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Kyle Lowe, Criminal Defense Attorney

Kyle Lowe Criminal Defense/DWI Attorney

Licensed to practice law since 1993 in New Mexico, and since 1997 in Texas, Kyle Lowe has been trying cases for 16 years. His only focus is Criminal Law. Beginning his career as an Assistant District Attorney in New Mexico, Kyle quickly worked his way up to Deputy District Attorney and became the designated DWI Prosecutor for the office.

 

In his 5 years as a prosecutor Kyle tried more than 60 cases to juries to include the first State prosecuted wiretap conspiracy case in New Mexico history...

 

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Posts Tagged ‘austin dwi attorney’

And yet another DWI Acquittal for Austin DWI Attorney, Kyle Lowe

January 5th, 2011 by Kyle Lowe

Austin DWI Attorney, Kyle Lowe continued his streak of DWI acquittals on November 17th when a Williamson County jury acquitted his client of  DWI 2nd Offense.  A jury was impaneled on November 15th, 2010 in Williamson County Court of Law #2, Honorable Tim Wright presiding.  The case was prosecuted by the Chief of that court.

The facts of the case are as follows:  Client was stopped for speeding on RM 1431 near IH35 by a DPS Trooper.  The Trooper testified that said client was exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph at approximately 1:30 am.  The Trooper continued by stating the client believed she was traveling at 55 mph and when asked, she honestly did not know the exact time of day without looking at her watch.  The Trooper then stated that the client admitted having 2 beers within several hours, had slurred speech, exhibited ‘marked’ sway, unsteady gait and, after a HGN test (eye exam), showed intoxication.  The Trooper concluded his testimony by stating that the client constructively refused any other field sobriety and breath tests.  Upon cross examination by Kyle Lowe, the Trooper softened his statements regarding the client’s intoxication by stating that her speech was ‘only slightly slurred’ and that her ‘sway was not visible on the video’ due to the distance from the camera to the parties.  Further cross examination of the Trooper revealed that his HGN exam of her eyes was not in compliance with the standards set forth by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and that much of the evidence he used was not visible on camera.  The Trooper also revealed that the client’s ‘excited and emotional responses’ in the vehicle during transport to the county jail were ‘not unusual’ for DWI defendants who begin to realize that detention/incarceration is imminent.

The jury did not believe there was sufficient evidence to convict and unanimously acquitted the client of DWI, 2nd Offense.

Texas DWI: Ignition Interlock Laws to Expand?

October 29th, 2009 by Kyle Lowe

Two Texas DWI bills are currently before the Senate Committee. House Bill 4061 would effectively expand the criteria for mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in a vehicle. This device analyzes a driver’s breath sample and disables the vehicle ignition if the blood alcohol content (BAC) registers above a pre-set limit. Currently, Texas DWI law requires an ignition interlock for repeat DWI offenders and those who register a very high BAC at the time of arrest.

If this law passes, we would see a local impact of nearly double the number of motorists required to install an ignition interlock system if they are convicted of a DWI in Austin, Texas. All motorists convicted of a DWI in Texas, including first-time offenders, would be directed to do so, however, judges would be left with the discretion to find the interlock installation unnecessary.

The second DWI measure being considered would permit larger cities, such as Austin, Texas and highly populated counties, like Travis and Williamson County, to establish sobriety checkpoints.Overriding concerns abound with this measure such as racial profiling, inefficiency, and a perceived police state where motorists are stopped without reasonable cause.

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Austin, Texas or Travis and Williamson Counties, time is of the essence.Call Kyle Lowe, a seasoned Austin DWI Attorney with 16 years of DWI and Criminal Law experience.

The Psychology of a DWI Stop

June 10th, 2009 by Kyle Lowe

The psychology of a DWI stop is an incredibly subjective thing.  One might suggest that there is a predetermined decision in the mind of a police officer, based on the time of day, the locale, the proximity of the vehicle to local bars/nightclubs, or the prevalence of previous DWI arrests in the same area, that a driver pulled over for a traffic infraction in that same area will be assumed drunk before the police officer even approaches the vehicle.

According to an article written by Shorstein and Lasnetski, whether a DWI arrest is made is not based on concrete, objective factors that can later be confirmed in court; rather, the decision to arrest for DWI will often be based on the perceptions, observations, conclusions and biases of the police officer.  Just about every police officer that has made a DWI arrest since the beginning of time will report that the suspect had bloodshot and watery eyes, emitted a strong odor of alcohol, had slurred or mumbled speech and failed the field sobriety tests if the driver submitted to them.  However, those conclusions are all very subjective.  How bloodshot and watery were the driver’s eyes compared to what they normally look like? What if the driver was in a smoky bar or staring at a computer screen all day? How strong is a “strong odor of alcohol”? What is slurred speech compared to how a person normally speaks?  Over the entire  period of the police encounter, how often must the driver slur his/her speech for it to be considered significant? Is the speech slurred due to alcohol or because the person is nervous? How the officer interprets these questions is very subjective.

The word “bias” is not used negatively here but as a natural and normal psychological phenomenon- a cognitive bias, and it is a significant factor. The human brain is wired to see patterns and draw conclusions subconsciously. While we would hope that a police officer would come to a conclusion of driving while intoxicated only after assessing all of the relevant data, humans have a psychological tendency to draw the conclusion and fit the data to conform to that conclusion. The human brain is also wired to avoid conflict.  In other words,  if we believe something to be true,  (i.e. we see something we believe conforms to a pattern we assume exists), we challenge ideas or perceptions that are inconsistent with our belief and automatically accept ideas that are consistent with our belief.  The human brain is much happier when ideas and perceptions are consistent.

During a DWI stop in Austin, Texas, if a police officer believes the driver is under the influence of alcohol, (i.e. that is the idea he/she perceives as being consistent with the pattern he/she accepts), the officer may interpret the subsequent evidence to conform to that belief.  As a result, these subjective factors like bloodshot and watery eyes,  slurred speech, an odor of alcohol and performance on field sobriety tests may be interpreted to be consistent with the “idea” of a drunk driver rather than what the facts actually illustrate.

To simplify, a police officer may have observed people commit traffic violations late on the weekends who turned out to be driving drunk hundreds of times or more. That officer, as humans are prone to do, will start drawing conclusions based on that experience. The next time that officer pulls a driver over in similar circumstances, his/her brain relates back to prior drivers who were drunk. The pattern is established.  We can all relate to the idea that we like to be proven right and we do not like to be proven wrong. It is intellectually uncomfortable to draw a conclusion only to find out it was incorrect. The defense mechanism our brains use to avoid that state of cognitive discomfort forces our brain to see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear and assume what we want to assume to conform to our primary belief– that the driver is driving while intoxicated- even if the facts tell a different story.  It is a psychological phenomenon that cannot be denied.  As a result, the police officer fits this next potentially drunk driver into the pattern that has developed and may interpret the data from the DWI stop to conform to that pattern and his/her conclusions.

So, what should you do if you are pulled over by a police officer who suspects you of  DWI in Austin, Texas? You cannot fight the instinctual operation of the human brain. You can, however, limit the information you provide to the police officer that can be interpreted unfavorably against you.  After you give your name, license, insurance and/or registration, you can politely ask for an Austin DWI attorney in response to any further questions or requests.  Keep in mind that anything you say or do can and will be used against you, and when you are dealing with so many subjective factors that are involved in a typical DWI investigation, the less you say and do, the better.

If you need an experienced DWI lawyer in Austin, Texas or the surrounding communities, contact Kyle Lowe at 512-750-5693.