For many, being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas was caused by a lapse in judgment. In fact, most people charged with DWI are first-time offenders with no criminal record. Unfortunately, even a first-offense DWI can lead to serious consequences that affect everything from your security clearance to custody of your children.
The good news is that it is possible to win a DWI case at trial. But to be in a position to obtain the best result possible, you will need a Houston DWI lawyer that is recognized as a DWI specialist. If you have been arrested for DWI in the Houston area, Doug Murphy is a DWI specialist with a track record of positive results.
What is a DWI Specialist?
In Texas, a DWI specialist is another name for an attorney that is Board Certified as an expert in DWI defense law. Not every attorney can simply hold themselves out to be an expert in a particular area of law. The rules of ethics that govern how attorneys practice law only allow attorneys to advertise themselves as experts if they have been certified by the State of Texas or another entity Texas recognizes.
The certification of DWI defense lawyers is administered by the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). The NCDD is a professional, not-for-profit corporation that is dedicated to aiding DWI defense attorneys across the country. It is the only group accredited by the American Bar Association to provide certification in DWI defense law. The State of Texas recognizes accreditation from the American Bar Association, meaning that only attorneys certified as DWI specialists by the NCDD are considered experts in DWI defense law in Texas.
The designation as a DWI specialist is a good indicator that an attorney is experienced in defending DWI cases. It is one of the most useful tools you can use when selecting the Houston DWI lawyer to represent you.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a DWI Specialist?
Certification as a DWI specialist is one of the best indicators that an attorney is qualified to defend you in your DWI case. But it's more than just an accolade; certification as a DWI specialist means that your attorney has a deep knowledge of DWI issues that most attorneys don't have.
While all attorneys are trained in the law, many have a limited understanding of scientific issues. That is a problem in DWI cases, as an understanding of science plays a large role in mounting a capable defense. Attorneys need to have an understanding of physics to properly understand accident reports and testimony about vehicle collisions. Additionally, DWI defense attorneys must be knowledgeable on anatomy and chemistry to successfully challenge the results of a breath or blood test.
In addition to scientific issues, DWI specialists are uniquely qualified in hiring and questioning experts related to chemical testing, accident reconstruction, and other areas that not all attorneys have experience in.
What is the Process for an Attorney to be Board Certified as a DWI Specialist?
The process to become board-certified by the NCDD is difficult. To be certified as a DWI specialist, a candidate attorney must complete a written application and meet a number of qualifications. If the application is approved, the candidate must then pass a written and oral examination before becoming certified as a DWI specialist.
The Application Process
The 9-page application required by the NCDD requires basic background information about the candidate and their law practice. In addition to the background information, it also requires documentation for the three major requirements that a candidate must meet.
The candidate must have:
- substantial involvement in the practice of DWI defense law;
- references from fellow DUI defense attorneys and judges; and
- met college-approved education requirements;
Substantial involvement means that the candidate attorney spends at least half of their time practicing law in the area of DWI defense. To meet this requirement, the candidate must also have completed at least 15 DWI trials and at least 40 contested hearings to be eligible for certification as a DWI specialist.
The candidate must also have references from at least 4 fellow attorneys and four sitting judges attesting to the candidates skill in DWI defense. These references must have witnessed the candidate try a DWI case in the previous three years.
Finally, candidates must complete at least 36 hours of continuing legal education to be eligible for certification. These courses must be completed in the three years preceding the application and must have been previously approved by the NCDD.
The examination occurs once a year each January at a location that changes year to year. The examination takes a full day and involves a written exam followed by an oral examination. The written exam covers all areas of DWI defense, including knowledge of procedural, scientific, and evidentiary issues.
After the written examination, the candidate is required to conduct a 10-15 minute oral examination. The oral examination may take the form of a mock trial, a hearing, or an appellate court argument.
Hiring the best Houston DWI Lawyer
Having a DWI specialist as your Houston DWI lawyer gives you the best chance at obtaining a positive result in your DWI case. If you have been arrested for DWI in Houston, the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is ready to give you the counsel you need. Attorney Doug Murphy is a board-certified DWI specialist. In fact, he is one of only two attorneys in the State of Texas board-certified in both DWI defense law and criminal defense law. His unmatched expertise ensures you will receive the strongest defense possible.
Many defense attorneys are happy to push their clients into plea agreements, even if the evidence against them isn't that strong. Those attorneys are more concerned with wrapping up cases quickly and moving on to the next paying client. That is not the case with the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. Doug Murphy understands that taking a case to trial is often the best chance to get his client a positive outcome. To discuss your case with a Houston DWI specialist, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today.