DUI Charge & DUI Conviction In Houston: What Is Their Distinction?

The Difference Between DUI Charge & DUI Conviction

While the terms “DUI charge” and “DUI conviction” are related, there is a big difference between the two. Being charged with a DUI occurs when you are arrested by police after being pulled over on the suspicion of driving while intoxicated. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ve been convicted of DUI. This happens later on in a court of law.

A DUI conviction carries severe and far-reaching consequences that can affect you long after you’ve completed your legal punishment. If you’ve been charged with DUI, you need to treat this with the urgency and seriousness it deserves. This means seeking the assistance of an aggressive and experienced DUI defense lawyer who will help you beat the DUI and avoid a conviction.

With that being said, here is a look at some common defenses that you can use in court:

Field Sobriety Tests

The use of field sobriety testing is one of the most controversial aspects surrounding DUI arrests. There are many issues affecting these tests that can provide potential legal defenses against a DUI charge. Failing a Field Sobriety Test doesn’t actually prove that you were intoxicated or drove while drunk. In addition, FSTs are open to misinterpretation. Given the subjective nature of FSTs, it is almost always guaranteed that you will fail the tests and get a DUI charge.


Breathalyzers are generally considered to be more accurate than Field Sobriety Tests when it comes to determining whether a person is intoxicated or not. However, as you will see with many other tools listed here, breathalyzers are far from being perfect. They are prone to errors due to a range of reasons. Perhaps the most glaring issue is the fact that breathalyzers aren’t able to distinguish between methyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol (the kind of alcohol present in alcoholic drinks). Keep in mind there is a big difference between the two. A breathalyzer can show false levels of blood alcohol content simply because of what you ate for lunch. In addition, people suffering from conditions such as diabetes and GERD often show elevated levels of Blood Alcohol Content as a result of their physical conditions.

Blood & Chemical Tests

While blood and chemical tests are by far the most accurate techniques of determining one’s blood alcohol content, they have their fair share of shortcomings. There is always the possibility of the blood sample being mishandled which can lead to coagulation, decaying to congealing all of which affect the accuracy of the results. Moreso, contamination can occur through the alcohol swab used when cleaning the area before the blood sample is taken for testing leading to a false reading.

These are just but a few of the potential defenses that your attorney can use to help you beat your DUI charge. Your attorney will be able to determine the best form of defense depending on your case. While getting a DUI charge doesn’t automatically mean that you will get a conviction, the decisions you make from the moment you are arrested will heavily influence whether this happens.

Arguably, the first and most crucial step is hiring an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney. Jim Butler is an experienced Texas DUI defense attorney who knows what it takes to win a DUI case. Even though a DUI charge isn’t the same as a DUI conviction, you need to take immediate action to protect your freedom and future. Contact us or call us today to schedule a free initial consultation. Visit our blog for more related articles.