Protecting Your Rights After a Drunk Driving Arrest
It can happen to just about anyone. You’re out for dinner or having a drink with friends after work. On your way home, the police pull you over for a defective taillight or other minor infraction. The officer asks if you’ve had anything to drink and you answer truthfully. Before you know it, you’ve blown a blood alcohol content above the legal limit and are taken into custody.
What Should You Do Immediately After Being Arrested for Drinking and Driving in Texas?
The most important thing to do when taken into custody is to keep your mouth shut. When the officer arrests you, they should give you Miranda warnings, which include the right to remain silent. Exercise that right! Other than your personal identifying information, say nothing to law enforcement officers. You know what can happen—“anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
Your first step, if possible, should be to retain an experienced DWI defense attorney. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you’ll have someone protecting your constitutional rights, ensuring that police follow required procedures.
After you’re arrested and placed in detention, you will be taken to an arraignment proceeding. The arraignment is the court proceeding where you’re formally charged with the DWI offense. Once the charges are read, you will be asked how you plead. You should plead not guilty.
When you are arrested for drinking and driving, it’s customary for the police officer to confiscate your license. You will simultaneously be issued a “pink sheet,” a pink paper that allows you to drive for up to 40 days without your license. You may be able to keep your driving privileges, but you must request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of your arrest or your license will be suspended. If you file the request for the ALR hearing in a timely manner, you can continue to drive without your license until the administrative law judge says you cannot.
Will There Be Any Restrictions on My Ability to Drive with the Pink Sheet?
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest—whether it’s a repeat offense, for example—the court may impose conditions on your ability to drive. You may be allowed to drive only with an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This device measures your blood alcohol content and won’t let you start your car if you exceed the legal limit. You may also be required to submit to random drug or alcohol testing or regularly report to the court or a probation officer.
What Can I Expect From an Experienced DWI Defense Attorney?
You can expect that your lawyer will read the police report, question any potential witnesses, and carefully gather evidence to support an acquittal or reduction of charges. Your attorney will typically review the traffic stop to ensure that law enforcement officers had probable cause to pull you over and to verify that you were properly notified of your constitutional rights when taken into custody.
Your attorney may also look closely at field sobriety and BAC testing to determine if there were any irregularities. If police did not follow proper procedures, your lawyer can seek to have evidence, or even the charges, thrown out.
Contact the Aggressive DWI Defense Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an aggressive and knowledgeable DWI defense lawyer, contact us by email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.