The Law in Texas against Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are strict – perhaps the harshest of any state in the U.S. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD) is a very powerful organization that exerts an immense amount of pressure to increase DWI arrests among law enforcement. Strict penalties upon a conviction are usually imposed. As well, many of the counties in Texas have a firm policy against any type of plea bargain (i.e. reducing the DWI charge to a lesser offense, such as "Obstruction of a Passageway" or "Reckless Driving").
If you are reading this and seeking the services of an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney, you are likely confused and have many questions about all of your options. While many people have been charged with DWI in the past (Former President George W. Bush, for example), for most people, it is entirely new experience. You are likely feeling overwhelmed, confused, and stressed.
The first proactive step is to face the reality of the charge. A DWI case must be handled by a defense attorney who will meet the demands that the situation requires – while also maintaining a respectful and professional attitude in court while handling the matter. Defending charges of DWI in a proper manner requires creativity, experience, and passion. Representing the accused against a charge of DWI is not for the general practitioner (the attorney who "dabbles"), the lazy, or the timid. DWI law are very specific, and it is a very technical area of the law. As such, it is a matter that should always be handled by someone with experience. Hiring the wrong attorney can do irreparable damage to your case, your life, and your freedom. In contrast, hiring the right attorney can mean the difference between a DWI conviction and an acquittal (being found "Not Guilty" at trial).
What Your DWI Attorney Should Do:
• Review any pertinent evidence related to your DWI case, including all police reports and videos associated with your arrest;
• Assess any strengths and weaknesses surrounding the circumstances of your DWI arrest;
• Help analyze the likelihood of prevailing should your case proceed to trial;
• Help analyze the various risks and rewards inherent in taking your case to trial'
• Give you an accurate understanding of the cumulative effects a DWI conviction will have on your life.
Questions Your Attorney Should Be Asking:
• What were your activities prior to the arrest?
• What type of alcohol were you consuming? How many? What kind? When was your first drink? Your last?
• What types of food had you consumed the day of your arrest?
• What was the overall behavior of the arresting officer?
• What reason did the arresting officer give you for initiating the encounter?
• When did the arresting officer ask you to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (the roadside tests)?
• Did you perform them? How do you feel you performed?
• What relevants statements, if any, did the arresting officer make?
• What statements did you make to the arresting officer?
• Was there a chemical test? If so, do you know the result?
• If it was a blood test, did they issue a warrant?
• Were there any witnesses surrounding this incident (passengers, other officers, etc.)?
• If you gave a breath specimen, did an officer observer you for 15 minutes prior to the taking of the sample?
• Did the officer promise, threaten, or try to coerce you in anyway to submit to a chemical test?
Questions to Ask Your Attorney:
• What portion of your practice is devoted to DWI Defense?
• What kind of training and experience have you received related to DWI Defense?
• How many DWI cases have you taken to trial?
• What are some recent cases you have tried and won? What were the issues presented that led to success?
• What will be the nature of the fees & costs? (Attorney fees are always going to vary based on the type of case and the jurisdiction of the proceeding, but remember, hiring the cheapest attorney is never advisable. That being said, a bad attorney can also be incredibly expensive);
• Are you a Certified Practitioner in NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing? (This means they have received the same training the police officers received at the academy. It is impossible to adequately represent someone without this knowledge);
• Are you a Certified NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor? (This means they are qualified to actually teach and instruct those seeking to become NHTSA Certified Practioners)
• Have you received any advanced training in DWI breath or blood cases?
• Do you have any advanced Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training?
• What are some possible ideas based on your experience that may help in defending my case against a conviction for DWI?
The laws in Texas upon conviction for DWI are incredibly steep. It is for this reason why a proper defense must be mounted to help assure you are placed on equal footing against the immense power of the state. If you have been arrested for DWI and are reading this, you are probably nervous with anxiety at what lies ahead. You are likely looking for answers and hope. While we cannot offer you a specific guarantee - I can offer only my utmost assurance that my office will do all that we can to advocate for you to protect your rights. Please call our office now at 214.702.CARL (2275) to get a thorough and professional review of your case.