Houston DWI Attorney
Skilled Defense for DWI Charges in Harris County
A DWI (driving while intoxicated) or BWI (boating while intoxicated) arrest is a stressful experience with consequences that could reach far into the future. Whether you were wrongfully arrested or need help dealing with the aftermath of a bad decision, you need to take decisive action in order to protect your freedom, future, and driving privileges.
The first thing to do is avoid common DWI mistakes. Next, you should retain an experienced Houston DWI attorney who can potentially save you from prison time and a criminal record.
At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, we have a solid track record in defending drunk driving cases and assist clients in Houston and across Texas. Attorney Jed Silverman is not only an experienced DWI defense lawyer, he is certified to conduct breath tests and field sobriety tests - giving him the knowledge that can be very useful in challenging this type of evidence in court.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, now is the time to involve a Houston DWI lawyer at our firm. Call us today!
Texas DWI Penalties
Drunk driving charges can result in serious penalties in Texas. Even on a first offense, the potential consequences include heavy fines, loss of your driver's license, a jail sentence and probation. For those charged with aggravated DWI or those with prior drunk driving offenses, the penalties are more severe and the stakes even higher.
Potential penalties for a first-offense DWI include:
- Steep fines
- Loss of your driver's license
- $3,000 driver's license reinstatement fee
- Jail time
Your insurance rates may also rise dramatically, and a conviction could hamper your employment prospects for the rest of your life.
Texas' Ignition Interlock Law
An individual convicted of certain drunk driving offenses may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. The device prevents the car from starting until the driver blows into a tube attached to the device. If the driver has consumed alcohol, the car will not start.
The judge may require an ignition interlock device as part of the sentence if the individual's license was suspended for DWI, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. If the individual has been convicted two or more times of any combination of these three offenses, and at least one of the convictions was within the last ten years, the ignition interlock requirement is mandatory. Installation of the device is also mandatory if the individual was convicted and received an enhanced sentence for a drunk driving offense.
Those who are ordered to have an interlock device on their vehicles are required to pay for the devices themselves. If the court finds they are unable to afford it, the court may allow payment in installments. The individual is required to keep the device on their vehicle for at least half of the time period they are under post-conviction supervision by the court.
DWI Arrests & ALR Hearing in Texas
One of the harshest consequences of a DWI conviction is the loss of your driver's license. For most people, being able to drive is necessary to enjoy life. For some, it is integral to making a living. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Houston or throughout the state, it is important to act quickly. You have only 15 days to schedule an administrative hearing before the Texas State Department of Public Safety to save your driver's license.
Enlist the help of an experienced Houston DWI attorney to preserve your driving rights.
Legal Defense for DWI Cases in Texas
There are a number of ways to fight DWI charges in the State of Texas. At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, our Houston DWI lawyers provide knowledgeable defense representation for people who have been arrested on drunk driving charges in Houston, Harris County, and beyond.
Field sobriety tests are often unreliable indicators of intoxication because they fail to take into account factors like age and medical condition that can significantly affect a driver's ability to perform the tests. Breath and blood tests can be challenged if the test protocol was not strictly followed or if there is an issue as to the calibration of the equipment.
If you have been arrested for a DWI offense and failed the breath test or field sobriety test, you stand to lose your license for 180 days. You have the right to request a license suspension hearing, however, to save your license and preserve your right to drive. At this hearing, the police must demonstrate:
- There was reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- There was probable cause to place you under arrest for DWI
- You either refused to take the breath test or scored a .08 or above
- You failed any field sobriety tests administered at the scene
Our attorneys and support staff are adept at guiding clients through license suspension hearings. If your first court hearing does not turn out favorably, you have the right to an appeal. We have successfully handled many of these cases, some going all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. We will do everything we possibly can to help you keep your driver's license.
Common DWI Mistakes to Avoid in TX
There are some common mistakes we want to help you avoid. They include:
- Voluntarily submitting to a breath test or blood test: The police want you to believe that things will go easier if you volunteer to give them the evidence they are looking for. Remember, in most cases, breath or blood test results are the only evidence they have to mount their case against you.
- Panicking: Even if you took the test and the results showed an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08% or above, it doesn't mean the evidence will be admissible in court. There are many reasons the breath test or blood test may be invalid. Remember, a plea arrangement with the prosecutor is the same as a conviction on your record. Don't give up. We never do.
- Not having your attorney present at your Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing: Losing your driver's license is one of the potential repercussions of a DWI arrest. It is also the opening shot in the battle to defend yourself against the charges. When we take on a Harris County DWI case, we work to prepare a strong case for your right to continue driving. Oftentimes, winning the ALR part of the case means winning the criminal part of the case as well.
- Hiring an inexperienced lawyer: Too many lawyers claim they can competently handle DWI cases. The truth is, DWI cases are complicated and require an in-depth understanding of the court system and process. A solid defense means knowing what strategies will work with the prosecutor and judge involved in your case. Jed Silverman has devoted his entire career to DWI and criminal defense in courts throughout Texas and is truly qualified in these matters.
- Not getting your lawyer the right information: Hiring a defense lawyer means you will be developing a strong, trusting relationship. When your lawyer needs personal information and records, respond quickly and accurately. If you're not willing to work with your attorney, you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage.
- Not telling your lawyer about medical issues: At times, the side effects of legal medications can be confused with intoxication. If you are on any kind of medication or suffer from any kind of medical condition, tell your attorney. We may be able to cast reasonable doubt on whether you were driving while intoxicated.
Representation for Your Drunk Driving Case in TX
Our Houston DWI lawyers are adept at standing up for our clients' rights, winning dismissals of DWI charges, reduced charges and acquittals. We may be able to help you deflect criminal and civil penalties arising from:
- First-offense or repeat DWI
- Underage DWI or DWI involving children
- Intoxication assault or manslaughter
- Drug-related DWI
- Commercial Driver DWI
- Boating While Intoxicated
Jed Silverman is a certified breath test operator and field sobriety test conductor, and a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He knows that the police must adhere to strict guidelines to properly execute an arrest. He knows when the police do and do not have the right to compel you with a warrant to give a blood sample. He has a long track record of success in challenging police procedure and winning a total dismissal of charges for people like you: private citizens or those who drive for a living using a commercial driver's license (CDL).
Arrested on charges of drunk driving in Texas? We are prepared to stand up for your rights. Discuss your case in a free consultation with a Houston DWI lawyer.