It can happen to anyone just about anywhere in Texas: you can get arrested and charged with a Texas DWI. Houston is one of several cities in Texas specifically and the United States generally that has excessive rates of DWI arrests. That is partly because the police are overly zealous in Houston and will stop a driver for a traffic stop for just about any reason. Subsequently, when a person is arrested in Houston on a DWI charge, that person often thinks it's a done deal. So, at the arraignment, he or she pleads guilty or nolo contendere.
Without fully understanding what has happened, that person -- by pleading guilty or no contest -- inadvertently gives up his or her right to defend him or herself. And when we say defend him or herself, we mean defend against the charges as much as prevent against the collateral consequences that follow a conviction of a DWI offense. As it is, a DWI conviction in Houston, Texas, or in the greater Houston metropolitan area, can have a serious impact on your quality of life. It is imperative to defend against a DWI charge.
At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., that's what we do: defend our clients using years of experience, insight, and smart defense strategies. Each case, of course, is different, so each defense strategy will be developed according to the unique facts of the case. When deciding on which attorney to hire and whether or not to fight the charge, it is important to keep in mind how a DWI conviction can affect your life.
Most Common Ways a DWI Can Impact Your Life in Houston, Texas
A DWI conviction means a criminal record, and that criminal record means problems for you. Here are some of the biggest ways it can affect your life.
A DWI can seriously affect your career -- or for that matter -- any job you have regardless if it is a career job or not. First, when job hunting and applying, you often have to disclose certain arrests and convictions. Also, employers will run a criminal background check on you. If you disclose the DWI conviction or it is uncovered via a background check, it is likely the potential employer will pass up your resume for another application. Remember: there are a lot of qualified people with comparable skills vying for the same position and a convicted person is an employee who brings a certain amount of risks to the table, and as such, it is easy for the employer to toss your application to the side.
But a DWI conviction can have a deeper impact. If you have a professional license, you can have it suspended or revoked. Or, if you are intending to apply for a professional license in Texas, a DWI conviction may prevent you from doing so. Professional licenses often affected by DWI convictions include:
- Medical Licenses
- Nursing Licenses
- Pilot Licenses
- CPA Licenses
- Teaching Licenses
- Real Estate Licenses.
In addition to having a negative effect on professional licenses, if your job or career requires security clearance at any level or is in the financial industry, then you can run up against roadblocks as well.
From mortgage loans to students loans, a DWI conviction can be enough to prevent you from obtaining a loan you need to move forward with your life.
3. Constitutional Rights
If you have been convicted of a DWI felony or DWI-related felonies, like intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, then you risk losing certain rights provided to you by the U.S. Constitution. Namely, there are two rights that you could see stripped from you:
- Your right to own and use a firearm; and
- Your right to vote.
Both rights are difficult to regain after they have been lost.
4. Child Custody
Depending on the circumstances of the DWI, then a conviction of the latter can impact custody of your children.
Believe it or not, a DWI can affect your traveling experience. In some cases, you may not be able to enter Canada. In other cases, a DWI can affect your TSA Precheck and Global Entry, meaning you lose many of the conveniences and necessities these two things provide.
How to Know if You Should Fight a DWI Charge in Harris County, TX
Knowing whether or not to fight a DWI charge is really up to you; after all, it is your life. But you should know that there are defenses and, by retaining Board Certified DWI attorney Doug Murphy, there are defense strategies that can work to your benefit. So, before you plead guilty because you think the facts are stacked against you, ask yourself some basic questions:
- Are you innocent or do you want to prove your innocence?
- Does your job matter to you?
- Does child custody matter to you?
- Does obtaining a loan matter to you?
- Does the right to own a gun or the right to vote matter to you?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you need to fight the charge. But you don't want to hire the first lawyer that populates in a search engine; you want to hire a Board Certified DWI and criminal defense lawyer with real experience, exceptional expertise, and diehard commitment. That's Doug Murphy, DWI attorney based in Houston but representing clients throughout the greater community.
Learn more about a DWI's impact on your life by reviewing our DWI FAQ guide, there you can learn about:
- Friend Arrested for DWI: What do I do?
- DWI, Employers & Security Clearance
- LTC and Guns After a DWI Arrest
- Pilot License & DWI
- And more.
If you still have questions or are ready to fight the Texas DWI charge, contact Doug Murphy today.