Archive for the ‘Texas DWI Defense’ Category
Sunday, April 10th, 2016
DWI checkpoints often result in both DWI arrests and arrests for driving with a suspended license. Often, drivers who are driving with suspended licenses may escape detection by traveling in vehicles that are not their own and by refraining from attracting the attention of law enforcement officers. When there is a DWI checkpoint, all drivers must interact with law enforcement officers as they pass through the checkpoint, and this is why so many drivers with suspended licenses get apprehended.
If you get arrested for DWI, license suspension is a real possibility. If you are like many Texans, your ability to drive touches on many areas of your everyday life, from getting to and from work to bringing your kids to and from after-school activities. A license suspension could be quite costly, regarding both financial penalties and personal freedom.
Since license suspension has the potential to have a significant impact on your life, it is essential that you understand that you have just fifteen days from the date of your DWI arrest to preserve your chance at retaining your driving privileges. The process by which a driver can try to keep their driving privileges begins with a request for an ALR hearing. As I mentioned before, this hearing must be requested within fifteen days of your DWI arrest or your license will automatically be suspended. Instructions for requesting an ALR hearing are at the bottom of your Notice of Suspension.
Now that you know that you must ask for an ALR hearing if you wish to try to avoid license suspension, it is important that you learn a little bit more about what an ALR hearing is. An Administrative Law Review hearing, or ALR hearing, is a civil proceeding which the Department of Public Safety brings against a driver who refuses a blood or breath test after a DWI arrest, or who took a blood or breath test and failed it.
At an ALR hearing, the issue for discussion is the fate of your driving privileges. Requesting a hearing gives you a chance to contest the proposed suspension of your driver’s license. It also delays the imposition of any ALR sanctions until your hearing takes place. At your ALR hearing, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will try to prove that your license should be suspended because you either took a breath or blood test which resulted in a reading of .08 or greater, or because you refused to take a blood or breath test. It is harder for the DPS to suspend your license after you refused to submit to testing because that type of suspension requires proof of four different elements. These elements are reasonable suspicion for the vehicle stop, probable cause that the driver was in control of a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, an opportunity for the driver to voluntarily participate in testing along with both oral and written notice of the consequences of refusal, and an actual refusal. If the DPS fails to prove their case, your license must be returned to you.
Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Protecting the Rights of Texas DWI Defendants
Texas DWI defendants have a lot at stake, and experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra may be able to help you resolve your DWI case. To learn more, call (903) 753-7499.
Monday, March 28th, 2016
A breath test is standard procedure in a DWI investigation in Texas, as it is elsewhere. For a long time, the standard equipment that has been used all over Texas to administer breath tests has been the Intoxilyzer 5000. Law enforcement officials have become very familiar with using the breath testing devices over the time that they have been using them. DWI defense attorneys have also become familiar with the Intoxilyzer 5000, and they have become adept at exposing its weaknesses and understanding how its use or misuse can affect their clients’ cases.
As all of us know, older models of electronic devices get replaced by newer models from time to time. It seems as though the time for replacing the Intoxilyzer 5000 machines that are currently in use across the state of Texas is coming soon. The newer breath testing machine is called the Intoxilyzer 9000, and it is supposed to be easier for law enforcement officers to use than the older machines are. The technology that the machine uses for detecting alcohol in breath samples is the same as in the older machines, although it is wrapped in a nicer, newer looking package.
The Intoxilyzer 9000 features an automated voice that tells the person taking the test when they are to exhale into the machine. It also enables officers to scan drivers’ license information instead of having to type it all in. The new machines are able to transmit test results to DPS headquarters, in addition to displaying them on a screen.
Since the Intoxilyzer 9000 is a newer instrument than the Intoxilyzer 5000, one might surmise that it provides more accurate results. While that is possible, it is not necessarily true. Unfortunately, attorneys are not being allowed to inspect the Intoxilyzer 9000, and outside toxicology experts are not being permitted to take classes where they could learn about the machine and its proper operation. While these things, on their own, do not render the machine inaccurate, it is troubling that the machine and its operation are not open to investigation by people who have an interest in knowing how the technology works and how it should be used.
Bexar County already has several of the new machines in use, with others scheduled to be implemented soon. Other counties are likely to begin bringing the new machines into use throughout the year, and phasing out the older devices.
Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Strong Advocacy for Texas DWI Defendants
Texas DWI defendants have a lot at stake, and experienced DWI defense attorneys know how to protect it. Whatever the most important things in your life are, a skillful Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you seek a resolution of your DWI case that is in line with your priorities. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra may be able to help you resolve your DWI case. To find out more, call us today, at (903) 753-7499.
Monday, February 29th, 2016
Many Texans dutifully take their prescription medications every day, just like they have been directed to do by their doctors. If you are following the directions of your doctor and you are taking the medications that they have prescribed for you, you know that you are doing the right thing for your health. Unfortunately, what you may not know is that you might also be committing the crime of driving while impaired. The reason for this is that some commonly prescribed medications are classified as Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances, and these substances are regulated by law. For example, Adderall, Ritalin, Ambien, Klonopin, Percocet, and codeine, are just a few of the medications that are in Schedule I or Schedule II.
In Texas, you could be charged with DWI for being under the influence of a mind-altering prescription drug, such as a pain medication. It is important that drivers know that although pain medications are some of the more commonly implicated medications in prescription drug-related DWI cases, they are not the only types of medications that are regarded as having mind-altering effects. For example, sleeping pills, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and anti-anxiety medications can have mind-altering effects that are similar to those of painkillers. A driver who is found to have one or more of these substances in their system at the time of their arrest may be subject to consequences that are similar to what they would be subject to if they were found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol.
Any Texas driver who takes prescription medications and who has been charged with a DWI should contact a Texas DWI defense attorney right away, because their rights are at stake. If you have been charged with a prescription drug-related DWI, your attorney may be able to defend you against your DWI charges by presenting evidence that you were taking a Schedule I or Schedule II medication as prescribed to you by your doctor. That said, it is important that drivers understand that a valid prescription, on its own, may not lead to a successful defense based upon taking medication as prescribed. A prescription drug-related DWI defense is more likely to be successful if there is evidence that your medication, at the dosage that you are taking it, does not actually impair your ability to operate your vehicle safely. This is because unlike the well-known .08 BAC standard for alcohol, the Texas Penal Code does not specify levels of prescription drugs that would indicate impairment if they were present in a blood sample.
Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Protecting the Rights of Texas DWI Defendants
Every Texas DWI case is unique, and each DWI defendant deserves to have a skilled professional working hard on their behalf to pursue a carefully crafted DWI defense strategy. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped DWI defendants in many different types of circumstances. If you have questions about your DWI, call us today, at (903) 753-7499.
Friday, December 18th, 2015
For some Texans, the Lone Star Card can make the difference between not having enough to eat and being able to feed themselves and their families. Over four hundred million dollars are distributed to families each month through the Lone Star Card program. Unfortunately, as is the case with food assistance card programs across America, Lone Star Cards are sometimes stolen or obtained fraudulently. Both using a Lone Star Card that belongs to someone else and obtaining Lone Star benefits by providing false or misleading information are crimes. If you have been charged with theft in relation to a Lone Star Card or with obtaining a Lone Star Card fraudulently, it is important that you speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney.
A story out of Lufkin describes one way in which Lone Star Card theft can play out. In September, a woman’s purse was stolen from her vehicle. After the purse was stolen, someone used the woman’s driver’s license and Social Security card, which were in the purse, to change the PIN number for her Lone Star Card, which was also in the purse. The Lone Star Card was then used at two grocery stores in Lufkin, and also at Wal-Mart.
Images of a woman using the stolen card to purchase approximately two hundred dollars’ worth of groceries at Wal-Mart were captured by security cameras in the store. The woman’s appearance is distinctive. She has black skin and curly platinum blonde hair (or she was wearing a platinum blonde wig). She was wearing white wireless headphones around her neck at the time the security camera captured her image. The woman’s unique appearance and the fact that a reward is being offered to aid authorities in locating her may eventually aid law enforcement in apprehending her.
Obtaining Lone Star Card benefits fraudulently is also a crime. It is estimated that a little over four million dollars in Lone Star benefits are obtained through the use of fraud each month. When an allegation of Lone Star Card fraud theft is filed, investigators from the Office of the Inspector General look into it. Investigators have seen people obtain Lone Star Card benefits that they did not qualify for in a variety of ways. Some individuals omit mention of their spouse’s work history and income. Others cross the border from Mexico and use a friend’s or relative’s address to apply for and receive benefits. Then, they purchase food and try to bring it back into Mexico. These individuals often end up being apprehended at the border, because Customs and Border Protection officers ask individuals who have groceries in their vehicles to show them their grocery receipt as well as their documentation. If the groceries were paid for with Lone Star benefits but the person is a resident of Mexico, the person loses their passport and is denied reentry into Mexico.
Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Helping Texans Resolve Criminal Matters
If you have been charged with stealing a Lone Star Card, Using a stolen Lone Star Card, or obtaining Lone Star benefits fraudulently, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and help you work on resolving your criminal matter. Please call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today, at (903) 753-7499 or contact us online to find out whether Attorney Alex Tyra can help you.
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
Being a DWI defendant is not easy. Throughout the DWI case process, DWI defendants are likely to feel a variety of emotions including fear, sorrow, anger, and frustration. Regardless of how any given DWI case ends, at the conclusion of a DWI case the defendant has certainty about its outcome. Unfortunately, some DWI defendants in Bexar County may be feeling additional fear, sorrow, and anger because they are waiting much longer than usual to experience the certainty that comes with resolution of their DWI cases.
A scandal involving the private laboratory that used to test the blood samples of Bexar County DWI suspects who refused to take the breath test has resulted in a huge backlog of samples that are currently awaiting testing at a laboratory at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin. The scandal involved possible mishandling of blood samples by the staff of the private laboratory, which no longer performs tests for the county.
Because of the delay, prosecutors have gone forward with some DWI cases without blood test evidence. Blood samples for certain DWI cases, such as those involving intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter, have always been tested by the Bexar County medical examiner’s office, which continues to perform the tests for those types of cases. In cases where blood samples have not yet been tested, prosecutors have been proceeding with eyewitness testimony, field sobriety tests, and breathalyzer test results when available. The result appears to be an increase in DWI convictions, which is concerning for defendants whose samples are on hold. The unavailability of DWI blood test results is also concerning because it could harm DWI defendants whose results would show that they were innocent.
The increased rate of conviction is just one thing about the backlog of DWI cases that is causing frustration among DWI defendants and their attorneys. These defendants are being kept in limbo, unsure of when their case will proceed. Also, the no refusal policy that resulted in the samples being taken from drivers who refused breath testing is controversial. This adds to the sense of injustice that the defendants whose samples are awaiting testing are currently experiencing.
Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Strong Support for DWI Defendants
When you are facing DWI charges, you are likely to have many concerns. An experienced DWI defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you as well as the DWI case process. Each defendant has unique needs and priorities. Some defendants have prior DWI convictions, while it is the first time for others. Some have families to support, while others have concerns regarding immigration. Whatever your priorities are, it is essential that you get the legal support that a DWI defense attorney can provide. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped all kinds of DWI defendants through the DWI case process towards resolution of their DWI cases. It is possible that he may be able to help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online to learn more.
Sunday, October 18th, 2015
This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday. This is both good news and bad news. If you enjoy Halloween parties, you may be excited for a weekend of fun. However, since Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated by both children and adults, there are safety concerns that law enforcement officers are well aware of. During the late afternoon hours and well into the evening, costumed children take to the streets for trick-or-treating. The increased presence of children on and near roadways increases the risk of pedestrian accidents for all drivers, and law enforcement officers will be out in full force to keep pedestrians as safe as possible. Increased law enforcement presence is likely to lead to more traffic stops. Since law enforcement officers are on a heightened alert for intoxicated drivers, they will not hesitate to test any driver for whom they have the slightest suspicion of intoxication.
Pedestrian safety is not the only focus of law enforcement officers on Halloween, though. The Texas Department of Public Safety is likely to implement a “no refusal weekend” for Halloween this year, after a successful “no refusal weekend” last Halloween. This year, “no refusal weekends” have been implemented on most major holidays, so there is a high likelihood that the same thing will happen on Halloween.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the “no refusal weekend”, it is important that you understand how traffic stops during these times differ from regular traffic stops. Whenever there is a “no refusal weekend”, any driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol will be required to submit to roadside breath or blood alcohol testing. If a driver refuses to submit to the testing, they will be arrested. After the driver has been arrested, a blood sample will be obtained from them while they are in police custody. Ordinarily, a driver on Texas roads who refuses roadside blood or breath testing will have their license suspended, but they will not be arrested.
Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Comprehensive Legal Support for Texas Drivers
If you are pulled over by the police at any point in time, it is important that you do your best to prevent your traffic stop from turning into a DWI investigation. Remain calm, use a respectful tone of voice, and take care not to provide the police officer with much information. If you are taken into custody, exercise your right to remain silent, and ask to speak with an attorney right away. A knowledgeable Texas DWI defense attorney can do many things to build a strong case on your behalf, including checking for issues with the blood draw warrant, looking for mistakes in handling of the blood sample, and questioning the accuracy of the blood test results and the integrity of the procedure for taking and handling the blood sample. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, contact an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. If you have questions about DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.
Thursday, August 6th, 2015
If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated, you are probably quite concerned about the effects that a DWI conviction could have on your life. Even if you eventually end up not being convicted, even just being accused of driving while intoxicated can affect your life in many ways. You may begin to experience hardships associated with your DWI charges as soon as you are arrested. Unfortunately, those hardships are likely to continue in the days, weeks, and months that follow your arrest as you work to get your charges dropped or reduced.
When you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may experience consequences that affect your freedom and limit your options. You are also likely to experience a variety of economic consequences after being charged with a DWI and even more additional costs if you are convicted.
The costs associated with your DWI begin to add up as soon as you are arrested. Your car might be towed from the scene of the traffic stop, so you may have to pay fees for towing and storage before you can get it back. After your arrest, you may be required to post bond in order to be released. If the amount of your bond is more than you can pay, you may also incur the expense of paying a bail bondsman to post your bond.
When you consider the costs of DWI charges, it is easy to understand why some DWI defendants believe that they can save money by representing themselves in their DWI cases. However, retaining a DWI defense attorney could save you money in the long run. Being represented by counsel increases your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in your DWI case because DWI defense attorneys know how to look at all of the information that is available in DWI cases and use that information to defend their clients the charges.
In addition to attorneys’ fees, there are other costs that are associated with a DWI. Depending upon how your case is resolved, you may have to pay additional fees for diversion programs, classes, and counseling. There are also costs associated with license suspension and reinstatement, including reinstatement fees, higher insurance costs, and the cost of a vehicle interlock device if you are required to get one.
Other costs associated with DWI charges and convictions include court costs, the cost of taking time off of work to attend court, and the costs of alternate transportation. If you have been charged with DWI, call a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. Your Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you understand the charges that have been brought against you and the costs that will likely be associated with your DWI. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped many DWI defendants, and he may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.
Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
Sometimes, holiday weekends are not the only times that DWI patrols are out in full force. For example, this year, increased patrols will be in effect for a twelve day stretch that begins prior to Fourth of July weekend and ends on July 7th. These patrols have been well publicized, in order to encourage drivers to make responsible choices about how they will celebrate the holiday.
Last year, law enforcement officers throughout the Lone Star State made over a thousand DWI arrests during their increased patrol on and around Fourth of July weekend. Drivers should know that it’s not just drunk drivers who are ticketed during these enforcement campaigns. Last year, during the same time period, officers issued over fifteen thousand speeding tickets and over two thousand citations for child safety seat or seat belt violations.
Planning your celebrating wisely is one way to avoid encountering trouble during increased DWI patrols. Designating a driver is always a good idea, and, in options where public transportation is available, it can provide an easy way to get around without worrying about DWI charges. If you are hosting a Fourth of July party, help your guests make responsible choices by helping them find safe rides home and collecting car keys at the door.
The aforementioned preventative measures are especially important if you plan to attend fireworks shows, sporting events, or other large, public gatherings or go out to areas where there are a number of bars and nightclubs. DWI patrols often focus on high-risk areas where there are likely to be many drivers. Law enforcement presence is likely to be at its peak during the times of day when drunken driving accidents are most likely to occur, especially late in the evening and very early in the morning.
If you are stopped, the best thing that you can do is to maintain an attitude that is calm and cooperative, without being overly eager to share any information besides that which is required by law. Place your hands on your steering wheel until the officer approaches you and asks you to produce your license, insurance card, and registration, so that you do not cause any concern about weapons being in the vehicle. Police officers often try to get drivers to admit to drinking, but you may decline to answer any questions about where you have been, where you are going, and what you have been doing. It is essential that you do so politely, though, either by telling the officer that you are not going to answer the question, or by simply remaining silent. You may refuse to engage in field sobriety tests, however, please note that a refusal to engage in blood or breath testing does carry an automatic license suspension.
A DWI arrest can ruin your holiday weekend, but a DWI conviction could have even more severe and long lasting consequences. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you understand the path that your DWI case is likely to follow. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped many DWI defendants, and he may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.
Monday, June 1st, 2015
It is not likely that you were thinking about DWI defense until you were charged with DWI. If you are facing DWI charges, the issue of how you will mount a defense against those charges is now a very real issue that you are deeply concerned about. Fortunately, there are attorneys who spend a great deal of time and effort helping clients just like you present their best possible defenses against DWI charges. If you drive and you have never been charged with DWI, it is still important for you to understand what DWI defense attorneys do. Some DWI defense clients are, in fact, innocent drivers who did not consume any alcohol before they were stopped and arrested for driving while they were allegedly intoxicated.
As with any type of legal matter, people may wonder whether they could handle their DWI defense case on their own. Unfortunately, there is a lot at stake in a DWI case, because the negative consequences of a DWI arrest or conviction can reach into every area of your day to day life. When you spend money to hire a DWI defense attorney, you are investing in giving yourself the best possible chance at keeping the negative consequences of your DWI to a minimum.
When you retain a DWI defense attorney, your attorney can help you in many ways. They will help you to understand the charges that have been brought against you, as well as the potential consequences of a conviction. Your attorney will speak to you about your case, and they will help you understand what kinds of defense strategies may be available to you. A large part of the work of DWI defense attorneys involves helping clients understand their options, because DWI defendants may be presented with a variety of options for resolving their DWI cases.
It is true that some DWI defendants may qualify for services offered by public defenders. However, it is essential that you understand the difference between using a public defender for your DWI case and using private counsel. Public defenders are attorneys who work for the state. They are paid by the state, and they provide legal assistance to people who meet certain economic criteria. Private counsel is an attorney that the defendant has retained. All attorneys are skillful, capable individuals who do their best to represent the interests of their clients. Unfortunately, public defenders have less control over the size of their work load than private counsel do, and they may have very little time to work on each of their cases. These differences are important, but in Texas there is another distinction that may be even more important to you, depending upon how badly you need to keep your driving privileges. Public defenders in Texas do not participate in the administrative license suspension process. Drivers who are charged with DWI must request an ALR hearing if they wish to avoid license suspension and only private counsel can handle those requests and hearings.
If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, it is essential that you align yourself with someone who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra works hard on behalf of Texas DWI defendants, and he can help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.
Friday, May 15th, 2015
If you plan to travel out of state to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, it is important that you know that in many states, law enforcement officers will have DUI checkpoints set up along major roadways. Texas does not currently use DUI checkpoints to enforce drunk driving laws, but they are common in other states, and holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day are time when drivers should expect to encounter them.
In states where DUI checkpoints are used, they may be present at any time of day or night. That said, most checkpoints are set up late at night or early in the morning, as that is when there are likely to be the greatest number of intoxicated drivers on the road. If you do encounter a DUI checkpoint while you are traveling, the following tips may help your experience go more smoothly.
Drivers who are prepared for an encounter with law enforcement at a DUI checkpoint are more likely to be let through quickly, instead of being detained for investigation. Your attitude will, in large part, shape your experience at the checkpoint. Try your best to be polite and cooperative without providing too much information, because any information that you provide could be used against you in the future. Do give the officer basic information, like your license, car insurance, and vehicle registration if you are asked to provide them.
Whatever you do, remember that you do not have to answer every question that is asked of you. Many well-meaning and legally sober drivers are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after answering questions about where they have been and what they have been doing, or by participating in field sobriety tests. In most places, you cannot be penalized for refusing to perform a field sobriety test. Many tests are set up for the driver to fail, even if they are sober. Nerves, footwear, and agility can cause sober drivers to fail field sobriety tests, and their effectiveness has come into question many, many times.
Sometimes, despite a driver’s best efforts to cooperate with law enforcement officer, an arrest may occur. If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it is essential that you immediately exercise your right to remain silent, after respectfully asking the arresting officer to permit you to speak with your attorney. Your attorney can further advise you regarding whether you should participate in blood or breath testing, because the rules for those tests and the consequences of refusal vary from state to state.
If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important that you have someone by your side who can protect your rights. Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra works hard to protect the rights of DUI defendants, and it is possible that he can help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online via our website.
- Law Office of Alex Tyra, P.C.
211 E. Tyler Street #521
Longview, TX 75601