving, DWI

Misdemeanor DWI arrests in Texas often begin with a traffic stop. A police officer must first have “reasonable suspicion” that a traffic violation has occurred to initiate such a stop. This is a lower standard than either the “probable cause” required for arrest or the “beyond a reasonable doubt” necessary for a criminal conviction. Put […]

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When Are DWI Penalties “Enhanced” Under Texas Law?

February 14th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense, DWI

In a Texas DWI case, prosecutors may seek an “enhanced” sentence against a defendant under certain circumstances. For example, if the defendant has a prior criminal conviction, that could lead to additional jail time if they are subsequently convicted of drunk driving. But such an enhancement is only justified when there is evidence presented related […]

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Is an Incorrectly Administered HGN Test Admissible as Evidence in a DWI Case?

January 20th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drunk Driving, DWI

In deciding whether or not to charge a person with DWI, Houston-area law enforcement officers will often rely on the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. This is where the officer displays a penlight in front of the driver’s eyes and asks the driver to follow said light as the officer moves it […]

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