DWI / Intoxication Cases—That’s All I Do
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can a DWI be beaten in Texas?
A: Yes! DWI cases can be beaten. The fact you were arrested for driving while intoxicated does not mean you will be convicted. Not guilty verdicts, dismissals and reductions are all possible in DWI cases. If you would like to discuss your case and how I can help you, please call me right away.
Q: Are you the attorney that will handle my case?
A: Yes, I am the only attorney that will be responsible for handling your case. It will not be passed off to a junior lawyer or to anyone else.
Q: How long have you been an attorney?
A: I began practicing law in 1995 as a prosecutor. In 1998, I opened my own criminal defense practice and have always defended DWI cases. But, since 2013, I have focused on defending driving while intoxicated cases, intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter cases. As part of that focus, I continue to take special courses and training geared toward fighting DWI and all other intoxication cases. If you are arrested for a DWI or intoxication case and another case at the same time, I will defend both cases. For example, many people are arrested for DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon or evading arrest. In that situation, I would defend both the DWI and the other charge. If you do not have a DWI case and need help with some other charge, I am more than happy to refer you to a criminal defense attorney that I know and respect.
Q: Do I need to come to your office for the initial consultation?
A: No. I am glad to talk with you on the phone and do my best to answer all of your questions. We can also schedule a Zoom consultation or an in person meeting if you prefer. If you live at a distance from San Antonio or are otherwise unable to meet in person, we can have our consultation and begin my representation without meeting in person.
Q: What are the penalties for a DWI Conviction in Texas?
A: See this article for a detailed explanation of the potential penalties and other collateral consequences of a first DWI conviction.
Q: Will I go to jail for a first DWI conviction?
A: There are many factors that affect possible punishment in a DWI case. The maximum jail sentence for many first DWI cases is 180 days. There are circumstances that can increase that maximum punishment. Here (link) is a detailed explanation of all possible punishment ranges in DWI cases. If you are charged with a first DWI and you did not have an accident, it is highly unlikely that you would go to jail. However, there are many other consequences of a DWI conviction that make it worthwhile to fight to avoid them.
Q: Can I be prosecuted for DWI when I smoked marijuana or took another drug and I wasn’t drinking an alcoholic beverage?
A: You can be prosecuted for DWI when the State accuses you of intoxication on something other than alcohol. Marijuana, antidepressants, medication for anxiety, pain medications and any other drug or substance that can cause intoxication are the basis for DWI prosecutions in Texas. But, there are many ways to fight these cases. One definition of intoxication in Texas law is having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more at the time of driving or operating a motor vehicle. This is called the per se limit on alcohol. There is no per se limit on any other drug or substance in Texas. Many drugs remain in your system far after they are actually affecting you. That means the State must be able to prove the amount of drug or substance that was in your blood at the time of driving was an intoxicating amount. This is often difficult for the State to do when faced with a knowledgeable DWI attorney. DWI drug cases can and should be fought regularly.
Q: What is the driver license hearing?
A: When you are arrested for DWI, you will be requested to submit to a breath or blood test. The DWI case will be filed in the criminal courts. But, a driver license case also begins when you are arrested for DWI. It is called the ALR or administrative license revocation hearing. This hearing is critical for defending your license and fighting your DWI case and we must request the hearing within the deadline required. Many DWI cases have been won or dismissed based on the evidence created at the ALR hearing. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to have an ALR hearing. You definitely do not want to miss the deadline.
Q: What is the deadline for requesting the ALR hearing?
A: The deadline to ask for an ALR hearing is 15 days from the date of your arrest. This deadline is calendar days, not business days. So, weekends and holidays count.
What are the possible license suspension lengths in the ALR process?
A: Find more information about fighting the ALR suspension.
Q: Can I have a driver license hearing if I don’t have a license, my license is suspended, or I have an out of state license?
A: Yes! Don’t miss out on this important opportunity to build your DWI defense or prevent further harm to your license or you ability to get your license in the future by missing the ALR request deadline.
Q: Why is the driver license hearing so important for my DWI defense?
A: I have cases dismissed or reduced frequently because of the evidence developed at the license hearing. In fact, the driver license hearing is one of the most important parts of an effective DWI defense. At that hearing, I have the opportunity to cross examine the officer that stopped you and the officer that arrested you about the reasons they stopped you and the evidence they believe justified their arrest. I will cross-examine them on their administration of any field sobriety tests. These tests must be done in accordance with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s standards. The officers often fail to remember how you performed on the tests, how they administered the tests, or what the NHTSA’s standards even are. All of this testimony is recorded and we can secure a transcript to use later in the DWI court.
Q: Do my driver license hearing deadlines begin if I was taken to the hospital and left there by the police?
A: In many cases they do. Even if you were not taken to jail and required to post bond, your deadlines may be running. I have had many cases where my client was released by the police to the hospital and had no idea that a DWI case would later be filed against them, or that the ALR hearing deadline was running. If you were investigated for DWI or had any contact with an officer after an accident involving alcohol or drugs, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away to avoid missing your driver license hearing deadline.
Q: Where did they take my car after my DWI arrest?
A: Arrested by Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy:
422 Steves Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78204
Arrested by San Antonio Police Officer:
3625 Growdon Rd
San Antonio, TX 78227
All Other Agencies:
Contact the individual police department to find out where they keep towed vehicles. You can find address and phone numbers for Bexar County police departments below.
Q: Is it possible to beat a case, get it reduced, or avoid going back to prison if you have been to prison one or even more times before this DWI arrest?
A: Yes. Once again, it is very important to begin your defense as soon as possible. In situations where a person has multiple DWI prior convictions, we will want to work with you to maximize treatment and recovery prior to finalizing your case. In many felony DWI cases, you may be on bond for one or more years. That time gives us an opportunity to work hard on your physical, mental, and spiritual health before we face a judge or jury in your case. Do not miss the opportunity to let me help you be in the best position possible to go forward.
Q: Will my court appointed attorney handle the ALR hearing?
A: Many court appointed attorneys do not know about ALR hearings. But, even if your court appointed attorney is aware of ALR hearings, they may not inform you because the courts do not pay court appointed attorneys to handle the driver license hearing. The ALR hearing is a civil hearing and is separate from the criminal case process.