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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO
DWI DEFENSE IN TEXAS

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DWI In Texas: The Ultimate Guide: A Former Prosecutor Breaks Down Your Defenses (2022)

From a Fort Worth DWI Lawyer: The Ultimate Guide to DWI Defense in Texas

Fort Worth DWI Lawyer

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is against the law in Texas. This criminal offense, which is known in other states as DUI or OVI, carries potentially life-altering consequences. Many Texas drivers know about DWIs, but they either don’t know or underappreciate the severity of the consequences. Namely, you might face a hefty jail sentence, costly fine and a long-term suspension of your driver’s license. A DWI can also disrupt your career and your ability to commute to work, school, your doctor’s office, and other important places. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that you know DWI laws and that you take the right steps to protect yourself. You’ve come to the right place. The Hampton Law Firm provides you with the following useful guide on DWIs in Texas, including what you could do to avoid a conviction.

Fort Worth DWI Lawyer – With So Much at Stake You Need the Best DWI Lawyer on Your Side!

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DWI Punishment under Texas Law

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you are facing a very serious criminal offense that carries with it the prospect of jail time, increased insurance premiums and a permanent stain upon your criminal record. Below are answers to some of the most common questions people ask us about punishment for different types of DWI charges in the state of Texas. If you are charged with drunk driving, we strongly urge you to hire an experienced DWI defense attorney.

What Happens if I am Convicted of DWI (1st offense)?

If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI (1st offense) in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, Texas law provides that you could face anywhere from 3 days to 180 days in Tarrant County jail, large fines, court costs and the suspension of your Texas driver’s license for a period of time ranging from 90 days to 1 year.

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Fort Worth DWI Lawyer

How Much Will A Texas DWI Really Cost You? A Former DA Breaks Down The Law! (2021)

How Much Does A DWI Cost In Texas?

A driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction is life-changing in many ways. The criminal penalties for even a first offense are quite severe, and you will be left with a criminal record that will come back to haunt you for the rest of your life.

The consequences don’t stop there, though. You also have to worry about the financial cost of your alleged offense, which can leave you with enormous debt.

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How You Get Arrested For DWI

The Police Stop You Because They Have Reasonable Suspicion Of You Breaking A Law

In Texas, the police are able to stop you as long as they reasonably suspect that you have committed an offense. Basically, reasonable suspicion is more than simply the police officer’s hunch or wild guess that you are breaking the law. Rather, it must appear to the police that you may have committed an offense of some sort. Often, the police have reasonable suspicion of you committing an offense if they think that you might have been speeding, swerving or rolling through a stop sign.

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Fort Worth DWI Lawyer

3 Strategies To Beat A DWI Case: A Former Prosecutor Explains! (2021)

DWI Defenses

When it comes to a DWI charge, remember that the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in control of your vehicle and that you were intoxicated. If the district attorney cannot prove this, then you cannot be convicted of DWI. In addition, there are certain valuable defense strategies that can really help weaken the district attorney’s entire case against you. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important defenses that might be applicable in your case.

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DWI Blood Tests in Texas

The requirements under which a blood test can be drawn from a citizen in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County is controlled by the Texas Transportation Code governing blood draw laws for the entire State of Texas. If you consented to or were forced to give a blood test, the first question that must be answered is whether your blood test was as a result of a request from a law enforcement officer or if the blood test was drawn at a hospital for medical purposes.

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DWI BLOOD DRAWS: IS IT LEGAL FOR AN OFFICER TO FORCE A BLOOD DRAW? (2021)

Fort Worth DWI Lawyer

The Administrative Law Revocation Hearing

If you appeal your suspension, then TxDPS will schedule your Administrative Law Revocation (ALR) hearing within approximately 30 to 120 days. The ALR program, which is conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), is a civil process that is unrelated to your criminal matter. ALR proceedings are overseen by an administrative law judge. ALR requires TxDPS to suspend or disqualify your license if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated.

At your ALR hearing, TxDPS will try to prove to a judge that your BAC exceeded the legal limit or that you refused the blood or breath test. In addition to determining whether your BAC in fact exceeded the legal limit, the judge also analyzes the evidence to determine if the police officer had a reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probable cause to arrest you for DWI. If TxDPS claims that you refused to be tested, then the judge must decide whether you indeed refused. They also determine if the officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probable cause to arrest you.

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Why Hire An Experienced DWI Attorney?

Your Freedom Is At Stake

The more severe your jail sentence, the less freedom you have. This can be mentally jarring. It can lead you to have strained relationships with your family members or others who have been reliant on you. If you do not have a skilled DWI attorney on your side who is aggressively fighting your DWI charge, then you run the risk of a longer jail sentence – especially if you have one or more prior convictions on your record.

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Fort Worth, TX Criminal Attorney

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record? Learn How To Clear Your Record! (2021)

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Texas?

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Texas, it is likely that one of your primary concerns that you shared with your DWI lawyer is making certain that your DWI or DUI does not remain on your criminal record.

If your blood alcohol concentration level was under .08, there is a very good chance that your DWI lawyer was able to resolve your case in a manner that would qualify you for an expunction.  However, if your blood alcohol concentration level was over .08, you may still qualify for a non-disclosure.

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A DWI Defense in Tarrant County, Texas – A True Story from a Fort Worth DWI attorney

Have you been arrested for a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Fort Worth or the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, Texas? Upon being released from jail, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next.

We hope you find the material we created in this manual as a helpful guide to making good decisions about your DWI defense.

After going through what you have experienced being arrested, treated like a criminal and being traumatized by your stay at the Tarrant County jail, it is completely normal to feel the way you may feel right now: Fearful and Frustrated.

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Fort Worth DWI Lawyer

Call The Hampton Law Firm Now For a Free Case Analysis

817-826-9885

The DWI Lawyers At The Hampton Law Firm Are Here For You

With so much on the line in your DWI case, it is essential that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is well versed on Texas DWI laws. The criminal defense attorneys at The Hampton Law Firm have extensive experience protecting the rights of Texans who have been charged with DWIs. We are on your side and will do everything we can to get you out of this jam. For a free consultation, reach out to The Hampton Law Firm today by calling (817) 826-9905 or by contacting us online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens After You’re Arrested for DWI in Texas?

After Your DWI Arrest

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you were likely transported to the police department and given statutory forms that required you to immediately decide whether to give a breath or blood test.

Did You Know that Texas Law Implies Your Consent to a DWI Breath or Blood Test?

Under Texas Transportation Code §724.011, if you are arrested for a DWI or BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) you are deemed to have consented “to submit to the taking of one or more specimens of (your) breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence in (your) body of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug or other substance.”

Although Texas law presumes that you have consented to a breath or blood test at the time of your DWI arrest, you have the option to refuse to submit to a breath or blood test. However, Texas law punishes you for refusing to submit to a breath or blood test by extending the length of your driver’s license suspension (See DWI Driver’s License Suspension).

The Statutory Warning: DIC-24

After your DWI or DUI arrest, the police officer is required to provide you a written copy of a statutory warning, known as the DIC-24. The DIC-24 statutory warning is a form that informs a person arrested for DWI that they have been arrested for a DWI or DUI and that a breath or blood specimen is being formally requested by law enforcement to determine your alcohol concentration.

Normally, the police officer quickly reads through the DIC-24 while you stand nervously in the corner of the Intoxilyzer room. The police officer will ask you to follow along and quickly inform you of the following:

“If you refuse to give the specimen, that refusal may be admissible in a subsequent prosecution. Your license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended or denied for not less than 180 days, whether or not you are prosecuted for this offense. If you are 21 years of age or older and submit to the taking of a specimen and an analysis of the specimen shows that you have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, your license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended for not less than 90 days, whether or not you are subsequently prosecuted for this offense. If you are younger than 21 years of age and have any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, your license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended for not less than sixty (60) days. However, if you submit to the taking of a specimen and an analysis of the specimen shows that you have an alcohol concentration of less than 0.08, you may be subject to criminal penalties less severe than those provided for under Chapter 49, Penal Code.”

After being read the preceding information, the police officer will then ask you to give a specimen of your breath or blood. It is the police officer’s choice as to whether to ask you for a breath or blood test.

What if I asked for the help of an attorney or didn’t understand the DIC-24?

You were likely very nervous, upset and possibly emotional as the officer quickly read through the details of the DIC-24 statutory warning. A reasonably educated non-intoxicated Tarrant County citizen could easily be confused by the details of the DIC-24 (considering all of the different suspension periods listed and the legal language used in creating the form). If you were confused or wanted questions answered regarding the content of the DIC-24, it is likely that the police officer only responded by repeatedly asking you whether you would submit or refuse the breath or blood test. If you continued to ask questions and wanted clarification regarding the meaning of the DIC-24, it is likely that the police officer treated your inquiries as a refusal and marked you as a REFUSAL on the DIC-24 form.

Additionally, many Tarrant County citizens that become confused by language in the DIC-24 will ask to speak to an attorney before submitting or refusing to submit to a DWI breath or blood test. Unfortunately, if you ask to speak to a criminal attorney, most Tarrant County police officers have been trained to inform you that you do not have a right to speak to an attorney (which is true but very few citizens know or would assume to be true) and will mark you as a REFUSAL on the DIC-24 form.

At The Hampton Law Firm, we understand that the forms provided to you and the events that transpired after your DWI arrest may have been confusing and overwhelming. Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation and allow the DWI trial team to answer all of your questions.

Are Breath Test Refusals Legal and am I Considered Guilty if I Refuse a Breathalyzer in Texas?

If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County and you refused to submit to a DWI breath test, it is important to understand how the courts and the jury will be permitted to evaluate your refusal. Under Texas case law, a jury MAY, but is not required, to conclude that your refusal to give a breath test is evidence of your guilt. However, it is important to remember that the prosecution carries the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of DWI. Without a breath or blood test result, the prosecution will be required to rely upon the subjective observations of the arresting police officer that administered the standardized field sobriety tests, the video showing your behavior and performance on the standardized field sobriety tests (if you performed any tests), and any driving facts that may or may not indicate possible signs of an intoxication.

Regardless of whether you have submitted to or refused a DWI breath test, it is important that you have the peace of mind of knowing that when you hire The Hampton Law Firm, you will have a legal team of former Tarrant County prosecutors that have tried over 100 DWI jury trials in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas, heading your DWI defense.

At The Hampton Law Firm, we even the odds for those charged with a DWI in Fort Worth or the surrounding cities in Tarrant County by ensuring that if your case goes to trial, you will be defended by a team of experienced DWI lawyers that have both misdemeanor and felony DWI experience. Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule an appointment with the Tarrant County DWI trial team and receive a free evaluation regarding your DWI case.

Do I Have to Install a Breathalyzer Interlock Device in My Car for DWI Probation?

Ignition Interlock Device Requirements for DWI Bond in Tarrant County

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Forth Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you may be required to install and use an Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of your bond. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 17.441, your trial judge will be required to order you to install and use an Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of your bond if you have been charged with a second DWI or felony DWI. Texas laws regarding these blood alcohol testing devices varies dramatically; judges can decide whether you have to install an Ignition Interlock in some cases and in others the law requires it.

When Can a Judge Order an Ignition Interlock Device Installation for DWI Bond or Probation?

If you have been convicted for any of the following cases in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas and have received community supervision (probation), the judge MAY, but it is not required to order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used your vehicle as a condition of your probation or community supervision:

  • DWI (first)
  • DWI 2nd
  • 3rd DWI
  • Felony DWI
  • DWI with child passenger
  • Flying While Intoxicated
  • Boating While Intoxicated
  • Assembling or operating amusement ride while intoxicated
  • Intoxication Assault
  • Intoxication Manslaughter

A Texas judge MAY also require that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on your motor vehicle if you seek an occupational license and your license has been suspended as a result of a conviction for a DWI, Intoxication Assault or an Intoxication Manslaughter. In Texas, judges are given a great deal of discretion when it comes to ignition interlock systems to prevent repeat or habitual DWI offenders from driving drunk again. However, in some situations Texas law makes ignition interlock systems mandatory.

When is an Ignition Interlock System Mandatory in Texas for DWI?

There are certain circumstances in which a judge MUST order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on a motor vehicle as a condition of community supervision. If you have been convicted and received community supervision for a DWI, Flying While Intoxicated or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and your blood alcohol content (BAC) was greater than .15, the judge must order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on your motor vehicle as a condition of your probation.

A judge must also order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on a motor vehicle as a condition of community supervision if your license has been suspended as a result of a conviction for a 2nd DWI, felony DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter. In these cases there is no getting around the installation of a breathalyzer device in your car according to Texas laws.

Schedule a Free Consultation For Your DWI Probation Case

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule an appointment with the Tarrant County DWI trial team and receive a free evaluation regarding your case and any bond conditions that may have been assessed. Our team of defense attorneys has tried over 100 DWI jury trials. When your future is on the line, experience matters. Give us a call at 817-435-2909.

What are Texas Laws Regarding Breath Tests for DWI & BAC?

DWI Breath Tests and What to Do

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you were likely asked by a police officer to submit to a breath test. Generally, once you have been arrested for DWI by a Tarrant County police officer, the next step for you is to decide whether you should agree to give a sample of your breath to be analyzed.

What If I Agreed to Give a Breath Test?

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you were likely asked by a police officer to submit to a breath test on the Texas-approved model of the Intoxilyzer 5000 Breath Analyzer.

If you submitted to a breath test after your DWI arrest in Tarrant County, it is likely that the Tarrant County DWI prosecutors will call the following witnesses against you if your DWI case goes to trial: police officers involved in your DWI stop and arrest, any civilian witnesses, your Intoxilyzer Operator and the Tarrant County Technical Supervisor. If you agreed to provide a sample of your breath to a Tarrant County police officer for analysis, it is likely that an Intoxilyzer Operator administered the breath test by requiring you to submit a breath sample through the Intoxilyzer 5000. Your Intoxilyzer Operator was likely trained to do the following in your DWI case: wait for at least 15 minutes before administering the DWI breath test (an attempt to prevent residual alcohol from affecting the breath test), input your personal information into the Intoxilyzer 5000, and ask you to give two separate samples of your breath by breathing into machine for a sustained period of time.

If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County and your DWI case goes to trial, the team of Tarrant County prosecutors assigned to litigate your DWI case will rely heavily upon the testimony of the Tarrant County Technical Supervisor to attempt to convince the jury that you should be convicted of DWI.

The Tarrant County Technical Supervisor is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all of the Intoxilyzer 5000 machines in his/her district. The Tarrant County Technical Supervisor is also responsible for having a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the Intoxilyzer 5000 and how the Intoxilyzer 5000’s analysis relates to determining someone’s level of intoxication.

At The Hampton Law Firm, the DWI trial team will carefully review the facts surrounding your DWI breath test and take the time to explain how those results affect your DWI arrest and fight to keep your record clean from a criminal conviction. Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule an appointment with the Tarrant County DWI trial team and receive a free evaluation regarding your DWI case.

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

DWI Field Sobriety Tests

What are Field Sobriety Tests and Why Do They Matter?

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or the surrounding cities in Tarrant County, it is likely that you were asked by your arresting officer to perform field sobriety tests so that the officer could form an opinion as to whether or not you were intoxicated. Your performance on DWI field sobriety tests and how the police officer administered the field sobriety tests are important to your DWI case because the field sobriety test results play an important role in determining whether there was sufficient evidence to establish probable cause to arrest for suspicion of DWI.

Although there are numerous field sobriety tests that officers may ask you to perform at the scene, there are only three field sobriety tests that have been recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a training program that caters to local police agencies in training police officers on how to administer the three recognized field sobriety tests in a standardized manner so that the results will be consistent and reliable.

The field sobriety tests that have been recognized by NHTSA and are generally relied upon by police officers in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County are as follows:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test
  • The Walk and Turn Test
  • The One Leg Stand Test

Each DWI officer or police officer that handles a DWI stop or arrest in Tarrant County, has pre-printed forms with all of the “clues” that the officer is looking for already printed on their page. As you perform each test, the officer checks off the clues that he believes that he observed and makes a determination of whether you “passed” or “failed” the field sobriety tests.

What If I Refused to Take the Field Sobriety Tests?

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, it is important for you to understand that you cannot be forced or required to submit to Field Sobriety Testing. However, if the police officer has probable cause to arrest you for DWI (slurred speech, red or bloodshot and watery eyes, etc) and requests that you cooperate and you refuse to submit to the field sobriety testing, you will be arrested and charged with a DWI.

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation and determine if your field sobriety testing was done in accordance with the NHTSA guidelines.

Was My DWI Arrest Illegal?

If you have been stopped for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, your police officer will be required to show the legal standard of probable cause has been met in order to justify your DWI arrest.

In Texas, in order for a police officer to make a warrantless DWI arrest, the police must establish that probable cause existed to justify your arrest. Under Texas case law, probable cause exists “when the facts and circumstances within an officer’s personal knowledge and of which he has reasonably trustworthy information are sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution in the belief that, more likely than not,” a citizen has committed a crime. In other words, probable cause exists if the officer is able to articulate facts indicating that YOU have or are committing a certain crime.

Although police officer’s can rely upon information from any reliable source to establish probable cause for your DWI arrest, it is important to recognize that the police officer must still establish probable cause as it relates to the elements of the crime of DWI. For instance, placing the citizen behind the wheel of a vehicle is an important element of DWI that must be established by the police officer’s testimony. Although it does not take much evidence to establish that you were operating your vehicle, if there is no evidence that you were operating your vehicle at the time the police arrived (ex. You didn’t admit to driving, you were not behind the wheel, or there were passengers that could have been driving, no independent witnesses putting you near or behind the wheel at or near the time of the alleged driving), the police will be unable to establish probable cause for a DWI arrest (although they would still have probable cause to establish an arrest for Public Intoxication (PI)). If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, it is important to hire an experienced DWI lawyer that will take the time to carefully review both the police report and the video to determine if there was sufficient probable cause to justify your DWI arrest.

At The Hampton Law Firm, you will find a Fort Worth DWI law practice that is different from other Fort Worth DWI lawyers because we provide the citizens of Tarrant County with a DWI trial team approach that evens the odds and provides the best possible DWI defense for your DWI case. Call The Hampton Law Firm now for a free consultation.

How Does a Portable Breath Test Affect My DWI Case?

Portable Breath Tests

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, your arresting officer, while still on the roadside, may have asked you for a sample of your breath to be analyzed by a portable breath test device or portable alcohol sensor device.

Whether you submitted or refused a portable breath test, it is important to know that Texas case law has excluded the admission of the portable breath test result from being admitted into evidence at your DWI trial.

BEWARE: Because the results of your portable breath test are not admissible in court, it may, but not always, work to your advantage if you submit to a portable breath test device. If you were over the legal limit of 0.08, the result is inadmissible in your DWI trial. If you were under the legal limit of 0.08, many officers will not arrest you for DWI or DUI.

At The Hampton Law Firm, you will find a Fort Worth DWI law practice that is different from other Fort Worth DWI lawyers because we provide the citizens of Tarrant County with a DWI trial team approach that evens the odds and provides the best possible DWI defense for your DWI case. Call The Hampton Law Firm now for a free consultation.

What Happens At A DWI Trial?

The DWI Trial 

If you have been charged with a DWI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County and your case is unable to be satisfactorily resolved by means of a dismissal or a preferential plea bargain, you could be facing the prospect of a Tarrant County DWI trial.

The DWI Jury Trial

In Texas, every citizen arrested and charged with a criminal offense has the right to a jury trial. The number of jurors that will be seated on your DWI case will depend upon whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor DWI (DWI, DWI 2nd – Misdemeanor Repetition) or a felony DWI (DWI 3rd or more, DWI w/child under 15 years of age, Intoxication Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter).

If you have been charged with a DWI or DWI 2nd – Misdemeanor Repetition, there will be a total of 6 jurors seated to hear the facts presented against you by the Tarrant County prosecutor. If you have been charged with a Felony DWI, DWI w/child under 15 years of age, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter, Texas law provides that there will be 12 jurors seated to hear your DWI case. The law provides that before any citizen can be found guilty of DWI or DUI in the state of Texas, all the jurors must unanimously determine beyond a reasonable doubt that you were guilty of the following:

  • 1.That YOU
  • 2.On or about the date you were stopped/arrested
  • 3.In Tarrant County, Texas
  • 4.Did Operate
  • 5.A Motor Vehicle
  • 6.In a Public Place
  • 7.While Intoxicated

Usually, the most contested issue during a DWI trial is the final element listed above – While Intoxicated. Under Texas Penal Code §49.01, a person is intoxicated if they: (1) do not have the normal use of their mental faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body; OR (2) do have the normal use of their physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body; OR (3) has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.

Although Intoxication is usually the most contested issue at a DWI trial, it is important to remember that if the Tarrant County prosecutor fails to prove ALL of the elements of the crime of DWI (as defined in Texas Penal Code §49.04), the jury will be instructed by the judge to render a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

A DWI jury trial can take anywhere from a few days to over a week to receive a verdict. Prior to the jury trial, the DWI trial team at The Hampton Law Firm will pore over the evidence and the law and make a determination if any pre-trial motions or hearings are necessary to exclude evidence from being presented by the Tarrant County prosecutor at the jury trial.

The first phase of any jury trial in the state of Texas is jury selection. During jury selection, a panel of prospective jurors is brought in to court and the Tarrant County prosecutor and your DWI attorney will have the opportunity to explain the law to the jury and determine which jurors can fairly and impartially render a verdict for your DWI trial.

If you hire The Hampton Law Firm to defend you in your Tarrant County DWI trial, our DWI trial team will clearly explain the law to the panel of jurors and work to ensure that the jurors selected for your DWI trial are free from any bias or prejudice.

After the jurors have been selected, sworn and empaneled, both the Tarrant County prosecutor and a member of The Hampton Law Firm DWI trial team will have the opportunity to present an opening statement to the jury. Because the Tarrant County prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor will be required to call their witnesses against you (arresting police officer, assist officers, Intoxilyzer operator, technical supervisor, etc.)

After each witness (police officer, operator and supervisor) finishes answering the prosecutor’s questions, a member of The Hampton Law Firm DWI trial team will have the opportunity to show the jury the complete story behind your DWI arrest. The Hampton Law Firm DWI trial team will cross-examine every prosecution witness and show the jury the witnesses’ mistakes that discredit the reliability of the field sobriety tests, breath test/blood test and any subsequent scientific conclusions as a result of such testing.

Once the Tarrant County prosecutors have rested their case, The Hampton Law Firm will have the opportunity to decide whether it is necessary to call any defense witnesses. Under the law, only the prosecution is required to prove the elements of the offense of DWI and if it is determined that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden during the trial, it may be unnecessary to call any defense witnesses. However, if defense witnesses are needed, The Hampton Law Firm will call witnesses to the stand to further establish to the jury that the prosecution has failed to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were guilty of DWI.

After the court has prepared the jury instructions to be presented to the jury, both the prosecution and a member of The Hampton Law Firm DWI trial team will give closing arguments. During closing argument, The Hampton Law Firm DWI trial team will thoroughly apply the facts of your case to the law that the prosecution is required to prove and walk the jury through each and every element of the jury instructions to persuasively articulate how the prosecution has failed to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

Why the DWI trial team approach and does it matter?

At The Hampton Law Firm, we understand that the prospect of facing a DWI or DUI trial can be intimidating and stressful. You must understand that when your Tarrant County DWI trial occurs, a team of Tarrant County prosecutors will be assigned to litigate your case. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that when you hire The Hampton Law Firm, you will have a legal team of former Tarrant County prosecutors that have tried over 100 DWI jury trials in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas, heading your DWI defense.

At The Hampton Law Firm, we even the odds for those charged with a DWI in Fort Worth or the surrounding cities in Tarrant County by ensuring that if your case goes to trial, you will be defended by a team of experienced DWI lawyers that have both misdemeanor and felony DWI experience. Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule an appointment with the Tarrant County DWI trial team and receive a free evaluation regarding your DWI case.

What Is The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmust Test?

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you were likely asked to take the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. Nystagmus is a term that specifically refers to the bouncing or involuntary jerking of the eye as it moves from side to side. Generally, alcohol has been determined to cause two types of nystagmus: positional alcohol nystagmus and alcohol gaze nystagmus. As you consume alcohol and become intoxicated, the alcohol will enhance your naturally occurring nystagmus making it visible to the naked eye.

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, or the pen test, is a test where the police officer holds a pen, or stimulus, 12 to 15 inches away from your eyes and moves the pen back and forth. As the officer moves the pen back and forth, he is observing your eyes tracking back and forth and looking for an involuntary jerking of your eyes. As the police officer administers the HGN test, he will be looking for three specific “clues” per eye that will allow him to mark you as failing the HGN test: lack of smooth pursuit of your eyes, distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation and the onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees. The HGN Scoring Sheet provides that there is a maximum score of 3 clues per eye, for a total of 6 possible clues. According to NHTSA, if you scored at least 4 or more clues, there is a 77% chance that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher at the time of the test.

Additionally, if you have been charged with a DWI based upon intoxication by a drug, the HGN test can be used as evidence of your intoxication if the drug you ingested was a central nervous system depressant.

Did My Police Officer Correctly Administer the HGN Test?

Although police officers in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County rely upon the HGN in determining whether or not you were intoxicated at the time of your arrest, it is critical to determine if the police officer properly administered the test – as required by NHTSA. For instance, the police officer must administer the test in an environment in which your eyes could have been clearly seen. If the officer positioned you facing the blinking lights of the police patrol car or in the headlights of the oncoming traffic, the officer may have caused you to show optokinetic nystagmus, a form of nystagmus NOT caused by alcohol.

Additionally, NHTSA clearly states that in order for the HGN and other standardized field sobriety tests to be reliable, they must be administered strictly adhering to the guidelines recommended by NHTSA. The standardized field sobriety tests have been given certain percentages by NHTSA for their reliability. However, if your police officer failed to strictly follow the guidelines as required by NHTSA, the HGN and other field sobriety tests will be determined to be unreliable and may be excluded from evidence for the jury to consider.

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation and determine if your field sobriety testing was done in accordance with the NHTSA guidelines.

Will I Need An Ignitition Interlock Device?

Ignition Interlock Device Requirements for DWI Bond in Tarrant County

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Forth Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you may be required to install and use an Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of your bond. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 17.441, your trial judge will be required to order you to install and use an Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of your bond if you have been charged with a second DWI or felony DWI. Texas laws regarding these blood alcohol testing devices varies dramatically; judges can decide whether you have to install an Ignition Interlock in some cases and in others the law requires it.

When Can a Judge Order an Ignition Interlock Device Installation for DWI Bond or Probation?

If you have been convicted for any of the following cases in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas and have received community supervision (probation), the judge MAY, but it is not required to order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used your vehicle as a condition of your probation or community supervision:

  • DWI (first)
  • DWI 2nd
  • 3rd DWI
  • Felony DWI
  • DWI with child passenger
  • Flying While Intoxicated
  • Boating While Intoxicated
  • Assembling or operating amusement ride while intoxicated
  • Intoxication Assault
  • Intoxication Manslaughter

A Texas judge MAY also require that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on your motor vehicle if you seek an occupational license and your license has been suspended as a result of a conviction for a DWI, Intoxication Assault or an Intoxication Manslaughter. In Texas, judges are given a great deal of discretion when it comes to ignition interlock systems to prevent repeat or habitual DWI offenders from driving drunk again. However, in some situations Texas law makes ignition interlock systems mandatory.

When is an Ignition Interlock System Mandatory in Texas for DWI?

There are certain circumstances in which a judge MUST order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on a motor vehicle as a condition of community supervision. If you have been convicted and received community supervision for a DWI, Flying While Intoxicated or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and your blood alcohol content (BAC) was greater than .15, the judge must order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on your motor vehicle as a condition of your probation.

A judge must also order that an ignition interlock device be installed and used on a motor vehicle as a condition of community supervision if your license has been suspended as a result of a conviction for a 2nd DWI, felony DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter. In these cases there is no getting around the installation of a breathalyzer device in your car according to Texas laws.

Schedule a Free Consultation For Your DWI Probation Case

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule an appointment with the Tarrant County DWI trial team and receive a free evaluation regarding your case and any bond conditions that may have been assessed. Our team of defense attorneys has tried over 100 DWI jury trials. When your future is on the line, experience matters. Give us a call at 817-435-2909.

What Is The One Leg Stand Test?

What is the One Leg Stand Test?

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Keller or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you were likely asked to take the One Leg Stand Test. Like the Walk and Turn test, the One Leg Stand Test is a test that was designed for the purpose of determining how well a person can use their mind and their body at the same time (known as a psychophysical test). Police officers refer to the One Leg Stand test as a “divided attention test” because the One Leg Stand test requires a person to listen to instructions, process the requests being given to him by the police officers, while also physically executing the commands through walking.

During the One Leg Stand Test, the police officer will ask you to put your arms down by your side and stand on one leg. You will then be asked to hold your other leg approximately 6 inches above the ground and stare down at your extended foot and begin to count aloud from 1 to 30 (by 1001, 1002, 1003, until the officer tells you to stop). Generally, the police officer will time you for 30 seconds and will be looking at his pre-printed DWI form and looking to see if you scored any of the 4 possible “clues” listed on his scoring sheet:

  • Swaying while you were balancing yourself
  • Using your arms to balance yourself
  • Hopping around while balancing yourself
  • Putting your foot down at any time during the test

According to NHTSA, if you scored at least 2 or more clues, there is a 68% chance that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .10 or higher at the time of the test. Unfortunately, the police officer will not explain to you what he is looking for while he scores your test or that he will be marking you off if you sway or put your foot down after counting 29 out of the 30 seconds.

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation and determine if your field sobriety tests were administered according to the NHTSA guidelines.

What Are The Steps of a DWI Prosecution?

An investigation is generally mounted when the police have sufficient reason to believe you have committed a criminal offense. Facts are assessed, witness interviews are conducted and evidence is collected against you. A warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will be taken before a judge to enter a plea. The judge may order you to remain in jail until trial or may grant bail, depending on the severity of the charges. An aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side at this point in the process can tip the scales in favor of your being allowed to remain free until trial.

When it is time for your preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will claim that there is sufficient evidence against you to proceed to trial. Your attorney will argue there is not enough evidence to support the charges and that all criminal charges should be dropped. At this point, should probable cause be established, you may confer with your criminal defense attorney to determine whether a plea bargain is in your best interests or if you will fight the charges before a jury.

Many people arrested for criminal offenses presume that their selection of a criminal defense attorney will have little impact on the outcome of their felony or misdemeanor criminal case. However, those who are arrested can substantially improve their situations by clearly and unequivocally asserting their rights and promptly retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The stress and anxiety of an arrest often leads those arrested to make significant mistakes that compromise their case. The most important way to protect your liberty and reputation is to refuse to speak to the police and to retain a criminal defense attorney who can begin protecting your rights at the earliest possible stage of your criminal case.

What Is The Walk and Turn Test?

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you were likely asked to take the Walk and Turn Test. The Walk and Turn test is a test that was designed for the purpose of determining how well a person can use their mind and their body at the same time (known as a psychophysical test). Police officers refer to the Walk and Turn test as a “divided attention test” because the Walk and Turn test requires a person to listen to instructions, process the requests being given to him by the police officers, while also physically executing the commands through walking.

During the Walk and Turn Test, the police officer will ask you to imagine there is a straight line in front of you and to stand heel-to-toe while he reads you the instructions (a task that is difficult for the most adept non-intoxicated person to pull off). The police officer will then instruct you to take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn around the line (the officer will be looking for a specific 3-point turn), and walk back down that same invisible line using heel-to-toe steps.

As you perform the Walk and Turn test, the police officer will be looking at his pre-printed DWI form and looking to see if you scored any of the 8 possible “clues” listed on his scoring sheet:

  • Cannot keep balance while listening to instructions in heel-to-toe stance
  • Starts the test before being instructed to do so
  • Stops walking during the test
  • Misses heel-to-toe (on any step during the test)
  • Steps off the line (whether it is an actual or invisible line on the ground)
  • Uses arms to balance during the walking phase
  • Takes the wrong number of steps during the walking phase
  • Makes an improper turn (failing to precisely execute the 3-point turn)

According to NHTSA, if you scored at least 2 or more clues, there is a 68% chance that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .10 or higher at the time of the test. Unfortunately, the police officer will not explain to you what he is looking for while he scores your test or that he will be marking you off if you do not touch precisely heel-to-toe or do not execute the 3-point turn precisely.

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation and determine if your field sobriety tests were administered according to the NHTSA guidelines.

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The Hampton Law Firm P.L.L.C

Phone: 817-877-5200
Address: 115 W 2nd St #201, Fort Worth, TX 76102