Defending yourself against a DWI charge is never easy. You need the expertise and invaluable assistance of a lawyer to navigate the situation properly and smoothly.
Being arrested for a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge in Houston can be a distressing experience because it’s a serious legal matter. You can face a jail sentence, lose your professional driver’s license, and pay hefty fines, among others.
This is primarily the reason why you should seek the assistance of a dedicated lawyer in case you find yourself in such a situation. However, it’s important to note that DWI laws vary from one state to another. Because of this, your need for a legal representation might also vary depending on your circumstances.
To know when to contact a Houston DWI lawyer, below are the common instances you should take note of:
- When You Need a Lawyer’s Opinion About Your Case
If you’ve committed a DWI offense in Houston for the first time, the entire experience can become scary and stressful. Apart from dealing with the police, you also need to face harsh legal penalties associated with the crime. Moreover, you’ll also be concerned about the long-term impacts of your first DWI offense.
Unfortunately, dealing with this serious legal matter is never easy, especially if you don’t know anything about it. This is where a lawyer comes to the rescue. When you have a Houston DWI lawyer on your side, it’s easy to understand what the offense is and how it can affect your life. They will give their opinion on the matter and ensure that you get the right advice for your situation.
Here are the things your lawyer will do when you’re arrested for driving while intoxicated:
- Explain the elements of a DWI crime, such as intoxication due to alcohol, drugs, or both, and operation of a motor vehicle in a public place. This means that the prosecution should strongly prove the presence of these elements for your conviction. Otherwise, the case will be dismissed.
- Educate you about the potential consequences of DWI, such as fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, payment of annual license surcharge fees, and a lot more.
- Advise questioning the validity of the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test results, which were generated at the time of the arrest.
- When You Ask For a Plea Bargain
If you’ve been charged with DWI for the first time, you might be able to exercise some plea bargaining strategies for your case. This is one of the situations where you need the help of a lawyer in Houston.
Given their expertise in handling DWI cases, they know what to do to protect your interests. They can advise you with some options on how to proceed and convince the prosecutor with your plea. These options include:
- Lesser Charge – This option is for you to plea to a lesser charge, such as disorderly conduct. If the prosecutor agrees, your case will not be tried, but you’ll still be subjected to some penalties, but at the lower charge. This can mean that the penalties you’ll deal with might no longer include hefty fines, jail time, or suspension of driver’s license. However, this process comes with some pros and cons, which is why having a lawyer on your side can be a great help.
- Dismissal of the Case in Exchange for Penalties – Another plea option that can be offered to you is to drop the charges, but you still have to comply with the programs as part of the penalties. These can include community service, alcohol safety education course, suspension of license, and payment of fines. The prosecutor can drop the charges against you once you meet the conditions for the sanctions, provided it’s suitable for the interests of the state.
Thus, if you want to get the most out of a plea bargain, hire an experienced lawyer who knows the legal system in your area and has a good relationship with the local prosecutors. More than anybody else, they know what to do to get the bargain you want for your situation.
- When You Go to Trial
Although you have the option to represent and defend yourself in a DWI trial, having a lawyer do it for you is the best option you have for your situation. The criminal trial process is very complicated, considering the steps you need to follow. From using an expert witness to providing your testimony, there’s a lot of things to prepare to make sure that you get a favorable judgment.
Hence, under these circumstances, it’s worth contacting a Houston criminal lawyer who can provide strong representation for you. They’ll study your situation and come up with the most reliable defense for your case. For instance, most Houston lawyers make use of the following defense strategies:
- The validity of the search or seizure
- The validity of the traffic stop
- Accuracy of the blood, breath, or urine tests
- Question on the way the breath, blood, or urine test was administered
- Question on whether the sample of your blood, breath, or urine was compromised
- Question on whether the arresting officer acted in good faith and without malice.
Typically, there are several strategies your lawyer can use, but not all of them are applicable to your case. That’s why your legal representative will review your situation, gather sufficient pieces of evidence about the tests used against you, and many more. They’ll ensure to find the strongest defense strategy to eliminate your charges in court.
Indeed, defending yourself against a DWI charge is never easy. You need the expertise and invaluable assistance of a lawyer to navigate the situation properly and smoothly.
Fortunately, with the information presented above, you’ll know when is the right time to hire and contact a DWI lawyer to help you. Their experience and skills in the field of criminal law can make a huge difference in the success of your case.