Cynthia was arrested for drunk driving
after traveling 60 miles per hour in a posted 35 mile per hour zone. She admitted to the officer that she had consumed four mixed drinks and then took a breath test and blew a .13. The officer reported that Cynthia failed all of the Standardized Field Sobriety tests. After I set the case for trial, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DWI
and allowed Cynthia to plead to the offense of Obstruction of a Passageway, for which she received deferred probation and a small fine.
Jaime was driving his family home from the rodeo when he was stopped for speeding. Because he admitted drinking two beers at the rodeo, the officer asked him to step out of his car and investigated him for drinking and driving
. The officer spoke no Spanish and Jaime spoke very little English. Under these circumstances, Jaime failed the sobriety tests and was charged with DWI
with Child, which is a felony
. Jaime took a breath test and blew .09, just over the legal limit. Despite the language barrier and low breath-test score and medical documentation of Jaime's injuries to his feet, the Dallas County
District Attorney refused to reduce his case to a misdemeanor. Jaime is a legal resident of the United States but not a citizen, which meant he could be deported if he had a felony
conviction (Jaime's children have never lived in Mexico and his wife is a US citizen). The trial in Jaime's case resulted in a hung jury. At least a few of the jurors were not convinced the breath-test machine was accurate and refused to convict Jaime of a felony
based on the machine's results. After three years and a three-day mistrial, the DA agreed to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor
Bill was arrested for drinking and driving
and provided a breath-test score that was nearly twice the legal limit. When I interviewed Bill about his breath test, he told me the officer told him he would go to jail he refused to take it. I knew this was illegal, and set the case for a hearing on a motion to keep the breath-test score out. After hearing the officer's testimony, the judge ruled at a hearing that he had illegally coerced Bill into taking the breath test. I then set the case for a jury trial where Bill was found Not Guilty of DWI
Sally was arrested for DWI in Dallas County
after being stopped for running a red light. She admitted to the officers that she had had two beers earlier in the evening. Sally refused to take the breath test. At her trial, the officer testified that she had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and an unsteady balance; he also said that her breath smelled like alcohol. Sally was found Not Guilty of drunk driving
, and her criminal record
has been expunged.
Max is a retiree with a clean criminal record
. When he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving
, he took a breath-test and blew just at the legal limit of .08. His DWI
video wasn't perfect but looked pretty good, so I set his case for trial. He was found Not Guilty
Matt was arrested four times for drunk driving
in less than six months. Because each case was still pending with each new arrest, all of the criminal cases were misdemeanors. I won all four license suspension
hearings, so Matt never lost his license. One of Matt's videos looked great. I took that case to trial in Dallas County
, and he was found Not Guilty
. One of Matt's Collin County
arrests was made by an officer who was later fired for sending and receiving lewd photos from the computer in his squad car while on duty. Unable to make their DWI
case without that officer, the State was forced to dismiss it
. Matt pled to probation on the two remaining DWIs. He served no jail time on any of his four DWIs
Joey is a young woman who was very upset when she was arrested for DWI
—so much so that she hurled profanities at the officer (all on tape of course) most of the time they were at the jail. I knew a jury would not like Joey's behavior, but I also knew she was not intoxicated. So I set the case for a trial in front of the judge. Luckily, the judge agreed that Joey was irate and disrespectful but not intoxicated. She was found Not Guilty of DWI at trial
Mark agreed to a blood test after he was arrested for drinking and driving
in Dallas County
. The results put his alcohol level at under .08 but also showed illegal substances in his system. I filed a motion for the lab analysis and discovered that the drug lab records were incomplete. This meant it would be difficult for the State to makes its criminal case
against Mark at trial. Mark's DWI was dismissed
and he pled to Obstruction of a Passageway (which has also been dismissed now that he has successfully completed his deferred probation).
Alex had breath-test score of .12 in his DWI
case. However, I discovered that the arresting officer stopped Alex for "Exhibition of Acceleration," which basically meant he squealed his tires. I knew the law had recently changed on this offense, so I set his case for Motion to Suppress his search and arrest
. After hearing the officer's testimony and my arguments on the case law, the judge ruled that Alex's traffic stop was illegal and his DWI case was dismissed
Shawna was charged with a felony drinking and driving
and was facing prison time. When I watched her videotapes, I realized the officer did not perform the field sobriety tests correctly. After I outlined all of the procedural errors to the Dallas County
prosecutor, she agreed to reduce Shawna's felony DWI to a misdemeanor
and place her on probation.
Jennifer was arrested at one of the infamous No U-Turn signs on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. I have been battling Dallas Police about these illegal signs for years and have had several DWI
cases thrown out because the traffic stops were based on these illegal signs. Jessica's case was no exception. I set the case for a hearing, and the arresting officer testified about the dimensions and colors of the sign. Then I introduced into evidence photos of the sign and copies of the relevant pages from the Uniform Manual on Traffic Signs. The judge held that Jennifer's search and arrest
was illegal and suppressed all of the evidence in her drunk driving
case. This is where Jessica's case took a turn. The District Attorney refused to dismiss the case because a city engineer had told him the sign was valid. The judge granted the State's motion for a new hearing, and the DA brought the city engineer to court. The city engineer's testimony was, essentially, that the sign did not conform to the regulations but that this was okay because he could change signs however he wanted to, whenever he wanted to. As I cross-examined the engineer on his authority to alter signs, he conceded that the law did require a legitimate reason for noncompliance with the statute and that, in fact, he had no legitimate reason. The judge upheld his original ruling, and the DA finally agreed to dismiss Jennifer's DWI
Brent provided a breath-test score of .10 in his drunk driving
case, and he did not look great on his DWI
video tape. However, he was concerned he would lose his job if he was convicted, so I set the case for trial. At three consecutive court dates
, the arresting officer failed to show up. The third time, the judge called the case to trial. Unable to proceed without her arresting officer, the DA dismissed Brent's criminal case
Randy is a legal resident of the US who was facing a DWI
conviction due to his .16 breath-test score and possible deportation. As I reviewed the jail video in his criminal case
, I discovered that part of it had been erased and the Dallas County
DA would never be able to prove that the breath test had been properly conducted. I also questioned the officer, and he admitted that he couldn't remember anything about the missing portion of the tape. The State agreed to dismiss Randy's DWI
and placed him on deferred probation for Obstruction of a Passageway; his immigration issues were resolved.
Rob was stopped after failing to signal a left turn. During the drunk driving
investigation, he gave a .13 breath-test sample
. However, the case never got to trial. I set the case for a hearing on a Motion to Suppress the search and arrest
, because I knew that this specific instance of failing to use a turn signal was not a traffic violation under new case law. After hearing the testimony and reading my case law, the judge agreed with me. Rob's DWI was dismissed
Brad was facing his third drinking and driving
charge in Dallas County
, a felony
with a punishment range of two to ten years in prison. After analyzing the State's evidence, I noticed the facts surrounding Brad's driving were weak. I produced photos of the area and a statement from a witness to Brad's driving. The District Attorney reviewed the materials I gave him and realized it would be a difficult case to win at trial. He agreed to reduce Brad's felony DWI to a misdemeanor
and place him on probation.
Dan was anxious to plead guilty to drunk driving
and begin his probation. But after his blood test came back negative for alcohol, his blood sample was sent to DPS in Austin for further drug testing. At repeated court dates
, I pressed the Dallas County
DA for the results of the drug testing, but they were never produced. Finally I set the case for trial, and filed a motion to prevent the test results from being admitted (in the event that they magically appeared on the day of trial). The case proceeded to trial without the drug test result, and Dan was found Not Guilty of DWI
Susan was arrested on McKinney Avenue in Dallas after a speeding stop. When I reviewed the offense report, I noticed that the officer determined Susan's speed by "pacing" her rather than using his radar. Pacing is a scientific technique that must be done properly to obtain valid results. I filed a Motion to Suppress the traffic stop. When I cross-examined the officer at the hearing, he admitted that he did not follow the proper procedures for pacing when he stopped Susan. The judge ruled to suppress the illegal search and arrest
, and Susan's DWI was dismissed
Robert is an engineer who was arrested for drinking and driving
in Dallas County
by an officer who claimed that Robert was "all over the road." I filed a Motion to Suppress the search and arrest
on the grounds that the traffic stop was illegal. The judge held a hearing where I was able to cross examine the arresting officer about Robert's driving facts. In closing arguments, I provided case law that proved no traffic offense occurred. The judge granted my Motion to Suppress, and Robert's DWI was dismissed
was reduced to Obstruction of a Passageway. His traffic stop was routine, and his field sobriety tests were outstanding (he even passed the infamous one leg stand). Our problem was the .13 breath-test score. I set the case for trial, and it was reset for a variety of reasons for almost two years. Finally, the day came when we were first up for trial, but the arresting officer failed to appear. The judge would have given the State a reset, but in the interest of moving the case the DA offered an obstruction. Despite the client's excellent video, he gladly accepted the offer to avoid the risk of a conviction at trial. Mason's DWI
was DISMISSED and he was placed on deferred probation for the Obstruction case. That case will also be DISMISSED at the end of his probation period, and he won't face any of the additional costs of a DWI
conviction (DPS surcharges, increased insurance rates, etc).
Ray was found Not Guilty
in Collin County
. Ray was pulled over for expired registration. Clients often tell me they "passed" the field sobriety tests, and Ray actually looked like he did. Of course, the officer scored him as a failure, arrested him, and got a warrant for his blood. When the blood test results finally came back several months later, they revealed that his blood alcohol level was a .03! For whatever reason, the Collin County DA's office
accepted the case. At that point, Ray's options were to agree to a conviction or have a trial. So I set the case for trial, where he was quickly found Not Guilty
Parker was attending his father's wake when a friend asked him to move his car. Unfortunately, when moving his car through the crowded cul de sac, he dinged a neighbor's car. That neighbor called the police. The police arrived and gave Parker the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests,
then arrested him for DWI.
Parker agreed to take the breath test
that the officer requested. However, when they arrived at the jail
, the Intoxilyzer
was broken. The officer then proceeded to perform a blood test
without obtaining consent and without obtaining a warrant.
I set the matter for a Motion to Suppress
on the illegally obtained blood test
results. When we appeared for the hearing, the Tarrant County DA
announced that the arresting officer
was not available to testify, and the hearing was reset. At our next appearance, the DA requested another continuance and asked the Judge to reset the matter for 10 months. I argued against the State's request, pointing out that such a delay would deny Parker his Constitutional right
to a speedy trial.
After two hours of hearings and negotiations, the Judge denied the State's continuance and the DA was forced to DISMISS
Paul was charged with a felony DWI 3rd
(really his 6th) while he was on parole for his 5th felony DWI.
Keeping him out of prison was going to be nearly impossible. When I first met with Paul, I asked him if he was ready to commit to sobriety or whether he wanted to try to do a short pen trip (unfortunately, some clients prefer the pen time). Paul assured me that he wanted to get and stay sober. In addition to his alcohol addiction,
Paul was battling mental health
issues. This pattern of self-medication is common to many of my DWI
clients. I put Paul to work, and he did everything I asked him to. Paul returned to his mental health
professional and became med compliant. He also entered into an alcohol treatment program
and began attending AA daily. When I received the evidence
in Paul's case, I immediately realized that his blood test results
were illegally obtained. The Collin County DA
agreed, and one of the State's strongest pieces of evidence
was gone. It took an entire year for Paul's case to be filed and indicted,
and for the DA and I to complete the discovery
process. During that year Paul continued his treatment, took all the DWI classes,
gained new employment, and maintained a close relationship with his AA sponsor.
By the time of the plea, I was able to convince the DA that Paul was committed to sobriety and was no longer a danger to society. Of course he will be closely monitored during a long and intense probation,
but with Paul's hard work I was able to make the nearly impossible happen and avoid a return trip to the pen.
When Niko's personal life bottomed out a few years ago, he turned to alcohol. He picked up his second and third DWIs
almost back-to-back. Because his funds were low, he was depressed, and he felt that he was guilty, Niko quickly signed for the plea bargain agreement
that his court-appointed attorney
worked out for him. Unfortunately, she had little DWI experience
and wasn't familiar with Dallas County probation
procedures. She didn't explain to Niko that he would have a substance abuse evaluation
with follow-up treatment conditions. So when the evaluation recommended that he go to SAFP
for 6-9 months (including 2-3 months waiting in jail
for a bed to open up and 3 months of aftercare at a halfway house), Niko panicked. This would mean losing his job. Niko had already started outpatient treatment
and was attending AA meetings
regularly. In his panic, Niko continued his sobriety treatment
but he did not report back to probation
as ordered. Of course, this caused the State to file a Motion to Revoke
and the Judge
to issue a warrant.
By the time Niko came to me, more than a year had passed. First, I took Niko to Court
to get the warrant lifted.
After that, we had a series of hearings
on the State's Motion to Revoke.
At each hearing, I suggested new probation conditions
in an attempt to convince the Judge
that Niko was sober, was committed to probation,
and was no longer a threat to society. Niko was put on an ankle monitor,
and he was able to produce treatment certificates and AA logs. After a few months of this, the Judge
agreed to reinstate
Since that time, his business has grown and he was even allowed an overseas trip to visit his family. Niko is well on his way to successfully completing his probation.Theresa hired me to represent her on her DWI 2nd in 2012. She didn't remember much about the arrest, which was not a good sign of how intoxicated she may have been. After appearing at her ALR hearing to prevent her driver's license suspension, I waited for the DWI to receive a court date so that I could meet with the DA and request the discovery in her case. And I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Finally in the summer of 2016, we received a first setting letter. At my first appearance at court, I filed a Motion to Dismiss based on a violation of my client's Sixth Amendment right to a Speedy Trial. The DA knew the four-year delay was ridiculous but had been instructed to oppose my motion. So we had a hearing at which the Court Coordinator testified that she had no idea how this case had slipped through the cracks without a setting. It was simply an error. The Judge agreed that it is the State's Constitutional duty to prosecute a citizen accused in a timely manner. And with that ruling, he ordered Theresa's DWI charges DISMISSED.Glenn was pulled over for an improper lane change. When the Richardson police officer smelled alcohol on his breath, his investigation immediately turned to DWI. After reviewing the offense report in his case, I noticed some irregularities in his breath-test paperwork. And once I received the video evidence, I knew I had to set the matter for a Motion to Suppress hearing. On Glenn's jail video, the officer can be heard telling him that he will be spending the night in jail if he refuses to take the breath test. The officer tells Glenn that "the only way to go home" is to agree to the breath test. These kinds of "extra statutory" statements are forbidden under the law, because they unfairly coerce a person into agreeing to the breath test. At the hearing, the Judge heard the officer's testimony on the issue and viewed the video from the jail. Then she quickly ruled in our favor. Because Glenn looked so good on his field sobriety tests and because they were left without the breath-test evidence, the DA agreed to reduce his DWI to Obstruction of a Passageway with deferred probation. This meant Glenn would not have a conviction for anything and would save the thousands of dollars that come with a DWI conviction. Shelia hired me after being arrested for her second DWI. She had a single-car accident that she didn't even remember getting into. She remembered being at happy hour with friends and the having her perform some tests, but not much in between. When Sheila's blood-test result came back, I was not surprised that it was more than twice the legal limit. My last hope was that her performace on the in-car video would give me something to work with. Shelia agreed that, unfortunately, she both looked and sounded intoxicated. I had already sent Shelia for an alcohol evaluation and suggested the she attend the DWI repeat-offender class as well as the MADD Victim Impact Panel, both of which she did. In fact, Shelia removed alcohol from her life completely. A hard-working, single mom, Shelia's biggest concern was avoiding jail time. This is not always a realistic goal in Collin County, especially because the law REQUIRES it on a DWI 2nd. After a few meetings with the DA (and a conversation with her supervisor), I was able to convince them to reduce her case to a DWI 1st and save her the mandatory jail time.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.