DWI Lawyer in Houston
Attorneys have the passion, and commitment to vigorously defend you against your charges. A DWI charge does not mean you will be convicted, or even that you are guilty. There are many potential errors in field sobriety tests, blood tests, and breath tests, and it is his duty to challenge a breath test and any other tests in many defense cases. Errors can and do occur, not only in the administration of the tests, but faulty equipment, mechanical failure, failure to correctly maintain or calibrate testing devices, and even incorrect readings due to medical issues. As Texas DWI penalties are extremely harsh, you don’t want to take any chances with your freedom or your legal right to drive.
As jail time, steep fines, and loss of your driving privileges can severely impact your life, get in touch with his office immediately so that he may begin an active investigation and defense of your DWI charges. There is a real reason for concern in accusations of DWI, with the emotional, family, and professional strains on top of the stress of facing a court. We understand the issues that are important to you and will work vigorously to defend your case from the moment of your arrest.
Affording a DWI Lawyer
If you are a person who has a modest income, you may be reluctant to speak to an attorney because you may believe you can’t afford the attorney fees. This is a valid concern, but you cannot know whether or not you can afford a DUI lawyer until you have called an attorney or visited with one. It is better to call a DUI lawyer, consult with one, explain your financial circumstances, and then make an informed decision.
Finding a DWI Attorney
Before you select a DUI lawyer, please make sure your attorney has experience in the field of drunk driving defense. You will obviously have many questions for the DUI lawyer. You should make sure the DUI lawyer offers free consultations, so you can ask your questions. Having said this, please understand that many of the best DUI lawyers don’t offer free consultations.
Plan to go to the first interview with an open mind. You do not have to decide to employ the DUI lawyer with whom you are interviewing until you have had time to think about the interview. In fact, feel free to visit more than one attorney to facilitate finding the best one for your case.
You should remember that a DUI lawyer could be of help in finding technicalities that would quickly have the charges against you dismissed. DUI lawyers are experts in finding holes in government cases and using them to get the case dismissed or at least make the government realize their case is weak and offer you an attractive deal. Even the best DUI lawyer, however, can’t win a case if one was drunk, had BAC several times the legal limit and the government case is flawless. Still, even in those rare circumstances, an attorney may be of help.
Driving While Intoxicated
If you are reading this you have probably just been arrested for DWI. In Texas, we have taken a “tough” rather than “smart” approach to DWI. No other criminal defendant has his/her rights violated as consistently as a DWI suspect. DWI produces more false convictions than any other crime in Texas. The reason, DWI is an opinion crime. No other criminal case relies on the opinion of one police officer.
You can be arrested for DWI without showing any signs of impaired driving. A Houston police officer can request you perform field tests and then unilaterally and subjectively decide you are “intoxicated.”
After arrest, Texas denies suspects the right to an attorney and the right against self-incrimination. The police then request a breath sample against the threat of losing your license. In some counties, the authorities actually line up friendly judges to sign fill-in blank search warrants for a blood sample!
Field Sobriety Tests
You are under NO obligation to take these tests. An officer can and still will arrest you for DWI. However, these tests are garbage science and should not be attempted lightly.
Perhaps no more fraudulent evidence exists in criminal law than the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. When an officer tells you to “follow my pen with your eyes” he is setting you up for conviction.
First of all, police officers are taught very little about nystagmus. Most have no knowledge of the dozens of conditions (besides the ingestion of alcohol) that cause nystagmus. Many HGN tests are not scored or performed correctly.
The worst aspect of the HGN is that the test does not show up on video. When the officer testifies in court he will always state that you “failed” the HGN. The video will not show your eyes, or your performance on this test. Never take an HGN test. HGN is garbage science rarely performed correctly, yet almost always admitted against defendants.
If you have taken an HGN test I can help. I have seen enough HGN to know when the test is not performed correctly, when it is invalid, or when you are not a candidate for HGN testing.
Walk and Turn
Can you walk in a line, turn, and walk back? Sounds easy. It’s not. If you pass the prosecutor is taught to say that “adrenaline” helped you. If you fail, it is because you are drunk. The Walk and Turn has never been peer-reviewed and is not reliable.
One Leg Stand
Don’t put your foot down or you go to jail! This test has never been peer-reviewed or shown to be reliable. The police will never tell you how you are going to be graded on the OLS. Yet they still hold these secret “clues” against you.
What if I took these “tests”?
Even if you chose to perform these tests there is still hope. Officers regularly give the wrong instructions, under the wrong conditions, and then draw the wrong conclusions.
Houston DWI Lawyer Costs
Some attorneys charge you a fee to review the police report, get a copy of your file from the district attorney and appear for your first hearing. If the charges are dropped at that stage, you are done and there are no further hearings. If there are additional hearings, you will be charged for each. Some attorneys will charge you a fee and handle your case all the way to trial, but not the trial itself. They are hoping they will have the case dismissed before you go to trial. Some DUI lawyers will charge you a fee that includes going to trial as well. Finally, some DUI lawyers simply charge by the hour.
In addition to these charges, you may be charged fees for each day of trial, which could range from $500 to several thousand dollars per day.
Some DUI lawyers also require an advance fee called a retainer. Ask the attorney what this covers. Occasionally, the retainer is a flat fee that will cover the DUI lawyer’s services regardless of the amount of time spent working for you. However, the DUI lawyer may be required to return some of or the entire retainer if it would be unreasonable under the circumstances for the attorney to keep it.
Most jurisdictions require that an attorney give you a written fee agreement before they render any services. Often this requirement is triggered if the fee charged for the matter exceeds a certain limit. If your DUI matter is complicated, you can expect your attorney to provide you with such a fee agreement and ask you to sign it. A fee agreement describes the various aspects of your relationship with him.
You will also pay for experts who would testify on scientific issues that benefit your case. Other costs of a trial may include fees for creating the exhibits, the investigators, and other fees.
Your attorney will likely expect you to enter into some kind of program such as AA to help you with your alcohol problem if there is any. Good DWI lawyers like to do that to show the court you have changed your ways and ask the court for leniency. A conscientious DUI lawyer will be prompt for court, any appointments, and in all their dealings with you.
Reputable DUI lawyers also allow you to contact them in the off-hours. They want you to be honest with them, as you should be in life. Please realize you should be honest with your DUI attorney as it is vital to your case. Remember, whatever you tell your DWI lawyer is strictly confidential and legally protected under attorney/client privilege. You can count on that. It is the law everywhere.