If you have been charged with a DWI while on probation in the Houston, TX, you want an experienced DWI attorney to protect your rights. A Houston DWI probation lawyer at Blass Law will fight to get the best outcome possible for your case. A DWI arrest does not necessarily mean that your probation will be revoked, but you should act fast, and you want to have an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side.
Securing Legal Counsel is Critical to Protecting Your Future
It’s common knowledge that the Texas courts impose harsh penalties on people convicted of DWIs. Judges are quick to take away your driver’s license, impose hefty fines, and even put people behind bars if convicted.
If you are convicted of any DWI offense in Texas, probation is likely to be part of your sentence. How long and cumbersome the probation is depends on the severity of the charge and the skill of your defense.
For a free legal consultation with a dwi probation lawyer serving Houston, call 713-225-1900
How Can a DWI Probation Violation Lawyer in Houston Help You?
Just because you have been charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty. You have a right to work with our team who can defend you against any unfair allegations that could harm your well-being and prospects.
We can help you by:
Determining whether your arrest was done “by the books”
Law enforcement officials do not always conduct arrests in good faith. To arrest you, they must have had probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence of a mind-altering substance that caused you to lose the normal use of your mental or physical faculties. Additionally, if you were arrested, but the arresting officer did not read your Miranda rights, certain statements that you made after the arrest could be suppressed.
Disputing the results of a blood or breath test
You might have been tested for intoxication at the scene of your arrest. However, even if the results were less than ideal, that does not matter. In Texas, handheld roadside breathalyzers are not admissible, meaning they can’t be used at your trial. The only breathalyzers approved for evidential breath testing are the Intoxilyzer 5000 and the Intoxilyzer 9000, neither of those can fit in an officer’s pocket.
Even testing at the station can have problems, for instance, you might have taken a breathalyzer test. If you ate, smoked, or drank anything less than twenty minutes before you took the test, the results will not be accurate.
We can determine whether your test results were properly collected or interpreted. If not, we can move to have them dismissed from your case.
Houston DWI Probation Lawyer Near Me 713-225-1900
How do you Know Whether you Were Legally Intoxicated at the Time of Your Arrest?
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says that to be considered legally intoxicated based on a breath or blood test, you must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher.
Your probation may have come with certain conditions. For instance, it may have asked you to refrain from drinking and driving. However, if your BAC level was under a certain amount, you would not have been considered intoxicated, and therefore, could not face drunk driving charges.
These are just some of the things that we can do in your defense. Depending on the nature of your situation, certain other strategies could secure a “not guilty” verdict, dismissal, or reduction.
How Does a Pretrial Diversion for DWI work?
In some cases, DWI defendants can enter a contract with the state and potentially have their charges dismissed if the terms and conditions of their contract are completed. In this process, the district attorney (DA) may dismiss the charge upon successful completion of the terms of the agreement.
The defendant must successfully complete tasks, such as community service, a VIP (Victim Impact Panel) put on by MADD, SOP (Supportive Outpatient Treatment), IOP (Intensive Outpatient Treatment), and not commit a crime other than a Class C traffic violation.
Although pretrial diversions are relatively uncommon, it can be a valuable way to avoid suffering a criminal record in some cases. Following the DWI pretrial diversion, your Houston criminal record expunctions lawyer may be able to file for an expunction. This basically erases the arrest and criminal case from your record.
However, failure to meet the terms of the contract often results in the state proceeding with the case and prosecution.
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Suspended Sentence Probation for DWIs
In any case, where a defendant is granted probation, the judge suspends the jail sentence and imposes community supervision. This can happen if someone is convicted of a first-time DWI offense all the way to more severe cases and those that involve repeat offenders.
Defendants should be fully aware that with each conviction, the possibility of doing time behind bars increases. But when state prosecutors face an experienced Houston DWI defense lawyer, they tend to consider the possibility of losing the case.
The same holds true for defendants who may have failed a breathalyzer or have been involved in a car accident while allegedly under the influence. A suspended sentence with probation allows defendants to keep their freedom under state supervision.
If you complete the court-ordered requirements, you may not have to serve time. However, violating the terms of a DWI probation often results in immediate incarceration. Probation tends to be one’s last chance to stay out of jail.
Can you Get Deferred Adjudication for a DWI?
Yes, but it’s fake. Deferred adjudication means that you plead guilty to driving while intoxicated, but the judge in your case postpones (or defers) finding you guilty if you complete the requirements of community supervision.
Once you have completed the conditions of your community supervision, the judge can set aside your guilty plea, and you will not have a conviction on your record. In Texas, however, DWI deferred is not the same as deferred for other offenses. Deferred still carries the same punishment as a conviction.
Despite not having the opportunity for a real deferred adjudication, you still have options to keep your DWI arrest off of your record. You may be able to have your case dismissed or get a not guilty verdict. You may qualify for an expunction of your record. Our team at Blass Law can determine whether you qualify for that action.
Texas DWI Probation Penalties
Determining the terms and conditions of a DWI probation involves negotiations between a criminal defense lawyer and government prosecutors. Your attorney will work to get you the best possible outcome, including reduced or no jail time and reduced fines. Reducing your jail time will likely come with increased “community supervision” or probation.
Common conditions of DWI probation in Texas include:
- Fines and fees. There are generally fines and court costs associated with DWI probation sentences. Beyond those, you can expect to pay for at least a portion of the probation supervision costs and restitution, if you were involved in an accident or a victim incurred a loss.
- Probation officer/community supervisor monitoring. People on probation are assigned a probation officer who will schedule monthly meetings. They could be required more often if the official finds a need. Your probation officer reports to the court, and missing a meeting could result in a DWI probation violation.
- Alcohol education requirements. The court generally mandates classes to educate offenders about the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. These may include the DWI Education Program and Victim Impact Panel offered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The court often requires those on probation to complete an education component within six months.
- Random screenings. Alcohol and drug testing remain a common part of probation. The court will require abstinence from alcohol and drugs during the probationary period. Failed or skipped drug screenings can result in your probation being revoked, additional hours of community service, and jail time.
- The installation of an ignition interlock system. The court may require you to have an alcohol monitoring device installed in your vehicle at your own expense. This is often a condition if the probationer is allowed to maintain driving privileges.
Along with these conditions, people on DWI probation are generally tasked with community service, remain under travel restriction, and must not commit a crime. Just as DWI offenses are met with harsh penalties in Texas, probation violations are not tolerated by the courts.
Types of DWI Probation Violations
The court views your probation as the last chance to stay out of jail. Any violation of the terms and conditions of your probation can quickly result in an arrest warrant. The probation officer managing your case or state prosecutor could file a motion to revoke your probation.
These are some common reasons why a DWI probation may be revoked:
- Arrested while on probation
- Charged with a new law violation
- Failure to make court-ordered payments for fines, fees, or restitution
- Failure to attend educational classes
- Caught drinking while on probation
- Failing to complete community service
Once the state has filed a motion to revoke probation, you will be entitled to a hearing. The court will decide whether to keep you on probation, or revoke probation entirely and move forward with sentencing that could include incarceration or other punitive measures.
Your attorney must be able to build a strong argument in your defense
Probation violators face an uphill legal battle because the burden of proof is lower in this type of hearing. It’s up to your attorney to provide an effective defense and prove you did not violate the terms and conditions of your probation.
The other alternative is to present mitigating circumstances and persuade the court to allow you to remain out of jail. That’s why it’s imperative to consider working with an experienced Houston DWI probation attorney.
Request a DWI Probation Case Consultation with One of Our Attorneys Today
If you received a DWI in Houston, you want an experienced DWI probation lawyer to represent your interests and defend your rights. The attorneys at Blass Law can seek the best result for your case, whether this is your first DWI offense and you are looking for reduced probation, or you were charged with a DWI while on probation.
You have a narrow opportunity to defend yourself and reduce your penalties, so don’t delay! Call our office to connect with our team.