Charged With A DUI In Texas?
Deal Or No Deal?

 

In Texas, a person charged with raping a ten year old can potentially get deferred adjudication, allowing him to go free, and have no criminal record if he avoids a subsequent conviction. A person charged with driving while intoxicated, however, has no such deferred adjudication option. That means a defendant confronting a DUI charge must either fight the charge of the merits, or enter into a deal for a guilty plea. That 'deal' is likely to include regular reporting to a probation officer, having a contraption installed on your steering wheel to test your breath for alcohol before the car will start, AA meetings or other classes, and all kinds of fines and fees. The criminal justice system is arguably easier on those accused of sex with minors.

The lack of options for a person facing a DUI charge is due to all of the 'get tough' actions by judges and state legislators, which are

routinely popular at election time. Few voters see themselves as a potential drunk driving defendant. The result is a deck stacked against you, big time.

If you are pulled over for DUI, you should bear in mind three things: a) it is very likely that the police officer's stop is going to lead to your arrest; b) you should not volunteer to take the breath test for alcohol; and c) you will need a lawyer.

Yes, there is a cost to not agreeing to the breath test. The officer is likely to become less cooperative and friendly with you. And, you will lose your Texas drivers license, for months. What you need to decide is whether that is worse that providing the prosecution with almost sure-fire evidence that you are guilty, which will soon mean the suspension of your drivers' license anyway. Keep in mind that some driving privileges can be given back to you, even with a suspended license.

Do you need a lawyer to do this? Not according to the law – you are allowed to represent yourself. But, if you do, you will be up against a prosecutor knowledgeable about the law, who will see, with hungry eyes, that you have chosen not to take a key step to defend yourself. The prosecutor, then, has little motivation to offer an attractive plea agreement, because she will think she will be able to run you over like a steamroller at a trial. And, very likely, she will be right.

With legal counsel, you can determine the value of fighting the charges to trial. Your attorney will explore potential defenses, and make the best possible use of any video taken of intoxication testing. If a trial is not in your best interest, your attorney will fight for the best possible plea deal. That could mean the difference in thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and countless hours in classes and community service work. It could also mean the difference between being free and spending time in jail.

Your lawyer can also explore the possibility of enrollment in a diversion program aimed at avoiding criminal conviction but getting treatment for alcohol abuse.

DUI charges are scary. Your ability to drive in the State, your time, your money, and your liberty are all at stake. Get yourself a lawyer you trust if you face DUI charges, and stand up for your rights.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.

News • Information
Texas DUI Penalties

1st Offense: Class B Misdemeanor in Texas
Fine - A fine not to exceed $2,000.
Jail - Confinement in the County Jail for a term of not less the 72 hours nor more that six (6) months, *absent of unusual circumstances, usually probated.
Open Container - If there was an open container of alcohol in your car when arrested, the minimum term of confinement is six (6) days in the county jail.
Community Service - Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 24 hours nor more than 100 hours.
Contact Info
Teir & Associates
5847 San Felipe
17th Floor
Houston, Texas 77057

713-559-0580
Fax: 832-603-4112
Email: Teir & Associates