Guest author Ellen Williamson, a friend of mine and lawyer focusing her practice on estate planning, probate, and guardianship matters in Dallas and surrounding counties writes about a little known action the State can take against an estate that might effect you or your loved ones.Read More
Dallas criminal lawyer MIke Howard shares 5 things you need to know about invoking your rights (silence and lawyer).Read More
With the summer upon us and holidays like July 4th coming up you may be planning on going out and having a good time with friends. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a good time to talk about our top DWI tips.
1. Order a Lyft or an Uber. The best way to avoid a DWI is to not drive. If you think there's a chance you could drink while you're out, don't even take a chance you could get behind the wheel. Order a ride from your favorite ride sharing service so you can relax and have fun. It’s best to plan ahead so you don’t make a bad choice after you’ve had a few drinks and your judgment is clouded.
2. Be polite and respectful. You're almost certainly being recorded from the moment you're pulled over, so everthing you say matters. If you're polite and respectful, best case scenario the officer gives you a break and lets you off with a warning... worst case scenario you will be putting your best foot forward with the court, the prosecutor, and the jury.
3. Watch what you say. In most DWI stops the officer will ask you if you've been drinking or how much you've had to drink. THe less you say here the better. Remember that anything you say WILL be used against you here, so answering "5 beers" will absolutely come back to haunt you. The more information you give the officer here, the more he or she can hurt you. If you tell the officer how many drinks you had, when the first drink was, when the last drink was, what and when you ate, he or she can use that against you in court. If you feel like an officer is leading you down the path towards a DWI arrest, you can politely say that you're not comfortable answering any questions without your lawyer present.
4. You can refuse to take the sobriety tests. Many people can't pass the sobriety tests even when they haven't had 1 drink. The reasons for this are almost limitless: poor balance, tired, overweight, age, weather conditions, improper footwear, physical problems. Lots of people take these tests not realizing that they have a right to refuse. The office can't testify that you failed if you don't take the test at all. You can politely tell the officer that you're not comfortable taking any tests without your lawyer present.
5. You can refuse breath or blood tests. A lot of people agree to a breath or blood test because they don't realize they have the right to say no. You can politely tell the officer that you aren't comfortable taking any tests without your lawyer present. They can get a warrant but only if they have legal justification and even then sometimes they won't go to the trouble.
No one expects to be arrested for DWI but if you plan ahead a little bit you can put yourself in a much better position to give yourself the best chance to protect yourself.Read More