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Is it Legal to Refuse a DWI Field Sobriety Test in Texas?

Yes, you may legally refuse to take a field sobriety test in Texas. In our opinion, based on decades of experience handling DWI cases, you should refuse.

How Field Sobriety Tests Are Usually Conducted

When an officer pulls you over and suspects you may be driving while intoxicated, the investigation begins with the officer’s observations. They look for bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and the smell of alcohol.

Officers usually also ask some innocent-sounding questions like, “Where are you headed tonight” or “Had anything to drink tonight?”

If the officer thinks more investigation is needed, they may ask you to step out of the car. You should always obey this instruction; do not refuse to get out of your car, and keep your hands where the officer can see them.

Once you’re out of the car, the officer will probably say they’re “going to do a couple of tests to make sure you’re okay to drive.” Officers use lines like this to get drivers to submit to field sobriety tests without directly asking them to consent to the test.

They hope you’ll just go along with it. Even though the officer acts as though you must take the tests, you are not legally obligated to take them. If the officer tries to start a field sobriety test, you should politely decline.

How to Politely Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Texas

As soon as the officer asks you to stand on one leg, walk in a straight line or wants to test your eyes, that’s the point where you should refuse. But you should not be argumentative or belligerent about it.

Don’t raise your voice. Don’t tell the officer the tests are junk and you’re too smart for them. Remember, the officer’s body camera is recording all the audio and video of the incident.

Instead of getting aggravated, simply inform the officer that you’re choosing not to take any field sobriety tests. Calmly saying something like, “Officer, I understand I have the right to refuse these tests, and I am exercising that right.”

Can I Refuse Breath and Blood Tests in Texas?

Yes, you have the right to refuse any requests for breath and blood tests. Once you refuse, the officer must obtain a search warrant to administer the test. If the officer does get a warrant, don’t fight the blood draw. Allow your blood to be taken.

You will likely be transported to jail, then to a hospital where blood is drawn, then back to jail. A bond will be set, or you might be released on personal recognizance.

Will You Get Arrested for Refusing to Perform Field Sobriety Tests?

The officer might arrest you for DWI after you refuse the tests, but they’ll be arresting you because they think they have enough evidence without the tests. They cannot arrest you simply because you refuse to take the tests; refusal itself is not a crime. However, your driver’s license can be suspended for 180 days if the officer arrests you.

Contact Our Fort Worth DWI Defense Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Arrested for drunk driving? Call a Fort Worth DWI lawyer at Lee & Wood, LP at 817-678-6771 or email us as soon as possible. We handle DWI cases in Tarrant County, Dallas County, Denton County and all surrounding areas.

Possible Defenses in Domestic Violence Cases

In Texas, crimes involving family violence often carry harsher punishments than identical acts of violence committed against a non-family member. This is one reason finding an experienced defense lawyer is crucial for anyone accused of domestic violence (also called DV or “assault family violence” in Texas).

You can be charged with a domestic violence or family violence crime if you allegedly threatened to harm or did physically harm to:

  • Your current or former spouse
  • The parent of your child
  • Your foster child
  • A relative by blood, marriage or adoption
  • Any current or former co-residents (such as a roommate, even if the roommate is not related to you)
  • Your current or former dating or romantic partner

Examining Some Possible Defenses to Texas DV Charges

Texas recognizes several different crimes of domestic violence, including domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, domestic assault impeding breath, and continuous violence against the family.

No matter what exact charge you face, it’s important to explain all the facts to your lawyer so they can develop the strongest possible defense strategy for you. Depending on the facts, your attorney may decide to pursue any of several defenses:

  • No bodily injury: Does the prosecutor have evidence to prove that the alleged victim suffered an injury? Prosecutors are not required to provide photos or medical records, but it’s hard to prove DV cases without them. Without such objective evidence of bodily injury, the prosecutor’s case mostly relies on the alleged victim’s word.
  • No criminal intent: Prosecutors must prove you acted intentionally. Often, alleged victims initially claim they were abused or assaulted, but later, when things calm down, they make clear it was not intentional. If intent can’t be proven, your case could be dismissed.
  • Affidavit of non-prosecution (ANP): This is a victim’s written statement that they don’t want the case to go forward. While ANPs are viewed skeptically and prosecutors can move forward despite an ANP, they can still be useful if the victim includes evidence that no crime occurred. An ANP may be used to establish reasonable doubt, putting you in a better position to get a favorable outcome.
  • Witness credibility: Does the alleged victim’s statement make sense, or are there inconsistencies in it? Perhaps it contradicts other evidence from videos, photos or testimony of other witnesses. Perhaps the victim had a reason to lie or wanted to accuse you of DV out of hatred or spite. 

These are just a few possible ways a qualified Dallas-Fort Worth DV defense lawyer might be able to defend you. Other tactics and strategies may be available, depending on the specifics of your situation.

Get a Free Consultation with a Fort Worth Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

If you’re accused of domestic violence or family violence, reach out to the defense attorneys at Lee & Wood, LP as soon as possible. Call 817-678-6771  or send us an email to schedule a free consultation. We handle cases in Tarrant County, Dallas County, Denton County and all surrounding areas.


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How Domestic Violence Affects Gun Ownership Rights in Texas

Our law firm represents many hunters and other gun owners, and we know how important firearms ownership is to many Texans. We also defend clients accused of domestic violence, doing our best to help clients fight back against false accusations. 

These two areas of law—domestic violence and firearms rights—intersect. Specifically, certain state and federal laws can limit your ability to own or possess firearms if you are convicted of certain domestic violence charges.

The Basics of Domestic Violence and Gun Rights

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. However, like all rights, there are limits. The Supreme Court ruled long ago that the government can prohibit people who were convicted of domestic violence (DV) from possessing guns. 

Specifically, under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, people who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in either state or federal court are usually prohibited from possessing firearms. Courts have upheld this restriction numerous times, finding that it is a reasonable interpretation of the Second Amendment.

The federal law restricting firearm ownership automatically applies to anyone convicted of domestic violence in state court and anyone who is subject to a DV-related protective order.

Firearms Restrictions While Subject to a DV Protective Order

If you have received notice of a DV protective order issued against you in Texas or another jurisdiction, you will be prohibited from possessing firearms. The prohibition lasts as long the order remains in effect, and the prohibition is effective for both final and temporary protective orders.

In addition to losing your right to possess a firearm, your concealed carry license can be suspended while you are the subject of a DV protective order.  

Defense Against DV Charges is Critical

To reduce the risk of losing your firearms rights when you are accused of domestic violence, you must quickly retain a defense team experienced in both Texas DV law and firearms law. Depending on the circumstances, the right attorney may be able to fight the DV charges and get you acquitted, thus preserving your freedom and your right to own a gun. 

Alternatively, it may be possible to negotiate a plea agreement that includes provisions allowing you to continue to own and use firearms. 

Contact Our Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Lee & Wood is a law firm dedicated to defending the freedom of Texans. We will do everything we can to keep you out of jail, have protective orders lifted, and preserve your constitutional right to bear arms. 

Find out how we may be able to help you by calling 817-678-6771, or you can contact us online and we’ll respond promptly. Your initial consultation is free. We serve clients in Fort Worth, Cleburne, Weatherford, and many other communities west of the DFW metroplex.

What Is Misdemeanor Assault in Texas?

Misdemeanor assault is one of the most commonly charged crimes in Texas. A whole range of behavior can fall into this broad category, from punching someone in a bar fight to threatening someone without actually touching them. In this article, the Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys of Lee & Wood explain the different types of misdemeanor assault and the possible penalties. 

Four Categories of Misdemeanor Assault

Section 22.01(a) of the Texas Penal Code outlines the conduct that could lead to misdemeanor assault charges.

1. Assault Bodily Injury

You can be accused of assault bodily injury (ABI) if you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to someone else. Texas defines bodily injury as physical pain, illness or physical impairment. The alleged victim does not have to experience severe pain; any amount of pain is enough. 

ABI is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted you could face up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

2. Assault Bodily Injury Against a Family Member

Assault bodily injury against a family member (ABI-FM) is the same as regular ABI, except the alleged victim is a member of your family or household. You can be charged with ABI-FM if the alleged victim is a:

  • Spouse or ex-spouse
  • Boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend
  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Any other person related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • Roommate 

ABI-FM is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $4,000. However, ABI-FM can rise to a felony if you have a prior domestic violence conviction or if the alleged assault involved choking a family member or the use of a weapon.

3. Assault by Contact

You could be charged with assault by contact if you allegedly created contact with someone else, intentionally or knowingly, that is reasonably offensive or provocative. There is no bodily injury requirement, meaning you can be charged with assault by contact for actions such as spitting on someone or poking them in the chest. The victim doesn’t need to be hurt. 

Assault by contact is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $500. There is no jail time.

4. Assault by Threat

Assault by threat is defined as intentionally or knowingly threatening someone with imminent bodily injury either verbally or nonverbally. The key word is “imminent.” You likely cannot be convicted of this crime for saying something like “I’m going to kill you one of these days.” But, you could possibly be convicted if you said “I’m going to kill you,” while walking menacingly toward the person.

Assault by threat is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. No jail time is possible. However, if you threaten someone while holding a weapon, you could be facing a second degree felony charge, which is extremely serious and could lead to up to 20 years in prison.

Get a Free Consultation With a Texas Assault Defense Lawyer

The attorneys of Lee & Wood have decades of experience defending people against misdemeanor assault charges in Fort Worth, Weatherford, Granbury and all surrounding areas. We will analyze your case and do everything we can to protect your rights. Call 817-678-6771 or email us today. We offer free initial consultations.

When Do the Police Need a Warrant in Texas?

A warrant is a written order issued by a judge that gives the police the authority to arrest someone or to perform an act that upholds the law. Warrants are powerful documents that are often required, but there are some key exceptions when the police don’t need them.

Types of Warrants

To know when the police need a warrant, it’s important to understand that there is more than one kind of warrant. These different types of warrants allow the police to take different types of action. Here are some key types:

  • Arrest warrants: These warrants empower the police to arrest someone who is accused of a crime. An arrest warrant must identify the person to be arrested and name the crime that they allegedly committed.
  • Search warrants: These warrants empower the police to search a place for evidence of a crime. The place could be your home, the place where you work, your vehicle or your personal belongings. A search warrant must clearly state the place to be searched and the items to be seized.
  • Bench warrants: If you are found to be in contempt of court, a judge may order a bench warrant. There are many reasons a person could be found to be in contempt, but one of the most common is failure to appear at a hearing. If a judge orders a bench warrant, it gives the police the power to immediately arrest you and bring you before the judge to resolve the matter.
  • Blue warrants: In Texas, blue warrants are issued if a parolee has violated parole. There are many reasons that this could have happened, from failure to obtain employment to missing a meeting with your parole officer. 

Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement Under Texas Law

Warrants are not needed in all situations. A common exception is for “exigent circumstances.” This means that a reasonable person would look at the circumstances and believe that quick action was needed to stop physical harm to the police or someone else, to stop the destruction of evidence, or to prevent the suspect from escaping.

Another common exception is for a pat-down search when the police have probable cause to believe that a person is carrying a weapon. In that case, a warrant is not needed for the officer to do a limited search looking for the weapon.

Talk With a Criminal Defense Attorney to Protect Your Rights

If you think your rights were violated by illegal search and seizure, talk to a lawyer about your options. Your lawyer can examine the facts of your case and take action if your rights were violated. For a confidential consultation with the Fort Worth defense attorneys at Lee and Wood, LP, call 817-678-6771 or send us a message today.

What Happens if You Were Arrested, But Not Read Your Rights?

What happens if the police don’t read you your rights? Can charges against you be dropped? As experienced criminal defense attorneys, these are questions we hear from our clients fairly often. People hope they may be able to reduce the consequences they face because the police failed to follow procedure.

Know Your Miranda Rights

Before you understand what happens when your rights aren’t read, it’s important to know what your rights are. Commonly called your Miranda rights, these rights originate from a landmark 1966 Supreme Court case called Arizona v. Miranda. In the case, a suspect was held and questioned by the police for two hours before confessing to crimes he did not commit.

The case changed criminal procedure in the United States. The procedural changes were written down in the form of a Miranda Warning, which summarizes your Fifth and Sixth Amendment Constitutional rights. The warning has become familiar to almost everyone who has ever watched a detective show:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

Miranda Rights Are Only Required for Custodial Interrogation

Miranda v. Arizona changed criminal procedure by requiring the police to inform suspects of their rights. However, there are limits to this requirement. The police are only required to inform you of your rights “prior to interrogation” if your statement is to be used against you in court.

If the police were not interrogating you in custody—for example, if it was clear to you that you were free to go—then there was no requirement for them to read you your rights.

But even if you were not read your rights, those rights still exist. Even if the police don’t tell you that you can remain silent, it’s generally a good idea to exercise your right to remain silent other than to request an attorney.

A 2022 Ruling That Limits Miranda Lawsuits

Until fairly recently, some people who had their un-Mirandized statements used against them in court were able to file lawsuits under 42 U. S. C. §1983 for violation of their Constitutional rights.

In June 2022, the Supreme Court held that a violation of Miranda rights does not provide the basis for this kind of lawsuit. Still, whether you were read your rights can be an important factor in the outcome of your criminal matter. The best way to protect yourself is to talk with an attorney.

Talk With a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

If you think your rights were violated, talk to an attorney about your options. Call 817-678-6771 or send a message for a confidential consultation with the Fort Worth defense attorneys at Lee and Wood, LP. 

What Happens if You’re Caught With Weed Edibles in Texas?

Whether it’s inhaled from a vape pen or consumed as an edible, it’s still illegal to possess THC in Texas. Anything that isn’t leafy marijuana is a criminal charge of felony drug possession. And if you share your edibles with friends, you can be charged with drug distribution. Here’s what happens if you are charged with possession of cannabis concentrates.

Texas Law on Weed Edibles

Weed edibles contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive component in marijuana. While it occurs naturally in marijuana, it’s also become an ingredient in many other products—from brownies to candy to gummies. You can see an incredible assortment at many high-end dispensaries, which are legal in other states.

While both contain the same psychoactive component, Texas law places marijuana and THC edibles in two different legal categories. Possession of fewer than four ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense. However, edibles are classified with other controlled substances and are subject to harsher penalties.

The Consequences of Getting Caught With Marijuana Edibles

If you are caught with weed edibles, you could be subject to charges that include:

  • Felony drug possession: Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116, people who possess less than one gram of a THC edible can face a state jail felony charge. For smaller amounts, a person can face between 180 days and two years in state jail. For larger amounts, a person can face between 15 and 99 years in prison. They may also face a maximum fine of up to $100,000.
  • Drug distribution: A person charged with drug distribution in Texas can face anywhere from 180 days in jail to a life sentence. They may also face fines up to $25,000.

What About Medical Marijuana?

Texans with certain medical conditions may qualify for the state’s Compassionate use program (CUP), which allows them access to medical marijuana. Certain physicians can prescribe low-THC cannabis for medical purposes, and qualifiers are limited to swallowing the prescribed dose.

CUP applies to people with the following medical conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Spasticity 
  • Seizure disorders
  • Terminal cancer 
  • An incurable neurodegenerative disease

If medical marijuana is legally purchased over the Texas border, such as from Colorado, you may still be charged with possession. In this case, you’ll need the help of a skilled lawyer to help you navigate the situation and prepare a strong defense.

Charged With Possession of Weed Edibles? We Can Help.

If you have been charged with a crime related to weed edibles, get help as soon as possible. Acting quickly gives your lawyer more time to act in your defense and protect your rights. To get started, call us today at 817-678-6771  or send us a message for a confidential consultation with the Fort Worth lawyers at Lee and Wood, LP. 


Is it Legal to Hunt and Kill Nuisance Animals in Texas?

For hunting enthusiasts, Texas is a great place to be, with several “no closed season” options for hunters. But does it include hunting and killing nuisance animals?

When owning land in Texas, it’s natural that you’ll come across nuisance animals. These are pesky critters and creatures that can wreak havoc on your land or are simply an irritation. So what can you legally do about the problem? Is killing or removing a nuisance animal a wildlife crime? Let’s find out what Texas law says in this helpful guide.

What Are “Nuisance Animals”?

Simply put, nuisance animals depredate or pose a threat to human health or safety. They may create a hazard for motorists or put housepets at risk. They may also trespass on property, make messes by tipping over garbage cans or destroy a lawn or garden.

There are many types of nuisance animals, including:

  • Raccoons
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Bobcat
  • Otter
  • Skunks
  • Badgers
  • Beavers
  • Mink
  • Muskrat

Texas Law on Fur-Bearing Nuisance Animals

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, landowners or their agents may take nuisance fur-bearing animals in any number by any means and at any time on that person’s land. There’s no need for a hunting or trapping license.

If you’d prefer to capture and relocate the animal instead of killing it, you can do so. To capture and relocate, you need to get authorization from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the owner of the property where the release will occur. 

You’ll also need to submit a monthly report on the number and kind of nuisance animals that you captured. Include the number, the location of the release site, and your name and address.

It’s important to know that no one except licensed trappers can take these animals or their pelts during their lawful open season and possession periods. It’s a crime (a Class C misdemeanor) to transport or sell live foxes, coyotes, or raccoons in Texas. It’s also a crime to take fur-bearing animals on land owned by someone else without that person’s consent. 

Why Is Knowing Texas Wildlife Law Important?

As a landowner, getting rid of nuisance animals is important. It will help keep your land pristine and help you avoid certain risks that these animals present. Knowing Texas wildlife law will help you do it safely and in the best interest of everyone. It will also protect you from potential legal issues.

If you kill and hunt nuisance animals incorrectly, you could run afoul of Texas hunting, fishing or wildlife laws. The consequences of a violation can be costly, including fines, loss of hunting licenses and even jail time.

Get Legal Assistance for Wildlife Crimes

Texas has an abundance of nuisance animals, and it can be difficult to know all the intricacies of wildlife law. The Fort Worth lawyers at Lee and Wood, LP. have extensive experience defending people against wildlife crimes, including those involving nuisance animals. If you have been accused of a wildlife crime or want to learn more, call us today at 817-678-6771  or send us a message for a confidential consultation.


What to Do If You’re Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence

There are many reasons why individuals may be falsely accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Perhaps your spouse is attempting to accuse you of violence to try and secure a better outcome during a divorce. Or, maybe the individual is simply angry and wants to “get back at you” by trying to damage your reputation.

Regardless of the reasoning, domestic violence is a serious allegation that could result in severe consequences. Keep reading to discover what you should do and avoid if you’ve been falsely accused.

Do This First: Reach Out to an Attorney

First, consider reaching out to a skilled criminal defense attorney, even if you have yet to be formally charged. An attorney will get to work on your defense quickly.

The consequences of a domestic violence conviction are serious in Texas. For example, you could be subjected to fines or several years in prison, depending on the severity of the charge. A conviction will also result in a criminal record that may keep you from getting a job and owning a firearm.

Avoiding these consequences when you didn’t commit the crime is the reason an attorney is critical to your case.

4 Things to Avoid After Being Accused of Domestic Violence

After being falsely accused, there are a few things you should avoid at all costs:

  1. Contacting the accuser: If you can, do your best to avoid communicating with your accuser. This may allow them to make further accusations. Instead, allow your attorney to handle any communication that’s required.
  2. Talking about the accusation on social media: Another way to exacerbate the issue is by sharing it on social media. Remember, everything you say can be used against you. So, refrain from speaking about the accusation on Facebook or any other platform.
  3. Speaking with law enforcement: You have a right to remain silent. Before you speak to law enforcement, reach out to an attorney who can advise you on what to say and what to avoid sharing.
  4. Failing to gather evidence: If there’s any evidence that can be used in your defense, gather it. Evidence can include anything from text messages to photos.

Call Lee & Wood, LP for Support

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you must reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Lee & Wood, LP are here to support you during this time. Reach out to us today by calling 817-678-6771 or send us a message.

Common Wildlife Crimes in Texas

In Texas, wildlife and the land that our animals call home are highly protected. Many laws and regulations exist for hunting, fishing and other activities. Unfortunately, wildlife crimes are still quite common in our state. Here, we dive into the basics of these crimes, including common violations and consequences.

Common Wildlife Crimes in Texas

Many wildlife crimes are committed throughout our state each year. In some cases, these crimes are committed willingly. In other cases, these crimes are committed by individuals who simply don’t know Texas law.

Some examples of common wildlife crimes include:

  • Hunting or fishing without a license or permit
  • Lying about your information to obtain a license or permit
  • Hunting endangered species
  • Purposeful destruction of wildlife
  • Trespassing on private property to hunt or fish
  • Illegal use of a motor vehicle while hunting or fishing
  • Hunting or possession of out-of-season wildlife
  • Failure to tag game properly
  • Weapons violations

What Are the Consequences of a Wildlife Crime?

Wildlife crimes are taken seriously in Texas. There are various consequences you may be subject to if you are found guilty of a violation. For example, you may be subject to a fine or may need to pay restitution to the state.

Depending on the severity of the wildlife violation, this could cost you thousands of dollars. You may also have your fishing or hunting licenses permanently revoked.

In other severe cases, jail time isn’t off the table. For example, a felony charge may result in a fine of up to $10,000 and two years in jail.

The best way to prevent a violation is to increase your knowledge of Texas law. For example, you can check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife resources for information on the specific regulations involving wildlife.

Accused of a Wildlife Crime? Consider an Attorney.

If you’ve been accused of a wildlife crime by a game warden, conservation officer, or someone from the Department of Natural Resources, you’ll need the help of a skilled attorney. An attorney can help protect your rights in court and, in some cases, may be able to minimize the consequences.

Reach Out to Lee & Wood, LP Today

Have you been accused of a wildlife crime in Texas? We can help you. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have years of experience working with clients just like you. To discuss your case with a qualified attorney, give us a call at 817-678-6771 or send us a message.