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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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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Do I Have to Go to Jail If I’m Convicted of a DWI in Texas?

December 12th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in DWI

In Texas, a first-time drunk driving offense is typically prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Normally, a Class B misdemeanor refers to a crime that is punishable by either a fine of no more than $2,000, a jail term of not more than 180 days, or both. […]

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How Swerving in Traffic Can Lead to a DWI Conviction

November 14th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Drunk Driving, DWI

A Houston police officer only needs “reasonable suspicion” of DWI to stop and pull you over for further investigation. One thing that can lead the officer to form such reasonable suspicion is observing other traffic violations. For example, if you are swerving in-and-out of different lanes while driving, that could form a legal basis for […]

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How Excessive Noise Can Lead to a DWI Charge

October 17th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Drunk Driving, DWI

Most DWI arrests in Texas begin with an unrelated traffic stop. Assuming the officer has formed a “reasonable suspicion” that the driver has broken some law, any evidence later discovered of drunk driving is potentially admissible in court. Loud Car Stereo Created “Reasonable Suspicion” for Officers to Initiate Traffic Stop This includes something as seemingly […]

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“Questionable Behavior” Can Lead to DWI Arrest in Texas

September 16th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in DWI

In Texas, a police officer does need definitive proof of drunk driving before initiating a traffic stop that ultimately leads to a DWI arrest. The law only requires “reasonable suspicion” that the defendant is possibly engaged in some sort of criminal activity. In other words, if the officer can articulate specific facts that led him […]

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Do the Police Need a Warrant to Arrest Me for DWI If I’ve Returned to My House?

July 19th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in DWI

Most DWI arrests occur when a police officer stops a motorist and orders them to pull over to the side of the road. But what if a drunk driving suspect returns home before the officer has a chance to initiate a stop? Can the officer proceed to make an arrest at the suspect’s home without […]

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Is a Blood or Field Sobriety Test Necessary for a DWI Conviction in Texas?

June 14th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in DWI

Under Texas law, a person is legally intoxicated when they do not have “the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol” into their body. There are a number of ways a prosecutor can prove intoxication based on this definition in a DWI case. One such method is presenting […]

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Is Evidence of Drug Use Relevant in a DWI Case?

February 19th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in DWI

Although we commonly refer to drunk driving, in practice you can be tried and convicted of DWI even if you are not technically intoxicated due to alcohol consumption, i.e. your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is still below the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Under Texas law, the state only needs to prove that the “introduction of […]

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How a Prior Drunk Driving Conviction Can Affect a Subsequent DWI Trial

January 16th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Drunk Driving, DWI

Texas DWI laws provide for a number of sentencing “enhancements” based on the circumstances of a particular case. For example, if you have a prior DWI conviction and are arrested for drunk driving a second time, the new charge can be bumped up from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor. This is more […]

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