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Houston DWI: What Are Your Rights?

Houston DWI: What Are Your Rights?

Anyone who drives in the State of Texas can be arrested for driving while intoxicated. Here is a common scenario:

  • Have a glass of wine at dinner or a beer with lunch and when you leave the restaurant you get stopped by a police officer for a traffic violation.
  • Then you hear these words: "Sir, have you had anything to drink today?" When you hear these words you have gone from an ordinary traffic stop to a DWI investigation.
  • You are being detained.
  • You are not free to leave.
  • You will be asked a lot more questions about where and when and how much you have been drinking
  • Then the officer will ask you to step out of the car and perform some "tests". These are the standardized field sobriety tests that NHTSA has created.
  • Then you will be asked to give a sample of breath or blood.

Your Rights at a DWI Stop in Sugar Land

What are your rights in this situation? First, you simply do not have to answer any question about drinking or where you have been or are going. You don't have to do any "tests". You don't have to give a sample of your breath or blood.

You do have the right to remain silent and not to answer any questions asked of you. You are required to identify yourself by giving the officer your driver’s license and your name and date of birth, but you have the right to refuse to perform any field sobriety tests and you have the right to refuse to give a breath or blood sample.

Do I have to take a field sobriety or blood test in a DWI investigation in Texas?

Now in Texas, the DPS will attempt to suspend your driver’s license for refusing to give a breath or blood sample. You also have the right to request a lawyer be present before any questioning. You should invoke both your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Everything done by the police officer in a DWI investigation is for the purpose of obtaining evidence against you. By politely invoking your rights you give your defense attorney a better chance of defending your DWI case in court.

(Please note that in Texas the trend has been to obtain a search warrant to take a sample of your blood in DWI cases. If a warrant is obtained or if there is an accident you will be required to give a sample of blood.)

Always be polite to the police officer and never argue or fight with them. Save it for court. That is your attorney’s job.

If you have been charged with a DWI you have 15 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing challenging the suspension of your driver’s license.

Call Stornello Law Firm PC 281-369-4506 to represent you in your DWI case.

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