Houston DWI Lawyer
About Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Charges in Houston, TX
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), the steps you take now may have a direct impact on your right to drive, your freedom and your future. Understanding more about these cases and what evidence may be used against you can help you make the right choices. If you are seeking to learn more about DWI or have been arrested and are in need of legal counsel, you will find helpful information on this website. Feel free to review the topics listed below, or contact a Houston DWI lawyer at our firm for a confidential consultation.
DWI / DUI
The state of Texas takes criminal charges of drunk driving extremely seriously. Per state law, if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you will be facing penalties that include jail time, monetary fines and even attendance at the MADD Victim Impact Panel. For this reason, it is crucial that you get legal assistance in protecting your legal rights.
Facing one criminal charge is serious enough, but should you find yourself facing another charge when you have prior convictions, you will be facing elevated and enhanced penalties. At our firm, we know what is at stake with situations of this nature and we are prepared to go above and beyond in our efforts to provide high-quality and aggressive protection when it really counts.
In some cases, depending on the circumstances, a criminal charge of DWI could be tried as a felony. Circumstances that could warrant a felony charge include having three or more charges within a ten year period, should injury or death result from the drunk driving or if you had a child passenger under the age of 15 at the time of the arrest.
For those who have been arrested for a DWI, it is important to recognize that you will not only be dealing with criminal charges, but will also be facing a civil case. Known as the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing, this will be held before the state's Administrative Law Judges and will deal with the nature of their driver's license suspension – not the guilt of drunk driving.
The state of Texas has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking – especially should drunk driving become involved. In fact, should you be caught with any traces of alcohol in your system and be under the legal drinking age, you will be facing stiff penalties. Even if you have a BAC as low as 0.02 percent, the penalties can still be severe.
Occupational Driver's License
Following a driver's license suspension that stemmed from a DWI conviction, you will find yourself able to receive a special, restricted license known as an Occupational Driver's License (ODL). This allows for you to be able to drive under special circumstances – for example, should you need to drive to work and to school. To request this type of license, you will need to file a formal petition.
Unlawful Traffic Stops
It is important that you understand that police officers must have probable cause before pulling you over- this could include that you were speeding, that your car had a taillight out, that you rolled through a stop sign, or committed another traffic infraction. An officer cannot pull somebody over under a blind whim that the motorist could be drunk, there must be substantiated evidence. If you were unlawfully stopped and your car was illegally searched, our firm could file a motion to suppress and your case could be dismissed!
Field Sobriety Tests
As a form of preliminary alcohol screening, many police officers will conduct what is known as field sobriety tests. These come in many different forms, but are often there to test the cognitive, listening and motor skills of those who are tested. Unfortunately, these can be highly subjective and left up the discretion of the arresting officer.
Breath and Blood Tests
Another type of chemical test that is often done to determine the level of alcohol in a defendant's system is that of breath and blood tests. Both of these are commonly used and are a common factor in DUI arrests. They, however, are not the final nail in the coffin of a case. If you would like to learn more about what can be done to help with challenging this type of evidence, call us today.
Challenging DWI Evidence
We know how to effectively challenge the evidence in a case of driving while intoxicated, even when you were caught with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. An attorney from our firm may be able to prove that the breath and blood test results are unreliable, or that the field sobriety tests you took were prejudiced against you. It may even be possible to have the evidence suppressed.
Driver's License Surcharges
Beyond the penalties of incarceration, someone who has been criminally charged with DWI will also face surcharges on a yearly basis. For a first time offense, there will be annual fines of $1,000 for about three years – this will be elevated to $1,500 for a second offense.
Driving with Suspended License
If you are convicted of driving with a suspended license, in the state of Texas it is a misdemeanor. The first time you are convicted of driving with a suspended license the penalties are typically not jail time, rather they consist of additional monetary fines and a longer license suspension.
Being convicted for drunk driving has serious consequences regardless of who you are. This, however, is never truer than in cases where you make your living as a professional truck driver. The possibility of losing your commercial license, paired with the lower threshold, makes any sort of criminal charge in relation to a DWI extremely serious.
Drugs & DUI
Not all criminal charges of DUI are in relation to driving while intoxicated. In fact, many cases deal with being under the influence of illegal drugs and controlled substances. The state of Texas takes drugged driving very seriously and those convicted will find themselves facing life-altering and serious penalties.
Ready to learn more? Ask a Houston DWI attorney.
At The Martinez Law Firm, we are fully dedicated to providing each client with the highest level of service and legal representation possible. We challenge DWI charges for drivers throughout the Houston area, using our resources and experience to seek the best outcome in every case. Because we are led by a former prosecutor, we have the ability to build even more effective defense strategies based on an understanding of how the "other side" thinks and works. Put your case in capable hands – contact a Houston DWI attorney at our firm today.