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Guadalupe County Criminal Defense Lawyer

DWI and Criminal Defense in Guadalupe County

If you've been arrested and charged, chances are, you know what it means to be afraid. With the recent media attention focused on numerous counts and evidence of police brutality, there may be a very real threat when you are taken into custody. However, your concerns don't stop there, when you've been arrested for a DWI or a criminal offense in Guadalupe County. The prosecutor will attempt to ply you with a plea bargain. Plea bargains in some situations can be a good strategy depending upon the facts and law of your case, but determining whether to accept a plea bargain agreement should be done only after consulting the advice of a Board Certified DWI and Criminal Law Attorney. Plea bargains can often leave you with an undesirable criminal conviction on your record. If you have to go to trial, you want someone by your side with a proven track record of success in the courtroom who understands the ins and outs of the system and how the prosecutors and judges work. What sorts of situations might lead you to look for an experienced attorney for your DWI or criminal charges in Guadalupe County, Texas?

Here Are Some DWI Scenarios You Might Encounter Where You Want to Find a Lawyer

While this is a selection of situations that might arise, it's not comprehensive. In Guadalupe County, there are many other DWI charges you might face. Perhaps you're already facing them and know how hard it can be. Boating While Intoxicated charges are common with beautiful lakes such as Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid in Guadalupe County. Getting the best representation on a BWI in Guadalupe County means hiring a Board Certified DWI lawyer who has published in national and state legal publications on how to defend and beat BWI charges.

Another situation where you might want to make certain you had adequate defense is if you were facing criminal charges. Criminal charges can range from severe to less severe, but they all have a potential impact, both with potential sentences and with collateral consequences.

Here Are Some Criminal Offenses That You Might Want to Find an Attorney For

Whether you've been arrested in Cibolo, Seguin, Marion, or Schertz, you still don't want to accept whatever the police charge you with. It might seem like the fine for drug paraphernalia possession is small or that it's better to pay and be done with the DWI. However, there are long-term implications to that action.

The court hands down the obvious sentence, whether at the district or county level, which may include jail time, community service, or fines. What most people forget to think about is the collateral consequences. Those are the outstanding effects of the conviction, sometimes reaching many years into your future.

What Are Collateral Consequences?

Your alleged crime may involve a DWI, a criminal offense, or a combination of the two. Regardless, the charges may have collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are the consequences that occur after you leave jail or pay the fine.

With DWIs, some of the collateral consequences may seem obvious, such as the loss of a license. Losing a license can impact your ability to work, and we're not just talking about a driver's license. It's possible to lose a nursing license, a medical license, or a pilot's license, among others. A DWI implies a potential chemical substance abuse issue that could put patients and passengers at risk.

Applying for and being denied a job is another example of collateral consequences. When companies run a background check or inquire about convictions, they are often less likely to hire those who've been charged. Often, you run into collateral consequences when you apply to rent a home, as well.

Finally, if you have children, you could experience limitations or difficulty with visitation.

How to Find The Best Lawyer for Your Needs in Guadalupe County, Texas?

If you're facing criminal or DWI charges, you'll want to make sure you find the best lawyer to meet your needs. To do this, you must first consider what action you'd like to take. Taking the time to consider this first will help you make a plan.

Identify The Action You Want to Take

  • Do you want to fight the charge
  • Do you have career or educational goals that might be impacted by the charges
  • Are you concerned about having a permanent criminal record
  • Do you have security clearance or a professional license that you stand to lose if you are convicted
  • Do you have concerns about adding another conviction to your existing record
  • Are you willing to go to trial rather than accept a plea bargain if there's the potential that your good name could be cleared

Identify Qualities You Want in a Good Lawyer

  • Board certifications in DWI defense and criminal defense that speak to the lawyer's qualifications, experience, specialization, and caliber regarding your specific charges
  • A proven track record of successful trial experience
  • Adequate resources to utilize in an exhaustive investigation while advocating for your right to a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.
  • Referrals and testimonials from others who can speak to his character and skill as a defense lawyer

Doug Murphy provides all these qualities and more. He has represented a wide variety of clients from backgrounds as diverse as professional athletes to CEOs and nurses. His vast and tenured experience means you will benefit from his institutional knowledge; he can apply his procedural and legislative know-how to your specific criminal or DWI charge.

Doug understands the stress that can accompany charges, and he is passionate about and dedicated to helping his clients who've been accused in Guadalupe County fight their charges. Only two attorneys in the state of Texas are Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Since 2013, Doug has been recognized by US News & World Report on its list of Best Lawyers in America. He was recently voted by his peers as the 2023 Lawyer of the Year for his expertise in DWI Defense by US News & World Reportand on its list of Best Lawyers in America. Whether you need representation for a DWI offense or a criminal offense, Doug Murphy is the right attorney to stand by your side and fight on your behalf.

Impact of DWI in Guadalupe County on Your Firearm License

In Guadalupe County, Texas, a first-time DWI offense with no aggravating factors qualifies as a Class B misdemeanor. Immediately, your firearms license is suspended. It remains suspended as long as your case is taking place. If the courts convict you, you will lose your license and cannot reapply for it until five years have passed.

If you receive a second DWI offense, it's a Class A misdemeanor. According to Texas law, if the courts convict you twice of a drug or alcohol-related offense within a ten-year window, you become ineligible to receive a firearms license because you're considered chemically dependent.

If this is your third DWI conviction, you might receive a felony charge. If so, you would have to wait five years after your release from prison or after your parole ends, depending on the later date. Then, you would qualify again to possess a firearm. However, it would have to stay in your residence. If you took it with you anywhere else, you could be arrested.

Major Interstates and Roads That Pass Through Guadalupe County, Texas

Several main interstates and highways pass through Guadalupe County. They include Interstate 10, Interstate 35, U.S. Route 90, Texas State Highway 46, Texas State Highway 123, and Texas State Highway 130. Local and state law enforcement watches these areas for DWIs. There are also several specific roads within cities where people tend to be more frequently arrested, including King Street in Seguin and Main Street in Cibolo.

Regardless of where in Guadalupe County you are when the police officers arrest you, any mistakes that they make, such as not delivering your Miranda Rights or faulty execution of a field sobriety test, can impact the prosecutor's case. A skilled DWI defense lawyer can help you navigate these possible areas of errors or mistakes. They can also assist with the defense of DWI adjacent charges, such as intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter.

Government in Guadalupe County, Texas

Guadalupe County is run by a commissioners court presided by the county judge. The court has four members elected for two-year terms. The Commissioners are elected by and represent individual districts. The county judge is elected through a county-wide at-large election.

Cities in Guadalupe County, Texas

Founded in 1846, Guadalupe County is in the San Antonio metropolitan area. As of the latest census, it had a population of just around 183,000 people. Here are some of the main cities that fall within the county.

Types of Law Enforcement Agencies Active in Guadalupe County, Texas

When law enforcement arrests and charges you, chances are it's someone at the local level. However, in Texas, there's an abundance of law enforcement, all working in partnership together. Some of this partnership stems from the overlap in jurisdictions, and some of it stems from the harsh and unforgiving penal system. Here's an overview of the main players in Guadalupe County, starting with the Sheriff's office.

Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office

The current sheriff at the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office is Arnold S. Zwicke; he was first elected in 2001. The office boasts the county's only full-time Narcotics unit to combat local drug issues, as well as a four-unit K-9 team. Six months into his inaugural term, Zwicke brought the 600-bed adult detention facility, which he contracts out to outside agencies as a revenue stream for the Sheriff's Office budget. When the prison is an income stream, you can bet there's going to be a desire to fill those beds with DWI and criminal offenses.

Partners With State Law Enforcement

According to the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office website, their office partners with several state law enforcement agencies. Although there is some overlap in jurisdiction, some of the cooperation serves to enhance law enforcement presence and activity.

  • Texas Rangers
    The Texas Rangers are a division of the Department of Public Safety. Although they do not have headquarters in Guadalupe County, they do have jurisdiction. The Rangers' main focuses include unsolved crimes, border security, public corruption, and officer-involved shootings.
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
    The Texas DPS states that its mission is to proactively protect the citizens of Texas in an ever-changing threat environment while always remaining faithful to the U.S. and State Constitution. If your organization sees the environment as a threat, you will be looking for crime.
  • Texas Highway Patrol
    The Texas Highway Patrol is a division within the Department of Public Safety. Their main responsibilities are the Texas roads and highways; they enforce traffic regulations and watch for criminal offenses along the roads.
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife
    Texas Parks and Wildlife is responsible for the parks and recreation areas within the state of Texas. The agency has its own internal law enforcement division. You might encounter them if you are boating or fishing, especially.

Partners With Local Police Departments

The Sheriff's Office also states that it partners with local city police departments, among them the following:

Jails in Guadalupe County

If you have charges brought against you, you can look them up here in Guadalupe County's Case Records and Jail Records. There are several main locations throughout the county, and here are the more prominent ones:

  • Adult Detention Center
    The Adult Detention Center for Guadalupe County is in Seguin and opened in 2001. The facility has roughly 600 beds and just over 100 corrections officers. On average, they book 8000 people annually. If the police bring you to the facility, they will process you in the order in which you arrived. This includes conducting a search, fingerprinting, completing the arrest report, and taking a photograph. Attorneys have 24-hour visitation. Otherwise, you are allowed 2 visits per week, with a maximum visit time of 30 minutes.
  • Juvenile Detention Center
    Located in Seguin, the Guadalupe County Juvenile Detention Facility has 39 beds and is for juveniles who have either violated a court order or as a temporary placement for a juvenile who has been arrested for an alleged offense. Juveniles in residence attend school and also receive mental health and medical services.

Court System in Guadalupe County

If you are arrested and charged within Guadalupe County, it helps to have an overview of the Court Systems within the area. There are county courts and district courts, which handle different cases. If you have a criminal or DWI charge, it's important to understand the implications and know which court you should attend.

County Courts in Guadalupe County

County courts usually handle misdemeanor cases that involve possible jail time. For example, if you receive a DWI first-time offense, your case would take place in a county court. Guadalupe County has two county courts at law. Both are located at 211 W. Court Street, Seguin, TX 78155. The judges who preside over them are the Honorable Bill Squires and the Honorable Frank Follis. Additionally, there is a county judge who presides over both the commissioner's court and the county court.

District Judges

District courts have jurisdiction over felony criminal cases and are the trial courts of the general jurisdiction of Texas. Each county throughout the state has at least one district court. In Guadalupe County, there are three district court judges: the Honorable Gary Steel in the 274th Judicial District, the Honorable William D. Old, III, in the 25th Judicial District, and the Honorable Jessica Crawford, in the 2nd 25th Judicial District.

Justices of the Peace in Guadalupe County

Justices of the peace handle misdemeanor cases that are punishable by fines only. Guadalupe County has four justice of the peace courts, one for each precinct.

  • Precinct 1

    2405 East US-90
    Seguin, Tx 78155

  • Precinct 2

    101 E. Court St.
    Seguin, Tx 78155

  • Precinct 3

    1101 Elbel Road, Ste. 6
    Schertz, Tx 78154

  • Precinct 4

    11144 FM 725
    Seguin, Tx 78155

Fourth Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals hears cases appealed from trial courts in Guadalupe County, in addition to hearing cases from 31 other counties throughout Texas. It has intermediate appellate jurisdiction of cases appealed from lower courts in Guadalupe County.

Contact a DWI Defense & Criminal Defense Lawyer in Guadalupe County, Texas

If you have alleged DWI or criminal charges and want someone to help you navigate the complicated legal system, you should make certain that you retain a Board Certified DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney. There are only two lawyers who fit that bill in the state of Texas, and Doug Murphy is one of them. In Guadalupe County, numerous law enforcement agencies are all looking to fill their quotas. Your life and livelihood are more than a quota. An experienced trial attorney will be able to ensure that the prosecutor doesn't submit suppressible evidence. He will fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf. Contact us today at 713-229-8333 to learn more.

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