Harris County DWI Jury Delivers A Not Guilty Verdict

I had the pleasure of representing someone in aDWI trial last week in Harris County, Texas.  The young woman had her mother and father supporting her throughout the entire process.  They even took two days off from their jobs to support her during her trial.  I was grateful to have them there  It certainly helps a jury to see a defendant's family members behind us during trial.  In this instance, the jury provided her father with a memorable 60th birthday present.  A NOT GUILTY verdict.

If you seek the help of a DWI Lawyer Lawyer please do not hesitate to contact me at (713) 242-1779.

Coming soon...Harris County, Texas DWI No Refusal Weekend Going Full Time

Harris County DWI gold mine? Starting next month Harris County, Texas will be subject to a "DWI No Refusal Weekend" every weekend instead of just on special or designated weekends, typically holiday weekends.  I can not say this is a surprise considering how often the Harris County District Attorney's Office uses this propaganda to scare the public.  I have previously discussed what I think about the "No Refusal Weekends" here.  Nevertheless, Harris County residents should prepare themselves for this since the program is due to be around for the next three years. The county received a Federal Grant to have the program running full time.

if you need help with your DWI case please contact me at 713-242-1779.


Would Josh Hamilton Be A Candidate For The DWI Divert Program In Houston?

The Houston, Harris County, Texas DWI Divert program is in full swing now.  Those of us that are DWI attorneys in Houston are familiar with the parameters that have been set by the Harris County District Attorney's office.  What is surprising about the program is that the stated goal is to help , and assist those that really need the help in overcoming alcoholism.  Thus, reducing repeat DWI offenders, as well as intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter cases.

While this is a worthwhile objective the program is excluding those that need the help the most and has an unexpected expectation about anyone that does enter the program.  Take someone like Josh Hamilton as an example.  Baseball fans know Josh Hamilton's story, the first overall pick in the 1999 major league baseball player draft, instant millionaire, becomes addict, out of  baseball for three years, becomes a recovering addict, wins the comeback player of the year in 2007.   He captured the heart of the baseball world last year during the Home Run Derby by by hitting a record 28 home runs during the first round.  This year a lot was being expected from Hamilton.  His projections were off the charts.  He was a most valuable player candidate entering 2009.  Most fantasy baseball publications had him pegged as a top ten draft pick. These expectations caused him great stress perhaps causing his minor relapse this year. 

While everyone will agree that a minor infraction is to be expected of a recovering addict the Harris County District Attorney's Office disagrees when it happens during their DWI Divert Program.  In their opinion, anyone that is afforded the opportunity of the program may not have any infractions despite their history.  This sounds contrary to the stated goal of helping people from committing a DWI offense in the future.  Therefore, anyone considering the Divert program better be fully aware of the expectations, potential consequences, and the lack of compassion by the District Attorney's office. For more information visit our website: http://www.martinezlawhouston.com.


Refusing The Breath Test A Crime In Some States

That is correct some states like Iowa and Minnesota make a separate crime to refuse the breath test even if you are later found innocent of a DWI.  Hopefully, we will never see the day that Texas makes refusing a breath test a crime.

If you need to talk with an attorney regarding your DWI case please contact The Martinez Law Firm at (713) 242-1779 for a free consultation.

Houston DWI - A Defendant's Perspective (Part II)

At the police station, I was turned over to an official "DWI Task Force" team (two officers).  The first thing they wanted me to was the Field Sobriety Tests (FST).  You know - walk the line heel-to-toe, like you see on TV.  Other tests involve standing on one foot and counting to 30, and standing with your eyes closed and your head tilted back.  I later learned that these tests are "divided attention" tests, designed to test your physical acuity, as well as your ability to follow directions, do two things at one time, etc.  Why they use these tests I don't understand, because no accredited medical society endorses them, and even stone-sober people can't pass them.  They don't tell you what you are being graded on.  You do not know that, "Stand there until I tell you to start," means, "If you shift your weight or move even one muscle, I am going to put black marks all over your scored."  The also don't tell you that you have a right to refuse to perform the tests.  The whole thing is overwhelming, you're scared, in shock, and you're afraid to ask questions.

Next the officers asked me again to take the breath test.  This time, I was allowed to sit and read information about it- specifically, what happens if you do or do not take the test.  In Texas, if you take the test and fail, you loose your driver's license for three months.  If you refuse to take the test at all, you lose your license for six months.  IF you take the test and pass, you don't lose your license...but you can still be prosecuted for DWI, if the police think there is enough against you.  A conviction cold mean losing your license. 

With the printed information in front of me and time to think, I figured, "I don't think I'll fail the test but you never know.  If I lose my license and can't get to work, I probably can afford to make it for three months. But, I can not afford to be off for six months."  So I decided to take the test.

I "blew", as it is called, under the legal limit.  I was elated!  Until the officer looked at me and said two words- "reverse extrapolation," which means that they use mathematics to figure what your level is now and then figure the rate an average human metabolizes alcohol, and use that to say what they think your blood alcohol level might have been at the time you were driving.  So, no.  They were not going to let me go home.

 The police officer then did some test on my eyes.  You know- follow the moving pen with your eyes.  He also took my pulse and blood pressure, and spent a lot of time checking my inner arms for needle tracks.  The he asked if I would consent to a drug test.  WHAT?  Me suspected of illegal drugs?  Well, I do not do any drugs, and I had no qualms about taking this test.  But wait a minute!   Many people I know do use marijuana and some of the people at the party were smoking.  What if I had inhaled some of the smoke, and there was enough to test positive?

They said that something about the way my eyes moved was consistent with eye movements of people high on dope.  Oh, "No Problem", I said, smiling again.

If you find yourself neeeding the help of a DWI Attorney in Houston please contact The Martinez Law Firm at (713) 242-1779 for a free consultation.