Commonly referred to as Uptown Houston, the Galleria area is considered a premiere part of Houston. One of the largest business districts in the country, the Galleria area is roughly the size of downtown Denver. Altogether, thousands of companies and people call the area home. Despite its high-end reputation, crime is still present in the Galleria. When an arrest happens in Uptown Houston, hiring the right criminal defense attorney is crucial.
The criminal activity in the area covers a broad spectrum. While violent crime is fairly uncommon, other arrests occur more frequently. One of the most common charges resulting in arrest in the Galleria involves driving while intoxicated (DWI). Regardless of the specific charge, the best opportunity for obtaining a favorable result typically comes from working with a seasoned Houston defense lawyer.
Doug Murphy is considered one of the premier criminal defense lawyers in Harris County. A Board Certified expert in both DWI defense law as well as criminal defense law, Doug Murphy is one of only two attorneys in the State of Texas to hold both certifications. Board certification takes skill and experience to achieve, making it one of the best indicators of a top defense lawyer.
If you have been arrested in the Galleria area, you deserve a strong legal advocate by your side. With the right defense attorney, you could see your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. To discuss in detail your defense options, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.
What Happens if I am Arrested for DWI or Another Crime in The Galleria Area, Houston?
Following an arrest in the Galleria area, the arresting officer will transport you to the Harris County Jail Inmate Processing Center for booking. This is the case for any arrest within Harris County, regardless of the arresting agency. The processing center is located at:
Harris County Jail Inmate Processing Center
700 N. San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
Upon arrival, your fingerprints will be taken. Once you are booked, you could be released on your own recognizance if the charges you face are minor. However, if your charges are serious, you may be held until your arraignment.
The arraignment is the first court date in your case. At the hearing, the judge could grant bail which gives you the opportunity to get out of jail prior to trial. If you are able to make bail, you are allowed to stay out of jail during the course of your case so long as you appear at court on your court dates and meet other obligations.
In addition to bail, you also have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Pleading guilty at arraignment is never in your best interest. By pleading guilty, you waive your right to a trial and miss out on your chance to consult with an attorney. If you plead guilty, you will have time to consult with legal counsel and plan out your defense strategy.
What is the Punishment for a Galleria DWI Conviction?
DWI penalties cover a broad spectrum. The most important factor in the severity of punishment you face is your prior criminal record. If you have previous DWI convictions – even from another state – the range of penalties you face increases dramatically.
For first-time offenders, a DWI charge is a misdemeanor. While it carries a maximum sentence of one year, a conviction typically will not result in any additional jail time. Multiple prior convictions will likely result in jail time, however. For a third offense DWI, you will face a potential felony conviction. In addition to a significant prison sentence and hefty fines, a conviction would also cost you the ability to own a firearm or vote.
There are several collateral consequences that come with a DWI conviction, including:
- suspension or revocation of a professional license, e.g., pilot's license, nursing license, medical license, teaching license, real estate license, or CPA license
- loss of security clearance
- suspension or revocation of a commercial driver's license (CDL)
- difficulty finding a job in the financial sector
- difficulty finding good housing
- difficulty traveling outside the country
- difficulty with child custody
- difficulty obtaining loans
- difficulty getting into a higher educational institution
- loss of the right to vote
- loss of the right to own a firearm.
While a DWI conviction can have a significant impact on anyone, some common professions in the Galleria area are especially affected, including:
- Oil and gas executives
- Bank executives
- Marketing Executives.
Contact a Galleria Criminal Defense Attorney
An arrest in the Galleria area does not have to result in a conviction on your permanent record. With the help of a skilled defense attorney, you could achieve a favorable result in your case. To learn more, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.