1011 S. Alamo, San Antonio TX 78210, 210-226-0965

Intoxication/DWI Offenses
OverviewKnow Your Rights

1. Right to Remain Silent

You have a right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions that a police officer asks you during a DWI encounter. You are being videotaped. Everything you say and do could potentially be seen by a jury deciding your fate.

2. Breath and Blood Tests

You have a right to refuse blood and breath tests offered to you by law enforcement. You are not required to blow into the hand-held device that some officers now carry. This hand-held device has not met the criteria required to be admissible in court. There is no criminal penalty for refusing a blood or breath test. There is a potential driver’s license suspension for refusal to provide a “breath specimen.” If you elect to refuse, do so politely. Remember, you are being filmed.

3. Possible Suspension of Driver’s License

These days, an arresting officer is legally authorized to literally take your license away from you at the station because he suspects you are Driving While Intoxicated. He is required to issue you a Temporary Driving Permit. In the slew of papers you receive upon release from jail, there is a form that attempts to explain that you have a right to a hearing regarding the suspension of your driver’s license. YOU OR YOUR LAWYER MUST REQUEST THIS HEARING WITHIN 15 DAYS OF YOUR ARREST DATE or the hearing is waived and your license will be suspended automatically. This hearing can be invaluable in the litigation of your case.

4. The Right to a Jury Trial

You have a right to a lawyer, a jury trial and a presumption of innocence. You are innocent UNLESS proven guilty. For many individuals accused of D.W.I., this experience is the first with the legal system. There is no guarantee of probation after a jury trial, but most misdemeanor D.W.I. cases result in probation, even after jury trial. You and your lawyer should approach your case as one that needs to be tried. Each case must be assessed individually, of course. But, the D.W.I. defendant is uniquely situated in the world of criminal law. D.W.I. is an opinion crime and many times a jury of one’s peers is required to sort out fact and fiction.

Star Border
Bexar County Courthouse