Very few driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases in Texas get dismissed. Texas has a national reputation for being hard on drug and alcohol offenders.
With the right set of facts, a DWI attorney might be able to get your case dismissed. In some circumstances, however, DWI charges can be brought back up.
Double Jeopardy And the Dismissal of DWI Charges
The Constitution includes protection against “double jeopardy.” The Legal Information Institute (LII) says that “the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits anyone from being prosecuted twice for substantially the same crime.”
Generally, jeopardy has not attached at the moment that you get pulled over, take a breathalyzer test, or get arrested. Despite all of the potential devastation that those events can cause to your life, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment, jeopardy has not attached.
If your DWI case got dismissed before jeopardy has attached, the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment would not apply to your case. The prosecutor could refile charges against you.
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When Jeopardy Attaches in a DWI Case
Typically, courts today hold that jeopardy attaches in trial once the jury gets sworn. There has to be a cut-off point, and the current law specifies it happens when empaneling the jury. If the prosecutor dismisses the charges after the jury gets sworn in, Texas usually cannot refile charges against the defendant.
Exceptions to Jeopardy Attaching
Even with this line in the sand, however, there are exceptions. Let us say that the case ends in a mistrial with the charges dismissed because the jury cannot reach a verdict. The prosecutor can elect to refile charges and subject the defendant to a second trial.
Also, the prosecutor might not have sufficient reliable evidence to support a DWI conviction. In some situations, the prosecutor might offer to drop the DWI charges for lesser charges, like reckless driving.
Double jeopardy questions are sophisticated matters of constitutional law. A DWI conviction could ruin your life, but you have the right to work with a criminal defense lawyer from the beginning of your charges. A lawyer with our firm can help you understand the specific legal aspects that apply to your case and fight for the best possible outcome.
What a DWI Conviction can do to your life
After a DWI conviction, there is very little that any lawyer can do to salvage your job, career, and financial situation.
Once convicted, you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life. Unlike credit reports, criminal convictions do not “fall off” after a certain number of years.
You will have to disclose the DWI conviction every time you apply for a job. In addition to the embarrassment and social stigma, a criminal record can mean that a job opening you apply for goes to someone else who does not have a criminal record.
A DWI conviction can cost you thousands of dollars in fines. Your auto insurance will be much more expensive for years. If you get fired because of the DWI, you can lose your house or apartment, your car, and your lifestyle.
People planning to get into a prestigious university or have a professional career could see those goals fall out of reach because of a DWI conviction.
You do not have to face a DWI conviction alone, though. You can choose to work with us to minimize the fallout created by this type of conviction.
What to Do if You Get Arrested for a DWI
If you choose to hire a lawyer from our firm to represent you when facing a DWI charge, they can offer you assistance in several ways. To help your case, we will investigate breathalyzer use, laboratory testing, and other technical information to help find flaws in the prosecutor’s case against you. Getting the test results thrown out could save you from getting a conviction and a criminal record.
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Call Our Attorneys Today for a Free Case Review
Every day that you wait to talk to a DWI lawyer, your chances of beating the charges could diminish. Call Blass Law today at (713) 225-1900. We will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed initially or if they are brought back up.