Can You Beat a DWI in Houston, Texas?
It is possible to beat a DWI in Houston, Texas; however, it is nearly impossible to do it on your own. You will need the help of an experienced DWI attorney. Firstly, there are two separate cases associated with DWI arrest.
- Criminal – The charge against you, which is a Class B Misdemeanor for a first offense.
- Civil – The revocation of your driver’s license.
To beat a DWI in Texas, you need to beat both the criminal and the civil cases associated with DWI.
Beat a DWI Part 1. The Civil Case
When arrested for DWI, your driver’s license is taken from you and you are given a notice of suspension. To contest the suspension of your driver’s license, you must request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of receiving the notice.
While an ALR hearing is not the same as a criminal trial, it can seem like it. There are rules and procedures that only an experienced DWI lawyer will know. While the State holds the burden of proof in both cases, the burden is much lower for civil cases. The State must prove that you committed a DWI through evidence that shows a valid reason to stop you and to make an arrest. Additionally, having an ALR hearing can not only save your ability to drive, it may be the most important part of your DWI defense because it helps inform your criminal case.
Beat a DWI Part 2. The Criminal Case
- Fine: Up to $3,000
- Jail: 72 hours to 180 days in county jail
- License Suspension: 90 to 365 days
You may also be required to have an ignition interlock installed on your car, take alcohol education classes, and more. Clearly, you want to avoid all of this. So, how do you beat a DWI in Texas when arrested?
STEP 1 – Be Smart
If arrested for DWI, focus on two simple tasks;
- Remain silent
- Be on your best behavior
The more information you provide police the more they can use against you. They’ll even try to get you to open up through a number of strategies. Remember, they are not on your side. Be polite and professional, but be silent when it comes to any facts that may incriminate you.
This strategy also applies to social media or recounting the events of the night to friends. Police will search your social media for evidence and telling friends what happened only opens them up to being called as a witness which puts them in a no-win situation.
STEP 2 – Don’t Settle
While it is tempting to put the matter behind you and be accountable, this strategy is not a good idea.
- Do NOT plead guilty
- Do NOT accept a plea deal
In short, the court doesn’t care if you are a “stand up guy”, and they will prosecute you to the fullest extent if you give them that opportunity.
STEP 3 – Get Help
Hire an experienced DWI lawyer who knows your rights and will consider constitutionality of:
- The stop (Was there was reasonable suspicion to pull you over?)
- Administration of roadside tests (Ensuring the police administered the field sobriety tests properly)
- Probable cause to arrest (Was there cause to arrest you for drinking and driving)
- Miranda rights (Were they provided properly)
Additionally, an experienced DWI lawyer will also review tests that were done to be sure any specimen taken was handled, tested, and analyzed properly.
STEP 4 – Go to Court
An experienced DWI attorney will know how to cross-examine witnesses, including police officers and forensic specialists. Finding inaccuracies, contradictions, and other relevant information can be important to weaken the State’s case against you, and much of this can come out in the ALR Hearing mentioned earlier. Moreso, securing counter expert testimony can also be a key to beating a DWI in Houston, Texas.
Call Clyde W. Burleson, P.C. if You Need to Beat a DWI
To sum up, you need to hire an experienced DWI lawyer like Clyde Burleson if you want to beat a DWI charge. Call him at 713-628-1503. You only have 15 days to save your license by requested an ALR hearing so do not delay.