Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving DWI & DUI Clients in Texas
When an officer notices that a driver is operating their vehicle illegally or dangerously, they have the right to pull the person over. If the police officer further suspects that the individual may be intoxicated, they also have the right to ask the person to submit to a field sobriety or/and breathalyzer test. The problem with field sobriety tests is that they often give “false positives,” that is, they often lead to a police officer believing that a person is intoxicated when in fact they are not.
If you have been arrested for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) or DUI crime in Texas, and a field sobriety test was used as cause for making that arrest, you need to contact our law firm today. We will aggressively fight for you and help you to understand your rights when facing DWI charges.
The Problem with Field Sobriety Tests
As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, there are both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests, or FSTs. Only the standardized FSTs, of which there are three, have been sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These tests are the:
- Walk and turn test;
- One-leg stand test; and
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
While these three tests are sanctioned by the NHTSA because they have shown to be the most effective at determining intoxication by alcohol, not all field sobriety tests give an accurate result. Two of the biggest problems with FSTs is that they are often not administered by officers correctly, and they are not often graded correctly. Further, a person’s health conditions and own limitations may affect their ability to perform well on an FST. What’s more, sometimes, police officers use non-sanctioned FSTs, like asking a driver to recite the alphabet or count backwards, in order to secure probable cause for an arrest.
Do I Have to Participate in a Field Sobriety Test?
It is very important that you understand that you do not have to participate in a field sobriety test in Texas. In fact, refusing to participate in a field sobriety test is sometimes in your best interest. However, the police can use the fact that you refuse against you in determining probable cause for the arrest. If the police officer already had enough reasonable suspicion to ask you to perform a field sobriety test, chances are they may have enough probable cause to arrest you. As such, by performing the field sobriety test, you may just be providing the prosecution with more evidence against you.
How an Experienced Criminal Law Attorney Can Help
At the office of Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, our experienced criminal defense attorney can help you if you are facing DWI or DUI charges. Not only can we pursue the possibility of having field sobriety evidence obtained against you inadmissible in court, but we can also negotiate a plea bargain and aggressively defend your rights. Brent is a member of the National College for DUI Defense which requires its members to attend minimum training to become a member
Being convicted of a DWI or DUI could change your life. To learn more about your options and how to protect yourself, contact our Denton criminal defense attorney today. We work hard for you.