Did you know Sullo & Sullo Attorneys have MORE NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICTS at Houston Municipal Court than any other Law Firm (2009-2014, 2017, 2018)?
It's true, the attorneys at Sullo & Sullo had more NOT GUILTY jury verdicts at the Houston Municipal Court than any other Houston Law firm from 2009-2014, in 2017 and in 2018. If you find yourself being arrested for DWI in Texas or DUI in Texas, it is vital that you contact an experienced Houston DWI attorney who can help you deal with the aftermath of your DWI charges. We will work hard, challenging field sobriety tests, the breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test when possible, as a means of minimizing the outcome of your DWI in Texas charges. Whether you are facing a first offense DWI, a second, third or subsequent DWI in Texas offense, Intoxication Assault charges or Intoxication Manslaughter charges, we can help.
You may be concerned about your ALR hearing in Texas, or you may believe there were serious issues associated with your BAC test or field sobriety tests. Whatever your DWI in Texas issue, we can help. We understand that good people sometimes make mistakes—there will be no judgment toward your current situation. We also understand that you are probably very anxious about your future, stressed, even frightened, as you contemplate what the outcome of your DWI charges will be. We will deal with the Harris County district attorney so you do not have to face that particular fear, and we can work to help you retain your driver’s license, CDL license, or to help you obtain an occupational license in Texas following your DWI in Texas charges.
It is a fact that having a highly knowledgeable Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney in your corner can help you obtain the best outcome possible from your DWI charges. We can answer all your questions, offering a comprehensive evaluation of your charges. Do not leave your future to chance—contact a Sullo & Sullo Houston criminal lawyer today who can help you face your DWI in Texas charges in the best way possible.
Researching the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: The Field Sobriety Test - Whether you should agree to take field sobriety tests or not, is a decision you must make, however when you refuse to take field sobriety tests you are limiting the evidence the police can use against you. A refusal cannot be used against you, so far as there are no penalties associated with refusing field sobriety tests, however a refusal will not prevent you from being arrested for DWI in Texas. The standard field sobriety tests are somewhat accurate, however, they do have major weaknesses, particularly for people with any of the following:
- Poor balance;
- Inner ear problems;
- Advanced age;
- Mental impairments;
- Restrictive clothing;
- Inclement weather;
- Speech or hearing impediments;
- Poor vision;
- Certain illnesses;
- Anxiety regarding the field sobriety tests;
- Certain prescription drugs;
- A sloped and/or rocky surface, or
- Improper shoes, such as high heels for a woman.
The three standard field sobriety tests include the following:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
- The Walk-and-Turn, and
- The One-Leg Stand
Many people are unable to pass field sobriety tests, particularly the one-leg stand, even when they are perfectly sober. In particular, those with poor balance may be unable to hold one foot off the ground for thirty seconds in the One-Leg Stand. It is a complex question as to whether you should refuse field sobriety tests. If you have had nothing to drink, have taken no drugs, have good balance and have no medical conditions, then agreeing to the field sobriety tests could conceivably allow you to continue on your way home. If you are the least bit unsure about the tests, you should probably politely decline. An experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston criminal defense attorney can potentially challenge the results of your field sobriety tests if you do decide to take them, based on the factors listed above.
Hiring the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: The Breathalyzer Test - Just like field sobriety tests, you can decline a breathalyzer test—however if you do so, you will have your driver’s license suspended for a period of 180 days. Like field sobriety tests, there are a number of variables associated with a Harris County breathalyzer test. If you take a breathalyzer test, and your reading at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the state of Texas considers you to be too intoxicated to safely drive. If you have a CDL license, your breathalyzer test cannot be higher than 0.04 percent, or if you are under the age of 21, there is a zero-tolerance policy, meaning you cannot have any detectable level of alcohol in your system. There are a number of factors which can render the results of the breathalyzer test unreliable, including:
- The assumption that the alcohol in your breath is equal to that in your blood;
- The assumption that your breath is 93.5 degrees—a number which fluctuates from one person to the next, and particularly in women;
- Breathing shallowly, rather than deeply;
- An individual’s health conditions;
- Specific medications being taken;
- Not being a “normal” male, which is what breathalyzers are calibrated for, meaning a smaller woman or a smaller man can have a breathalyzer reading which is falsely high;
- The use of mouthwash or breath spray;
- Being on the Keto diet;
- Working as a painter;
- Improper calibration of the machine;
- Improper maintenance of the machine;
- Certain radio frequencies from cell phones or police radios;
- An improperly trained officer, or
- An officer who fails to wait 15 minutes prior to administering the test.
If you take the breathalyzer test and do not pass it, a highly experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney can potentially challenge the results of the breathalyzer test, possibly even having those results thrown out.
Checking for the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: The Texas BAC Calculator - There are two chemical tests approved by the state of Texas—a breathalyzer test and a blood alcohol test. Texas has Implied Consent laws, which assume you have given consent to a chemical test if you have a driver’s license. The arresting officer can make the decision as to whether to administer a breathalyzer test or blood alcohol test, however there are guidelines in place. Some counties in the state operate under a “No Refusal” policy, meaning your refusal for a blood test will not be honored, and a warrant must be obtained to force you to submit to a blood draw. If you are unconscious, therefore unable to consent or refuse, your blood may be taken. A blood draw can only be done by a qualified technician, a chemist, a nurse or a physician, in the officer’s presence, using a standard blood withdrawal kit. Because there is significant human intervention involved in a blood draw, there is opportunity for the blood sample to be compromised, therefore, your Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney can potentially challenge the results of your blood test, as well as your breathalyzer test.
Looking for the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: What to do if Pulled Over by Police - If you are pulled over in the state of Texas on suspicion of DWI, it is important to remember that everything you do from this moment forward will be under scrutiny by the police officer. In order to initiate the stop in the first place, the officer must have noted something in your driving behavior that leads him or her to believe you are driving while impaired. The officer will be watching how you pull over, and noting your speech, your appearance, and whether there is any smell of alcohol in your vehicle once contact is made.
While many people believe if they “chat” with the officer they will be allowed to go home, this is virtually never the truth. Beyond telling the officer your name and giving him or her your driver’s license, insurance and registration, you have the right to politely refuse to answer any other questions. Any question you do answer could later be used against you, particularly if there is any inconsistency between the answers you give to the police officer and answers you give in court. Do not argue with the officer and do not say anything that is untrue—it will definitely come back to hurt you down the line. Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests are not mandatory, however refusing a breathalyzer test will result in six months’ suspension of your driver’s license.
Once you are at the police station, you will be asked to take a chemical test. It could be better at this point to take a breathalyzer test, since the results are typically more unreliable, therefore more able to be challenged. When you are released from jail and home, do your best to write every single detail of your arrest down so that you will not forget important details and your DWI attorney will be better able to help you. A knowledgeable Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney can answer y our questions regarding DWI in Texas, guiding you through the process.
Searching for the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: DWI in Texas First Offense - A first offense DWI in Texas will be charged as a Class B misdemeanor in most cases. The penalties for a conviction of a first offense DWI in Texas is a maximum fine of $2,000, a jail sentence from three days to 180 days and a driver’s license suspension from 90 days to one year—if your BAC was less than .15 percent. If your BAC was above .15 percent, your fines could increase to as much as $4,000, your jail time could increase to as much as one year, and you could lose your driver’s license for up to one year as well.
As a first-time DWI offender with a BAC of less than .15 percent, you may be allowed to apply for a non-disclosure two years after the end of your probation, however this requires that you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for six months. Your Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI criminal defense lawyer can handle both your criminal case as well as your Administrative DPS case. Our attorneys will aggressively defend your driving privileges, as well as your freedom. Do not wait to contact an experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney—call today for a comprehensive evaluation of your DWI in Texas charges.
Learning about the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: Occupational License-Texas - An occupational driver’s license is a special, restricted license which allows a person whose license has been suspended to drive a non-commercial vehicle to work, to school, or to perform essential household duties. If you contest your driver’s license suspension, but your license is still suspended, or if you do not contest the suspension and your license is suspended, you may qualify for an occupational driver’s license. An experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney can help you determine the best course of action following a Texas DWI arrest, and can possibly help you obtain a Texas occupational license, or, at the very least, to help you decide whether you qualify for an occupational driver’s license. You must meet the following conditions:
- You need to drive to do your job;
- You need to drive to get to and from your job or to and from school, and/or
- You need to drive to perform essential household duties.
You will not qualify for an occupational driver’s license if:
- The judge does not believe you have an essential need to drive;
- You want an occupational driver’s license to drive a commercial motor vehicle;
- Your license was suspended for failure to pay child support;
- Your license was suspended due to a mental or physical disability;
- You have received two occupational driver’s licenses in the past ten years following Texas DWI or Texas DUI convictions;
- You have a “hard suspension” waiting period, due to a prior Texas DWI or Texas DUI arrest or conviction, or
- The judge is worried about public safety.
Finding the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: Texas Intoxication Manslaughter - The Texas crime of Intoxication Manslaughter not only applies to a person who drives a vehicle and has an accident which kills another individual but can also apply when an impaired person is operating an airplane, a boat, and even a carnival or amusement ride. Texas law also provides that an intoxicated person who assembles an amusement park ride that causes another person’s death could be charged with Intoxication Manslaughter. The penalties for a conviction of Intoxication Manslaughter—a second-degree felony offense in the state of Texas—can include:
- From 2-20 years in prison;
- A fine as large as $10,000, and
- At least 240 hours of community service, with the possibility of an additional 800 hours.
A Harris County District Attorney could also charge you with using the vehicle you were driving as a deadly weapon, meaning you could face enhanced sentencing. If you are charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, it is crucial that you speak to a Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI lawyer as quickly as possible in order to minimize the eventual outcome of your charges.
Evaluating the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: DUI vs. DWI in Texas - If you are charged with a DWI, you may be required to spend a minimum of 72 hours in jail and could spend a maximum of 180 days in jail. As a first-time DWI offender, there will be a driver’s license suspension which lasts between 90 days and one year. You will face fines as large as $2,000, and you may be sentenced to DWI probation, and have to attend mandatory DWI classes or programs.
DUI penalties are usually lighter than DWI penalties, since the offender is younger than 21, however the penalties can still be serious. While a first-time DUI offender will not spend time in jail, a repeat DUI offender could be sentenced to jail time. A minor charged with DUI in Texas could have his or her driver’s license suspended for 60 days.
The minor charged with DUI in Texas could be required to complete a program addressing the behaviors that led to the DUI charges and may have to complete 20-40 hours of community service and pay a fine as large as $500. A driver’s license suspension of up to 60 days could occur for a DUI in Texas as well as mandatory alcohol awareness classes.
Criteria for the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: Is a DWI a Felony in Texas? In the state of Texas, your first DWI conviction is considered a Class B misdemeanor, the second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor and a third DWI conviction is a third-degree felony. You can also be charged with a felony in the state of Texas for a DWI offense if any of the following are true:
- There was a minor in the vehicle with you who was less than 15 years old at the time you were driving while intoxicated.
- While you were driving while intoxicated, you were involved in an accident, and another person suffered serious bodily injury (Intoxication Assault).
- While you were driving while intoxicated, you were involved in an accident and another person died as a result (Intoxication Manslaughter).
Your Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI lawyer can review the charges against you, challenging any evidence presented.
How do I find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: Houston DWI Classes / Harris County DWI DIVERT Program
In the state of Texas, the DWI classes you will be required to take are dependent upon your past criminal history. If this is your first DWI in Texas offense, your classes will be a total of 12 hours, usually conducted over three or four days, in some cases, online. Those with multiple DWI in Texas convictions will be required to take more extensive DWI classes, which can take up to 32 hours and can be conducted over a period of 5-7 weeks. The cost for this level of DWI class can be as high as $300.
The Texas DWI DIVERT Program may be an option for you, depending on the facts surrounding your DWI in Texas charges. There are a number of issues you will be considering after being charged with DWI in Texas; a pretrial diversion program may not necessarily be on your radar. The most appealing issue of the DIVERT Program is that it could potentially allow you to have your DWI expunged from your record. Since the Harris County criminal record which accompanies a DWI in Texas can have far-reaching consequences, the DIVERT Program could be a good idea for many of those with a first-time DWI in Texas.
The DIVERT Program does come with certain requirements, depending on admission to the Program, and requirements that those who are accepted into the Program follow it to the letter. If you qualify for the DIVERT Program, also known as Pretrial Diversion, the state of Texas is essentially agreeing that you will learn the laws regarding DWI in Texas, therefore, will not be charged with another DWI. The court is fairly choosy about who is allowed into the Pretrial Diversion program, and you must meet all required qualifications.
Who is the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me to Defend a DWI in Texas: DUI in Texas - Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in the state of Texas can be very serious. If you are under the age of 21 and are facing DUI in Texas charges—it is important that you speak to a knowledgeable Houston DUI attorney as quickly as possible. Speaking to an experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston DUI attorney as quickly as possible allows you to minimize the penalties you are facing for your DUI in Texas charges. No matter whether the DUI is for drugs or alcohol, an experienced Houston DUI criminal defense attorney is crucial to the outcome of your charges.
The state of Texas has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This means that even the smallest amount of alcohol or drugs in a minor’s system can trigger DUI in Texas charges. It is definitely in your best interests to allow a Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney to defend your DUI in Texas charges following your Harris County arrest. Our goal will be to prevent you from spending time in Harris County jail or having a Harris County criminal record which could follow you for many years to come.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Texas, the penalties you will face will depend on your age. If you are less than 17 at the time you are charged with a DUI in Texas, the offense is a Class C misdemeanor. If you are convicted of the DUI in Texas when you are 17 or younger, you could face a fine as large as $500, a driver’s license suspension of sixty days, and 20-40 hours of community service. You—along with your parents—could also be required to attend an Alcohol Awareness Course.
If you are between the ages of 17 and 20 at the time you are charged with DUI in Texas, you will face a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties you will face will depend in part on whether you have any prior infractions as an underage driver. If you do have prior convictions, you could face a fine as high as $2,000, could be sentenced to jail for a period of 72 hours to 180 days, and could face a driver’s license suspension of up to one year. If you are allowed to have an ignition interlock device installed and agree to community supervision, your driver’s license suspension could be reduced to 90 days, with community service from 40-60 hours and the necessity of attending an Alcohol Awareness Course.
Deciding on the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me for a DWI in Texas: Texas DWI Laws, Offenses and Penalties - The Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorneys fight Texas DWI and Texas DUI charges. We can help you secure the best outcome possible following your DWI or DUI charges. A Harris County arrest for DWI in Texas can result in a number of negative outcomes which can last for a considerable length of time. Texas DWI driving laws state that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense with serious legal consequences, including:
For a first offense DWI conviction (a class B misdemeanor) with a BAC of .15 percent or less, you could face fines as large as $2,000, a jail sentence from 3 days to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to 365 days.
For a first offense DWI conviction with a BAC of more than .15 percent (a class A misdemeanor), the fines faced can increase to $4,000, potential jail time increases to one year.
For a first offense DWI conviction with a BAC of 0.08 percent to .14 percent, you are allowed to apply for a “non-disclosure” two years after the probation ends, however an ignition interlock device must be installed on your vehicle for a minimum of six months.
For a second offense DWI in Texas (a class A misdemeanor), you will face a maximum fine of $4,000, jail time from thirty days to one year, and a potential driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years.
A third DWI in Texas is a third-degree felony, with penalties including a fine as large as $10,000, from two to ten years behind bars, and a driver’s license suspension which ranges from 180 days to two years.
For a first, second or third DWI in Texas, having an open container in the vehicle increases the minimum jail penalty to six days.
A third or subsequent DWI in Texas with two prior state prison sentences will be punished as an enhanced felony, resulting in up to $10,000 in fines, 25 years to life in Texas state prison, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to two years.
If you are charged with Intoxication Assault, you could be sentenced to a minimum of two years and a maximum of ten years in state prison. A probated sentence would result in a 30-day minimum jail sentence. You would also be facing fines as large as $10,000.
If a death occurred while you were driving while impaired, you could be sentenced to a maximum fine of $10,000 and could face prison time from two years to twenty years. This is a second-degree felony in the state of Texas. If you receive probation, you must still serve a mandatory 120-day jail sentence.
If there was a child in the vehicle (under the age of 15 years) when you are arrested for DWI, you could receive a state jail term for a mandatory minimum of 180 days, and a maximum of two years, with a fine of up to $10,000. This is considered a state jail felony offense.
Selecting the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me to Fight a DWI in Texas: DWI Defense - Your Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney has a goal of securing the best outlook possible—with the fewest consequences—in response to your DWI in Texas charges. It may be possible to challenge the results of your field sobriety tests, your breathalyzer test, or your blood test. The officer who pulled you over may not have had probable cause or reasonable suspicion to do so. The officer may not have properly Mirandized you when you were arrested. At Sullo & Sullo, our Houston DWI attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf to help you avoid Harris County jail and Harris County criminal records. We believe in second chances and will do everything in our power to ensure this mistake does not change your life forever.
Choosing the Best Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Houston DWI Case—Texas DPS Surcharges - While Texas residents have been forced to pay yearly surcharges for many, many years, this September the surcharges DPS charges drivers may go away. Governor Greg Abbot signed House Bill 2048, ending the Driver Responsibility Program—the surcharge program which required Texas residents convicted of DWI in Texas and certain other traffic offenses after September 1, 2003 to pay an annual surcharge to maintain their driver’s licenses—from $1,000 to $2,000 per year, for a period of three years. This change will allow almost 1.5 million Texas drivers who currently have suspended driver’s licenses to (legally) get back on the road.
As of September 1, all surcharge assessments will be waived, and no more surcharges assessed. Texas residents will still be responsible for court fines or fees on their driving record—it will only be the surcharges from DPS that will be removed. Until September 1st, 2019, drivers are advised to continue to pay their surcharge installment payments to avoid any issues. If you have questions regarding your DPS surcharges, it can be helpful to speak with a Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney to get the answers you need.
Getting the Help You Need Following Your DWI in Texas - We understand just how stressful it can be to be charged with DWI in Texas or DUI in Texas. The DWI in Texas laws can be harsh, even difficult to fully comprehend. Our experienced Houston DWI attorneys will work hard to help you be accepted into a DIVERT program, which can result in your DWI record being dropped so you will have no DWI on your Harris County criminal records. Having a DWI on your Harris County criminal records can make it difficult to remain employed, find employment in the future, rent a home, or, if a felony DWI, you could even find it difficult to vote or own a firearm. The Sullo & Sullo attorneys are Houston criminal defense lawyers with payment plans who offer Houston criminal defense lawyers free consultations. Our goal is to help you avoid Harris County jail, and we will work aggressively on your behalf to that end. Do not wait, once you have been charged with DWI in Texas—contact the Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorneys today.