DWI Lawyer in Houston
Defending Clients in Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) cases throughout Houston
Each DWI case is different, but there are always a few constant things to always be aware of.
#1 Drivers License
When you get picked up for DWI, regardless if you've been convicted or not, you have two immedaite issues to address. First, you'll have to bail yourself out, hire an attorney, and fight your case in criminal court. Second, you'll have to request an administrative license revocation hearing with DPS (ALR hearing.) You only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to do this, otherwise, your license will be suspended "administratively." The amount of time that your license will be suspended depends on your case and criminal history. Once your suspension is over, you'll have to pay surcharges to get your license reinstated.
#2 DWI Criminal Case
When you bail yourself out, you'll get a court date. This is where you'll fight your case. You have two options - Go to Trial or Plead Guilty. If you go to trial, you'll have 6 jurors if it's a misdemeanor, or 12 if it's a felony (You may also elect to have a judge trial instead of a jury trial). If you decide to take a plea, you'll be given either jail time, probation, or a combination of both. Probation will ussually consist of community service hours, DWI classes, drug tests, and fines. If you plead guilty, you'll have a final conviction on your record, forever. In Texas, you can not get an "order of non disclosure" or "seal" your record if you get a final conviction. (In some counties, like Harris, first time offenders are sometimes offered a "Pre-Trial Diversion." This type of plea deal will allow you to expunge your record when you have satisfied all your conditions of probation.)
If you plea guilty, or get a Guilty Verdict, your license will be suspended by "conviction." The term of the suspension will vary depending on your case and criminal history.
#3 Occupational Drivers License
If you get your license suspended "administratively" or "upon conviction," you'll need an occupational drivers license (ODL). An ODL will allow you to drive to and from work, or school, or home. The amount of time and conditions placed upon your driving will vary depending on what judge you are set to appear in front of. ODL's are given at the discretion of the judge. You will need to get SR-22 insurance prior to your appearance.
And the end of your suspension you'll have to pay surcharges to DPS to get your license back.
#4 Complete Refusal, Breath, Blood
How you prepare your case will depend on whether you case is a complete refusal, breath test, or blood draw. It will also depend on how you look on any field sobriety video. If your case is a breath or blood case, you can expect it to cost a bit more to fight.
If you would like to discuss your case in private contact my office to set up an appointment.
Arrested for a Texas DWI?
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J. Vela to discuss your legal options today!