The release of the Vince Young DWI video of his arrest reminds me of the routine question I am regularly asked as a board certified DWI lawyer: What should I do if I am stopped for DWI? Do I answer the officer’s questions? Do I attempt to do “sobriety exercises”? Do I refuse or take a breath test?
Vince Young DWI Video Shows how much power police have
The answer is simple and the Vince Young DWI video shows it: DWI is an opinion crime. An arrest decision rests solely on the opinion of the arresting officer. The United States and Texas Constitutions do NOT require you to answer an officer’s questions, try your hand at “sobriety exercises”, or take a breath test. There is no need to provide evidence to an opinion crime.
What might appear to be benign questions on the surface, these questions are designed to acquire evidence to be used and twisted against you even if the answers prove your sobriety. Police officers tout that they make arrest decisions based upon the “totality of the circumstances”, but the truth is that officers cherry-pick certain answers to justify their arrest decision, and ignore all the other answers.
It is perfectly legal to request a lawyer rather than answer questions.
Police Are Not Instructed Properly
“Sobriety exercises” like the ones shown in the Vince Young DWI video are difficult. Period. For anyone intoxicated or sober. And the police scoring system unjustly grades any innocent mistake as being caused by intoxication—regardless of whether the mistake is due to nervousness of being pulled over by police, a legitimate medical problem, or lack of proper police instruction.
The Flawed Breath Test Machine
Breath testing is not reliable or accurate for everyone due to physiological differences between all human beings. Further, Texas government officials made a policy decision to NOT utilize the safeguards on their breath testing machines that could prevent some of the physiological differences from causing a falsely inflated breath test score. Texas is using their new breath test machines in a way it is not designed to operate.
Texas pulled the plug on the manufacturer’s safeguards that both the manufacturer and the scientific community believe is necessary for quality assurance in breath testing. Thus, many sober people could be wrongly convicted due to a breath test machine just because the Texas breath testing officials are cutting corners.
What to do if you’re arrested and confused
If you find yourself in a DWI arrest where you need your answers untangled, your sobriety exercises re-graded, and your breath or blood test fully investigated, you should immediately contact the board certified DWI lawyers at Trichter & Murphy with the experience and expertise to defend your case.
J. Gary Trichter
The consequences of a DWI on your concealed handgun license (CHL) in Texas.
The words echoed out Charton Heston like Moses on Mount Sinai as he held up a flintlock rifle and said, “Out of my cold dead hands.” Many citizens of the State of Texas hold the late, Mr. Heston’s sentiments and the 2nd Amendment close to their heart when it comes the effects of a DWI on their concealed handgun license or CHL in Texas.
Routinely, I find myself with law-abiding citizens who took the time to get a concealed handgun license (CHL) sitting in front of me charged with both DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon (UCW). They are shocked that they could be charged with UCW after they took all the steps necessary by the State to carry and many times their firearm is not even on their person. They are equally shocked to learn that there will be two bonds to get out of jail and a greater attorney’s fee because there are two cases.
How can I be charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon when I am licensed or when I am carrying in my car complying with laws of the state of Texas?
Section 46.02(a)(2)(A) of the Texas Penal Code states that an individual engaged in criminal activity may be charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon regardless of a license to carry or if it is in a vehicle. This means you should not be driving with an open container if you want to carry a weapon. Said another way, if you are going to drive with an open container then don’t carry a weapon either on your or in your vehicle because that will make you being double charged impossible. Of import here is that if you are arrested for DWI and you are carrying a weapon, then if you are convicted of a DWI then you will be arrested for illegal weapon possession, but on the flip side, if you are found innocent of DWI, then you will be found innocent of illegal weapon possession. Clearly, the safe choice is not to carry a weapon if you are going to drink and drive. Indeed, the safest choice would be to not drink alcohol and then drive.
What affect will a DWI have on my CHL?
Texas is very strict about who can qualify for a CHL. If you are convicted of a class A or B misdemeanor, which is a first DWI, then you are disqualified from qualifying for a CHL for 5 years. For the purposes of a DWI on a CHL, a deferred adjudication qualifies as a conviction. This includes cases that are dismissed after a probation of deferred adjudication. Additionally, if you are convicted of DWI twice in a ten year period, you will be disqualified as a chemically dependent person even after the five year period has past. If you have been found not guilty or your case was outright dismissed, it will not affect your ability to apply for a CHL.
What happens if I have a CHL and I am charged with a DWI?
Unfortunately, there is no due process when it comes to a CHL. A person who is charged with a class A or B misdemeanor (DWI) will have their license suspended immediately regardless of innocence. Therefore, to preserve and save your right to bear arms, call us 24/7 at 713-524-1010 to speak with an attorney.