The modern Breathalyzer looks like a very sophisticated machine. It is compact, sleek, user-friendly, and fast. When police lab technicians take the stand to talk about fuel cells and electrical impulse conversions, these machines sound even fancier. It's not fair to say that these gadgets are all sizzle and no substance. But, that assessment is not too far from accurate.
In the colonial period, British officials often used blank search warrants to enter private property with little or no cause. To end this practice, the Founding Fathers included the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Later, courts used the Fourteenth Amendment to apply this provision to state law enforcement agencies.
The rules in this area are very complex and they do not always make sense. So, it's very easy to see why people are confused as to their rights when officers pull them over.
Most drivers provide chemical samples, usually breath samples, upon request. The conviction rate in these cases is over 80 percent. The rate is close to 100 percent in blood test cases. But in non-test cases, the Tarrant County conviction rate plummets to 45 percent.
There are many effective defenses to a Tarrant County DWI. Some are based on legal caselaw, others involve the science of the Breathalyzer test, and others use the facts of the case.
Pretrial Release is a key part of a successful defense. Judges carefully instruct jurors that an arrest means nothing in terms of guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, many people believe that defendants in jail must have done something wrong.
At best, a criminal conviction is a serious impediment to things like getting a job or finding a place to live. At worst, a conviction may make these things impossible.
The state often sponsors billboards and other ads which claim that a first-time DWI costs $17,000. That claim is not exactly true, but it is not exactly false either. $17k is a fairly good average figure for both the direct and indirect consequences of DWIs, but it is only a very rough average.
The moving party almost always has the burden of proof in court. In criminal court, the moving party is the prosecutor, and the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.
It's happened more than once. After being pulled over for a DWI, the suspect tosses the keys aside and then consumes as much alcohol as possible.