What to Do After a DWI Charge
If you face a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be wondering what to do next. Let experienced Houston DWI defense lawyers help you.
So you’ve been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI)…
What happens next?
First, you should contact an experienced DWI defense attorney in Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County or Montgomery County. Only then will you be able to face a DWI charge properly, since there are many pitfalls to such a charge, and the consequences of a conviction can be steep.
Here are some additional tips to protect your rights and freedom:
1. Be Respectful to Authorities
In any dealings with police or other authorities after a DWI arrest, you should be respectful. Do not argue or cause conflict. Also, be sure to attend any court hearings for your case on time and in a respectful manner. That includes dressing and presenting yourself with dignity.
But being respectful and cooperative with authorities doesn’t mean you should say much at all. You have a right not to say anything to authorities when arrested or afterward because such things could be used against you later at trial.
So don’t admit having consumed any alcohol (even if it’s only one or two drinks). Make the police and prosecutors try to prove that you’d had any alcohol. That’s their job. It’s not your job to help them.
2. Do NOT Admit Guilt
You should not admit guilt in any way. In fact, the only reason you might admit guilt is if your drunk driving defense lawyer advises you to do so in order to gain a reduced charge, lighter sentence or a plea bargain.
Otherwise, from the moment of your DWI arrest to the time you are charged and tried, maintain your innocence.
3. Don’t Discuss Your Case Anywhere or With Anyone
As your defense attorney will advise you, do not discuss your case with anyone. That especially includes referencing your case in any way on social media for all to see — including prosecutors. There, too, you could say something which later might prove damaging to your case.
Thus, a solid defense strategy against a DWI charge is to not discuss any details or your case at any time or with anyone who might then pass along such information to others.
4. Let Your Defense Attorney Do the Work
The main thing to remember after a DWI charge is that you should not try to defend yourself. Instead, engage a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney to do the heavy lifting.
The DWI defense lawyers at our law firm have years of experience helping many Texans get the justice they deserve when facing a DWI charge. Let us represent you and fight for your legal rights to the best of our abilities, starting with determining your legal defense against a drunk driving charge.
Your legal defenses against drunk driving can include establishing that police lacked probable cause to pull you over while driving, or to search you or your vehicle. You have rights against illegal searches under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Your DWI defense lawyer also will know how to discern if any evidence in your case is inadmissible. That may include challenging the results of a blood test or a breathalyzer test administered to you after your arrest to determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC. (A BAC level of .08 makes you legally drunk in Texas.) Many factors can compromise the accuracy of a BAC test, and your attorney can use these to challenge a BAC test’s accuracy.
If your defense lawyer finds that your charge cannot be reduced or dismissed but must be challenged in court, then your attorney can advise you if you should proceed to trial or instead make a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors that minimizes your conviction when pleading guilty.
5. Don’t Drive if Your License Was Suspended
Individuals facing a drunk driving charge often have their driver’s license suspended, if only temporarily. You must obey this restriction and not drive a vehicle under any circumstances while your license is suspended. If you drive anyway and are caught, your punishment could increase greatly.
However, you can legally contest a suspended driver’s license by means of an Administrative License Revocation hearing. You must submit your request for such a hearing within 15 days of your DWI arrest. Your attorney can help you to do this and also can represent you at the hearing.
6. Don’t Take a DWI Charge Lightly
Finally, you must not take a DWI charge lightly, even though it’s a common charge which many people have faced. Every case is different, and your drunk driving offense could lead to severe consequences for you under Texas drunk driving laws, depending on the circumstances.
Even a first-time DWI offense in Texas, which is a Class B misdemeanor, is punishable with strict measures. These include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license for 90 to 365 days
- A fine of up to $2,000, and
- A jail sentence of three days to 180 days.
If a child was in the car, jail time will be six months.
If you face a second DWI charge after being convicted of one within five years, then this second DWI offense, which is a Class A misdemeanor, can lead to suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years, a fine of as much as $4,000 and jail time of at least 30 days and up to one year.
A third conviction for drunk driving is a third degree felony in Texas. Its punishments include jail time of at least two years and as much as 10 years, driver’s license revocation for up to two years, and a fine of as much as $10,000.
Get Your Case Review Today
All of these things should make it clear that if you were recently arrested for DWI, you should contact an experienced DWI defense attorney at the Neal Davis Law Firm for your case review today.
Too much is at stake not to consult the best DWI defense lawyers in Houston. You should find such a lawyer who meets your needs and will fight to gain the best possible outcome for you in your drunk driving case.