Frequently Asked Questions

You have mainly three options if you are charged with a DWI in the state of Texas:
• Pursuit of case dismissal
• A plea bargain
• A trial in court

It is mandatory in most Houston DWI courts that you hire an attorney to defend you in criminal cases that may lead to jail time.

Having an experienced DWI lawyer represent you can significantly increase your chances of getting a favorable sentence in your trial. Qualified professionals can help paint a clear picture of what you can expect in court, and which option suits you best. It is therefore advised that you ask the judge to give you time to find a good attorney to take up your case.

Yes – it is possible. We have an extensive track record of fighting and winning Houston DWI cases for our clients.

We have helped several clients to get their charges reduced. In some cases, we were even able to get the charges dropped entirely. You can discuss your case with our DWI attorney free of charge in a phone consultation. Call now for a consultation.

We study police reports word by word to ensure that there were no lapses in procedure. Moreover we also request complete disclosure of the device that is used to conduct the blood tests, the personnel administering the test, the people maintaining the device, and the lab certification. Our attorney leaves no stone unturned to find any lapses or anomalies in procedure that may contribute to build a strong defense.

The penalties you face under Houston DWI law vary depending on factors such as:
•    The number of prior DWI convictions
•    The presence of a minor under age of 15 in your car

Find an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible so he can help you defend yourself, and minimize your losses.

The following are common Texas DWI penalties:

Conviction for First offense:
•    Fines up to $2,000. If you have a child under the age of 15 in your car while you were driving these fines will jump up significantly.
•    Jail time ranging from 3 days to 6 months.
•    Suspension of driving license ranging from 3 months to a year.
•    A fee of $1,000-$2,000 per year for 3 years if you want to maintain your driving license.

Conviction for First offense with Blood Alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater:
•    A fine of $4,000 and higher if a child under 15 was in your car.
•    365 days in Jail
•    Suspension of Driver’s license for up to 3 months to a year.
•    A fee of $1,000-$2,000 per year for 3 years if you want to maintain your driving license.

Conviction for Second Offense:
•    A fine of $4,000 and higher if a child under 15 was in your car.
•    30 to 365 days in Jail
•    Suspension of Driver’s license for up to 3 months to 2 years
•    An annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for maintaining the driving license.

Conviction for Third Offense:
•    A fine of $10,000
•    Jail time for a minimum of two years
•    Suspension of Driver’s license for up to 3 months to 2 years
•    An annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for maintaining the driving license.

For people who have had a prior conviction, or they have had a BAC of 0.15, there is a compulsion to install an Ignition interlock device in their car. This device requires the driver to breathe into it to test his/her BAC. If the blood alcohol concentration is above the programmed limit, their car won’t start.

If you are arrested for a Houston DWI misdemeanor, then you must attend court 30 days after your arrest. You will be released after your initial arrest, and you can use this time to find an experienced attorney to defend you in court.

If you hire an attorney, then you won’t have to appear in court once the 30-day period is over, your attorney will attend court for you. During the 30 days between your arrest and your hearing, your case will be taken to the district attorney for further investigation. He will prepare a file of your case, complete all the required information, and forward your case to the county clerk. Once your file makes it to the country clerk, you case will be set on the court’s docket.

After eight to ten weeks of your first court appearance, your attorney will set up a conference with the county attorney to find the best resolution of your case.

After about six weeks to 3 months of the conference, your attorney will file motions to suppress evidence, by arguing constitutional violations, if it is proved that your constitutional rights have been violated all evidence against you will be suppressed.

Once your case makes it to court you will have two options, you may either stand trial before the judge in court or you may have a jury of your peers. If you want to appear before a jury the number of people in the jury will vary with respect to the nature of the offense. For a misdemeanor, the jury will be composed of six people, and if the case involves a felony the jury will have 12 people.

The final sentence will be passed either by conviction by the judge, or a plea bargain may be accepted and a plea entered. Sentences for a Texas DWI may include fines, Jail time, and community service.

Normally the police will only confiscate your license if you refuse to give them a blood test, but even after the confiscation your license won’t be suspended, you will receive a notice of suspension. After getting the notice of suspension, you will have 15 days to file a hearing to recover your license. This hearing is called ALR hearing.

If you do not file for a hearing then your license will be confiscated on the 40th day following the day you received you notice of suspension.

If you consented to give the test then the letter of suspension will only be sent to you by the DPS (Department of Public Safety) if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. After receiving the letter of suspension in such a case, you will have only ten days after you receive the letter from the DPS to file for a hearing to recover your license.

If you have been charged with a Houston DWI then your license may be revoked or suspended depending upon the severity of your charge. You will have a certain amount of time to file for a hearing to recover your license after you have been charged with a Texas DWI.

This will be your chance to defend your driving rights. During this time you may find an experienced attorney to represent you, as doing so will likely increase your odds of winning the case. Finding an attorney quickly is in your best interests, as it gives your attorney more time to build a strong defense for you in court.

Yes – you can hire an attorney to defend you in the ALR hearing; in fact we strongly recommend that you hire one to represent you in the ALR hearing so he can help you fight the case in the best manner possible.

If you hire an attorney, then it will be your attorney’s job to contact the public safety to schedule an administrative license revocation hearing to fight for your driving rights. Having an experienced professional in your corner can really make the process a lot easier for you.

As each case is unique, so is its duration. There are many factors which determine how long a case will last. You can get a reliable estimation of how long your case will last by having a free consultation session with our DWI attorney.

Normally a case in Collin County lasts for about 6 months – 1 year, and cases in Dallas County last for 8 months – 2 years. Cases that are in the trial docket take even longer.

You will be required to pay most of the costs associated with a Houston DWI only after you have been convicted for it either by losing a trial or by a plea bargain. If you are proven guilty then you must pay the court fees, court fines and if the court puts you on probation then a monthly probation $40-$60/ month. You may also be asked to pay for special classes and chemical testing ordained to you by court.

Furthermore, whether you win or lose the case you will also have to pay attorney fees, Bonds posted for Jail release, the cost of travel to and from the court, and higher insurance premiums. You may also lose wages during the time you miss work to attend court.

After your conviction you will likely have to pay a surcharge levied on you by the Texas Department of Public Safety. This usually amounts to $1000-$2000 per year for three years. You must also file for a SR-22 two years – insurance policy with the TDP which usually adds up to $3000.

If your case involved an accident, then you must pay for all the damages that you are responsible for. These can usually exceed hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Summing it all up, if you have been convicted for a Houston DWI, even without an attorney, your expenses may be in the range of $7,620-$10,620. However, if you hire an attorney and they are able to reduce or dismiss your case, your charges may be greatly reduced.

An SR-22 is a certificate of Insurance that is provides proof of future financial insurance to the DPS (Department of Public safety). An SR-22 isn’t high risk insurance; it is rather motor vehicle liability insurance.

Motor vehicle liability insurance certifies coverage to the DPS. If the SR-22 is canceled, terminated or lapses, the insurance company must notify the DPS.

You get this liability insurance from any company of your choice which has been authorized to write the liability by the state of Texas.