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Bandera DWI Lawyer

J Gary Trichter now licensed to practice law in Wyoming

CHEYENNE, WY — J. Gary Trichter, founder and principle of Trichter and Murphy, P.C., a law firm focusing on DWI defense and criminal defense in Houston and in Bandera, Texas (serving the Texas Hill Country), was sworn in on Friday, February 26, 2016 by Justice William Hill of the  Wyoming Supreme Court making him a member of the Wyoming State Bar and allowing him to practice law in Wyoming.

J. Gary Trichter, founder and principal of Trichter & Murphy PC, gets sworn in by Justice William Hill of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

“This day is significant for two reasons,” Trichter said. “First, I became Wyoming’s newest attorney and, second, it’s Buffalo Bill’s birthday.”

Besides Wyoming, Trichter is licensed to practice law in Texas, Alaska and Colorado. He is also one of only four defense attorneys in Texas who has earned the designation of “DWI Specialist” which means he is Board Certified DWI/DUI by the National College for DUI Defense–the sole entity approved by the American Bar Association to grant such a qualification (the Texas Bar Association does not have a board certification in DWI Defense but it does recognize the ABA DWI Board Certification).

Gary is known as a leader and one of the most successful DWI trial and appellate lawyers in the United States, and is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, one of the most respected lawyer rating entities.

According to Mr. Trichter, the swearing in ceremony was the cap to a “perfect day” beginning with him flying an R 22 II helicopter from Denver to Cheyenne and back to get sworn in.

“The weather was beautiful and the day has been filled with blessings,” he said.

Bandera DWI Lawyer

Trichter & Murphy PC Attorneys Named to 2015 Annual Super Lawyers List

HOUSTON — Oct. 13, 2015 — Three attorneys with Trichter & Murphy PC were selected to appear on the 2015 edition of Texas Super Lawyers as leading criminal defense attorneys in Texas. Of all the attorneys in Texas, only 5 percent are chosen for the annual list.

“It is an honor that more than half of our firm has been named to the annual Super Lawyers list,” said J. Gary Trichter, founder and partner, Trichter & Murphy. “This accolade speaks volumes of the types of criminal defense attorneys we have working to protect the rights of our clients. We take the representation of our clients seriously and consider it the most important part in our American judicial system.”

The Trichter & Murphy attorneys who were listed this year include:

Gary Trichter is one of only four DWI specialist criminal defense attorneys in Texas, having been board-certified DWI/DUI by the National College for DUI Defense. Besides being listed in the annual Super Lawyers list 12 years straight since 2004, Gary has also been listed seven times in Best Lawyers, the oldest and most-respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. He is known as the most successful DWI trial and appellate lawyer in the United States, and is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell. Gary has argued groundbreaking DWI cases and co-authored the DWI textbook “Texas Drunk Driving Law.” He has also spoken at more than 260 legal seminars in 30 states, where he has taught lawyers, judges and prosecutors about various aspects of the law — particularly DWI.

Leslie LeGrand has been a recognized Rising Star of DWI Defense Attorneys by Super Lawyers since 2011 and is enjoying his first listing as a bona fide Super Lawyer. He is board-certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has lectured at numerous DWI seminars. Leslie is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas DWI Lawyer and the Houston Criminal Lawyers Association. Before joining Trichter & Murphy PC as a Houston DWI lawyer, Leslie was assistant district attorney, felony prosecutor, Harris County.

Super Lawyers evaluates lawyers across the country for its annual list of top attorneys. Each candidate is measured against 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Nominees from more than 70 practice areas are considered. The selection process is rigorous and methodical.

 

DWI surcharge Houston No refusal weekends

Houston No refusal weekends: What you need to know.

There’s been a lot of talk about Houston No Refusal Weekends trying to increase DWI arrests. No Refusal Weekends are when officers pull you over, suspect that you’re intoxicated and you refuse to take the breath or blood test. The officer then gets a warrant from a judge to “compel” you to take a blood test.

No Refusal Weekends are especially popular during holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve.

The Independence Day Weekend in 2015, there were 23 arrests in Fort Bend County alone during a Houston No Refusal Weekend from Friday, July 3rd until Saturday night, July 4th. These efforts are “successful” because they bring together all divisions of law enforcement including Department of Public Safety, county constables, sheriff’s departments and local city police.

Houston No Refusal Weekends are Easy Money

The truth is, DWI No Refusal Weekends make it easy for law enforcement to get evidence that can convict you whether you’ve done anything wrong or not. As criminal defense attorneys specializing in DWI, we know there are problems with the law enforcement administered testing. A lot of problems.

A Breath of Un-fresh Air

First, let’s look at the breath test. These are the most convenient for law enforcement to administer, but one of the most inaccurate. They receive air from the lungs and test it for alcohol saturation. This evidence is, by nature, the most unreliable evidence from a scientific standpoint because the lungs are not where breath alcohol comes from. Breath alcohol comes from the entire air system throughout your body–not just the lungs. This fundamental flaw makes the breath test completely inaccurate. In addition, the samples saved during breath testing in Texas, aren’t preserved so that the test can be validated later.

The Blood Sport of Houston No Refusal Weekends

Second, blood testing, which is thought by many forensic scientists to be the most accurate and reliable means of determining alcohol concentration, is more difficult for police to obtain and analyze. From a law enforcement standpoint, the blood test is the least desirable and least convenient method. However, unlike breath testing, blood testing allows the person who has been arrested the opportunity to re-check the sample at a later time.

The Holidays are coming and that means No-Refusal Weekends. If you’re going to a part or hosting one, read my No-Refusal Weekend Survival Guide.

Multiple DWI convictions may not be your fault; could be a sign of deeper issues

It used to be in Texas that if you had a DWI that was beyond ten years old, that conviction could not be used against you in your current case to ratchet up the punishment. But years ago, Texas changed that law so if you had an older DWI conviction whether it was ten, twenty–even thirty years ago, it can be used to make the punishment for your present DWI conviction much more harsh. It can even change the grade of your current DWI offense to which you are presently being prosecuted.

You may have multiple DWI convictions because you may just be unlucky. After all, with increased efforts by law enforcement to deter drunk driving, it really doesn’t take much to get arrested. As a criminal defense lawyer in Houston who is also a DWI specialist, I understand this all too clearly.

But if you have an issue with alcoholism, then we need to help you address that. If we don’t first address your drinking problem, then you are more likely to come back with another DWI. And neither we (as a community) nor the courts want that because we all drive the same streets you do.

So, as a responsible citizen and a law firm that cares about our clients welfare, we try to get our clients the help they need to address all the issues we can that caused their DWI arrests and help both legally and become a better member of our community.

Why an open container is dangerous in DWI Offenses

Texas law says, you cannot drive while you’re impaired from alcohol and it says that you cannot drive with an open container. A DWI lawyer will tell you that if you are caught with an open container, the character of your offense will be changed and jail time will automatically be added to the minimum of the sentence you receive. If you are stopped, an officer is going to smell the open container, which will continue to have an odor, and he or she will assume you are drinking and driving.

So don’t drive with an open container — even one that’s empty! Don’t take any chances — if you have an empty container in your vehicle, just throw it away in the trash (and definitely not out of your car window).

B-25 ADVENTURE

By J. GARY TRICHTER

Heavy rains forced the cancellation of Sunday’s performance for the mega weekend “Wings Over Houston” Airshow at Ellington Field (KEFD).  The heavy deluge continued another two days which prevented most of the vintage warbird fleet from leaving.  Indeed, the rains and resultant flooding were so bad that local animals started to line up 2 by 2 and I started looking for a guy named Noah.

On Wednesday morning the rain finally stopped, the clouds became scattered, and the wind became clam.  It was at that time that I, along with our North American WWII PBJ crew made plans to fly our blue U.S. Marine gun nosed version of the Mitchell B-25 back to its home at Houston’s Hobby Airport (KHOU). Our plane was owned by a local air museum and we were its caretakers, protectors, financiers, and crew.  We all loved our bird and treated her with great respect and love.  Today I was to act as co-pilot, Billy was our pilot, and Mark was our flight engineer. Our preflight inspection was completed and nothing was found amiss.  Because of the rains and the fact that our bird was forced to weather them unprotected while parked on the ramp, we performed our preflight and engine run up with extra care.  Particular attention was given to draining the fuel tanks to be sure that there was no water contamination that might cause a loss of power or the loss of an engine.  No water was found.

The two Wright R-2600s started without problem and our magneto and manifold power checks were within tolerance.  The taxi to the runway was also uneventful.  Our crew safety procedures included watching the exhaust stacks for excessive or off colored smoke as well as to listen to the sounds of our motors on start up, run up and during taxi to verify that all was well before taking the runway.  Again, nothing appeared or sounded amiss.

As the co-pilot, as part of our crew coordination procedures, I was charged with the responsibility of working the radios. I asked for and received our tower to tower special clearance and our squawk.  We were then immediately cleared for take off on runway 35 with a follow up an instruction to turn to a westerly heading of 220° after departure.

Hobby, our destination airport, is the second largest airport in Houston and is west/northwest of Ellington by only six miles.  It has four sets of runways 30L/12R, 30R/12L, 35/17 and 4/22.  The airport is always busy with commercial and private traffic.  Today, for traffic flow purposes, air traffic controllers were directing Hobby traffic from the east and southeast to fly southwest of the airport and then north for a right base to the parallel 12 runways.

Once on Ellington Field’s runway 35, Billy advanced the throttles to take off power and we began our roll.  Engine temps, pressures, sights and sounds all looked and sounded normal until the gear was in transit and we were out of runway.  It was at that time that the right engine began to loose power, started cutting out, and began puffing white smoke.

Both Billy and I reminded each other that above all we would first and foremost fly the airplane.  As I raised the flaps, I then started to troubleshoot the problem as the old bomber struggled and clawed at the sky to gain altitude. The Mitchell weighs over 25,000 lbs. and its controls are mushy at slow speed.  Moreover, although very capable of single engine flight, it must be flown with care to avoid loss of VMC.

Neither Billy nor I identified the problem as we leveled at 1000’, the minimum pattern altitude for Hobby.  Geographically, we were now at the midway point between Hobby and Ellington with the difference being we had to do a 180° turn to go back to KEFD, but only a 90° left turn to go to KHOU – we elected to head to Hobby as it gave us a straight in approach for R22.  It was here that Ellington tower acknowledged radar contact and instructed us to then contact Hobby tower.

I acknowledged the changeover and immediately contacted Hobby tower and informed the controller there of our poor performing engine and asked for a straight in landing clearance to runway 22.  To my surprise the controller directed us to fly south of the field in a westerly direction to join the flow for the runway 12 parallels.  Having heard the controller’s instructions, Billy flew a course that placed us in a left up wind for runway 22 at the numbers.  Pinching myself in disbelief, I again explained to the controller that our miss-firing engine was a very real concern to us and that getting our bird safely on ground seemed like a good idea to us, just as it would to any sane and reasonable person.

The controller again gave us the same instructions as before and added, “what are your intentions?”  I felt stupid at that time for not being more assertive because we missed the opportunity for a straight in safe and uneventful approach to 22.  Remembering the old Chinese proverb of “fool me once, shame on you!  Fool me twice, shame on me!”,  neither Billy nor I wanted to pass up the next closest way to a safe landing.  Hearing the controller’s last question loud and clear, I responded “We are declaring an emergency and want runway 30L, the long one”  – Billy nodded in agreement.

Upon hearing our emergency declaration, the controller immediately cleared us for runway 30L and routed other traffic away.  We elected 30L and not 30R because it was longer and our plan was to land 1/3 down the runway because we knew many engine out landing accidents occur because the pilot either undershoots or overruns the runway and this would give us an adequate margin of error in both respects.

The new clearance placed us in a perfect short right base for 30L.  Turning to final, we dropped the gear and verified it was locked, went to ¼ flaps, completed our landing checklist, retarded the throttles, and glided under idle power to touchdown about 1/3 down the runway.  Tower asked if we needed any assistance and I informed them that we did not.  We were then switched to ground control where we were cleared to taxi back to our hanger with our two fire truck escorts.

After shutdown we thanked the fire department crews for just being there and they thanked us for not putting them to work.  I next telephoned the tower to thank the controller for his hint to declare an emergency, i.e., “what are your intentions?”  We were not required to write any reports about the incident, but I gladly would have as I believed our actions, albeit slow, were prudent and justifiable.

A subsequent mechanical investigation of the right engine revealed that the electrical harness was the culprit.  Its wire insulation was old and brittle.  That condition allowed the three days of rainwater to saturate the conduit within and thereafter shorted out our the mags.  The harness was subsequently replaced and the engine ran as normal.

In hindsight, there is no question that I learned five flying lessons from this experience.  First, I learned that insulation on wires gets old and needs to be closely inspected to insure it weather integrity.  Second, I re-learned that, as per FAR §91.3, that although we call the person on the other side of the radio a “controller”, in an emergency it is the pilot in the airplane who is the real “controller of the situation” and has the last word.  Indeed, because it is the pilot who’s in the emergency, it is logical that he have the ultimate power to safely deal with the crisis at hand.  Thirdly, what I learned first and foremost is not to delay declaring an emergency if you have one. The fourth lesson here is to remember to avoid making your situation worse by delaying the emergency declaration.  Clearly, a quick declaration of an emergency may eliminate a written report whereas a delay, because the situation got worse, may require one.  Lastly, what I learned was not to fear the report in the first place.
J. Gary Trichter is a DWI lawyer who lives in Houston.  He is a 2000 hour pilot who holds an airplane CFI, CFII, MEI, LOA’s for a T-28 and a HA200 as well as a helicopter private pilot rating.

The ALR hearing and what it means in a DWI arrest

Administrative License Revocation hearing or ALR is a separate case that arises out of a DWI prosecution. Most people arrested for DWIs are surprised to learn that they have not one, but two cases after their arrest: one, a criminal case against you (DWI), and the second (ALR) is a hearing against your license.

The Purpose of the ALR Hearing

The hearing is based upon failing the breath or blood test or refusing to take them when asked, but it gives you the opportunity to contest the seizure or suspension of your license. If you take advantage of the ALR hearing, quite often you won’t lose your license. Keep in mind, you have only 15 days to request your hearing with the state after you have been arrested, otherwise your license will go into automatic suspension.

What the ALR Hearing Does

By requesting an ALR hearing, you force the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to prove its case against you. The DPS must prove that the police officer who stopped and arrested you did so with either reasonable suspicion or probable cause. If they cannot prove either, you win by default.

What Happens If the ALR Hearing Does Not Go in Your Favor?

You can receive a 180 day suspension if you decline to take a test upon proper request, or, if you fail a breath or blood test, you can receive a 90-day suspension of your driving privileges. A Houston attorney who is a DWI specialist can help you navigate through this complex, often times confusing process.

Read “Do I need a lawyer to help me in a DWI prosecution and an ALR proceeding?” DWI Question that talks about the importance of hiring the right attorney for this process.

The Dangers of DWI No Refusal Weekends in Houston

No Refusal weekends are a new phenomenon coined by law enforcement to advertise that police agencies will ask for a search warrant to seize a blood sample from a driver, if you refuse to take the breath test. The state of Texas allows a driver to refuse a breath or blood test, unless a judge issues a search warrant.

The idea behind DWI No Refusal Weekends is this: law enforcement wants you to make it easy for them to get evidence to convict you if you have done something wrong. However, among the many problems with DWI testing administered by law enforcement, breath test evidence is the most unreliable scientific evidence because it is based upon the theory of getting air from the lungs, and testing it for alcohol saturation. In truth, that is not where breath alcohol comes from. Breath alcohol comes from the entire air system throughout your body–not just the deep lung area making the breath test fundamentally flawed and inaccurate.

The Benefits of a Houston DWI Lawyer Who is a DWI Specialist Over a Criminal Defense Attorney

America offers a lot of all-in-one alternatives. Think about doctors. General practitioners listen attentively to health complaints, but don’t have deep experience in one particular area. That’s where they often refer you to a specialist. DWI defense is very similar.

If you are ever arrested for DWI in Houston, consider the benefits of having a Houston DWI specialist who has specific, trained knowledge about more than just the law. DWI arrests involve not only the standards of the Texas Department of Public Safety, they also involve your specific anatomy combined with the laws of biology, chemistry and physics.

A DWI specialist understands how alcohol interacts with your respiratory and cardio vascular systems, and how this interaction can affect your blood alcohol and breath tests.

Before you walk in the door, check to make sure your DWI specialist has an effective library of knowledge, trial exhibits and the research skills to evaluate all factors involved in your situation – including background profiles of law enforcement officers, their conduct and public arrests.

A DWI specialist should use all of these skills to examine and investigate every detail related to your case, because that is what you hire them to do. You need more than all-in-one representation, you need a skilled DWI specialist to provide you with everything they’ve got to make a difference in your situation.

Boating While Intoxicated Season in Houston

Now that the weather is warming up, Texans will be hitting our waterways in Conroe, Livingston, Houston or Galveston in record numbers. That means boating and drinking. Let us say this first and foremost: If you’re the captain of a water vessel,  keep the safety of your passengers, yourself and other boaters in mind–don’t drink while boating.

Boating while intoxicated (BWI) is a serious charge in Texas. If fact, a BWI charge is every bit as serious as driving while intoxicated (DWI). You can be charged with BWI which is a Class B misdemeanor if the officer thinks you’re intoxicated while operating a watercraft. That charge comes with a minimum confinement of 72 hours.

Boating while intoxicated is a serious crime in Houston, Texas. Don’t drink and operate a boat on Texas waters.

The attorneys at Trichter and Murphy understand that a boating while intoxicated charge can hurt your reputation the same as a DWI or DUI arrest can. Be sure to consult a DWI Specialist criminal defense attorney for a BWI charge because the cards are stacked against you. The flawed breath and blood testing as well as the unfairness of the shoreside field sobriety tests give law enforcement an advantage, so you must know your rights as well as have an aggressive attorney on your side to represent you.