Houston DWI Defense Attorney

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer.

DUI Defense Attorney, Houston TX

I have been defending the public as a DUI defense attorney in Houston for over 24 years. When it comes to legal matters involving impaired driving, the terms DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired) are often used interchangeably. However, they can carry different meanings depending on the jurisdiction and the specific laws in place. As your attorney, it’s essential that we comprehend the nuances between these terms to better navigate the legal landscape.

What is Driving Under the Influence (DUI) ?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a legal term that refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any substance that impairs the driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely.

In many jurisdictions, a common threshold for DUI is when a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit, which is typically set around 0.08%. However, it's important to note that impairment can also occur at lower BAC levels, and in some cases, a driver can be charged with DUI even if their BAC is below the legal limit. DUI offenses are taken seriously due to the potential risks they pose to public safety. Penalties for DUI convictions can include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and, in more severe cases, jail time. Legal consequences can vary based on factors like prior convictions, the degree of impairment, and the jurisdiction's laws.

If you have been charged with a DUI in the Houston area, do not hesitate to contact Jimmy Ortiz today for effective legal representation.

As the leading state in the country for the number of deaths caused by drunk driving, Texas has an infamous track record for drunk driving accidents every year. Thousands of deaths and injuries are results of drunk driving, which is why Texas has enforced a zero-tolerance attitude when it comes to all intoxication offenses. Powerful influencers like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have pushed Texas legislation to adopt strict laws resulting in severe penalties for DWI's and DUI's.

Now more than ever, Texas law enforcement is vigilant when it comes to intoxicated drivers and will not hesitate to issue an arrest even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is well below 0.08 percent. By definition, a person charged with a DWI has a BAC of 0.08 percent or above while driving, or does not have the normal use of their physical or mental faculties due to alcohol or drug use. The phrase 'normal use of physical or mental faculties' creates an open interpretation for an officer to arrest and charge you with a DWI if they believe you're unable to properly operate a motor vehicle even if your BAC is below 0.08 percent.

If You Are Charged with a DUI, Avoid these Mistakes:

The consequences of a DUI charge can affect you in the future, such as purchasing a home, inquiring for loans, and future employment. DWI laws and regulations are tough, but you can fight them and win with the right DWI defense lawyer. There are several ways to fight DWI charges, but you want to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Voluntary breath test or blood test. The best legal advice when charged with a DUI is not to consent or perform to any DWI tests. The police want you to believe that it will make things easier, however, you are voluntarily giving them evidence that can hurt your case.
  • Panicking. If you did take the test and your BAC was 0.08 percent or above, it does not mean the evidence will be admissible in court. The best defense attorney can argue these tests to be invalid and can overturn the charges. Defense lawyer Jimmy Ortiz has certified knowledge in conducting field sobriety tests and breath tests that are very useful when challenging these key pieces of evidence in court.  
  • Hiring inexperienced Lawyers. Many lawyers will claim they can handle DWI cases, but the truth is DWI cases require an in-depth understanding of the laws and court systems process. As a board-certified DUI Houston defense lawyer, Jimmy Ortiz has a solid track record in defending DWI and DUI cases for more than 17 years. As an experienced attorney, Jimmy Ortiz has the skills and strategies that will work with the judge and prosecutor involved in your case.
  • Withholding information from your lawyer. When hiring a defense lawyer, you must be willing to work with your attorney by creating a strong, trusting relationship. Withholding information such as legal medications that have severe side effects that can be confused with intoxication can hurt your case. The more you tell your lawyer about you, the more information they have to cast reasonable doubt on whether you were driving while intoxicated.  

Don’t give up, we never do. As your DUI defense lawyer, Jimmy Ortiz will carefully investigate your case to determine the best strategy for a tough defense. If there are any potential flaws or mistakes during police procedure, attorney Jimmy Ortiz will find it. Mr. Ortiz is well-versed in DWI defenses and criminal defenses who has proven to be a tough advocate and fearless defense lawyer. Attorney Jimmy Ortiz has a solid track record of success, along with his entire legal team, are dedicated to protecting their client's rights. The criminal justice system is not perfect, which is why Mr. Ortiz devotes all of his time and energy to ensure his clients do not fall victim to wrongful convictions or false arrests. View the full attorney profile here.

Houston Texas DUI Laws

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are distinguished in Texas as two different charges and result in two different defense strategies for each. Under the Texas Traffic Code, an individual charged with a DWI is found with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or above or is physically or mentally impaired because of drug or alcohol consumption. Even if you refuse all the tests, you can be charged with a DWI just by appearing unable to operate a vehicle safely.

As one of the strictest states in the nation, penalties for a DWI in Texas can slightly vary from case to case depending on the circumstances. Typical consequences for a DWI in Texas for the first offense include:

  • Fines. If charged with a DWI in Texas, an individual can be charged up to $2,000 in fines. In the event a person under the age of 15 is involved, the fine can increase up to $10,000.
  • Licenses suspension. An individual can have their licenses suspended up to a year.
  • Surcharge.
  • Criminal record. DWI’s are permanent on your record and can be used against you in the future. DWI convictions can interfere with your future, for example securing loans, housing, and employment.
  • Imprisonment. Even if it is your first DWI, you face up to three days to 180 days in incarceration. Additionally, if an individual under the age of 15 is present during the DWI, your sentence can increase up to two years in state jail.

DUI Charge For Minors

Underage drinking is where 'zero tolerance' originated, and any infraction of these rules will result in an automatic punishment. In the state of Texas, DUI's are issued to minors (individuals under the age of 21). A minor may be charged with a DUI if there is any detectable amount of alcohol is in his/her system, possession of alcohol, public intoxication, misrepresenting age, and attempt to purchase alcohol. The first time a minor is stopped for drinking and driving they can face the following penalties:

  • Fines. Minors under the age of 17 can be subject to fines up to $500 for their first offense. Any minor that is 17 or older can be subject up to $2,000 in fines.
  • Licenses suspension. Minors under 17 can have their licenses suspended for up to 60-days. Minors 17 or older can have their licenses suspended for up to a year.
  • Alcohol education. The courts can issue a mandatory alcohol awareness program that is at least 12 hours long and 20 to 40 hours of community service. Failure to complete the program can result in automatic suspension of your license for another 180 days.
  • Criminal record. Similar to a DWI, a DUI on your record will impact your future such as securing employment or college acceptance.

Get Expert DUI Defense Representation Today

Being charged with a DWUI or DUI is a serious offense in the state of Texas. Convictions for these crimes may result in severe penalties that can impact your future, reputation, and your freedom. At Jimmy Ortiz's Law Firm, we defend the rights of individuals charged with DUI and DWI's for over 24 years. Our Houston DWI defense lawyer has a proven success rate defending clients against DWI's and DUI's in the Houston area. Jimmy Ortiz aggressively protects your rights and stands up to your charges using his experience and skills as a DUI defense lawyer.

Facing criminal charges is stressful enough, but dealing with a language barrier can cause a lot of anxiety. It can be hard to find a Spanish speaking lawyer in Houston, especially if you are more comfortable with the Spanish language.  As your Spanish-speaking DUI defense lawyer, Jimmy Ortiz will work hard to prove your innocence and help navigate you through the legal system to minimize miscommunication.

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