Although being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas can be overwhelmingly stressful, it is crucial to hire a knowledgeable and aggressive DWI attorney as quickly as possible. Not only are you facing the possibility of heavy fines and jail time, but you may also have only 15 days to save your license and protect your driving privileges. If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI in Houston or its surrounding area, you should call the criminal defense law firm Ceja Law Firm PLLC promptly for a free consultation. At our office, you will receive the legal service you need with the personal attention and respect you deserve.
Why Our DWI Lawyer Is Right for You
At Ceja Law Firm we have an outstanding record of both dismissals and acquittals at trial. Our lead attorney, Jose Ceja, is experienced and accomplished in criminal defense and has specific training in all facets of DWI cases. He has been trained to administer the same Standardized Field Sobriety Tests administered by police and has also been trained in alcohol blood testing and analysis. Because of his credentials, Mr. Ceja is extraordinarily well-prepared to question the reliability of field sobriety tests and the accuracy of breath, and blood samples. This gives him, and you, an important edge in the courtroom.
Preventing License Suspension in Texas
If you were arrested for DWI and refused to provide a breath or blood sample (known as a “refusal”), or provided a sample higher than the legal limit of .08 (known as a “failure”) the Department of Public Safety will attempt to suspend your driving privileges for either 180 days for a refusal, or 90 days for a failure. The suspension periods can be significantly longer if you have had a DWI in the past.
Jose Ceja has handled hundreds of ALR hearings and successfully prevents the suspension of the vast majority of his clients’ driver’s licenses . To begin the process of fighting the suspension, a request for an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing must be made within 15 days of your being served with the notice of suspension or revocation (this typically occurs on the date of your arrest). Eventually, the officers involved in the case must be served with a subpoena to attend the hearing. Because the rules for ALR hearings are unique and somewhat complicated, it is wise to have an experienced firm like Ceja Law Firm handle it on your behalf.
DWI Offenses and Penalties
All DWI offenses are serious, but the severity of penalties is determined by a number of factors. Most first time DWIs are Class B misdemeanors unless the breath or blood result is .15 or higher, in which case the charge is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor. A second DWI is also treated as a Class “A” misdemeanor.
Many DWIs are treated as felonies. This includes any DWI with a child passenger (even a first DWI), DWI third offenses, or DWIs involving injury or death, known as intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter.
Penalties for DWI offenses include:
- Fines that get higher as the offense worsens
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle as a condition of bond or probation
- Driver’s license suspension
- Jail or prison for varying lengths of time
- Attendance at a court-ordered alcohol and substance abuse course
- Community service
- Probation, which may demand sobriety, periodic check-ins, restricted travel, etc.
It is important to be aware that convictions for DWI offenses will no doubt result in increased insurance rates, may give you a permanent criminal record, and, if the convictions are for felonies, prevent you from voting, make you ineligible for many types of employment, and keep you from possessing a firearm. Also, even after you get your license back, you may have to pay a driver’s license surcharge of hundreds of even thousands of dollars.
Defenses Against DWI Charges
DWI cases are most effectively defended by challenging every stage of the investigation. Jose Ceja has the knowledge and experience to challenge the validity of the traffic stop, the officer’s initial observations, the way the balance tests were administered, the existence of probable cause for arrest, the legal sufficiency of the warnings given prior to a breath or blood sample being taken, the validity of any search warrant, the reliability of the breath or blood test, and the State’s conclusion that you were intoxicated.
Contact Our Houston DWI Attorney
Ceja Law Firm is ready to defend you aggressively and wholeheartedly. Get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can begin by filling out the contact form or giving us call for a FREE consultation.