Author: Butler Law Firm

Find a DUI Lawyer in Houston

DUI Case In Houston: Why You Should Hire An Attorney?

Learn Good Reasons To Get A Houston DUI Lawyer

If you get arrested for a DWI/DUI, or another kind of offense related to drunk driving, then your smartest move is hiring a drunk driving attorney for their services. Representing yourself in court might be tempting, but a seasoned DUI lawyer can guide you towards a minimal sentence while avoiding the harsh penalties that might hurt your personal life and career in the future. Attorneys practicing DUI law know all the state laws, as well as effective defenses and local judges and prosecutors. They’ll be by your side all throughout the entire process.

At Butler Law Firm, we have a team of lawyers with decades of professional experience in handling drunk driving cases. We are licensed for practice in both Iowa and Nebraska, and we offer our clients robust legal representation in all cases. Keep reading to learn why you ought to hire a great drunk driving lawyer who can represent you in the court system.

Why Do You Need To Have A DUI Lawyer?

DWI or DUI situations are not something you should take lightly. If you’ve gotten arrested for a specific drunk driving offense, then there’s a high risk of facing jail time, paying large fines, or seeing your driver’s license get suspended. Also, you’ll possibly face serious consequences throughout your personal life, specifically in terms of interpersonal relationships and career prospects. If you want to avoid such consequences, then your best bet is to hire a DWI/DUI lawyer who can represent you in the court system

When you have a good advocate for yourself when in front of a judge, it can possibly mean having a reduced sentence or even having your charges totally dropped. In many cases where the available evidence implies there’s no chance of having your charges dropped, a veteran DUI lawyer might work something out with the prosecution or judge to offer extenuating or mitigating circumstances that enhance the overall case outcome.

Also, an effective DUI attorney can present your case directly to the state’s motor vehicle bureau regarding hearings about license suspension. In such cases, they’ll know the kinds of defenses that carry weight with the appropriate board. They can definitely make a more substantive and persuasive case than you might hope to.

What You Should Look For In Any Drunk Driving Lawyer

A veteran DWI lawyer can handle many different cases involving DWI arrests, DUI arrests, and other offenses related to drunk driving. When you are searching for a legal professional who can represent you before the court, it’s best to focus on specifics like the areas a lawyer has served, their experience level, and what skills they have.

Contact The Butler Law Firm Right Now

Mr. Butler is the owner of this criminal law office in Houston. He will do everything in his power as a legal official to receive the justest outcome for his client. Feel free to contact or call Atty. Jim Butler right now to get your free consultation to see what a skilled attorney can do for you.

Can A Houston DUI Offender Apply For Green Card? Pt 2

All About Applying For A Green Card With DUI Conviction In Houston

Part 2

(Continuation)For example, if an applicant drives the car under the influence of alcohol with a child in the car, it is considered disregarding the safety of others and supplying the intent required to construct a CMT crime. On the other hand, not all DUI cases involve alcohol exclusively. Some cases involve the illegal use of controlled substances and can be considered a separate ground of inadmissibility. If the drug use or DUI is due to an addiction, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may request for a medical report to find the applicant inadmissible on public health grounds.

Will A “Wet Reckless” Or Reckless Driving Conviction Make The Applicant Inadmissible?

Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle in a way that endangers the lives of other vehicles and passengers on the road. If the applicant is convicted of reckless driving, it may usually involve moral turpitude. Similar to a DUI case, aggravating circumstances or additional charges can increase the chances of a reckless driving case involving moral turpitude. In fact, the additional charges will add upon the original act and make the applicant inadmissible in such cases.

Is A Waiver Available?

For most crimes involving moral turpitude excluding serious crimes such as torture or murder, the spouse, parent, or children of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident can apply for a limited waiver. One needs to prove that the spouse, parent, or children of the lawful US citizen or permanent resident will suffer extreme hardship if the adjustment of status is denied.

Don’t Conceal The Conviction

Trying to conceal past convictions will get the applicant nowhere. In fact, the fingerprint check will definitely place the applicant in a precarious situation as the past crime will be discovered at that stage. On the other hand, making false statements to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to obtain immigration benefits is a ground for inadmissibility.

See An Immigration Lawyer

Whether you have a reckless driving, DUI, or similar conviction, you should consult with a qualified and experienced U.S. immigration attorney – one who specializes in the intersection of criminal and immigration laws. You shouldn’t rely on what your criminal lawyer says because there are countless cases where criminal lawyers thought they were doing the best to their clients when they advised the client to plead guilty to this or that to avoid jail time. They didn’t have any idea of what such guilty pleas could do to your chances of getting a green card. It will lead to the applicant becoming inadmissible.

Contact Butler Law Firm Today

We are a Houston-based criminal law office specializing in immigration law. Mr. Butler will help resolve your issue in the best possible way. Give Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need. You can contact Jim for your free consultation! Click here for the first article in this series.

Can A Houston DUI Offender Apply For Green Card? Pt 1

All About Applying For A Green Card With DUI Conviction In Houston

Part 1

When applying for U.S. Permanent Residence or to get a Green Card, the applicant will be asked whether he or she has been arrested, charged, fined, convicted, indicted, or imprisoned for violating any law excluding traffic violations. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wants to actually know if the applicant has been involved in any criminal-related acts except for traffic tickets. Some of these criminal-related acts include driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), and reckless driving – which are more serious than traffic tickets, and you are expected to report them.

This area of law is a little bit complex. Just because you were involved in one of these criminal-related acts in the past doesn’t mean you will automatically be denied a green card or any other visa. Certain criminal acts will make a person “inadmissible” and denied a green card. Talking to an experienced lawyer can help solve this problem for you. Make sure you use the guidance below as background information.

What Is A Conviction?

A conviction means a judge or jury has found you guilty or you have entered a plea of guilty or refused to enter a plea (nolo contendere). The court should also sentence the person to some form of punishment, restraint of liberty, or penalty. Whether you are currently serving the sentence or if it was suspended doesn’t matter to be considered a conviction. On the other hand, your state’s law may refer to the decision as a conviction but federal immigration laws can override it with their own concept of what a conviction is.

What Types Of Criminal Convictions Make The Applicant Inadmissible?

In fact, applicants who have been convicted of criminal activities involving moral turpitude are inadmissible when applying for a green card. Moral turpitude is a hard-to-define term, and decisions will be usually made on a case-by-case basis. Some judges have defined moral turpitude as vile, base, depraved, or contrary to accepted societal norms of morality. Applicants who have committed two or more such crimes and have a combined sentence of 5 or more years are considered inadmissible. Crimes such as selling drugs or prostitution can also make a person inadmissible when applying for a green card. But wet reckless, DUIs, and reckless driving are not included on the inadmissible list.

Will A Drunk Driving Case Make You Inadmissible?

A crime that is committed with intent is usually considered a case involving moral turpitude (CMT). Since DUIs don’t require any intent, one DUI isn’t a crime involving moral turpitude. However, if the DUI is committed with another offense such as the use of illegal drugs or reckless driving, and any aggravating factors are present such as driving without a valid driving license, injuring someone, or having a child in the car, the case might be completely different.

Give Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need. You can contact Jim for your free consultation! Click here for the second article in this series.

What To Consider When Hiring A Houston DUI Attorney Pt 2

Things To Look For When Hiring DUI Lawyer In Houston

Part 2

(Continuation)Local attorneys will know these things. Hence the need to choose a local DUI lawyer, not just a defense lawyer. The laws around DUI can change regularly and you need to hire a lawyer who understands the changes.

2. Who Is Actually Going To Handle Your Case?

There are a lot of paralegals and assistants who work within a law firm to ease the workload of the lawyers. This means that you may have initially met with a DUI lawyer but they may not be the same professional who will care for your case.

Make sure that you use the initial consultation to find out who will be representing you. When your future is in the balance, you do not want to be passed around by the lawyers in the firm. If you do not receive a definitive answer it may be best to choose a different firm.

3. What Are Their Fees?

Ask about the fees and the way that you will be billed. It may feel awkward but you need to get this one out in the open from the start.

Make sure you have your own finances in order before the initial consultation. This means you will know what you are going to be able to afford.

It is not cheap to hire an attorney but most will offer a payment plan. There may be other options such as a junior partner to handle most of your case.

The figure that your lawyer estimates will not be a definite amount. Many factors all add up to the fee so they can only provide you with a ballpark. Talk to them about your budget and ask about whether the figure they provided includes matters such as evidence collection, file review, and investigation.

4. Find Out Their Track Record

Certainly, many lawyers have plenty of experience in DUI case preparation but they may never have actually been to court. In the event that you are facing a felony, make sure that you choose a lawyer who has experience in presenting similar cases in court.

Talk to them about their DUI defense record. You want to know the number of cases that they have won and how many resulted in a plea deal.

When you are running the risk of jail time you need a lawyer who is not scared by a courtroom setting.

5. Has The Lawyer Ever Been Disciplined By The Bar Association?

If the lawyer you are considering has been disciplined by the Bar Association, you need to know more. It may be a telltale sign of their ethics or professionalism.

You need a DUI lawyer who knows the rules like the back of their hand but not one who carelessly breaks them. You hardly want to walk into a courtroom already at a disadvantage thanks to a lawyer with a bad name. To find local attorneys with a good reputation, the American Bar Association can be consulted.

Give Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need. You can contact Jim for your free consultation! Click here for the first article in this series.

What To Consider When Hiring A Houston DUI Attorney Pt 1

Things To Look For When Hiring DUI Lawyer In Houston

Part 1

Regardless of the state you are in, driving under the influence is classified as a crime, however, not all will result in a conviction. The first step to take towards minimizing the risk of jail time, extortionate fines, and a DUI on your record, is to hire a DUI lawyer.

Do not fall into the trap of hiring just any lawyer. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, we are going to highlight five things that you should try to identify before you hire a lawyer to take your case.

Is It Necessary To Hire A Houston DUI Attorney?

In Texas, driving under the influence is viewed as a serious crime.

If you have a blood-alcohol level of over .08% you are driving illegally. For underage drivers, the limit drops down to .02%. For drivers who hold a commercial license, the limit sits at .04%. There are cases where a DUI can be received even when the BAC level (blood alcohol level) is lower than the legal limits.

Some of the potential penalties include your license being suspended, an ignition interlock device being fitted in your vehicle, or attending a course on drug and alcohol safety. Two of the most significant penalties are jail time and large fines.

SCHEDULE OF FINES

The list below shows fines that the State imposes for a person who is convicted of a DUI where their BAC is .08% or lower.

  • Initial offense: $400
  • Second offense: Between $2000 and $5000
  • Third offense: Between $3800 and $6300
  • Fourth(+) offense: Amount determined by the court, not exceeding $10,000

As the BAC increases the fine also increases, as well as if the person has a CDL.

JAIL TIMES

It isn’t just your bank balance that gets stung if you are caught driving under the influence in Houston. For repeat offenders jail time is part of the conviction.

  • First offense: Fine/imprisonment between 48 hours and 30 days
  • Second offense: Imprisonment between 5 days and 1 year
  • Third offense: Imprisonment between 60 days and 3 years
  • Fourth(+) offense: Imprisonment between 1 year and 5 years

It is obvious why you need to hire a DUI lawyer. They may be able to have your charges dismissed or at least reduced.

Here is what to consider when hiring a DUI attorney:

1. Choose A Local Attorney

There are lawyers that boast a nationwide service but they may not understand the laws of each state well. They are also unlikely to hold a good relationship with the local prosecutors and judges. This may mean they will end up convincing you to a guilty please before the case gets started.

If you do want to fight the charges, will they be available to be with you in court? Are they in the know about what the prosecution plans to push for in terms of penalties? Do you know what the DUI conviction rate is for the judge?

Give Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need. You can contact Jim for your free consultation! Click here for the second article in this series.

Why You Should Hire An Experienced Houston DUI Attorney

Reasons To Ask A Help From Skilled DUI Lawyer In Houston

A DUI attorney should be the first thing that comes to your mind when/if arrested for driving while intoxicated. Only a good attorney can help prove your innocence and/or fight any charges the arresting officer might have against you. Very many things can go wrong should you choose to represent yourself. Outlined below are some of the reasons and advantages of hiring a DUI attorney.

All the DA (District Attorney) needs to do is prove that you were indeed driving while intoxicated. Without proper representation, you could face a possible jail time, substantial fines, a criminal record, or even have your license revoked if convicted of the same. A single conviction will put a huge dent in your life in general, making it almost impossible to secure formal employment or even lose your driving privileges. How will this dent my future? You may ask. Here are two reasons how and why you should have an experienced DWI defense lawyer by your side.

Did you feel perfectly capable of driving the car without risking your life and that of other road users? Perhaps you weren’t drunk but had taken a prescription drug that might have affected your ability to drive. Whatever the reason is, a good DWI defense attorney will strive to ensure your legal rights are protected, as well as secure your freedom and future. DWI defense lawyers specialize in these cases, hence know how to dissect your case and the right approach to use to prove your innocence. Experienced attorneys will go the extra mile to prove your arrest was unwarranted by taking all factors into consideration.

Did the officers arrest you simply because you couldn’t ‘walk in the line’? Although this might be enough for the prosecutor to build a case against you, a good lawyer might be able to make their claim obsolete. He/she will only need to know what tests were used to determine/measure your BAC levels. In most of these tests, devices used aren’t always 100% accurate and might have malfunctioned in your case. The attorney will also look for other ways to have the case dismissed, such as if the arresting office searched your car or property without proper warranty. These minor inaccuracies and weaknesses give the attorney a fighting chance to secure your freedom and future.

The last thing you want is to be convicted of driving while intoxicated, especially in Indiana. Among other penalties, you may be forced to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car or pay more for insurance premiums. Most insurance companies will charge arm and leg for individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated. Second and third offenders might also not be that lucky, as they could have their licenses revoked or even sentenced to serve time. A good lawyer will strive to keep you out of jail and even have the case thrown out of court.

Never give up the fight to clear your name. Contact or call us with any questions or to set up a legal meeting today!

DUI Conviction In Houston: Counted As Criminal Offense?

Helpful Ideas To Deeply Understand Houston DUI Conviction

There is rarely a case when you are convicted for driving under the influence, otherwise known as a DUI, which is not a criminal offense. If you get a DUI, in almost all cases it will give you a criminal record of either a misdemeanor or a felony. Read on to learn the categorization of DUIs, how (in few cases) a DUI is not a crime, a discussion of the various consequences and penalties of a DUI.

Which One Is A DUI – Misdemeanor Or Felony?

In general, a DUI can fall under the categories of misdemeanor or felony. Both categories fall under crime. However, the category of misdemeanor is not as severe as felony convictions.

Misdemeanor DUI Convictions

In the majority of states, getting a DUI one or two times are considered a misdemeanor. A primary example of a misdemeanor is that the time a person spends I’m jail is typically a year or less. The fine for a misdemeanor is typically no more than $1,000. However, court fees, etc., can increase that amount. When a person gets a DUI misdemeanor, his or her license may be suspended from a few months to one year. In addition, a number of states include ignition interlock rules for people convicted of first and second DUIs.

Therefore, the penalties vary from state to state. A first or second DUI can, therefore, receive various penalties depending on the location.

Felony DUI Convictions

If you have two or more DUIs, that’s the main reason why another DUI would make it a felony. A number of states include “washout” periods for convictions for DUI. This stands for DUIs that happen during a specific time. However, assuming you have two DUIs within the period or you commit a DUI in a state where DUI convictions remain on your record for the rest of your life, a third DUI will likely end up in your being convicted of a felony.

If you receive a felony DUI, you will typically get a term a year or possibly more in either jail or state prison. Furthermore, the fines for felony DUI are often a lot higher than for misdemeanors. They can cost up to several thousand or more. A longer suspension of your license can also occur for a felony DUI.

When You Have A DUI Criminal Record

When you have a DUI, or any crime, for example, having that on your record can create problems for you. However, in a number of states, if you get a DUI, you can have it expunged from your record after some time has passed. After a conviction is expunged, in general, you can truthfully report the no convictions are on your record.

Contact The Butler Law Firm Right Now

Mr. Butler is the owner of this criminal law office in Houston. He will do everything in his power as a legal official to receive the justest outcome for his client. Feel free to contact or call Atty. Jim Butler right now to get your free consultation to see what a skilled attorney can do for you.

All You Need To Know About Houston Federal DUI Charge

Understanding What Is Federal DUI Charge In Houston

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving while impaired is considered a crime in all parts of the country. While every state has its own laws for DUI/DWI, there are also federal DUI laws and penalties. You might face federal DUI charges in case you get arrested for DUI on federal property. Since the DUI happened on federal property or on a property that is under federal jurisdiction, it comes under federal law.

In most cases, federal DUI comes into play when it happens on military bases or national parks. It might also happen at post offices, parking lots on federal land, certain airports, national monuments as well as government compounds. If you get convicted under federal DUI, you should know that there are significant social and legal consequences that last for a really long time.

Blood Alcohol Concentration Criteria – Federal DUI

As far as the blood alcohol concentration criteria are concerned when it comes to federal DUI, the limit stands at 0.08 g per 100 mL of blood or 0.08 g of alcohol per 200 L of breath. A DUI offense is defined by the National Park Service as:

  • When a driver is not capable of operating a vehicle safely
  • When their blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08% or higher
  • When their blood alcohol concentration level crosses the limit defined by the state law in case the DUI limit in the state is stricter

Federal DUI – Basis Of Prosecution

When it comes to the charges and prosecution in case of a DUI offense, the location plays a central role. For instance, the Code of Federal Regulations is used for prosecution and trial when DUI occurs on the National Park Service lands. If DUI occurs on other federal property, the charges and prosecution take place as per the DUI penalties and laws defined in the state of Texas.

There are severe penalties defined by the National Park Service laws for DUI. It is considered a class B misdemeanor and the penalties are:

  • Fine up to a maximum of $5000
  • Jail time for a maximum of 6 months
  • Probation for a maximum of 5 years

If the arrest happens on federal land that isn’t inside a military base or National Park Service land, the prosecution takes place as per the state statutes.

Federal Law – Chemical Test Refusal

Anybody driving on federal land gets automatically included under the implied consent law. It simply means that if you are under suspicion of DUI or you get arrested, you have to submit to a urine, breath, or blood test for determining your blood alcohol concentration level. If you do not agree to a chemical test after you have been lawfully arrested for DUI, it is considered a misdemeanor under federal law. If you’re convicted in such a case, you might have to pay a steep fine and spend up to 6 months in federal prison. In addition, your driving privileges on federal land might also be revoked for a period of one year from the date of your arrest.

Contact The Butler Law Firm Right Now

Mr. Butler is the owner of this criminal law office in Houston. He will do everything in his power as a legal official to receive the justest outcome for his client. Feel free to contact or call Atty. Jim Butler right now to get your free consultation to see what a skilled attorney can do for you.

Why Drunk Driving Is A Houston Criminal Offense

Ramifications Of Drunk Driving In Houston

Operating a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal activity. Given that this type of conduct poses such a significant risk to others, the penalties imposed all across the country on those found guilty of such offenses are growing more severe all the time.

Disregard for a moment the danger you are inflicting on yourself and everyone else who shares the roads. The fact is that if you are apprehended driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, the criminal record that can result is something that will follow you for years, harming your employment prospects, your relationships, and your finances.

If you are stopped by police and found to be driving drunk:

  1. You will be arrested and likely taken to jail where someone close to you will need to post a bond to secure your release.
  2. You will have a court date where your case will be decided by a judge or perhaps a jury. If your blood alcohol level at the time of your traffic stop was over 0.08, you can be found guilty of a crime in every state in the country.
  3. There will be heavy fines and court costs to pay. You may also receive a term of probation which also brings supervision fees of its own.
  4. You will almost certainly face a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. In order to regain your ability to legally drive, you may need to undergo an alcohol assessment and education.
  5. If it is determined that you have a problem with substance abuse, mandatory treatment will be imposed as a condition of license reinstatement.
  6. Your auto insurance costs are sure to skyrocket.
  7. You may be forced to foot the bill for an ignition interlock device to be installed on the car that will prevent you from driving if you have been drinking.

Additional Consequences

These are just some of the potential costs of getting caught drunk driving. However, the implications of a conviction in this realm can extend far beyond the courtroom to impact other areas of life, including social and professional ones.

The question is whether driving drunk is really worth the pain it can ultimately cause. It is a much wiser decision to simply call a friend or perhaps a rideshare company to get you home if you have had a few too many.

Tips For Avoiding A Drunk Driving Stop

If you must drink, but wish to steer clear of the countless problems getting caught driving can produce, consider the following advice:

  1. When you drink, do not get behind the wheel, no matter what.
  2. Always have a designated driver selected in advance of any social event where drinking will occur.
  3. If you drink too much and lack a pre-determined driver, call a friend, loved one, or taxi to take you home.
  4. Stay put, if necessary, until you are sober.
  5. Never get into a car with another driver who is impaired
  6. If you see someone preparing to drive drunk, take their car keys and arrange for alternate transportation.

Got a DUI/DWI charge? Give Atty. Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need.

How To Legally Fight A DUI In Houston Pt 3

Helpful Ideas On Dealing With Your Houston DUI Charge

Part 3

What To Expect After Being Pulled Over For A DUI

If you have been charged with and/or convicted of a DUI, you can probably expect the following to happen:

  • The officer who pulled you over will place you under arrest. The officer should read you your rights and then take you to the police station where you will be booked and detained in a jail cell until you make bail. In general, the stay in jail is to allow you to sober up in order to post bail. In some cases and in some jurisdictions, you will need to have a bail hearing before a judge who will decide whether bail will be granted and the amount. In other jurisdictions, standard bail is set for DUI’s allowing the police station to accept bail and release you.
  • You will have to appear in court at a hearing where you will need to plead guilty or not guilty. Your lawyer will advise you as to which will be most beneficial to suit the unique circumstances of your case.
  • Expect to have your driver’s license suspended in some way and for some period of time. Most states suspend driver’s licenses after DUI convictions.
  • It is going to cost you. You will need to pay a fine, court fees, towing and storage fees, counseling and therapy fees as well as lawyers fees. Even if it is a routine arrest, it is going to be a costly matter. If your DUI resulted in an accident that caused damage to property, injuries, or other damages, you are going to pay even more.
  • You are going to receive a jail sentence. A first DUI arrest should only result in a few hours in jail. Second and multiple offenses can result in a jail sentence, house arrest, community service, etc. Depending on a number of factors, an offender can spend anywhere from a couple of months to years in jail. Different states have varying lengths of sentencing for DUI offenses.
  • You will probably be put on probation. Probation will require regular visits with a probation officer to check up on you and ensure that you are abiding by the law and your sentence as well as that you are not using drugs or alcohol. Being caught drinking, drinking and driving, or committing another offense while on probation can have severe consequences.
  • You may be required to attend an educational program and/or counseling related to substance abuse. Your lawyer will recommend enrolling in a substance abuse program, getting therapy, or providing proof that you are attending 12-Step meetings.
  • Your DUI conviction is going to affect your auto insurance and you are probably looking at increased rates and perhaps greater deductibles and restrictions applying to your claims.
  • If you were arrested, you are going to have a permanent arrest record. If you were convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record. Your current record should not reflect the arrest or conviction after a few years. However, it will never be deleted from your permanent record. These records are accessible to the public and employers, insurance providers, landlords, educational institutions, etc. access these records to run a background check on you and your arrest or conviction can have negative life-long consequences.

To avoid these penalties, don’t drink and drive. Also, contact a lawyer immediately if you have been arrested or charged with a DUI.

Visit our blog for more related articles. We also invite you to contact or call us today if you are in need of the best DWI Law Attorney in Houston. Missed the first article in this series? Click here!