Houston dwi attorney

"blood draw" by Robert Couse-Baker

Blood Draws

It used to be that when you were pulled over in Texas on suspicion of DWI (also referred to as DUI by some) that you were given a chance to perform some balancing tests and an opportunity to blow into the breathalyser. That was about it. And, if you refused, you’d be arrested, booked and charged. That used to be police protocol. Now, if you refuse to give a breath sample, odds are that the police will get a sample of your blood either statutorily or with a warrant.

 

Fighting DWI breath test cases is one thing, but fighting DWI blood draw cases is a completely different procedure. Breath test DWI cases are complex enough and should only be handled by experienced criminal defense attorneys, preferably those who have experience as BOTH prosecutors and DWI attorneys and have handled numerous DWI cases to their completion. Blood draw cases are even more intricate and require a criminal defense lawyer who is well versed in the procedures and laws governing blood draws, blood storage, blood handling, blood transporting, and blood testing.

 

Attorneys at Shellist McAlister, LLP, have been trained in Gas Chromatography.  Gas Chromatography is the scientific method used by labs across the world to test for alcohol in the blood. Steve Shellist attended Axiom Labs’ training on Forensic Chromatography where he received hands on training from the best and brightest scientists in the country in the area of Gas Chromatography.  Steve is now able to use that training and knowledge to dissect the State’s cases and attack the work of government lab analysts.

 

If you were arrested for DWI and your blood was drawn, do not despair. These cases are very beatable with the right DWI defense lawyers on your side. Do not just assume that you will lose your case. We have won many DWI blood draw cases for a variety of reasons. What you need is a team of aggressive, creative and experienced DWI lawyers fighting for that dismissal.

Breath Test

To blow or not to blow that is the question. The answer used to be a simple “No.”  That was back in the day when blood draws were unheard of, so of course it was better for the State to have no scientific evidence than a breath test result. The Intoxilyzer 5000 is the breath test machine used by most law enforcement agencies. You should know that its technology dates back to the 1970s. Would you use a computer that’s over 40 years old and trust it to work properly?  However, now, in many counties, if you refuse to blow or give blood voluntarily, the State will simply seek out a warrant and get your blood without your consent.  The best bet is to still refuse to give them any scientific evidence voluntarily.

 

But, let’s say that it’s too late. You were arrested for DWI and you blew over the legal limit. Now what? Is it over for you? Can you still fight your case? Of course you can. Using the strategies that can only be developed by DWI criminal defense lawyers, who have handled thousands of DWI cases, you can expect to have a fighting chance in any DWI case.

 

It may be that the officer did not read you the proper warnings before offering you the breath test. Maybe he coerced you into blowing by threatening jail time. Perhaps the officer did not observe you for 15 minutes prior to you blowing into the machine. You may suffer from a health issue that interfered with the breath test results. There are many ways to skin a cat.

 

In the future, don’t blow. But for now, hire a good criminal defense lawyer. Don’t simply look for fancy websites boasting “DWI Defense”. Anyone can put up a website. Call and meet with several lawyers and find one that gives you a good gut feeling. In the right hands, these cases are beatable.  The lawyers at Shellist McAlister, LLP handle DWIs on a daily basis.

Bond Conditions and License Suspensions

People charged with DWI have to fight more than just their criminal case. All defendants are prevented from drinking, most will have to fight to keep their driver’s license from being suspended, and many will have bond restrictions against their license. Each case is different, but as a general rule most people will have to install an interlock device on their vehicle. The courts will monitor the vehicle’s use to ensure you are not trying to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol on your breath.  If the machine catches you (and it will), your bond will revoked and you will go to jail.

 

In addition, the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) will attempt to suspend most people’s driver’s license because either: (1) they refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test; or (2) they took the test and “failed.” Depending on the situation, DPS will argue that your license should be suspended for anything between 90 days and 2 years. You only have 15 days to challenge this action! Call Shellist McAlister, LLP immediately so we can represent you!

 

Good DWI lawyers understand how to minimize these bail conditions and challenge DPS to prevent these license suspensions. We fight DPS on every DWI case. Our firm’s DWI lawyers have nearly two decades of combined experience as prosecutors and nearly 40 years of combined experience as criminal defense lawyers. We are knowledgeable, creative, and aggressive. Our clients deserve nothing less!

DWI Victories

DWI and gun possession—Client drove completely through a house at 2:30 am, admitted drinking, failed sobriety tests-NOT GUILTY BY JURY (DWI) and gun case dismissed.

 

DWI on alcohol and pain killers—Client failed sobriety tests and had .21 blood test--DISMISSED after showing insufficient anticoagulant and clotted blood sample.

 

DWI—Client had accident with 18-wheeler, "slurred speech, red bloodshot eyes, poor balance, odor of alcohol" after drinking wine at child's school function--DISMISSED upon showing motive for government witness to lie and medical records consistent with injury rather than intoxication.

 

FELONY DWI—Two consecutive NOT GUILTY jury verdicts for a client arrested for his 7th and 8th Driving While Intoxicated charge.  Client was on parole after receiving a 60 year sentence on his DWI number six.  First Jury Trial - Officer sated he was driving without headlights and weaving all over the road. Officer alleged client was so intoxicated that he was staggering and could not even perform the sobriety tests. The jury found the client NOT GUILTY after only deliberating for 30 minutes.  Second Jury Trial – Officer did not give the client a chance based upon his prior history and greatly embellished the signs of intoxication, describing client as “falling down drunk.”  The Jury agreed that the station video painted a much different picture of the defendant and found him NOT GUILTY.

DWI—Client drove over 100 miles-per-hour on tollway, failed field sobriety tests, refused breath test--DISMISSED after securing police video showing clear speech and thought.

 

DWI—Client ran into the back of a vehicle that was waiting to pay the toll at a toll booth. According to the arresting officer, the client had an open container in the vehicle and admitted to drinking six beers. DISMISSED after presenting evidence that both the officer and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident greatly exaggerated their stories.

 

FELONY DWI WITH CHILD PASSENGER—Officer alleged that client ran a stop sign. Client provided a breath sample with a result almost three times the legal limit. DISMISSED after showing the officer illegally stopped the client because there was no stop sign at the intersection in question.

 

DWI—Client  accident. Blood sample taken at the hospital showed client to have at least twice the legal limit of alcohol. The case was dismissed after the state was unable to produce a witness who could positively identify our client as the driver.

FIRST DWI

This is probably the most common criminal charge in any Texas jurisdiction and for many of you this is more than likely your first run in with the law. Because of that you may think that there is little to worry about when it comes to the punishment consequences associated with a first DWI charge. That simply is not true. Not only can you spend up to 180 days in jail and receive up to a $2000 fine (or u to 1 year in jail and a $4000 fine IF your blood alcohol level is a .15 or above), but any plea or conviction for DWI cannot EVER be erased from your criminal history. The Texas Penal Code does not allow for someone to receive Deferred Adjudication for any level of DWI charge. Probation for a DWI can involve a lot of inconvenient terms and conditions including: taking off time at work to report to a probation officer and take DWI classes, paying monthly fees, travel restrictions and absolutely no drinking. Even if you are not in jail, your freedom can be limited because you can be restricted from driving. You can be forced to install a device on your vehicle (Guardian Interlock) that will constantly require you to blow into it and test for ANY alcohol in your system. The DPS surcharges on your license for DWI can cost you $1000/year. A permanent entry on your driving record for DWI can also cost you thousands when you go to renew your auto insurance. Most importantly, this first DWI charge will be the building block for the State of Texas to increase the consequences of all of your future DWI arrests. So as you can see, all levels of DWI's are a big deal. You need to hire a competent defense attorney, familiar with DWI law and preferably a former prosecutor, to minimize the consequences of your arrest. Our DWI lawyers are licensed to practice criminal law in every county in the State of Texas. Our two experienced lawyers give you a unique advantage against an unwarranted arrest by law enforcement. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, the lawyers at Shellist McAlister, LLP, promise to thoroughly investigate every aspect of your DWI case and will gladly challenge each and every allegation against you. Contact us immediately.

Driving While Intoxicated 2nd (DWI 2nd) - Second Time DWI Offender:

 

If you have one prior DWI conviction, the Texas Penal Code increases the offense to a Class A Misdemeanor. You can face up to a $4000 fine, 30 days to one year in jail, and a license suspension of 180 days to two years upon conviction

 

ENHANCED PENALTIES - Under Texas law, if it is shown that a person has been previously convicted of DWI, the penalties and consequences are increased significantly if you are charged with a second DWI (DWI 2nd) in Texas you will almost immediately notice the increase in consequences associated with the charge. Your bond will be higher. You will be required to have an interlock device installed on your vehicle as a condition of your bond. That interlock device will be expensive, inconvenient and embarrassing. Although requiring this kind of restriction prior to a plea or finding of guilt seems to run afoul of the presumption of innocence, Texas Courts have consistently held that such a condition is necessary to protect a legitimate governmental interest in making public roadways safe. You will also face an increased range of punishment that is twice as high as a DWI 1st. Any probation for a DWI 2nd will require a person to spend at least 3-5 days in jail. That's right, even if you get a probation, you WILL be required to go back to jail as a condition of your probation. If you were to get convicted of a 2nd DWI within 5 years of your first DWI conviction, you could face a 2 year license suspension and for the first year you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DRIVE AT ALL. You need to hire a team of Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys to minimize the consequences of your arrest for DWI 2nd. See for yourself that two experienced, Texas, Driving While Intoxicated lawyers and former prosecutors are better than one. If you want a unique advantage against an unwarranted arrest by law enforcement contact us immediately. Though the punishment consequences of a DWI 2nd are more severe, the State still must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you are in fact guilty of Driving While Intoxicated. Contact us immediately.

 

 

Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or more (DWI 3rd)

- Third Time DWI Offender

 

This is not your first rodeo and by now you are somewhat familiar with how DWI cases are treated in Texas. A third DWI offense will land you in felony court facing a felony conviction and potential prison time. Texas law does not provide for any increased rang of punishment after DWI 3rd. A DWI 3rd, 4th, 5th or 9th faces two to ten years in prison and does NOT come with a guarantee of probation. Deep lung air devices are generally ordered on all persons convicted of three or more DWI's both as conditions of bond and as conditions of any probation. A person convicted of felony DWI (DWI 3rd) risks severe license suspensions and the real possibility that they will not be allowed to drive at all for a significant period of time. Now is NOT the time to hire a low cost, inexperienced DWI lawyer.  A third conviction for DWI can fairly or unfairly indicate to a Court or Prosecutor that a person has a significant problem with alcohol. If you are convicted and the Judge or Prosecutor places you on probation instead of sending you to prison they can recommend that you be placed in a long-term in-patient drug and alcohol treatment program.

All of the following will factor in to what happens

if you are charged with felony DWI 3rd.

> The amount of time since your last DWI arrest or conviction

> What your sentences were on your previous DWI's

> How well you performed on previous DWI probations

> Whether or not there was an accident at the time of your arrest

> What your blood alcohol concentration was at the time of your arrest

 

The most important thing that the experienced Texas DWI lawyers at Shellist McAlister, LLP can tell you is DON'T GIVE UP. Just because you are charged with DWI 3rd does not mean the State can prove you are actually guilty. It only means that the stakes are higher IF you are charged, hire a team of DWI Attorneys who will fight for you. The Criminal Defense Attorneys at Shellist McAlister, LLP take pride in challenging the State on DWI cases and making them prove their case. We value your freedom, we understand the consequences of a felony DWI arrest and we gladly accept the responsibility of representing citizens charged with a DWI 3rd. Contact us immediately.

Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter

 

Selecting a DWI lawyer is always a critical decision because the case’s consequences will last a lifetime. If you are charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, however, the consequences increase dramatically and choosing an inexperienced or “high volume” lawyer can cost you a prison sentence.

 

A “regular DWI” becomes intoxication assault or manslaughter whenever someone suffers serious bodily injury or death. The injury can be to someone in your own car, someone in another car, or a pedestrian. If you have been charged with one of these elevated DWI cases then you must retain quality representation. A great criminal defense lawyer understands not only the angles to attack a “regular DWI” case, but also the methods to challenge the expert medical testimony necessary to prove intoxication assault or manslaughter.

 

Do not assume that “all is lost.” The DWI lawyers at Shellist McAlister, LLP, have defended these enhanced DWI cases at all levels. We have defended people in Texas trial courts, fought for them on appeal, and even fought for citizens before Texas’s highest criminal court in Austin. Give us the chance to earn your trust. Our team of DWI lawyers will not back down at any level!

 

 

 

What to Expect After Being Arrested and

Charged with Driving While Intoxicated In Texas

 

We understand that after a DWI arrest you are likely feeling anxious and concerned. You never thought you would be faced with the possibility of jail time, probation, a license suspension or an ignition interlock device in your car. Our team of four experienced former prosecutors is ready to answer your questions and concerns by answering your call 24 hours a day. Our initial consultation at our office is free because we believe you should have important questions answered before you decide who will represent you. The best thing you can do to minimize the stress and uncertainty you are feeling is to contact a high caliber DWI lawyer. We will take the time to explain each stage of the legal process and answer any questions you may have. The lawyers at our firm are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation.

 

You have gone through a very unpleasant experienced after being arrested and taken to jail. You likely spent many unpleasant hours in a holding cell with many unhappy and anxious people who were going through the same experience. Of course, you are not there for a violent crime, rather for a police officer's OPINION that you had too much to drink. After you bond out, it is important that you find a top notch Harris County DWI attorney to defend you in court. Time is of the essence because you only have 15 days to challenge the suspension of your Texas Driver's License. Also, important evidence needs to be preserved and witnesses contacted and located before too much time passes. If not, valuable evidence such as tire marks, conditions of a particular road, emergency 911 recordings, dispatch records and potential witness statements may be lost.

 

Contact a true DWI defense attorney.

 

Within two or three days of your arrest, contact a true DWI defense attorney. A true DWI defense attorney is not a lawyer who just handless the cases and pleads most of their clients to a probation or jail sentence. Instead, you want an attorney who actually fights the cases by taking them to jury trial or pushing the prosecution with factual and legal issues and regularly obtains dismissals. Our firm has built a reputation for excellence with prosecutors and judges by conducting exhaustive investigations that uncover fatal factual and legal issues with a case. The DWI lawyers at our firm are not afraid to take cases to a jury trial if necessary. A team of two former prosecutors will aggressively and creatively investigate and pursue a winning strategy specific to the facts and legal issues of your case.

 

Once retained, your DWI attorney will advise you of your court date and what to expect at the arraignment. You should always wear conservative and formal clothing to court. Both the judge and the prosecutor will notice and it will invariable aid in their perception of you. Also, you cannot drink while you are out on bond. In some instances, you may be required by the Judge to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle while your case is pending.

 

Every case is different but you should expect that you will have many appearances in court while our team of DWI lawyers develops a winning strategy for your case. If you hired an attorney that is immediately trying to work out a plea deal, you should question your DWI attorney's motive to give up without fighting for your rights. Our team of DWI lawyers will work to obtain all the records related to your arrests and pursue every angle in order to obtain the ultimate result: having your case dismissed or obtaining an acquittal.

 

As our investigation of your case develops, our team of DWI lawyers will explain our overall strategy for your case and we will share that strategy with you. Prosecutors will usually wait to truly evaluate your case until the case is set for pretrial conference. This process may actually take six months in some courts. By that stage, our firm will be applying the strategy developed for your particular case. Pre-trial motions will be filed on your behalf and argued in order to preserve your rights. The motions are often filed to challenge the admissibility of the prosecutor's evidence. A ruling in your favor may result in evidence being excluded in your trial, including evidence of a blood or breath test, the results of some or all of the field sobriety tests, or adverse statements you may have made. Successful pre-trial motions often compel the prosecutor to make an advantageous plea bargain offer, or can result in the dismissal of the charge based on an unconstitutional stop.

 

In the end, if the State refuses to dismiss your case or offer a reduction or plea bargain offer that is too good to refuse, our team of lawyers may recommend that the case should go to trial. Of course, the decision will ultimately be made by the client. If your case goes to a jury trial, it may take up to a year from the date of your arrest before that trial date is reached depending on the court your case landed in.

 

Learn how the lawyers at Shellist McAlister, LLP can fight to protect your freedom and your driving privileges after a DWI charge by contacting the firm for a free consultation.

American

Chemical Society

Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association

Texas County Defense Lawyers Association

National Association

of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National College for DUI Defense

The National

Trial Lawyers

Fort Bend County

Criminal Defense

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