DWI/DUI arrests often start out as a minor traffic violation in the evening or early morning hours—you forgot to put on your seat belt, or you failed to signal before you changed lanes. These small violations give the officer who stopped you the opportunity to stop you and talk to you. If the officer smells alcohol on your breath, you will probably be asked to step out of the car and perform what are called “Field Sobriety Tests.” You will probably be on camera when you do these tests. Each test involves many small components, but if you do only two of these things in each test wrong, the officer will say you failed that test. Theses tests must be administered correctly to be valid.
Wade Russell is certified to administer Field Sobriety Tests, just as are the officers who perform these tests. He will review the recording of you doing the tests, and will able to tell you whether the tests were demonstrated properly to you before you started. He will also be able to tell you how well you did on the tests, aside from what the officer said in his report about how well you did. Most of the time, what the officer writes in his or her report does not match what is on the recording—you may have done much better than what is written in the report. If you come very close to performing the tests correctly, and if there are other signs that you don’t appear to be impaired, you have a good chance of having your case reduced, or in some case, dismissed.
DWI cases have many issues for your attorney to look at—did you really do something wrong while driving for the officer to legally stop you? Did you really have alcohol on your breath? Did you really fail the tests? Were the tests administered properly?
These are Felony charges that often stem from a person who was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and due to the influence of the alcohol or drugs, was involved in a collision resulting in death or injury to another person. This type of charge can also be filed if the driver was criminally negligent or broke traffic laws and was involved in a collision resulting in the death of a person. These cases involve many of the same issues as DWI cases, plus issues of causation leading to the death or injury to the person. Was the other person intoxicated? Who was made the mistake while driving that led to the accident? These charges, like DWI, do not require the State to prove that the person did the acts intentionally. Where a death has resulted, and drugs and/or alcohol are involved, the State only must prove that the person was intoxicated and caused the death of another by accident or mistake, by reason of the intoxication.
Here are just a few of the areas in which Wade Russell has experience and expertise:
Assault and Family Violence
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence case, you know the drill: Someone called 911 and the police rushed to your house separated you from the other person who was involved, and interviewed that person, and maybe interviewed you. Many of these interviews are done very quickly. Many times the person arrested was not interviewed at all. The police know that someone is going to be arrested if the caller reported an assault, because they have orders to keep the people involved separated. So, after a quick interview or two, you get arrested.
There is usually a lot more to the story than the police hear before they make the arrest. As an attorney, I make sure that I have heard all sides of the story in planning your defense. I also look for other issues: was the other person really a family member, or someone you dated? If you have been convicted of this before, the new charge will be filed as a Felony Assault Family Violence. Did you actually get convicted of a “family violence” charge last time—if not, it could help get your new charge reduced. Did the person really get assaulted—that is, did he or she really experience “pain.” These and other questions help me help you get the best result in your case.
Whether someone has been arrested after drugs are found in their car, or in their home, drug and marijuana charges often have issues in regard to the search. You have a right not to be searched unreasonably without a warrant. Mr. Russell has won a number of cases in the trial court and on appeal where the search was conducted illegally, or where there was no link between the person arrested and the drugs.
Mr. Russell’s first job in the Travis County District Attorney’s office was in the Public Integrity/Special Crimes Unit prosecuting all types of financial crime. He was also involved in investigating allegations against public officials. He then moved into the Motor Fuels Tax Fraud Unit prosecuting motor fuels tax fraud cases. As a defense attorney, he has successfully defended a number of persons accused of financial crimes.
Wade has successfully represented, and defended at trial, clients charged with serious felony offenses–from murder, sexual assault, on down to felonies such as intoxication assault, felony DWI-3rd offense, and many State Jail Felony charges. His work since 1984 as a misdemeanor, felony and white collar, prosecutor, and as a public defender and criminal defense attorney, have given him a wide-range of experience in understanding what type of defense is needed in each type of case presented.