No, you cannot be charged with a DWI without proof. If the arresting officer has no evidence to establish that you are guilty of drinking and driving, then it is impossible for the prosecution to build a successful case against you. Yet, just because you did not submit to a blood or breath test does not mean that there is no evidence against you.
Some pieces of information that could result in a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge or conviction include:
- The results of standardized field sobriety tests, which usually include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand.
- Whether there were any open containers in your vehicle
- Whether you committed any traffic violations, such as swerving or weaving
- Any statements that you made at the time of your arrest
Right now, you may be facing the possibility of a DWI conviction. The consequences of this offense can permanently impact your ability to seek housing, maintain employment, and pursue educational opportunities. You should consider how teaming up with a criminal defense lawyer will protect your future.
Evidence Must Be Properly Collected
Law enforcement must properly collect evidence in order for it to be admissible in court. For example, according to Texas Transportation Code §724.031, if you refuse to submit to a blood or breath test, the officer must request you to sign a statement indicating (1) the officer requested that the person submit to the taking of a specimen; (2) the person was informed of the consequences of not submitting to the taking of a specimen; and (3) the person refused to submit to the taking of a specimen. If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, the police officer must also read you your Miranda rights. If the police officer fails to do so, any statements that are made as a result of custodial interrogation are inadmissible in court.
When you work with a criminal defense lawyer, they can determine whether the prosecution has enough evidence against you. They can also explain whether you can be charged with a DWI without proof. If the prosecution cannot provide evidence that warrants a conviction, then the charges against you could be dismissed.
For a free legal consultation, call 713-225-1900
Evidence Must Establish that You Committed a Crime
It is the prosecution’s goal to establish that you were driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. However, the burden of proof rests on them. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), proof must be collected by law enforcement officials to charge a subject with a crime.
The prosecution’s evidence must prove one of the following factors:
- You were operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher.
- You were operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC level of 0.04% or higher.
- You did not have normal use of your mental and physical faculties because of drug or alcohol use at the time of your arrest.
The prosecution’s case must be built on evidence. When you work with a criminal defense lawyer, they can implement a course of legal action on your behalf.
Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Texas
We mentioned earlier that a DWI conviction can result in lifelong consequences. In addition to the implications on your personal life, as a result of a DWI conviction, you may also face jail time, fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license.
The TxDOT explains some of the penalties you may face as a result of drunk driving:
- If this is your first DWI, you may face a fine of up to $2,000, three to 180 days in jail, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to a year.
- A first DWI with a breath or blood concentration of 0.15 or greater can result in fines of up to $4,000 and up to one year in the county jail.
- If this is your second DWI, you may face a fine of up to $4,000, anywhere from a month to a year in jail, and the loss of your driving privileges for up to two years.
- If this is your third DWI, you may face up to a $10,000 fine, two to 10 years in prison, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to two years.
As a result of your conviction, you may also be required to attend mandatory alcohol awareness classes and install an ignition device into your vehicle.
Work with a DWI Defense Lawyer from Blass Law
If you have been charged with a DWI, you deserve the best possible defense. At Blass Law, we will handle the entirety of your DWI defense case while fighting for the best possible outcome.
- Determine whether there is credible evidence against you
- Look for any alternative explanations for your behavior
- Take into account any previous convictions that you may have
- Argue that the charges against you should be reduced or dismissed
- Explain your legal options
- Advise you on what you should and should not say in court
- Represent you in any hearings or related court appearances
To learn more about working with a DWI defense lawyer, call Blass Law today at (713) 225-1900.