Newspapers, websites and other news outlets across Texas widely report arrests nearly as soon as they happen. These mugshots make defendants look guilty long before they have a chance to go to trial, let alone plead guilty. Although public opinion might condemn you shortly after an arrest, the same isn’t true for DWI charges. Believe it or not, you can have DWI charges dismissed by pointing out holes in prosecutors’ cases.
Bad field sobriety test administration
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only recognizes three field sobriety tests as standardized:
- Walking a straight line from heel to toe, also known as the Walk and Turn test.
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test.
- Standing on one leg for a certain amount of time, also called the One Leg Stand test.
No laws prohibit police officers from using unstandardized sobriety tests that don’t stand a chance of holding up in court. They may use highly difficult tests to make you think that you failed as a trick to get you admit to drinking too much. This trick can also discourage you from challenging your DUI charge in court.
Police can also administer these three standardized tests incorrectly. Not documenting these tests, even if performed correctly, could be enough to get your DWI dismissed.
They need probable cause
Let’s say you get pulled over for not wearing your seatbelt. After performing a search an hour after the initial traffic stop, the officer finds drugs.
The officer then asks you to perform field sobriety tests. They didn’t have probable cause to suspect you of driving while intoxicated at the time you got pulled over. This is just one of many examples of police not having probable cause.
They didn’t record enough information
Police come in contact with many drivers and alleged criminals in their line of work. When combined with the often-shoddy human memory, it’s easy to see why courts require police to thoroughly document reasons for charging people with DWI immediately after arrest.
Your attorney can request copies of the police’s documentation of why you received a DWI charge. Police often don’t get challenged on DWI charges, so simply having your attorney look over these documents can secure a dismissal.