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FAQ - A Houston DWI Attorney

When should I get an attorney after being arrested for a DWI?

Immediately. You only have 15 days to file for an administrative license review with the DMV or your license will be automatically suspended.

What is BAC?

Blood Alcohol Concentration is a non-biased way to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s system. Note that this does not measure a person’s actual intoxication as some people have higher tolerances to the effects of alcohol than others.

How do I avoid a DWI?

Easy, do not drink and then drive. Walk or use a designated driver. If you do get pulled over after drinking, it is generally a good idea to refuse all chemical tests.

Do I have to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test?

Legally, you are required to take a chemical test if suspected to be driving drunk. However, if you are tested with over a BAC 0.08%, you will be arrested and charged with a DWI and there will be chemical evidence against you. If you do not take the chemical test, you will still be arrested for a DWI, but there will be no evidence other than officer testimony. If you believe yourself to have over a 0.08% BAC, it is generally best to decline a chemical test.

Can I get a DWI if I’m not driving a car?

Yes. In Texas, a vehicle can be defined as a bicycle, an ATV, even a horse. If you are drinking and operating anything that can be used on the road, you can be charged with a DWI.

I was driving under the influence of drugs, not alcohol. Will I still be charged with a DWI?

Yes. Driving While Intoxicated by Drugs is also illegal and will result in the same charges. In addition, you may be charged with drug possession, if applicable.

Can I fight a DWI?

Absolutely. In fact, we highly recommend you do. Breathalyzers are commonly inaccurate and fighting your charges cannot make charges more severe.

Are breathalyzers accurate?

No. Despite their wide-spread use, these devices are frequently incorrect! Eating, burping or vomiting before a test can all result in a higher BAC, meaning you could be over the limit according to the test, when you are actually legally ok to drive. A good Houston DWI attorney can dispute these results in court and may be able to get your conviction dropped or obtain a not-guilty verdict.

Will I go to jail?

Your first DWI conviction will frequently not result in jail time, as long as there were no major injuries involved with the arrest. You may receive between 72 hours and 180 days in jail though. Subsequent offenses will almost always result in jail time.

If I get a DWI, will I lose my license?

Yes. Even first-time DWI convictions will result in six to twelve months of license suspension. You may be able to obtain a special license that will allow you to drive between your home and work during this period.

What other punishments might I face for my first DWI?

You will receive a criminal conviction that will remain on your record, even if you receive probation. You may be fined between $2,000 and $5,000. You will most likely be required to use high-risk insurance, SR-22, on your vehicle for the next two years. This type of insurance is much more expensive than typical insurance rates. You may be required to attend DWI education class. You will be expected to complete a minimum of 24 hours community service.

What must be proved to find me guilty in a DWI trial?

For a jury to find you guilty, a prosecuting attorney will need to prove you are who the officer pulled over and that you were operating a vehicle in public while your BAC was above 0.08% due to the use of alcohol or drugs.

Does the Administrative License Review affect my DWI criminal case?

No. The proceedings in your ALR will be independent from what happens in your criminal case. Even if your ALR goes fine, the judge in your criminal case may order your license to be suspended from six months to a year. Similarly, if you lose your license in the ALR but receive a not guilty verdict, you will not have your license automatically reinstated.

What rights do I have as a defendant?

You have the right to remain silent –and never forget this. You have the right to a speedy trial by jury, with a lawyer of your choosing. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to a court-appointed attorney. You also have the right to not testify against yourself.

What should I expect from my lawyer?

First of all, do not expect your Houston DWI lawyer to be able to clear you of all charges. Any attorney will try to obtain these results, but they are not possible every time. If an attorney guarantees your charges will be dropped, run.

When you hire an attorney, he or she should perform a full investigation of your case, then prepare a strong defense in light of what evidence he or she has churned up. If any of your rights were violated in the process of the arrest, your attorney can use those to your advantage, resulting in evidence being suppressed from the trial, or occasionally, the whole case to be dropped. Additionally, your lawyer should be prepared to aggressively question the state’s witnesses to challenge the validity of their observations about your behavior.

What sort of rights violations can occur in a DWI arrest?

First, the officer had to have a good reason to pull you over. Then he or she must have had probable cause to search your vehicle or to arrest you. Additionally, you should have been read your rights when you were arrested. If any of these situations were not the case in your arrest, your rights were violated.

Can I get my case dismissed if no one told me the Miranda rights?

Generally, a case will not be dismissed solely because the officer failed to read your rights. However, this evidence can be used by your defense lawyer as proof of an officer’s failure to uphold your constitutional rights. Additionally, any statements you make during an interrogation without being read your rights cannot be used against you in trial.

Contact a Houston DWI Lawyer

If you have further questions contact our Houston DWI law firm to speak with a skilled lawyer about your case. We provide a free initial consultation.

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