Once again a Texas prosecution team is facing scrutiny over their practices involving testing samples in DWI cases. This time the case comes out of Garland where it was revealed that a lab tech made a mistake that will have lasting consequences for a number of people. It also underscores the fact that this system we rely on to prove innocence and guilty is indeed fallible, if not increasingly mistaken.
This particular error took place in the Texas Department of Public Safety of a Dallas suburb. The accusation is that the tech involved mixed up two different samples from two different cases. What resulted was a woman accused of having a blood-alcohol content of twice the legal limit when in fact she had not been drinking at all.
For anyone involved in the criminal justice system this should be a major wake up call. For those accused of a DWI or other crime, it should be a lesson in why putting on a vigorous defense is so important. In fact, this mistake may never have come to light if the defense attorney in the case did not aggressively cross examine the prosecution witnesses over the procedures used to test samples and report results.
To understand what happened here, it is important to understand what this overall process is like. In a large department like Dallas and its suburbs there can be thousands of cases ongoing at any point in time. Many of those cases involve some sort of evidence that needs to be tested by a lab, and those samples get rolled in and rolled out by volume. So it is easy to understand why in a situation involving thousands of pieces of evidence, there can be mistakes with lasting and harmful consequences.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
This scenario, and those like it, is just another example why the principle of innocent until proven guilty is so important. This case goes to show that in every case there many and different ways to challenge the evidence put forth in a case. In fact that is the job of a defense attorney, investigate the facts and challenge the evidence of the prosecution.
DWI is one of those charges that, even more than others, results in a presumption not of innocence, but guilt. This is thanks to the endless public information campaigns condemning drinking and driving, and the assumption that when the police make an arrest pursuant to DWI, that the case is over. But nothing could be further from the truth.
There many different ways that charges of DWI can be defended by a zealous and talented defense team. The laws of this state and Constitution of the U.S. guarantee each person charged with a DWI due process and fairness under the law. But those laws and protections cannot be advanced unless you have the right defense team defending your charges.
At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm our team of DWI defense professionals dedicates our practice to defending those charged with DWI. This means investigating the facts, pursuing every possible defense, and making the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are facing DWI charges, contact us today.