James R. Butler

Glossary and Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary of Important Terms
  1. Acquittal – What we strive for. Where a judge or jury pronounces you Not Guilty, and all of your rights are returned, and all hardships imposed on you are lifted.
  2. ALR Hearing – Administrative License Revocation Hearing. It is your attorney’s first opportunity to contest the suspension of your drivers license. The request for this hearing must be made within 15 days from the date of arrest. These proceedings are civil in nature and are separate from the criminal case. (The Butler Law Firm values this hearing, as it affords us an opportunity to cross examine the arresting officer, and extract important information which can be used in your defense).
  3. Arraignment Setting – The first court setting. If you have not hired a lawyer by this first court appearance, the Court will allow you additional time to hire one.
  4. Cash Bond – An amount of money paid directly to the County, guaranteeing that a person will appear in court. If a person posts a cash bond they will have those funds returned to them, ten to twelve weeks after the final disposition.
  5. Surety Bond – An amount of money a Bonding Company agrees to pay, guaranteeing that you will appear in court. It is the most common type of bond posted. An individual pays a percentage of the amount owed to bond out to a bonding company. You do not get that money back.
  6. BAC – Blood or breath alcohol content. In Texas, the presumed limit of intoxication is .08.
  7. Bond Forfeiture – If you are late to your court appearance more than once, a Judge can forfeit your bond, and raise the amount required for you to stay out on bond. If this happens, additional surety will have to be posted for you to be released from custody of the Sheriff’s Department. In the past, the Butler Law Firm has been able to have forfeitures overturned, if there was good cause shown.
  8. Butler Law Firm – A 100% DWI defense firm that is dedicated to achieving results for it’s clients. They really care about the lives and well being of the people they represent.
  9. Bond Conditions , also known as Pre Trial Conditions – a set of restrictions imposed by the Court, on individuals bywho are released on bond. An example would be ordering a person not to use alcohol while out on bond, or ordering them to report in person to Pre Trial Services, after each court appearance.
  10. Mandatory Bond Conditions – These conditions are required by Statute. In DWI cases where there is a breath or blood test in excess of .15, or for repeat DWI offenders, an Ignition Interlock, a device you blow into in order to start your vehicle, is required by State Law. If you drive a company owned vehicle, (not your own company) there are exceptions to this.
  11. DWI – Driving while intoxicated. It is an opinion crime. The Officer offered an opinion that you no longer had your normal mental or physical faculties due to alcohol, drugs, a combination of those two things, or an unknown substance.There is a presumption of intoxication if your BAC was .08 or higher. The Butler Law Firm contests that presumption
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I check to see if my license is suspended?
Call our office at (713) 236-8744 and we will check for you on the DPS website.

I received a letter in the mail from the DPS saying my license was going to be suspended and that I need to pay a fine. What does this mean?

Usually, a fine is automatically charged to you when your license is revoked or you have been ordered to install an interlock device on your vehicle or at your home. Call our office at (713) 236-8744 if you have already paid these charges and the records do not reflect that payment. Please allow 15 business days for your payments to process.

Questions About Pulled Over For DUI Guide

Thankfully, in most cases, the older the charge, the less relevant it becomes. With a reckless driving charge on your record, it could impact any future convictions you receive. This means a second charge could result in a more serious sentencing. In some situations, your car insurance could be impacted.

People often ask me whether a criminal conviction falls off their record after seven years. The answer is no. Your criminal history record is a list of your arrests and convictions. When you apply for a job, an employer will usually hire a consumer reporting agency to run your background.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings will hold your Texas ALR Hearing. Both you (and your lawyer) and DPS will present evidence demonstrating why your driver’s license should or should not be revoked. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider all the evidence presented and render their decision.

Class B misdemeanors are a class of criminal offense in Texas. A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor carries up to 180 days in county jail. Defendants can also be made to pay a fine of up to $2,000. These penalties can increase if the offense is enhanced.

In Texas, DWI is a more serious crime. DUIs are only charged to minors under the Texas Traffic Code. Because a DUI is charged when any amount of alcohol is found in their system, it is much easier to be found guilty, however. DWIs are charged under the Texas Penal Code, which makes it a serious offense.

The short answer to the question of how long a DWI stays on your record in Texas is: forever. That’s right. Unless you can get it expunged, a DWI conviction will become part of your public and legal records. It will remain permanently on your criminal record and there is no “washout period”.

What are the penalties for a DWI? Up to a $2,000 fine. Up to 180 days in jail upon conviction with three mandatory days. Loss of driver license up to a year.

The law regarding DWI expungements is complicated in Texas. If you were convicted of a DWI/DUI then no, you cannot get it expunged. The conviction will remain on your record. However, if you were arrested for a DUI or DWI, there may be some conditions that allow you to get it expunged.

For example, the fines for a first-time DUI/DWI offense in Texas is up to $2000, and up to as high as $10,000 if there was a passenger younger than 15 years of age in the vehicle. *Other potential Texas DUI costs include property damage, loss of employment income and insured and uninsured medical costs.

Once you have two convictions, a 3rd DWI in Texas is immediately a third-degree felony conviction. Felony convictions come with much steeper punishments, including more state jail time and steeper fines. The punishment for a 3rd DWI in Texas is: Fine of up to $10,00.

Questions About DWI In Texas First Offense – What Should You Do?

Texas DWI charges especially for a first-time offense can be dismissed entirely or lowered to a less serious charge such as reckless driving.

If you do end up being convicted for a 1st offense DWI in Texas, unless you are granted probation, you are probably looking at the mandatory three days in county jail. The other possibility is community supervision, which usually means you will be sentenced to some form of community service.

How likely is jail time for the first DWI today? Under September 2021 sentencing laws for a first offender DWI conviction, an average fine of at least $1,300, minimum suspended license for one year, and the possibility of serving at least 10 to 30 days required jail time is likely in most states.

The short answer to the question of how long a DWI stays on your record in Texas is: forever. That’s right. Unless you can get it expunged, a DWI conviction will become part of your public and legal records. It will remain permanently on your criminal record and there is no “washout period”.

In Texas DWI cases, what is it you need to beat? If you are arrested for a DWI or DUI in Harris County, you need to keep in mind that it’s not only the criminal aspect of a DWI or DUI you need to beat but an administrative license revocation (ALR) procedure against your driver’s license that you also need to beat.

What are the penalties for a DWI? Up to a $2,000 fine. Up to 180 days in jail upon conviction with three mandatory days. Loss of driver’s license up to a year.

Generally speaking: First-time offenders face a $1,000 yearly fee (for a total of $3,000) Second-time offenders are levied with a $1,500 annual fee (for a total of $4,500) Anyone convicted of DWI with a BAC of more than 0.15 will have to pay a $2,000 yearly fee (for a total of $6,000).

You can beat a DWI charge by identifying legal flaws or doubts about any key evidence required to convict. Inaccurate breathalyzer BAC tests, police errors, medical conditions, and dozens of DWII defenses can be used to fight a DWI and get DWI cases dismissed or charges reduced.

The state of Texas defines probation as “community supervision,” which means the probationer remains in the “community” and is “supervised” by a probation officer. The length of probation can be from as little as six months to as long as two years for a first-offense DWI conviction.

A DWI misdemeanor stays on your record for life unless you successfully petition for expungement. There is no preset “expiration date” for misdemeanor crimes. Even though misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies, they are still serious breaches in the eyes of the law.

Questions About Multiple DWI/DUI Offenses

Since a DWI carries more serious penalties, it is typically worse than a DUI. The penalties for a DUI or a DWI depend on the circumstances of the case such as a resulting injury/fatality, blood alcohol level (BAC), number of offenses, and the status of the defendant’s driver’s license.

Consequences and Penalties for a First-Time Conviction Penalties for a first-offense DWI often include fines, license suspension, and substance abuse education courses. Some states also require mandatory jail time and ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for first DWIs.

In Texas, a first-time DWI offense is typically charged as a class B misdemeanor. Under Texas law, any individual who is convicted twice for drug or alcohol-related offenses within 10 years is considered chemically dependent and will be unable to obtain a firearms license.

The expungement of a felony will customarily cost a minimum of $1,000, but may cost upwards of $2,500 or even more. Misdemeanors can usually be expunged for $1,000 or less.

Can you get off probation early for a DWI in Texas? The length of the probation varies from case to case. But what does not vary is the fulfillment of this probation. In other words, your probation cannot end early with a DWI conviction.

DWI, on the other hand, may mean driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Regardless of what it’s called, a charge of DUI or DWI arises when a law enforcement officer thinks you were too impaired to drive. The impairment could be caused by alcohol, drugs, sleepiness or other factors.

Normally a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor. However, when a driver’s BAC is 0.15 or higher, a DWI becomes a Class A misdemeanor. This fact enhances the penalties that a driver charged with DWI will face upon conviction.

Yes, USAA will insure you with a DWI. After the DWI conviction stops showing up on your driving record, usually within 3 to 5 years, USAA will decrease your rates.

Questions About Is A DWI A Felony In Texas

Generally, it’s possible to be convicted of a DUI as a misdemeanor or a felony. Having prior DUI convictions can also elevate a DUI to a felony. In some states, first and second DUI offenses are misdemeanors but a third or subsequent conviction is a felony.

Yes, jail time is mandatory for a 2nd DWI conviction in Texas. Although it is possible to avoid jail time after a 1st DWI conviction, a 2nd DWI comes with a minimum of 72 hours in jail, although you could be forced to serve up to 1 year in jail for this charge.

How Much Will It Cost to Expunge My Criminal Record in Texas? As a general rule, it costs more to expunge a felony than a misdemeanor. The expungement of a felony will customarily cost a minimum of $1,000, but may cost upwards of $2,500 or even more. Misdemeanors can usually be expunged for $1,000 or less.

Though costs vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the bottom line is that DUIs are expensive. If you get arrested for a DUI—even if you aren’t ultimately charged or convicted—you’re likely to spend quite a bit before it’s all over.

3rd DUI offense charges can get dismissed or reduced with proper legal advice in time to intervene and establish the best DUI defense for no probable cause for a traffic stop or other arrest circumstances.

Your parents, school, or employer will likely find out about your DUI. You don’t have to tell your parents about your DUI, but if you need their financial support or if they start to wonder why you haven’t been driving, you will likely have to inform them of your arrest. Your school may also find out.

Once the investigation is complete the police will usually detain you until you’ve “sobered up”. If charged with an offence you will most likely be released on bail and asked to appear in court in three to five weeks’ time. You will be allowed to drive once you’re under the prescribed limit.

Many insurers will remove your DUI charge from your record after 3 years, while for others it could take up to 6 years.

Although a DUI conviction tends to affect many things in your life, the likelihood of your DUI conviction affecting your credit score is minimal. Usually it will not show up on a credit report, as a conviction stays on your criminal record held within the Department of Justice.

The penalties for killing someone while driving drunk are quite severe, and vary by state law. Typically, a motorist who’s convicted of a DUI-related (or BUI-related (boating under the influence)) killing is looking at felony charges that carry jail or prison time, fines, and license suspension or revocation.

Questions About DUI Under 21

Minor DUI will be given to drivers under 21 who have a BAC of 0.2% or more if pulled over and tested. This means that if you are under 21 and driving with a BAC of anything over normal blood alcohol content levels of 0.00%, then you will receive a DUI.

A blood alcohol content (BAC), of 0.08 is the federal limit that allows you to drive legally in the United States. But drunk driving penalties are a lot like real estate values — it all comes down to location, location, location.

Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol (“Minor DUI”) The crime of “driver under twenty-one consuming alcohol,” sometimes called a “minor DUI,” is classified as a misdemeanor and punishable by 0-90 days in jail and a $0-$1000 fine.

This is the same DUI law that applies to adults, and an underage drinker can face the full range of criminal charges. This includes thousands of dollars of fines and court fees, up to six months in jail or juvenile custody, a three to nine-month DUI course, suspension of your driver’s license, and years of probation.

A minor is a person who is under 18 years of age and is charged with driving violations. Driving without a license is usually a misdemeanor. This is less serious than a felony. Driving without a license is often a misdemeanor that can lead to a fine and up to six months in jail.

Questions About DUI For Drugs: What You Need To Know

There is no DUI unless the drug impairs the driver’s ability to operate safely or the driver is under the influence of (or affected by) an “intoxicating” drug.

Are there rules about when I can’t drive if I am on a methadone or buprenorphine program? You are OK to drive if you are stable on your dose and are not affected by significant amounts of other medications or drugs.

Xanax is a drug that is legally prescribed but it is not legal to drive under the influence of the drug. No motorist can legally drive a motor vehicle if under the influence of a drug, legally prescribed or not such as Xanax or other anti-anxiety drugs.

Review the Legality of Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs. You may face criminal charges if you’re accused of a DUID. 

The Motor Traffic Amendment Act 1915 (NSW) created the offence of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in this state. The Motor Traffic Amendment Act 1937 (NSW), added drugs to the offense. DUI was a crime that could have resulted in a driver being fined PS100 or sentencing to 12 months imprisonment.

A conviction for drug driving will result in a criminal record, a heavy fine, six months imprisonment, or both.

Blood tests are generally the best way to determine the amount of alcohol and drugs in a person’s blood. But still, a good defense lawyer can often find ways of attacking blood test results.

This not only applies to alcohol but also to intoxication from drugs. A positive drug test for driving carries the same hefty penalties as drink driving. Alcohol and drug testing are routinely carried out at the roadside on drivers suspected to be under the influence.

Police will conduct a roadside impairment test if they suspect a driver of driving under the influence. If the individual fails this, they can be arrested and taken to a police station where a doctor must certify that the person is impaired to the extent that they are unfit to drive.

Continuing to drink or use drugs despite the negative consequences associated with a DUI can be a sign of a substance abuse problem.

Questions About ALR Hearing Request

ALR (or Administrative License Revocation Hearing) can be used to save a license from being suspended after an arrest for driving while impaired. If DPS proves its case, the judge will approve the suspension of the driver’s license.

After the hearing, the ALJ will issue a final decision and order. If the judge finds that DPS has proven its case, the judge will authorize the suspension of the individual’s driver’s license.

Can I check the status of my California license online? You can find out if your California driver’s license has been suspended by going online. You can request a driver record from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The record that you receive online will have the pertinent information.

It usually takes 2-4 weeks to obtain a date for your ALR hearing, and you are entitled to one continuance after you receive the date.

An Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is a driver’s license suspension that can be imposed, before any court involvement, on individuals charged with Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI). For the first 15 days, no driving privileges are allowed.

If you are able to show that you have a “critical need to drive” upon the suspension of your license, you may be granted restricted driving privileged instead. On a restricted license you will be able to drive to work, school, a court-ordered DUI school, or anywhere else permitted by the court.

ALS Criminal Law team The ALS is unique because Aboriginal community field officers work alongside lawyers to offer the best service, legal advice and court representation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children.

In Texas, driving is a privilege and not a right. Revocation of a driver’s license means that the individual’s privilege to drive a motor vehicle is terminated for a period of time. After this period of time, the individual must obtain a new driver’s license.

If you’ve already had a hearing, but want to contest the decision, you can request an appeal within 30 days of receiving your hearing suspension letter.

Driver’s licenses can also be suspended for non-driving offenses, such as failure to pay child support. Conviction for a non DUI drug offense. Failing to appear in court or answering to a moving violation.

Questions About Can You Beat A DWI In Texas?

In Texas, your employer has the legal right to fire you for a DWI conviction in most cases. Consequently, your employer likely has the right to fire you for this reason. Most employers won’t fire you for no reason.

The average length of a DUI trial is usually three to five days. Most trials are jury trials versus court or judge trials. The reason for that is because in a jury trial, there are 12 people who have to agree on the verdict whereas in a judge trial, only one person has to make the decision.

DWI is more severe than a DUI because it carries greater penalties. The penalties for a DUI or a DWI depend on the circumstances of the case such as a resulting injury/fatality, blood alcohol level (BAC), number of offenses, and the status of the defendant’s driver’s license.

Most cases don’t require you to notify your employer about a DUI conviction. There are exceptions. Your employer may require that you report any DUI or criminal charges. To maintain a professional license, you must disclose your criminal record.

Yes — DWI charges show up on a background check forever in Texas. If the DWI was dismissed without probation, it is eligible for deletion through expunction. DWI convictions can now be sealed in certain circumstances with an order of nondisclosure.

Driving While Intoxicated in Texas is a serious offense and court-ordered probation for a DWI carries significant required burdens for the probationer. For a first-offense DWI conviction, probation can last from six months to two years.

Fortunately, it is possible to get a Texas DWI reduced. A criminal defense attorney can negotiate with prosecutors or petition the court for a reduction in charges and/or penalty–or even dismiss your case completely–before the case goes to trial.

Cases are rarely dismissed by the district attorney’s office. Nearly every DWI case can be prosecuted. It usually takes 20-40 days from the date of your arrest before a misdemeanor DWI case is filed and you are issued a court date.

If you have a squeaky clean record and this was a first-time offense, the judge is much more likely to go easy on you. Sometimes, first offenses can be dismissed completely.

By identifying legal flaws and doubts regarding any key evidence required to convict under VC23152, you can defeat a DUI charge. You can fight a DUI charge by using a variety of defenses, including inaccurate breathalyzer BAC tests and police errors.

Questions About Hiring A DWI Lawyer

Getting a DUI could affect your employment, and you might get your driver’s license taken. If you have had charges filed against you for driving under the influence, it is time to hire a DUI attorney.

A public defender can help you beat a DUI. While it is not impossible, hiring a free public defender to fight a DUI or DWI case is most certainly not in any person’s favor for the best chances to get DUI charges dropped or have a case dismissed.

There is a multitude of factors that can cause these estimated costs to be dramatically higher, such as a traffic collision, multiple offenses, a high blood/alcohol concentration, or a probation violation.

Answering your first question, public defense lawyers win only 15% of the cases they take on. However, the prosecution will drop cases they are not likely to win and a public lawyer must take cases that are certain to lose.

Lawyers are people who have completed law school and may have passed the bar exam. An attorney is someone who has been trained and educated in the law and also practices it in court. An attorney is someone who acts in court as a practitioner.

Good quality court-appointed attorneys. A public defender generally provides the same legal representation as a private attorney. Simply because they work for “free” does not mean that they are less skilled or competent. They are often just as competent, or even more so, than private attorneys.

Like any profession, lawyers are not appropriate or necessary in every situation, but they can be extremely useful and even necessary in certain situations. Many lawyers specialize and are knowledgeable in a particular area, so they can help you if you need representation or assistance in their area of expertise.

Failure to pay your DUI fines in the prescribed time frame may result in a warrant being issued by the court for your arrest and probation violation. A DUI probation usually requires that you pay the fines. If you fail to do so, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest and probation violation.

DUI charges are more severe. While reckless driving can result in serious penalties, the punishment is generally less severe than that imposed after a DUI conviction. Jail time is possible with both offenses.

Law will give you the skills to deal with difficult issues, understand human logic, analyze real-life cases, and communicate clearly and clearly verbally and in writing. Your personality will play a major role in your success in this field.

Questions About Hiring A DWI Lawyer

DWI is more severe than a DUI because it carries greater penalties. The penalties for a DUI or a DWI depend on the circumstances of the case such as a resulting injury/fatality, blood alcohol level (BAC), number of offenses, and the status of the defendant’s driver’s license.

DWI charges in Texas for a first offense As long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) registers in under 0.15 (nearly twice the legal limit), your penalty will most likely include a suspended license for 90 to 365 days, a fine up to $2,000, and possibly a few days of jail time depending on your particular situation.

What are the penalties for a DWI? Up to a $2,000 fine. Maximum 180 days imprisonment upon conviction, with three mandatory days. Loss of driver’s license up to a year.

What are the penalties for DWI? A maximum $2,000 fine. Maximum 180 days imprisonment upon conviction, with three mandatory days. Driver license suspension up to one year

Penalties for failure to appear for a felony DUI in California include: Fine up to $5,000-$10,000, County jail sentence up to 1 year, or. Prison for 16 months to 3 years.

A good lawyer can often drop a DUI charge or reduce the severity penalties, such as having the license suspended. Hiring an experienced lawyer can turn what looks like a dark situation into something much more palatable.

While there is no penalty for refusing to take a field sobriety test in Texas, there are consequences for refusing a breath or blood test. In particular, a driver who refuses a blood or breath test following an arrest for DWI may have one’s driver’s license suspended from 90 days to 2 years.

Texas DUI and DWI Penalties When it comes to punishing lawbreakers, Texas is no joke. Texas has a long history as one of the most strict in the country. According to the Texas DMV point system, drivers will incur heavy penalties if they accrue 6 points in the span of 3 years.

A “sentence enhancement” is an extra penalty for a crime, that’s added on top of the usual penalty under certain circumstances. In California, sentence enhancements for DUI are popular because they’re perceived as making the roads safer. They’re also politically popular, and easy to get passed into law.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the average cost of a DWI is $17,000. In a press release issued six years ago the Texas Department of Transportation stated: “Convicted first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver’s license for up to a year, and serve 180 days in jail.”

Questions About Strategies To Fight A Texas DWI/DUI Charge

Texas DWI charges especially for a first-time offense can be dismissed entirely or lowered to a less serious charge such as reckless driving.

A DWI stays on your record permanently in Texas unless you are able to get it expunged or sealed. Anyone who does a criminal background check on the applicant will be able to see a DWI record. This includes landlords, landlords, homeowners associations, potential business partners, and potential employers.

It is possible to win most DUI cases that do not include blood or breath test results. Even though a driver has much better chances to beat a DUI or DWI case with no breath test evidence, a person still has to fight to immediately keep a license from getting suspended at the administrative hearing.

DWI 1st Offense: A first offense DWI is a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction carries a maximum fine of $2,000 as well as a jail sentence of up to 180 days. A conviction carries a maximum fine of $4,000 as well as up to one year in county jail. DWI 3rd Offense is a third-degree felony.

A DWI conviction is permanent. A common misconception is that criminal convictions “fall off” a person’s record after seven-year. Criminal convictions, for DWI or any other charge, remain in government records forever.

Texas defines probation as “community surveillance,” which means that probationers remain in the “community” while being “supervised” by probation officers. For a first-offense DWI conviction, probation can last from six months to two years.

A new law went into effect in Texas on Sept. 1 that allows people who committed driving while intoxicated for the first time to receive deferred adjudication. A subsequent DWI charge would be treated in court as a second DWI offense.

Although thousands of DWI/DUI cases are filed in Texas each year, only a small number are ever dismissed. Experienced criminal defense lawyers know that cases can be dismissed for several reasons. Sometimes, a police officer might not have the right to conduct a traffic stop.

Examples of reducing a DWI charge include: Getting a Felony DWI Reduced to a Misdemeanor like Obstruction of a Highway or Obstruction of a Passageway. Reducing DWI Charges to Reckless Driving. Filing a Pretrial Motion to Remove Illegally Obtained BAC Evidence.

Yes, you can beat a DUI charge, regardless of your test results and the legal limit. Legal motions, objections, and arguments are a great way to beat a DUI. Your case should be analyzed from the very beginning for legal flaws, which have nothing to do with whether you were over the legal limit.