Ryan R. Hill Attorney at Law
Free Consultation 903-371-0095 Se habla espanol

Longview Criminal Defense Law Blog

What happens when you refuse a chemical test during a DWI stop?

Most people have heard a few horror stories about traffic stops gone terribly wrong. Whether it's a case of assumed drunkenness when a person was actually having a severe medical event or an issue with the testing device, some people who haven't broken the law can find themselves facing charges related to driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Combine those anecdotal horror stories with the right to avoid self-incrimination, and you may find yourself wondering if you have the right to refuse chemical testing during a DWI stop or arrest. After all, submitting a blood, breath or urine sample could provide law enforcement with the evidence they need to pursue charges. It's important that you understand that while you can refuse these tests, doing so is not without potentially serious consequences.

Man charged with DWI faces resisting arrest and other charges

Drivers in Longview and the surrounding areas of Texas should know that when they are arrested for driving while intoxicated, they will be confronted with a litany of penalties that can have a negative effect on their lives. For many, it goes beyond a simple arrest for drunk driving and extends to other charges.

A 39-year-old Texas man was recently charged with DWI. However, his legal problems did not stop there as he also had warrants for speeding. In addition, when he was stopped, he was charged with failing to report an accident without injuries. Other charges include obstruction-retaliation and resisting arrest. He was jailed and held on $10,000 bond.

Texas' open container law and the need for a DWI attorney

People in Texas who are stopped by law enforcement investigating a possible case of driving while intoxicated should know other aspects of the law that regulate alcohol in a vehicle. Having possession of an alcoholic beverage while driving can also lead to legal issues. This is often referred to as the "open container" law. When facing charges related to having an open container as well as other charges related to driving while intoxicated, having legal help from an attorney experienced in these cases is critical to a satisfactory resolution and avoiding the harshest penalties.

Open container is defined as having a bottle, can or other object that has alcohol in it while being open, was opened, its seal is broken or has contents that have been partially removed. This must be in the passenger area of the vehicle, which means the area for operation and the seating of passengers. Not included in this is the glove compartment or a locked storage container, the trunk or the area behind the last upright seat if there is no trunk.

What are the penalties for drug crimes delivering to a child?

While there is an ongoing debate as to whether recreational marijuana should be made legal and many states are decriminalizing it, Texas is not one of them yet. When a person is placed under arrest and charged with allegations of legal violations related to marijuana, there can be severe penalties assessed if there is a conviction. The state takes these crimes very seriously and those who are arrested must make certain that they understand the level of penalties they are facing and that they plan a strong defense.

One crime that can cause long-term problems if there is a conviction is the delivery of a controlled substance or marijuana to a child. If a person is alleged to have knowingly delivered marijuana to a child; delivered it to a person who is enrolled at a public or private primary or secondary school; or delivered it to someone who the person believes plans to deliver the substance to a child or someone attending one of the above-listed schools, it will be considered a violation of the law against delivering to a child.

How does a drug court work?

Many times, a Longview, Texas, resident facing drug possession charges may be more than willing to admit that they made a mistake. However, what they hope for in their criminal case is an opportunity to prove that they have the ability to do what it takes to overcome their drug addiction and get the help they need to do better.

One option for these sorts of people is a Texas drug court. These types of courts focus on frequently monitoring a defendant by requiring him both to meet with probation officers often and also to appear in court on a regular basis, thereby creating a sense of accountability. Defendants are also frequently required to submit to drug testing and have to complete an intensive treatment program.

Man facing serious DWI-related charges after fatal accident

Longview police arrested a man and charged him with intoxication manslaughter after a woman died in connection with a head-on collision involving the man and the woman's vehicles.

According to police, the man was heading one direction on a local road but without warning drifted in to oncoming traffic. The woman, who was coming from the opposite direction of the man, apparently did not have time to avoid the accident after the man swerved. The woman died at the scene of the crash.

Drug possession penalties can be life altering

Are you familiar with the consequences of a drug possession conviction? Have you come to find that this could change your life forever? Are you familiar with the steps you can take to help prevent the most serious punishment?

Before we go any further there's something you need to know: a drug possession charge does not always lead to a conviction. There are many defense strategies you can use to prevent a conviction, thus helping you avoid consequences.

Does money have to change hands for a drug trafficking charge?

Although the image Longview residents may have of a drug deal is two or more people exchanging illegal contraband, like cocaine, for cash, in a dark alley, Texas's drug trafficking laws actually are much broader than one might think. They indeed cover a lot of situations in which even a good person who is ordinarily law-abiding can find himself in.

For example, no money, or any other property for that matter, has to change hands before a Texas resident can be charged with drug trafficking. Moreover, drug trafficking does not have to involve street drugs like cocaine or heroin; someone who is supplying prescription medication without legal authority is also a drug trafficker under Texas law and can be punished accordingly.

What are the legal consequences of a first-time DUI in Texas?

Consumption of alcohol can result in decreased coordination, slower reaction times and poor decision-making. It should come as little surprise that those symptoms of intoxication can make driving a motor vehicle much more dangerous than it typically is. Alcohol consumption can result in serious collisions or crashes, which is why Texas takes  driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws so seriously.

Ideally, people choosing to imbibe more than one or two drinks on any given day will arrange for a friend or family member to drive them afterward. Alternatively, it's also a good idea to have Lyft or Uber installed on a smartphone to allow for a quick and simple way to arrange for sober transportation. For those who choose to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, there could be serious criminal penalties, even if they don't cause any kind of crash or accident.

Do I have to take field sobriety tests if I get stopped?

Longview, Texas, residents, even those who have never been stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving, are probably aware of what the legal community calls "field sobriety tests." These are a battery of tests, often checking a person's ability to maintain their balance, that an officer will give a driver on the side of the road. The idea behind the tests is that if someone is not able to complete them and instead must, for example, constantly regain one's balance while standing on one foot, it is a sign the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Although they are a typical part of a DWI investigation, it is important for Texas residents to remember that, legally, they do not have to take any of these tests. While whether or not someone should refuse to take these test in their given circumstances is really a question best answered by an attorney, a Texas resident will generally have to decide to refuse in the heat of the moment.

Stay in Touch

Toll Free: 800-847-8996
Local: 903-371-0095
Fax: 903-758-3239

211 N. Center Street
Longview, TX 75601
Map & Directions

Se Habla Espanol

Stay Connected