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What Are The Top 10 DWI Mistakes to Avoid After Arrest?

What Are The Top 10 DWI Mistakes to Avoid After Arrest?


Experience has shown that people charged with DWI often make some very common DWI mistakes that end up costing them far more time, money and inconvenience than needed. These include:

  • Assuming you’ll lose the case
  • Not taking the matter seriously:
  • Negotiating a quick plea bargain so you can put the entire situation “behind you.”

Don’t fall into these and other common traps. Call Clyde for a free consultation at 713-628-1503

DWI Mistake 1. Assuming you will lose the case


Many people believe that they have no chance of winning against a DWI charge. Perhaps they failed a breath test. Maybe the police got a warrant and drew blood. Perhaps they think no one will believe they were innocent because there was an open container of alcohol in the car. The truth is that the case against you may not be as solid as you think.

For example, did you know that many factors can affect the accuracy of both breath and blood tests? Scientific testing has shown that work conditions (such as volatile-chemical exposure), extensive dental work, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder (G.E.R.D.), airbag deployment, and even a simple fever can yield a “false high” breath-test result.

Additionally, breath tests must be performed under strict guidelines. Failure to comply with those guidelines makes the results of a field sobriety test questionable at best. In other words, breath tests may be thrown out of Court or explained away. Blood tests also must be performed under strict guidelines. Lab analysts are people, and people can make mistakes. For example, were you aware in 2019 thousands of blood vials were recalled by the manufacturer because of defects? Numerous cases were dismissed because of this. It takes an experienced DWI attorney to spot these issues and use them for your benefit.

DWI Mistake 2. Not fighting the automatic suspension of your driver’s license


Under Texas law, you have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing and fight to save your driver’s license. Failure to ask for this hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. There’s even more to consider if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL)!

Suspension Provisions for Adult Drivers

Without any prior alcohol or drug-related contacts against the accused driver during the previous 10-year period, the periods of suspension are as follows:

Age of Driver

Refusal Penalty Trans.Code §724.03

Failure Penalty Trans.Code §524.022

21 or older 180 days 90 days
Prior alcohol or drug contact w/in 10 years 2 Years 1 Year

DWI Mistake 3. Not taking the matter very seriously


Maybe the most common of all the DWI mistakes. Being charged with DWI is serious and the penalties should not be taken lightly.  Not only will you be criminally prosecuted, you also risk losing your driver’s license automatically for failing to request your hearing in time. Further, you could be facing probation, jail, fines, massive increases in your insurance rates, loss of your job and other collateral consequences. 

DWI Mistake 4. Not asking the attorney about her/his DWI experience


Every case is different. Different facts involve different provisions of the law. Friends and family may have had a similar experience, but the DWI laws change so frequently and the penalties have increased so severely, even for a first offense DWI,  that the options available to you may be entirely different from those of others. DWI cases involve complex laws and highly technical scientific evidence. You should not be afraid to ask how experienced your attorney is with DWI. You should also ask for the science behind the evidence to be explained to you.

DWI Mistake 5. Driving while your license is suspended


Driving during any suspension is another crime which will result in your arrest and a separate prosecution. Additionally, your license will be suspended again if convicted of this crime.

DWI Mistake 6. Negotiating a quick plea bargain so that you can “put this case behind you”


Accepting a plea, of any kind, is an admission of guilt and a complete waiver of your constitutional rights. It could lead to jail time and suspension of your license, which means you could lose your job, get behind on bills, and face thousands of dollars in state fees just so that you can drive again. It could lead to probation, which means that you will have to attend DWI education classes, perform community service, report monthly to a probation officer, pay thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, and state fees. Probation is a serious disruption of your life. Worse still, if you are caught violating your probation (example: testing positive for alcohol or getting behind on your community service), your probation can be revoked, and you could be sentenced to jail.

DWI Mistake 7. Not arriving to court on time


Harris County judges take their jobs seriously. They expect you to live up to every term and condition of your bail bond. If you fail to appear in Court on time, your bond can be forfeited, meaning you will lose the entire amount of the bond and will be jailed until a new bond is posted or until the time of your plea or trial.

DWI Mistake 8. Not hiring an attorney


DWI law is not a simple criminal case, and the DWI legal process is not easy to navigate. It involves civil law, criminal law, administrative law, traffic law and civil and criminal procedure. You are facing potential jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, Court costs and surcharges. Without a knowledgeable, experienced DWI attorney on your side, your ultimate fate is predictable. You will lose! A qualified DWI attorney can offer you the most choices for the best disposition of your case.

DWI Mistake 9. Choosing an attorney based solely on cost


The State of Texas has charged you with DWI. Our state has almost unlimited resources (attorneys, investigators, police, etc.) to prosecute you. You should expect to pay your attorney a fair fee based upon his or her time devoted to your case, his or her experience and his or her reputation. While DWI Lawyer costs vary, the costs associated with a DWI conviction can be extreme. If you choose the lowest price, you will probably receive the lowest amount of attention and expertise. You deserve the best possible defense. Don’t let money be an obstacle. Clyde Burleson has a payment plan to fit your budget!

#10 Not calling Clyde Burleson


Call Clyde today at 713-628-1503 to AT LEAST get help in requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing. He’ll assist you in taking the required actions at no charge or obligation to you and help you avoid these and other common DWI mistakes.

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