What To Do When You Get DWI In Texas

Are you charged with DWI and you’re not sure what to do? The DWI process is not as complicated as you think, but it’s important you know what to expect, so you can protect yourself.

The process involves an administrative hearing where you have 15 days from the date of your arrest to schedule it. Not doing so can result to the suspension of your license. You will also face a criminal case where bail is determined by the court as well as a pre-trial appearance and a trial.

In the pre-trial, all evidence against you will be reviewed. This is where plea-bargaining can happen and having a good defense attorney can help in dealing with your case.

Butler Law Firm | DWI in TexasPossible penalties you will face include:

  • License revocation
  • Imprisonment
  • Community Service
  • Fines
  • Probation

A DWI record can have a huge impact in your life. Your family, employment and personal relationships can be greatly affected by a permanent criminal record and you don’t want this to happen.

When you are charged with DWI, don’t hesitate to call a reputable DWI attorney in Houston. It’s important you know your legal options and what needs to be done.

Reputable Houston DWI Attorney

Working with skilled and highly experienced lawyers can help mitigate the charges against you. This is where the lawyers at Butler Law Firm can help. Our lawyers have the necessary skills and expertise to analyze test results and come up with possible defense strategies.

A law practitioner since 1993, Jim Butler is an expert in DWI cases. He has years of experience handling DWI cases and has an in-depth knowledge in looking for test procedure errors.

When you work with Butler Law Firm, you know you’re in good hands. Get a free case evaluation today!

DWI Start to Finish

Butler Law Firm | Houston DWI Start To FinishAre you feeling stressed not knowing what exactly is going to happen now?

Being charged with DWI is scary – Here is what to expect…

IT CAN BE A LENGTHY PROCESS: Have patience. It can sometimes seem as though the court is a waste of your time. It can be! You will have several resets before any resolution is made in your case, in most situations. dismissals require work and don’t happen overnight. We can assure you that dismissal is our #1 goal! From day one, we begin the discovery phase of DWI defense.

  • We subpoena all Breath/Blood records from proper agencies.
  • We request the ALR (license) hearing
  • We copy the video in your case, should one exist.
  • We request a copy of the Offense Report for our review.
  • We pull all audio and MDT (police laptop) records
  • We pull the officer’s training records

SUBPOENA’S IN A DWI CASE: Breath and blood subpoena’s can take anywhere from 30-90 days to be complied with. It takes time for the various agencies to produce these records. In a blood case, it can be extremely frustrating because no BAC (blood alcohol content) is known until those records are received. We also request MDT records (records between officers on computer) in each case, which takes roughly 30 days to receive. If it applies to your case, any 911 tapes are also requested for review. Once records are obtained they then have to be reviewed for mistakes and discrepancies.

VIDEO EVIDENCE: Once your video is copied and put into your file, Mr. Butler & his paralegal will review the video. At the client’s request, you may set up an in person meeting to review your video with Mr. Butler in our office. There are 2 key pieces of evidence in every case, the Offense Report & the Video.

CASE UPDATES: You may call our office at anytime with questions or concerns. If/when new evidence is discovered Mr. Butler will generally go over this evidence with you at each court setting. When your ALR hearing date is calendared you will be sent a copy of the hearing notice for your records. We largely send out updates and reminders via email and snail mail.

PAYMENTS: We strictly enforce our payment plans. While we do work with you by giving a payment plan we expect each payment to be made on time. We accept cash as a preferred method of payment & credit cards are also welcome.

CASE OUTCOME: As mentioned above our #1 goal is to get a dismissal. However, in the event that the State won’t back down, you may be given an option to plea bargain, and in some cases you may be offered Pre Trial Intervention, or “PTI”, (a probation like program that allows for dismissal of the case once completed successfully). The “PTI” program is not available to everyone. You can only apply if you have NO arrest/conviction history, and if your breath or blood test number was below .15. Once you apply, you have to be accepted. Plea deals differ in each court depending on the Judge and the prosecutors. Mr. Butler can better advise you on your particular courts usual plea offer for the offense pending. Should you not be “PTI” eligible, and choose to reject any plea bargain offers and the State refuses to dismiss, we set the case for trial. Trial preparation begins!

DWI punishment range – A first offense DWI is a class B Misdemeanor punishable by jail time from 72 hours, up to 180 days in jail and a fine from $0 dollars up to $2000.00

In addition to these charges, court costs, and surcharges from DPS will be required.

A second offense is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by jail time from 30 days in jail, up to 1 year in jail and a fine from $0 dollars up to $4000.00.

A person who was convicted of DWI within the preceding 5 years, will be required to serve 5 days as a condition of probation. They will also not be required to have an interlock device installed as a condition of any occupational license granted.

In addition to these charges, court costs, and a surcharges from DPS will be required.

A third offense is a 3rd degree felony which carries a punishment range of from $0 up to $10k., and from 2 years to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.

In many cases, probation is available, however, ten days in jail is required as a condition of probation. Jim will discuss this with you when you call.

How Does a DWI Affect Your Insurance Including Your Spouse’s and Parents’ Insurance?

Butler Law Firm | Auto Insurance and DWI in Houston TXSo you had one drink too many at a late-night party, and you were confident you would make it home without any trouble, but you were wrong. You eventually found yourself in police custody for DWI, and you wondered how you got there in the first place.

A DWI charge is no laughing matter, and you know that there are serious implications around it. A possible conviction is on top of the list, but one important thing you might miss is how a DWI can also greatly affect your insurance rates. It is not something you want to worry about at the moment since there are more important things to think about like a possible license suspension. That is highly understandable, but not considering the effect of the DWI charge in your insurance rates can be detrimental in the long run.

Here are four ways a DWI can affect your insurance rates:

1.  Having A Tainted Driving Record

A DWI charge can mean huge fines, court costs and license suspension. It can also mean having a DWI conviction on your driving record. The latter can put a stigma on you even after the legal interactions have ended. Insurance companies request for your driving record and seeing a DWI conviction can mean a higher premium. This goes the same when you’re renewing your auto policy.

2.  Paying Higher Premiums As a High-Risk Driver

Having a DWI charge places you in the high-risk category of auto insurance. This means having a more difficult time getting an affordable insurance. This is not ideal especially if you are on a tight budget. With a history of DWI on your driving record, there is even a possibility for insurance companies not to insure you. If they are willing to insure you, be prepared to spend a good amount of money for it.

One thing you want to avoid is for your insurance company to cancel your policy. If this happens, you will need to look for a new insurance company who will consider both your DWI and insurance cancellation records. This does not sound good, and it can mean a much higher premium for you.

3.  Filing An SR-22

A DWI conviction that results in a driver’s license suspension is required to file an SR-22 with DPS and maintain coverage for two years starting from the date of the conviction. It serves as a proof of financial responsibility and that you are properly insured. This is also a requirement so the DMV can lift your license suspension.

Often, the insurance company will file this for you, but this depends, so it is best to check with them. Some insurance companies do not offer SR-22 policies and can just cancel your insurance. Depending on the gravity of the situation, you may need to show proof of auto insurance for several years to keep a valid license.

Filing an SR-22 puts you in a higher risk with insurance companies and your rates can remain high for a number of years after your DWI conviction.

4.  Adverse Effect on Your Family’s Insurance Rates

Having a DWI conviction does not only affect you, but it also affects your whole family. A serious case like this requires your family to be involved financially, emotionally and psychologically. In terms of auto insurance, it can also affect some of them especially your spouse or your parents. If you listed any of them as drivers of your vehicle on your auto policy, they might also experience a rate increase.

Insurance companies gather information on the vehicle owner and other drivers in the household. This is where they base the cost of the insurance. If the policyholder has a DWI conviction, there is a big chance that the other members of the household will need to pay a higher premium as well. Although a DWI conviction is a serious matter, it is not the end of the world for you. Insurers review the offenses on a case-to-case basis. If this is your first offense and you have an excellent driving record, the increase in rates may only be marginal. Repeat offenders, however, are a big risk for insurers and can result in high premiums or insurance cancellations. This is a tricky matter if you are not familiar with how insurance companies work. If you have a DWI conviction, and you want to know how this might affect your insurance, having an experienced attorney can help you make your next step.

Will My Career Be Affected With A DWI Conviction?

Butler Law Firm | DWI in Houston TXThe harsh truth is yes your career will be affected. It also may not be as bad as you anticipate it to be. No matter how serious this can be for you, fret not because you are not alone. A lot of people out there are in the same position as you. They too are wondering about their chances of getting and or keeping their dream jobs even with DWI arrests.

There is no denying that driving under the influence (DWI) can put your career at risk. Having a record for drunk-driving does not sit well with most employers. However, this situation is not too great to be overcome.

So what are some things you can do to lessen the impact of a DWI on your career?

Here are some ways:

1.  Be Honest About It.

This one is pretty simple but hard to do. You can be tempted to omit the information when filling out an employment questionnaire, but the best thing to do is to be outright honest about it. You might be able to get away with it before you get hired, but if the employer finds out about it, you might be fired immediately. This will not look good in your employment history.

However, you do not need to offer the information if you are not asked about it. There is a possibility that some employers will not find out about your record since some do not require you to fill out a form.

2.  Choose An Appropriate Job.

There are some specific jobs, however, where you need to volunteer the information even if you are not asked about it. Applying for a job or any work that requires a lot of driving will obviously require someone with a good driving record. If you have several DWI cases convictions, this might not be an ideal job for you.

Other jobs that will not suit well for those with DWI arrests are jobs looking for truck drivers, cab drivers, and even Uber drivers.

Teachers and school employees are also at risk of being fired if they have DWI charges.

Merchant seamen, pilots, and military personnel can experience grave consequences if they do not report the conviction.

It is, therefore, best to avoid employment in these areas knowing your chances will be greatly affected by your DWI conviction.

3.  Background Checks.

Any employer can choose to conduct a background check on both prospective and current employees for many different reasons, some reasons being more valid and legal than others.

The question as to whether or not your conviction will come up on the background check is going to depend on the limits of your employer’s ability to conduct a background check being that employer’s limitations are governed mostly by state laws.

Even if you do not want your prospective employers to know about your DWI case especially if it happened several years ago, it can still be on your record.

A lot of companies require a background check on their prospective employees and a simple search in the Motor Vehicles Dept. can lead to them finding out about your case if they have the clearance.

If your record shows, it does not mean your chances of being hired are over. You do not need to be defensive about it either by stating it in your cover letter. The best time to tell your story is when the issue is brought up in the interview.

You can state your side of the story and do not dwell too much on it. It is important for the employer to see that you have learned a lesson from it, and it is not your normal behavior, and you are not likely to do it again.

Regardless of the precautions, you take, however, there is no way to predict how your job-hunting efforts will turn out. No matter how qualified you are, an employer can dismiss you because of your record.

No matter, the ideal thing is still to have a clean record, which is why before pleading guilty to a DWI charge; it is best to seek the help of a professional lawyer. You can contact the Butler Law Office Firm for a free case consultation to make you feel more comfortable and to receive help to discover what your real options are before its to late. It is important to know the ramifications of the charges to your life in general. Working with the Butler Law Office Firm can help you weigh out all options and can help you possibly maintain a clean record resulting in your career thriving just as it was before.

Again, having a DWI conviction does not take away your chances of getting employed in a good job. It can be more challenging, but with the proper guidance and help from a professional lawyer, you can get your life back on track slowly but surely.