Although the outcome of your case may be uncertain, what is certain is that you can’t win without putting up a fight. Let Houston’s top DWI defense attorney fight aggressively for you.
A Houston DWI arrest can be extremely frightening as it’s often the first encounter a person has with the criminal justice system.
However, the state carries a heavy, complicated burden of proof when trying to convict someone of this serious violation. The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp will challenge your DWI and pick the state’s case apart piece-by-piece in order to protect your rights.
Under Texas law, you have just 15 days after being charged with DWI until your driver’s license is revoked by the Department of Public Safety. The clock is ticking, which is why your #1 priority after a DWI arrest should be to call top-rated Houston DWI defense lawyer Matt Sharp immediately.
Free Case Evaluation
Have you been pulled over and arrested for a DWI?
You need a strong legal defense. Start fighting now.
A Houston DWI arrest can be extremely frightening as it’s often the first encounter a person has with the criminal justice system. I will challenge your DWI and pick the state’s case apart piece-by-piece in order to protect your rights. There’s no way to guarantee a win, but I promise that you can’t win without a fight.
My results-driven approach means I can bring invaluable insights from past victories to help in your case.
State of Texas v. TP
Driving While Intoxicated
Harris County Court
State of Texas v. JM
Harris County Court
State of Texas v. BYK
Driving While Intoxicated
Harris County Court
Texas DWI Defense Strategies
Whether it’s your first time being charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or it’s a repeat offense, you’re in for one heck of a legal battle. Building a robust legal defense early on is essential to minimize the possible fines, jail time and other penalties you face.
Common DWI defense tactics include:
- Improper or illegal stop. The first piece of the DWI puzzle to deal with is discovering the reason for the stop itself. If the officer didn’t have a legal reason (known as “probably cause”) to make contact with a driver, then whatever happened during the traffic stop isn’t admissible in court.
- Not legally intoxicated. The most essential part of the state’s case is showing that you were legally impaired from drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, and that you were unable to safely operate your vehicle. It’s not enough to merely show that a driver was drinking and driving. While not recommended, as long as your blood alcohol level (BAC) was under the legal limit of .08% and you were at least 21 years old, it’s technically not unlawful in Texas to drive after drinking.
- Challenging test results. Matt Sharp can successfully challenge the officer’s observations and field sobriety interpretations if they weren’t conducted properly. You may have also submitted to a state administered test of your blood, breath, or urine. We can effectively challenge whether the appropriate test, with proper equipment, was given by personnel who were trained correctly.
- No Miranda warning. Officers are supposed to give Miranda warnings prior to arresting someone for DWI or questioning a suspect who’s in police custody. Failing to do so can result in any incriminating testimony or evidence you unintentionally gave police being ruled inadmissible in court.
- Alternative reasons for behavior. Your defense attorney may be able to prove how certain health or medical conditions, or other contributing factors, might explain your behavior or appearance. For instance, perhaps a lack of sleep can account for your bloodshot eyes and seemingly strange behavior. Or maybe the field sobriety test registered food you recently ate or non-impairing medications.
What is Texas DWI law?
In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) when they have a BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration) level of .08 or more (or .04 for commercial drivers). A person is also considered intoxicated if impaired due to drugs, regardless of BAC.
Generally, you’re considered “intoxicated” if you “lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties” as the result of ingesting alcohol, drug or any other substance.
Texas also has “zero tolerance” laws, meaning it’s illegal for underage drivers (those under 21 years old) to get behind the wheel with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle.
Houston DWI Conviction Penalties
Many people who have been charged with a Houston DWI feel that their only option is to give up and take whatever plea agreement the prosecutor or DA offers in order to put the matter behind them. The reality is that failing to mount an aggressive defense against a DWI can result in a long list of long-term consequences such as:
- Time in jail along with community service
- Loss of driving privileges
- Financial hardship due to costly fines and raised insurance rates
- Repeated drug & alcohol testing and counseling
- Interlock devices installed on your vehicle
- A permanent criminal record
- Difficulty getting and keeping a job
- Social stigma and damage to reputation
- Loss of freedom
Most DWI cases are charged as a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas depends on how many prior convictions you’ve had and how intoxicated you were. After two or more DWI convictions in 5 years, you must install a special ignition switch that prevents your vehicle from being operated if you’ve been drinking.
- First-time offenders may be fined up to $2,000, spend anywhere from 3 to 180 days in jail, lose their driver license for a year, and be forced to pay an annual fee of up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain their license.
- Second time DWI offenders can face a fine of up to $4,000, up to 1 year in jail, revocation of their driver’s license for 2 years, and an annual fee of $2,000 for 3 years to retain their license.
- Third time offenders can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, be fined $10,000, lose their license for up to 2 years, and be forced to pay an annual fee of $2,000 for 3 years to keep their license.
Additional factors may elevate the case and result in harsher penalties such as if you received a DWI with child passenger (under 15) or had a BAC of 0.15 or higher.
When it comes to intoxicated driving defense cases, experience matters. When you enter a guilty plea for a DWI, the penalties are typically consistent with what’s given if you are convicted at a trial. The only way to avoid these harsh consequences is to put up a vigorous defense.
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Talk to an Aggressive Houston DWI Defense Attorney for Free
No two DWI cases are the same. Experienced Houston criminal defense attorney Matthew D. Sharp knows what it takes to keep your reputation and freedom intact after a DWI charge. Matt Sharp is often successful at having charges reduced or even dismissed at trial for his clients. There’s no way for us to promise a win, but we promise that you can’t win without a fight. Contact The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp today to get started on your DWI defense. The initial consultation is free.
We serve Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Galveston County and the surrounding areas, including Sugar Land, Pasadena, Missouri City and Pearland, Texas.