Bexar County DWI Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, time is of the essence. In Texas, you only have 15 days to request a hearing with the Department of Public Safety concerning your driver’s license suspension. If you don’t request a hearing within 15 days, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for up to six months, for a first offense (additional DWI information).
At the law firm of Del Prado & Del Prado in San Antonio, Texas, our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss your DWI case, the consequences you face and possible defenses to the charge.
How to Choose a DWI Attorney
Your choice of a DWI attorney is obviously an important one. Much consideration should go into various factors such as; is he/she Board Certified; how long have they practiced; how many cases have they tried; their success rate; are they familiar with the judge; what about the prosecutor; do you feel comfortable with your liberty in this person’s hands? Other considerations should be how many cases set for trial has this attorney gotten dismissed? For example – I have gotten 13 cases set for trial dismissed within last year
Many people want reductions to lower charges but in many jurisdictions, like Bexar County, this is simply not possible (other than to a similar Class B misdemeanor like Obstruction of a Highway, which comes with it’s own benefits and drawbacks).
Does the attorney you hire promise you a certain outcome? If so, ask them to place that promise in writing. Ethically, an attorney cannot promise you an outcome – and common sense should tell you that this is impossibility. Other than their best efforts, based upon their certifications (if any), training if any), skills and experience, they are misleading you.
A very important factor in any successful DWI defense is getting in as counsel as soon as possible. Time is often of the essence. For example License Suspension hearings MUST be properly requested very soon after an arrest. Subpoenas must be issued. Records of the internal police communications are only kept for a very short period, so you must file motions and get then granted by the trial judge to require the police to maintain those records for later inspection.
The location where the offense allegedly occurred or where the stop and field sobriety testing took place are extremely important. You must act to preserve records of those areas. Often, the area may have changed in the time between arrest and trial. If so, photos may not be admissible in evidence if they do not fairly and accurately depict the area of the driving, stop, arrest or testing as it existed at the time of arrest.
Is your attorney familiar with the standards for field sobriety testing that all police departments use, and are nationally standardized? Is he/she trained and certified like the officers? Does the attorney know anything about portable breath testing devices? Do they know, or have they had any training in understanding the Intoxilyzer 5000, which is the standard breath test machine used by all Texas police departments?
Does your attorney belong to the National College for Defending Driving Under Influence charges? This membership insures that they must keep up with current scholarship and knowledge relating to these criminal cases. Membership in this college requires yearly attendance at College scientific seminars.
Does the attorney have any relationships and experience in working with respected defense experts in the fields of breath testing or field sobriety testing?
A Driving While Intoxicated conviction will always remain on your record. This could affect your ability to maintain your job. It could affect your ability for later employment or advancement. It could affect your ability to get into schools or professional organizations.
Police agencies have stood our DWI laws on their heads. The mere consumption of alcohol has now become effectively criminalized. The police presume your guilt, demand roadside gymnastic performances that nothing to do with ones ability to drive a vehicle, and are of dubious validity. They will not inform you of right to a blood test – which can be more accurate than a breath test, which almost always overstates ones blood alcohol level.
The legislature appears poised to approve DWI roadblocks. Now, even more than before, your liberties will be infringed upon with no reasonable suspicion for detention. It is even more vital that you are armed with relevant knowledge and choose wisely when making one of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make.
DWI Arrest and Your Career
Most people don’t realize the effect a DWI arrest or conviction can have on their jobs. If you drive vehicles for your company, are a car salesman or in any career where you need to drive a vehicle, increased insurance costs may make it unaffordable for your employer to cover you. Your employer may fire you for a DWI arrest, even if you are not convicted.
If you are in the military, you may be kicked out of the service or demoted if you are convicted of drunk driving. Nursing students, licensed professionals and others can have job opportunities severely limited, or lost, as a result of a DWI conviction.
Given the consequences that a DWI can have on a person’s career and car insurance costs, many people simply can’t afford to plead guilty and must have their case tried. If this is you, then don’t take any chances. You need to hire experienced trial attorneys, like Christine & Mario Del Prado.
Driver License Suspensions
The police will tell you that your license WILL be suspended for refusing a breath test. You have the right to request a hearing to contest this suspension. This is an administrative hearing. This is a vitally important hearing to request. It allows your attorney to cross examine the officer under oath. This hearing is crucial in defending against the criminal charges. However, you only have 15 days from the date of arrest to request this hearing. This 15 day requirement is a drop dead date. If not requested timely, you lose this opportunity. The police should give you a temporary driving permit informing you of the 15 day period. However, this is ALL the information they provide. It is woefully inadequate. Many is the time I have seen citizens appear at these hearings expecting the officers to be present. They will NOT be present UNLESS you have jumped through the legal hoops required to get them there. Unfortunately, neither the police nor the Department of Public Safety informs the citizen accused of how to preserve their license and those citizens who show up without counsel are unable to face their accuser.
Is There a Defense in Your DWI Case?
If you contact Del Prado & Del Prado right away, our drunk driving defense attorneys can represent you at your Administrative License Revocation hearing and cross-examine the police officer who arrested you. This will enable them to tie down the police officer’s sworn testimony with regard to how he or she administered the standardized field sobriety tests and breath test. If the stop was illegal, or if mistakes were made in administering the tests, your defense lawyers can seek to have that evidence suppressed from your criminal DWI case.
Attorney Mario Del Prado is certified to administer the standardized field sobriety tests, just like the police officer who may have arrested you, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He has also taken courses in the Intoxilyzer 5000, which is the breath test machine used in Bexar County. Mr. Del Prado is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, which provides legal training and information for DWI/DUI defense lawyers.
Mario Del Prado is an experienced, Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
Mario Del Prado is one of a handful of criminal defense lawyers in Bexar County who is both Board Certified and qualified to handle cases where the death penalty is involved.
Certified Criminal Law Specialists have experience in the preparation and trial of serious criminal matters. They have extensive knowledge of state and federal constitutional law, evidence, procedure and penal laws involved in these matters.
Only lawyers who are Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization have the right to say they are experts in a particular area of law.
Free Lawyer Consultation
To schedule a free consultation to discuss your DWI case with an attorney, call 210.698.3533 or fill out the contact form on this site. Hablamos español.