DWI Representation

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Isn't a DWI/DUI just a misdemeanor?

Yes, unless you have prior DWI/DUI convictions. The consequences of a DWI/DUI conviction are more severe than people realize. And if you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL), the penalties for your occupation can be extreme.

What the average person doesn't realize is just how complex these cases are. A top DWI/DUI attorney must master the science and scientific evidence regarding the Intoxilyzer 5000. That same attorney must have mastered the "Standard Field Sobriety Tests" or SFST's propounded by National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA). An expert DWI/DUI attorney will be a courtroom professional with intimate knowledge of trial tactics, Texas Rules of Evidence and Criminal Code of Procedure as well as the Texas Transportation Code.  Additionally, because of so many blood draws, the attorney must know and be familiar with the technology and science of the Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectronomy machines.

In addition, top DWI/DUI attorneys will maintain their expertise by attending selected seminars around the country. So even though it may seem that this case is only a "misdemeanor", it touches upon a broad range of disciplines that take time and effort to master.

2. Aren't all attorneys licensed in Texas equal?

All attorneys in the State of Texas are licensed by the State Bar of Texas. We are required to attend an accredited law school, and then sit for the bar exam. This is supposed to show a minimum proficiency in the law; all areas of the law. That is where the similarities end. Depending on whether they choose to be in the courtroom, doing research, or writing contracts, there are many different types of attorneys.

There are also many different types of Criminal attorneys. Some handle only traffic tickets or felony cases and some only handle DWI/DUI's. These attorneys have built years of experience in the courtroom to be top-notch DWI/DUI trial attorneys.

Even among attorneys claiming to handle DWI's there are only a select few that belong to prestigious national, state or local, DWI groups such as the National College for DUI Defense, Inc.

3. What do I need an attorney for?

You need an attorney if you are planning on challenging any facet of your case. Maybe the officer had no grounds to stop you, or he performed the SFST's improperly, or the Intoxilyzer was not working properly or was suffering from interference by radio waves. Only a top DWI/DUI attorney will be able to review all the evidence and expose weaknesses in the government's case. Each DWI case is drastically different and must be examined carefully by a qualified, expert DWI attorney. Only a top DWI attorney will be able to recommend the right experts to help you defend your case.

You will only have one shot at a "not guilty". This is not the time for your life and future to be left to "chance". Hiring an attorney after the fact will cost you lot more than just money. Once you are convicted, there is very little that can be done to change the outcome, so don't waste the only chance you may be given for victory.

4. Why does one attorney charge so much and others charge almost nothing? What is the difference?

Some attorneys claim they will charge a minimum fee to stand with you and make sure "your rights are protected" when you plea. They will charge some small amount, do nothing in the way of investigation and do not negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. They are plea lawyers. They are not trial lawyers.

Some people mistakenly think this will save them a lot of money. But usually, they regret their decision before the ink has dried on the plea papers. They learn, after that plea lawyer is finished, what the real cost will be.

5. Why would anyone do this?

There are several reasons. Sometimes people do not realize that they may have a valid defense. Because they are not trained in the law and are not knowledgeable about the science of defending a DWI/DUI, they think their case is hopeless. So they decide to pay a minimal amount to have an "attorney" walk them through the plea process.

Sadly, these people do not realize that a quality DWI/DUI attorney is highly trained to defend those "hopeless" cases. And they are not hopeless. Usually, it is a matter of the average person not having the information and knowledge about all of the various defenses available in these cases. That is why they need a real DWI/DUI lawyer, not a plea lawyer.

Remember, "Good lawyers aren't cheap and cheap lawyers aren't good."

6. Should I just plead guilty?

How can anyone possibly answer that without investigating the facts and circumstances of each case? I have reviewed thousands of DWI/DUI cases both as a prosecutor and as a DWI/DUI attorney. For over 1 ½ years, I personally supervised every DWI in the county while I served as Chief of the Misdemeanor division of the District Attorney's Office.

Every case is different. Every case involves different defenses. Every case involves different evidentiary issues.

Only a thorough investigation can bring you the answer to this question. Fortunately, hiring a quality DWI/DUI attorney, who thoroughly investigates each case, will bring better results than just taking the first plea offered. After a complete exam of the facts of the case and through the discovery process, a DWI/DUI attorney can defend your case. This can mean a reduced charge or reduction in the punishment range itself.

A "plea" lawyer will never learn about these because they aren't driven by defending clients. They operate on a volume basis and can only make money if they haul in a large catch of clients and can quickly convince their clients to plea.

So, should you plea? Only as a last resort!