Articles Tagged with dwi

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Here is an interesting article on mandatory blood draws for DWI cases. This has been the latest trend in trying to convict those suspected of DWI.  I haven’t really written much about it, but I am planning on it in the future. 

There seems to be some serious constitutional, administrative, and public policy problems with the mandatory taking of blood tests.

Here is the article:

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I’ve often said that the reason I do not post a list of trial "wins" on my website is because I feel that to do so is deceiving to potential clients.  Simply saying "DWI case – Not Guilty" is not fair because EVERY case is different.  Some cases, quite honestly, you SHOULD be winning.  Some cases, are significantly harder.  And in every case, the client’s idea of what a "win" is, is different.

My trial this week truly brings this point home.  I represented a client accused of DWI 2nd.  He provided a breath sample of .210, and .220.  Close to 3 times the legal limit.  The offer pre-trial was to be convicted of DWI second, $2000 fine, court costs, 2 years probation, an ignition interlock device on his car, a S.C.R.A.M. device (ankle monitor that checks for alcohol — very expensive), and 30 days in jail as a term and condition of his sentence.

We decided to take the case to trial, knowing that it was going to be a very tough battle.  The jury ended up finding my client guilty.  After a VERY hard fought trial, the  judge assessed the punishment.  the punishment ended up being a lower fine ($1000 instead of $2000), and only 5 days in jail instead of 30 days in jail.

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In an interesting development in Plano DWI news, it appears that four officers are now on trial for THEIR misconduct…

Four Plano officers face federal lawsuit
By Stephanie Flemmons, Staff Writer

A Driving While Intoxicated arrest has led to the unveiling of what Tray Boswell believes was a “set-up” by four Plano police officers and his ex-wife.

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Many of my clients come into my office knowing that they want to fight their DWI case.  I’m OK with that.   In fact, as I have stated in past blogs, in general, there is very little to lose by going to trial on a DWI 1st case.

Despite knowing we are going to trial, the plea bargaining process is still an important one. . . even in counties, such as Collin County or Dallas County, where pleaing to a non-DWI offense will almost never happen.

Here is why it is important to get the best offer you can from the state, even if you never plan on pleaing to it.  If you go to trial, and are not successful, often the first thing done by the prosecutor is to look at the last recommendation given to the attorney in the case.  The point being, usually they will be seeking a tougher punishment after trial. 

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The following is an article by Lawrence Taylor that is by far the best article I’ve seen on the "history" of breath testing.  I thought about making comments to it, and adding my take on each of the pieces of the article, but I don’t want to mess up his article.  It’s great just how it is.

During trial, in a breath test case, attorneys often want to relate the message to the jury that this machine is simply the newest contraption in a long line of contraptions.  The argument is that the state is going to tell us that this is up to date technology, and works perfectly.  . . But here’s the problem.  They used say the last machine was up to date technology and worked perfectly.  And the machine before that, and the machine before that.

Right now, in the Collin County, Dallas County and Denton County they use the Intoxilyzer 5000.  some use the en version, and some do not.  There is an intoxilyzer 8000 out there already.  On CMI’s website, they even proclaim:

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I have been recently asked:

You stated: "You will receive almost identical punishment if you are found guilty
after trial."

If one is found Guilty, is the punishment generally the same as was
offered in the plea bargain, or generally the full penalty?

While I can never predict the future, no judge in the counties I practice in will ever assess a maximum punishment for a first time DWI offender with no history. Standard "plea bargain" punishment before trial, or after trial are almost always the same. Between 1 and 2 years probation, a fine between $300-$800, 24-40 hours of community service, and alcohol awareness courses.

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In another attempt to influence the Courts, the New Mexico chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), has decided to pay $30,000 – $40,000 per year (per person)  in order to "monitor" DWI and DUI in the local courtroom, and the activities of judges and prosecutors.  Oh yeah.. they are hiring 5 full time people to perform this service.

Problem 1:
Political/lobbyist organizations using taxpayer money

I wouldn’t be quite as much against this proposition if the funds for the "monitors" was raised independently.  In my opinion, any organization can do whatever they want with their money, and pursue the goals of their organization.  But here, they received $400,000 grant from the state Traffic Safety Bureau.  Taxpayer money going to a political organization.. I see major problems with that.