Houston DWI Attorney
Aggressive Defense Against Drunk Driving Charges
Driving while intoxicated, or DWI, can be a very serious charge in Texas, even for first-time offenders. In Houston, the Harris County law enforcement agencies are very strict with suspected drunk drivers because they want to eliminate the possible danger of an intoxicated driver on the road. If you are pulled over by a police officer and are found by
breath or blood test to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you will be charged with DWI. An officer however, can also arrest you under suspicion of DWI regardless of your BAC. Intoxicated driving arrests are not just made on drunk drivers; they can also be made for a person under the influence of an illegal drug, or who has simply taken a strong prescribed medication, both of which can also affect a person's ability to drive safely. In any of these cases, all an officer really needs to make a DWI arrest is probable cause, such as excessive weaving on the road, erratic breaking, speeding, or failing any field sobriety tests the officer may administer. The Martinez Law Firm was awarded with the
Avvo Clients' Choice Award for DUI in 2012. If you have been arrested, you can trust the skills and knowledge of this firm to fight for you.
Certified in Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests assess a person's motor skills and "divided attention" abilities to determine if they are intoxicated. Herman Martinez is one of the few DWI lawyers in Houston, Texas who is certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to administer field sobriety tests like the police officers that make DWI arrests. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand are the typical tests that are used when someone is being investigated for DWI. If these tests are not done properly, you can use them as defense in your DWI trial. By hiring a DWI attorney that is certified to administer these tests and who was also a former Chief Prosecutor, you are truly getting invaluable legal experience in this area of the law.
Whether you are a first-time offender or have been charged with multiple DWI offenses, our firm has experience fighting all types of DWI cases. Some of the harshest of these are
felony DWIs, which include
intoxication manslaughter, and
child endangerment. It is also important to remember that if you drive your vehicle for a living and are charged with a
commercial driver's license DWI, your source of income could be permanently ruined. If your charges resulted in a
driver's license suspension, we could provide counsel and representation in
ALR hearings and fight for your right to be granted an
occupational driver's license. This way you can still drive to and from your workplace, school, and other such necessary locations until your regular court hearing is completed.
What are the penalties?
If you are a first-time offender, you could face the following penalties if convicted of DWI:
- 72 hours to 180 days in jail
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Suspended driver's license for 90 days to 1 year
- Minimum 24 hours community service
- Class B misdemeanor on your record
- As of September 1, 2011, if you provide a blood/breath sample over a .15, it is a Class A misdemeanor on your record
- DWI education class
- Surcharges from $1,000 to $1,500 a year for 3 years
This doesn't include the economic and social impact on your life if you have to spend time in jail away from your job, home and family. The penalties could be much more severe if you have already been convicted of DWI within a specific time period and are facing multiple DWI.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Harris County, Texas, you need a dynamic and assertive attorney who has experience successfully defending individuals in these and other criminal defense situations. Our legal team has invaluable DWI experience, such as previous experience as the Chief Prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. With this type of practical knowledge about DWI charges and sentencing, including knowledge about the Pretrial DWI Program, you can expect a serious and informed defense.
Please note that the Pretrial DWI Program, formally knows as the DIVERT Program is unique to drunk driving cases in Harris County, Texas. This program allows a person to avoid a conviction, avoid paying the surcharges that are associated with a DWI conviction, and clears their record after they successfully complete the program. Unfornately, not every DWI case qualifies for this program. The lawyers at the Martinez Law Firm have the knowledge to help you completely understand the pros and cons of this program.
If you are looking for a DWI defense lawyer in the Houston area, contact the Martinez Law Firm today. We also serve clients throughout Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Galveston County, Texas.