DFW Defender Tips: What To Know If You Are Pulled Over in Texas


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This advice is provided free of charge by Texas DWI Defense Attorney Carl David Ceder. I own and operate The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, and my contact information can also be found at any of my websites: www.CarlCederLaw.com

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DFW Defender Tips: What To Know If You Are Pulled Over in Texas

  1. 1. DFW Defender Tips: What To Know If You Are Pulled Over in TexasThis advice is provided free of charge by Texas DWI Defense Attorney Carl DavidCeder. I own and operate The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, and my contactinformation can also be found at any of my websites:www.CarlCederLaw.com;www.TexasDWIDefender.com; www.TheDFWDefender.com ;www.TheDallasDefender.com, by phone at 214.702.CARL (2275) or 512.657.9992, andalso by e-mail at Carl@CederLaw.com. Feel free to forward this to any of your friendsand acquaintances who may find it useful.The most common question I am usually asked at social events is "What should I do ifIm pulled over and I’ve had some alcohol to drink?" The following is a simple guidelinethat may help you if you ever find yourself in this situation.The best overall piece of advice is to exercise responsibility. Use your common sense. Ifyou think youve had too much to drink, youre probably right. Thus, just DON’TDRIVE! It’s that simple.Many people dont want to pay the fee for a cab when they have their vehicle parkedsomewhere. It can be a pain to leave it behind. But logically speaking, if you do have toleave your car after youve been drinking, spending a little extra money for a cab is farcheaper than having to pay the price of an attorney, court costs, fines, bonding fees (andit most certainly beats having to spend the night in jail).All this being said, if you happen to find yourself pulled over after youve consumedalcohol, here a few things to keep in mind. Following these tips may help to prevent anactual conviction for Driving While Intoxicated.1. First and foremost, if you are drinking alcohol and you know you will have to operatea vehicle, then DO NOT drink in excess. Try to manage to only consume AT MOST onedrink per hour. Alcohol generally eliminates from a person’s system at one drink perhour. If you pace yourself and track that you only consume at this pace, then you shouldnot be intoxicated.2. It is best to say as little as possible to the investigating officer once pulled over. It iswise to politely refuse to answer any questions both before and after the arrest. Thisprevents the investigating officer from using any of your statements against you when orif you are prosecuted later in court. Even a question you may think is relatively harmlessmay end up being used as further evidence the state tries to prove that you lost the use ofyour "mental faculties." The definition of the law for "intoxicated" in Texas is as follows: (A) not having the normal use of "mental" or "physical" faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol (or due to the introduction of a drug); or (B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
  2. 2. People are usually nervous and scared when being investigated for a DWI. It is notuncommon for someone to say something unusual solely based on having the "jitters."Therefore, try and say as little as possible throughout the entirely of the proceeding.Simply tell the officer: "I would like to talk to my attorney, and then do not offer anyother information. DO NOT BEG, PLEAD, OR ARGUE WITH THE OFFICER AFTERTHE ARREST DECISION IS MADE.3. The Investigating Officer will likely ask you to submit to performing the StandardizedField Sobriety Tests (SFST’s). These tests are completely voluntary. In most situationsif you are asked to perform the SFST’s by an officer, you will likely be arrested and takento jail anyway. Therefore, it is best to simply invoke your right to refuse. There are nolaws requiring you to perform these tests. These tests are designed for failure. They areused in order to gather evidence against you to help the state gain a conviction later incourt. Hence, politely refuse to perform the SFST’s.4. Sometimes people voluntarily submit to a breath or blood test with the mistaken beliefthat if they pass, they will be able to go home. This is not true. Once you are asked tosubmit to a chemical test, you are already under arrest. There is no way to be "un-arrested." You have the absolute right to refuse to submit to a chemical test after you arearrested for DWI. If you do refuse, your driver’s license will be subject to a 180-daysuspension (as opposed to a 90-day for a chemical test failure). This shorter period oftime for a suspension is usually used to entice suspects to submit to a chemical test.DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. REFUSE. Either way, your driving privileges aresubject to a suspension period. However, regardless of the length of suspension, you willbe eligible to obtain an occupational driver’s license, which would allow you to drive for"essential needs." It is also better to let the officers go through the process of obtaining ablood search warrant, rather than just allowing them to bypass this step altogether. Oftenthey will not go through the process of obtaining the search warrant because of the lengthof time involved in doing so. If they do ultimately get a search warrant to obtain yourblood, you are in no worse position than had you just consented from the beginning. Inaddition, often it takes 3-4 hours for the investigating officer to complete the entireprocess of obtaining the search warrant and then facilitating the blood draw. As such,your BAC could be considerably lower at this point than had you consented to the blooddraw from the very beginning, leaving you with more room to argue what the accurateBAC would have been “at the time of driving.”5. Call a family member or friend as soon as you are allowed to do so. This way, you canhave a witness to testify regarding your sobriety if the case should proceed to trial.6. Always be extremely polite to the police officers. Juries, judges, and prosecutors DONOT like to see disrespectful behavior when viewing the video recording of your arrest.Even if the investigating officer does not reciprocate your politeness, do not respond in aharsh or crude manner.
  3. 3. 7. Your entire arrest is likely being video recorded (see #5). As such, always be on yourbest behavior. Remember that it is highly likely that others will view what transpiredlater. Always keep this in mind.8. As soon as possible, write down a narrative of everything that occurred the day/nightof your arrest while its still fresh in your memory. The more clear and accurate thedetails, the better your case will be. Juries find testimony more truthful if you can recallevents with clarity. Try to document everything that transpired in detail, including all ofthe events prior to your encounter with the police, and during the investigation, arrest,and booking. Make a full written account of where you were consuming alcohol, howmany beverages were consumed, over what period of time, any food you had eaten thatday, and any other pertinent information relevant to the arrest. Document any sicknessesor medical conditions you may have experienced as well. Having receipts documentingthe alcohol consumed is always helpful and convincing for a jury to consider.9. Hire an attorney who specializes in DWI Defense. Avoid the generalist, and the "Jack-Of-All-Trades and Master-of-None" Attorney. If you needed a serious heart surgeryoperation, you wouldnt seek out a general surgeon who performs only a few heartsurgeries per year. Rightfully so, you would want a devoted and experienced heartsurgeon whose medical practice is focused almost exclusively on this procedure. Youwould want and expect a surgeon who performs heart surgeries on a regular andconsistent basis, who knows how to react to unexpected complications, and who iscommitted to being on the cutting edge of their craft. Thus, do the same whenconsidering whom you will hire to represent you with your charge of DWI.I have spoken with quite a few attorneys who have conveyed they "dabble" in DWIdefense on occasion. The "dabbler" is a scary proposition, and is a common reality formany of those arrested for DWI. I have personally substituted counsel on many DWIcases for other attorneys that were fired by their clients because they soon realized theyhad absolutely no idea how to properly defend against a charge of DWI. Usually theirattorneys simply advised them to plead "Guilty", most likely because they didn’t knowwhat else to do. I have personally received acquittals and other favorable dispositionsafter a client has fired their attorney (who advised pleading “Guilty”), and then hired me.Therefore, always try to work with an attorney who devotes the majority of their practiceto defending DWI cases. The "dabbler" is likely to miss issues that can mean thedifference between a successful or a failing defense.*And remember, the most effective technique to avoid a DWI arrest and/or conviction isto NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! Even if you are not "intoxicated" according to the law, ifan investigating officer smells the odor of alcohol, often you will be arrested regardlessof what else occurs. Therefore, the absolute and most sure way to avoid a DWI arrestand/or conviction is to avoid drinking alcohol if you know you will be operating a motorvehicle.Keep in mind that being arrested for a DWI does not always equal a conviction. If you’refacing a charge of DWI, call The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, at
  4. 4. 214.702.CARL (2275)or 512.657.9992 and we will happily explain what options areavailable given your specific situation. I have a strong track record of success indefending the citizen accused of DWI all across counties in the State of Texas, and ampassionate about providing competent and professional legal advice in all intoxication-related offenses. Good luck, and call a cab!