If you’ve been arrested for DWI, chances are you’re looking for the best houston dwi defense lawyer that you can find. DWI (driving while intoxicated) crimes often end in jail time and substantial DWI penalties. The first thing you want to do is to consult with a reputable DWI defense attorney before you sign anything or agree to any court-ordered cuffs. While there is no way to avoid being arrested for DWI, you can use the resources available online to help you fight the case in the most effective way possible.
Difference Between DWI And DUI
The first thing you should know is DWI and how it is different from DUI (driving under the influence). In drunken driving, a driver does not exhibit obvious signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, visibly sweaty palms, disoriented vision, disinterest in the road, and lack of memory. The most common sign of DWI is blowing through a red light. This is called being “breath drunk” in the legal system. Another way to think of DWI is as an episode of the series Friends. The penalties for DWI include vehicle impoundment, fines, and probation.
First offense DWI
A first offense DWI offender will face jail time, fines, and probation. A second DWI arrest will result in more jail time, fines, and possibly an ignition immobilizer device that will prevent a vehicle from being started when the engine is running. Also, a DWI conviction will always mark your driving record with severe consequences such as restrictive insurance rates, loss of licenses, and car replacement.
In the state of Texas, all DWI charges are considered criminal offenses. Therefore, they are subject to rigorous juries trial before the judge. DWI penalties are also much harsher than penalties for drunk driving by someone who has a clean driving record. For example, a first-time DWI charge can lead to up to one year in jail, heavy fines, vehicle impoundment, fines, and possible driver’s license suspension. As well, a DWI conviction on a second occasion will result in additional DWI charges, more jail time, and license suspension.
Many states have now eliminated the use of the bac system, also known as a thumb brake, in their efforts to reduce drunk driving penalties and save lives. Currently, only four states still allow the use of the bac systems, because of the significant safety and health hazards that still exist. In many states, repeat DWI offenders are charged with more severe penalties, even including jail time. In some jurisdictions, a first-time DWI offender may be required to pay back the cost of the ignition interlock device or be subjected to the loss of their driving privileges entirely.
The DWI defense lawyer will argue your case and will try to get your charges reduced or dismissed. In most jurisdictions, a first-time offender is eligible for a trial defense of up to three years. During this time, the defendant presents its evidence, makes its plea, and cross-examines expert witnesses and testimony from witnesses. If the prosecution fails to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the court then enters a not guilty verdict. If the jury rules in favor of the defendant, then the judge will issue an executive order of the DWI charges against the defendant.