For most people charged with DWI, this is their first and only brush with the law. In the state of Texas, however, a DWI is a serious charge, even if it’s your first DWI offense. Repeat and felony DWI offenses carry severe penalties that include mandatory jail time, expensive fines, and the loss of your driver’s license. As your defense lawyer, my goal is to reduce the charges or sentence against you and, if possible, prevent you from having a criminal record for a DWI arrest.
I’m Robert Fickman, a criminal defense attorney in Houston. Over the past 33 years I have defended hundreds of people charged with drunk driving. I also defend people charged with alcohol-related crimes, such as intoxication assault and vehicular homicide. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to understand what is required of you by the courts and what you need to do to avoid losing your license.
Developing a Strong DWI / DUI Defense
The three key defense issues in a DWI arrest are:
1. Whether the police had a reasonable suspicion to stop you.
2. Whether after stopping you the police had probable cause to arrest you.
3. Whether the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving while intoxicated.
All three issues require a thorough investigation. In preparing my client’s case, I interview witnesses, view any videotape of your arrest, and visit the scene. I have won many DWI cases by being more familiar with the scene of the arrest than the officer who made the arrest. In one case, the officer testified my client held on to a steel bar to support himself. By visiting and photographing the scene before trial I was able to show that the steel bar was only six inches off the ground. The police officer’s testimony was completely discredited and the client was acquitted.
The Use of Expert Witnesses – Strengthening Your DWI Defense
Sometimes I engage the services of an expert witness who can testify about the Intoxilizer, burn-off rate of alcohol in the body and alcohol toxicology.
My goal in any criminal case is to out-investigate the other side. Prosecutors handle so many DWI cases, they become routine for them. If we put in more effort than the other side, we may be able to keep a DWI conviction off your record.
If you have been charged with DWI, it’s important to request an Administrative License Review (ALR) within 15 days of arrest or your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. During the ALR, I may cross examine the arresting officer, which may lead to important evidence for your DWI defense.