Austin DWI No Refusal is not news anymore. Last week, City of Austin officials announced they would enforce APD No Refusal policies each weekend through September. This sounds like an aggressive policy shift, but in reality, No Refusal policies have essentially become the way of normal business. In my experience, if stopped by an APD officer on the DWI Unit, No Refusal is the name of the game, not the exception. I routinely receive calls from prospective clients arrested in the middle of the week who were subject to a No Refusal type search warrant for their blood.
To summarize the policy, if you are pulled over, subsequently arrested for DWI, the arresting officer will request a sample of your blood or breath. You will be read a “Statutory Warning” and then asked to submit. This all occurs POST ARREST, only after you have been arrested. You do not have to give a specimen. No Refusal, a misnomer, means the officer will try to obtain a search warrant that permits him to forcibly draw blood. Warrants are not guaranteed. In the event a warrant is procured, you have the ability to challenge the officer’s “probable cause” in court. This controversial policy spread almost statewide beginning about 8-10 years ago. Travis County has magistrates on duty at the jail 24 hours a day, every day, all year round.
This is another reminder that you are always permitted to refuse breath or blood. No Refusal does not mean that your blood will be taken automatically. It is simply a policy that directs arresting officers to seek a search warrant if the arrestee refuses. In most cases, the officer may not take your blood without your consent or without a search warrant.
See my No Refusal blog for more info, and if you have any questions about these policies, or need to speak to an attorney, please contact me immediately.
Theft is a common offense in Austin, and it has lifelong potential consequences. The offense itself involves unlawfully appropriating property of another with intent to deprive the owner. The statutory language is very broad. It can be anything from shoplifting to not paying for your uber. The degree of the offense, or level of misdemeanor/felony status depends on the amount in controversy, and the presence of any prior convictions. In 2015, the Texas Legislature redefined the classifications. Anything less than $100 is a class C misdemeanor, a citation. That means it’s punishable by a fine only, no jail time. Between $100 and $750 is a class B misdemeanor. This carries up to 6 months in jail and a $2000 fine. $750 to $2500 is a class A misdemeanor. Anything over $2500 is in felony territory.
Obviously, a felony theft charge is a terrible position to be find yourself. But even a conviction on a class C theft ticket can be life changing. Theft is what is commonly referred to as a crime of moral turpitude. Crimes of moral turpitude also include things like prostitution and perjury. People with these convictions are branded as dishonest, and unreliable. Legally, it may become extremely difficult to secure a loan, or a lease, or ever testify in court if you have a crime of moral turpitude conviction.
If you’re charged with Theft, you must have a lawyer that can explain all these nuances to you. Call me, and let me get this off your record as quick as possible.
Effective September 1, 2015, a new Texas law makes it easier for many people to get their criminal record or arrests sealed. If you have ever been arrested, and completed a deferred adjudication, this law may apply to you. …
No Refusals on every notable holiday have become the norm for Austin and the surrounding area. This year is no different. The initiative began at 9am this morning and runs through Sunday evening on the roads and the lakes. Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) arrests are just as common as DWI arrests this time of year. …