DWI Law in Houston, TX
Driving while intoxicated (DWI, also sometimes called DUI) is one of the most commonly committed crimes in the United States. Unfortunately, because this crime is so common, many people make the mistake of taking their DWI arrests lightly instead of seeking appropriate legal representation. The consequences for a DWI conviction are serious to say the least. You may be facing jail time, hefty fines, suspension of your driver’s license, surcharges on your license, probation/community supervision (including monthly fees), community service, an ignition interlock on your vehicle (which you pay for), and the potential to be denied jobs based on a criminal conviction.
You need a knowledgeable and aggressive defense attorney who will stand between you and the State, fight for your rights and freedom, and guide you through this process.
Wade B. Smith can help you:
- Understand the charges against you and the judicial process
- Become aware of your rights under the law
- Identify illegal or improper police actions
- Identify problems with the blood or breath tests
- Determine which defenses apply to your case
If you’ve been charged with DWI in Houston, TX, your first step should be to discuss your charges with a DWI lawyer like Wade B. Smith. Contact the Law Office of Wade B. Smith at (281) 755-2603 to schedule a free consultation. Wade B. Smith will personally meet with you as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Please continue reading for more important information about DWI’s…
“I GOT ARRESTED AND CHARGED FOR DWI. WHAT’S THE FIRST THING THAT I NEED TO KNOW?”
The first thing that you need to know is that when you are arrested for DWI, you actually have two cases against you. You may remember the officer reading a piece of paper to you and saying something about your driver’s license. Very likely that you don’t know what he was saying because they usually read it about as fast as the guy at the end of a pharmaceutical commercial telling you the side effects of the drug. Obviously you are facing criminal charges, but there is also a civil case in which DPS seeks to suspend your driver’s license and take away your driving privileges, which is what that officer was giving you notice of. However, if a request is made in time, a hearing can be held to determine whether or not your license gets suspended.
This is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing, and there is a fast approaching deadline for requesting that hearing. You have 15 days from the date that you are arrested to request that hearing. If you hire me before 15 days have passed since your arrest, I will request the hearing for you and represent you at that hearing. If those 15 days have already passed, then a suspension of your license will go into effect on the 40th day after notice was served (this is usually from the date of arrest). If your license becomes suspended, I can still help you maintain your driving privileges with an occupational driver’s license.
“HOW WILL YOU FIGHT MY DWI?”
The best defense in any case starts with a thorough and diligent investigation, not by police, but by the defense. In DWI cases we must investigate everything from the initial traffic stop to the testing of breath or blood. I will obtain all of the evidence necessary to conduct this investigation, including police reports, videos, lab results, lab reports, and maintenance records just to name a few. I will thoroughly analyze everything and then pinpoint and pick apart every mistake the police and the lab made. Here are some of the common points of attack:
The traffic stop
- The initial traffic stop must be lawful. You must have violated a traffic law or the officer must have reasonable suspicion to stop you because something about your driving indicated the possibility of intoxication.
The scene video
- Does your driving or your actions that are visible in the video seem like that of someone who is sober or someone who is intoxicated? Does the officer’s description in his report match up with what we can see in the video or is the officer “exaggerating” the truth?
The field sobriety tests
- We’ve all seen or at least heard of these tests. The HGN (the “eye test”); the One Leg Stand (stand on one foot and count); and the Walk and Turn (walk heel to toe, turn, and walk back on a line). Most people don’t realize how highly technical these tests are, or how easy it is to fail them. These are not tasks that we normally perform! Additionally, the officer must explain, demonstrate, and administer these tests in a specific manner in which they are trained.
Wade B. Smith has been trained to administer field sobriety tests in the same way the police are, so he is intimately familiar with how these tests should be conducted and can identify when the officer makes mistakes.
And then there’s the breath or blood test…
“MY BAC (blood-alcohol content) RESULT CAME BACK OVER .08. THEY’VE GOT ME RIGHT?”
Wrong! Obtaining a sample of your breath or blood is a search and seizure under the 4th Amendment, which says that we have the right to be free of any search or seizure that is unreasonable. So did the police obtain the breath or blood sample according to the law? Meaning, did they have your consent or did they have a search warrant?
Assuming the police obtained your breath or blood lawfully, it then falls on the prosecutor to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Not only does the prosecutor have to prove that the result came back at, .08 or higher, but they must also prove that this result is accurate and reliable. They have to prove that the machine that produced that result was working properly, and that the machine itself was accurate and reliable at the time. These machines are often not calibrated or functioning properly. Additionally, the technicians who maintain these machines and analyze the results are people, which means human error becomes an issue as well.
These are just a few of the ways that I can fight your DWI case, and often times I am fighting every single one of these issues in addition to others.
Wade B. Smith also represents people charged with DWI in Fort Bend County, Texas (Richmond, Rosenberg, Sugar Land areas), and Montgomery County, Texas (Conroe, the Woodlands areas).