Pleading guilty to DWI in Houston can result in severe, costly and long-term repercussions. A DWI conviction in Houston could mean a criminal record for life, lengthy suspension of one’s driver’s license and even incarceration.
A first conviction for DWI is a Class “B” misdemeanor with a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. A second DWI is a Class “A” misdemeanor that carries with it a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of one year in jail, along with a $4,000 fine. Anyone convicted of DWI for a third time faces a minimum of two years in jail, a maximum of 10 years in jail, a $10,000 fine and a third degree felony on his or her criminal record.
The Texas Legislature recently imposed an additional penalty for a misdemeanor DWI in Houston or anywhere else in Texas; anyone with a misdemeanor DWI conviction will have to pay a $1,000 surcharge per year for three years following the conviction to keep his or her driver’s license.
Overwhelming Odds against Arrestees of DWI in Houston
Anyone arrested for DWI in Houston who is without an attorney is up against overwhelming odds even before going to trial. A mere refusal to take a breathalyzer test, for example, results in an automatic 180-day suspension of his or her driver’s license under the state’s Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law. The arrestee has to hire an attorney and request an ALR hearing within 15 days of the arrest to block the suspension.
Moreover, officers frequently feel pressured to make DWI arrests due to unwritten quotas set by many police departments for DWI offenses. Official quotas for traffic offenses are prohibited by law so they are typically implied internally within a police department. Such implied quotas often lead to bad stops and bad arrests. Attorneys can uncover hidden quotas through the subpoena of internal memorandums or cross examination of law enforcement officers, and these can result in the dismissal of the charge or, at the very least, sway a jury to acquit.
Dismissal or acquittal of a charge of DWI in Houston frees the arrestee from any loss of income, freedom or suspension of driver’s license. As a former assistant district attorney and chief prosecutor for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Houston DWI lawyer Clyde Burleson knows exactly how the prosecution thinks and is aware of the DWI policies and procedures of local law enforcement agencies. To avoid costly penalties and jail time for DWI, contact Clyde Burleson or call 713-628-1503