The most important thing is your confidence and comfort in the choice of an Attorney. This confidence and comfort will come from someone who has a good reputation with the prosecutors handling your case as well as with the judge who will hear it.
The two part process
DPS trying to take your license through the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process:
Warning you have only 15 days to save your license from being suspended
You have the right to contest a driver’s license suspension within 15 days of being arrested for a DWI. If you do so, you will keep your driver’s license while you await your ALR hearing date. At the hearing, a judge will determine if the police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle and probable cause to make the arrest. If the judge finds in the state’s favor, your driver’s license will be suspended at that time according to the statutory requirements.
The Criminal District Attorney trying to place a conviction for a DWI on your permanent criminal record:
Before agreeing to any field sobriety tests that law enforcement wishes to do, you should call and get qualified legal help from attorney Mike Russo. The importance of this call cannot be stressed enough due to the high stakes involved with a DWI conviction. Mike Russo can help you navigate the bond process, help you prepare a defense and tell you your rights while you are in custody.
I Have Been Charged DWI. What Am I Looking At?
When you are charged with DWI in Texas you technically have two cases pending against you. One case is criminal and the other is civil. The criminal case is prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office. The civil case, is called an Administrative License Revocation Hearing (or ALR hearing). This hearing pertains to your driver’s license and is prosecuted by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
You have 15 days after your arrest to request an ALR Hearing or it is waived. Be sure to request this hearing or retain an attorney to do it for you within the 15 day time period or you will forfeit your right to contest your pending driver’s license suspension! Also, when interviewing an attorney make sure they will handle this hearing for you as well as the underlying DWI charge.
I Submitted to a Breath Test. Do I Still Have Defenses?
The answer is absolutely. The breath test machine used in this state is a machine designed in the early 1980s utilizing technology designed in the 1970s. There are often errors with individual breath test machines that you, the suspect, are unaware of at the time of the test. As a practice I have discovery ordered on the particular breath test machine my client was tested on in order to search for possible errors.
Further, you have 4th amendment defenses that may be employed to suppress evidence such as your breath test and the traffic stop that led to your arrest. When interviewing an attorney you need to make sure he will thoroughly evaluate all the evidence leading up to the breath test as well as the breath test machine itself.
The Police Took My Blood. Why Were They Able To Do That?
If you were arrested for a misdemeanor and did not consent to a blood draw, the police likely obtained a warrant for your blood. Just like a search warrant can be obtained and executed on a house where police are looking for drugs, police can obtain and execute a search warrant on your body looking for alcohol. This is becoming common in Houston on “No Refusal Weekends.” On a No Refusal Weekend, the Police Department keeps a magistrate judge on duty 24 hours.
They also set up a station with a phlebotomist (a person trained to draw blood). Warrants are issued and blood is drawn in a very streamlined process. If it is a felony arrest (DWI third and up or DWI with a child passenger), the consequences of a final conviction are more severe. As your attorney I will make sure that the blood draw was properly executed, the blood was properly stored and properly tested. There are MANY moving parts in a blood draw case where the police and laboratories can make mistakes. It’s those mistakes that I leverage to get blood evidence thrown out of court.
What Should I do if the Police have pulled me over?
If you have been stopped for, arrested for or charged with drunk driving, it is in your best interest to discuss your options and rights as soon as possible with Mike Russo an experienced criminal-defense attorney, Drunk-driving law is complex and the guidance of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can make a significant difference in a defendant’s experience and in the outcome of his or her case.
Call today for a free consultation.