Court of Criminal Appeals Sends DWI Case Back

As a result of recent rulings by the State and U.S. Supreme Court, many DWI cases are seeing hope for reversal and reconsideration. This is in light of the new approach that a police officer or state official are not allowed to take a blood draw without a search warrant to do so. This complies with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

These new rulings, however, fly in the face of many states’ laws, including those of Texas. Prior to these rulings there were many scenarios in which a police officer could extract a blood sample without a warrant. One of those scenarios happens when a person with two previous DWI convictions is arrested for DWI. Prior to contrary ruling, the police were allowed to take a blood sample and then use it against the person in court.

What Happened in This Case

The scenario outlined above was the subject of a recent Court of Criminal Appeals DWI case. In that case, a man was arrested for DWI but refused to give a blood sample. He was taken to a hospital and the police officer authorized workers there to take a blood sample without a warrant and without permission. The officer based his decision on the fact that the man had two prior DWI convictions, and Texas law therefore allowed a blood draw.

The blood that was taken from his showed that he had a blood alcohol content level of .09. The legal amount is .08, and therefore the man was convicted of DWI at trial. But he appealed his conviction claiming the state law which allowed his blood to be drawn is unconstitutional. He lost his case at the first level of appeal, but now the Court of Criminal Appeals has sent it back for reconsideration.

One of the problems with the man’s appeal was his failure to file a motion to suppress the blood sample at the trial level. But there are several reasons why a person would have filed such a motion at trial, at the time. One important reason is that the state law seemed to be clear that taking his blood sample was against the constitution. Now, as discussed, there are several reasons to file such a motion at trial, but that was not clear at the time.

Getting the Right Trial Team

One of the biggest misconceptions in DWI cases is that the accused does not have a chance to prevail. Every day we here public information campaigns against DWI, stories about DWIs fill the airwaves, and it seems that anyone accused does not stand a chance. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are laws that protect those who are accused of any crime, including DWI. In fact, those accused of DWI should benefit from the fact that in this country a person is innocent until proven guilty.

At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm, we believe firmly in this principle. In addition, we know and defend every right that you have under the U.S. and Texas Constitutions. If you are accused of DWI in the Dallas area, contact us. We will go over your case with you and give you a free case evaluation.