A DWI conviction can ruin your life and take away your freedom. However, a DWI charge doesn’t automatically mean you’re guilty. Our team at Blass Law has the knowledge and experience to fight for a dismissal of your charges. Jay Cohen knows the law and science behind DWI arrests, blood and breath testing, and building a criminal case. He can use that knowledge to beat the prosecution at their own game.
A Houston DWI lawyer from our firm will fight for your freedom and future.
The Blass Law Difference
A criminal defense attorney at our law firm can fight your DWI charge. We will work for case dismissal or another resolution to keep a conviction off your record.
Jay Cohen is certified as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist and in forensic chromatography for both alcohol and drugs. He understands the science and the limitations of DWI blood and breath testing. He is also a certified practitioner and instructor in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing.
He can examine your arrest and poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you.
Our team will:
- Keep you aware of any developments that occur in your DWI case
- Inform you of the ways you can help your case
- Gather evidence
- Subpoena blood and breath test results and blood draw discovery
- Scrutinize the evidence provided by the state
- Ensure that a team member is always available to answer your questions
- Subpoena video footage from all police officers’ body cameras and dash cameras
- Review the videos and offense reports to score your standardized field sobriety tests
- Review the lab work used to calculate your blood or breath test results
- Challenge every piece of evidence the state tries to use against you
- Look for any potential rights violations
- Fight to get your case dismissed
- Argue your case to a jury at trial
For a legal consultation with a dwi lawyer serving Houston, call 713-225-1900
We Know What Defense to Use for Your DWI Case
There are several defenses our team can use to challenge a DWI charge:
Challenge Reasonable Suspicion
Cops don’t always have legally valid reasons to pull people over. We could argue that the officer did not have probable cause to stop, detain, or arrest you.
Contest Probable Cause
If Houston police officers reasonably suspect someone is driving while drunk, they can request the driver submit to a field sobriety test or blood or breath test. However, they must have probable cause, such as indications of intoxication.
We could argue that law enforcement did not have probable cause to request a Breathalyzer or other test.
Question the Breathalyzer Reading
If you failed a breath alcohol test, this could have been due to a Breathalyzer malfunction. The machine could have also been defective.
Even a person’s diet can impact breath test results. For example, the keto diet can cause you to fail a breath test. Our founder, Jay Cohen, was interviewed for Men’s Health about a case he won using that exact defense.
Either of these or other factors out of your control could have led to an inaccurate reading.
We know how these machines work and how they can malfunction. We will use this knowledge to break the prosecution’s case against you.
Prove the Officer did Not Use the Breathalyzer Correctly
We know what mistakes can occur during breath and blood testing. The officer who pulled you over could have failed to use the Breathalyzer correctly, as the Texas Breath Alcohol Testing Program Operator’s Manual dictates. We could argue that this mistake led to an incorrect BAC reading.
Houston DWI Attorney 713-225-1900
A DWI Lawyer in Houston from Our Team Will Review Plea Agreements
The prosecution may offer you a plea bargain. This option is usually not a bargain and probably only includes a slightly lighter sentence than the maximum penalty. However, having a DWI lawyer from our firm review a plea agreement before you sign it is important, as your attorney can negotiate a better deal.
A DWI is a serious charge. It is important to avoid making a statement to law enforcement before you retain a criminal defense lawyer. We are committed to helping you move past this DWI arrest with minimal penalties.
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Why Hire One of Our Houston DWI Lawyers for Your Defense Case?
Our team values our clients. We want you to have the best DWI lawyer in Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, or Galveston County.
We Have a History of Positive Outcomes for DWI Claimants
Our founder and lead attorney, Jay Blass Cohen, is no stranger to DWI cases in Houston. He’s dedicated his career to defending people charged with DWIs and other crimes and secured the following case results in Harris and Fort Bend counties:
- Our client was a commercial truck driver who caused an accident and failed all sobriety tests at the scene and the police station. The case went all the way to a jury trial and resulted in a not-guilty verdict.
- The police found our client asleep in his car on the road. He tested positive for a host of controlled substances. The case ended when the jury returned a not-guilty verdict.
- Our client was a lawyer who was pulled over for his second DWI. He admitted to drinking and refused to take any sobriety tests. We secured a not-guilty verdict at trial.
These are just some of the successful outcomes we’ve achieved for our clients. When you entrust your DWI case to us, you can rest assured that we’ll fight for a dismissal or not guilty verdict.
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What Penalties Could You Face for a DWI in Texas?
First-time DWI offenses in Houston are typically Class B misdemeanors. However, exceptions do apply as follows:
- If the arresting officer discovers an open container of alcohol in the vehicle as you were operating it, the charge remains a Class B misdemeanor but the minimum term in jail changes. This offense is punishable by a minimum of six days in the county jail.
- If a person’s BAC is 0.15% or more at the time of the test, the offense is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor.
The punishment for a first-time DWI conviction depends on the specific facts of the DWI case. In Houston:
- Class B misdemeanor offenses are punishable by fines up to $2,000. You could also spend up to 180 days in county jail.
- Class A misdemeanor offenses are punishable by fines up to $4,000. You could also spend up to 365 days in the county jail.
If you’re facing a DWI in Houston, you want a criminal attorney who is an aggressive trial lawyer with the skills and knowledge to win your case and protect your legal rights. This can go a long way toward fighting for a dismissal.
Our team has extensive trial experience, so you can rest easy knowing your team can handle your DWI case. We are committed to helping you move past this DWI arrest with minimal penalties.
Fines and Other Penalties Related to a DWI Conviction
Texas courts impose punishments based on the facts of one’s conviction, including:
- Additional fines of $3,000 for first-time convictions
- Additional fines of $4,500 for first-time convictions with a BAC level of 0.15% or greater
- Additional fines of $6,000 for second-time offenses
- Attendance at a Texas DWI Education Program
- Driver’s license suspension
- Requiring a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) from an insurance company
- A period of community supervision or probation
- Completing the Texas DWI Education class
- Ignition interlock restriction
DWIs also show up on background checks. This can impact your employment options and career. For example, if you are a rideshare driver and face a DWI, you may be unable to continue working.
Penalties for Intoxication Assault
Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony when the defendant causes severe bodily injury to another. The charge increases to a second-degree felony if:
- The injured party is in a vegetative state
- The injured party is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel
Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter
Intoxication manslaughter is an automatic second-degree felony. This occurs when the defendant causes the death of another person while driving while intoxicated.
When Can You Be Charged With a DWI in Houston?
A person may be charged with a DWI if:
- They are 18 or older; and
- The police officer believes it is more likely than not that the person has lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties or has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater.
Getting arrested for a DWI can be an overwhelming, scary, and lonely experience. A conviction can rob you of your freedom, family, finances, and friends. Our Houston criminal defense lawyer will ensure that everything possible is done to put you in the best position to beat the charges.
Your Rights Against Self Incrimination
While experiencing an arrest can be nerve-racking, it is important to remember you have rights against self-incrimination, which include:
- The right to refuse to say anything to police officers other than your name and date of birth
- The right to refuse all standardized field sobriety tests
- The right to refuse a Breathalyzer test or blood test, although the police can and usually will get a search warrant and perform a blood draw
- The right to remain silent at all points throughout a police encounter
- The right to contact an attorney
How Harris County Law Enforcement Proves Intoxication
The core element in a DWI is “intoxication.” Houston law enforcement believes they can identify intoxication using standardized field sobriety tests.
Law enforcement officers are trained to observe clues during field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests to establish probable cause for one of the following:
- You do not have the normal use of your physical faculties;
- You do not have the normal use of your mental faculties; or
- A valid chemical test indicates a BAC of 0.08% or more.
As a Standardized Field Sobriety Test practitioner and instructor, Jay Cohen knows how to scrutinize these test results for any errors or misjudgments.
What You Need to Know About Drunk Driving Charges
Here are some things to know about drunk driving charges, some of which we’ve touched on already:
- Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49 defines drunk driving.
- Most (but not all) DWIs involve alcohol.
- The BAC limit for adults that are 21 and older is 0.08%.
- According to the Texas Department of Safety, the state has a zero-tolerance rule for minors and adults under 21. If you are younger than 21 and have any detectable levels of alcohol in your system, you can face a DUI charge.
To arrest you, law enforcement only needs probable cause to believe you have lost the normal use of your physical or mental faculties.
Cops Can Make Mistakes or Intentionally Violate Your Rights
The police frequently obtain evidence illegally. However, they cannot use this evidence against you. If you refuse to consent to a blood test, law enforcement may try to obtain a search warrant for a blood draw.
Your Houston DWI attorney will get this evidence suppressed if law enforcement proceeds without your consent or fails to get a search warrant.
Cops Often Make Illegal Stops
Law enforcement must also have a valid reason for pulling you over. If your stop is invalid, we will suppress all evidence obtained from the illegal traffic stop. For example, if the police pulled you over without probable cause, we can use this information to build your case.
If you did not violate traffic laws, then officers did not have probable cause. Our team can move to suppress any evidence found as a result of an illegal stop.
We can explain the complexities of the legal system and ensure that the court hears your case and renders the right outcome.
What You Need to Know About DWI Penalties
It is important to consider hiring a Houston DWI lawyer from our firm if you face criminal charges. This is because you can receive jail time for a first-time DWI conviction. DWI punishments can also include:
- Probation or community supervision
- Community service
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Revocation or automatic suspension of your driving privileges
- A conviction on your criminal record
- Auto insurance rate increases
Enhanced Punishments for DWI Convictions in Texas
Your previous DWI charges will also determine the penalties you face. If you have a previous DWI conviction, your current charge will upgrade to a Class A misdemeanor. This is punishable by a minimum of 30 days in jail.
A third or subsequent DWI is:
- A third-degree felony charge
- Two to 10 years in prison
- A potential license suspension of two years
- A $10,000 fine
Don’t leave your future to chance if this is your second or third DWI charge. Our legal team can defend your rights and pursue a fair case outcome.
Appealing a DWI Conviction in Houston, Texas
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, all criminal defendants can appeal a court’s judgment against them. The law says that any appeal must assert that the court did not apply the law correctly or that the court permitted improper behavior, which led to your eventual wrongful conviction.
These elements warrant an appeal of a DWI conviction:
- The prosecution conducted itself improperly.
- The court permitted testimony or evidence that should have been excluded.
- The court ruling was not founded on fact.
A DWI lawyer in Houston from our team can present evidence supporting that one of the above errors occurred in your DWI case, significantly impacting its outcome. If the Court of Appeals agrees with the stated facts, it may decide to reverse the trial court and grant you a new trial for your DWI case.
Should you lose the case on appeal, you still have recourse. We can file a petition for discretionary review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
We Will do Everything We Can to Fight a Conviction
Our legal team will protect your legal rights. We ensure that, if there is a way to win, we will find it.
Your pending DWI charge has already put you under enough stress. Imagine the relief of handing this life-altering matter over to someone who understands Texas’ complex DWI laws and will fight for you and your freedom.
Our law firm will guide you through this uncertain time. A Houston DWI lawyer from our team will prepare your DWI defense and handle your case with a deep knowledge of field sobriety testing protocols, law enforcement methodology, and prosecution tactics.
Tell us about your charge, and we will ensure you understand your legal options. We know the tremendous impact a conviction can have on your life, freedom, career, and family. Let us help you fight.
What to Do After Being Pulled Over on Suspicion of Drunk Driving
When a police officer pulls you over for drunk driving, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. These include:
- Remain silent: Remember that when you are pulled over, you do not have to answer any questions the officer asks. While you will need to present your driver’s license and vehicle information, you don’t have to respond to other questions.
- Avoid telling the officer how many drinks you had: Don’t tell the officer who pulled you over how much you had to drink. It’s in your best interest to avoid talking with the officer as much as you can.
- Do not be rude to the officer: Although you might feel frustrated after a police officer accuses you of drunk driving, it’s in your best interest to be polite. The police officer may be recording you, and you do not want to give them any reason to add additional charges to your case.
- Search for a lawyer to work with: After you have been accused of drunk driving, allow a lawyer from our firm to use their legal experience to help you case. We can help you through the legal process by building a strong defense on your behalf.
What Should I Do After Being Arrested for a DWI in Houston?
Once you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI, all you can focus on is moving forward. We recommend hiring someone to represent you as soon as you can. The earlier we can get started on your case, the sooner we can start fighting for you.
To protect your case, do the following:
- Refrain from drinking: Most bond conditions in Harris County prohibit a defendant from consuming alcohol or drugs. Stay away from alcohol, as this could only compound the charges against you.
- Only speak with an attorney present: Law enforcement may want to ask you questions following your arrest. You don’t have to answer any questions without your lawyer present. The police aren’t kidding when they say, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.”
We will explain what other post-arrest measures you should take during your initial case review with us.
Contact a Houston DWI Lawyer at Our Firm Today for a Case Review
Worrying about what your future holds won’t help your situation. However, an experienced attorney with a track record of success can fight to reduce your penalties or even beat the charges.
Reach out to Blass Law today to learn about what our team can do for you and your family. Contact us now, as time is of the essence.
Call or text 713-225-1900 or complete a Case Evaluation form