Archive for the ‘Texas DWI Defense’ Category
Sunday, July 10th, 2016
A recent investigation involving a former Houston police officer serves as a reminder to drivers to use caution during traffic stops. During traffic stops, well-meaning drivers often provide law enforcement officers with much more information than the law requires. Sometimes this happens because of a mistaken belief that providing more information would clearly show the officer that they were innocent. At other times, anxiety or other factors cause drivers to spill the beans by volunteering all kinds of information and even stepping out of their vehicles for field sobriety tests.
The former officer who is currently under investigation failed to use his dashboard camera to record a traffic stop during which he claims the driver failed a field sobriety test and refused to provide a sample for a blood test. The investigation revealed that there was, in fact, dash-cam footage and the footage shows that the driver didn’t “fail to signal a lane change” as the former officer had claimed. Furthermore, the defendant’s blood alcohol level, as revealed by a test, was below the legal limit. Unfortunately, during the time that it took to investigate the case against the officer and exonerate the driver using police records, the driver’s license was suspended because the now former officer had claimed that she refused to submit to a blood test. She even had to buy an ignition interlock device and submit to random drug and alcohol testing. As if that were not bad enough, the aforementioned driver is not the only driver for whom the validity of their arrest is questionable.
Whether the dashboard camera is running or not, it is a good idea to know ahead of time what you can do to get through a traffic stop giving as little information to the police as you can. For example, you do not have to participate in field sobriety tests, and in fact, you are wise not to. One reason why it is best not to participate in field sobriety testing is that the test results cone from observations, which are subjective. Also, it is possible for sober people to fail the tests due to nerves, uncomfortable shoes, or some other things.
Engaging in a field sobriety test or providing more information than you are required by law to provide will not help you prove your sobriety. In fact, any additional information that you provide could very well be used against you later on. The list of unnecessary information includes providing information about where you are driving to and from and what you have been doing.
If you were arrested for DWI in Texas, there is a lot at stake. During these difficult times, you need the guidance of an experienced DWI defense attorney. To learn more about how we can defend you against your Texas DWI charges, schedule a free consultation with East Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today. Call our office at (903) 753-7499, or visit our website to submit an online contact form.
Thursday, June 30th, 2016
People arrested and convicted of driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in Texas, face more restrictive conditions if granted supervised community release. On September 1, 2017, an updated version of the conditions of supervised community release goes into effect. The goal of the changes is to make Texas’ road safer by reducing the number of repeat DWI offenders. The updated conditions will make probation seem onerous to some people and may think serving a jail sentence is a better option rather than being on probation for up to two years. Any decision you make regarding sentencing after a DWI conviction must in close consultation with your attorney.
Before September 1, 2017, any person convicted of DWI must complete several conditions while on community supervision including an educational program designed to rehabilitate the person. In theory, a rehabilitated person will not drive drunk again. Unfortunately, rehabilitation is not foolproof, and many people drive drunk again. However, the latest version of the law goes a long way to preventing repeated offenses.
Upon a conviction for a first DWI offense, the judge can impose a condition of probation requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device. In other words, the law gives the judge discretion to impose that condition. The judge loses discretion when the crime is more serious. A person convicted of a second offense, or a first offense but the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.15 or above, which is near twice the legal limit, the judge must order that person to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle or the vehicle they most often drive. The court cannot consider a previous offense if that offense was longer than ten years before the date of arrest on the current case.
An ignition interlock device is a machine into which a person provide a deep-lung breath sample. Simply, the person blows hard into the device. The device is similar to a breathalyzer most often used in police stations. The device prevents the car from turning on if the machine detects any alcohol in the breath sample. The judge must order the person not to drive any vehicle without an attached ignition interlocking device.
The court must impose additional conditions upon community supervision if the judge orders the installation of an ignition interlocking device. The person must install the device within 30 days from the start of supervised release. The person must use the device for at least half of the period of release, but the judge can order the person to use it for a longer period. Additionally, the person must pay for the device and its installation. The law allows the judge to enter into a payment plan with the person to the associated charges of the device. The payment plan may not last longer than twice the period of probation.
With all of the expensive requirements of probation, some people would rather go to jail after a DWI conviction. Deciding to go to jail rather than attempting to complete probation must not be made lightly. Depending on the circumstances, a jail sentence is less onerous than a lengthy probation period. Although jail is initially less expensive than paying for alcohol rehabilitation classes and an ignition interlock device, the physical and emotion toll is incalculable. Jail is not a vacation and serving a sentence could mean losing your job. Jail will cut you off from your loved ones and can endanger your health. But, jail for some is an option rather than probation.
Consult With An Experienced Texas DWI Attorney Before Making Any Decision On Your Future
The experienced Texas DWI Attorney at the Law Office of Alex Tyra dedicate themselves to fighting to protect their client’s rights. They understand the difficult decisions that you must make when facing a DWI charge. Talk with them before making any decision. Call the Law Office of Alex Tyra today at 903-753-7499 to discuss your options.
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.
- Law Office of Alex Tyra, P.C.
211 E. Tyler Street #521
Longview, TX 75601