20 Questions: Arrested for DWI in Texas is the first book in the 20 Questions series by Peter M. Lopez. It is currently available to read in ebook form below and for download as a pdf. A paperback version is scheduled to be released this summer.
Each question answered in 20 Questions: Arrested for DWI in Texas is also answered individually for your convenience here on our website if you are searching for answers to specific questions.
As you read, you may discover you have other questions. If so, links to the answers to the other nineteen questions in the book are provided below.
This is the Introduction to the book.
In fifteen years as a criminal defense attorney, I have handled countless DWI cases. In addition to the clients I have represented, I have talked to hundreds more who were arrested for driving while intoxicated. The questions I get asked during the initial interview with prospective clients, whether in person or on the telephone, are almost always the same. There is also very little practical difference from one series of answers to the next. That is why I chose to write this book.
As you are well aware, the law changes from time to time, so over time the specific answers may change. Therefore, it is important that you have an experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney working with you on your DWI case. I get telephone calls all the time about landlord-tenant disputes, oil and gas issues, or insurance claims, and I refer those cases to attorneys I believe are knowledgeable in those areas. If I, or a loved one, sustained a severe personal injury, I would not call a family law specialist—as great as that lawyer may be in divorce cases.
That is no less true for criminal cases, especially cases like DWIs that can be so complicated and where the usual rules do not apply. I tell every one of my DWI clients, “With every DWI, there are potentially three cases. There is the actual DWI case. There is the administrative license revocation case (in a different court with a different judge). And there is the occupational license case (frequently in a different court with a different judge).” To add to that, each one of those cases has its own set of rules of procedure, different lawyers representing the different State entities or agencies involved, and very specific, unforgiving deadlines. That’s not true with any other type of case.
One scenario I encounter far too often is a prospective client who comes to see me after going to court unrepresented and pleading “guilty” to a DWI. The conversation usually involves the client explaining all the dreadful consequence he or she is now facing, including fines, mandatory classes, license suspension, an interlock installation on their vehicle, surcharges after the license is reinstated, and worse if a commercial driver license (CDL) is involved. I also hear all the excuses for why he or she did not hire an attorney before going to court alone. The excuses are also always the same: I didn’t think I could afford a lawyer; I’ve never been in trouble before, and I didn’t think I needed a lawyer; it was my first DWI, so I didn’t think it was that big of a deal; I thought I would just get probation. The desperate client then wants to know what can be done about the situation, and the answer, at that point, is usually, “nothing.”
The cost of a DWI conviction is far greater than the attorney’s fee, and the consequences of a DWI conviction are far reaching. Various studies and estimates place the national average cost estimate for a DUI/DWI conviction between $6,000-24,000. The more realistic estimates are that a first offense, non-injury, low blood alcohol level DUI/DWI costs between $9,000-12,000. One Texas Department of Transportation ad warns of a DWI in Texas costing over $17,000. All of the estimates attempt to calculate the out-of-pocket costs of a DUI/DWI conviction, which include court costs, probation fees, fines, driver license suspension and reinstatement fees, annual surcharges to keep a license, vehicle towing and impounding, bail, and other costs associated with a DUI/DWI conviction. What most of the estimates do not calculate is lost income from missing work to attend court, decreased earning capacity because of driver license suspension or loss, increase in auto insurance premiums, and it gets worse if you have a CDL, for which there is no occupational license.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. If you get arrested for DWI in Texas, hiring a lawyer to fight the charge is going to be costly. However, the consequences of not hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you are far more expensive and will linger for years.
I hope this book helps answer a few of your questions if you or someone you love is ever arrested for DWI in Texas.
If you have other questions about a DWI arrest in Texas, here are the answers to the other nineteen most frequently questions when arrested for driving while intoxicated:
If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas, call our firm today, and please enjoy 20 Questions: Arrested for DWI in Texas.