DWI Lawyer in Houston
Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. You usually get what you pay for in this business. Don’t forget that this is serious business. A DWI conviction never goes away. You will forever be branded a criminal if convicted. It remains on both your criminal record and your Texas driving record permanently. Expensive surcharges (minimum of $3,000.00) and increases in your auto insurance occur upon conviction. Driver’s license suspensions can result. Careers can be derailed, and jobs lost. Your case is too important for you not to take the time to pick the right lawyer FOR YOU who is within your budget.
Consider the following in choosing your DWI lawyer:
1. Always meet face to face before retaining your lawyer.
2. You should never feel time pressure to hire a lawyer. If you are running up against the 15 day deadline to request a hearing with the DPS due to a breath test failure or refusal, I can provide you with the proper form and show you how to request the hearing in your name so that you can have more time to research the best lawyer FOR YOUR PARTICULAR BUDGET AND CIRCUMSTANCES.
3. Trust your instincts. Go with a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable.
4. Your lawyer should be accessible, and give you his or her personal cell phone and email address.
5. Expect to pay a reasonable fee. Competent representation requires time, ability, experience, reputation and training. Never choose your lawyer solely on the basis of the lowest bidder, or for that matter, on the highest bidder. There is no substitute for preparation OF YOUR CASE.
6. For a Harris County DWI, your lawyer must have a reputation among the many Harris County prosecutors for fearlessly and effectively going to trial on a regular basis.
7. Choose a lawyer who knows the terrain. There are 15 misdemeanor and 25 felony Harris County criminal courts. Detailed knowledge of the personalities, procedures and the policies of each of the judges, and their clerks and court coordinators, as well as the prosecutors, court reporters and bailiffs, can make a difference and help make your experience less stressful.
8. Your DWI lawyer, not some other contract lawyer, should personally defend and attend all drivers license hearings related to your DWI. Valuable information helpful to the main DWI case can be gained through cross examination of the arresting police officer at the ALR hearing.
9. A solid background in traffic court is a must, because DWI is a driving offense that usually begins with a traffic offense. If the basis for the police officer’s stop of your vehicle does not follow the traffic law, your case can be dismissed even though you were in fact driving while intoxicated. I have handled thousands of traffic cases in the municipal and justice of the peace courts, and tried many of them. I am a former municipal judge who has presided over hundreds of traffic cases.
10. Don’t assume right off the bat that you are going to have to plead guilty. The fight is not about whether or not you were in fact intoxicated. Rather, the fight is about whether the state can present sufficient evidence for guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Remember, you are not a trained DWI lawyer. The government must prove you were intoxicated at the time of driving with whatever evidence that it has, not with what additional evidence you may know that the government does not know, and not with inadmissible evidence. For example, not every person is as coordinated as the police officer. You may be more uncoordinated than the police officer who has practiced the test and demonstrated it hundreds of times. What is normal for you may be abnormal for someone else. Furthermore, you have a right to remain silent. The government may have little or no evidence of how much you had to drink, and when. Finally, machines and lab techs are not foolproof. If there is a reasonable explanation for your performance on the video, Not Guilty verdicts are possible no matter what the blood or breath test shows, or what the officer’s opinion is.
11. Your lawyer should have a reputation for honesty, integrity, and hard work. Check out his or her grievance history on the State Bar of Texas web site. Your lawyer’s job is to provide you with zealous and effective representation at all stages.
12. Your lawyer should have a copy of and be thoroughly familiar with the contents of the DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Manual published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within the U. S. Department of Transportation. This manual is used by all police officers who are certified to administer the three standardized field sobriety tests recognized as valid by NHTSA. The manual is used to cross examine the officer, and is the standard against which all field testing must be compared. Improperly administered tests can be suppressed, or at the very least discredited.