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MARIJUANA AND DWI

Drug-Possession Attorneys - Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm
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MARIJUANA AND DWI

Did You Know You Could Get A DWI Without Drinking Alcohol? 

Being Under The Influence Of  Marijuana And Driving A Motor Vehicle Could Get You Arrested For A DWI. 

Watch This Video To Learn More.

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Use the form to request your free consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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WHAT MAKES A DUI/DWI LAW FIRM?

Houston DWI Attorney Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm
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WHAT MAKES A DWI/DUI LAW FIRM?

Houston DWI Attorney Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm

Lots Of Lawyers Can Do DWI/DUI Cases, However, Only A Very Few Dedicate Themselves To Exclusively Do That Work.  

Where A Lawyer Limits Himself To One Area Of The Law, It Provides An Opportunity For That Attorney To Become Extremely Skilled And Knowledgeable There.  

However, As That Lawyer’s Reputation Grows, His Availability To Handle Reoccurring Issues, His Productivity Will Be Lessened In Some Areas And His Ability To Make Court Appearances Will Be Stretched Thin.

It Is This Phenomenon That Gives Rise To The Need For That Lawyer Have Reserve Resources. 

That Said, In The World Of DWI And DUI Defense, Where Several Highly Experienced And Skilled Lawyers Come Together As A Law Firm, The Returns To Their Respective Cases And Their Clients Are Magnified.  

Clearly, Just As An Army Is Stronger Than A Soldier, So Too, Is The Law Firm To A Single Lawyer.  

Having The Ability To Put Multiple Sets Of Eyes On An Arrest Video, On Blood Or Breath Data, On Police Offense Or Accident Reports, And To Have A Team In Trial Adds Years Of Experience To Identifying Issues, Taking Care Of Client Needs And Initiating Defenses.  

And So, When Needed, We Here At Trichter And LeGrand Utilize A Team Concept In The Representation Of Our Clients. 

Within Our Team, We Have Close To 80 Years Of Experience That Speaks Loudly About Our Professionalism And Reputation.

2.   Reviewing Electronic Audio/Video Recordings

It Is Often The Case That There Are Several Audio/Video Recordings Made In Any DWI/DUI Arrest.  

For Example:  There Is A Fixed Camera In The Front Window Of Many Police Cars That Record Activities Both In Front Of The Cruiser And Inside Of It After An Arrest And During The Transport Of A Citizen To A Jail. 

There Is Also An Audio Component Of This Recording. 

In Addition, Many Officers Wear Body Cams On Their Uniform So That They May Record Conversations That Occur Between Themselves And DWI Suspects And/Or Witnesses.  

Where An Arresting Officer Has A Partner Riding With Him, There Is Generally Another Body Cam Audio/Video Recording.  

In Short, Because A DWI Case Typically Last Three Hours From Start To Finish, It Could Easily Be Nine Hours Of Recording That Needs To Be Digested.  

While It Is Typically The Case That The Assigned Lawyer Listens And Watches The Electronic Recordings By Himself, Where Complex Or Unique Issues Arise, Help Is Called In To Confirm A Defense Or Constitutional Issue.  

In Those Situations, We Here At Trichter & LeGrand Often Have More Than One Lawyer Watch The Critical Areas Of Those Respective Cases.  

For Example, The Actual Traffic Stop, The Performance Of Police Motor Skill Exercises, The Taking Of Blood At An Emergency Room Or The Administration Of An Intoxilyzer 9000 Breath Test At The Station.  

By Utilizing A Team Approach, When Needed, Very Little Escapes The Viewing Team.  

Indeed, Where The Team Is Utilized, There Is Often A Joint Discussion And The Sharing Of Legal Wisdom As To How To Plan The Defense.

3.   Reviewing Blood And Breath Test Data

In Any Type Of A Test Case, There Can Be Hundreds Of Pages Of Blood & Breath Data That Needs To Be Reviewed.  

Because Pouring Over So Many Pages Of Documents Can Be Tedious, Where Issues Are Discovered By The Assigned Lawyer, Those Issues Can Be Shared With Or Bounced Off Another Firm Member. 

By Utilizing A Team Approach This Way, A Defense Or Evidentiary Problem Can Be Readily Identified By The. 

Second Lawyer Who Can Add Insight And Direction As To Best Handle The Matter.  

Again, If An Issue Is Found, Such As Perceived Constitutional Violations, A Defense Or Offense Plan Will Be Started Right At That Time As The Lawyers Discuss The Facts And The Applicable Law.

4.   The Team Acts As A Back Up For An Unavailable Lawyer

Because Each Of Our Lawyers Have Multiple Clients, It Is Not Uncommon That The Assigned Lawyer May Be In Trial Elsewhere When Another Client’s Case Is On A Different Court’s Docket.  

In Those Situations, A Team Member Can Appear With The Client To Assist In Rescheduling The Case For A Future Non Conflict Date.  

In This Way, Clients Will Not Have To Appear In Court By Themselves.

5.   Being In Trial

For The Solo Trial Lawyer, Being In An Evidentiary Hearing Or Trial Is Like Being In A Battle. 

Everything Is Very Fluid And Fast. Indeed, Every Word Heard Or Said Must Be Scrutinized To Determine It’s Fairness, Danger And/Or Meaning. 

That Being So, Remembering The Old Cliché That “2 Heads Are Better Than 1”, In Appropriate Cases, Having A 2nd Lawyer In The Battle Can Be Helpful. 

Understanding That Truth, And Again When Needed, The Use Of A Trial Team Is A Good Strategy For Success.

Summation:

In The Practice Of Criminal Law, Especially That Of DWI/DUI, Utilization Of A Team Approach Has Definite Benefits For Both The Firm And The Clients.  

To Learn More About How A Team Approach Can Help You In Your Case, Feel Free To Reach Out To Us Here At Trichter & LeGrand And We Would Be Happy To Talk To You About It.

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Use the form to request your free consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

© 2020 Trichter & LeGrand. All rights reserved
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THE DEFENSE LAWYER: UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF DEFENSE COUNSEL

Trichter & LeGrand Legal Council
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THE DEFENSE LAWYER

Trichter & LeGrand Legal Council

Probably One Of The Most Misunderstood Jobs In The American Culture Is That Of The Criminal Defense Lawyer.

To Be Blunt, The Job Is Not About Making Lots Of Money, Ego, Getting A Defendant Off, Or About Having A Professional Stature In The Community. 

Rather, It Is About Being A Part Of A Higher Moral Calling. 

A Calling Where A Righteous And Courageous Person Stands Against All The Forces Of Government And Negative Public Opinion For The Sake Of American History And In The Names Of Justice And Fairness.

The American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Standards For The Defense Function, At Standard 4-1.2 (A), “Functions And Duties Of Defense Counsel,” Provides:

Defense Counsel Is Essential To The Administration Of Criminal Justice . . .

Well, To The ABA, “Duh!” Indeed, Without Defense Counsel There Can Be No Justice. 

That’s Because There Cannot Be Justice If Its Administration Is Left Solely To The Government. 

Like Our Founding Fathers Relied On “Minute Men” For Protection During The Revolutionary War, So Too Do Our Citizens Rely Upon Defense Lawyers For Their Protection From Our Own Government! 

The Defense Lawyer Is Here To Police Our Government!

The Defense Lawyer Job Misunderstood

Most People (Including Judges, Prosecutors, And Even Most Defense Counsels) Misunderstand The True Role The Defense Lawyer Plays In Our Criminal Justice System. 

Mistakenly, Most Believe It’s The Defense Lawyer’s Job To “Get The Defendant Off” Of The Charge. 

While That Might Be A Collateral Consequence Of Good Representation, That Is Not The Primary Role Of The Defense Lawyer. 

Rather, It Is The Defense Lawyer’s Primary Goal To Assure That Every Single Statutory, State And Federal Constitutional Right Is Protected. 

Incidentally, That Duty Is Not Only The Role Of The Defense Lawyer, But Also That Of The Prosecutor And The Judge.

The Prosecutor’s Primary Statutory Duty

The Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.01, Actually Spells Out The Primary Duty For The Prosecutor As “[I]T Shall Be The Primary Duty Of All Prosecuting Attorneys, Including Any Special Prosecutors, Not To Convict, But To See That Justice Is Done”! (Emphasis Added).

The Defense Lawyer’s Ethical Duty

The ABA Standard 4-1.2 (B), “Functions And Duties Of Defense Counsel,” Provides:

Defense Counsel Have The Difficult Task Of Serving Both As Officers Of The Court And As Loyal And Zealous Advocates For Their Clients. 

The Primary Duties That Defense Counsel Owe To Their Clients, To The Administration Of Justice, And As Officers Of The Court, Are To Serve As Their Clients’ Counselor And Advocate With Courage And Devotion; To Ensure That Constitutional And Other Legal Rights Of Their Clients Are Protected; And To Render Effective, High-Quality Legal Representation With Integrity [Emphasis Added].

The Defense Lawyer’s Constitutional Duty

Probably The Best, And Most Accurate, Description Of The Defense Lawyer’s Constitutional Duty Can Be Found In The Concurring Opinion Of Justice White From The Case U.S. V. Wade, 388 U.S. 218, 256–258 (1967). In Wade, He Wrote:

Law Enforcement Officers Have The Obligation To Convict The Guilty And To Make Sure They Do Not Convict The Innocent. 

They Must Be Dedicated To Making The Criminal Trial A Procedure For The Ascertainment Of The True Facts Surrounding The Commission Of The Crime. 

To This Extent, Our So-Called Adversary System Is Not Adversary At All; Nor Should It Be. 

But Defense Counsel Has No Comparable Obligation To Ascertain Or Present The Truth. 

Our System Assigns Him A Different Mission. 

He Must Be And Is Interested In Preventing The Con­viction Of The Innocent, But, Absent A Voluntary Plea Of Guilty, 

We Also Insist That He Defend His Client Whether He Is Innocent Or Guilty. The State Has The Obligation To Present The Evidence. 

Defense Counsel Need Present Nothing, Even If He Knows What The Truth Is. 

He Need Not Furnish Any Witnesses To The Police, Or Reveal Any Confidences Of His Client, Or Furnish Any Other Information To Help The Prosecution’s Case.

If He Can Confuse A Witness, Even A Truthful One, Or Make Him Appear At A Disadvantage, Unsure Or Indecisive, That Will Be His Normal Course. 

Our Interest In Not Convicting The Innocent Permits Counsel To Put The State To Its Proof, To Put The State’s Case In The Worst Possible Light, Regardless Of What He Thinks Or Knows To Be The Truth.

Undoubtedly There Are Some Limits Which Defense Counsel Must Observe, But, More Often Than Not, Defense Counsel Will Cross-Examine A Prosecution Witness, And Impeach Him If He Can, Even If He Thinks The Witness Is Telling The Truth, Just As He Will Attempt To Destroy A Witness Who He Thinks Is Lying. 

In This Respect, As Part Of Our Modified Adversary System And As Part Of The Duty Imposed On The Most Honorable Defense Counsel, We Countenance Or Require Conduct Which, In Many Instances, Has Little, If Any, Relation To The Search For Truth1 [Emphasis Added].

Collateral Consequences Are As Important To Consider As Statutory Punishments

Ideally, All The Aforementioned Players Should Not Be Holding Out For One Side Or The Other To Win, But For The System Of Justice To Win. 

For The Prosecutor This Would Mean Dismissing Cases In The Interest Of Justice, Even Where A Defendant Was Guilty. 

It Also Means A Guilty Party Is Not To Be Over Punished. This Would Include Consideration By The Prosecutor Of Any Collateral Consequences That Would Result From Any Prosecution.

 Here, It Is The Defense Lawyer’s Job To Make Sure The Prosecutor Knows Of Those Collateral Consequences.

Policy Cannot Replace Common Sense Or Reality

From The Prosecutor’s Perspective, Treating Everyone The Same, In Many Instances, Results In Many Being Treated Unfairly. 

For Example, Assessing A Fine Of $10,000 To A Billionaire, Compared To A Blue-Collar Worker, Would Not Be The Same Punishment. 

To The Former It May Mean Nothing, Whereas To The Latter It Could Make The Difference Between A Parent Providing A College Education For Their Child Or Not. 

Another Example Would Be A DWI Suspension Of A Driver’s License For A Non-Commercial Driver Who Was Employed As A Computer Programmer, Compared To A Commercial Airline Pilot Who Would Also Suffer A Suspension Of His Pilot’s License, Even Though The DWI Was Not Related To Flying.

Sadly, This Concept Of Treating Everyone The Same Is Almost Universally Misunderstood By Prosecutors, Who May Believe That Obtaining A Conviction Is More Important Than True Justice. 

Here, It’s The Role Of The Defense Lawyer To Point Out The Injustice Of A “Treating Everyone The Same” Policy And To Remind The Prosecutor Of The Words Of Thomas Jefferson: “[E]Xperience Hath Shewn, That Even Under The Best Forms Of Government Those Entrusted With Power Have, In Time, And By Slow Operations, Perverted It Into Tyranny.”

Understanding The True Role Of The Defense Lawyer

Belonging To Many Lawyer Listserves, I Am Dismayed By The Numerous Lawyers Who Celebrate When A Guilty Person Is Acquitted. 

While It Would Be Proper To Celebrate An Acquittal Due To Insufficient Evidence To Establish Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, Or Because A Motion To Suppress Evidence Was Granted Because The Government Violated The Person’s Rights, It Would Not Generally Be Proper To Celebrate A “Not Guilty” Verdict Of A Truly Guilty Person For That Sake And Sake Alone. 

We All Win, Including The Innocent And The Guilty, When Our System Of Justice Works As Intended. We All Lose, Including The Innocent And The Guilty, When A Judge Makes A Wrong Decision. 

This Is Especially True Where The Judge’s Error Is Based On Their Cowardice To Withstand Adverse Publicity That Might Follow When A Guilty Person Is Set Free. 

Further, We All Lose—Both The Innocent And The Guilty—When A Prosecutor Cheats To Win So Good Publicity Can Be Garnered To Support A Campaign. 

With That Said, It Would Be Proper To Celebrate A Guilty Person’s Wrongful Acquittal Where They Had Already Been Sufficiently Punished And Any Further Punishment Would Be Overkill, Unjust, Or Would Serve No Purpose To Society Or The Concept Of Rehabilitation.

Courage Not To Back Up And Keep Standing Tall

Likewise, We All Lose Where A Defense Lawyer Does Not Give Clients A 100% Effort At Protecting Their Rights At Every Step Of The Process. 

ABA Standard 4-1.2 (B) Spoke To The Defense Lawyer’s Need For “Courage.” In Truth, Any Defense Lawyer Who Shows Up To Represent A Client Without 100% Courage To Do The Right Thing Is Cheating Both The Client And The System. This Is Especially True Where The Client Is Factually Guilty.

Anything Less Than 100% Is Not “Effective Assistance Of Counsel”! That Said, The 100% Should Be Aimed At The Effort Of Protecting Rights And Not Necessarily The Result. 

Here, That 100% Would Also Include Protection From Punishment That Has Already Been Meted Out And Would Serve No Purpose Other Than To Obtain A Conviction Label. 

Further, It Would Include Protection From Any Overly Harsh Punishment.

Patriotism As A Constitutional Defender

In Conclusion, When Defense Lawyers Understand Their True Role, They Are Nothing Less Than A Patriot Defending Their Country. 

Edmund Burke, A Political Philosopher Who Inspired Many Of Our Founding Fathers, Said “[A]Ll Tyranny Needs To Gain A Foothold Is For People Of Good Conscience To Remain Silent.” As For This Thought, Because Of What Is Riding On The Shoulders Of Defense Counsel, The Good Lawyer Must Never Remain Silent When They Are On Duty.

It Is Also Wise To Remember The Sage Words Of Warning Of President James Madison, Often Called The Father Of The Bill Of Rights, When He Said “[I]F Our Nation Is Ever Taken Over, It Will Be Taken Over From Within.” 

To That End, The Defense Lawyer Becomes Part Of “From Within” At Any Time They Remain Silent When The Government Violated, Or Is Violating, The Rights Of A Client. You Cannot Be A Patriot Lawyer If You Are Part Of The “From Within”! You Cannot Be A Patriot Lawyer If Your Effort Is Only 99%. 

Indeed, To Be “Effective” As The Founders Envisioned, Patriot Lawyers Must Always Give It Their All.

As A Defense Lawyer, Consider This Self-Test To Determine Whether Or Not You Are A Patriot Constitutional Defender. 

Take Note There Were 56 Signers To The Declaration Of Independence. 

If Those Patriots Returned Today In Search Of Number 57 To Join Them, Would They Ask You? 

If Yes, Then Thank You For Being A Patriot! If No, Then Perhaps You Should Rethink Why You Want To Be A Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Notes

1. ABA Standard 4-7.7(B) “Defense Counsel’s Belief Or Knowledge That A Witness Is Telling The Truth Does Not Preclude Vigorous Cross-Examination, Even Though Defense Counsel’s Cross-Examination May Cast Doubt On The Testimony.”

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Use the form to request your free consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

© 2020 Trichter & LeGrand. All rights reserved
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WHAT IS AN EXPUNCTION & WHY YOU SHOULD GET ONE

Greg Houlton Houston DWI Attorney at Trichter & LeGrand
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WHAT IS AN EXPUNCTION?

An Expunction Is A Legal Mechanism To Remove All Information About An Eligible And Qualified Criminal Episode From Your Record. 

In Order To Qualify For An Expunction, Your Offense Must Meet The Following Criteria:

   A) You Were Wrongly Arrested, But Never Prosecuted

   B) Your Case Was Dismissed

   C) You Went To Trial And The Judge Or Jury Found You Not Guilty 

Why should you get an expunction?

Just because your case was dismissed doesn’t mean that the record of your case is gone. 

If you have a professional career—whether you’re a healthcare professional—the stakes are high if you have a blemish on your record.

If you drive a vehicle professionally or your company or a company you’re thinking about joining perform background checks—an expunction makes sense. 

If you’re a pilot, you could lose your license or denied one if you have a DWI on your record.

Although don’t have criminal charges pending against you, your criminal case can follow you around for the rest of your life.  

It can linger on your record just waiting to affect you when you least expect it:

   · Applying for a new job
   · Helping at your child’s school where a background check is required
   · Professional licensing board application or renewal
   · Applying for housing
   · You get arrested for DWI again and your previous case is used against you to make your punishment more severe

How to know if your case is eligible for an expunction

Here are the circumstances that may help you understand if your case is eligible for expunction:

1. You were arrested but never charged for a crime.

2. You were charged with a criminal crime, but it was ultimately dismissed.

3. You were charged with a certain qualifying misdemeanor juvenile offense that is if a “child” is convicted of only one charge punishable by fine only or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision or only one charge of Electronic transmission of visual material under 43.261 (see. CCP 45.0216  below)

4. You are a minor convicted of only one charge of a crime detailed in Ch. 106 such as Possession of Alcohol by a minor, Purchase of alcohol be a minor, Driving a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol. (See Alcoholic Beverage Code Ch. 106. Sec. 106.12).

5. You were convicted for failure to attend a public school.

6. You have an arrest, charge or conviction record because someone stole your identity and they were actually arrested, charged or convicted of a crime under your identity.

7. You were convicted of a crime that was later acquitted by the trial court or the Criminal Court of Appeals.

8. You were convicted of a crime that was later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the US President.

Your case is eligible for expunction, but it may not qualify

Just because your case may be eligible, doesn’t mean it qualifies for expunction. 

The court will not grant your expunction if you’ve been placed on felony probation, deferred adjudication or convicted of a felony within 5 years after the arrest for the eligible case.

Additionally, eligible cases don’t qualify until the statute of limitations has expired. 

The statute of limitations is the period of time after a crime was committed in which the state or county can legally prosecute.

The statute of limitations is different depending on the crime.

How to get your case expunged
As with any complex legal issue, you should call an experienced Houston DWI attorney to ensure that your case is eligible for an expunction and that it’s handled effectively. 

The only thing worse then not filing an expunction to clear your record is filing an expunction ineffectively.  

You don’t want to think that your record is clear, then later realize that someone like an employer, or law enforcement official can still view your criminal record.  

By then, it’s too late.

How does the expunction process work?

The courts can be complicated and confusing, so filing your petition for an expunction correctly can be daunting. 

At Trichter and LeGrand, we file expunction petitions every day. 

We understand how an effective petition should be structured and what it should say and how it should be written.

We know what documents need to be filed on your behalf and how to frame the proper information so that it places you in the best possible light. 

We check and recheck our documents to avoid errors and make sure they are thorough and truthful.

We know the process and, if you meet all of the requirements, we hope to receive an Order of Expunction. 

If that happens, the signed Order is sent to each of the named agencies requiring them to destroy any and all records detailed in the Petition.

Congratulations, your record is clear.

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Here is what the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure says in regards to expunctions:

Art. 45.0216.  EXPUNCTION OF CERTAIN CONVICTION RECORDS.  (a)  In this article, “child” has the meaning assigned by Section 51.02, Family Code.

(b)  A person may apply to the court in which the person was convicted to have the conviction expunged as provided by this article on or after the person’s 17th birthday if:
(1)  the person was convicted of not more than one offense described by Section 8.07(a)(4) or (5), Penal Code, while the person was a child; or
(2)  the person was convicted only once of an offense under Section 43.261, Penal Code.
(c) The person must make a written request to have the records expunged.  The request must be under oath.
(d)  The request must contain the person’s statement that the person was not convicted of any additional offense or found to have engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision as described by Subsection (f)(1) or (2), as applicable.
(e) The judge shall inform the person and any parent in open court of the person’s expunction rights and provide them with a copy of this article.
(f)  The court shall order the conviction, together with all complaints, verdicts, sentences, and prosecutorial and law enforcement records, and any other documents relating to the offense, expunged from the person’s record if the court finds that:
(1)  for a person applying for the expunction of a conviction for an offense described by Section 8.07(a)(4) or (5), Penal Code, the person was not convicted of any other offense described by Section 8.07(a)(4) or (5), Penal Code, while the person was a child; and
(2)  for a person applying for the expunction of a conviction for an offense described by Section 43.261, Penal Code, the person was not found to have engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision described by Section 51.03(b)(6), Family Code, while the person was a child.
(f-1)  After entry of an order under Subsection (f), the person is released from all disabilities resulting from the conviction and the conviction may not be shown or made known for any purpose.
(g)  This article does not apply to any offense otherwise covered by:
(1)  Chapter106, Alcoholic Beverage Code; or
(2) Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code.
(h)  Records of a person under 17 years of age relating to a complaint may be expunged under this article if:
(1)  the complaint was dismissed under Article 45.051or 45.052or other law; or
(2)  the person was acquitted of the offense.
(i)  The justice or municipal court shall require a person who requests expungement under this article to pay a fee in the amount of $30 to defray the cost of notifying state agencies of orders of expungement under this article.
(j) The procedures for expunction provided under this article are separate and distinct from the expunction procedures under Chapter 55.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 50, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Amended by:
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 886 (S.B. 1426), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322 (S.B. 407), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322 (S.B. 407), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1132 (S.B. 108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 5.002, eff. September 1, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 29), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2017.

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Use the form to request your free consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

© 2020 Trichter & LeGrand. All rights reserved
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WHY PLEADING GUILTY TO DWI MIGHT NOT BE YOUR BEST OPTION

DWI Lawyer-Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm
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WHY PLEADING GUILTY TO DWI MAY NOT BE YOUR BEST OPTION

DWI Lawyer-Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm

In Many Counties, It May Seem That The Government’s Strategy Is To Wear You Down With Numerous And Tedious Court Appearances To Make You Plea Guilty To Your DWI Charges. 

The Government Wears You Down In The Process So Much That You Accept A Guilty Plea “Just To Get It Over With.”

You Have A Right Not To Plead Guilty To DWI

Accepting A Guilty Plea Is More Expeditious. 

It Ends The Process But Could Begin A Different Nightmare As You Fulfill The Obligations Of The Plea Agreement. 

But Then You Have To Live With A DWI Conviction Which Can Do Great Harm To Your Career, Your Financial Well-Being, And Your Social Well-Being.

We Understand Getting Impatient And Wanting To End Things As Soon As Possible Because We Represent Hundreds Of DWI, DUI And BWI Clients Every Year. 

We Also Spend A Lot Of Time Counseling People Whom We Didn’t Represent In Their DWI Case Who Regret Accepting The Plea. 

Many Of Them, Who Were Represented Elsewhere, Simply Didn’t Understand The Consequences Of Their Decision.

Run The Marathon

We Tell Our Clients To Be Patient With The Process. 

Defending DWI Charges Isn’t A Sprint; It’s A Marathon. 

It’s Important To Mount An Aggressive Defense And Allow The Process To Take Its Course.

Many Lawyers Don’t Understand The Consequences Of A DWI Outside The Punishment That’s Written On The Plea Paperwork. 

We’ve Worked With Intoxicated-Related Offenses For Years, So We Know The Collateral Consequences Of A Plea. 

It Would Be Daunting To List Every Possible Consequence Scenario, So Choose An Attorney Who Can Answer Your Questions Based On Your Life And Career.

The Truth About DWI Conviction Consequences

Here Are A Few Of The More Common Concerns And Consequences Of Pleading Guilty To DWI.

New DWI Penalties Took affect Sept 1, 2019

Your Personal And Commercial Driver License Will Be Suspended
In Addition To Your Administrative License Revocation Hearing (ALR) Ruling, You’ll Suffer Additional Suspensions And Consequences As A Result Of Your DWI Conviction:

Charge                                Length Of Suspension
DWI 1st                                      90 Days – 1 Year
DWI 2nd                                    180 Days – 1 Year
DWI 3rd                                     180 Days – 1 Year

On A First-Time DWI, Your License Won’t Be Suspended If You Receive Probation And Complete The DWI Education Course As A Condition Of Your Probation. 

However, As A Probation Condition, The Court May Order You Not To Drive Or Order You To Have An Ignition Interlock Device Installed On Your Vehicle. 

This Will Cancel Your Current Driver’s License. 

But…

If You Pay A Ten-Dollar Fee, DPS Will Issue You A New License That Allows You To Drive Only Vehicles With An Ignition Interlock Device.

If You Have A Commercial Driver License, You Will Likely Lose Your Job If Your Employer Has To Install An Interlock Device On A Company Vehicle (Which Most Of Them Won’t Do). 

If You Are Convicted Of A First-Time DWI, Your Commercial Driver License Will Be Suspended For One Year No Matter What Your Punishment Is. 

In Most Cases, DPS May Issue You An Occupational License, But That Won’t Allow You To Operate A Commercial Or Any Other Vehicle For That Matter If It’s Prohibited By The Terms Of Your Probation.

YOU’LL PAY HIGHER INSURANCE RATES AND DWI SURCHARGES 

Most Plea Agreements Don’t Spell Out The Financial Consequences Of A DWI Guilty Plea. 

Besides A Meteoric Bump In Insurance Rates, You’ll Also Be Required To Carry SR22 Insurance And Have It On File With The State For Two Years.

In Addition, You’ll Be Required To Pay DPS Surcharges On Your Driver’s License In The Following Amount:

First DWI                                                   $1,000
DWI Over .15 Breath Or Blood                $2,000
Subsequent DWI’s                                   $1,500

Again, Understanding The Surcharges Prior To Taking The Plea Helps You Tremendously Because, In Certain Circumstances, Judges Can Waive The DPS Surcharges. 

Some People Have Had The Surcharges Reduced Through The Indigency And Incentive Program. 

But Once The Bill For The Surcharges Issues, You Have Just 105 Days To Make Payment Or Set Up A Payment Plan Through The Surcharge Program. 

Otherwise, Your License Will Be Suspended.

YOU CAN’T TRAVEL TO SOME COUNTRIES

Most Probation Pleas Prohibit Travel Outside The State Of Texas. 

By Law, You Are Required To Request And Receive Permission Before You Can Leave The State—And It Can Be Even More Difficult To Leave The Country. 

Many Times, These Consequences Are Overlooked.

Weigh These Considerations Before You Plea Guilty To DWI Because It’s Much Easier To Get The Court To Allow Travel PRIOR To Pleading Guilty. 

Additionally, Certain Countries Will Not Allow You To Enter If You’ve Been Convicted Of DWI.

For Instance, Canada Will Not Allow Entry Unless You Do One Of Two Things:

  • Receive A Temporary Residence Permit Which Requests Entry For A Specified Purpose And Length Of Time. You Must Apply For One Each Time You Want To Enter.
  • Apply For Criminal Rehabilitation That Removes The Issue Of Entry Permanently After Five Years From The Date Of Conviction And All Fines Are Paid Or Probation Has Expired.

YOU’LL LOSE YOUR JOB AND FEW COMPANIES WILL HIRE YOU

The Most Important And Arguably The Most Severe Consequence Of A DWI Conviction Is Losing Your Job And Career. 

Each Of The Above “Collateral Consequences” Could End Your Career No Matter If You Are Skilled Labor Or An Educated Professional.

For Instance, If You Drive As Part Of Your Job, Pleading Guilty Shouldn’t Be An Option. If You Drive A Truck, Once Your CDL Is Suspended, Your Job Is Over. 

The Consequences May Be Less Obvious If You Drive A Company Car As Part Of A Sales Or Similar Position. 

While You May Keep Your Driver License, Some Companies Will Discharge You Based On Increased Insurance Rates.

YOU COULD LOSE YOUR PROFESSIONAL LICENSE IF YOU PLEAD GUILTY

In Texas, Several Refineries, Chemical, And Processing Plants Require Special Licenses And Security Clearance Credentials As Part Of Your Employment. 

A DWI Conviction Could Impact Your Ability To Hold These Licenses.

If You’re Required Ignition Interlock Device On Your Vehicle As Part Of Your Probation, You And Your Employer May Be Embarrassed If You Take Clients In Your Vehicle. 

In These Situations, The Court Could Allow You To Obtain A Company Letter And Allow You To Drive Your Company Vehicle Without An Interlock. But, You Have To Know That In Order To Properly Request It.

Finally, It’s Important To Know When To Disclose Your DWI To Your Employer. 

Some Employers Will Keep You On After You’ve Been Convicted Of DWI If They Know Sooner Than Later. 

They May Discharge You If You Do Not Notify Them Of The Arrest. 

Examine Your Company’s Handbook Or Human Resource Policies With An Experienced DWI Attorney Who Can Ensure That You Make The Proper Decision At The Beginning Of Your Case.

Your DWI Record Can Be Sealed

Under Texas Law And Certain Provisions, Your DWI Records Can Be Sealed Which Means They Would Be Kept Concealed From Public View. 

But Sealing The Record And Having It Expunged Is Not The Same. 

Any Prosecutor Or Anyone In Law Enforcement, Will Still Have Access To A Sealed Record And Use It Against You To Worsen Your Punishment If You’re Arrested For DWI Again. 

An Expungement Will Erase The Record Completely As Though It Never Happened. 

Neither One Of These Are Options For You If You Plead Guilty.

A Guilty Plea Is Still An Option

We Want To Make It Clear That A Guilty Plea To Your DWI Charge Is An Option, But, In The End, Considering The Impact That It Will Have On Your Life, You Have Other Options. 

Please Weigh Your Decision Carefully And Consult A DWI Attorney Who Can Give Your Proper Counsel.

Because, Once You Plead Guilty, It’s Too Late.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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