Don’t Gamble on Your DWI Case
by Bill Clanton

The challenge facing drivers who are stopped for a suspected DWI violation is to avoid self-incrimination. The overall bias of police officers who stop drivers for suspected DWI is to make the arrest even if they only have minimal suspicions. The consequences of letting a driver go, who then has an accident are too onerous—better to be safe than sorry. However, this attitude puts the driver in a double bind. Be aware that as soon as the office approaches the car he or she has probably started recording your actions and any discussions you have with the officer on a video, without your knowledge. The officer has no obligation to inform you of your right to refuse to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests or to take a breathalyzer test, but you are entitled to and you should refuse. If you refuse to take the tests you will be arrested, and taken to jail. If you take the tests and fail the tests, you will be taken to jail. The catch is that many people fail the tests (and many lawyers contend that the tests are designed to be failed), and then the arresting officer has evidence that can and will be used against you. In the end, it is better to respectfully remain silent and hire a lawyer to take your case. In Bill Clanton’s words:

“ In the end, the ride downtown may be painful and jail miserable, but when you cannot find work because your criminal history includes a DWI charge or conviction, you will have forgotten about that part of it and will wish you had a better lawyer. ”

Bill Clanton
is one of less than 150 Texas lawyers hand picked by Gerry Spence, “the greatest living trial lawyer,” to attend the Trial Lawyers College. Bill has handled hundreds of DWI cases from arrest to verdict and is certified to administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.


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