Avoid a Thanksgiving DWI Arrest

thanksgiving dwi arrest
Young drunk businessman is holding a bottle of beer and reaching car keys while sitting at bar counter in pub, another man is stopping him

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday season is in full swing. While they look a little different this year, many people decide to take calculated risks to see their loved ones. Whether you plan to drive out to see your in-laws or stop by a friend’s house for Friendsgiving, be careful of Thanksgiving DWIs. 

As experienced Houston DWI lawyers, we see these instances peak every year around the holiday season. Many don’t consider Thanksgiving to be a day of heavy drinking. However, law enforcement agencies often think of Thanksgiving as one of the busiest when it comes to DWI arrests.

A quick note:

If you gather with your family this holiday season, we hope you take full advantage of the free drive-through COVID testing locations around Houston. Before you put anyone at risk, a quick test can ensure you have a much safer Thanksgiving. Results take up to 72 hours but often come back as quickly as the next day. 

Holiday Season and Thanksgiving DWI’s

Frequently, the holiday season comes with an increase in checkpoints across Harris County. Police stop cars to check the driver’s condition in hopes of preventing severe car accidents. Per this information from Scram Systems, over 800 people died in drunk driving accidents in the mid-2010s during the Thanksgiving holiday period. 

As with most holidays, alcohol tends to be a significant part of seasonal celebrations. After all, there’s a reason people refer to Thanksgiving Eve as Blackout Wednesday. Law enforcement officials know this and often plan extra measures to keep the roads safe. 

Every year people plan extensive road trips or even short trips across town to see their loved ones. Hopefully, this year sees fewer people on the road. However, it is essential not to let drunk driving squash the holiday spirit. 

However, a Thanksgiving DWI arrest is not always handled unlawfully. That’s why you need an advocate on your side. Call our legal team to schedule a free case evaluation today.

Thanksgiving DWI Arrest? Call on Our DWI Defense Attorneys

Our experienced Houston DWI lawyers will help you stand up for your rights at The Martinez Law Firm. While the best way to avoid a Thanksgiving DWI is not to drink and drive, people find themselves in these situations. Remember that even though Texas is strict with DWI cases, you have options. 

Our DWI defense attorneys understand how to evaluate the evidence. We can help you fight for the best possible outcome for your case, working to reduce or dismiss charges. Have a safe holiday season, and call on The Martinez Law Firm whenever you require an advocate.

Can I Appeal a DWI in Texas? 

You have the option to appeal a DWI in Texas per Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 44.02. This code establishes the defendant’s right in any criminal case to appeal the court’s decision. Typically, the basis for your appeal must state that the court misapplied the law or allowed inappropriate behavior that led to a wrongful conviction.

For example, some common errors utilized in DWI appeals include the following:

• Court rulings that were made in error 

• Testimonies that should have been excluded

• Improper conduct on the part of the prosecutor

When you work with an experienced Houston DWI defense lawyer, they will help you identify and demonstrate errors made in your case. In doing so, the court may grant your request for a new DWI trial. 

File a DWI Appeal in Texas

How to Appeal a DWI in Texas 

To appeal a drunk driving conviction in Texas, you have to file a motion for appeal with the court’s Clerk where your initial trial occurred. Similarly, you can file a Motion for New Trial, which is the next step in the process if the court grants your request to appeal a DWI. 

Generally, the clerk forwards the motion and relevant documentation to the appeals court. Then, the court obtains the necessary information they require to consider the motion. Oftentimes, this includes a subsequent appellate brief that explains the justification for the appeal. Upon consideration, the court files its own brief and rules on your appeal. 

When you work with a Houston DWI lawyer, their law firm handles this process on your behalf. Typically, the legal process is difficult to navigate, leaving people open to missteps that have their appeals thrown out. When you face a charge of driving while intoxicated, you need a defense attorney fully familiar with the process. 

At The Martinez Law Firm, we have decades of experience helping people appeal DWI rulings. Contact us today for a free consultation on our legal representation and let us help you appeal to a DWI in Texas. 

How Much Time Do I Have to Appeal a DWI in Texas? 

To be frank, you don’t have much time when you want to appeal a DWI decision. When you miss the deadline, you lose your right to appeal. Keep this in mind. 

You have 30 days to file a petition and appeal to a DWI in Texas. 

Time is not on your side, and you need to act quickly. With a DWI on your record, your options are severely limited. When you have a chance to fight, it’s important to work with a Houston DWI lawyer to appeal your case. 

However, missing the deadline does not mean you are out of options. When you miss the deadline, a Houston DWI defense attorney with the right experience will know how to help you find other potential options. 

What If I Lose My Appeal? 

In Texas, if you lose your DWI appeal, you might have another option. Depending on your initial trial location, your appeal proceeding takes place in a Texas Court of Appeal. When you want to appeal their decision, you have the option to file a motion with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. 

Generally, people only pursue this level when they face potential felony charges, which come with severe penalties. Your DWI defense lawyer is there to act as your advocate and provide legal advice so that you can determine the best path for your defense. 

What Happens If I Win the Appeal? 

When you appeal a DWI and win, the court schedules a new trial for your original charges. While you are not in the clear just yet, your Houston DWI defense lawyer should have a better understanding of the evidence and what went wrong in the first case.

While this does not guarantee a victory, you often stand a better chance to gain a favorable result. Moreover, your attorney has the opportunity to negotiate before the trial. In doing so, they may be able to reduce the charges or even have them dismissed entirely. 

When to Hire a Houston DWI Lawyer to Appeal a DWI

There is no requirement to have legal representation in Texas when you appeal a DWI or even go to trial. However, it is important to consider the experience of a Houston DWI defense lawyer. The appeals process for drunk driving cases is quite complicated. 

Moreover, many criminal defense attorneys lack full knowledge of the process and proceedings, so handling it yourself can lead to many missteps. When you miss a deadline or commit an error while filing motions, it puts your appeal in jeopardy. 

An experienced Houston DWI lawyer knows how to evaluate the evidence and facts within your case. In turn, they determine how viable your appeal is and how best to approach it.

Want to Appeal a DWI in Texas? Call Us for a Free Consultation 

Our Houston criminal defense attorneys at The Martinez Law Firm offer comprehensive legal representation to people who face charges related to DWIs and drunk driving. With decades of experience in the courtroom, our Houston DWI lawyers understand how Texas’s criminal justice system works. 

With our legal team, we utilize this knowledge and experience to advocate for your best interests. Let us fight for your future and help you attain the best possible outcome in your DWI case. 

If you have questions about how to appeal to a DWI in Texas, contact our law firm for a free consultation. We can discuss and evaluate your case and provide legal advice on how to proceed. 

Having a DWI Dismissed in Texas 

Having a DWI dismissed in Texas may seem like an impossible task. However, with the right Houston DWI lawyer on your side, it is entirely possible. Still, the Lone Star State is known for having some of the strictest DWI laws across the United States. In the state of Texas, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) when your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher (.04% for commercial drivers). 

When you test above the legal limit, a DWI conviction can feel almost inevitable. However, it is important to know that it is possible to have DWI charges dismissed or reduced. Even when the prosecution has evidence against you, you have options. The right Houston DWI lawyer will advocate for you and guide you through the process. 

How Can a DWI Charge be Dismissed? 

For a talented criminal defense attorney, there is an array of options to have DWI charges dismissed or at least reduced. Oftentimes, these are options that the average person may not think to explore. For instance, when a breathalyzer is not properly maintained, any evidence it produces cannot be used against you. Similarly, when your rights are infringed upon in any way throughout the arrest process, your DWI case could potentially be dismissed. 

While these are just two examples of how a DWI lawyer might defend you, it is also important to remember that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. This means that they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. If they are unable to show that the arrest process was handled properly, the court may not convict you.

This is one reason why it is crucial to work with experienced criminal defense attorneys, such as Herman Martinez. When you do, it dramatically improves your chances to have your DWI dismissed or your charges reduced. 

What Happens After a DWI Dismissal? 

A DWI dismissal is the best possible outcome for anyone accused of driving drunk. While it is not always possible, a Houston DWI lawyer can still work to reduce the penalties. In the State of Texas, DWI penalties can be severe.

DWI consequences include:

  • Fines
  • Driver’s License Suspension 
  • Higher Car Insurance Costs
  • DWI Education Programs
  • Community Service 
  • Possible Jail Time 

Are DWI Courts Closed Due to the Pandemic? 

No. Most locations throughout Texas have reopened courts or shifted to virtual hearings. However, a backlog of cases may cause DWI cases to be postponed for at least a 30-day period. Some Texas DMV locations may remain closed during this health emergency, which may cause delays for DWI driver’s license suspension hearings for many people. 

When you want to have your DWI dismissed, it is crucial for any DWI defendant without a court date or with a postponed hearing to seek legal advice. An experienced Houston DWI lawyer will pinpoint the best defense to beat DWI charges as quickly as possible. 

Working with a Houston DWI Lawyer 

Have you been arrested for DWI? Whether you’ve had a breath or blood test, our defense team will examine the police report to find the best possible defense to have your case dismissed. When you work with a defense lawyer, they will examine every aspect of your arrest and help you avoid criminal charges.

When you need a DWI dismissed, a Houston criminal defense attorney is essential. An experienced DWI lawyer will fight for your rights and strive to attain the best results possible for your case. If you find yourself facing DWI charges and in need of a talented DWI defense team, please contact us today. 

Navigate Your First DWI in Texas with a DWI Lawyer 

In the state of Texas, drinking and driving is a serious offense. With a DWI in Texas, you face severe penalties regardless of whether it’s your first, second, or third DWI. Your first DWI in Texas is a class B or A misdemeanor. If the court convicts you, it can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and up to one year in the county jail. However, these are still the lesser of the punishments you could face when your situation is more complex. 

A Houston DWI defense attorney can help you navigate the proceedings and advocate to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Shots and keys on a bar table, letting people know not to drink and drive. A warning to not get your first DWI.
Don’t take that chance, give those keys to a sober friend. Don’t take the chance of getting your first DWI

Houstons Rise of DWI Cases

As Texas began to reopen earlier this summer, we saw an increase in DWI cases in Texas. According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, 278 people were charged with DWI over the course of the Memorial Holiday weekend. This is just 43 cases fewer than the same long weekend in 2019. 

“As things began to open up and restrictions ease, you saw a gradual increase (in DWIs),” Sean Teare, head of the Vehicular Crimes Division of the Harris County DA’s Office was quoted saying. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic, we have bars and restaurants open at 25 percent capacity, and we see no drops as in years past. My concern is as we open up, you’re going to see more people try to make up for a lost time, so to speak.”

Typically, when the police arrest someone for a crime in Texas, they don’t receive any penalties until they receive a conviction from the court. However, this is not true for drunk driving in Texas. 

A first-time DWI offender is likely to face administrative penalties before they go to court. Should they go to court and receive a conviction, they may face criminal penalties.

Your First Penalty: Suspension of Your License 

When you fail or refuse to take a chemical test, Texas law allows the officer to seize your license. Then, you receive a “Notice of Suspension” from them. This notice allows you to drive, functioning as a temporary driving permit. 

You have 15 days to request a hearing to save your license. Otherwise, you can continue to drive on the temporary permit for 40 days. However, it is important to know that when you do not contest the decision, your license will be automatically suspended anywhere from 90-180 days. 

The good news is that if your driving privileges get suspended, you can apply for an occupational license. This license restricts all your driving privileges except the allowance to drive to school, work, and essential locations.

To obtain an occupational license, you must agree to an ignition interlock device and provide evidence of an SR-22.

The Second Penalty: Potential Criminal Penalties

Oftentimes, a first conviction is a class B misdemeanor. There are exceptions to this, though, which include a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 percent. The legal limit in Texas is .08 percent. When you hit or exceed .15 percent, it becomes a class A misdemeanor. 

Upon conviction of a DWI in Texas, you receive a fine, a jail sentence, or both. The maximum penalties are $2,000 for class B and $4,000 for class A. Your potential jail sentence could range from 72 hours to 6 months (or a year for class A). 

These fines and sentences are standard. However, even for a first-time DWI in Texas, there’s more. 

  • Probation 
  • DWI Education 
  • Community Service 
  • Further License Suspension

When the suspension of your license ends, you may also have to pay an annual surcharge for three years. This surcharge is often between $1,000 and $2,000. 

Potential Additional Penalties for DWI in Texas 

While the penalties above cover the DWI in Texas, the situation may call for additional penalties. For instance, when you are caught drunk driving with a minor in the car, you face escalated penalties. DWI with someone under 15 in the vehicle is a felony, and your fine can increase up to $10,000. You may also face up to two years of State jail time. 

If you get in an accident where someone dies, the charge can include Intoxication Manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony. This crime can give an offender 2-20 years in the Texas Department of Corrections

Examples of DWI Defense Plans 

While a DWI in Texas is incredibly serious, you have legal arguments when pulled over while intoxicated but have a good reason. Oftentimes, it is not possible to argue that you weren’t intoxicated unless the tests prove it. Instead, some DWI defense plans include: 

  • Drove because an officer told you to 
  • Drove drunk out of necessity
  • Was not intoxicated at the time of the arrest

In other cases, you may be able to argue a technicality. 

  • Improper or unlawful traffic stops
  • Chain of custody issues for blood tests
  • Inaccurate field sobriety tests

You may refuse a blood test or chemical test.

You Need a DWI Lawyer 

A DWI in Texas is one of the most common crimes. Sometimes, drivers do not take DWIs as seriously as they should. However, treating them as inevitable is a mistake because the state takes them quite seriously. 

Have you been arrested for a DWI in Texas? Call on our DWI defense attorneys to stay in control of what happens next. 

A DWI lawyer can help you out of a situation like this.

Any Houston DWI lawyer can tell you that having a DWI on your record puts serious limitations on your freedom and your future. When you are convicted of a DWI, you could face probation, the loss of your license, and even jail time. 

When your probation ends or when your license is returned, the limitations don’t simply end. If you decide to operate a vehicle under the influence, you may find that this decision haunts you for years to come. Being pulled over for suspicion of a DWI has a significant impact on your lifestyle and reputation for years to come. 

Criminal defense attorneys in Houston TX, such as Herman Martinez, see an array of cases while serving Houston. At our law firm, we place a special focus on DWI defense and arrest for DWI because we know the impact it can have on your life. If you have been arrested in Houston Texas for driving while intoxicated, call our law offices today.

A DWI Harms Your Reputation 

If you are charged with a DWI, your mugshot is taken, processed, and posted online. Left there, it can impact your personal and professional reputation. An experienced Houston DWI lawyer knows how to prevent this from happening. Even after an arrest, there are steps an attorney can take to help you have these charges removed from your record. 

An Interlock on Your Vehicle 

In Harris County, you may be required to install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle. An Interlock is installed on the ignition of your vehicle. This device requires you to test your blood alcohol content before you are able to start your car. Oftentimes, you must pay for the installation of this device as well as a monthly fee to have it recalibrated. 

Without this device fitted, the state may refuse to allow you to drive. If you find yourself facing a difficult case, hire a trusted Houston DWI lawyer so that you have an advocate on your side to fight for your best interests. 

A DWI Can Increase Your Car Insurance Premium 

The premium you pay for care insurance is based upon how risky the insurance company believes you are behind the wheel. Having a DWI on your record makes you a high-risk driver, meaning that insurance companies may elect not to provide you with insurance. When they do, they have the opportunity to charge you a higher premium than you might pay otherwise. 

Custody Battles at a Disadvantage 

Your reputation is impacted in more ways than one. Another possibility is that a recent DWI charge may be used against you if you are engaged in a custody battle. The judge may view a DWI charge as a sign of a drinking problem and deem you an irresponsible parent. 

Employment Difficulties 

Regardless of your progression, a DWI charge is a blemish on your record. You may find your employment at risk, and finding new employment can become quite difficult. Doctors, teachers, and other individuals in “respectable” fields may be unable to obtain a license in their respective fields with a DWI. 

Travel Limitations 

Many states place travel limitations for those on probation. You may be required to request permission from your probation officer before you are allowed to travel. After your probation ends, you may still find travel difficult. Certain foreign countries won’t allow entry to visitors with minor convictions. 

Added Expenses 

When you are convicted of a DWI, you may face more expenses than you realize. From paying to get your car out of the impound lot to bail and court costs, it quickly becomes an expensive process. An experienced Houston DWI Lawyer will help you navigate these situations, recommending the best route for your situation. 

Clearing Your Name with a Houston DWI Lawyer 

When it comes to DWI cases, expunction is difficult to obtain. Certain situations qualify for a non-disclosure of your DWI. This is often implemented to help first-time offenders. The most important thing you can do is have a skilled Houston DWI lawyer at your side. 

Herman Martinez has over 20 years of experience defending clients in an array of criminal defense cases. His success and skill are evident in his superior ratings. If you find yourself in need of a Houston DWI lawyer, call our firm immediately and let us fight for you. 

It is important to understand that the circumstances directly surrounding your DWI arrest could greatly affect your charges. In the state of Texas, first and second time DWI convictions are only considered to be misdemeanors. You will have automatically been charged with a felony DWI in Texas if it is your third conviction.

What Could Cause a Misdemeanor DWI to Become a Felony DWI in Texas?

Certain factors could transform a misdemeanor into a felony DWI, including:

  • You are arrested for a DWI while driving a child under 15 years of age.
    • Penalties for this offense include anywhere from 180 days to 2 years in state jail and fines up to $10,000.00.
  • You are arrested for a DWI after getting in an auto accident that resulted in serious injuries.
    • Penalties for intoxication assault in Texas include incarceration for 2 to 10 years, as well as up to $10,000.00 in fines. It is also mandated by Texas law that the judge in these cases must order at least 160 hours but no more than 600 hours of community service.

What If I Was Charged With a Felony DWI in Another State?

If you are arrested in another state for a felony DWI, Texas will still be informed about your conviction. As long as the state you were charged in is a part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. In addition, the only states who are not members of this compact include Tennessee, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Michigan.

Call Our Experienced Houston DWI Defense Lawyers

Having spent over 15 years defending the rights of the accused throughout Houston, Attorney Martinez is a top-rated legal advocate. Being rated as a Clients’ Choice DUI Lawyer on Avvo for 2012. Also named a Top DWI Lawyer by Houston Texas Magazine for 2011. In addition, Attorney Martinez has a 10.0 Rating on Avvo, which is the highest possible score he can receive. This score was from his peers for his exemplary work in the legal community.

Leave your felony DWI charges in the hands of an attorney who truly knows how to best protect your rights, call The Martinez Law Firm for a free consultation!

When an individual is pulled over on suspicion of DWI, the police will most likely conduct a field sobriety test (FST) to see if they are in fact intoxicated. Unfortunately, they are not always accurate because a myriad of other factors can influence how people react to these types of tests.

Take a look at some of the common questions we receive regarding these types of tests:

  1. By law, do I have to submit to a field sobriety test if I am pulled over by the police?
    Truthfully, the answer is no and it is often recommended that you do not take them. They are often unreliable, as there are a number of outside factors that can cause a person to fail. Health conditions, difficulty balancing, weight, age, and a variety of other things can all affect the results. It is important to note, however, that an officer will most likely make you take a breath or blood test if you do not submit to a routine test.
  2. What are the most common versions of this test?
    Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk-and-Turn test, and the One-Leg Stand test are the three that are considered “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  3. Is it possible to challenge your field sobriety test?
    Yes, with the help of a qualified Houston DWI attorney, you can fight your field sobriety test. At The Martinez Law Firm, we know that being pulled over for a DWI can already be extremely stressful. We understand the various elements of these tests and we can combat how they were administered and establish if any misconduct occurred on the part of the administering officer.

No matter what the circumstances are surrounding your charges, our Houston DWI defense lawyers can strive to protect your rights both in and out of the courtroom. Call for a free evaluation of your case today and let us begin crafting the defense you deserve.

Categories: Alcohol TestDUIDWI

Refusing a Blood or Breath Test

refusing a blood or breath test by staying her vehicle. Houston DWI Attorney Herman Martinez can help

In Texas, the “implied consent” law means that you consent to
a test to determine the amount of alcohol in your system. The law measures intoxication by the blood-alcohol content (BAC) percentage. A measurement of .08% and above is considered over the limit. Even if you do not “feel” drunk, an officer can arrest you for being considered legally drunk. However, note an officer must have reasonable suspicion that you were driving while intoxicated to pull you over.

When you submit to the test, you have the right to request to be tested
within at least two hours of your arrest. You can even choose with a doctor
or health care practitioner to take the test for you.

How Do The Courts Convict DWI?

Although DUI refusal can leave you culpable for penalties, this cannot
be used against you should your case be brought to trial. At the same
time, prosecutors may still have mounted enough evidence for a conviction. There may also be reasons why a chemical or blood test could not be obtained at the time of the arrest.

These are some examples:

  • The judge ruled that the bodily fluids obtained were not admissible to trial.
  • The equipment failed at the scene, and could not be used for a chemical test.
  • Field sobriety tests determine that your actions demonstrated intoxication.
  • The officer provided testimony that persuades the jury you were driving drunk.
  • You refused to submit to either a chemical or blood test.

Do I Have the Right to Refuse the Test?

It does not help with the outcome of your case by refusing a blood or breath test.

These are the penalties for refusing to submit to the tests:

  • 1st offense: 180-day license suspension
  • 2nd offense: 2-year license suspension
  • 3rd offense: 2-year license suspension

You may face numerous penalties, such as the standard
DWI penalties, which could include fines, DUI classes, probation, and even imprisonment. These will be in addition to license suspension or revocation. Therefore, it is imperative that if you are facing any DWI charge, even if you believe the evidence against you has no merit, you should fight.

We at The Martinez Law Firm are known for going above and beyond to help
our clients.
Call us today and let’s get started on building your defense!

Know Your Rights

One of the first things you need to do if you want to have any chance of
fighting a DWI in Houston, is you need to understand and exercise your legal rights. The law does not require you to submit to field sobriety tests, nor does it require you to answer an officer’s questions without having your attorney present.

Fight Evidence From Your Breath & Blood Test Results

While you are legally obligated to submit to a breath, blood, or another chemical testing, even what appears to be conclusive evidence gathered from these tests can be disproven with the help of a skilled DWI defense attorney.  Having a skilled DWI attorney fighting a DWI in Houston for you is imperative if you have any chance of winning.

Schedule Your ALR Hearing & Have the Proper Defense

You only have 15 days to schedule your Administration License Revocation (ALR) hearing, so act quickly. An attorney from our firm can also help you fight to retain your driving privileges by providing representation at the hearing.

Let a Qualified Lawyer Thoroughly Investigate Your Charges

The sooner you are able to retain counsel, the sooner we will be able to
get started on strategizing for your defense. Above all, we take an individualized, client-driven approach to each of the cases we have taken on.  Therefore, our clients are able to benefit from a defense that has been personalized to their individual situation.

Hire a Top-Rated Houston Defense Lawyer With a History of Success

If you have been arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, we
advise you to waste no time in hiring a DWI attorney in Houston who you can trust to defend your rights. Furthermore, The Martinez Law Firm is a well-established criminal defense firm that has been providing legal
representation and counsel to those accused of DWI and other
criminal charges for nearly 20 years.

Attorney Martinez has received a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo and was named as the 2014 Avvo Clients’ Choice DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer as well. He is well-versed on DWI laws and his track record of success clearly shows that he has the skills necessary to beat your DWI in Texas.

To get the help you need, contact a Houston DWI attorney
from our firm now.

Expunging a DWI Can Help Your Future

After you are convicted of a DWI, it is essential to eventually seek an expungement. A DWI will go on your criminal record, which potential employers can access whenever you are interviewed for a new job. Many companies won’t hire individuals that have been arrested for a crime of this nature. An expunged DWI offense can typically still be used as proof of prior conviction, but they are not visible to prospective employers, educational institutions, and credit insurers, or other entities that conduct background checks.

This means that unless you are arrested again for another DUI, it will be as if you were never arrested in the first place. You will want to pursue an expungement with the help of an accomplished Houston DWI lawyer. In order to receive this privilege, you will need to adhere to Chapter
55 of the Texas Criminal Code.

When Can a DWI Be Expunged?

According to the Texas Young Lawyers Association, individuals can have
their records expunged if they were:

  1. Arrested for a crime that was never charged; or
  2. If the criminal charge was ultimately dismissed.

Other Exceptions for Expungement

If a person was convicted
for a crime that was later acquitted by the trial court or the Criminal Court
of Appeals, or if it was a conviction for a failure to attend school,
that record can also be expunged. In addition, if the individual was convicted of a crime that was later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the US President, then that record can be expunged. Some juvenile offenses are eligible for expungement, as well as some alcohol offenses involving minors.

If you want more information about expungement in your case, then
contact a Houston DWI attorney at the firm today to learn more!

DWI Charge in Houston

A DWI charge means that if you have a blood alcohol content of .08% or above while behind the wheel, you can get arrested for a DWI.

In Texas, there are no alternatives or lesser charges to DWI, so the prosecution will be seeking the maximum penalties against you.
What are the penalties for drunk driving?
Your first DWI charge & conviction can have you put in jail for up to 180 days with fines of up to $2,000. Your license could also be suspended for up to a year.
What about a second DWI offense?
The penalties will increase, including the possibility of the following: 
Up to a year in jail
Fines up to $4,000
Two-year license suspension
Mandatory ignition interlock installation

While a second offense is still considered a misdemeanor, so long as there are no aggravating factors, a third offense is a felony. It will carry two years in jail, up to $10,000 in fines, an extensive license suspension, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device as well.

There is no look-back period in Texas, meaning no matter how many years have elapsed between your first and current DWI, it can still be counted against you. In addition, your insurer will likely respond to a DWI conviction by raising your premiums by a few hundred dollars a month or by dropping you entirely due to your increased risk.
Do I really need a lawyer for my case?
You should be well aware that a DWI arrest is far from a DWI conviction. When you have an attorney, they can argue against your charges by utilizing a number of defenses. They can find evidence to prove those police officers had no probable cause to pull you over, that your breath or blood test was inaccurate, or that your rights were violated in some way.

With so much at stake, you need a Houston DWI lawyer from The Martinez Law Firm to argue on your behalf. He is a Top DUI Lawyer as recognized by H Texas Magazine and Avvo. Representing clients throughout Houston for over 15 years, there is no case too complex. He believes that you are always innocent until proven guilty. Call today to find out how we can use our experience to benefit your case.
Free Case Evaluation

DWI Attorney value on your side

It is always to your benefit to hire a DWI attorney to handle your case. Someone who has a background in the court system understands how plea bargains work, and is able to weed through the complicated administrative procedures is a must-have if you are planning to fight your charges or seek a plea deal. While you are not legally obligated to hire an attorney for a DWI charge, you have a much better chance of obtaining a positive result for your case when you have one.

Even if you wish to plead guilty and are fairly certain of a conviction, a DWI lawyer can offer you the benefit of their experience and advise you along the way. An attorney may be able to offer a viable plea bargain in such a case.

What a DWI Lawyer can Offer

Your attorney may also be able to push for sentence bargaining which can be very useful when you are faced with jail time. In such a case you would be able to know what your sentence would be before you decide how to plead.

If you believe you were arrested in error and were either not intoxicated or police acted inappropriately, you most certainly need a DWI lawyer who understands how a DWI arrest should function, including the stop, field sobriety, and chemical test procedures. A DWI lawyer will know when a mistake was made in your arrest and can exploit such as a mistake. In this case, you can probably get your case dropped since the police acted improperly.

In addition to fighting your charges, a DWI attorney can help you regain your driver’s license which was likely taken from you once arrested. You will need to schedule and win an administrative hearing to contest your license’s revocation and a DWI attorney can stand beside you and advise you for both.

Having a DWI attorney is worth the cost of retaining one. When your future is on the line, an experienced DWI lawyer from Herman Martinez could make all the difference for you.

Being pulled over for a suspected
DWI can be a very humbling experience. If an officer suspects you have been
driving while intoxicated it is highly likely you may find yourself being
placed under arrest before you even realize what is going on. Knowing
your rights and understanding what you should do in this type of situation
will make a big difference in what happens next.

Our founding lawyer has more than 15 years of criminal law experience and has been named by H Texas Magazine as a “Top DWI Lawyer” for 2011. With an in-depth knowledge of DWI defense, we are more
than qualified to provide legal representation in all different types
of DWI cases from
first-time DWI arrests to
Felony DWI and more. To find out what we can do for you, give our law firm a call
today. In the meantime, here are some common DWI questions and the answers
you will want to know.

Can I refuse to take a field sobriety test?

You are under no legal obligation to submit to
field sobriety testing. These types of tests are extremely suggestive and are only used by officers
to confirm their suspicions of DWI and warrant an arrest.

Can I refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

Any individual who has been issued a driver’s license in our state
has already given his or her implied consent to submit to a breath, blood,
urine or other chemical test in the event of a suspected DWI. Refusing
to take a breathalyzer test will generally lead to an arrest and the mandatory
suspension of your driving privileges for at least 6 months.

Is there anything I can do to avoid being arrested for DWI?

Other than not consuming alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel of a
motor vehicle, there is usually little than can be done to avoid an arrest
after being pulled over for an alleged DWI. The officer already had his
or her suspicions as to your state of intoxication and field sobriety tests,
breathalyzer tests and questioning is how those suspicions will be confirmed.

Do I have to answer the officer’s questions?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI, you do not have to answer any
questions that could incriminate you or be used against you in a court
of law. Be respectful. Provide the officer with the basic identification
information he or she requires and then politely inform the officer that
you would be happy to answer more questions once your lawyer is present.
Some officers will try to convince you this is an admission of guilt,
but it is not. You are simply asserting your legal rights.

Will a failed test guarantee a conviction?

Neither a failed breathalyzer test nor a failed chemical test will guarantee
a conviction. Even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is
above the legal limit, we will challenge the results and validity of your
tests. An improperly trained officer, an incorrectly calibrated testing
unit, and numerous other factors can all impact the results of your test.

Will I lose my driver’s license if I am arrested for a suspected DWI?

If you have been arrested for DWI, you have 15 days to request an
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing where you will be given the opportunity to challenge your
license suspension. Having a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side
will greatly improve your chances of retaining your license or being granted
restricted driving privileges.

If it is my first-time being arrested for DWI, will I have to go to jail?

Individuals who are arrested for a first-time DWI in our state could be
facing up to 180 days in jail, in addition to a number of other penalties.
In cases where an individual has a BAC level of 0.15 or above, that penalty
may be increased to a year in jail.

The most important thing you can do upon being arrested for a suspected
DWI here in Houston or throughout any of the surrounding cities, is to
exercise your legal rights. You have the right to remain silent and you have the right to have a
lawyer present during all questioning. Do not help build the prosecution’s
case against you by waiving your rights.
Call The Martinez Law Firm and schedule to meet with a Houston criminal defense lawyer immediately.
We will advise you of your legal rights and help you prepare a compelling
strategy for your defense. It is not too late. The time to call is now!

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most popular weeks for DWI arrest within the year. This is because many individuals will enjoy a glass of wine or two with dinner and then consume beer while watching football. In addition, an individual may consume a holiday drink or two over the course of the night. By the time he or she is ready to drive home, the individual may be well over the legal limit. Every year, police forces put out large numbers of patrols to watch for DWI offenders that are making their way home after a Thanksgiving celebration.

Ironically, “Black Wednesday,” which is the day before Thanksgiving, has also become a popular day for drinking. According to the Sun-Sentinel, this has become one of the biggest alcohol drinking nights of the year, second only to New Year’s Eve. Researchers say that Black Wednesday encourages drinking for a variety of reasons. For one, relatives are in town, and for another college students are home. Also, there is no work on Thursday, so individuals decide to drink without worry that they will have to go into work hung-over.

Many restaurant owners and bar owners say that they are specifically preparing for Black Wednesday by offering special deals that night. Yet it is important for these drinkers to remember that they need to be wise when they choose any alcohol. Driving home intoxicated may result in a DWI charge, which will then inevitably result in arrest. If you have been arrested for a Thanksgiving DWI, then you need a dedicated attorney and former prosecutor on your side. At
The Martinez Law Firm, you can trust that you will have the aggressive representation that you need to work through your charges effectively. Call the firm today to learn more!

With the holidays approaching, law enforcement will be on high alert for
the increased number of drivers who are operating a motor vehicle while
intoxicated. In some locations the police presence will be extremely high..

If you are
stopped for DWI, you may feel intimidated and scared. Although just being stopped is a
good indication that you may be arrested, there are some things you can
do to lessen the possibility of arrest and improve your chances in court
if you are arrested.

Of course, you should never drive if you are intoxicated. However, even
a small amount of alcohol in your system can mean that you could be considered
at fault for any accident that occurs and you could still arrested for
drunk driving even if you are below the legal limit. And it doesn’t
take many drinks to exceed the legal limit, much depends on your body
weight and how much time has elapsed since you had your last drink. If
you are going to drink, even socially, then you need to realize that you
could be stopped for DWI.

Remember that a vehicle that appears to be in disrepair, is excessively
loud or that has any burned-out or broken lights, will attract the attention
of police officers who are keeping an eye out for dangerous drivers. Drivers
who fail to obey traffic laws by speeding or ignoring stop signs will
also draw the attention of law enforcement, as will a driver who appears
to be weaving or erratic.

Even if you are not driving erratically, you can be pulled over for something
as simple as a broken tail light, or some other minor infraction. At that
point, if the officer believes you are under the influence, he may ask
you to perform
field sobriety tests. Failing these tests gives the officer probable cause to arrest and to
request a
Blood/Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) test.

If you are
arrested for DWI, be aware that this is a serious charge that could seriously disrupt both
your personal and your professional life. It could mean jail time, probation, costly
surcharges by DPS, your car insurance may increase and a mark on your reputation
that could have a detrimental effect on your career and your family life.

If you are
charged with DWI, you need an advocate working to defend you. Herman Martinez is a
Houston DWI Attorney who is certified by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
to administer the same field sobriety tests that the police use to base
arrests on. This expertise makes him particularly adept at finding inconsistencies
and irregularities in these test results.

If you have been arrested for DWI, don’t put your future at risk. Seek
the best representation for your case.
Contact us for a consultation today

I was contemplating whether to write this blog here or on my DWI blog, but since it relates to other areas of criminal law I found it more appropriate to post it here. Does anyone really believe that the Mother Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) organization has a drunk drivers best interest at heart? Well when you listen to their publicity machine you may think so. Currently, the organization is trying to bamboozle Texas residents into thinking that the proposed law will help many people accused of a DWI. A closer look into the law will reveal that it will be assisting the court dockets and prosecutors more than the citizens of Texas. A non criminal lawyer or a lawyer that does not practice DWI defense will not recognize that this proposed law will not allow a person that is placed on deferred adjudication to expunge their record or apply for a motion for non disclosure after they successfully complete a probationary period like most other crimes. Typically, when someone is arrested for a crime such as theft or possession of a controlled substance and subsequently placed on deferred adjudication they are eligible for a motion for non disclosure if they successfully complete the program. The motion prevents the public from ever seeing the arrest after the court grants the motion for non disclosure. While it is correct that a deferred adjudication allows someone to say that they have not been convicted of a DWI, what use is it if an employer, landlord, or credit agency can still see the arrest and plea of guilty. Most people that are not attorneys will see this information on public databases and not care that it is not conviction. MADD should ask someone that has successfully completed a deferred adjudication of a family violence assault crime if they appreciate not being able to own a gun, clear their record or rent an apartment. Undoubtedly the answer would be no.

Nothing is amusing about
getting a DWI in Houston or anywhere else, but I must admit this particular arrest made me chuckle.
I am sure it was a funny idea when
James Miller decided to dress up as the breathalyzer machine for halloween this year.
I am fairly certain he may have taken a few pictures of drinking alcohol
while in his costume. He probably thought the irony was amusing. I doubt
he enjoyed the irony of getting arrested for DWI while in the costume.
Talk about being a walking probable cause for police to arrest someone
for driving of while intoxicated.

How would you like your local
police officer drawing blood from you on the side of the road? This is already happening in some cities
and Houston,Texas could be next. Can you imagine the officer ready to
pounce on your arm to draw blood from a needle that is being carried in
their holster? As a
Houston DWI Lawyer
I have to fight this type of attitude daily. Forget a sterile environment,
forget the opportunity to refuse, forget about your safety, forget about
your rights! While Mothers Against Drunk Driving.encourages this type
of behaviour they are trampling on our rights. The Government is encouraging
their behaviour by creating laws that are far reaching and crush our personal
freedoms. I look forward to the day that the public awakens from their spell.

The reality is that in a lot of other states a
first time DWI
could be a lot worse. As a DWI Attorney that only practices in Texas I
know all Texas’ DWI laws, but I am aware of the penalties that are
imposed in other states. For example, the state of Florida requires a
person convicted of their first DWI to immobilize their vehicle for over
a month. More harshly, Arizona imposes even more severe penalties for
DWI cases. I would hate to be a DWI defendant in a Arizona where in some
cases I would be facing a minimum 45 day jail sentence for my first DWI
conviction. If you are arrested for a DWI you need an experienced
DWI Lawyer
that will assist you during this stressful event to make sure that everything
is done on your behalf.

As a
Houston DWI Attorney I noticed an dramatic increase in the DWI arrests this past weekend. Not
surprisingly, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is boasting
that this was the best “No Refusal Weekend” to date with over 300 arrests. It looks like this is going to be
a regular occurrence during any holiday weekend in Harris County, Texas.

As a Houston DWI Attorney I have mentioned previously how the upcoming DWI Pretrial Diversion program proposed by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is going to benefit a great number of people. Despite all the benefits there are sure to be some negatives associated with the program. For instance, once the word gets out about the program DWI arrests will increase in the greater Houston area. Police agencies will arrest more people because they will know that the prosecutor will readily offer a Pretrial Diversion.

Also, it has been a long held belief within the DWI task forces that the accused may “beat the rap, but will not “beat the ride.” In other words, a person accused of a DWI will have to bear the expense of hiring a DWI attorney in order to properly defend a DWI case. Moreover, prosecutors will become less inclined to dismiss a DWI charge because they are going to push the pretrial diversion alternative.

Are you kidding me? As a
Houston DWI Attorney I get to defend a lot of interesting cases, but I must admit that I have
not come across one quite as unique as
driving a bulldozer while intoxicated. Somewhere Jeff Foxworthy is having a good laugh about this one.

Now that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is going forward with the pretrial diversion program for DWI cases should judges inquire if each defendant that is entering a plea of guilty before them has been made aware of this opportunity? A judge’s role is to protect everyone’s rights. Therefore, if the judge has an inkling that the person before them may qualify for a pretrial diversion for their DWI case and has not been informed of this possibility by their attorney for whatever reason the judge should caution the person about the consequences.

I realize that there a lot of variables in each case, and the plea admonishments discuss essential rights, but this new program changes the playing field for all DWI attorneys in Houston.

I am frequently contacted by someone wanting to clear their old DWI conviction from their record. I dislike telling people that despite what their lawyer told them ten years ago their probation for DWI is not eligible to be cleared from their record. I think that some people look at their criminal record like their credit report. They are under the assumption that after a certain number of years the charges come off some way and if they contact the right attorney they can make this happen.

The only way to have your DWI cleared from your record is by previously having your case dismissed before going on probation, or going to trial and being found not guilty by a judge or a jury. Lastly, if your DWI was so long ago that you received a deferred adjudication you may qualify for a motion for non disclosure.

As a Criminal Defense Attorney, people regularly call me or reach this blog trying to get a motion for
non disclosure for their DWI. I hope by stating this very clearly these
type of inquiries will be reduced. A DWI probation Does Not qualify for
a motion for non disclosure. The only way to “clear your record”
regarding a DWI is if the case was dismissed or you were found not guilty
by a jury. The proper vehicle to get the DWI off your criminal history
when your case is dismissed is by filing a expungement two years after
your arrest in the County Civil District Court where your arrest occurred.