DWI Third or More Offense Felony
Brian Foley is a DWI Attorney in the Woodlands, Conroe, and Montgomery County and can help navigate difficult cases like the one you may be facing. Felony DWI charges are some of the most difficult cases to beat because the jury can be told about the first two charges before they hear a word about what happened in the present case.
Can you beat a Felony DWI with a blood test?
Most cases have a weak point. There is a floor and a ceiling and results are affected by the facts of the case, the evidence preserved, the methods of testing, and the trial and negotiation strategy employed by your lawyer. You can still fight a DWI even when the police have collected a sample of your blood. An experienced DWI lawyer in Conroe, the Woodlands, or Houston can help you fight a DWI arrest if you have consented to a blood test or the police took your blood after getting a warrant.
How can you fight a blood test?
Reasonable suspicion did not exist for the traffic stop.
A DWI investigation was not warranted because of a lack of probable cause.
The blood sample was taken without consent and therefore illegal.
Problems with the affidavit for the blood warrant.
Methods used to collect blood sample violated procedure.
Faulty blood testing gas chromatograph.
Failure to refrigerate blood sample causing growth of candida albicans.
Failure to use proper grey tube for forensic draw.
Hospital Blood results remained in serum form was not converted to whole blood.
Felony DWI Bond Conditions
When you are facing a DWI - Third or more the State is likely to require that you either abstain from driving all together or install an ignition interlock device in your car that prevents it from being operated if alcohol is detected in the breath of the operator. This can be costly and embarrassing. This can occur even prior to a conviction and while your case is being investigated and negotiated prior to a jury trial. A felony DWI in Montgomery County, Texas is likely to require you to report to the Adult probation office and be drug and alcohol tested on a random basis but typically once a month. Succeeding on bond conditions is a first step in showing that you may succeed on probation so that you can build a case for a dismissal or a deal which does not require prison time.
Does the Jury know about my prior DWI's? What if they are from another state?
In Texas the prior DWI convictions are considered "jurisdictional priors" and the Court of Criminal Appeals (The highest criminal court in Texas) has ruled that these convictions must be written into the official charging documents and may be read to the jury. Here is what they had to say about it:
"We briefly summarize the current status of the law when a defendant offers to stipulate to the two jurisdictional prior DWI convictions in a felony DWI trial:
1) The State must plead two jurisdictional prior DWI convictions in a felony DWI indictment; it is the indictment that confers jurisdiction in the district court;
2) The State may (but is not required to) read the entire indictment, including the two jurisdictional allegations (but only those two), in arraigning the defendant in the presence of the jury;
3) Both the State and the defense may voir dire the jury concerning the range of punishment for both a felony and misdemeanor DWI;
4) Nothing in the law requires that the jury be informed of the particulars of the prior convictions in reading the indictment, voir dire, opening or closing arguments or in the jury charge itself;
5) A defendant's stipulation to the two prior DWIs, being in the nature of a judicial admission, has the legal effect of removing the jurisdictional element from contention; a defendant may not offer evidence or argument in opposition to his stipulation;
6) During the trial, the jury may be informed of the stipulation and any written stipulation may be offered into evidence before the jury, but the evidence is sufficient to support a defendant's conviction even if the stipulation is not given or read to the jury;
7) In a bench trial, the guilt and punishment stages are not bifurcated, so the State is not required to offer the stipulation during the initial portion of the hearing, even if the proceeding is improperly bifurcated. . . .
8) The jury charge must include some reference to the jurisdictional element of two prior DWI convictions in a felony DWI trial;
9) The jury charge must include some reference to the defendant's stipulation and its legal effect of establishing the jurisdictional element.
10) Any error in failing to include, in the jury charge, some reference to the jurisdictional element and the stipulation is analyzed under Almanza. Martin v. State, 200 S.W.3d 635, 640–41 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006)
What is the punishment for a Felony DWI?
A felony DWI in Texas based on at least two prior convictions is a third degree felony with a punishment range of 2-10 years in prison and the possibility of probation for up to 10 years. You may also be assessed a $10,000 fine and up to a $6000 state traffic fine if your blood alcohol result was above 0.15 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
AGGRESSIVE DWI DEFENSE
FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR
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