Houston DWI Defense Attorney
Have your been arrested for DWI?
In Texas, if you are arrested for DWI, you will have two legal actions brought against you that require a professional defense. One is a civil process known as an Administrative License Revocation, which is carried out by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The other is the criminal charge you will face as a result of your arrest. The ALR can suspend your driving privileges from 90 days to one year or more, depending on the circumstances of your case. It is important to understand that the penalties for DWI conviction can be harsh and life-changing.
When a person operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, they are considered to be Driving While Intoxicated or DWI. "Intoxicated" refers to not having normal use of your mental or physical facilities due to the use of drugs or alcohol. In our state, if a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher, they are considered intoxicated. If you have been charged with any DWI offense, a skilled and experienced Houston DWI lawyer at the Law Offices of Ned Barnett can work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Areas of Practice: Houston DWI Defense
At my firm, I strongly believe that clients deserve to be given the high-quality level of DWI defense that they can truly rely upon. I understand how daunting it can be to deal with something of this nature, and I am fully dedicated to ensuring that my clients are given the edge that they need in their criminal case. I am well-versed in all areas of DWI defense and am able to extend my assistance to those who find themselves facing criminal cases of all kinds. Below you will find just a small sampling of the different DWI-related issues that I am able to assist with.
When criminally charged for driving while intoxicated, you will not only face criminal consequences, but also a civil case. This is known as the Administrative License Revocation hearing and it is held by the Department of Public Safety. This hearing will not deal with the issue of your guilt, but rather the circumstances of the arrest and the future of your license. Read more about the ALR hearing.
Blood Alcohol Levels Chart
A foundation for many DWI cases relies on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the accused. The problem, however, is that every person is different and it will take a different amount of alcohol for each person to reach a certain BAC. Depending on height and weight, an estimation will be made of how much your BAC may be based on what you drank over a certain time period. Read more about the blood alcohol levels chart.
Breath & Blood Tests
The preliminary test for many defendants will rest solely on the breath and blood tests. These are used to determine the BAC of the defendant, however, they are not foolproof or without flaws. The right defense lawyer will be able to determine the proper steps to take in the effort to challenge this evidence. Read more about breath and blood tests.
Driver's Rights Card
At every police stop, it is important to realize that you will have certain rights that should not be violated. By utilizing the driver's rights card that my firm provides, you can understand your rights as well as the best course of action that you can take. Read more about the driver's rights card.
Drugs & Driving
It is not only a criminal offense to drive under the influence of alcohol. It is, in fact, also considered to be a criminal offense to be driving while impaired from using drugs – no matter whether this drug is a legal prescription drug or an illegal controlled substance. Read more about drugs and driving.
Just because you have been criminally convicted does not mean that you are without hope. In fact, there are steps that you can take to appeal the judgment. Not every firm is willing to take on these cases due to the added complexity; however, I am prepared to fight for you. I know the best way of entering into the appeals process and will do everything that I can for you. Read more about DWI appeals.
In some cases, the convicted could find a way to erase the conviction away from their record. Not every person will be eligible to partake in this type of process, but if it is determined that you are eligible, this could be the solution that you need to put your life back on track once more. Read more about the DWI expungement process.
The penalties associated with driving while intoxicated are nothing to take lightly. From monetary fines to incarceration, community service and even the mandatory installation of the Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle, these penalties could all prove to be extremely cumbersome in the future. The best chance that you have of protecting your legal rights is to get my firm involved and let me fight for you. Read more about DWI penalties.
Following the judgment of a case, the sentencing will occur. This determines the actual penalties that a defendant will be required to face. The penalties will differ and will typically rise with any subsequent arrests. I cannot promise to know what exactly you will be facing from a judge, but I will promise to do everything that I can to ensure you have the most lenient sentencing possible. Read more about DWI sentencing.
Most first-time offenses of driving while intoxicated are misdemeanors with inconvenient and costly penalties, but nothing that will forever ruin your life. This changes should the charge be elevated to a felony. When dealing with a felony, it becomes extremely important that you do not hesitate to get an experienced defense attorney that you can trust. Read more about felony DWI.
Field Sobriety Tests
The preliminary testing done by law enforcement officers will often rely on what is known as field sobriety testing. There are three official tests that have been standardized and approved by the NHTSA, but even these are not without their flaws. Due to their subjective nature, they are prone to error and if they are not administered by the book, they could be the source of erroneous outcomes. Read more about field sobriety tests.
First Time DWI
A first time DWI is typically a misdemeanor, but this does not mean that it should not be taken seriously. This will not only slap you with inconvenient penalties, but will also require you to deal with the difficulties of a criminal record. You will find that you are fighting an uphill battle should you have to deal with another criminal case in the future. Read more about first time DWI.
Being charged for drunk driving is nothing to take lightly. This is especially true should a defendant have injured a person in the process. A DWI that resulted in an injury can also be classified as intoxicated assault and will have penalties that are far more severe than a simple DWI charge. Read more about intoxicated assault.
Similar to intoxicated assault, criminal charges of intoxicated manslaughter are nothing to take lightly. Should a defendant be accused of a homicide that resulted from their drunk driving, they will be in a far more serious situation than just a simple DWI charge. At my firm, I understand how difficult and daunting it can be to deal with this type of criminal charge; you can be confident knowing that I will be there to fight tooth and nail for you. Read more about intoxicated manslaughter.
Leaving the Scene
When involved in an accident of any kind, each person has a legal obligation to stop and not only exchange information, but also to offer any assistance that they can should a person be suffering. If you are accused of leaving the scene of the accident (also known as a hit and run), you will be facing criminal charges that are significantly elevated from the simple charge of a DWI. Read more about leaving the scene.
One of the most difficult criminal penalties that can be associated with a DWI is the loss of driving privileges. Unfortunately, this is often one of the first penalties that will be slapped on the convicted. If you are facing the possibility of a license revocation, it is in your best interests to get me involved. I know what is at stake and will do everything possible to ensure that your legal rights are fully protected. Read more about license revocation.
When criminally charged, one of the factors that will play the most heavily on your penalties will be your prior criminal record. If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated previous to this case, you will be facing elevated penalties and likely an uphill legal battle. I am not easily deterred and will fight tooth and nail to help you protect your legal rights. Read more about multiple DWI.
Out of State DWI
Criminal charges are nothing that are to be treated simply. They, however, are made even more difficult should the arrest occur while the defendant is travelling out of state. At my firm, I know how the laws work when you cross state boundaries, and I am fully prepared to help you protect your legal rights. Read more about out of state DWI.
Underage DWI / DUI
Criminal charges are made exceptionally difficult when they involve a driver who is under the legal drinking age. Most states take a zero tolerance approach to underage drivers and will lower the legal threshold from the typical 0.08% to almost next to nothing. An underage driver does not even need to be drunk to be criminally convicted – they only need to have consumed an alcoholic beverage. Read more about underage DWI.
Unlawful Police Stops
Not every police stop is lawful. There are steps that need to be followed and processes that need to be adhered to so that a citizen does not have his or her rights imposed upon. For example, it is not considered to be a lawful police stop for an officer to wait outside of a bar and pull over the first person that they see leave. Read more about unlawful police stops.
Can DWI charges be defended against?
I understand that good people make mistakes and that sometimes a good person can be wrongly accused of something they did not do. I want you to know that there are winning defenses in DWI cases and ways to get the charges against you reduced. An unlawful police stop may have been the reason you were pulled over in the first place, and this fact can be used in defense of DWI charges.
At times, an illegal search or seizure occurs and the evidence against you may not be admissible in a trial. The tests that are used to provide evidence to law enforcement, such as field sobriety tests or breath and blood tests, can be flawed or incorrectly administered.
A conviction can result in steep fines, community service, time spent in jail and loss of your driving privileges. It can greatly affect your ability to earn a living and can become part of your permanent criminal record. Please use my years of successful experience in DWI matters to your benefit during this time when proven legal help is needed.
Contact a Houston DWI defense attorney from my firm when charges have been filed and you need immediate professional legal assistance.