Parker County - TX
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Monday – 9AM to 5PM
Tuesday – 9AM to 5PM
Wednesday – 9AM to 5PM
Thursday – 9AM to 5PM
Friday – 9AM to 5PM
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Law Offices Of Richard C. McConathy
Any arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas carries an extreme amount of stress and frequent confusion. Many people have little to no idea what their rights are and what to expect when criminal charges are filed.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy understands the multiple concerns that you might have and can hopefully present an overview of the DWI process that will give you greater peace of mind. Use this page to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
If you were arrested for a DWI in Weatherford, TX, make sure that you are quick to get yourself legal representation. A good criminal defense lawyer could make a world of difference in the handling of your criminal case.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has defended countless individuals all over the Parker County area against many different kinds of DWI charges. We offer a wealth of experience in DWI cases and can fully review your case when you call (817) 458-3226 or contact our firm online to receive a free consultation.
With most DWI arrests, there will be a similar pattern to the proceedings. Most arrests usually involve the following:
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 states that a person commits a DWI offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) defines intoxicated as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
According to the law, the definition of the word normal is the average person. The problem is how do we determine the average person? The law is vague in this subject, which lends itself for a good argument to a jury that everyone is different and each has his own normal.
“Alcohol concentration” is defined by Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) as the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath; 100 milliliters of blood; or 67 milliliters of urine. A 0.02 equals one drink. A drink is 1-¼ ounces of liquor, 1 12 oz. beer, or 1 glass of wine. It takes one hour for the body to burn off a 0.02 down to a 0.00. Thus, to reach a 0.08 a person must consume four drinks in one hour.
Under criminal law, you are not required to perform any type of test or answer any questions to the police officer. You have the right to refuse any tests and request an attorney. However, if you refuse to attempt these tests, the officer most likely is going to arrest you.
Further, the civil law, which your driver’s license falls under, does not protect you. In fact, when you applied for your driver’s license you unknowingly consented to any future tests, if to which you refused you would lose your driver’s license for a period of six months. The decision is yours and there is a civil risk (your license), but you do have rights, and should not waive them. Always request your lawyer and don’t cooperate with anything if you wish to exercise your rights.
No. However, although a person has no right to refuse to be videotaped, he does have the right to refuse to perform any police field sobriety exercises and to refuse to answer any questions, the answers to which, might be incriminating. Unlike breath or blood test refusals, there are no penalties for refusing to perform field sobriety tests or refusing to answer questions while being videotaped.
If performed in a controlled environment in the exact proscribed standardized manner, the tests can be a likely indicator of intoxication. This is hardly done in the street.
The research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the designers of the tests, concluded the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is 77% accurate, the Walk & Turn is 68% accurate, and the One Leg Stand is 65% accurate only when administered in the prescribed, standardized manner. Any change from the standardized manner will compromise the validity of the tests and make any result inaccurate. When not conducted properly it becomes an opinion test of the officer.
Therefore, these tests will inaccurately claim 23% – 35% of the people tested as intoxicated. Which when done incorrectly, which is the norm, can drop the accuracy to a frightening level.
Even sober people can have difficulty with these tests, as stated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The reason is as the NHTSA has admitted, are several factors that affect every person, such as:
The State of Texas must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which is the highest burden of proof in the justice system. It is not defined, by Texas law, but can be easily explained to a jury.
The lowest burden of proof is probable cause. That is how an officer can start an arrest.
The next highest burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. This is the amount of proof needed in civil courtrooms involving civil suits. A preponderance of the evidence is proof amounting to 51% or who can move the scales of justice.
The next highest burden of proof is clear and convincing evidence. This is the amount of proof that will cause a juror or judge to have a “firm belief” in the matter to be proved. This is used in custody cases. Most juries when they hear that the burden of proof is higher than that to take their kids away from them understand the high level of proof.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is the highest burden of proof. A jury must have more than that necessary to take your kids away in evidence that you were intoxicated before they could find you guilty. This is very simple, if a juror has a single doubt, based on reason, as to a person being intoxicated, they must follow the law and find them not guilty.
Texas law does not give you the right to speak with an attorney prior to making the decision of whether or not to take the field sobriety tests, the breath test or blood test. However, the law does not require you to perform any field sobriety tests or to take a blood or breath test so continue to ask for an attorney and refuse to cooperate and the likely chances of being found NOT GUILTY can increase!
If you are convicted of the DWI, it will be on your record for life. Furthermore, a DWI conviction can be used for ten years to enhance your punishment of you are arrested for DWI again. If you are found Not Guilty, you can have the arrest and DWI charge “expunged” from your record.
Driving Under the Influence – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) — Visit this website to learn more about DWI penalties. You can also find information on safety campaigns. There is also information about TxDOT, divisions, and the Traffic Safety Division.
Chapter 49 | Texas Penal Code | Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses — View the state laws applying to all alcoholic beverage crimes in Texas. Additional crimes listed here include public intoxication, possession of alcoholic beverage in motor vehicle, and DWI with child passenger. You can also read about flying while intoxicated and boating while intoxicated as well as intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.
Were you arrested for an alleged DWI offense in the Weatherford area? It will be imperative for you to quickly retain legal counsel.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy regularly fights DWI charges all over North Texas and can work to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have us take a closer look at your case and discuss everything with you when calling (817) 458-3226 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Flying While Intoxicated
Third or Subsequent DWI
DWI with BAC over 0.15
Controlled Substances and DWI
DWI Test Refusal and Implied Consent
License Suspension Hearings
DWI with Child Passenger
Contesting Blood Alcohol Tests
Ignition Interlock Device
DWI with Property Damage
SR-22 / DWI Insurance