When a person is arrested and charged with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense, it’s natural to feel confused, especially if it’s your first criminal charge. However, it’s strategic in your actions by avoiding some of the more common mistakes that could negatively impact your case.
As an experienced Galveston DWI lawyer, Attorney Tad Nelson has observed many of these errors first-hand. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 mistakes to avoid if you find yourself facing a DWI charge.
If you have any questions or need to talk with a DWI lawyer about getting out of the situation, contact Galveston DWI Lawyers Tad Nelson & Amber Spurlock at 409-904-0075.
Assuming a DWI Charge Equates to a Conviction
The first mistake most people make is to assume that a DWI charge automatically means they’ll be convicted.
Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty. You have legal rights, and our experienced DWI attorneys can help affirm & protect your rights.
There are various defense strategies that can be employed to challenge the evidence against you. We cover every avenue from questioning the accuracy of breathalyzer tests to challenging the legality of the traffic stop.
Delaying Legal Representation
Time is of the essence after a DWI arrest. You have a 15-day window in Texas to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to potentially save your driving privileges.
If you miss this window, your license will be automatically suspended.
Getting an attorney on board early will ensure you don’t miss crucial deadlines and can start preparing a solid defense right away. Furthermore, in most cases the ALR hearing is postponed and reset. During this time your Texas Driver License is not suspended.
So, if the cop took your license during the traffic stop and subsequent arrest for DWI, we may suggest you go to a local DPS office and get another while the case is pending.
Choosing an Inexperienced Attorney
Fighting a DWI charge in Texas can be complex with best practices for defense attorneys constantly evolving. For this reason, it’s best to hire a lawyer with specific experience handling DWI cases.
Mr. Nelson, for example, practice law in Texas since 1991 and is Board Certified® in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He’s also an ACS/CHAL Lawyer-Scientist which sets him apart from other DWI lawyers as a result of his mastery of forensic chromatography. His expertise is a valuable asset when you’re facing such serious charges.
Taking Field Sobriety Tests without Question
Field sobriety tests are designed to provide evidence of impairment. However, they are not always accurate and can be influenced by factors like uneven road surfaces or medical conditions. You have the right to politely decline these tests.
However, you’re subject to implied consent which means police may request and obtain a blood draw warrant should you refuse to blow or take part in field sobriety testing.
Admitting Fault or Discussing Your Case
Anything you say can be used against you in court. Aside for cordial pleasantries, it’s best to remain silent until you’ve consulted with your attorney.
It’s a mistake to discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney. If you have social media profiles, don’t post about anything that can be remotely related to your case. Even seemingly innocent comments could be interpreted negatively.
Ignoring the Impact of a DWI Charge
A conviction for a DWI charge can have far-reaching consequences. A criminal conviction and suspension of your Texas Driver License can cause all kinds of problems in your life, affecting both the personal and professional parts. This outcome can be avoided with qualified legal representation.
A conviction or loss of driving privileges can mean job loss, difficulty finding employment in the future, increased insurance rates, and even immigration issues for non-citizens. Therefore, treating even a Class B Misdemeanor DWI charge lightly could prove to be a huge error.
Not Disclosing All Relevant Information to Your Attorney
We can only build a strong defense if we’re aware of all the facts. Withholding information could hinder our ability to effectively litigate your case and result in a less favorable outcome.
All communications with us will be 100% confidential as attorney-client communications are protected by law. There’s no reason to be less than forthcoming with your attorney.
Always be open and honest with your attorney.
Failing to Understand the Charges and Potential Penalties
In Texas, the criminal classification of a DWI charge can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a felony. The classification of the offense determined by factors like prior convictions, the presence of a minor in the car, or if an accident occurred.
Knowing what you’re up against is vital. If you have questions, we can explain the charges, potential penalties, and a few options to address the charges head on.
In the meantime, you shouldn’t make any decisions until you fully grasp the seriousness of the situation.
Ignoring Court Orders and Deadlines
Ignoring court orders or missing court dates can lead to additional criminal charges and penalties. If the court has to issue a warrant for your arrest, it will only serve to complicate matters.
We recommend that our clients respect the process, attend all scheduled court dates, and comply with any orders issued by the court. Respect goes a long way in Galveston County and the last thing you need is an angry judge presiding over your case.
Trying to Handle the Case Alone
Attempting to handle your DWI charge on your own could be a huge mistake.
Prosecutors will take advantage of you.
The criminal defense & pre-trial process is complex. To be effective, you’ll need to have an in-depth understanding of Texas law and legal procedure. Without which, negotiating with the Galveston County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is an exercise in futility.
With an experienced Galveston DWI lawyer like Tad Nelson by your side, you can be confident that your case will be handled with the utmost professionalism. For over 30 years we’ve help people to get DWI cases behind them and we can help you too.
Tad Nelson & Associates
Galveston’s DWI & Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have DWI charges in Galveston, or if you’re seeking help for a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Office of Tad Nelson & Associates.
Our legal team is here to guide you through the process and ensure your rights are affirmed. Attorneys Tad Nelson & Amber Spurlock are committed to providing with best legal defense possible.
We provide free consultations, affordable legal fees, and easy payment plans. If you have any questions, contact us today at 409-904-0075.