Building an effective second-offense Plano DWI defense takes time and effort, and it goes way beyond looking at the alcohol concentration and how the defendant performed on the sobriety tests. A proper defense should include a thorough review of all relevant evidence and an agreement and understanding between the defendant and their attorney as to all aspects of the case. If you are facing charges, contact a second-offense DWI lawyer today for legal representation.
An experienced Plano DWI lawyer could start to build a defense by requesting a hearing on the potential suspension of the person’s driver’s license and subpoenaing the officer to that hearing. This is the first opportunity the lawyer has to cross-examine the officer and obtain sworn testimony under oath about the facts and circumstances of the arrest. Too many lawyers tell potential clients that they are going to lose their driver’s license anyway so having a hearing unnecessary. Others go to the hearings but do not subpoena the officer to be present. Those who choose to conduct hearings in that fashion do not have their client’s best interests in mind.
After obtaining all relevant information about the case through discovery, an experienced DWI lawyer could then invest the time and energy to go through every piece of evidence, playing close attention to detail. How accurately is the report written? How did the officer conduct himself on video during the investigation? Did the officer follow proper procedure in not only conducting the Standardized Field Sobriety tests, but in grading them? If the officer deviated from his training, was it a minor deviation or a major deviation that could affect the results of the testing? What legal issues are present and are there any legal loopholes? All of these details could prove crucial in building an effective defense.
Video footage from dashcams and body cameras are often important pieces of evidence in a DWI case. An experienced lawyer could look at how the officer describes the person in their report and compare that description to how the person is conducting themselves on camera. It is common to have multiple police dash camera videos from different angles, and most officers now wear body cameras as well. Each camera will show a different view and can give a different perspective.
Body cameras, in particular, will give a clearer depiction of the person’s eyes, facial expressions, speech pattern, and demeanor. They also show how the person is conducting themselves while seated in the car, which is a perspective that the dash camera does not pick up. The written police report is often biased, but the details of an officer’s video footage offer a neutral, unbiased perspective.
An attorney may also evaluate if the officer has the legal basis to continue detaining the person beyond the purpose of the traffic stop. Officers cannot pull someone over for a violation and then continue to detain them. There must be a sufficient, legal basis to do so, based on a clear suspicion of intoxication. A defense lawyer could review footage and make an argument that a police officer had no constitutional standing to detain a defendant driver.
First and second DWI charges should be defended in largely the same manner. There are increased penalties for a second offense, but a DWI lawyer should not allow the fact that this is a repeat offense affect how they build their case. If you are facing charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help building a second-offense Plano DWI defense and preserving your personal freedom.