Many DWI arrests in Tarrant County begin with a routine traffic stop. A simple traffic infraction can quickly escalate to a DWI if police believe you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A Tarrant County DWI stop can feel overwhelming, but a skilled attorney may be able to challenge the evidence against you.
The Role of Implied Consent in DWI Arrests
When an individual obtains their driver’s license or decides to drive on Texas roadways, they have given implied consent to provide a breath or blood sample when stopped and investigated for a driving while intoxicated offense. That consent is an essential part of a DWI investigation. The officers will ask for breath or blood if they decide they are going to arrest an individual for DWI. At that time, someone can withdraw their implied consent and decide not to provide a specimen. However, doing so can have serious implications for someone’s driver’s license.
Rights During a DWI Stop
During a DWI stop, drivers are required to give the police officer their driver’s license and name. Other than that, however, an individual is not legally required to participate in the investigation. Drivers have the right to withdraw their implied consent and refuse to provide a breath specimen or a blood specimen. Individuals can also refuse to perform the field sobriety tests.
Exercising these rights can be critical to the outcome of a DWI case. Many drivers make the mistake of volunteering too much information or continuing to talk out of nervousness. This can provide the police officer with information that will later be used against them. It can also be a mistake to engage in field sobriety exercises since there is no legal obligation to perform these tests. Things like that can be very problematic in DWI cases.
A common misconception is that a driver must be read their Miranda rights in order for a DWI stop in Tarrant County to be legal. In fact, the Miranda rights do not kick in until a person is actually being interrogated by the police, which means authorities are questioning the driver about the offense. While they are checking to see if a person is intoxicated or not, Miranda has not been implicated at that point. Once they are placed under arrest, they will be advised of their right to remain silent, but that does not happen until later in the process.
Rights After an Arrest in Tarrant County
Once an individual has been placed under arrest for DWI, the officer reads them the statutory warnings, one of which is the right to speak to an attorney. The individual will also be asked to provide a breath or blood sample, which they have the right to refuse. The police officer may obtain an evidentiary search warrant that would allow them to take the driver to a blood draw facility and have a sample taken pursuant to that warrant. Individuals also have the right to have a bond set, post a bond, and make a phone call to family members or an attorney.
Discuss Your DWI Stop with a Tarrant County Attorney
The actions you take during a Tarrant County DWI stop can make a difference in the outcome of a case. Fortunately, the police officer’s actions can sometimes provide defendant’s with powerful defenses in court. An experienced DWI attorney could analyze the traffic stop and determine if authorities followed all proper procedures. Failure to do so could make the evidence against you inadmissible. To learn more about how an attorney could help in your case, call today and schedule a consultation.