While it may seem like a minor charge to some, driving while intoxicated charges, also sometimes called drunk driving charges after a DWI arrest can have life altering consequences. A Houston DWI lawyer can help you navigate your case and minimize or even eliminate the serious consequences that can follow such a charge and conviction. Whether you are looking to ensure that your reputation remains untarnished by such an allegation or trying to prevent serious consequences to your daily ability to carry out essential tasks, an experienced DWI attorney is a must.
A seasoned attorney from Hochglaube & DeBorde, P.C., a law firm you can trust, can work with you on your DUI case. The legal team at Hochglaube & DeBorde will keep you informed every step of the way so that you understand the facts and details of your case as well as the options available to you to fight these types of charges. Their team defense approach will ensure that you are informed about every aspect of your case, including the potential penalties that you may be facing, such as probation, fines, license suspension and jail time. The Firm’s experienced lawyers will ensure that you understand your options as you fight your case. A DWI attorney from our Houston firm can help you build a strong DWI defense, whether you are dealing with a seemingly more minor offense like DWI or something as serious as intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter charges.
In Texas, DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. This crime involves the operating of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point that impairment to your mental or physical faculties influences or impairs your ability to drive.
For people accused of drinking alcohol and driving, the legal limit is a BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, of 0.08. The State of Texas relies on a variety of tactics to show that a person’s BAC is above .08 or that they have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties. Some of these tactics or techniques include the use of machines to test breath samples (a “breath test”), drawing blood for analysis at a laboratory or even field sobriety tests, which often involve roadside physical exercises. For cases involving the allegation of impairment by drugs, any amount of the substance in the body could be considered grounds for a DWI charge if the State or prosecution can show that that drug caused impairment at the time a person was driving the motor vehicle.
If law enforcement suspects that a person they have pulled over was driving while intoxicated, the police officer will begin to collect evidence to support their belief that a person is “drunk driving” or driving while intoxicated. For example, law enforcement may carry out multiple tests or just one of multiple available tests. In Texas, officers may offer a driver a breath or blood test. Texas drivers have the right to refuse all such testing. Officers want blood or breath tests to be able to prove in court that a driver has drugs or alcohol in their system. While a breath test cannot detect drugs, a blood test can detect drugs in a person’s system. On rare occasions, law enforcement may even request or offer a urine sample. This is another method for law enforcement to collect proof that a person has an intoxicating substance in their system at the time of driving. An officer may also request the driver to perform a series of very unnatural physical exercises called field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are typically unreliable. Often times, people who have been arrested believe they have performed well on these tests without realizing that law enforcement is often looking for a series of checklist items they can claim as evidence of intoxication. Under Texas law, it is permissible for a person to refuse all tests offered or proposed by law enforcement.
While it is certainly reasonable, and an educated and informed person may likely refuse all tests, it is important to be calm and not resist arrest. All interactions with police should be recorded, and sometimes the best evidence in court comes from the accused person’s calm and cool-headed following of directions. Following directions or instructions does NOT mean providing a statement, providing breath or blood samples, or doing physical tests. It does mean treating the officer as you would hope someone would interact with you or someone you care about even in the face of hostility. You are required to provide basic information such as your identification, driver’s license and car insurance. However, you are not required to give any information beyond that. You are permitted to remain silent after providing that basic information and are most certainly entitled to request to speak to legal counsel before doing or saying more.
The legal team at Hochglaube & DeBorde can analyze the details of your arrest, including everything that happened during the traffic stop, as well as the tests that were performed to determine whether or not the police and laboratories followed their own rules and guidelines in an investigation of driving while intoxicated. . A DWI lawyer from our Houston firm may choose to question the legality of your traffic stop, the validity of any warrant for blood or the validity of the tests as part of your defense strategy.
The state of Texas is one of the hardest on those who are convicted of driving while under the influence. These charges come with harsh penalties that can impact the rest of a Texan’s life. If the individual charged has previous convictions, then conviction for a subsequent offense will result in more severe punishment.
The Texas Penal Code defines a DWI as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. This means that either:
Because the Texas Penal Code defines a DWI so broadly, this can be a strong point of contention in court. Many people do not know they can be charged with driving while intoxicated even if the reason they may be impaired is because they were taking a prescription drug properly. If the prosecution can prove impairment from any drug, even one being taken according to instructions given by a doctor, they may still be able to convict and even imprison someone for DWI. Being able to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer is necessary for anyone hoping to make informed decisions about any charge. An experienced DWI lawyer from Hochglaube & DeBorde can work with you to understand all the details of your situation, Our lawyers will collect many details from you, including details like what and when you ate, to when you last slept, in order to provide you with a vigorous defense. Our team is meticulous about gathering all that is needed to do everything possible to protect your reputation and secure your freedom.
In Texas, the BAC limit is dependent on age and the type of vehicle that is being operated. Alcohol can influence a person’s blood alcohol content level in different ways, depending on factors such as gender, body mass index, and other considerations.
There is a no-tolerance drinking and driving law for people under the age of 21. Therefore, any level of alcohol that is detected in a driver under 21 is considered to be a DWI. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04, and people 21 and older have a BAC limit of 0.08.
The penalties for a Texas DWI vary based on the age of the defendant, their criminal history, and whether there were any aggravating factors present at the time of arrest. An aggravating factor could include:
Unfortunately, a DWI conviction generally permanent, and no passage of time will cause the DWI conviction to disappear from a person’s criminal record. Even if a person is arrested for a subsequent DWI 20 years after their first DWI, the new DWI allegation may still be considered their second DWI. DWI convictions stay on a person’s criminal record for their lifetime.A good DWI lawyer will review the judgment and conviction of the older case to determine whether the older case can be used by the prosecution legally to enhance the current case. This additional review increases the complexity of the case, and, if the older conviction cannot be invalidated, the exposure for the new case is more significant.
In addition to large fines, license suspension or revocation, and jail or prison time, there are collateral consequences that come with being convicted of a DWI in Texas. For example, convicted Texans can lose access to job and housing opportunities as well as the chance to pursue higher education or get certain professional licenses. A person’s immigration status may be impacted as well as their ability to travel to other countries outside the United States.
First time charges of driving while intoxicated in Texas, be a Class B misdemeanor or a Class A misdemeanor. Penalty ranges for Class B misdemeanors range from between 3 to 180 days in jail with up to $2,000 in fines. Class A misdemeanors can be punished by up to one year in jail with up to a $4,000 fine. You may also have your driver’s license suspended for a maximum of 2 years.In some instances, it is possible to seek an occupational driver’s license, while in other circumstances a person could be prohibited from driving during a period of suspension.
There are other possible penalties as well. People on probation or community supervision for DWI may be ordered to perform many hours of community service or be required to attend a DWI intervention or education program. The court may also order the installation or use of an IID, or ignition interlock device on your vehicle or for portable use.
A second DWI offense in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of a second DWI, the penalties range from one month to a year in jail with fines of up to $4,000. Furthermore, their driver’s license may be suspended for a maximum of 2 years.
In addition to jail time, fees, and a license suspension, the convicted individual may have to spend 80 to 200 hours doing community service. They may also have to use an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle as a condition for being able to drive, and they may have to take a DWI education course or have a certain intervention.
If you are convicted of a third DWI or any subsequent DWI, the consequences can be even more serious. A third or subsequent DWI is considered to be a third-degree felony charge and, therefore, can result in prison time ranging from 2 years to a 10 years in the Texas penitentiary. People convicted of a third or subsequent DWI can also be fined up to $10,000.
In addition to prison time and fees, their driver’s license can be suspended for a maximum of 2 years, and, if a person is placed on community supervision, there may be hundreds of hours of community service. Also, as with the first and second DWI offenses, the individual may have to have an IID installed, attend a DWI educational course, or take part in a DWI intervention.Felony convictions can have even more extensive collateral consequences.
If you are granted limited driving privileges after your DWI or while you are on bond for your DWI allegation, you may be required to have a device installed in your vehicle called an ignition interlock device, or IID. This takes breath samples to record if you have been drinking alcohol before you start your car, or in the case of a portable breath test device, whether you have consumed alcohol. These results will be reported to the court and may result in your incarceration.
An IID or portable breath testing device is used by the court to monitor alcohol use. Instances of alcohol detection are recorded and reported to the court. Also reported to the court are perceived efforts to tamper with the device. Tampering or positive alcohol results may result in Motions to Revoke Probation or Motions to Revoke Bond. Our legal team will thoroughly review any allegations of positive alcohol testing or tampering to present any viable argument to the court if this information is not correct because alcohol use on bond or probation may have very serious consequences.
In Texas, a DWI can instantly become a serious felony under several circumstances. Such instances include intoxication assault or manslaughter as well as having a child passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time of a driving while intoxicated arrest.
Intoxication assault, sometimes referred to as “intoxicated” assault, in Texas is a charge of DWI where the person accused of DWI is believed to have caused an accident where a person was severely injured because of the defendant’s intoxication if the intoxicated person caused the accident. The defendant could have been operating almost any kind of vehicle, including a boat or aircraft. Such a crime is classified as a third-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Intoxication manslaughter is one of the most serious, if not the most serious DWI or DUI related offenses. If you are facing such a charge in Houston, you want to be sure you have a legal team with a reputation for excellence in representing Houston DWI, Houston DUI and manslaughter cases. . Our legal team uses a network of professionals to dissect the prosecution’s evidence in these serious cases, and our trial reputation is unparalleled. Intoxication manslaughter charges result when a person believed to be DWI causes an accident which results in the death of another person. There is no requirement that a person knew a death could be caused or that a death was from purposeful conduct.
A car or truck can be considered a deadly weapon, and it can be difficult to get charges reduced or dropped when a death is involved While it may be possible to get probation or community supervision in an intoxication manslaughter case, prison time is frequently sought. Prison sentences with deadly weapon findings require that a person who gets such a prison sentence serve a more substantial portion of their sentence before they can even be considered for parole. Therefore, if you are facing such charges, it is critical to get legal representation. Our years of legal experience has helped us develop a network of elite experts we can recommend including in your defense.
If an individual is arrested for DWI while driving with a child passenger under the age of 15, then they may face charges for DWI with a Child Passenger. DWI with a child passenger is a felony offense with serious consequences. A person convicted of this offense in Texas can be sent to a division of the Texas state prison system called State Jail for up to two years. The minimum state jail sentence for this type of offense is 180 days. A conviction for this felony can also result in a fine of up to$2,000. Such a conviction can also result in a lengthy license suspension. Like any charge involving allegation of driving while intoxicated, DWI with a Child Passenger can be emotionally and financially difficult. Like with other charges related to DWI offenses, there can be extensive collateral consequences, and even if probation or community supervision results, the conditions of such a probation can be extensive.
Whether or not you will have your driver’s license taken away is dependent on the severity of your charges and your existing criminal record as well as whether you hire a legal team prepared to handle this aspect of your case in time.
If you want to dispute your license suspension, then you must request an ALR hearing, which is an administrative license revocation hearing. At an ALR hearing, your lawyer can represent you and advocate for your ability to retain a driver’s license.This hearing must be requested promptly, and failure to request the hearing in a timely fashion will mean that you waive the ability to have the hearing. This is one reason it is critical to hire a lawyer to represent you in your DWI related offense as quickly as possible after arrest.
At an ALR hearing in Texas, a DWI defendant can challenge the Department of Public Safety’s attempt to suspend or revoke their license. A DPS prosecutor is present at such a hearing, and they will present the evidence that they have against the defendant to justify the driver’s license restrictions.
At the ALR hearing, your attorney challenge the proposed suspension and may even be able to cross examine the arresting officer. Because the State of Texas has the burden of showing proper evidence, your DWI lawyer can work to argue that the evidence is insufficient or that it was illegally obtained.
The person who will make the decision about the defendant’s license restriction, based on the presented evidence, is the administrative law judge. If you and your lawyer do not agree with the judge’s final decision, it can be appealed. While the outcome of an ALR hearing does not impact the final ruling of the criminal trial, many aspects of each case, such as evidence collection, may overlap.A good DWI lawyer can use information obtained during the ALR hearing in defense of your criminal case.
To fight against the driver’s license suspension associated with your arrest, it’s important to request your ALR hearing within 15 days of the DWI arrest. A DWI lawyer who is experienced in will want to use evidence collected in an ALR hearing to best defend you in your criminal case.
Law enforcement can and does make mistakes when carrying out traffic stops and DWI arrests in Texas. Law enforcement must have a legal reason to stop a person driving a vehicle.
Law enforcement officers who conduct an arrest following a traffic stop need to have clear evidence that justifies pulling the defendant over, A good lawyer will analyze the reason for the traffic stop to determine whether probable cause existed for the stop and ultimate arrest.
A dedicated defense attorney from the experienced law firm, Hochglaube & DeBorde, can look over the details of your traffic stop to make sure that law enforcement was acting in accordance with the law. If they illegally pulled you over, any evidence obtained during the traffic stop can be voided and would not be used against you in court.
Have you been arrested for DWI in the greater Houston area or elsewhere in Texas or south Texas? The legal challenges ahead will call for dedicated and experienced DWI criminal defense assistance.
We stand ready to request your ALR (Administrative License Revocation) hearing and start preparing your case. You’ll receive the kind of respected and responsive representation that our law firm is know for throughout the State of Texas. Let the excellent reputation our firm has earned over years of dedicated representation work for you in defending you in your DUI and DWI case.
At the Hochglaube & DeBorde law firm, we welcome the opportunity to advocate for your interests and needs concerning cases involving alcohol or drugs, which might endanger your very freedom. Hochglaube & DeBorde’s s comprehensive legal knowledge goes a long way towards putting your case for your freedom and reputation forward a way that makes your success possible.
Let our acclaimed team implement aggressive strategies to protect your rights and freedom.
Contact Hochglaube & DeBorde as soon as possible for respected, experienced, aggressive representation. 713-526-6300. Call for a free consultation.
The law firm of Hochglaube & DeBorde has earned a local, statewide, and national reputation for respected and responsive representation in intoxicated related prosecutions across the state. Their lawyers have lectured on topics related to the aggressive defense of these cases across the state and nation. Let us put our experience to work for you..
If you are facing DWI charges in Houston, it’s important to get the legal representation that you deserve so that your rights can be protected. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, it’s critical to ensure that you act quickly to strategically plan your DWI and serious intoxication related case defense.
The impact of a conviction for DWI crimes can be long-lasting. Make sure you have excellence in your corner. Contact Hochglaube & DeBorde as soon as possible at 713-526-6300 to discuss the details of your DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter defense. We want to hear from you and can be reached 24 hours a day for your emergency.