Don’t Plead Guilty To DWI! Tips From Houston’s Premier DWI Attorney

Why Your Best Option Might Not Be To Plead Guilty To DWI

Part 1

The Government’s strategy in many counties appears to be to wear you down with many tedious court appearances to get you to plead guilty on your DWI charge. What the government does in the process is to wear you down to the point that you accept a guilty plea because you just want to be done with it all.

You Have The Right To Plead Not Guilty to DWI

It is more expeditious to accept a guilty plea. It brings the process to an end but it might be the beginning of a different nightmare while you are fulfilling the obligations from your plea agreement. However, then you have a DWI conviction to live with and that can really harm your social well-being, your financial well-being, and your career.

We understand that you might get impatient and want to end things just as soon as you can since we represent hundreds of BWI, DUI, and DWI clients each year. Also, we spent lots of time counseling individuals we did not represent in their DWI case that not regret having accepted the plea. Many of these people who had a different representation, did not understand what the consequences were to their decision.

Like Running a Marathon

We advise our clients to be as patient as possible during the process. It is not a sprint to defend DWI charges; it is a marathon. it is very important that an aggressive defense is mounted and too let the process run its course.

Many attorneys do not understand a DWI charge’s consequences beyond the punishment that is outlined on the paperwork for the plea. For years now we have worked on intoxicated-related offenses, so we understand what the collateral consequences are to a plea. Listing every potential consequence would be nearly impossible, so choose a lawyer who can answer all of your questions based on your career and life.

The Truth Regarding DWI Conviction Consequences

The following are some of the more common consequences and concerns that come with pleading guilty to a DWI charge.

Your Commercial and Personal Drivers Licenses Will be Suspended

In addition to the ruling from the Administrative License Revocation hearing, you also will suffer additional consequences and suspensions due to your DWI conviction:

  • Charge Length of Suspension
  • 1st DWI 90 days to 1 year
  • 2nd DWI 180 days to 1 year
  • 3rd DWI 180 days to 1 year

On a first-time DWI charge, your driver’s license will not be suspended if you are put on probation and enroll in a DWI education course and complete it as one of the conditions of your probation. As one of your probation conditions, however, the court might order you to not drive or may order that you install an ignition interlock device on your car. That will cancel the current driver’s license you have. However, if you pay a ten dollar fine, a new license will be issued by the DPS that allows you to only drive vehicles that have an ignition interlock device installed.

If you have a commercial driver’s license, most likely you will end up losing your job if an interlock device has to be installed on a company vehicle, since most employers will not do this. On a first-time DWI conviction, you will receive a one-year suspension on your commercial driver’s license no matter what type of punishment you receive. In a majority of cases, the DPS might issue an occupational license to you, but it won’t allow you to operate any vehicle, including a commercial one if your probation terms prohibit it.

You Will Pay Higher DWI Surcharges And Insurance Rates

A majority of pleas agreements do not detail the financial consequences that are associated with a DWI guilty plea. In addition to your insurance rates skyrocketing, you will be required to also carry SR22 insurance and have this on file for two years with the state.

DPS surcharges will also have to be paid on your driver’s licenses. Here are the amounts you will be required to pay:

  • First DWI charge: $1,000
  • DWI charge over .15 blood or breath: $2,000
  • Subsequent DWI charges: $1,500

It is very important to understand the surcharges before you take the plea because, in certain situations, the judge may waive your DPS surcharges. Some individuals have had their surcharges reduced via the Indigency and Incentive Program. However, after the surcharges bill is issued, you have only 105 days to make your payment or get a payment plan set up with the surcharge program. Failing to do so will result in your license being suspended.

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.