I've Been Arrested for DWI - What do I do Now?
One of the most serious crimes most people are charged with is Driving While Intoxicated. Most people refer to the charge as drunk driving, DWI, or DUI. Driving While Intoxicated is a very serious charge that can have life lasting consequences. I am a former Assistant District Attorney for Bexar and Comal counties. I learned the finer points of Texas DWI law as a member of the Bexar County DWI Task Force. Now I am a Criminal Defense Attorney dedicated to defending those accused of DWI. I offer DWI defense throughout Texas including: New Braunfels, San Marcos, Austin, San Antonio, Seguin, Schertz, Universal City, Bulverde, Buda, Kyle, and Lockhart.
Life can change quickly. One moment you are driving home, the next moment your are being pulled over by the police for suspicion of "drunk" or "impaired driving." If you have any alcohol on your breath, you will be asked to step out of your car and perform field sobriety tests. If you try to perform these tests, you will likely fail and be arrested. If you refuse, you will also likely be arrested. Either way, you are going to spend the night in jail and will need to consult with an experienced DWI lawyer first thing in the following morning after you get out.
Texas has some of the toughest DWI laws in the country. You are about to enter a very stressful time in your life. Even before being found guilty of anything, the government will try to suspend your license for at least 90 days. You may lose your job. You might go to jail. You need answers now. By consulting a DWI Lawyer who knows and understands what is about to happen, you may be able to sleep better the next night after you learn what you are facing and what can be done.
Most people want to know if they can fight a DWI charge or if they are automatically guilty. You can absolutely fight any DWI charge. A DWI is criminal charge and should be aggressively defended in court. The burden of proof is on the government and the prosecution must prove all elements of a crime "beyond a reasonable doubt." An experienced DWI lawyer can undertake a comprehensive review of your case and will guide you on what defenses are available. Then they can do everything under the law to defend you in court.
Once you get home you will probably receive a number of letters in the mail from lawyers soliciting you. I encourage you to research a number of lawyers and differentiate between those lawyers who "dabble" in DWI cases and those who focus their criminal practice in this area. Carefully consider the lawyers' credentials and consider meeting with several of them to ask questions. Then after you are satisfied, you should hire the best DWI lawyer in whom you have the most confidence and feel the most comfortable.
DWI is one of the most complex fields of criminal law. I study and train with some of the smartest DWI experts. Here are some of the most recent DWI Classes and Training that I have completed:
Mastering Scientific Evidence in DWI Cases (March 2017)
- Cannabis & Cars
- Winning Voir Dire in Breath, Blood & Accident Cases
- Mining for Gold in Blood Discovery
- Defeating Hospital Blood Test Cases
- Pushing Science to the Limits
- Prescription Medication - Determining Therapeutic v. Non-Therapeutic Levels
- Breath Testing: Reported Measurement of Uncertainty for Various Breath Testing Machines
- Winning Blood Test Cases Through Method Validation Attacks
- Blood Testing for Drugs: Methodology of How It's Done & Successful Challenges
- Exposing False Positives in Drug Testing
- Mouth Alcohol Effects on Breath Testing
- Accident Reconstruction
Lone Star DWI Seminar (January 2017)
- Intoxication Manslaughter Defense
- Debunking HGN in Trial
- Common Lab Issues in Texas
- Uncovering Lab Deception
- Accident Reconstruction
- Cross Examination in Blood Cases
Stuart Kinard Advanced DWI Seminar (November 2016)
- New ALR and Occupational License Issues
- DWI Trial Strategies
- ARIDE and Other NHTSA Manuals You Need to Know
- Fantastic Methods of Investigation for a DWI
- Intoxilyzer 9000 Issues
- 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make in DWI Trials
- Cross Examining the Arresting Officer on Field Sobriety Tests
- Cross Examining the Breath Test Operator and Technical Supervisor
- Cross Examining the Lab Analyst
- Effective use of PowerPoint in Trial
- Cross Examining the Drug Recognition Expert
- Getting Probation for Intoxication Manslaughter
Top Gun DWI Seminar (September 2016)
- Winning Your DWI Case in an ALR Hearing
- Preserving Error in DWI Cases
- Putting the Crime Lab on Trial
- Sure Fire Voir Dire in Intoxication Trials
- How to Beat the Intoxilyzer 9000
- Cross Examining the Blood Lab Analyst
- Cross Examining the Breath Test Operator & Technical Supervisor
- Ten Essential Things You Need to Know About Blood Labs
- Intoxication Assault/Manslaughter: "Flipping the Script"
Lone Star DWI Seminar (July 2016)
- Interpreting Lab Discovery on a Blood Case
- Handling Intoxication Manslaughter CAses
- Impact of Ketosis on Breath Test Results
- Yeast & Autobrewery Syndromes Impacting BAC
- Roadside Oral Drug Testing
- Voir Dire Tips: Drugs, Blood, Breath
- Dosing and Live Blood Draws
- Intoxilyzer 9000
- 702/705 Hearings in DWI-Drug Cases
- Cross Examination of a "Drug Recognition Expert"
- Live Blood Analysis Via Gas Chromatography
Criminal Law Institute (April 2016)
- Search & Seizure: Everything You Need to Know
- Cases to Watch Out for in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
- Winning Your DWI at the ALR Hearing
- DWI Discovery: Beyond the Basics
- DWI Voir Dire: From Full Refusal to Intoxication Manslaughter
Things the District Attorney does not want you to know:
- He may want to reduce or dismiss your DWI charge but his boss won't let him.
- He is bluffing and is dragging out your case by resetting multiple times just to see if you will wear down and plead guilty.
- It is harder for him to convict you if you refused to do sobriety tests.
- He may not think you were intoxicated on the night you were arrested, but is afraid that if you do drink and drive in the future that he will be held liable.
- District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys, Judges, and Cops know to refuse the sobriety and breath tests when they are stopped for DWI.
- DWI - First Conviction - Confinement in the County jail for a period of between 72 hours and 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000.
Your Driver's license will also be suspended for up to 1 year unless you complete an alcohol education course.
- DWI - First Conviction (with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or more) - Confinement in the County jail for a period of between 72 hours and 1 year and a fine of up to $4,000.
- DWI - Second Conviction - Confinement in the County jail for a period between 30 days and 1 year and a fine of up to $4,000. Your Driver's license may also be suspended for up to 2 years.
- DWI - Third Conviction - Confinement in prison for a period between 2 and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Your Driver's license may also be suspended for up to 2 years.
Additional DWI-related penalties
Drivers who are convicted of any of the following offenses are required to pay an annual surcharge to DPS for three years from the date of conviction.
- DWI - First Conviction - $1,000 annual surcharge
- DWI - Second Conviction - $1,500 annual surcharge
- DWI - Any conviction with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.16 or greater - $2,000 annual surcharge
Contact a DWI Lawyer immediately. If you have been arrested for DWI, then your driver's license will be suspended for at least 90 days unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension. The officer who arrested you should have provided you with paperwork notifying you of the suspension. Once 15 days have passed since the date of your arrest there is nothing than can be done to save your license from being suspended.
My license has been suspended. Can I obtain a Temporary Driver's License?
I may be able to obtain for you what is called an Occupational Driver's License. Click here to read more about Occupational Driver's Licenses.