DWI Attorney: Worth Hiring?

Houston DWI lawyer worth hiring?

Is it worth hiring a Houston DWI attorney? Anyone who watches crime dramas on TV knows that they have the right to represent themselves in court. When you face charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or any criminal offense, you have the option to act as your own legal representation. 

However, just because you have that right doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. 

A DWI in Texas carries some of the most severe consequences across the United States. From your money to your freedom, drunk driving comes with heavy consequences. Moreover, the impact echoes far into your future. 

Long after you complete your sentence, a DWI makes it difficult to find employment or even a place to live. When the stakes are this high, hiring a DWI defense attorney is your best bet for beating the charge. To discuss your case with the top DWI lawyer in Houston, schedule a free consultation with the Martinez Law Firm. 

Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer for a DWI in Texas?

“A man who represents himself has a fool for a client” is a quote we often attribute to Abraham Lincoln. While it sounds harsh, there’s truth at the core. The criminal justice system in the United States is complex. Additionally, the laws are as difficult to navigate as the processes. 

Combined, this means that there are serious risks when you take on the system without formal training. It’s simply not wise to handle your own legal defense. After all, would you attempt your own root canal

If cost is your core concern, think of it this way. You might save on money in the short term. However, that amount is a pittance compared to botching your own oral surgery. Similarly, when you consider hiring a Houston DWI attorney, having an expert on your side is in your best interest. 

There’s no guarantee when it comes to driving while intoxicated in Texas. However, there is a defense. With the right attorney on your side, it could be the difference between carrying a conviction for the rest of your life and a dismissal. 

The Downsides of Fighting Without a DWI Defense Attorney

Building a successful DWI defense takes a lot of care and expertise. There are numerous facts to consider from your arrest that may seem insignificant at first. However, to a trained eye, it could lead to an acquittal. 

When you go into court as your own legal representation, it doesn’t earn you any special treatment. The judge holds you to the same standards they hold a licensed lawyer to. Additionally, they expect you to know how a trial functions. 

One of the biggest hurdles for self-representation is the attempt to examine witnesses and introduce evidence. Across the criminal justice system, there are rules in place that establish how to question a witness. 

Without experience, it often seems counterintuitive. The same is true of physical evidence. Oftentimes, you have to know about a specific rule tied to a piece of evidence in order to admit it. When you don’t have this knowledge, key evidence gets thrown out. 

Additionally, there are scientific issues at play in some DWI cases. As an experienced DWI attorney, Herman Martinez knows when these issues work to your advantage. Oftentimes, a DWI case boils down to how alcohol affected you. With a thorough understanding of the science, there’s the potential to show a jury you simply weren’t intoxicated. 

The Consequences of Self-Representation

If the conviction holds, you receive no leniency for your attempt to act as your own attorney. This puts you at great risk, especially in a state like Texas. Even for a first-offense DWI, you face fines up to thousands of dollars as well as jail time. Additionally, you lose your license for an extended period of time. 

What people don’t consider is that the consequences of a DWI extend long after the sentence ends. Oftentimes, prospective employers and landlords look to background checks to make their decisions. When they see a DWI conviction on your record, it costs you housing and employment opportunities. 

As a Houston criminal lawyer, Herman Martinez keeps this at the forefront of his mind whenever he represents Houstonians. This is because a DWI conviction affects more than potential situations. It also has the potential to lead to the loss of your current job. 

Moreover, you lose your ability to maintain a pilot’s license, nursing license, or medical license. When you choose to represent yourself in court, you put a lot on the line. 

How Much Does a Houston DWI Attorney Cost?

When you need to hire a Houston criminal lawyer, the cost varies with the circumstances of your case. This is because some cases require more resources or time. However, it is typical for the cost to run in the thousands of dollars. 

Typically, DWI defense attorneys charge fees in one of two ways: flat fees or hourly rates. With an hourly rate, your attorney tracks the amount of time they spend on your case. In the end, they send you a bill based on their time spent. 

Some attorneys handle cases for a flat fee regardless of what it costs. Additionally, other attorneys offer tiered pricing where your fee ranges depending on the extent of your case. However, attorneys often offer free case evaluation sessions. These provide you with the opportunity to evaluate them and get an idea of what to expect. 

A Good Houston DWI Defense Attorney Is Worth Every Cent

When it comes down to money and legal bills, you have to compare the costs relevant to how a conviction impacts your future. The money you spend on an experienced, expert Houston criminal defense lawyer is an investment in your future. When you hire an attorney, they are your advocate. 

Truly, the best advice for handling a DWI case in court is to hire a certified DWI defense attorney with experience and a good record.

If you face a DWI conviction in Houston, the Martinez Law Firm is here to help you. Herman Martinez is an experienced Houston criminal lawyer with a solid track record. Moreover, he always keeps the best interest of his clients in mind as he pursues the best possible outcome for their case.  

With decades of experience in the criminal justice system and experience as a former prosecutor, he understands how both sides analyze a DWI case. To discuss your future, schedule a free consultation with our team today. 

DWI Convictions

DWI convictions explained by houstons own criminal defense attorney Herman Martinez

How a DWI Conviction Can Ruin Your Life

A DWI conviction has the potential to devastate a person’s life. Unfortunately, people often don’t realize how seriously Texas takes driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases. The punishment that comes with a conviction is quite severe. 

Below, we take a look at how a conviction impacts someone’s life after a single DWI arrest. It’s an important reminder of the severity of the consequences. Moreover, it shows how these consequences last well beyond the end of any suspensions or jail time. 

Still, it’s also important to remember that there’s still hope. When you face a DWI charge, you have an opportunity to protect your future. With an experienced Houston DWI lawyer on your side, you have an advocate working in your best interests. 

When you take the right steps after a DWI arrest, don’t give up hope. You have a chance to fight for a better future. All it takes is a call to schedule a free consultation with our Houston DWI defense attorney. 

An Unfortunate Example of a DWI Conviction in Texas

The story we want to examine is the story of a man in Brazos County. With a DWI conviction and conviction for the assault of a family member, the man now faces seven years in prison. Seven years in prison is enough to change your life forever. It destroys your reputation, finances, family relationships, career, and more. 

Moreover, it means completely starting over when you eventually get out. Ordinarily, someone doesn’t receive seven years in prison for a first-time DWI. In fact, this story is far more complex due to the assault and violence charges. All of this together accumulates into an arrest and sentence of seven years. 

However, it all starts with a single DWI charge, which snowballs over years as transgressions mount. 

Aggressive Defense Against DWI Charges

When you face a DWI conviction, it’s important to find the best way to keep that charge from ruining your life. To start, it’s essential to find an experienced Houston DWI lawyer to represent you in your case. As your advocate, they fight to minimize charges or dismiss them entirely. 

Oftentimes, the essential question in a DWI case isn’t about conviction. While beating the charge is crucial, there are often other factors at play. The larger question involves collateral consequences of the charge, such as a suspension of your driver’s license or loss of a professional license. 

With aggressive representation from a Houston DWI defense attorney, you have the potential to avoid these consequences. Our team fights to protect your rights and your future, always working to pursue the best possible outcome for your particular case. 

Work Diligently Towards a Better Future

While we don’t know the extent of the issues plaguing that Brazos County man, it’s important to understand how important rehabilitation is. When it comes to the long-term impact of a DWI conviction, rehabilitating yourself and your image is essential for mitigating the impact of the charges. 

From substance addiction to vocational issues, it’s important to work earnestly towards repairing your life. With an arrest on your record, showing a true change helps a DWI attorney fight to expunge or seal your record. This is a great step towards reclaiming your future. 

Oftentimes, people are able to weather a crisis when they keep their house in order. This includes serious DWI charges. With an advocate on your side, you gain insight and guidance on how to address the long-term impact of a DWI from a legal standpoint. 

Avoid a DWI Conviction with an Experienced Houston DWI Lawyer

Again, it’s essential to remember that anyone facing DWI charges has an opportunity to fight to protect their future. Your best chance is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend and beat the DWI charge. 

Additionally, after a conviction, diligent work towards a better future helps prove rehabilitation and gives you an opportunity to petition for expungement or a sealed record. To better your odds in both these situations, it’s crucial to partner with a Houston DWI defense attorney. 

At The Martinez Law Firm, we understand how to protect our clients’ futures. Let us show you how to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule your free consultation to see how you can preserve your future. 

How Long a DWI Stays On Your Record in Texas

How long will a dwi stay on my record in texas? houston dwi lawyer herman martinez

If you want to know how long a DWI stays on your record in Texas, you know how serious a conviction is. Likely, that’s why you searched for information about DWIs (driving while intoxicated) or a Houston DWI lawyer

The short answer for how long a DWI stays on your record is “forever.” However, it’s important to understand that certain cases qualify for expungement. Otherwise, it remains a permanent part of your criminal record. 

In Texas, there’s no “washout period” for a DWI conviction. That’s why you need an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney on your side. If you face a DWI conviction, schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense law firm today. Those arrested for a DWI need to act quickly!

What If It’s My First Offense?

Unfortunately, there’s no difference when it comes to how long a DWI stays on your record. Whether your first offense or more, the only change is to the severity of the consequences. 

With a DWI on your criminal record, you face a major impact on your life. 

  • Fewer career prospects 
  • Limitations on the type of job you can apply for 
  • Your ability to earn income in general 
  • Owning a firearm 
  • Insurance premiums increase 
  • Immigration status for non-citizens 

Moreover, a conviction potentially means jail time and the loss of your license. To many people, this all sounds harsh. However, Texas takes drunk driving seriously, and the consequences are severe at every level. 

When you face DWI charges, you need to work with a Houston DWI lawyer who strives for the best possible outcome in your case. From reduced charges to dismissal and expungement, a good attorney knows how to work every angle of your case.

Accessing Conviction Data in Texas

In Texas, anyone has the option to search, attain information on, and study your records. Under the Texas Public Information Act, it’s a public right. 

In the state of Texas, it is likely your DWI stays on your record indefinitely. Generally, only non-conviction data gets erased from anyone’s record. This means dismissal or winning your case. 

When you apply for certain jobs, you have to list your DWI conviction on the application. Oftentimes, this means rejection for many people.

Expungement: What Is It?

Expungement refers to the erasure of your data from your criminal record. It is also known as expunction. 

Under Chapter 55 of the Texas Code, this erasure is possible but often quite difficult. Expunging a DWI record requires an application to the governor and a petition. Additionally, there are specific conditions to meet for eligibility. 

In Texas, a first or second DWI defense is a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. 

Per expunction laws, this means it is no longer a viable option until around a year after the conviction. 

However, a good attorney knows how to build a case with a stronger chance of having a judge overrule this requirement. For many cases, a DWI stays on your record until a judge dismisses the charges against you. 

Deferred Adjudication When a DWI Stays on Your Record

When there’s concern a DWI stays on your record, deferred adjudication is another possibility. Essentially, this is similar to a plea bargain made with a prosecutor. When you meet a set of requirements over a specific period of time, they dismiss your case. 

Typically, this is only possible for first-time DWI offenses a judge feels deserve a type of probation. Effectively, they dismiss your case when you plea guilty or no contest. 

However, failing to meet the terms of this agreement or receiving another charge in a specific period of time, you automatically receive a conviction. 

Wondering Whether a DWI Stays On Your Record? Call for a Free Consultation

When a DWI stays on your record in Texas, you face severe short-term and lifelong consequences. Your best option is to work with an experienced Houston DWI lawyer. 

Luckily, you remain innocent until proven guilty. With an advocate on your side, you have a better chance at dismissal or reduced charges. 

With decades of experience, our DWI defense attorneys know how to defend you against DWI charges. At your free consultation, we assess your case, examine the evidence, and search out a way to pursue the best possible option. 

While a DWI looks bad, you have a chance to find a strong defense against the prosecution. When the evidence is insufficient, flawed, or inconsistent, we fight to have your case thrown out. 

It’s important to remember that you still have hope! Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with Houston DWI lawyer Herman Martinez. 

DWI and Insurance Rates


DWI and Insurance Rates in Houston

When it comes to an arrest for DWI and insurance rates, you may wonder how a conviction impacts your premiums. In the state of Texas, someone who causes a car accident must pay for the damages to the other person’s property. Additionally, you need to prove you have the ability to pay for these damages in order to lawfully operate a motor vehicle. 

For many people, this comes in the form of car insurance and liability insurance. Your liability insurance covers damages such as repairs to the other vehicle, medical expenses, and potentially even lost wages. On its own, car insurance can be quite expensive. Unfortunately, a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) causes those costs to rise significantly. 

Any Houston DWI lawyer will tell you that increased insurance premiums are only one example of how a DWI impacts your life. Still, it’s important to remember that an arrest is not a conviction. You have an opportunity to defend yourself. 

With the right DWI defense attorney, Houston drivers have a chance to have the charges dropped or reduced. In certain cases, an experienced attorney can win an acquittal at your trial. If you need a Houston DWI lawyer, Herman Martinez’s results speak for themselves. Schedule a free consultation today to see how our team will fight for you. 

Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Texas

In Texas, drivers must comply with the financial responsibility law mentioned above. To do so, you must purchase a minimum amount of liability coverage. So ing as you provide this minimum, you are in compliance. 

In Texas, the minimum limit is $30,000 for every person injured – up to $60,000 per accident. Moreover, your policy must provide at least $25,000 for property damage. Oftentimes, we refer to this coverage as 30/60/25. 

Additionally, you have the option to purchase more than this minimum. For some, it’s a good idea to invest in robust coverage. This is because newer vehicles cost more than $25,000. Moreover, in a major car accident, medical costs rise well above $30,000 per person. While your liability insurance covers costs to a point, the damages beyond the limit are on you. 

On another note, it’s important to remember that this policy covers liability alone. This means it does not cover your injuries or damage to your vehicle. After a car accident, comprehensive coverage removes a great deal of pressure. 

Average Costs of Insurance Rates in Houston, TX

On average, Houston drivers face higher liability insurance costs than many others in the State of Texas. According to one study, Houston drivers pay an average of $930 each year to cover liability insurance. Across Texas, the average for other drivers is about $677 per year. 

In a general sense, this study shows that insurance rates are higher in urban areas. Annual premiums in larger cities are $200-300 more expensive annually. In part, this is due to the commuter culture in cities like Houston. 

Oftentimes, people spend more than an hour commuting one-way to work each day. With a population spread across the Greater Houston Area, it’s not difficult to see why costs are higher. 

DWI and Insurance Rates

You might already know that a DWI conviction carries consequences like fines and jail time. However, did you know that after a conviction of DWI, insurance rates rise significantly? 

According to a study, insurance premiums go up significantly following a DWI conviction across the Unites States. The increase varies by state but ranges from 28% to 371%. On average, insurance rates in Texas increase by 59%. 

However, in certain cases, your provider might drop your coverage completely. For many providers, a single DWI conviction is enough to cancel or non-renew your policy. This leaves you in a lurch as you struggle to find new coverage. 

This makes things worse because a canceled policy similarly leads to an increase in premiums. Additionally, a DWI in Texas stays on your record forever unless you work proactively to remove it. Unlike other states, Texas does not have a “washout period” that takes a DWI off your records. 

That means DWI and insurance rates have an extensive impact on your life. Luckily, a Houston DWI lawyer with decades of experience knows how to remove a DWI from your record and request expunction. Still, the best way to keep your driving record clear is to avoid the conviction altogether. 

In Houston, DWIs are defensible. At The Martinez Law Firm, we have the expertise and experience necessary to fight for an acquittal. Schedule a free case evaluation today to see how our DWI defense team can help. 

DWI and Insurance Rates Are Avoidable

While increased liability insurance costs vary across Texas and by an array of other factors, the end result is always a higher premium. Like most people, that 59% increase in your liability premium probably breaks your budget. Luckily, a DWI arrest does not mean your premiums go up. 

You have options when your hire a Houston DWI lawyer like Herman Martinez. It’s possible to win your case and avoid conviction and consequences. However, you need someone with the right experience who knows how to pursue the best possible outcome. 

If you face DWI charges in Houston, our DWI defense team is ready to help. Herman Martinez has decades of experience working in Houston and Harris County. We approach every case in a unique way because no case is the same. 

Let us show you your best path to avoid a future of DWI and insurance rates. Schedule your free consultation today. 

Does a DWI Show Up on My Background Check?

texas background check-dwi attorney houston

Yes, when a background check includes your criminal record, a DWI shows up. Oftentimes, many people don’t realize that their DWI arrest shows up on their record regardless of whether there was a conviction. If your case was dismissed, our Houston DWI lawyers will work with you to determine whether it can be removed from your record. 

Expungement is an important step for any dismissal. This is because driving while intoxicated (DWI) negatively impacts your chances of finding work, renting a home, or even attain professional licenses. 

If you currently face DWI charge, it is crucial for you to take every possible step to avoid having a conviction on your record, which will show up on a background check. DWI convictions haunt Texans long after they pay the legal consequences. In many cases, a DWI stays on your record permanently unless you seek expungement. 

Contact our Houston DWI lawyers today for a free consultation. Whether you face charges now or want to seek expungement or record sealing, our team can help you understand your options.

Employers and Getting a Background Check in Texas

In many cases, Texas employers conduct an extensive background check on job candidates. For this reason, many with a DWI on their record find themselves without a job. This is true even if the arrest did not lead to a conviction. 

Additionally, when your career specifically centers around driving, you can count on them scouring your record. If they see any signs of a DWI or negligent behavior behind the wheel, you likely won’t be their choice. 

How Does a DWI Impact Career Prospects?

In Texas, employers can use the results of background checks to deny candidates a job. However, employers must follow certain rules when doing so. For example, when they use a third-party company to conduct the investigation, they must inform you. Moreover, you must sign a waiver providing your consent to the check. 

Secondly, when an employer decides not to hire you based on negative information from their check, they must provide the details of their decision. Still, some businesses forgive DWIs in background checks. This is especially true when your arrest occurred several years in the past. 

However, it’s important to understand that this depends on several factors. 

  • Company policies
  • The type of job
  • Job duties 
  • Company culture 
  • Other candidates

When the economy is not on your side, a DWI hurts you even more. Employers are more likely to have qualified candidates with clean records vying for the same job. 

DWI Expungement 

When you are arrested for a DWI but not convicted, your arrest shows up on your record. However, you may have the option to have it expunged from your arrest record. As Houston DWI defense lawyers, we can help you pursue this option. 

Typically, DWI expungement involves filing a petition and attendance at a hearing. At your hearing, we present the case for why your DWI arrest should be removed from your record. After a successful hearing, the judge issues an order of expungement. 

Sealing Your Record / Background Check

Alternatively, you might pursue a nondisclosure order. You may know this as “having your record sealed.” While a sealed record does not disappear from your record, it is no longer visible to employers or third-party agencies. 

Something to keep in mind with a sealed record is that certain government officials still have the ability to see your DWI arrest. If you hope to get a high-level government job, this can still be a hurdle. In these cases, you may want to seek expungement. 

According to more recent Texas law, a first-offense DWI conviction may also be eligible to be sealed. However, you must meet specific criteria. Speak to our Houston DWI lawyers if you wish to explore this option. 

What Do I Do If I Currently Face Charges?

If you currently face DWI charges, it’s important to remember that you have options. The first thing you should do is speak to a DWI defense attorney as soon as possible. At your free case evaluation, we review your case and determine the best method for defense. At times, this may involve a plea that reduces your DWI charges to less severe charges. 

Our DWI defense team can also help you work towards expungement when we avoid conviction. 

Call Now For a Free Consultation

Are you currently facing DWI charges in Houston? Do you want to seal your record or expunge a DWI arrest? Learn more about your options when you schedule a free consultation with our Houston DWI lawyers. 

Led by Herman Martinez, our team strives to help you fight to protect your rights and your future. We understand how deeply impactful a DWI arrest can be. Moreover, we have decades of experience helping people protect themselves. 

Contact us now to schedule your free case evaluation. Let us show you how we can be your advocates.

Is No Contest Better than Pleading Guilty?

Are you wondering whether to plea no contest or plead guilty to a DWI in Texas? Contact our law firm immediately. Our Houston DWI lawyers are here to help you understand and protect your rights. Schedule a free consultation today!

Whether or not entering a plea of “no contest” for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas depends on the circumstances of your case. The best way to determine your plea for a DWI case is to consult with a DWI defense attorney in Houston. When you present the circumstances of your arrest to our team, we provide guidance on how to pursue the best possible outcome. 

In certain situations, a “no contest” plea might benefit you. However, it’s not always an effective strategy. With a DWI lawyer on your side, you gain a stronger defense strategy and someone to provide advice about your case. 

No Contest Pleas and DWIs: They Help in Limited Situations 

When you enter a plea of no contest, the primary benefit is that you avoid admitting fault in the situation. If there is reason to be concerned that you might face a civil case in addition to your criminal charges, this can be quite important. 

For instance, perhaps you have a few beers on the patio of a Houston bar. On your way home, you make a turn too quickly and jump the curb, driving into someone’s fence. This can mount up to thousands of dollars in property damage. Next, the police show up and arrest you for a DWI. 

In this situation, admitting fault in your DWI case makes it more difficult to win your civil case. This is true even when you believe most of the damage existed before you hit the fence. With cases like these, your Houston DWI lawyer might suggest that you plead no contest. 

The Myths of No Contest and DWIs

There are other cases where pleading no contest won’t do much to help your case. Oftentimes, people associate myths with this sort of plea. In many of these cases, the court system looks at it as similar to a plea of guilty. 

For example, even if you plead guilty to a first-time DWI, you might qualify for expungement later. Additionally, the arrest and conviction still count against you should you be arrested for drunk driving again. 

In the worst-case scenario, deciding to enter a plea of no contest might prevent you from being able to gain a plea bargain that drastically reduces the penalties against you. When you work with a Houston DWI lawyer, they might negotiate an agreement that requires you to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges and lighter penalties. 

Often, this is the most favorable outcome when there is strong evidence against you. 

Schedule a Free Consultation 

Before you decide how to plead in your DWI case, meet with a Houston DWI lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm. Our DWI defense team has decades of experience working in Houston and Harris County. Let us help you understand your rights as well as the Texas drunk driving laws. When you work with us, we provide guidance on what plea to enter, always pursuing your best interests. 

Let our team be your advocates and help you develop a defense strategy rooted in the facts and circumstances of your case. Call 713.242.1779 now to schedule your free consultation.