Houston DUI Attorney
The state of Texas has a wide variety of laws governing drinking and driving. Some of these laws can be confusing, especially if you have been recently charged and don’t know where to turn. An experienced Houston DUI attorney will help you get through the legal maze that accompanies a Driving Under the Influence arrest.
A Texas charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is very different than a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). A DWI is the charge that a person of any age receives when they are found to be operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level at or above 0.080 grams or they are deemed to be a less than safe driver due to alcohol or drug consumption. A DUI is a charge focused specifically on drivers who are under 21 years old and have consumed any amount of alcohol. An officer can cite an underage driver with DUI for exhibiting a mere odor of alcoholic beverage on his or her breath.
Texas Driving Under the Influence Penalties
Houston DUI lawyers know that penalties can be harsh for a DUI and will fight to protect your rights. A DUI conviction comes with a stigma that could result in difficulties in employment and other social or economical issues. Drivers accused of a DUI face stiff legal penalties if convicted. If the driver tested positive for alcohol, but under 0.08, the following can result after the first offense:
- Fines up to $500.00
- 20-40 hours of community service
- Court-ordered alcohol awareness classes
- License suspension up to 60 days.
Upon a second or third offense, penalties become more severe and a driver could face a license suspension for 180 days.
For an underage driver that has shown to be over the legal limit, the stakes become higher for the first time offender such as the following:
- Fines up to $2000.00
- License suspension from 90 days to 1 year
- Jail time from 72 to 180 days
DUI Attorney in Houston
If you or someone you love faces a DUI charge in the Houston area, don’t try to face the legal system – and the possible penalties – alone. Contact a Houston DUI attorney who knows his way around the law. An experienced lawyer is often familiar with the officers involved and can easily identify legal weaknesses. A good DUI Lawyer can effectively negotiate penalties in many cases. In Houston, let a Houston DUI Attorney protect your rights and defend your reputation.
In the event that you have contact with law enforcement, below are five basic rules for surviving a DUI, DWI, or other police encounters.
- You should never consent to any type of search for any reason. When the police ask you to consent to a search of your car, or of anything else, politely decline by saying “I do not consent”. If you consent and the officer locates open alcohol containers, prescriptions, or illicit drugs, they will often assume that you have recently consumed them and this will lead to a further DWI investigation.
- Do not physically resist law enforcement. Resistance is illegal and usually results in someone being senselessly injured. The only time resistance is legal is when the police are using “excessive” force against you and you can respond with “reasonable force” to defend yourself. These terms are very vague and it is always better to be passive when dealing with law enforcement.
- If you are suspected of committing a criminal offense, do not make any statements to the police or sign anything. This includes submitting to “field sobriety” evaluations, a hand-held alco-sensor, or any other tests. If you are asked any questions beyond your name, address, or date of birth, you should decline by saying “My attorney has advised me not to answer any questions” and then ask to speak to your lawyer.
- If you have been consuming alcohol, try to avoid law enforcement contact if at all possible without further violating the law such as fleeing. If you are driving and an officer observes an odor of alcoholic beverage from your breath, you stand a good chance of being arrested for DWI. When you are unable to lawfully avoid police contact, try not the let the officer smell your breath and do your best to limit the length of the contact. Never argue with law enforcement about whether you have been drinking for any reason. This behavior will land you in jail each time.
- Always be polite to law enforcement officers. If you are unruly or rude to them while they are on duty, you are on their turf and you will sure to be on the losing end of the encounter. Your attorney will evaluate the situation and if someone negative needs to be said about the officer, it can be done in the proper courtroom setting on our turf.
Adhering to these guidelines may not always prevent an arrest, but they can minimize the negative effects when the case comes to the trial phase and allow an attorney to more properly do their job in defending our rights.
Contact Houston DWI Attorney
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI in Houston, it’s important that you speak with an attorney as quickly as possible. Whether you call our office first or call our office last, just give us a call. We won’t try to sell you anything or scare you into hiring our firm. Just a free, straightforward review of your case.