Getting arrested for a DWI in Houston is a frightening experience, to say the least. This especially rings true when it is your first offense. Many individuals who get charged with driving under the influence are not familiar with how Houston’s drunk driving laws work, leaving them exposed to situations that can negatively impact their case.
Understanding the most common mistakes individuals make following a DWI arrest can help ensure you don’t do the same.
The most common mistakes include:
Not taking charges seriously - Many people receive a DWI and believe that it will no longer exist if they forget about it. In Houston, a first DWI is typically a misdemeanor, meaning many people believe it is not as severe as a felony crime. While it is true that misdemeanors are not as severe as felonies, they still have consequences, which can become serious if not handled properly.
Speaking with the police - While it seems like the right move to make following an arrest is to speak with the officer to explain your situation, it never is. Officers may seem like your friend at the time of the arrest, but in reality, whatever information you provide to them will be used as evidence against you at trial. Be sure you exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent until you speak with an experienced defense attorney.
Pleading guilty - An arrest does not mean you are guilty of driving under the influence. Admitting guilt is the quickest way to throw your chances of fighting your charges out the window. Additionally, admitting guilt could mean that you have to serve the maximum penalties for your situation.
Not knowing that you can keep your license in certain situations - Following your arrest, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. However, it is extremely important to remember that this suspension is different from the one you receive if found guilty. What many people don’t know is that if you act quickly, you can request an additional hearing in order to fight for a provisional license.
Not hiring an attorney - Following your arrest, it is crucial for your future that you discuss your rights with an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney. Your attorney will ensure that none of the mistakes above are made and that you have the representation you deserve to protect your rights and your future.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Texas, our team at Johnson, Johnson & Baer can help. Call us today (713) 422-2270 to learn more.