What Are My Rights If Arrested For DWI In Texas?

If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you should know you have certain legal rights afforded by the federal and state Constitution that protect you against self-incrimination. Often times, police officers making DWI stops are able to legally coerce most of the information they need to make their case against suspects and seal the defendant’s fate in court.

First and foremost, you are entitled to a Texas DWI Defense Attorney to represent you in court against the. Many DWI cases can be thrown out with careful scrutiny of the state’s evidence and with 20 years of experience and over 500 combined DWI and criminal cases, Andrew J. Williams knows what it takes to effectively defend your rights.

Do I have to answer a police officer’s questions during a DWI stop?

One of the most basic mistakes DWI suspects make is volunteering too much information or trying to minimize their conduct. During a traffic stop, all the citizen needs to do is provide his or her driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof auto insurance. Officers may ask the suspect if he or she is in possession of any weapons and for the sake of the officer’s safety and the individuals, it is probably best to assure the officer there are no weapons which could endanger either party.

After that, suspects have the right to keep silent. During conversation with suspects, police will examine the individual’s speech, eyes, behavior, and ask leading questions to give the officer probable cause to initiate a field sobriety test. The odds are that if a police officer intends to arrest someone for DWI, there is little he or she can do and should not volunteer any evidence which may make the state’s case easier.

Do I have to take a field sobriety test?

The Fifth Amendment of The U.S. Constitution gives us the right against self-incrimination. Just as private citizens do not have to answer any questions which could incriminate themselves, they do not have to take a field sobriety test. Police will use this as reasonable suspicion to make a DWI arrest.

However, refusing to participate in a field sobriety test will most likely result in a DWI arrest as police will interpret the move as a sign of guilt. Again, if you were drinking and driving you will likely be arrested anyways so do not participate in the field sobriety test and incriminate yourself further.

Do I have to take a breathalyzer test?

Just like with answering incriminating questions and participating in field sobriety tests, DWI suspects have the right to refuse breathalyzers and not incriminate themselves. However, under Texas law it is a crime to refuse to take a breathalyzer once placed under arrest for DWI and suspects can incur an automatic driver’s license suspension for 180 days.

Defendants have the right to request an administrative license revocation hearing within 15 days of the arrest to challenge the suspension and they should take full advantage of this right.

Kingwood Texas DWI Attorney

If you were arrested and charged for DWI contact the Law Office of Andrew J. Williams for a free consultation about your case. With over 20 years of experience DUI Defense Attorney Andrew Williams regularly serves clients facing DWI throughout Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, and San Jacinto County.

Andrew Williams
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.