An arrest for a DWI, whether you are a first-time alleged DWI offender or a third-time DWI offender, the experience can always be intimidating and embarrassing. You likely have many questions. And no wonder: your future, your freedom, and your reputation are at stake. You won't know which way your case may go at the onset of the DWI arrest, but you can get answers to your questions relatively quickly.
Here, the legal team at Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. answer in brief some of the most common questions people have after a DWI arrest in Houston. Always keep in mind, however, that to get more specific, relevant answers, you will need to schedule a free initial consultation with Doug Murphy. In the meantime, here's what you should know.
How should you plead at a DWI arraignment in Houston?
This is an important question and can make all the difference in your DWI case: how do you plead at your DWI arraignment? Maybe it's your first time encountering the law and you are worried about how the DWI arrest will impact your job, your studies, your family, and just about anything else. You fear prolonging the ordeal will only make things worse and assume that by pleading guilty, the judge will be lenient. Then, you can get back to your life. There is rarely, if ever, any benefit received by pleading guilty at an arraignment setting.
Unfortunately, that is not how it works. You plead guilty and the judge can sentence you to the maximum the law allows. For a first-time DWI with no other circumstances present, you can still face jail (though that is probably unlikely), license suspension, fines, and a criminal record. It's the criminal record and its collateral consequences in this scenario that really matters. You probably hadn't had one until now, and now, you can feel the impact of society's punishment on persons convicted of crimes. This means problems with things like:
- obtaining personal, education, auto, or mortgage loans
- maintaining or obtaining child custody
- jobs in the financial sector
- security clearance
- professional licenses, like:
Now, imagine another scenario. You plead not guilty. You hire an experienced Board Certified DWI attorney. This attorney identifies a Fourth Amendment violation (you were illegally stopped or your car was improperly searched). The attorney also reviews the highly complex and technical blood test report and uncovers that the sample was mishandled. This attorney uses this information to suppress evidence and create sufficient doubt that leads to either dismissal of the DWI charge or acquittal by a jury. Now, you can have your arrest records expunged and can truly return to life as usual.
Do you really need a DWI defense attorney to fight Houston DWI charges?
This question follows the first question, but it also depends on what you want to happen with your case. If you aren't worried about a conviction, then you may not need a DWI defense attorney. If the latter is true, though, you may as well plead guilty.
The State of Texas pursues DWI cases aggressively, and the prosecutor has the State's resources at his or her disposal. Plus, typically speaking, DWI cases are complex cases that require not only knowledge of the law, the court, the criminal process, the administrative process, and court procedures, but extensive knowledge of the science behind breath tests and blood tests. Not all attorneys have this kind of knowledge let alone someone not familiar with the Texas DWIs.
So, do you need a DWI attorney to fight your Houston DWI charge? That's up to you, but you can always Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about how an experienced, resourceful DWI legal defense team can help you.
How experienced does a DWI defense attorney have to be?
Again, the answer to this question is dependent on what you want from your case. If you can live with a criminal record and are happy to take a plea deal, then any defense attorney may do.
But plea deals are deceptive. They are highly restrictive and expensive. One mistake can mean harsher sentencing than if you had been sentenced initially. But also, even if you are not guilty but accept a plea deal just to get the case done and over in the hopes that deferred adjudication – now available to first-time DWI offenders – does not equal no criminal record because you still have to plead guilty to accept the deal and that can be used against you for enhancement purposes in the event you are arrested in the future. And again, one mistake can mean termination of the deferred adjudication program, in which case you will be sent back to court for sentencing. In the end, accepting a plea deal has its risks and denies you the right to defend yourself in court.
So, if you don't want that criminal record and don't want to risk it, the only other alternative is retaining an experienced Board Certified DWI defense attorney. Board certification is difficult to obtain and requires rigorous testing, a minimum amount of experience, and recommendations by peers in the legal community. As such, Board certification can attest to an attorney's competency and capability to defend a DWI case successfully.
Why is Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. the right DWI defense law firm for you?
Doug Murphy is one of only two attorneys in all of Texas who simultaneously holds Board Certification in DWI defense and Board Certification in criminal defense. This distinction is one he has held year after year. He believes in superior DWI representation and proves it one case at a time.
His commitment to and success at DWI defense is well known. As such, he is regularly requested to speak at continuing legal education conferences and other functions to provide his insight to other attorneys in Texas and throughout the U.S. Through these speaking engagements, he gives back to the legal community so that his peers may also better represent their clients.
How can you find out more about DWI charges in Texas?
If you have been arrested in Houston for a DWI, you likely have more questions, including:
- What immediate action should you take after a DWI arrest in Houston, TX?
- What happens when Houston DWI Case Affected by Blood Tube Recall?
- How to get an acquittal for a DWI in Houston, TX
- How can you get a DWI dismissed in Houston, TX?
- What's the impact of DWI charge reduction in Houston, TX?
- Is a first-offense DWI conviction really all that bad in Houston, TX?
- How to calculate bail for a DWI in Houston, TX?
- How much does a DWI affect apartment hunting in Houston?
- How often do false DWI arrests happen in Houston, TX?
- What should you do when wrongfully arrested for a DWI in Houston TX?
- What jobs in Houston TX are most affected by a DWI Conviction?
- What should you do if your child is arrested for a DWI in Houston, TX?
- What are the most common reasons drivers get pulled over in Houston?
After exploring these questions and answers, contact Doug Murphy either online or at (713) 229-8333 to schedule a free initial consultation. He will review your case and outline your best options. At that time, you and Doug Murphy can decide if a viable, strong DWI defense is in your best interest. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today to get started.